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What Causes to Become.

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Sorry, I meant to put this up on the 3rd for the early holidayers and forgot.
What Causes to Become.







Xander was in pain. A lot of pain. He had stopped Willow earlier while she was trying to stop him by throwing black magic at him. He had managed to stop her. She hadn't managed to do more than injure him. Giles wasn't answering his phone, probably drunk again. Buffy was no help of any sort at the moment; she was emotional, raging, and guilty about Willow and still down on him for being a guy doing the same things she did. The coven had dismissed him as soon as he had handed them Willow because apparently being male equaled trash to them. Or him being non-magical meant he was under their view of human.

Anya might be able to help, if she wasn't helping Giles and not answering her phone. Hell, he'd even take Spike's help right about now but he was hiding. Xander took another deep breath, trying to decide if this was reason enough to go to the deadly ER they had in town or not. It didn't feel like a heart attack so they probably couldn't do anything about it. Really, it felt more like his heart was trying to claw its way out of his chest the hard way. He bent over, holding his chest and side.

He was seriously thinking about calling an ambulance, that's how much he hurt. Of course, his phone rang. "What?" he answered in a groan. "I'm not in the bathroom, Buffy. I'm having chest pains. I don't know, maybe something to do with the black magic Willow threw at me earlier?" he guessed. She sneered so he hung up. "I don't need your help." A new surge of magic and he blacked out for a minute, coming to on the floor.

"Goddess, if you're real, make it stop?" he begged when he woke up. Still in pain, pain getting worse. He had felt a rib break a minute ago. "Anyone make it stop!" he begged when the next wave came.

A man appeared, checking his nails then looking at him. "I can help you."

Xander blinked at him. "I didn't know I could summon demons but right about now...." He winced as a new wave hit him. "What is this!"

"They're making her put it back so she's drawing your life energy from you." He stared at him. "You wanted help?"

"What price?" Xander panted, staring at him. "No bullshitting. I don't think I have time for that."

"I can't ask for your soul. It's tainted by that same witch and her version of ideas." He sneered for a minute. "We really do loathe her but we can't do much or else humanity may well die in a few months during the last battle."

Xander snorted. "They don't want me there now, much less then."

"They will then." He helped him up, easing the pain. "I can offer you a charming deal but to ease that I'll have to redo the splitting she undid wrongly." Xander stared at him. "You'll be twins. I can put you somewhere protected. Not here. You'll live a full life there and then come back here before that battle. But you cannot go to them unless they call."

"Will they notice?"

"They'll hear. I'll make sure they'll hear." He stared at him. "It does make you stronger, which works for chaos mages and the like, and in the future it'll make the battles fight somewhere else because we wouldn't be able to hold a true battle, like some want, with an anchor here."

Xander considered it for a second. "I can still protect them if they need me to?"

"Yes. Though you cannot go back to the slayer's side until then."

Xander stared at him. "Let me guess, you crushed when she was dead?"

"I can rescind it and go give it to that most charming child. She'd do equally well."

Xander snorted. "She'd kill you. Really, Dawn would." He stared at him. "Any other particulars?"

"No. Fully healed." He waved a hand, letting the pain come back. "Another life somewhere else. Coming back here before that battle so you and your twin can make a true life. What you choose to learn there will definitely help you here but I'm not sure what you'll have options for."

Xander panted, nodding. "Fine. I can handle that as long as I can hunt when necessary even if I'm not with Buffy."

The demon smiled. "It's a pleasure doing business with you." He touched him, using the energy infecting him to undo the binding spell Willow had done when Xander had been a twin for a few days. Then he took them to their new realm. They were young, barely ten in this body, but knew what they knew before. "It's really the best for everyone if the world doesn't fall to that sort. It's not exactly one I want to try to rule later on." He smirked at the nurse. "He was infected by a witch going critical with black magic. They're trying to weed it out. I solved some of the problems but I cannot solve them all."

She nodded. "That's a bad thing. I'll have to call our Ministry."

The demon shrugged. "As you wish. Just protect the young one. He had stopped her from doing a rite that would destroy humanity. That alone tripped an odd birthright gift in him." She nodded. The demon left. He'd see him when it was time to come home. They would do wonderfully blocking the battles that weren't in his plans.

The nurse came over to check him over, frowning at what she saw. "That's worse than the killing curse," she said, bustling off to call her people. "Those idiots in the UK never told us how they treated the boy," she tutted while the phone rang. "It's Mediwitch Himelda at the Salem Academy of Occult Engineering. I just had a high demon lord bring me a set of twins who stopped a young witch doing a rite to end humanity. He's full of black magic. He said he weeded out what he could but he's critical. Please." She hung up and got the things they'd probably need the most. Fortunately they weren't like that one group in the UK who had no sense of modern medicine.

Doctors appeared and ran over to check them. They didn't look pleased and started by weeding some of the power out of them. It would take nearly all night to get them to the point where they were safe. Thankfully the energy they siphoned off could be cleaned by the college's central altar and crystal statue.

***

Xander woke up, blinking at the fuzzy woman above him. "Where?" he asked. He realized he sounded younger and knew why. The demon had left him that information.

"You're at the Salem Academy of Occult Engineering, young man." She wiped his forehead with a cool cloth then dunked and twisted it to lay on his forehead again. "You and your twin were saved from the energy overload you had. What happened?"

He blinked a few more times. "I asked for help."

"Child, if you had not, you would have died," she said bluntly. "We're well aware of where you're from and the deal you made." She smiled. "It was rather startling but reasonable in this case. We found your native world as well to scry it."

"Have they missed me yet?"

"No. No one's been where most of your energy is." Xander nodded once then sighed, looking at his twin. "Let's start somewhere easier. How did that happen?" she asked with a point at his twin. They had noted the twin was magically created.

"Toth's hammer. Willow put us back together." He looked at her. "I got hit instead of our slayer Buffy."

She grimaced. "I thought I spotted one of them. Is Willow the redheaded witch they were leading off?" He nodded. "Is she the one that did this to you?" He nodded again. "Then we'll be having words with the witches who let you suffer that way." She checked his pulse. "How did you get mermaid taint? It's very rare here."

"Swim team's coach. I joined to find out why they were changing and eating people."

"That's a noble reason." She smiled. "Rest for now. What was she trying to do when she sent that magic at you?"

"She was trying to make everyone feel the grief she was feeling. I was trying to stop her."

"Hmm. That's a very good reason. You're a good friend."

He shook his head. "Not good enough."

She snorted. "Nonsense. They're idiots, young man."

"Xander." He looked at his twin then at her. "I need to find him a name."

"We will when he wakes." Xander nodded and drifted off again. She looked back at the listening official, who was grimacing. "I don't know if they didn't look or they didn't care, but do make them pay for me?"

