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Lineage of the Damned 8: Triplets.

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Lineage of the Damned: Triplets.

Xander looked up from cooking dinner when Willow walked into the house he and Hansel were presently sharing with Dawn. "What's up?" He went back to stirring.

"What're you doing?" she asked, her nose wrinkling. "That stinks."

"It's German food for Hansel."

She grimaced. "Eww."

"It's really tasty but this one has cabbage." He glanced at her. "Big problem we haven't heard about yet?"

"Why won't you let me have Dawn?"

"Because.... I think that you couldn't sneak her into the dorm full time," he said carefully. He did not want to set Willow off if he could help it. "You and Tara have a lot of things you need to do daily that we don't. She's been really good for us and she's learning a lot from Hansel about how to protect herself in case a boy tries something. Without going into hunting stuff since Joyce doesn't want her to. Besides, you don't have room for her, Willow. Where would she sleep?"

"We can go to the Summers house."

Xander turned to look at her. "No you can't. Joyce has the new security system on. She keeps sending Buffy back but Buffy doesn't even want to stay there without her mom."

"Me either, it'd be way too weird," Dawn called from upstairs.

Xander pointed with a slight grin. "See? She's good here with us."

"She's not. She's a girl, Xander, and even with ...that," she said with a hand flick toward his chest. "You're not one. You can't understand girl things."

"She's beyond the age where she needs girl information," Xander said dryly. "She's already got her period, gotten boobs, and she helps me do my hair now and then." He shrugged. "We left that up to Dawn and Joyce. We offered to bring her home so she could stay there and Dawn refused. Hansel helped Joyce pick out the new security system so no vamps could move in since Dawn didn't want to stay there." He shrugged again. "We left it up to them. It's their lives and we're just teenager sitting."

"It's still not right! You're teaching her bad things."

Xander stared her down, reaching back to turn off the burner on the stove. "Really? What bad things are we teaching her, Willow? How to defend herself if one of the boys gets gropey? How to make sure she's not raped one night? Really? You consider that bad?"

"She's learning how to hunt," she said.

"No I'm not," Dawn called. "Hansel told me how to use a stake in case I get trapped but I am not learning how to hunt, how to use a crossbow, a dagger, or anything else. Hansel said he'd teach me to use a dagger for self defense when I was sixteen." She came down the stairs to look at her. "Beyond that, you're not allowed to bring me to the dorm. I'm too young to visit by campus rules. We asked."

"Like they really care," Willow snorted.

"They will care. Today's paper said they busted some local girl who had her brother there because he was now an orphan." Dawn got the paper to show her. "See? It clearly stated that no one under sixteen is allowed on campus overnight." She put the paper down. "Beyond that, Mom agreed I could stay with them and learn how to protect myself from boys acting like slugs. She was kinda really happy I'd be learning how to beat boys off my fantastic future butt." She smiled at Xander, who grinned back. "Burning." He turned to stir the pan and take it off the heat.

She walked around Willow to get stuff to set the table. "You and Tara need nookie time and witch time," she reminded her as she put down plates. "You don't need a teenager hanging around. Xander doesn't get that much sex unless Anya's here and she's backed off because Sam had a talk with her before he went back to Stanford." She looked at Willow. "Mom was thinking about making him my full time guardian if she died," she said quietly. "She figured he'd last longer than my sister will." Willow huffed off. Dawn waved at her back.

"Great, another fit like New York's," Xander muttered. Dawn looked at him. "She all but called me a serial killer. Said hunting was the same thing." Dawn rolled her eyes and huffed, shaking her head as she grabbed glasses. "I kindly reminded her she hunted too."

"She does," Dawn agreed. "Staking a vampy vamp is still ending it's unlife. It's not a game and Willow's got issues."

"I know. At least she's not pushing them on Tara. Hansel's talked to her a few times to make sure she knows that we're only after the bad sort and that she's safe as long as she's on the light. He told her about the fit in New York too." He grimaced. "She wasn't a happy witch by any means."

"Tara or Willow?"

"Tara. She had a talk about judgmental bitches." They shared a look and Xander smirked. "If she tries something I'll handle it."

"Let me know what I need to do to help." She hugged him before getting the silverware. "Is that going to be enough for all of us?"

"The rest is being kept warm in the oven with the bread." He checked and pointed with a grin. She went to call Hansel from the Magic Box. He was doing some research. Xander looked up, shaking his head when he saw Gretel staring at him. "Not my doing."

"She'll cause you problems," Gretel's ghost said.

Xander nodded. "Then we'll handle it. Just like we always do."

"We could burn her," Gretel said. "She's clearly slipping."

Xander snorted. "Willow's always had a firm idea of what reality was and it didn't always match with everyone else's, Gretel. Half the time she didn't think humans could be the bad thing. That none of them did evil." Dawn shuddered. "Even after meeting my parents. Her mother's the same damn way, though Willow denies it heavily." He smirked at Dawn, who grinned back and hugged him. "We'll handle it. Let your mom know that Judgement Willow came back."

"I can do that." She pulled out her phone to call her sister's cellphone. "It's me. Nope, dinner time calling tonight instead," she said happily, heading out back. "Mostly because Willow just told Xander he's warping me and I'm going to turn bad." She listened to her sister muttering. "Xander wanted you warned that Judgement Willow was back and huffy about stuff, just like in New York and I guess at other times." She listened to her sister and mother talking.

"No, he said he'd handle it. She wanted me to move into the dorms with her, which isn't allowed. They arrested someone last night for having their kid brother up there because their parents had been killed. No, nothing like that. Car crash actually. They got hit by someone running a red light up by the college." Her mother said something. "I'm pretty sure he thinks she will, yup. But we can handle it. He wanted you warned so you didn't have to have a fit on the worker if they showed up." She grinned at Hansel as he came in the back gate with Dean. "Hey, Dean. Hansel, table's set for dinner but I didn't plan for Dean."

"We can add another place," he assured her, staring at her. "You look odd."

"Willow decided you two are warping me." Hansel moaned, shaking his head as he walked inside muttering in German.

Dean looked at her. "Social worker?"

"Xander thinks so but we can handle it." She grinned. "He said she's just like her mother."

"Probably, yeah. That seems to be a family-wide infection instead of just individuals." He went inside. "Hurry up before we inhale dinner on you, Dawn."

"I can. So anyway, Mommy, it's all okay. Xander made dinner. Something with pork and cabbage and stuff and bread. He made it for Hansel. It's been a year since they met." She grinned. "Yup. So I'll talk to you two tomorrow. Be safe, be healthier, be calmer. All that good stuff. Love you like a Cheezeburger Kitten." She hung up and went to wash her hands. "Mom vowed to rip Willow's brain out to wash it and then reinsert it through her butthole."

"Your mom?" Xander asked, staring at her.

"In politer terms," she said with a grin back. She skipped to use Xander's bathroom.

Dean settled into a seat once he came down from washing up. "So, I found the lost Kuhn you've spotted in those vision dreams, Xander."

Xander paused to stare at him. "The agent one?"

Dean smirked and nodded. "He's on assignment in Oxnard for some reason. Looks just like Hansel so has to be part of that branch of the family."

"Huh." He grinned at Hansel. "After we work on this problem I'll go see him."

"Have fun with that," Hansel said. "It's nice to have family around." Dawn came bouncing out. "Why are you so hyper?"

"It's a girl thing." She kissed him on the cheek and sat down to dish up food, giving Dean vegetables even though he made complaining noises. "Can't hunt and capture waitresses or demons when you're weak from lack of veggies and vitamins," she quipped with a smirk for him. "Xander eats *some* and look how much stamina he has when he lets Anya capture him."

"Dawn," Hansel complained, but he was smiling. "I'd hope she was less fixated."

"Nope," Dawn quipped with a smirk for him. "She was planning on pouncing him late next week, after her cycle's done with."

"I'll be in Oxnard if he's still there," Xander quipped. He handed down the meat. Hansel smiled at him for that. "It's our anniversary. You met me a year ago tomorrow."

Hansel smirked. "It was the weirdest meeting ever but a good one." He dished up food, letting Dawn and Dean have some then letting Xander take the rest and put the empty pan on the stove. They dug in, talking about tonight's patrol route. Dawn would be at the Magic Box with Tara and Anya, and maybe Spike. The three hunters could handle most everything that was coming up.


Xander opened the door when it was knocked on, staring at the woman there. "I'm really shocked that we have actual social workers in Sunnydale. You guys never came when my family needed one."

"The old Mayor had problems," she said.

"I know. It nearly got me killed a few times." He let her walk inside without an invitation. He knew she was some sort of half demon. He could tell by her eyes being an unnatural color. He sat down. "Dawn's at the Magic Box with Giles going over Latin stuff and how to shelve his way."

"I'll talk to her later." She sat down across from him. "There's been a complaint made."

"I know. Willow Rosenburg got in a snit last night about me not giving her custody of Dawn. What she wanted wasn't possible and it wasn't healthy for Dawn. Even if I trusted her not to be a judgmental bitch at times."

"So you know...."

He held up a hand. "I grew up with Willow. I've known her since we started school in the same kindergarten class." The social worker winced. "Willow's turning into her mother."

"I've met Mrs. Rosenburg."

Xander grinned. "Willow once told me humans never do bad or evil things. Because they're human." The social worker groaned, shaking her head. "This was after meeting my parents a few times."

"I don't recognize you."

"I'm a Harris." He grinned. She slumped, staring at him. "Fortunately I ran into an uncle that wasn't part of that branch of alcohol sucking termites and I finished my last year with him after the cops got caught killing my parents on the old mayor's orders."

"That's good. Is that the ...." She checked the notes. "Hansel Kuhn she mentioned?" She looked up.

"It is. He's a maternal uncle but back a few generations after a split. Huge family tree in there that I'm still meeting members of but Hansel's really helped me a lot. He's very practical about stuff. The same as I am."

"That's good. Is he a natural citizen? She said he was an illegal immigrant?"

Xander shrugged. "I never asked. I know he grew up in Germany but otherwise no clue. Don't really care," he admitted with a grin for her. "And that's not a reason to remove Dawn."

"No, it's not. Though a note should be made."

Xander nodded. "I'm not sure if they could even find his paperwork in the system. I know he came over before everything was computerized."

"So it's at least been a decade," she said.

"More like at least three," Xander said.

"Okay." She made that note. She looked at him. "Why did the tiff occur?"

He shifted to cross his feet more comfortably. "Willow tried to get me to give her custody of Dawn so she could move her up to the dorms. Joyce, Dawn's mother, left it up to Dawn about living in the house and Dawn said it freaks her out a bit."

"Where is her mother?"