"Of course. I can't let a cultured woman like you get her nails dirty rending them to pieces." He smirked slightly. "We'll figure out the rest when you let them both wake." He tipped his bowler hat and left after pulling out his pocket watch. He had the full file on the boy, minus how he had gotten to their realm for now. His watch had a key to open a special gate in the basement of the Academy. He used it to get to that other realm, walking into the coven's front room. "Ladies, and I use that term loosely," he sneered. "It seems that you have abridged your duties." That got a few gasps. "I'm Lord Official Morganwaith. Head of our Interdimensional Authority. You left a young man to die, which brought him to our world through the auspices of someone with sense." He tossed down the folder. "Did you not care that she had left that much power inside a fragile mortal shell? Or did you not care because he was male?"

"It shouldn't have affected him," one of the witches huffed.

"Yet he was dying because the draining was also pulling his life force," Morganwaith sneered back. "It's a wondrous thing that our doctors were good enough to save him."

"He's not worthy of our help anyway. If it wasn't for him..." one started.

Morganwaith pulled out the crystal ball of Xander's recent memories. He handed it to her. "She'd be dead," he said simply. "Which may have been for the best with what she's done." She read it and went pale, falling back into her seat. He took the ball back. "You have a nasty habit of not caring about anything other than the will of your precious Council. Yet that has nearly destroyed the earth multiple times. Including this one. After all, the one who brought him to us could have taught him how to drain that power off naturally." The witches shrank away from him.

"For now, the boy is with us. When it's time, he'll be brought back I'm told." He adjusted his cuffs and stared at them again, picking back up the folder. "Do not bother him again. Not that I doubt you would but do not try some mealy minded attempt at retribution. It is really not something *ladies* do." He sneered at the head of the coven. "By that one's actions, I'm sure they'll have a charming battle in about seven months or so. Do have fun with that as there's no way to stop it. I hope your precious Council has a clue what they're doing." He tipped his hat and left. He made his report on the way back up to the infirmary ward. Some decisions had to be made about the boys.

He had looked in their world, finding it something like their own, only stuck back in a horrible time before science or technology. Really, how could that wizarding world live without electricity? It was almost obscene. Nearly as bad as college girls were in Xander's home world. Someone would have to bring the boys into their home so they could be raised properly and taught all they needed to be able to help stop that battle. You couldn't trust seven brainwashed, tortured young women to save the world. That's why there was a military and other offices that did such things.

Though, first, they needed to find out if they had relations here. That may solve some problems.

***

Xander blinked awake, finding himself sitting up. He looked at himself then around. Why was he in a nightgown? Where was his twin? His twin was brought out of another room and put into the next bed, and he had on a nightgown too. "Why am I wearing a nightgown?"

"Why wouldn't you wear a night dress?" the same nurse asked.

"Girls do that."

"Ah. Well, here, men do as well." She checked his forehead. "The fever's finally gone. Your twin is just out of the bath," she soothed. He nodded. "He'll be waking up soon." She checked him again. "There's people who want to talk to you."

"Can I have guy clothes?" Xander asked. "Or my clothes?"

She snorted. "They're clean but you're not moving so you can stay in that night dress, young man." She went to call them. Lord Official Morganwaith showed up with a folder. "The second one isn't awake yet."

"That's fine. We can talk until he does." He pulled a chair over, looking at the young man. "Good morning, Mr. Harris."

"Morning," he said, sounding exhausted. "Where am I?"

"You're in the infirmary ward of the Salem Academy of Occult Engineering." He smiled. "We noticed there's some books in your realm about a wizarding world?"

"Dawnie reads those."

"We're that same sort of realm but we have more technology and sense. We'd never expect a child to be our hero." Xander nodded once. "The one who brought you here did a very wise thing. You were near death when you showed up."

"I felt like it too."

Lord Official Morganwaith smiled. "I have no doubt. Do you have any questions so far?"

Xander looked at his hands then at him. "How old am I?"

"By most accounts, you're twenty-two. Physically, you're ten." Xander grimaced. He smiled. "I called upon that being that brought you both here to talk about the rules he had built into that deal. It was most kind and I fear he has greater plans for later on. He's using this to make sure a bigger problem doesn't get in his way."

"We've seen others that were planning apocalypse battles take out something else with a plan."

"Exactly." He smiled. "So for now, you're ten. You're going to regrow here, learn a trade or whatever you want to, then you'll be going home once this life for you is over." Xander nodded once. "The magic she poured into you broke some barriers you had within you. Did you know you had some magic?"

"No. I never looked for it. She would've thought I was trying to get back into their good graces again. They thought I was *normal*."

Morganwaith shook his head. "Not hardly. Did they not know about your possessions?"

"Yes."

"Hmm. Blind. Truly blind." He clucked his tongue a few times. "Well, we don't think so here as you do have some particularly strong magic, which you will be training."

"Like in the books? Or like her? Because I don't want to be Willow."

"Like in the books, Xander. We'd never let you become her." Xander relaxed and nodded, swallowing. The nurse got him a glass of water. "We have a few things that you can be trained in. You'll be allowed to pick your subjects within reason but some things you'll have to learn so you can protect yourself and others. Things like how to shield your mind."

"You can do that?"

"Yes. It's not really all that hard."

"I need that." He pointed off to the right. "There's something there that keeps trying to talk to me."

The nurse looked then at him. "She's a former student who died of her injuries. I'll banish her for a bit." She went to do that.

Xander looked at her then at the official's outfit. "Steampunk?"

"Yes, in your world we've had a bit of crossing over." He smiled. "It meant that some of you regained manners and nice dressing." He grinned. "We'll work on your sense of style as you age."

"I need to get a job to pay for that."

"You will when you're older. The same being took all your things from your world and put them into storage for you. Including your bank account before your former girlfriend used it on you."

"I like Anya," Xander admitted.

"She's different and she needs you. It's a good thing for some men." He smiled. "For now, we're going to let you finish resting and healing. Then we'll be taking you to our version of that bank to see if they know of any relatives of yours. We'd expect the you here to have had some."

"Because I couldn't have come if I was alive here," Xander said.

"Exactly." He smiled. "Read it somewhere?" Xander nodded. "Excellent." He patted him on the wrist. "We'll handle things and you'll grow up fine. Then you'll decide what you want to be as an adult." He stood up. "Rest. We'll work on a separate identity for your twin." He stared at him. "May we copy your memories so we know what you've already studied?" Xander nodded. Lord Official Morganwaith pulled out his wand to do that. He let the nurse tuck him in. "I'll be back in two days with the official new life paperwork. By then your twin should be awake." The nurse nodded. "You two can figure out his name between yourselves." He tipped his hat and left. The people of the High Council were not amused at this but they understood why it was going on. Frankly, they'd rather not have to handle a witch like that one at all.