"In an oncology ward in LA. Her sister's up there with her usually. She dropped out this semester because of it. When her mother forces her to come get some rest, she usually ends up on the couch you're sitting on. Neither one of them want to be in the house if Joyce isn't there. She's their mom and she's *the* mother at times." He grinned. "To me and Willow too most of the time."

"That's a good sort of mother to have though." She made that note. "So you have legal custody?"

"I have legal paperwork to treat her if there's a health issue. We have an informal written agreement to cover our butts legally for the rest." He got up to get the papers he had pulled out earlier. "Here." He handed them over then sat back down. "Joyce, Buffy, and I are all very aware of the legal snafu our system locally has. They're backlogged with anything that's not a will. That was good enough for the school board and her doctor when she had to go in to get school shots."

The social worker nodded, making notes on her notepad. "They should hold up in anything but a legal challenge by Dawn's father."

"He's a ghost in the wind," Xander said dryly. "Buffy sent a certified letter to him and he sent it back after opening it." The social worker stared at him. "He had cheated, a lot, on Joyce before they divorced. He's seen Buffy one summer for visitation and then decided it was too hard since he was dating someone her age."

"One of them," she said dryly. "I've met a few of those."

Xander nodded. "Thankfully, Joyce has sense."

"It clearly passed down." She looked at him after putting the papers on the coffee table. "Do you work?"

"I'm living on a small settlement at the moment, and rent from our apartment that I found in New York. A few friends are subletting for us to take care of my plants. If it wasn't for Joyce's health issue we'd be back in New York. We only came out here to help."

"That's good." She made that note. "Does Mr. Kuhn work?"

"No, not at this time, though he's done a bit of helping at the Magic Box and other places when necessary. Including fixing a leak Dawn found in their roof last week."

"That's nice of him." She made that note. "Miss Rosenburg complained that he was teaching her how to fight?"

"Dawn had no self defense training. We both thought that was wrong. Buffy thought she could protect Dawn but then reality hit her because she's in LA. Dawn's thirteen and cute." That got a nod. "Uncle Hansel's teaching her how to beat off boys if they come for her. We all know they will some day. She's a cute young teenager who sometimes has a mouth on her but the boys around here are nearly animals at times. We want her able to get away from one trying shit."

"That's a sound reason. I had my own daughter take martial arts." Xander smiled. "Is he certified to train?"

"He's trained other members of the family in how to defend themselves."

"Interesting. She said you believe in demons?" She stared at him.

He smirked. "Let's not even pretend you don't know who her sister is and I don't know that you're half ...Borganth?" She grimaced but nodded. "Willow worked beside us for years. She's got a magic addiction to her to skills and she floats branches instead of physically doing it but yeah, we're all hunters. Dawn's not learning that. She has learned that there's good and there's bad. That there's ones that are good due to self interest and bad due to fun times. Really, she's always teasing Spike these days," he said dryly. The social worker gaped. Xander grinned. "He got captured by that *project*."

"Yuck," she muttered. "I heard."

"It's worse than you heard. Believe me, much worse than you heard." She nodded. "Spike vowed to Buffy that he'd protect her and often does. He helps on patrol. Dawn likes to tease him about his hair gel and hair dye, plus ask him to teach her to swear in a demon language that we don't know so we won't ground her for swearing."

"That's...unusual but nice of him I suppose. Does he get much time with her?"

"No. They may watch her at the Magic Box now and then with him in there but he doesn't get one-on-one time with her. The girls may think he's been made harmless. I'm not that blind. He has minions he can use to get around that behavior chip of his. We trust Spike to work in his best interest and to do what he feels is fun. Dawn knows that too."

"That's very wise. So you know about hunting."

"I'm still a Xander," he said with a grin. "And a distant Kuhn."

"I thought it might be him." Xander nodded. "Okay. She's not learning hunting?"

"No. Her mother said no, her sister said no, Dawn herself said no. She knows enough that if she has to stake to protect herself she can. Hansel's working on staff work at the moment in case she needs to know it to protect herself. Including 'this is how you use a sword just in case' lessons. She's not learning how to hunt. Around here, you may have to stake to make it home for dinner."

"True." She looked around then at him. "Where does she sleep?"

He pointed. "Upstairs. First door on the left." She went to look in there, coming down making notes. "We do what's best for Dawn and we do it with Dawn's input. The only thing I don't let her do is shop like her sister and she's not allowed to wear slutty teenage clothes."

"Willow said you crossdress?"

Xander grinned. "There's also nymphly heritage in the family." He changed then back. She gaped. Xander smirked a tiny bit. "Baiting, so much easier."

"I bet." She stared at him. "Doesn't that bother others?"

"No. Hansel helped me find a look I like for baiting."

"I suppose it would only help with the hunting." Xander nodded. "Huh." She looked at him. "She said you've got problems."

"I don't have problems. Willow has judgmental issues. She's turning into her mother. I told her no for a lot of reasons, including that one. Willow showed up in New York to tell me that hunting, which she still does, is like being a serial killer. When I pointed out we only take out the evil ones and the ones feeding on humans, she said it didn't matter. When I pointed out that they were saving lives she threw a hissy fit. She still thinks all humans are good and all demons are bad. It's like she never made it past Dawn's age in some ways. Which is probably because of her mother making Willow raise herself."

"I heard." She grimaced. "It's unusual but I see no reason why she has a right to complain."

"She's a Rosenburg. They always complain about *something*. Hell, Willow's mom met my mother, while my mother was drunk, and still called her a charming, caring mother who had issues." He smirked. "Those same issues sent me to the ER a few nights later and led to one of your former coworkers showing up for the first time in thirteen years of calling on them. Willow's mom thought it was wrong of them to show up because my mother was just a drunk."

"I've met Mrs. Rosenburg. I think she took too many drugs in college." She looked around then at him again. "What about when she's healed?"

"Buffy knows if she needs my help all she has to do is call. She did this time." That got a nod. "We're on for apocalypse battles when she needs us too. I've been there at all the other ones," he said dryly. "Buffy thought I was normal, still does. All she got out of the nymph thing was that now I could help her shop better." The social worker snorted but looked amused. "Yeah. They're.... Let's just leave it as they're girls and they have their own ways even I don't understand. Joyce tried really hard and managed it with Dawn."

"Clearly." She put her notepad back. "I'd like to talk to Dawn." Xander pulled out his phone to call her. She bounded in a few minutes later. "Nearby, dear?"

"I was at Celia's house. She's a school friend and on the next block." She wiggled into a spot next to Xander to talk to her about stuff. She had talked to one social worker at school about things when they had talked about Xander having custody of her. Xander kept her calm and focused, and she knew he'd be baking cookies later so she could have some.

The social worker stood up at last, shaking their hands. "I'm not seeing her issues at all. So I'll leave you here but if you need help you let me know, Dawn. I can arrange for counseling or other services you may need."

Dawn nodded. "I can do that. Thank you."

"Do you help him when he changes to hunt?"

"I help him do his hair sometimes," she said with a grin. "I can't be the slutty bait Xander can be. I don't have the titties or the butt for it. I can't compare to a nymph and I know that. I'm a realistic girl. Some day Xander will teach me how to entice a boy I choose carefully into my lair so I can pounce like a spider." She smirked at Xander, who shook his head. "Hey," she pouted.

"You can carefully choose him, and I expect that since your sister has *no* taste. You can pounce. There'll be no need to bait because by the time you let him do more than kiss and mildly grope he's going to be desperate for more than his hand and mental pictures of your breasts."

Dawn hugged him. "I can see that."

The social worker smiled. "That's a healthy thing." She paused when someone walked in. She knew who he was. "Mr. Winchester."

Dean grinned. "I'm in to help fill in for Buffy." He looked at them. "We all good? I'm giving Dawn a quick driving lesson today. Hansel said she had to have one. She can watch me drive to check a few spots that gave Sammy weird feelings when she took him on the town tour."

"Sure," Dawn chirped, hopping up to hug him.

"No hugging, Dawn. Hug boyfriends, not me."

She smirked. "I'm test squeezing so I can set up a rating scale for later boyfriends."

He snorted but walked her off looking amused. "Go for boys like Sammy. They're safe enough to help you protect you both and he's smart enough to find a real life with real money and a real future."

"I was going to ask him to talk up Stanford to me if I get to go to college."

Xander smiled at the social worker. "He's really good as a kinda big brother to her too."

"I'm sure he is. Everyone says that Winchesters are fierce about their families."

Xander nodded with a smirk. "Very. John nearly shot me when I showed up with information on that demon for him." She shuddered. "It's gone," he said quietly. She smiled and left. Xander got comfortable and sent an email to Buffy for her and Joyce. He had a feeling Willow was going to get spanked by the social worker for being a dumb witch.


Xander managed to slip away that night, going to Oxnard. He knew where it was, it was only three hours away. Not that hard to find. They drove right past the exit on the way to Sunnydale if they didn't come from LA. He found the agent thanks to the demon poker circuit. They were all amused at Xander hunting down his relatives. Though they wouldn't tell any of the ones in town about it. Something was seriously going on with a few of them in that town and they weren't sure if the hunter wasn't going to have to intervene. That'd give them amusement so they'd let it happen.

Xander was ready for this. He had practiced in front of the mirror at home and had actually managed a credible performance at another point in time to tempt a mark that desperately needed to be captured by Jason. So now he'd handle this one. Thankfully, it was open pole night. Yup, he could spot the Kuhn in the crowd. The triplets looked just like Hansel. He did his little strip number, and got a lot of appreciative looks.

Of course it could've been evil shit night in the strip club. He recognized a few that Jason had said were too dangerous to touch. Xander strolled over, still in his female disguise, and smiled at the bad man he was here to talk to. "Buy a girl a drink?" she asked with a grin. "That made me thirsty."

"As long as it's not something really expensive," he offered with a grin.

"Nah. I'm not that way. Just a white wine please." She settled into a chair, staring at him. "So, I'm Lexi."

"Hi, Lexi." He smirked. "I'm just unwinding."

She winked. "I didn't figure you were here to pick up someone to kill, dear." He laughed, shaking his head. She accepted her drink and tipped the waiter, who smirked at her. An incubus. And he knew her. Good. Less interference. She sipped her wine, looking at it then at the waiter, who smirked at her. "Okay. Boones Farm." The guy laughed. Xander took another sip and put the glass down on the table. "What brings you down to this little hub?"

"Just traveling a bit."

"Hmm. You know, I know someone who looks just like you." The guy lost some of his happiness at that but only in his eyes. "He's a detective in New York."

"I... As far as I know I don't have any relatives that look just like me."

She smiled. "Jason and I talked a number of times." She took another sip. "Relax. The bad guys in here won't get you either." He nearly flinched. She smiled and winked. "Just...calm down, dear." She put down the glass again and looked around. One of her poker buddies and the guy was clearly watching toward him. That figured. The waiter came over to see if she needed a refill, teasing her ear with his finger to pass over a message. "No, I'm good, dear." She smiled up at him. He could tell what she was doing and had warned her not to hit the rest of the club. She wouldn't do that unless they made her. She smiled at him again. "I think it's interesting that you two look alike. Were you maybe adopted?"

"Stranger things have happened but I wasn't."

She opened her wallet to show him the pictures. "That's Jason. That's Uncle Hansel," she said quietly, staring at him. He blinked a few times. She pointed at another one. "That's Brian but he's... well, there were these guys who took him and he's presently being brain washed but I'm not sure where." She finished the wine and put the glass back down, looking at him. "Jason's a detective in New York. Brian was LAPD."

He closed the wallet. "That's really weird," he said. He hadn't missed the 'uncle' part. "What does the other one do?"

"He... well, he hunts." She smiled. "A lot of the family does in one way or another."

"Like people?"

"Hey, Xander," one of the demons in there called. "Can I interrupt you and Jason?"

Xander smiled at him. "Why? You going to pay me the kittens you owe me?"

"Nope. Can I have a lap dance and I'll give you something better?"

She snorted. "Dude, I'm trying to recruit dick for Buffy." They all groaned. "With her mom being so sick, she could use the dick." They all nodded. "And if you guys hear anything about those guys being free, *please* let me know. I'd like to give Buffy a good present this year." A few of the demons shuddered. The guy was blinking at her. She grinned. "I play poker with them."

"For ...kittens?"

"Yeah. They're kinda that way." She shrugged and grinned. "So, anyway." One of the demons got up and wandered toward the bathroom. She noticed Clint watching him. "Word of warning," she said very quietly. "He kinda eats people." The guy flinched and stared at her. "Like really eats people. He'll make due with cats....." She shrugged. "Though I do play poker with him too. My town's kinda weird that way."

"It has a lot of cannibals?"

"Yup. Of a few different varieties." She grimaced at the vampire that had just walked in looking all smug with a victim already on his arm and drugged. "Oh, please," she muttered. "Not tonight." The vampire tried to bite his victim once they were seated but she was struggling. Xander looked at the waiter, who shook his head and looked away. Xander casually got up and took out one of her hair sticks, walking over to stake him. "Women have the right to say no, especially to things like you," she sneered at the ashes. "Honey, go home." She ran for her life. "Good girl." Xander paid for another glass of wine and came back. She was sitting down by the time the demon came out of the bathroom. "He smokes pot to get drunk. Alcohol doesn't work on his system," she said quietly.

"How do you know this?"

"Hansel taught me." She grinned. "There's some really strange things in the family at times."


"Kuhns actually. Though, the Addams were nice enough on the show. Didn't like the movies as much. Well, the first was good, the other two not as much." She grinned and took another drink then put it down. "So, would you maybe like to meet Jason and Hansel?" she asked quietly.

He looked at her. "You came here to find me."

"Yes I did, and to make sure you didn't disappear like Brian did."

"Huh." He considered it. "Wanting help with that?"

"No, they'll tell me when they spot him so I can help him," she said with a tiny smirk. "I think they've begged for their destruction very well by touching family. For some of us, family's kinda important now that I have a real one."

The guy gulped some of his beer. "I'm working."

"Is it because he's eaten someone?" she asked quietly. "Or something else?"


"He never told me he sold weapons. That's mean of him keeping that from me." She smirked over at a few poker buddies then at him. "I can get you an introduction. Like I said, we play poker."

"Would he recognize me?"

"He's too high to think you're anyone but Jason as far as he said. If not.... Not that huge of an issue to be dealt with." She waved the wine glass around a bit then finished it. "Guys, I need present money," she announced. They all moaned. "Or a really good present. Buffy's birthday is this week and with her stress levels, even dick isn't going to help it. But I'll be nice and give someone a chance to win it back. I'm in the mood to play." She smirked at one.

He moaned. "Jordan's got a game going in about an hour, Xander. Why are you in that form?"

"I haven't had to bait in a while and you know the heritage comes out now and then," she said dryly. "It's this or a good revel. Before I smite me a witch like a true Kuhn."

"What did the bitch do this time?" Jordan the demon, who was being watched by Clint, asked.

She smirked. "She tried to make me give her Buffy's sister to watch over." They all moaned. "Even tried a social worker." That got a deeper moan. "So I'm afraid I'm looking for something to take some attention before Hansel has to lock me somewhere so I can't start smiting plans that'll counter his burning plans." They nodded and a poker game got started at the other table. Xander brought Clint. "I'm bringing the dick I'm introducing Buffy to."

Jordan blinked at him. "That's not Jason."

"He's Jason's cousin," she said with a grin. "He told me and wanted me to introduce him to Buffy. Isn't it okay if he watches me be brilliant until Jason calls me back?"

They all shrugged and let her into the game. The dealer looked in his notebook. "As you're presently owed six hundred kittens by two people at the table we'll let you use part of that to start your stake, Huntress."

Xander smiled. "Just a hundred. I might need those kittens later." They all groaned and dealt people in. "So any idea on what to get Buffy? She could *really* use some happies."

"We've heard her mom's sick," the dealer said.

Xander looked at him over the top of her cards. "That *project* had someone with a *needle*," she said, sounding a bit bitter. "I got to tell her that I found evidence of it and get her a CT to find the tumor." They all shuddered. "And then tell Buffy she might be dating the cause since she was still with Riley." That got another shudder. "So yeah, stress relief is *great* and with Brian still missing...." She waved around her hand. "I'm going to snap. Buffy's going to snap. Dawn's doing great though." She smirked a tiny bit. "Hansel's teaching her how to beat boys off her butt." They all nodded that was a good idea. Xander lost that hand but the next few got won. Clint got to pet the living kitten Xander won in the last one. The owner was giving his dinner pitiful looks but oh well.

One of the other demons in the bar looked over. "You're just a succubus," he sneered drunkenly.

Xander smirked. "I'm much more than a succubus, dear. And I'm not. Just got some demon taint at one time." The demon growled. Xander shifted to cross her legs then threw a dagger she pulled off her thigh at him, hitting him in the chest. He pussed up and yelled until he managed to pull it out. Xander got up to get her dagger and blew a kiss at him with a smirk. "I know what you are and how dangerous you can be to normals. Though...." She looked him over. "You in no way are a good specimen of your species, dear. Why don't you run back to your hell dimension so you can sober up, gain muscles like most of you have, and maybe get a dick transplant while you're there?"

He started to cry. Xander patted him on the head fin. "It's all right. It's not totally your fault you're inadequate. Some of it's genetics. Blame your dad, his sperm was faulty." She sat down with her poker buddies, who were laughing at that. They tipped the next few girls to get on stage and one called one over to buy drinks for her. Clint let her pet the next kitten Xander won. Xander smiled at the dealer, who swallowed hard. "I'm not doing anything. You know I won't."

"Wouldn't affect us anyway," Jordan complained.

Xander laughed, making him shiver. "I could but I'm not that needy." They nodded and the poker game broke up. "Jordan, do you have *anything* she might like?"

"Not really. I've got a few things but I know she hates guns."

"You've been keeping babies from me?" she demanded, smirking at him as she stared him down. "How dare you keep my future petted babies from me." The demon swallowed. "I want to see. Buffy *loves* to pet artillery. She doesn't understand it, but she likes artillery. Just hates guns."

"Sure. I've got some here in town, Xander." He looked at the not-Jason. Then back at her. "Go chain him in the car?"

"I can leave him in the car. We're going to see Hansel in a few."

"That's fine. Hansel likes us," another demon quipped. "We keep you from flirting with him and others."

Xander kissed him on the cheek. "We haven't had to hunt in weeks. There's been a few raising but otherwise almost nothing." They all groaned. "Which is nice since Buffy doesn't have to worry. Hansel's still mad that the last one tried to pounce me and I didn't leave him very much." They nodded they had heard. Xander followed Jordan to the parking lot with her new cousin. The two kittens got put into the backseat. She drove after the demon. "So," she said once they were in there. "Clint wasn't it?" He nodded once. She smiled. "Welcome to the wacky world of demon hunting."

"He is?"


"You are?"

"No. There was a freaky orgy back in pre-writing days in the bloodline. I got exposed to something that allowed it to come back up." She looked at him. "There's only three of us in the present family that've had that happen. Family tree scroll's in the glove box. I made sure before I left home." He pulled it out to look at it. "The red dot is beside Hansel's name and I'm on the lower left corner. You, Brian, and Jason are off to the right side down from Hansel's name."

He looked, frowning some. "I'm a triplet?"



"Brian's a jackass," she said with a grin. "When he wants to be." She glanced at him then shrugged. "He has his moments but he's a decent guy most of the time. He's just an asshole. Jason has his moments of being an asshole but he's kinda nice to me. He helped me celebrate my eighteenth when I admitted we were having pizza because of it."

"Do they know?"

"Yeah. You're the last of the triplets. We've been looking for you guys because of a few problems we've noted coming. Brian's kidnaping is just part of it."

"I can tell people about that."

"From what little we know, they're government somehow."

"So am I."

She smirked. "I know who you work for. I got him one night when I was looking at a different target that was taking in runaways to sacrifice for Jason." She pulled into the parking lot. Clint put stuff up. She smiled at him and winked. "I'm going to get a new pretty toy. Map inside the glove box to where we are." She got out and strolled over to where Jordan was waiting. "Wow, huge place." She looked at him. He smirked. She walked inside with him and threw the grenade when she noticed his whole clan was there with guns. "Not nice, Jordan." He groaned.

"Pity you tried that. I'm not the happy camper cheerleader today." Jordan reached up then his arm fell. "That's nice, sweetie. I'll pick out my own present. You still owe me cats though. Double for trying to take me out this way." He started to cry. Xander stabbed the three higher ups in the clan. "For trying to have my poker buddy sully my magnificence so hard." A few others whined. She smirked. "I can do the same to you." They piped down.

She walked over to look at things, releasing the hostage they had and a few other things. "Awww. Baby," she cooed, petting the only working piece of artillery in there. The rest were broken pieces of crap. "Come to Xander, baby," she cooed as she carried it off. Clint tried to take it from her. She kissed him on the cheek with a grin. "Mine. Sorry but we have an apocalypse battle in a few months." She smirked.

"We'll see," Clint said, staring at her.

Xander shrugged. "Sure. Come see us. Hansel wanted to meet you too." He changed. "Nymph heritage," he quipped with a grin. "Comes in *real* handy at times." He strolled off with his new pet, going home.

Clint stared at his partner, who had been a hostage. "Did I...."

"I have no idea what that was," she admitted.

"She said these ones are demons."

His partner nodded. "They are." She smiled slightly. "That one has a good hand at handling such menaces. Though we really should confiscate the artillery from him."