***

Xander and his twin Philip walked into the bank, looking around at all the arching spans that seemed to disappear into thin air. A lot of exposed metalwork, done on purpose so it was prettier than usual scaffolding or support beams. A huge clock with the gears showing and the numbers done in red crystals. Philip was staring in the other direction at the two airships docked out the huge bay window that faced a large body of water. Xander looked that way and smiled. "Atlantic ocean? We've never been on this coast."

Lord Official Moganwaith looked then smiled. "Boston Bay actually. The Atlantic starts a bit further out." He smiled at them then at the being they were there to talk to. "I had warned your supervisor I was bringing these two to test for families today. Is he available?"

The goblin nodded. "He is in his office. This way please." He led them off. The boys followed, looking at things.

Xander paused and grabbed the official's arm while pointing. "He's going to fall."

Morganwaith looked and froze the person. "I don't believe he should be cutting the glass that way. Should he?" he asked the staring goblins.

"No, not in the least," the one leading them said. "Very nice catch, human." The goblin bowed to him.

"I'm Xander, he's Philip," he said quietly, bowing back. "I'm glad I could help. I didn't want to have to see guts today."

The goblin smiled. "They can be messy, yes."

"Especially when they're demon guts," Philip said. He shook his head quickly, looking at Xander. Who shrugged.

"They are," he agreed. "Thankfully most of them around Sunnydale dusted up."

The supervising goblin came out of his office to stare at him. "You're from Sunnydale?"

"In our world, yes. We were helping the Slayer Buffy. We were born and raised there. Well, I was born and raised there. He's just now split off from me."

The goblin looked at the official, who held up the crystal. "They did, yes. A higher being saved them so they could later save humanity. It meant his own plans weren't interrupted."

"Ah," the goblin said, nodding. "A reasonable explanation. Come into my office. We'll see what we can do." He led them in there while the goblins cleaned up the problem person. He sat behind his desk, looking over the boys. "I can see the spells on you."

"Spells on your glasses or naturally?" Philip asked. "Not to be rude but Willow was trying to do things like that to some reading glasses for Buffy."

"On my glasses," he said with a slight smile. "It's a good question." He opened some books. "What is the original name you were born under?"

"Alexander Lavelle Harris. Son of Tony and Maria Harris."

The goblin looked it up. "Hmm. Your mother died while carrying you here. That explains how you're able to cross over." He flipped a page. "Your father... he was a hunter."

"Like demons?" Philip asked.

"No, like artifacts." The goblin looked up. "What did yours do?"

"Drink," Xander said. "Sometimes some rough trade work like working on the docks or at the coffin factory."

"Interesting." He traced things. "It looks like the family's obsession to find a certain artifact took over his life. Though it is considered mythical." He looked at the official. "The Mirror of Light."

"Spike broke it two years ago," Philip said. "It was with the Ring of whatever that let him go into the sunlight."

"Amara," Xander said. "The Gem of Amara. The stash was under the post office."

The goblin nodded, making note of that. "That town is really closed off to all visitors. It's considered a protected enclave."

"Do they have the hellmouth there?" Xander asked.

"No. Does yours?" Lord Official Morganwaith asked. Xander and Philip both nodded. "That's horrifying."

"No, horrifying was it was under the high school and the mayor was doing an ascension for our high school graduation," Philip said with a grimace.

"Thankfully the germophobe is now gone," Xander quipped.

They high-fived. "We survived it," they said in unison.

The goblin took the memory crystal to read then got up to get something, bringing it out. He sat Xander down and put the leads on his head so they could watch the memories flow past. The crystal hadn't gotten many memories, only ones that dealt with magic. This one saw everything and they could hear talking by others. They came out and read Philip's but it was the same. The goblin put it away and came back with two small boxes. "I need them to try both of those and for the sword we keep, just in case."

"They're dangerous and we've just healed them," Morganwaith complained. The goblin shrugged and handed the boxes to the boys. Who stared at it then switched off and put the rings inside on. Moganwaith looked at them then at the goblin. "Why?"

"They're the heirs of the hunters fraternity. Most these days do not hunt."

"Yes, because it's outlawed."

"Here. They'll be going home where it's not and may be needed," the goblin said.

"Good point." He frowned but let it clear up. "Anything else they need to know about?"

"Hmm. We have noted the visions and the other gifts?"

"Yes, including the healing ones in Philip."

"Good. We will try them with the sword and bow we hold for them. If they're true heirs of the line it will work. If not, we're still waiting on slayers to reappear here."

"They're not here?" Xander asked.

"No, they're not. The last one was blocked from passing her gifts on by the demon she was battling. Then we found out what was going on," Morganwaith said. "We consider it some of the most foul magic possible."

"We hate the Council," Philip said. "They suck to the girls."

"Hmm. Yes they would," Morganwaith agreed. "Thankfully we don't often have problems with demons here. Unless they're directly summoned." He steered the boys out of the office with a hand on their backs, following the goblin down to the small statue of hunters that held a sword, a bow, and a battle axe. Philip moaned, heading for the axe. It came off in his hand, glowing a bit.

Xander shook his head. "They're not speaking to me."

The goblin nodded. "That makes much sense. He's wearing the warrior's ring and you're wearing the researcher's ring, young man." Xander nodded at that. "There's a few things we can do. Including opening the fraternity's center for them to stay in." The official nodded that was fine. "They will need a guardian."

"I can assign Miss Vargath to watch over them. She's only a secretary and wanted a more challenging role. This way she can coordinate their education and training plus manage to get away from her nagging mother." He smiled at them. "She's nagging her to get married."

"That happens sometimes," Philip said. "We almost married Anya."

"I saw," the goblin said. "Very odd." They smiled. "I will make arrangements for their needs to be deposited from the fraternity's accounts." He looked at them. "Then you can replenish it when you're older."

"At what sort of interest?" Xander asked. "I've taken out a loan before for a car."

"We can go over that." The goblin brought them back up to the office to go over that contract. They decided it was a good idea and signed it. They could live on that and if they needed extensive training they could borrow more. Lord Official Morganwaith agreed it was fine and signed as their present guardian. He got them to the house they'd be borrowing and called his secretary in.

The boys looked up at the feeling of power, staring at the woman who walked in. She was a brunette, a bit thin and tired looking, and fashionably dressed in a heavy moss green Victorian dress. She stared down at them. She raised an eyebrow when they stayed silent.

"Not sure if you want us to use your correct name or not," Philip quipped with a grin.

She snorted. "I only have one."

"Yes, you do, Halfrek," Xander said. "How's Anya handling things?"

"She's told them that you're missing but they do not listen."

"Doesn't surprise us any," Xander sighed, then looked at her. "You're really mad?"

"No. We know why and it's a good thing in a few ways. It will mean that a later battle may happen."

"Or we can do to it what we do to prophecies," Philip quipped with a grin.

Halfrek stared at him. "I'm counting on it." They smiled. "Let's get you boys set up." She looked at their boxes of things then at them. "We can sell some of that."

"My Star Trek and comics," Xander complained.

"It would let you set up easier," she said.

"We set up an account since they're wearing heir rings. You're not normal?"

"I'm the vengeance demon over lost childhoods," she said primly then smiled, going to demon face. "I knew I needed to be here but not why. It figures it was these two." She clapped her hands. "The Hawaiian shirts will be going to sale." Xander pouted. "Tough. You don't need shirts you can get demon slime out of at the moment. You won't fit your other clothes for years and they'll be bad by then. You also won't fit in. Therefore we'll do that and then get you something you can properly wear."

"No more nightgowns?" Xander begged.

"Probably not. There are pajamas. We do wear clothes to bed here, boys." They shrugged. "Fine. I'll handle it." She smiled at her former boss. "Thank you for the promotion, sir, and please do check on your young cousin Marissa. She's sounding like she'll need my help some day."

"I'll do that as soon as I get home tonight. Thank you, Miss Vargath." She tipped her head and smiled, shaking his hand before he left. That explained why she made crap tea but knew how to handle pouty officials.

She looked at them. "Let's start by sorting." They sighed but nodded, getting into things. They knew not to argue with a woman, especially a vengeance demon. If nothing else, Anya had taught them that. She smiled at them. "Good choice, boys."

"We can get boxer briefs?" Philip asked.

"They wear tighty whiteys here, boys."

"Crap," Xander complained. "We get rashes from those."

"We'll figure it out." They nodded. She got everything unpacked and looked at it. The clothes got put aside to be dealt with. She found a few things that had demon blood in it and set them aside specially. Those would go for bigger money than selling things to the working people's stores.

"Not the tools," Xander ordered. She nodded, putting them aside with the various knives, stakes, and other weapons. Xander tossed something else onto that pile.

"You won't need those," she said.

"If he brought everything of mine, yes I will since that's the car keys," he said.

"I don't know if the car's here or not," she admitted. "We can find out." They got back to things. He had a few books he had been looking over. Plus a few other things from the store that had been in Anya's stuff apparently. Those got set into a separate pile. "I'll hand those back to Rupert later."

"Why? Anya bought them," Philip said dryly. "She was going to use them to trap D'Hoffryn so she could get her powers back again."

Halfrek sighed, shaking her head. "Not good."

Xander looked at her. "D'Hoffryn killed you. Anya said it was a punishment for her."

"Kind of, but I had ways around that," she said smugly.

"Great. Buffy needs that," Philip said dryly. They got back to sorting. All his books stayed. No matter what she wanted. It didn't leave much going away but it was a good start. He looked at Xander, who shrugged. "He forgot the trunk of stuff we looted from Dracula." She blinked at them. "What? Froofy vampy vamp wore clothes like these guys." He shrugged. "Spike and I did it. He sold most of his."

She leaned over to kiss him on the head. "I can find that."

Xander grinned. "If you can find that can you find other stuff that's hidden? Like the rest of the stash Spike didn't touch that used to hold the Gem of Amara?" She gaped. "Or the stupid crystal tomb? Which I'm sure Mrs. Robinson didn't really want in her grave."

"When?" she squeaked. They grabbed some paper to make notes on what they had spotted on patrol. "Yes, I can look at them and perhaps relieve some of the pressure on them, boys." They grinned. She went home to find their trunks first. Spike had those. Then the others got looked at. She could definitely loot.

Spike walked in on her looting one stash, clearing his throat. He tossed something at her. "I owe the little bastard that."

She tucked it into her pocket. "Thank you, Spike." She smiled. "They're safe."

"I heard. Told Anya so she'd quit fussing. The others don't seem to realize it even when told."

"It's not a spell."

"Never was," he agreed. He shifted his stance. "Angel gave him to us once."

She walked over to stare at him. "You can't claim him, Spike. Not this time." She patted him on the cheek. "Besides, now there's two."

Spike moaned - a deep, soul hurting moan. "The world's going to end."

"No it won't. That'd take a sister of theirs." He looked something up on Dawn's phone, which he had stolen for a few days. He showed her that prophecy. "Oh, well, I suppose it may but that's what's going to happen in a few months. They'll be back in this realm then." She smiled. "But they're not allowed to come help until Buffy comes looking for them to help. That was the price of the deal."

He nodded once. "Figures. This one coming up bad?" She nodded. "Got a clue to give?"

"It's related to the rebirth. You'll need multiple slayers."

"Great." He put the phone back into his pocket. "Red?"

"No idea. By what the few have seen she might need to help." Spike shook his head. "I'm looting to give the boys, who are ten, enough money for a real school and clothes."

"Take the pile on the right," he said with a point. "It's pretty useful across all realms. Nothing too magical."

She laughed. "They landed in a steampunk version of Harry Potter's world, Spike. Also, she opened their magic." He let out another moan, shaking his head. "Oh, yes. I'm their present guardian."

"Have to be better than their old ones," he quipped. She looked confused. "Go check. I don't know how the old mayor managed to block you." He looked smug and pulled out a smoke to light. "Want Anya to help?"

"Nope. She's just fine where she is right now." She checked on that family, growling. "I see." She finished gathering things because D'Hoffryn had noted she was alive. She wiggled her fingers and went home before the higher demon tried to strike her dead again. She looked at the boys, shaking her head. Everything else appeared when she snapped. The boys grinned, going through everything to find what they wanted. She sorted out the magical artifacts, taking them to that same goblin to sell for her. That helped a lot. She could definitely outfit the boys with that. They still expected Wal-Mart prices, not what real things cost.

The boys had no idea what they had just stepped into but neither did the world that had adopted the boys. There was no way they were ready for what chaos one Xander, much less two, could bring.

***

Xander looked at the shopping area, then at her. "Do we have to get wands like in the books or are we going to be doing it differently?"

"There's a way to find that out. It's not that pleasant." They shrugged. "Fine." She took them to a specialist shop. "I'm Miss Vargath. These are my charges, who were just healed and sent over from another realm."

"I heard. Your former employer wrote me to warn me I should see them," he said. He adjusted his glasses, looking them over. "I sense healing gifts." He pointed at a box. "Put them in singly." She let Philip go first. "Did you end the clause on that twin spell?"

"I did. It's not beneficial in the least." He nodded, taking the paper that got spit out of the side of the box. Philip came out itching but he was fine. Xander stepped in once the light on top was green again. Another paper spit out and he came out scratching his neck. She put some lotion on it to stop that. Philip took the lotion to do his arms, sighing in relief. The older man smiled at them. "It does help. I see healing gifts, I see warrior gifts, I see elemental gifts and I see medium gifts," he said, looking at Philip.

"Few past possessions," he said. "The goblins let me have a pretty battle axe from a statue they had."