"Yeah. Apparently I'm related."

She stared at him for a moment. He looked bothered and a bit creeped out. "Interesting. We'll call that in." They finished off the demon clan, searched the warehouse for information, then torched it once the clean up team was ready for them. They went to check in and go home.

He had the file on Brian from Xander's glove box. He had the map. Clint looked at his boss as soon as he walked into the office. "You apparently know my distant cousin, who somehow changes gender? He had to move around you while looking at someone for a detective."

The director blinked. "Harris," he sneered. Clint put down the files he had. He looked them over. "Why did you meet him?"

"He met me at the club. Got me to their warehouse full of pieces of crap. Took out most of the demon clan somehow."

"Gas grenade," his partner said as she walked in. "Stabbed a few."

The director looked at them. "This is amusing." He looked at his sniper. "There's a few things you don't know."

"There's apparently a lot I don't know since apparently I'm adopted."


"Apparently I also have one missing twin and one that's in the NYPD." He handed over the file on Brian.

Director Fury of SHIELD looked that over, grimacing. "I've heard rumors. We need to stop that shit." He put it down. "That can be your job if you want it. As long as you can stay objective."

"All I know about them is that Brian's apparently an asshole most of the time but one that makes Xander smirk about it, Jason's in the NYPD and is sometimes an asshole but a nicer one who helped Xander celebrate his eighteenth birthday recently, and Uncle Hansel might be a bit handsy," he said dryly. He found the picture he took of the scroll. "If he's here, and Xander's way down here....." He looked up. "How did he change gender?"

"That I don't know," Fury admitted. "I couldn't corner the kid when she was taking out someone who was sacrificing kids for occult purposes. I was in the bar for another target." He leaned back. "Do you want to ask him or your twin?"

"Him. I think. Can I do a background first? I've got a headache."

"Definitely," Fury said. "Demon hunters do it to all of us. We barely have anything in the system on Hansel Kuhn beyond the fact that he's under a curse that's kept him alive since the seventeen hundreds." Clint shuddered. "He's trained a lot of the family by what we know. Mostly to be demon hunters. Harris is apparently his newest student?"

"I guess."

"Find that out. Fill out his file," he told the other agent. Who nodded her head. "They're a bit weird out there and I'm not sure why. We think we need to know and that there's problems."

"We know there was a project that had people experimenting," Clint said. "Xander said that someone from it gave his friend Buffy's mother cancer." Fury's good eye quirked up. "That she's in the hospital and Buffy's really on edge. Who names their kid Buffy?"

"Don't know," Fury said. "Find out, let us all know so you quit freaking the fuck out."

"Fine." He walked off with those files. She followed. "Thanks, Nat."

"Welcome. You need the backup. This is not something to go into blindly." She helped by pulling up files while he packed them for a new trip. This was going to get very interesting very quickly.


Dawn looked up from her self-defense time on her butt after Hansel had knocked her down. "Hi," she said with a grin for the guy that looked just like her tormenting, picking teacher. "Hansel, relative." She climbed up and dusted herself off. "Let me call Xander. He's at the Magic Box."

Hansel looked at this one. "You must be Clint, the other triplet." He smiled and shook his hand. "Welcome." He nodded at the quiet woman with him. Who was giving him a hard look. He smirked. "I remember you as well. Next time, don't get between myself and the witch I was hunting." He opened the gate so they could walk in.

"I put on hot water for coffee and tea," Dawn called. "And I've unhidden Xander's stash of oreos." She leaned out to smile at them. "I'd offer better cookies but we ate them last night. Sorry." She grinned and left them to talk. "Going to bug Anya," she called before leaving. She ran into Willow on the way. "No. Hansel's got relatives in." She walked her off by pulling on her arm. "It's one of the triplets." They walked past Xander, who smirked at her. "He's got a friend in."

"I saw her when we rescued her from Jordan's street gang of ick," Xander quipped.

"Great. Did he pay you?" Dawn joked.

"Nope. I'll get it from his mom later. I've already talked to her." He smirked back at them. "No letting Anya take you with her when she goes shopping later, Dawn. You don't need to go to the adult store."

"No I don't. I don't need a latex dick yet," she agreed happily. Willow was making horrified noises. "I don't." She walked in and handed Willow to Giles then went to talk to Anya. "The other triplet looks just like Brian," she said in greeting.

"He was pretty," Anya said with a grin. "Very nicely muscled too." She shivered. "I had many happy orgasms about his arms."

"This one's got a female friend with him."

"Pity. I wonder if he likes threesomes." She walked off with Dawn. "I need to buy a few things."

"Xander said I can't go with you to the toy store, Anya."

"Shoot. You need your own."

"Let me have a real one first."

"True. It might be a letdown to have one that's always good then have a real one that's not as firm or as big," the former demon agreed. "Have you looked at the options yet?" She walked Dawn into the back area to have some tea.

Giles shook his head with a groan. "Wonderful," he muttered, looking at Willow. "Why are you so huffy?"

"Did you just hear her?" she demanded in a high squeak and pointing at Dawn's location. "They're warping her, Giles!"

Dawn leaned out to look at her. "I knew about fake dicks a few years ago when I found Buffy's," she said dryly with a smirk. "Mom explained why she had one. That's when we had the sex talk." She went back into the kitchen.

"I do not need to know about such matters, ladies," Giles said firmly.

"Sorry," Anya chirped.

Giles took off his glasses to clean, looking at Willow. "She's not warped. She's happy. And possibly a bit sugar high." He looked at his former student. "They're being good uncles to her, Willow. They'd never let her run that wild."

"I never knew about that stuff," she complained.

Giles stared at her. "I did. I was fourteen when I found out they made fake ones of both sexes. They were quite a hit around the school dormitory." She blushed bright red and squeaked. He put back on his glasses. "She said Joyce told her about them. I know that Hansel would not allow her to even go on a chaperoned date yet when Xander said she could if she was chaperoned. They're highly overprotective of her."

"Did you see how tight those jeans were?" she demanded with another point. "Plus how low cut that shirt is?"

Dawn walked out to stare at her. "Talk shit to me instead," she demanded, glaring at her. "Especially since Mom bought these and said I look nice in them." Willow backed down at that. "Some of us weren't brought up to be confused prudes with control issues like you were, Willow. So just drop it. Even if you could somehow blackmail Xander into giving me to you, I'd never stay. I'd run away to stay with Sam Winchester first. At least he has real sense." She looked at Giles and smiled. "By the way, Dean's off again."

"He paused on his way out of town. We found more information on the family's demon in case it comes back."

"That's wonderful and I'm glad that's over." She grinned. "Xander's been using the poker circle to keep track of John and Dean." She went back into the back. Anya moaned about John and Dean and how much stamina they had to have. Hunters were usually in really good shape and had to run after hunts so they had to have stamina.

Giles shook his head. "I fear that the only warping thing around here is really Anya's libido."

"Xander probably warped her," Willow complained.

Anya walked to the doorway. "You should see my historical dildo collection, Willow. I might let you borrow some to cure your sourness but I'm not sure if you could take proper care of them. They do require proper cleaning and maintenance so they don't break." She went back to tell Dawn about some of them and who they were modeled off of.

Giles shook his head again. "Oh, dear, you got her started again," he muttered. "She was calling around the other day to find out how to authenticate a pre-Roman dildo she has in her collection so it could be auctioned off."

"Latex is nicer than marble," Anya said from back there.

"Ewww, they did?" Dawn asked. "How would you keep it clean?"

"Boiling it," Anya quipped.

"There's a customer coming in, ladies; please modulate your discussion topic," Giles complained. The door's chime sounded and the usually pleasant nature witch sneered at Willow but went to find what she wanted on the shelves. Giles looked at Willow. "I'll speak to you later tonight, Willow. Perhaps you talking to Joyce would make you fear less for Dawn's sanity." Willow huffed but stomped off. Giles called Xander to warn him but otherwise it was hopefully going to be all right.


Xander walked in and shut the door. "Willow didn't curse anyone this time, right? I saw Dawn pulling her away."

Hansel shook his head. "She never made it here. Dawn put on water for tea." Xander went to find the tea. And coffee. "He's a bit...hyper at times," he said quietly.

"I heard that. Just for that I should make you school shop with Dawn," Xander quipped with a mean grin at him. "Tea, guys, or coffee?"

"Tea please," Natasha said.

"Coffee if it's not sludge," Clint said.

"Nah. It's instant but I demand good instant," Xander said with a grin for him. "How long did you freak out for? Brian kept thinking I was kidnaping him for dinner when we met. Though I had just done an exorcism on him."

"That's beyond the normal weird we see," Natasha said. Xander brought her a cup of tea. She smiled. "You make proper tea. That's nice."

He grinned. "Our local mentor is British." He went back to make the coffee and brought them all cups then sat down next to Hansel. "You have that same confused look I've seen a few times," he teased with a grin for Clint.

"That's probably because I am. I never knew I was adopted." Xander got the family scroll so he could look it over better. "Any idea what they looked like?" he asked Hansel.

Hansel shook his head. "She nursed me through a fairly bad concussion. I don't remember much beyond the headache and she had coppery auburn hair in the sun she insisted was good for me, even though it seemed to burn my brain. I remember she was in lower Texas but wasn't native by her accent."

"That's a good place to start," Clint agreed, writing down the facts the scroll had. The picture hadn't given a good view of it. He looked around. "Xander, where are you?" He looked then pointed. "Your mom?"

"Yeah. If the scroll was longer I'd be listed." He shrugged. "I don't know how to make it longer." He got comfortable again. "I know a local judge told me that I might not have the same heritage as my mother even though she gave birth to me. I had to ask how that happened since she had given birth to me and had carried me. She wasn't a surrogate for me so I had no idea how he had gotten to that point. He said that was somehow available by science but even the local attorneys laughed him off the bench over that." Hansel looked at him. "Will probating. Not that they had anything but it was a formal hoop to jump through."

Hansel shook his head. "Even in the middle ages we knew better than that. The only parentage you could be absolutely sure of was the mother's." He sipped his coffee. "What do you do, Clint? I know the other two were officers."

Clint grinned. "I'm an agent."

"He's like halfway between Jason's job and Brian's," Xander quipped with a grin for Hansel.

Hansel nodded. "It's good you three grew up so strong and able to handle necessary problems. If I had known, I would have taken responsibility."

Clint nodded. "That's good to know. She never told you?" Hansel shook his head. "Huh." He looked at Natasha. Who shrugged back and sipped her tea. He looked at them again. "What is this about demons and hunting?"

Hansel chuckled with a tiny smile. "I am a demon hunter, yes. I'm finishing Xander's training in that field." Xander nodded with a slight smug look. "I'm also making his ex leave him alone." Xander rolled his eyes and drank some coffee.