"That's why you wear the Fraternity's mark," the old man said. He got them a book on that. "So you can learn of your heritage." He went over the other one. "They'll both need wands but specialist training will be necessary. Hunting and dueling. Healing for one, and it looks like crafting for the other." He looked at him.

"We used to work construction when it was just one of us. We liked it a lot. It felt right. Even after falling into a tomb."

Halfrek stared at them. "You did what?" He hissed in her ear. She blinked. "I'll have that checked." They shrugged. She shook her head. The old man smirked a tiny bit. "It read that?" He nodded, showing her. "Interesting. So they need the Academy?"

"Eventually they'll need there. This year they'll need remedial magic education. I'm sure you can handle that?" She nodded, looking smug. "Good." He pulled down two boxes and filled them. Even she had to wince at some of the things being loaded. "Lord Official Morganwaith left funds for their schooling needs. It will cover this and I'll share what sort of skills they have so they can be noted for future training. Though, I would encourage some normal education as well."

"We suck at book learning," Xander said. "Always have."

Halfrek ran a hand over his head. "We can get around that slight bit of dyslexia, Xander, and we can also fix the concussion damage. Even the original bit that caused that problem." He nodded. "Though, if I see your parents, they're dead."

He grinned. "They're already in a hell of their own making," Philip quipped. "Living better is the best revenge."

She nodded. "Possibly true but they're trying to have another child to get another check." Xander grimaced. So did the older man. "Totally unsuitable."

"It figures. Great powers often come from less great backgrounds."

"Willow's parents were lecturing, traveling shrinks," Philip said. "That explains a lot."

Halfrek looked at them. "She's not that powerful."

"She's the one that restuck Angel's soul curse, twice. The second time permanently," Xander said. She gaped. The twins both nodded. "She is, but she has no sense. She's still thinking like a teenage girl. It's her way or no way. There's..." he waved a hand. "It's a huge amount of shit with her most of the time and I don't know why I stayed outside of needing to be there to help because no one else would."

Halfrek nodded. "Quite. I'll look into her and get onto her new mentors."

"Who ignored we had been hit with black magic," Philip said. "Totally dismissed us once they appeared."

"They're snobs," she said. "Lord Official Morganwaith went to have a talk with them."

"The Council hates us," Xander warned. "They're part of them."

"True. That could be it," she agreed. "We'll go over all that later. We don't tend to air private disputes in public."

Philip pointed. "He's wearing the Council's crest." The man flinched. They stared at him. "Crossed over too?"

"Yes I did. They didn't appreciate men with magic in the coven and the Council itself didn't want us to use any gifts. That's why some of us went bad and some of us traveled."

"And Ethan and Giles broke up before Giles ran back," Xander said dryly.

"Rupert?" the man demanded.

"He's the watcher for our friend Buffy, who we helped," Philip said. "We've seen him and Ethan both."

The man licked his lips. "Hmm. The Council really does hate you two then." They nodded. "Oh, dear." He sighed, considering it for a second then tried to curse them. Xander blocked it instinctively and Philip got him back. He shrieked as he changed into a little chaos magic frog.

Xander looked over the counter at him, grinning and waving. "Magic goes weird around us. He meant to turn you into a mouse." He stood up again, letting Halfrek handle it. He and his twin shrugged. "I wonder how many more Council people there are hiding here."

Halfrek stared at them. "How long did you know?"

"When we walked in. He's Traver's near clone," Xander said dryly. "I'm guessing they're related."

"His younger brother," she said. She called that in. Lord Official Morganwaith showed up. "He's a registered traveler?"

"No, he was not." He looked at the frog then at the boys. "Nice work."

"I tried to make it a mouse but magic goes weird around us," Philip said.

He nodded. "We can figure that out, boys." He patted them on the back. "Go ahead with Miss Vargath to get the rest of your supplies and clothes while we clean up this mess."

"Sorry," Xander said. "The old Council wants us dead."

"They want his kind dead even worse," the official said smugly. "There's millions of dollars on their heads. There's barely a million on you two." Halfrek stared. He nodded. "We checked."

"How are we going to deal with stuff like training we might need at home?" Philip asked.

"We have things that are equivalent. Not cars, because I saw yours. It's in storage." They nodded. "You could probably sell it to a museum."

"We might like that," Xander said. "Though the loan's still slightly outstanding. We had two payments left."

"Use the money to pay it off," Halfrek said. "Sorry, sir."

"Better them than us doing it. Let us take memory readings for the trial." He did that and the boys were led off by Halfrek, who was muttering under her breath. "Well, that's happy making," he decided. Their version of aurors walked in and picked up the frog then searched the building for anything they should not have. There was a lot of cross-dimension contraband, including a tv.

***

"Why do we have to wear vests?" Philip asked. He was trying not to whine.

"Because it's fashionable here and men do that," Halfrek said simply. "Only the lowest of the low would wear jeans."

"So guys like we grew up as?" Xander quipped, staring at her.

"Yes, but you're not there now. You're here. Guys cleaning up fields of cow dung wear jeans. Boys and young men who are doing something beyond that are expected to wear better pants, a real shirt with buttons, and a vest or coat." She stared at them. "You're going to have to live up to my standards here, boys, because you looking sloppy looks horrible on me. You looking like you don't belong will get their version of CPS called." They nodded and sighed. "Thank you."

"Will we have to wear robes in school?" Philip complained.

"Long vest robes." They groaned but slumped and went to change into something less comfortable. "At least I let you two buy boxers," she called after them.

"If you hadn't, you'd be taking us to the doctor every few weeks for cream for the rash the other stuff causes," Philip quipped. "Not that boxers don't cause a few of their own."

"That's probably a bathing issue," she complained.

Xander came down. "It's actually a sweat issue. I get sweat rashes very badly and it's like a diaper rash only worse. I've had a few break open. The doctor had to order my mother to buy me boxerbriefs after the sixth time suggesting it in eight months and thirteen visits."

Halfrek stared at him. "Really?" He nodded. "Crap."

"Basically," Xander agreed.

She pulled out a pipe and lit it up but Philip took it from her to toss out. "Hey!"

"They're bad for us," Philip said firmly. "I don't need lung cancer." He walked off. "I'm making a sandwich. Xander?"

"Please." He followed.

She huffed, going to make them lunch. They were capable enough for minor things and she could teach them more. She'd straighten out their funny ideas later.

***

It took ten days to realize that unscrewing the boy's funny mental problems would take a whole personality transplant, removing the memory of Willow ever being around, and destroying the fundamental nature of what a Xander was. Then she realized she was sending them to boarding school in a few months. So they were really some other poor sap's problem for all but two months out of the year. She nearly cackled in delight.

***

Xander and Philip looked around the school their first day. It was boring. It was just as dirty as the one in the books Dawn liked so much. Though no talking or moving paintings. The first person they ran into stank like he hadn't had a bath in a few days, and that was a teacher. Another teacher they met smelled like rotting carrion but something in Philip twinged and said that one was sick. Maybe that was the reason for the smell. The headmistress was staring at them expectantly.

"Just taking stock of our surroundings," Philip said, looking at the one teacher. "I'm told I have slight healer gifts."

"You're probably feeling something from me," she agreed with a gentle smile. "It's not fixable but it does lend me this amazing...aroma."

"We noticed," Xander said, then he smiled. "We're just glad you don't stink like a vampire. We used to have to tie one up in our old apartment when Giles kicked him out."

The headmistress cleared her throat. "It's not nice to tell tales, boys," she said firmly.

Xander smirked at her. "Ma'am, it's not a tale. We were sent here and deaged. We might not be the best in bookwork because our school was pathetic, but we're generally honest about most things unless it's *that* important." She glared. He stared back.

"There was only one of us until we got sent here," Philip said dryly.

The teacher that desperately needed a bath nodded. "So said the officials that got you enrolled. We are one of the better schools there are."

Xander looked at him. "We don't really get books if that matters. We can read, we do read when we're interested, but we get nothing from book work."

"Some students don't. What did you do before?"

"Construction," Philip said with a smile. "Indoor crew lead when we were sent here."

"Why were you sent here?" the headmistress demanded.

"Because we had a witch that lost her lifemate just after she cleaned up an addiction to black magic," Xander said. "And I stopped her from making everyone on our planet feel what she did." She went pale, shaking her head. He grinned. "I take it you know Willow?"

"We grew up with her," Philip quipped. "Since we were five. She's been the most nagging mother sort ever at times but she was a good friend most of it."

The headmistress cleared her throat. "You must forget those lives."

"I'm told we'll be back there when we die here," Xander said.

"It doesn't work that way," she said coldly.

"It kinda does because we had to be saved from the poisoning her shooting magic at us caused," Philip said. "We were sent to the Salem Academy." He pointed behind him. "About six miles that way. We spent nearly a month in their charming, nice smelling infirmary." He smiled. "The nurse was excellent when she helped us, even if we did fight being put into nightdresses and bed baths."

The teacher that stunk nodded. "As we were told, boys. It would be easier on you if you could temporarily put that aside."

Xander leaned over to look at him better. "We were hunting vampires with a slayer then," he said bluntly. "Some things you don't forget. Like the ascension battle for our graduation." The man shuddered. "We'd love to take the lessons we can but we are honest. We suck at some things. Algebra, sometimes in English class, we don't really write good essays. We tend to see things a bit differently than most kids will because we grew up practical and tending to ourselves. While we don't have any experience in magic, we can do other things fairly well."

"We can test you," the sick teacher said, smiling at them.

"Must we retake algebra if we fail that part?" Philip asked. "We couldn't pass it with Willow cheating for us."

"Yes. Especially for later healing and crafting training we were told your gifts lay toward." She smiled. "I'll get the tests." She walked off and came back with a thick book of paper that was hand stitched but tied with ribbon. "Find different corners." They did and got handed pencils then booklets. "There's another four after that one." They nodded and started into them by untying the top ribbon so they could put sheets aside once they were done. "We really should get their records, Headmistress."

"Getting them from the high school in Sunnydale might be a bit difficult since we blew it up to prevent the ascension from happening," Philip said absently. "They didn't report to the state because the old mayor was evil and using us as feeding supplies."

"I'm still proud we got it under fifteen percent last year before she died," Xander added with a grimace. "Eww, math," he sighed but he dug into it. "Can they be translated into practical problems like measurements?"

"Do them as they are but if that helps you, make notes to the side. It'll only help your teachers when they go over things." They nodded and dug back in. She watched what they were doing, smiling some. They were skipping the higher maths but doing good at the lower ones. She spotted one. "Xander, that is in measurements."

He looked up. "It's in chemistry. We didn't take chemistry. By then we had no science teacher because the shape changing demon ate him and they didn't hire a new one." She sighed but nodded. "Is that the same as measuring to bake?" She nodded so he worked that out to the side and moved on. Philip was staring at the same problem and then moved it to that. That helped him too.

***

Hallie showed up that night to check on them. "How did you do?"

"The headmistress hates us," Xander quipped with a grin.

Philip nodded. "We were honest. She called us liars and we proved her wrong. We spent most of the day taking tests. So we're mostly out of regular classes, outside a few math and english things and a science class or seven." Hallie winced.

"Why are there such varied standards?" Philip asked. "The kids here in the dorm don't believe in bathing," he said very quietly, glancing around their private room.

She grimaced. "That's sad."

"Sad is a teacher's sick so she's got a BO problem," Xander said. "We can understand that. But otherwise...." He winced and pointed. "Teacher's here, Step Mom."

"I'm only your keeper, young man." She opened the door to stare at the teacher. "Good evening. I popped in to check on my charges."

"They're good boys. Bit of a smartass. Bit of a problem since half the teachers wonder what's wrong with them."

"We're just us," Xander said with a smile. "We always have been."

"No one else could ever be us," Philip agreed.

"Hmph. Charity cases."

"No, we sold some of our possessions to afford a decent education," Philip said. "That is how it's done, isn't it?" He stomped off. The boys looked at Hallie.

"That is," she agreed. "We'll discuss that since I believe they got the headmistress." She waved a hand in front of her face. "This is...so very sad. It's calling on my duty." The boys smiled. "I remember the first time we were like this and it wasn't this bad." She looked out there. Then at her charges. "I don't think they meant for you to go here."

Philip shrugged. "Not like we didn't grow up lower class, Hallie. We've seen plenty of poor people and poor kids."

"I know." She looked at the headmistress stomping her way. "I'm Miss Vargath, their keeper while they're here." She held out a hand. The woman sneered at her. "I showed up to check on my charges, make sure they were settling in all right since they didn't have boarding schools where they lived."

"They don't belong here. They belong with other troubled boys at the home," she sneered.

Hallie stared at her. "Really?" She changed into her demon form, staring at her. "I'm the vengeance demon over lost childhoods, madam." The woman stepped back, looking scared. "I do believe you are not appropriate for these children or any of them. I will be fixing that. If only so the children are encouraged to bathe properly." She ran off. Hallie went back to human face, hugging one of the teachers. "Why are you here?"

"With my illness I can't really get other work."

"That's tragic. I wanted the boys to learn underneath you. I'll see what I can do."

"We are the only home some children have, Halfrek."

"I realize that but it should still be a fit home. Not one that encourages young women to be pregnant instead of study or encourages such stink from the students." She looked at the teacher stomping in. "Go. Bathe," she said, adding power to the order. He ran off to do that. She looked at the teacher again. "Let me get someone to clean this house. I'll assume you can handle running it until they can find someone better?"