"Is she evil?" Natasha asked Xander.

"Anya? Not anymore. She lost her vengeance demon job."

Natasha blinked a few times. "Vengeance demons?" He nodded, getting up to get the book on them. He turned to Anya's page to show her. "That's....that might explain a few things I could not understand on some cases." She showed Clint, who winced a bit.

"She's working with Giles now," Xander said with a grin. "She found that book for me when I asked. That way we could figure out if we had another one in town to visit her or if they were working. I figure most of them probably have a really good reason for existing and do important work most of the time. Anya's firing was from a not very critical or deep wish being rescinded but most of them do important stuff."

"They were justice before the ones who handed it out noted it was necessary," Hansel agreed. "Her and Halfrek especially."

"What's she over?" Natasha asked.

"Lost childhoods," Xander said quietly.

"Then she has a very important job," Clint agreed. He carefully put the book down and looked at them. "I'm still a bit freaked out."

Xander grinned. "I was too when I learned about vampires, but then they took a friend." He finished his coffee and got up to put on more water to warm, bringing out the good cookies he hid from Dawn. "I made them," he said happily, going back in there.

"Most hunters take to the life because we were deeply affected by it," Hansel said. "If you're lucky, you run into a more experienced hunter who tells you what's going on and how to handle things. If not, you learn as you go along because you hear things that need to be handled."

Clint nodded. "I've done a bit of that as an agent."

Xander leaned out of the kitchen. "Is your boss still sweating about me?" he quipped with a grin.

"Swearing about you," Natasha corrected.

Xander laughed. "That's so sweet of him." He went back to puttering around so they could talk like adults.

Hansel shook his head. "Sometimes I worry," he said quietly. "He's a bit...weird even to me at times."

"I heard that. I'm feeding you mothballs for dinner. I'll make a nice meatloaf for the rest of us."

Clint tried not to laugh, he really did. But you couldn't help it. Xander in a goofy, happy mood was nice. Hansel was smiling and shaking his head too. Especially when Xander was doing Elmer Fudd singing 'kill the wabbit' opera style.

Natasha finished her tea. She did not want to intrude and that boy was very weird to her.


Clint and Natasha met back in their motel room that night. Clint had followed Hansel and Xander on patrol. Natasha had watched the shy blonde girl protect their room from the weird things that happened here. "Vampires do go to ash if you stake them," Clint said once he had flopped down on his bed.

Natasha frowned. "Like in the movies?" He nodded, grimacing some. "How strange." He nodded again, faster this time. "Are they good?"

"Hansel and Xander are both good at hunting. Hansel was teaching Xander about a few types of demons he wasn't sure about and how to beat something with three arms." She shuddered. "Xander used a crossbow very well. Then a regular stake. Then he had to behead something while the redhead that came with the blonde girl complained about Hansel's shotgun."

Natasha pointed at a few marks. "She drew those on with some clear liquid but they glow a bit red." Clint looked, shaking his head. She got up to touch one and it was like he could see it suddenly. "You couldn't?"

"No." They shared a look. "Do you get a weird feeling about this whole town?"

"I have since we landed at the airport outside town. I asked the shy blonde girl but she said it was the former high school. I have no idea why a high school would be evil."

Clint leaned back, looking around the room. "I have no idea how to find out."

"We could ask. Hansel said he'd be more than willing to teach you how to put up protections in case something came for you."

"I might, yeah. I'm wondering if they come worse if you know."

"Perhaps. I'm not sure." She sat on her bed. "What are you going to put into your report?"

"Not a lot yet. I..." He frowned. "Hansel's kinda tough and badass but nice enough I guess. I don't think he asked Xander to find me but he seems to want to get to know me." She nodded. "I think he'd be a nice person to get to know. Even if he wasn't my grandfather, and that's a weird thought with how old we both are." He grinned slightly. "Xander's a tiny bit insane or he's just really hyper and trying to find things to do. Dawn's sweet but squealy. Their tickle fight over dishes was cute."

"It was," she agreed. "Dawn's only fourteen."

Clint nodded. "That's a good age and Hansel said he's been working on self defense so she can beat boys up." They shared a look. "I think it's a nice thing but I'm not sure about a few things." He looked toward the door. Someone knocked so he got up to answer it. He didn't know them and he had almost expected it to be Xander. "Yes?" he asked.

The guy went to vamp face and growled. "Let me in, food. I want to nibble."

Natasha snorted. "Is that supposed to be scary?" she asked dryly. "I've seen worse on secretaries."

"We do know some really tough secretaries," Clint said, shutting the door in the vampire's face. He laid back down, facing her this time. "What do you think?"

"I think your assessments of Hansel and Xander are spot on," she said. "I think Xander's a bit wild. On the walk back, we ran into Anya and I asked the blonde girl about her. She said she's still adjusting to things."

Clint nodded. "I saw her when they ran into her on patrol." He grimaced. "She said Xander was healed so she could get orgasms again." Natasha arched up an eyebrow. He nodded with a smug look. "Hansel was not totally amused and said she could not because they both needed to sleep, not be kept up by Anya being so loud."

"I suppose she might've missed all that during her time as a vengeance demon. I've never wanted just orgasms. Sexual pleasure is more than that." She looked a bit confused. "Really?" He nodded with a grin. "Interesting." She laid down. "We'll figure all that out tomorrow."

"Thanks, Nat," he said quietly.

"You're welcome. It's a charming little town to have a vacation in."

He grinned. "It seems like it." She smirked back. They could handle this. They really could.


Jason Walsh got a text message from Xander and followed it. He had no idea why Xander was having him meet someone at a certain diner but he was. He walked in and paused. Okay, he understood now. He walked over. "You're not Brian."

"I'm Clint. Xander just found me." He shook his hand. "You're a detective?"

"I am." He settled in the booth, getting some coffee when the waitress came over. He ordered some sandwiches and got comfortable. "You look so confused," he said with a slight grin.

"The first I knew, Xander was being a stripper and trying to get between me and my target. I'm an agent and I was following someone."

Jason nodded. "Xander does bait very well. Did it help?"

"Yeah, it did. I got what I needed and rescued my partner. Just...a bit weird."

"Weird's relative on the hellmouth," he said. He glanced around then looked at him again. "You could've come to my place."

Clint smirked a tiny bit. "I wanted somewhere neutral in case you were a total asshole like I turn into some days."

"I have those days myself and Brian had more from what I understand." The waitress put down their lunches and left them alone. "Brianna," he said. She came back and he grinned. "Xander just found him."

"We heard." She smiled as she pinched Clint's cheek. "I still expect tips." She walked off. "Jordan's gang is not amused but mostly at Xander. That way they wouldn't hunt you down to turn you into stew." She looked back at him. "Eat. You're both too skinny."

Jason smiled at her. "Thanks."

"Welcome, Jason. Say hi to Casey. She tends to freak out when we succuba hit on her."

"I can do that." He dug into his food, nodding. "They do good here."

Clint stared at her then at Jason. "She is?"

"Most of the local ones have jobs and whenever Xander and Hansel are out in Sunnydale or traveling, some of them sublet their apartment to take care of his plants for him."

"Huh." Clint dug in. It was good food. "I met Anya. Xander introduced us."

"I'm so sorry," Jason muttered, shaking his head. "We talked on the phone when I called to check on Xander's last set of injuries."

Clint shook his head. "She's very blunt. So what's wrong with that town? My partner and I both felt something...almost like a shiver of dread up your spine."

"The hellmouth," Jason said then ate another bite.

"Hellmouth," Clint said, considering it while he chewed. "What's that?"

Brianna came back to refill their coffees and smiled at him. "It's the multi-dimensional portal underneath the old high school. It's why a bunch of us live there to hide and a few of the harmful things keep trying to take over humanity from there." She patted him on the arm. "Hunting's weird but you don't have to join the family business. Hansel won't mind." She smiled at Jason. "I heard about that case."

He snorted, shaking his head. "I have no idea why I got that one." She patted him on the head then walked off again. "She's really nice. A lot of the local succuba and incubi are really nice people."

Clint nodded. "It makes sense if they're being like everyone else so no one can tell."

Jason smiled. "We had to work with one of the ones that's a social worker."

"That's...." Clint shuddered. "I can't even imagine. I had to deal with a few of them."

Jason stared at him then nodded. "The greater majority aren't dumb bitches. At least locally. A lot of the ones here in the city are overworked and would really want to do more but they can't always do that. Though there's a few I'd like to feed to Xander's hellmouth."

"I had a few of those too," Clint said, eating a fry while he thought. "I have no idea how to do this."

Jason shrugged but grinned. "We're just us. We'll figure it the fuck out and be us only related to quote Brian." Clint grinned and nodded. They could get to know each other. When his partner called he flipped open his phone. "What's up?" He listened while he chewed. "Xander finally found one of the others. We're having lunch at Diana's Diner." He nodded. "Sure, I don't think he'd mind. There's a pretty woman here who's paying a lot of attention to us so our partners can talk." He hung up and grinned at her when she looked over. "Didn't figure you were checking me out."

"No, she's my partner." She came over with her plate. "Natasha, this is Jason."

"Pleasure," she said, shaking his hand.

"It is." He grinned. "My partner's coming too. She's a redhead and a bit ...blunt. But a good detective."

"Competence is always good in a partner," Natasha agreed. Clint grinned at her. "I put up with his."

Jason snickered, nodding. "At least the bloodline quirks didn't hit him."

"True, he does not change gender," Natasha said, looking Clint over. "I can't imagine that."

"Xander said he has a necklace that can do that," Jason quipped.

"Maybe if I have to go into deep hiding," Clint said.

"Did you get to meet any Winchesters while you were out there?" Jason asked. He ate another bite of sandwich.

"No. I heard Xander babbling at John about me but no."

"That means it wasn't that bad right now. I know they've got big shit going on soon. Xander let that slip and I asked if it was like the one that had been on tv."

"What one on tv?" Natasha asked.

"It only played on a demon station," Brianna called. "We told Jason and Brian how to get it."

Jason nodded. "It's an easier way to keep track of Xander whenever I make it home. They report anything too huge out there." He smirked. "There's one entertainment-like show that goes gushy over some beings that they like to stalk. Hansel gets some of that. So does Sam Winchester, the one at college. One of them was trying to stealthily film Dean but Dean told them he was going to turn them into a bonfire so they fled." Brianna giggled, pouring some coffee when Casey Shraeger walked in. "Hey." Brianna handed her the coffee and kissed her on the cheek, making Casey blush. He got up so she could have the window seat across from Natasha. "This is Clint."

"I was wondering if you were Brian," she said, shaking his hand. "Casey Shraeger."

"Clint and this is my partner Natasha." They shook hands.