"Someone not like the orphanage lady on the Annie musical?" Philip suggested.

"Gladly," Hallie agreed, staring at him. "That is my job." She pulled out a phone and flicked it open, activating the tiny floo connection. "Lord Official Morganwaith, I have just run into a problem with the boys. The school *someone* picked is not fit for human habitation. I only sense two teachers here who are suitable, and one is a bit ill so she was forced from a better school."

He looked at her. "Why are you at the charity school?"

"This is where we were sent by your office."

"I'll straighten the new secretary out. She makes better tea than you but has less sense."

"She's probably looking to go on her knees," Hallie said dryly. "Women like her are only in it for the marriage."

"Point. Where are you?"

"Here." He nodded. "Please bring someone from the schools oversight? And tell him to stop up his nose. Only one person here should stink this much." She hung up.

Philip got up and frowned, looking around. He walked off, finding the problem he was being drawn to. "Hi," he said. "I've got healer gifts. I'm sensing a problem."

"I don't want saved," she said firmly, nearly shrieking.

"I don't want to save the baby, dear. I'd rather save you." She panted, staring at him. He stared back. "Let me?" She nodded, moving closer. He laid a hand on her stomach. His senses were telling him how to heal the child but he overrode it. He healed the mother and used the child's essence to do that. She moaned and held her stomach but nodded and went into a stall.

Halfrek came in to help her. "There's easier ways to do that, child," she said gently. "I'll teach you how so you can share it." She ended the pregnancy and healed her, letting Philip put the finishing touches on it. "Bed, Philip. One does not run around in night clothes." He nodded, going back there. Hallie stepped back and nodded. "You'll be fine, child." She stared at her. "Do you know who attacked you?"

"I... I'm a teacher's assistant."

"Hmm. Unless you're on an adult level, you had no ability to consent."

"It's the way it is."

Halfrek went to demon face, shaking her head. "I'll be damned." The girl's eyes went wide. She smiled. "I'm Halfrek."

"They have protections against you."

"The twins I watch over got sent here." The girl relaxed and nodded. Hallie went back to human looking. "Take normal monthly precautions and go to bed." She walked out, washing her hands. The officials were already there. She gave her former boss a look and he went to talk to that young woman. The twins were napping against each other. The officials were horrified when they looked. The one teacher was put in charge and they felt sympathy for her plight. Some of the teachers got a good scrubbing when they went to jail and the rest were ordered to so the investigative team could breathe around them the next day. Hallie stayed with the boys, making sure none of the children in the dorm were harmed. There were a few attempts but they were quickly stopped. Especially when one woke Philip up and he went after them with his specially gifted axe.

***

Philip and Xander looked around their new school then at Halfrek. "This is one of the best schools in the country, boys, and where I wanted you placed." They smiled. "They also bathe here fairly regularly."

"We heard about the other one," the teacher coming down to meet them said. "I feel great sorrow for Melinda having to handle it."

"She'll have to do a lot of hiring." Halfrek smiled. "This is Philip and Xander Harris." She touched each one on the head.

"Charmed, boys," she said, shaking their hands. They smiled at her. "Do we have anything on their prior schooling?"

"We took a lot of tests yesterday," Xander said. Halfrek handed them over.

"We don't always learn well from books," Philip said. "Math has been a problem more than once. We do well in practical things though."

The teacher nodded. "Some children do." She looked over the tests, smiling at the same answers. "You are twins."

"Now," Xander agreed.

"I heard." She smiled. "All that's important at this moment is now. Later you train for adult things and things at home." They relaxed and smiled. "Halfrek, I'll take it from here."

"Have fun with them. They do play pranks now and then."

"I'd hope so. They're children now." She walked them off to the headmaster's office. He was a young guy, with a beard, but dark hair and he looked a tiny bit evil. "The Harris twins, Headmaster."

He looked them over then nodded. "You'll do." They stared back. He smiled. "We've seen weirder than you two. Including students that were actively possessed."

"No, the hyena's quiet these days," Xander said.

"I just realized I don't have her," Philip said, looking at him. Xander shrugged. "Huh."

The headmaster laughed, nodding. "You'll definitely do." The teacher handed over the tests. "You were there. That's a good reason to find the faults so she could get in. By law, schools are not allowed to block out vengeance demons if they are there for a good cause, and they know they are to tell us if they're called here."

"I think she's going to be busy with some of the students there," Xander said.

"Especially since I had to help someone miscarry last night because she was a teacher's assistant," Philip added.

"Then they deserve to be punished at the highest extent of the law. If you find one here, do let us know," the headmaster said, staring at them. They nodded. "Good. Let's get you assigned your various things. You'll need a room, you'll need lessons, you'll need time in the gym." They nodded. "Do you have supplies?" They pulled out their rolling steamer trunks and they expanded. "Charming of her." He settled in to go over what they needed to do today and tomorrow then how to find their rooms. They were sharing a private room so they didn't get upset by actual children who were mostly happy.

***

35 years by one calendar, 7 months by another.

***

Xander and Philip landed in their original realm, looking around. Both had shoulder-length hair. Both had pale-ish skin thanks to the last few months. Both had on regular pants, which was closer to what they would've called dress pants before, but they were both wearing waist cinchers with weapons and a vest overtop of them. Xander's cincher was brown leather and had three buckles across the front. The vest was black and red brocade. Philip's waist cincher was a black strip of snaps that held it closed, wires that connected it to both sides of stretchy cords that held a number of knife and other holsters, plus two guns on the back. His vest overtop of it was a leather one that wasn't very fancy but it was very soft and supple.

Philip's glee looked a bit maniacal. Xander's looked a bit more like a smirk. They were both wearing jewelry that looked a bit odd. They both had leather wristbands that had a skeleton key embossed on the top of it. Xander's other wrist had a metal bracelet, bronze and silver, that had coils. You could feel it gathering electricity around it. Philip's 'watch' had a round case with two battling dragons on top of it, again bronze and silver, and a little pointer on the top of the case underneath the leaf motif done in silver wire. They both wore a broach to hold their collars closed, both having eyes on them. Xander's was a golden eye with flames around it and wings supporting it on top of another skeleton key. Philip's looked like a blue/silver eye in the center of a bunch of randomly wrapped wire rings.

Philip looked around then at his watch. "Do you have the other one?"

"Yup." He held up the small bracelet that had little balls, engraved to look like planets, between a repeating curve of bronze. It looked a little bit like a snake with worlds between the bends. The other thing he had was a necklace that had a small line of gears ending in a small green crystal. It was pretty, and useful in some things. "Are you sure we should unpack here?"

"No. Not here. We'll need to get an apartment."