"Work?" Casey asked. "Or, you know, otherwise?"

"Work," Natasha said with a slight smirk.

Casey grinned. "They do seem to suck you into their orbit."

"Hey, Xander's free," Jason quipped. "So's Hansel."

"I couldn't be the warrior wench Hansel would need in a girlfriend," she shot back. "And I'm not sure if I could date someone prettier than me the way Xander can turn into." Clint choked but he was laughing and nodding. "I like the guy though. He's really neat and he's hyper but he's good and he's sweet. No matter how far down Rosenburg tries to make him go."

"We met her," Natasha said. "She came to introduce herself to us when no one would allow her to meet us."

"She's....I wanted to smack her about Xander being all normal and couldn't help, then she warned me that hunting made you go dark. I asked how far up the serial killer scale she was," Clint said dryly. "So not amused and Dawn had to save us from being cursed."

Jason nodded. "She tried to tell Xander the same thing and said she didn't mean to call him a serial killer *that* way when she came out here to nag him."

"Girl's a hypocrite and a bitch," Casey said. "Plus Xander was talking to Dawn about a magic addiction when I asked him to give me someone's number the other day."

Jason nodded. "He told me he's worried about Willow's magic addiction too." He smirked a tiny bit. "Hansel said he'd handle that if she went too far."

"So did Dean and Sammy," Brianna called from where she was reading the paper. "Sammy's trying to be normal and he'd still do the deed for her." She looked over. "None of us are really comfy with Rosenburg and her black magic addiction."

"It is?" Casey asked. "You can do that?"

Brianna sat up straighter. "Yeah, they have people who gather magic and give you shots of it like it's a drug. Guess who's going to one." She went back to the paper. "We're all waiting to see if Buffy's going to have to come home to beat her to death."

"Hansel would handle it before then," Jason said. He looked at his phone. Casey took it to text for him. "Thanks, Shraeger."

"Welcome. That's probably dangerous and Dawn shouldn't have to see that."

Clint nodded. "Definitely. Or her girlfriend Tara. I've never met anyone that shy. I've seen people nearly there but she's to the point where she wouldn't even look at us because she didn't know us."

"Xander said he thought his parents and Tara's were a lot alike in some ways," Jason said. "Can't say as I've met Tara but she sounded sweet."

"She was," Natasha said. "She also has a stuttering problem around people she doesn't know."

"Parents like that should be shot," Casey said.

Clint nodded. "Yup." Jason nudged his foot and stared at him. Clint shrugged. "Did you look at our mom?"

"No. Not yet. I'm kinda happy where I grew up most of the time so I haven't. I called and they told me I was adopted finally."

Clint nodded. "I found out we were born in the midwest. In Iowa."

"That makes some sense. My parents used to live out that way. Brian's might've. He's never said. We've only had a few phone talks before they kidnaped him."

"Anything on that?" Natasha asked.

He shook his head. "Higher up than my rating as a detective. I know Xander's asked the poker circuit to tell him if they spot him so he can go rescue him."

"Think he could?" Clint asked.

Jason smirked. "Yup. Xander will find something to deal with it. Or he'll ask a poker buddy to go eat people for him."

Clint shuddered. "Eww. Bad thought."

"Xander's highly protective over the family when they need it. He and Brian had some stress relief fun too. Made Hansel all sorts of jealous for a few weeks."

Casey shivered. "I can't imagine he's any less intense in bed."

"Xander or Hansel?" Jason quipped with a grin for her.

"Both. I've seen Xander in full-on hunting mode one night. Not the baiting she'll do for the bad guys that hurt kids and women but hunting hunting. Back when we had that one thing that tried for that daycare."

"I remember. I'm kinda glad he heard and stopped it then went after the guy for us."

"Why was it going after a daycare?" Natasha asked.

"That type of demon eats kids," he said quietly.

"Oh, dear." She looked at Clint.

"Xander handed me the book that Sam was working up for Jason. I've had it copied for us and our handler."

"Thank you." Clint handed it over out of his backpack at his feet.

Jason looked it over, nodding. "That's a good format. Sam did a good job." He tucked it into his jacket pocket. "I can hand that on to the people who wanted it." Casey's phone went off. "Mom again?" he asked when she grimaced. She nodded, getting up to go to the bathroom so she could talk to her mother. "Her mom's kinda...nagging," Jason said quietly.

"Sometimes nagging is okay," Clint said. He looked at Natasha.

"I do not nag you like I would my child," she said dryly. "I would put you out of my misery first." She finished her sandwich.

Clint grinned. "Thanks." Jason was laughing but finishing up. "We're not often in the area."

Jason wrote down something. "That's where I live. I live behind the diner but that's mine too." He smiled.

"Do not let him cook for you," Casey called. "He makes weird things like he's pregnant."

Jason shook his head. "It is not. Finish up and eat so you won't pass out if we get another case later."

"Fine." She nagged her mother back and hung up, coming back to eat. "Sorry, Mom was having an issue she wanted to talk over."

"Sometimes people need someone stronger to help them with issues," Natasha said with a slight shrug.

"My mother still hates that I'm a cop. Said it's making me mean." Casey ate.

Jason's phone rang. "That's us." He opened it to answer. "Walsh. I am." He looked at her. "Talking to my brother I just found. Yeah, we're on our way back." He hung up. "Sergeant."

"Great. What did the dick want?" she asked.

"Us to hand in paperwork."

"I'm done with mine." They finished up and left together. Clint promised to pop around in a few days. Casey smiled once they were in the car. "He seems nice," she told him.

"He does. A bit more sane than Xander too."

"Know anything about him?"

"Beyond him being an agent? Not really. We'll keep talking. He's a lot nicer than Brian was."

"Yeah. The one time I saw you talking to Brian I wanted to take the phone and threaten him back."

He laughed, smiling at her. "He might've enjoyed that." They drove back to get back to their paperwork.


Clint Barton walked into his boss's office a few hours later. "Hansel and Xander are both a bit...intensely dangerous. Jason's nice." He tossed down the book. "NYPD asked Hansel to have someone make them a field guide in case they ran into demons on a scene or something. Jason's precinct had some break in to take hostages for sacrifices."

He flipped through it. "Nicely compact. I can make sure everyone who needs one gets a copy." He looked at his agent. "Anything good?"

"Their town has a hellmouth."

"What's that?" Clint put down the research they'd been able to find since eating with Jason and Casey. "That explains a lot," Nick Fury decided. "Sounds nasty." He found something and pointed. "That?"

Clint smirked. "British. Chosen girls. Teenage girls. The current ones, due to Xander doing CPR, are older than average. One's in a coma somewhere. Natasha's tracking her right now as there had been an issue after graduation. The girls had fought something. Xander's out there to cover for the other, who...." he said, flipping pages to point at something. "They gave her mother a brain tumor."

Fury read it and smirked evilly. "So that's what that project was." Clint nodded. "Anything about that?"

"Shut down. The president heard. A lot of them shot each other so they wouldn't go to prison."

"Good!" He leaned back. "Your cousin, rate him."

"Xander's.... Jason and Casey, his partner at the NYPD, both said they've seen Xander hunting. He was good. I went on a few patrols with them. Hansel's still working on him. Xander's also a bit bouncy and hyper when he's working on things. Hansel's got the scary bastard thing going on when he wants to." Fury nodded. "If there's an issue they handle it, no matter what. A lot of the associated hunters are the same way. I don't think I could do that job most of the time, sir, but I know that sort of intense."

"You do the same thing in the field." Clint nodded. "So a different type of agent. I can see where that might intersect. Is Harris going to screw up your missions again?"

"Apparently that demon gang does not want to kill me for that but is after him. He kept us off their menu because they're people eaters."

Fury shuddered. "Gross. What about your other triplet?"

"Very little." He showed him what he knew. Fury nodded. "Even Xander can't get more from the demon poker circuit. Who sometimes bet cats so they don't eat people."

"That's....." He shook his head. "Better than kids." He went back to reading it. He had an idea. "Think we could find him and release him?"

"If possible," Clint said. "I have no idea, sir. All I know is Jason agreed that Brian had a lot of asshole days and that he and Xander had some stress relief fun at one time."

"Is the kid hitting on you too?" he asked dryly.

"He hasn't yet. Though I know that Xander's a good kid. Anya, his ex-girlfriend and present stress relief, is a bit...loud."

"Loud?" he asked.

"Ask Nat, sir. I only talked to her once."

"I can do that." He made notes. "Now what?"

"Jason and I agree that we can get to know each other and I'll pop around when I'm on downtime so we can talk. Time goes on."

Natasha walked in. "I finally found out what they're worried about in Sunnydale. There's a hell goddess out there." She put down the information on her. "If her name is said it's said to summon her."

Clint read it, grimacing. "They can probably both take out her host."

"I asked. Xander is aware of who that is and has a plan in place. He's waiting to get her into his sights properly." That got a nod from the boss. She put down a report. "On his ex, Anya." Fury read it, starting to laugh. "She's very blunt."

"Very," Clint agreed. Natasha found the demon station on the tv in there. You had to physically tune to that station as it was slightly off normal. "The demon station?"

"Yes." She smirked slightly. "They were having a glee fit earlier about Sam Winchester in gym shorts for class." Clint rolled his eyes. "And John Winchester washing his truck." They went to commercial for a scale polish. Then came back to the 'news'. It showed a problem in LA. "Xander has visions and he said he foresaw that."

"Visions?" Fury demanded. Clint and Natasha both nodded. "Helpful?"

"If he sees something about us, he'll tell us," Clint said. "That's one gift I never want with the way his causes migraines." They switched from the Scourge in LA to problems in Sunnydale but they were being 'handled'. The demon riot against the hunters was not pretty. Thankfully Buffy showed up to help with that and Xander looked very nice with his axe. "That's Xander." He pointed. Fury was staring. "Hansel's the one on the other side of the crowd."

Fury nodded. "Not weapons I could see them using as agents. Nice form though." He looked at Barton, who also liked weapons he didn't usually expect agents to use. Apparently it was a family trait. "You're to tell me the second it interrupts a mission or your normal life."

"I can do that." He took the information his handler would need to look over with him and Nat. That had been last night and he wanted to call Xander to make sure he was all right. Xander was a tiny bit nuts to go to a battle with a battle axe instead of a shotgun.


Clint popped in on Jason, and unintentionally his girlfriend. "Hey. Bad time?" he guessed.

Jason smiled but shook his head. "Nah. This is Beaumont."

"Pleasure," she said with a smile, shaking his hand with an attempted crushing grip. "I can tell you're related."

"I'm his long lost brother," Clint said with a tiny smirk.

Jason smirked back. "Heard something. I told Xander but he can't get out here to handle it with the riot out there and other stuff. Brian is on the east coast. He's about to be shipped out on his first mission for them. They did more than brain washing from what the poker circuit said."

"I can pass that on and see if anyone can do a definitive search on him." He frowned but let it clear up. "He okay?"

"Calmer, less of an asshole," Jason said. "That's all they said." He shrugged.

"Great." He got comfortable. "So, are you a detective too?"

"I am. We work at the same precinct. You?" she asked.

"Agent. Stuffed into one of the minor Homeland agencies."

"That's interesting. So field work sort or.... Probably can't tell me?" she guessed when Clint grinned. He nodded. "That's reasonable I guess." She looked at Jason. "Let me give you two some privacy."

"I can go so you guys can have some downtime. I know how often you don't get enough," Clint said, standing up. Jason pushed them both down and got them stuff to drink so they could talk. Beaumont had a well-defined shitbag and lying meter. It'd be nice to get confirmation of what he got off Clint. She stayed for about an hour then pleaded she needed to sleep due to early call tomorrow. Jason showed her out then came back. Clint grinned at him. "Did I pass?"

"Yeah. You out machoed her without seeming to. She said she was impressed."

"I've done that with a few female agents." He settled in. "How are you doing?"

"I'm okay. Things are a bit...weird at the moment around the precinct but that seems to be normal for us."

"Natasha got hit on by an incubus earlier. She was amused but not that much and blamed it on being out there for a few days."

"How was Sunnydale? I've never been but Xander said it's a small town with two colleges and a few things to keep people happy."

"If I hadn't felt something wrong with the town I would've thought it was a charming small town. It had a nice enough mall. Mini golf." Jason shook his head. "Two colleges, though one's about to shut down. A lot of cemeteries would've made me wonder but you could say it was due to the town's age since they were all small. The police I nearly sneered at enough to take out. They didn't come out of the station for two days we were there and only came out to issue parking tickets and to catch a few kids who were trying to skip."

Jason grimaced. "Really?"

"Yeah. Nat and I both remarked on that. Even when they had a body in the park, no one came for it. No ambulance, no morgue, no cops to look at the scene. Absolutely nothing. The next morning the papers said she had died due to wild animal attack. Her body had disappeared from the morgue but that was glossed over. Xander told Hansel they really had to deal with the carrion eaters."

Jason shuddered. "That's so damn disgusting."

"Yup, was to us too." He shrugged again. "Xander said they were always like that. The cops out there killed his parents on the old mayor's orders. He apparently had to get around them to grab something so he and Hansel could run off." He shifted. "Natasha found film of the graduation battle. He looked good as a girl."

"He said he took more sword training in that form and he had better clothes for the battle in it." He shrugged back. "Hansel said he made a quip about being buried in something pretty." Clint shook his head a tiny bit. "I nagged when I saw it. Brian nagged that he had seen it but commented on her outfit from what he said."

"I guess that showed he cared in a macho way," Clint said. "Huh." Jason smirked. Both their phones beeped with a text message, then a second right after it. They looked and grimaced. "Is there any way to keep him from having visions?"

"Not that I've ever heard of, or Hansel. It seems to come with the other gifts." They shared a grimace and answered back that they'd help wherever they could. That looked bad. Really, really bad. "Hey, maybe Hansel will finally get to burn her," Jason quipped.

"Maybe. I would," Clint agreed.


John Winchester had just pulled in at the bar he was going to meet Dean at when his phone beeped twice. He pulled it out once he had parked to look at it. "Fuck," he said, calling Hansel. "Is he okay? No, Xander's had another vision, this time about Rosenburg feeling thwarted so she's going to do something tremendously stupid." He nodded once. "Let us know so we can attend the burning, Hansel. Yeah, it sounds like Xander's ready to do it himself." He hung up and went inside. Dean was texting someone back. "Xander?" Dean nodded once. "We can go attend the burning."

Dean smirked at him. "I suggested he ask Anya to get Halfrek," he said quietly. "It's her people and she can smite him herself. Plus go have a talk with the witch."

"I said we could go attend the burning."

"Xander might like that." They got beers and a table in the back to go over how things were going. This was a mundane bar but no one bothered them after one guy sneered that John was picking up rent-boy Dean and Dean quipped back that he wasn't desperate enough to fuck his father.


Anya did the summoning for him. "Hallie, it's one of yours going bad. It's a plot we think," she said. The vengeance demon over Lost Childhoods grimaced but Xander held up a copy of his vision. She read it, touching his head to get it from his mind.

Xander looked at her. "I'm all for social workers, if they work. I'd have loved to have them work in my case. In this one, she's feeling thwarted and acting out. I won't let them use the system that way. Especially not with Dawn," he said quietly. "He's vowed to your service. Otherwise I would've just killed the bastard."

Hallie nodded. "Is there any truth to it?"

"No!" Xander said, shaking his head. "Not a chance in hell!"

"Calm down."

"Hallie, this is Xander," she said. "Or the Huntress Kuhn in some circles." Xander smirked at her for that.

Halfrek blinked at him. "Wow."

Xander nodded. "We've taken care of Dawn since she showed up."

"Showed.... Huh?" Xander looked around. She touched his head and shuddered. "No, we don't need that unguarded. Where's her sister?"

"LA with their mom on an Oncology ward thanks to that idiot group that had been torturing demons," Xander said dryly.


"We know about *her*. I had the vision about Dawn at the same time." Halfrek smirked a tiny bit. "I'll protect Dawn as much as I can. Willow.... I had to stop another plan when she was planning on going to her mother and going 'mom, see what I can do' and floating things around the kitchen."

"Her mother would go on tv," Anya moaned, rubbing her forehead.

"Yeah. I went to one of the local judges who isn't the least bit fair and hates us all to talk to him about the community's response if she outs magic and demons. They've warned her not to, including that it would probably get her whole family killed to keep the information quiet." He looked at Halfrek again. "I would've went through the courts and gotten him that way. He's been here for over twenty years, Halfrek. He knew about my family. His name's in my file." He handed that over with a grin. "I could easily sue him for even *trying* to try something and discredit the whole local agency plus get the state's system under a microscope. Hell, I could go to the press and make it an issue so huge it'd inadvertently blow magic open. But I'm not. Anya said he's vowed to you so he's yours first."

"He is." She grimaced, looking at Xander's file. "That's... just plain wrong. Let me talk to someone, Xander." She looked at him. "Does this life suit you?"

"Some of them made me their enemy," he said bluntly. "They took Jesse." He shrugged. "I only take out those harming people."

"Good point. Are you happy?"

"I haven't ever been happy," he said with another shrug. "Not even before that happened."

She nodded. "You're going to die young and probably unpretty this way."

Xander nodded. "But it would've meant the world keeps going on for a bit longer."

"Good point. You really are a hunter." Xander smiled. "Does Buffy know that you do normals?"

"She knows I've hunted a few who have seriously hurt kids who were human. She grimaced but said it's better if those sort are found and gotten by cops."

She nodded. "I saw that one in New York. Nice work. Thank you for doing some of my job for me."

"Pleasure," he said quietly. "Someone should since it shouldn't ever be a solo job."

She smiled and patted him on the cheek. "Vengeance is always best from those who actually know why it exists." She looked at Anya. "Call for tea?"

"I'm off tomorrow." She grinned and hugged her. "I made it official so he can't say anything."

"Thanks. Though I doubt D'Hoffryn would want to."

"He hates me," Xander admitted. "Not sure why."

Halfrek smirked. "I do. If you hadn't found Hansel, you'd be proposing to someone that would screw up his plans soon." She disappeared with those files.

Xander hugged Anya. "Thanks. Let me go warn Buffy and Joyce." He used the wand this time. He had copies of the files and the vision. Joyce looked over. She was awake. Buffy was crashed in the chair. He handed over the vision and sat on the foot of her bed.

Joyce read it, grimacing. "Okay. What are we doing?"

"I talked to Anya's coworker," he said quietly.

"She took something to help her sleep. She won't go home."

Xander snorted, looking at her. "Did you really think she would?"

"Well...." She looked at her daughter then at him. "Is it going to happen?"

"No. And if she tries a third time, Hansel's promised to invite us to a great bonfire. John and Dean both said they'd come." Joyce snorted but looked happier at that. "So I'm working around it but it might mean more visitors."

"I can handle that, Xander. You and Hansel have done an amazing job protecting her. That...problem?"

"Going. Tonight." He grinned. "We're working on it but I didn't want you to be hit blindly when someone shows up. She's seriously got problems." He pointed at the papers, making her flip back until he pointed at something. "That's an AA situation."


"Yup. The ones who should handle that aren't. They already failed her."

"Double crap," she said. "Okay." She looked at him. "Let us know?" Xander nodded and left. She looked over. Buffy blinked at her. "Willow."

"Again?" she complained. Joyce handed her the papers. "Giles is going to beat her to death."

"He might want to get there before Hansel."

"Good point." She got up to go to the bathroom, taking her phone in there to call her watcher to see what he wanted to do.

Joyce settled back in. Dawn was protected and Xander would bring her to visit in a few days. Then she could go home in another two weeks. Things would get back to normal by then.


Hansel walked into the Magic Box a few days later. The witch Giles had called about Willow was there and sneering at him. He sneered back. "My mother was a Grand White Witch," he said, glaring at her. "She never dismissed the cardinal rules of white magic the way you have." The witch flinched. "It's a shame that the rules she believed in have fallen on such hard times." He looked at Giles. "They didn't work last time. What makes you think they will this time?"

"We must try," Giles said. "If not, we have no way of closing the hellmouth. Otherwise I would gladly love to beat the child to death myself." He took off his glasses. "Your mother was?" Hansel nodded. "That's interesting. So why...."

"She had a vision of them coming for her."

"Oh, that's .... I'm sorry, Hansel."

"That is ancient history for everyone but myself and my sister." Xander walked in and gave him a hug then turned to the witch and started to rant at her about her failure and the failure they had of teaching Willow even the basics of a Goddess-driven lifestyle. The witch was nearly crying by the end. Hansel looked at him. "Are you calmer?" he asked.

"No. She's still trying to out magic. I'm still having visions of that and her trying to get me thrown in jail for protecting Dawn from her." They shared a look. "I'm about to burn her." He walked off. "Want me to get her from the dealer's house?"

"I will," Hansel said. "It will make a better impression."

Xander stared back at him. "I can make a good enough one."

Hansel smirked. "John just texted and said he'd be here in ten minutes. We shall."

Xander nodded. "Can I just punch her once at least?"

"Yes. You may as she's tried to tell lies on you." Xander smiled a cold, bitter smile. He walked out, greeting John at his truck by getting in when he parked. "She's at her dealer's house."

"Sure. We can be scary bastards today." He started the truck. "What did she do this time? Dean and I both got told how she was trying to say Xander was sleeping with Dawn."

"She has. The social worker chewed on her again for that. The local demon community warned that they're about to curse her. Xander said he's still having visions of her outing magic." John grimaced. "I can only blame her parents and that coven for teaching her that she should have authority over those who are not like her."

"Sam looked them up. They're not very inclusive. They only practice one type of earth magic, not the blended types or any other kind, and actively sneer at others who do practice other forms of magic or call on other divinities," John said. "Sam said there's other white covens."

"Do they work with the Council?"

"That may be the cause of the problem," John realized. He parked the truck to look at Hansel. "They've still got a contract out on Xander's life." Hansel frowned. "They consider him a normal mortal who has jumped into their duty. Like they do other hunters only he's worse because he dared to help a slayer survive and dared to thwart their wills."

"Would that change if they knew what he was?"

"It'd increase the price. They've got one on the Huntress Kuhn. All I've heard is that there was one. A demon stopped Dean a few days back to warn him. They told him there's one on you, has been since you got their notice back before your sister died, but the one on her is a lot higher because she's clearly screwed up the once noble blood lines." Hansel scowled. "Most of them wouldn't take out you from what the one that's in LA said when I talked to him last night with Dean. They respect why you started to hunt and you don't often hunt the same things. They don't deal with witches unless they're going rogue, they count on the Devon coven to do that." Hansel nodded.

"Her, however...." John shifted. "Apparently there's a huge hunt order on any incubus or angel offspring," he said more quietly. He was looking around to make sure no one could see them talking and read his lips. "That's why they were all wiped out. From what Sam found out, and he had no idea where else to look, there's a few hundred thou on Xander's head. A cool million on Huntress Kuhn's head, and they had to associate you because they've seen you hunting and you only train relatives. They have no idea about anything else and Xander doesn't use your family name."

"I'd let her if she wanted." He grimaced. "How much on the special lines?"

"Ten mill in middle ages gold." Hansel winced. "For anyone with either side."


"It seems there's a prophecy that one of them will be the downfall of the Council's ways."

"We would both like some of their less fine ways to go back to history," Hansel said.

"They're still stuck in the old ways. The current head would probably only up that if he knew one was still around and I'm not sure if they'd care if it wasn't awake in them."

Hansel nodded. "I will warn the boys more about the Council. Thank you."

"Not a problem. They want Sammy. He found a slight price on his head thanks to the demon tainting him and wanting him to be his chosen." He started the truck again and headed off.

Hansel pushed it out of his mind. He'd talk to Xander about it later. They found the dealer's house and they checked their guns before walking inside. Hansel kicked in the door. John walked in first. Hansel sneered. "This is nicer than the opium dens I used to find witches in," he told the dealer.

John took the high road and shot him. Willow was still high and wobbly but hopped up to try to stop him. He knocked her down. "Shut up, little witch." She whined, holding her cheek. "Your issues have now gotten too far out of hand." She shook her head, shifting away from him. "We'll have to handle it."

"Most of us are here and would appreciate and help Xander through her burning," Hansel said coldly, glaring at her.

"You're evil!" she shouted.

"As opposed to the one who tells lies to have someone innocent thrown in jail for horrendous crimes?" Hansel taunted. "Just because he's guarding the younger witch from being used or hurt by you?" She shook her head. Hansel snorted. "I doubt that. We will help Tara through her grief." He hauled her up and John put cuffs on her. They walked her out then John came back to burn the dealer's house. Xander appeared and picked up something then walked off. "Xander," Hansel said. "We must speak tonight. John's heard information."

"I heard from Gretel. Fuck them and their bitchy problems. Though Giles thinks you're right and the witch agreed right before he lost his temper and threw magic at her." He walked off. "I'm going to calm down by ranting at Jason."

"It's possible she was going to try to drain Dawn," John said as he joined them. "Or use her for something."

Xander nodded. "I wouldn't be surprised if her crackhead moment did that. There's a coven in Canada. Hates the Council. Hates the Supernatural. Hates themselves partially for having gifts. Little old biddies with power basically." He handed over the address. "Sam sent it when I asked because I got out of Giles' way."

"Not that far off and we can call. She can sleep in a closet," Hansel decided. He looked at him. "Are you okay?"

"I'm good. Out here, a Council team would be noticed. They were when one came for Faith and Buffy last week." Hansel looked confused. Xander grinned. "I did a number on their tires to keep them from the hospital and everywhere else." He walked off. "Let me nag Jason on his day off." He disappeared. "Jason?"

"Busy, make yourself lunch," he yelled from his bedroom.

"Okay." He got to work in Jason's diner. It was a nice kitchen. The griddle was huge. He had taught Xander how to use it. Though Xander was cleaning things while stuff warmed up and cooked. He was a bit stressed.

Beaumont came to the door that joined them. "Xander, is it really that important?"

He nodded. "There's three different prices on my head from one bitchy group in England who hate me. I knew one was there since I was sixteen. It got put on there about four days after my birthday when they heard I was helping their people." She shuddered. "Now there's two more at the very least."

"Yeah, that's important."

"You two have snuggly time. I'm going to clean and I can talk to Jason once you've wrecked his back." He smirked at her. "Though I still doubt you can do the fantastic things Anya can do to me." She snorted but went back in there.

Jason came to the doorway. "That C...." Xander shook his head quickly. "Them?" Xander nodded. "Why?"

"Me. Me hunting. Me other stuff. Huge price there since forever apparently."

"Fuck." He looked around. "I...."

"I'm going to clean your little diner. It means that I can't interrupt Giles destroying the coven who was helping Willow because it meant she'd help bring me, and Buffy as a side project, down so the Council was back in the proper ways. It also means I can't feel mercy for Willow for trying to lie about me to social workers so she could claim Dawn. Hansel and John just got her from her dealer."

"Great," Jason said, grimacing. "They have real dealers?" He nodded. "Fuck." He looked in there. "Go get Dawn?" He disappeared and brought her back a few minutes later. He had kept Allison from seeing that stuff. She wouldn't want to know. "You two hang out. Xander, clean away. I haven't done the grill vent in the last few weeks. Give me an hour or so?"

"Free time and happiness is precious," Dawn said bluntly. "Go have the sex and squeal a lot like you're Anya in heat." Jason smirked, shaking his head as he went back there. Dawn took Xander's lunch to eat while he cleaned. They'd handle it. "Who's where?"

"Hansel and John are talking about who's going to get custody of Willow. Your sister's coming back tonight for a few hours." She nodded. "I told her and your mom about all that stuff. Dean said he was driving her earlier." She nodded again, eating a bite of the sandwich. "Other than that, I don't know if the Magic Box is still standing. The coven were using her to plot against the group." She grimaced. "Hansel wasn't sure she wasn't going to hurt you," he said quietly, staring at her. "Some crackhead, it'll make the world better plan."

She nodded. "The one that's after me?"

"Gone as of later. Spike's got it. He's having fun with it." He smirked. "I'm going to help."

She hugged him around the neck. "You're a great big brother sort, Xander." He kissed her on the temple and got back to scrubbing. Dawn texted her sister to let her know she and Xander were out of harm's way before they killed someone.

Beamont came out dressed. "There's someone after you too, Dawn?" Jason had told her who she was.

"Yeah. There's a self-proclaimed hell goddess who thinks I'm her sacrifice to get her to her special home."

"We're going to drive her to suicide later," Xander quipped. "Before her minions of ugly have to steal her more designer clothes."

Beaumont grimaced. "Local?" They shook their heads. "Good. I hate dealing with cults. I hope you two can handle it with your locals."

Dawn snorted, waving a hand in the air. "Our local PD is so pathetic and dirty it's not funny. They make up stories about how people die, which they never investigate. They never do *anything* unless it means they can bully and torment or get blackmail material on someone."

Xander nodded. "The ATF arrested our old mayor and they were all dirty to them. The agents over that had to let them go. The judge said there was enough evidence but it would mean no PD in our town. They still haven't managed to hire anyone even though they've got ads up and stuff." He looked over. Beaumont looked pissed off. He shrugged again. "I caught three of them killing my parents, Beaumont, and they were having fun with the old mayor's orders. Every single one of them is dirty to the old mayor's stuff. They were even trying to herd victims toward where the mayor turned our graduation into a fight for our lives. Thankfully we heard and made some plans to get most everyone out of the way since agents were following him. He had a gang attack us. That's why the school had a 'gas explosion' during our graduation. All about him."

"Crap. What about the state guys?"

"Won't step foot into our town," Dawn said. "CHP has a lot of other issues to deal with instead of college kids, domestic abuse, and other stuff like that. Though it is nice that the one they kept in custody was the same guy that tried to blame my sister for killing a robot that was trying to kill her. They tried to charge her like the robot was alive."

Beaumont grimaced. "Your town's weird." Xander nodded. She walked off shaking her head. Them being from California explained why they were weird and she hoped the agents managed to clean up that department.

Jason came out pulling on a shirt. "They still haven't fixed that?" Xander snorted, shaking his head. "Was the judge a demon?"

"Yup," Xander quipped. He smirked. "Sure as hell was and the old mayor had blackmail on him." Jason smirked back. They let Xander work off his anger and frustration while Jason helped Dawn. Xander put in a few things. Jason called Sam to see what he had found when he heard the prices on Xander's head. Then he texted Clint to see if he could look that up. Clint said he could and did. Then he sent back a simple 'fuck'. Clint and Natasha showed up an hour later with papers. Xander looked over. "Huh. Three mob bosses are scared to death I'll get them but I wasn't going to. They're not hurting kids or women." He went back to his cleaning. "How unethical is it for me to want to blow up the Council?"

"Not really," Clint said. "I might help." Xander shot him a grin.

"Buffy might like it if you do," Dawn quipped with a grin for the adults. "They hate her like hell for not being raised by them and telling them to bite her."

Xander nodded. "They're still withholding information from her. They tried with what's-her-name-we-can't-say." He looked over. "It says they think the weird is only in my branch of the family, guys." He hopped up onto the grill to scrub the inside of the vent.

"Xander, that's still probably warm," Dawn complained.

"Not that warm. It's not burning, just a mild heating pad warm."

Jason hauled him off there. "Still don't want you burned, Xander." He went to make some coffee then hauled Xander to the bathroom so he could clean up and join them talking. They had to have a plan.

"Maybe we should let Willow blow open the Council stuff," Dawn said.

"That would get us all killed," Xander reminded her as he came out wiping off his hands on a paper towel.

"Not really. It's not outing magic or anything supernatural. Just a kooky group of old guys who believe in hunting vampires and taking in girls to train to do that."

"It'd eventually lead back," Jason said. "Or I'd let you do that."

Clint looked at Natasha, who smirked back. "We might have an idea. We know others who hate the idea of the Council." They smirked at him for it.

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