"I think we rented one before we got switched back," Xander said. He looked at the folder of stuff Lord Official Morganwaith's successor had set up for them. "Yup, apartment near the college and that's four years ago." He shook his head with a sigh. The present Lord Official was a former schoolmate of theirs and a bit of a bastard but it happened. How he had figured out they could handle that little bit of time slipping they weren't sure. "But we can fix that."

Philip nodded, adjusting his watch. They went back four years to go to college on this realm. It was a tiny bit different than it was at their other home. Including that no one thought about how to make necessary things pretty. Xander did set up a shrine to Thor and put the pretty necklace Thor had given him on it to consecrate it. It was so nice of him to have not killed them for accidentally waking him up.

They could spend the four years going to graduate studies and teasing girls. It was good for them to tease girls. Halfrek would be pleased.

***

Xander looked up from his crafting a few days into their new lives, after they had spent that four years. It was time for them to graduate and figure out where they were going. Philip was walking into their apartment with envelopes. "Which one are you doing?"

"PPTH." He tossed it down on the breakfast bar and handed Xander his. "Why did you want to do law enforcement stuff?"

"It sounded nice," he admitted. "I can handle problems."

Philip stared at him. "Not really."

"We can help hide the demons."

"Not really."

"I like the lab stuff."

"I get that. You can try to hide the demon stuff." Xander nodded. "Answer yours so they know to hold a spot for you. Then you can decide on lab stuff." Xander grinned, hugging him before going back to what he was building. "Is that a temporal loop?"

"Yup."

"Why are you building another one?"

"Backup in case your watch breaks." He looked over. "We broke the last one."

"Good point. Though we didn't break it, the demon we were battling broke it." Xander nodded that was true and got back to work. Xander did a lot of magical crafting of items while Philip was a healer and the better fighter. He pulled down his epee to practice for a bit. It was very stress relieving. He could imagine the bimbo that wouldn't leave him alone on the other end.

Xander shook his head. "Just tell her no."

"I can't. She's my teacher."

"Tell another teacher?"

"Won't work."

"Pity. I can distract her."

"Not even you're that needy," he said dryly. It was a good thing that Philip got most of the girls. Xander was more picky. Philip needed to get the energy out so multiple lovers was nice. Even if some of his used to greet him with a slap on the face for not calling all that often. Xander's got downright possessive and Philip had to send the demons they were needing to fight to rescue him so they could get on with it. Two of them, not very amused. The third Xander had killed because he was in the middle of making her scream like a woman being set on fire. Then she had cooed about it when Philip had shown up. She had liked twins. It was very kind of her. Even if they did have to pay a huge fine for being so noisy.

Xander grinned. "I doubt the teacher would like twins."

"She doesn't believe we're twins and likes to make fun of my vests."

"She's not worthy of it but fuck her and her opinion. She's not worthy of us." Xander pulled a tool off the back of his vest to finish the work he was doing. "There, pretty." He put it aside and got to work fixing something they had broken. The remote control for the stereo was really flimsy.

Philip grinned, going to make dinner. He wasn't as good as Xander but good enough.

***

Buffy looked at what was going on and looked at Giles. "We need more help."

"We heard Xander's around," he said quietly.

"He's...he hasn't been here."

"He had to be healed," he said more firmly. "Because none of us cared if he would've died that night. The only ones who noticed he was missing were Anya and Spike. He could have laid dead in his apartment for days before anyone found him." She slumped but nodded. "Now, do you wish to call him?"

"We might need him. At the very least he can handle a side as long as he's not too injured still." She pushed her hair back.

"You rang?" a familiar voice said as two men walked out of the shadows. "All you had to do was call."

She stared at them. "Did Toth hit you again?"

"It halved the magic so we weren't dying as fast," Philip said. Buffy slumped. Willow refused to look at him. "Thankfully, the world we ended up on was very good. The healers there took good care of us since we were ten when we got there. We learned a lot." He smiled at Giles. "Including why you keep rubbing at that former tattoo." Giles gaped. Xander shrugged, pulling out a knife. Philip turned and threw one at the demon coming up behind them. The demon screamed and died. "Hmm, pretty."

Xander looked then shrugged. "You used the wrong one, Philip. Silver only kills him, not banishes him." He pulled something out of a pocket and threw the tiny bottle on the demon. It went 'poof' explosively and was gone. Buffy had to wipe a few spots off her pants but oh well. Philip got his dagger again. He looked at Buffy. "How, when, where?"

"We have to go in to fight her."

"We have the seven slayers it'll take?" Philip asked.

"No," Buffy sighed. "It does?" They nodded. "You looked it up?"

"Yup," Xander said with a grin. "You need the scythe, which Giles should know about." They looked at him.

"I... yes, them," he said, nodding and leading her that way so they could talk to the holders of the scythe and the slayer spirit. "Willow, show them to the mansion."

"We know where it is," Philip said. "We've been told everything by a few contacts." He looked over at the squeal. "Anya," he said.

"Hey, Ahn," Xander said with a grin and a wave.

"Why do you have long hair and why are you twins?" she demanded. "Where have you been! I haven't had orgasms in months!"

"Well, we've been on the east coast and another realm," Xander said dryly. "We're twins because it saved us."

Philip nodded. "And we're twins because we're just too much for one body." He smirked. "As for orgasms, nope. Not before the battle you're not." She glared, tapping a foot. He stared at her. "It's a long held ritual."

"It's not," Willow said.

Xander stared at her. "We had thirty-five years over there, Willow. Yes it is." She backed down at that. He pulled something off his neck and put it on Anya's. "My protection as a warrior," he said quietly, staring into her eyes. She blinked, tearing up. "So you'll be as safe as you can be during the battle." He kissed her on the forehead.

"You're not coming back?" she asked.

"He's got to go do his residency," he said with a head-nod at Philip. "I'm doing mine soon too. We're on the east coast." He smiled.

"Why?"

"Because it's what we're doing this life," Philip said. "My healing gifts are good."

She swallowed. "You are?" He nodded. "That explains why you had so much stamina."

Philip snorted, smirking at her. "Survive and you can test it." He handed over a letter from his back pocket. "From Halfrek."

"But she died," she said.

"She went there." She ripped it open to read, swallowing hard. Xander stared at her, pushing her chin up. "Up to you." She nodded. He took his necklace back and sent her to her best friend. "She'll be safer there," he told Willow. "Otherwise she would've died during the battle."

"Same end result of her not being here but now we know she's happy with Hallie and having tea probably." Willow huffed. He shrugged. "It happens."

"You learned magic," she accused.

"We had to learn magic," Philip said, staring her down. "Because you opened it in us. We have a lot of magic. We used to horrify the schools of magic. That meant extra lessons in more than fencing and other fighting things. Or my healer training." Xander sighed but nodded. "Or his crafting training."

"I almost miss the old workshop but I needed to fix the water tower again," Xander said. "Maybe I'll build a new one and stock it."

"Some year," Philip promised with a grin. Someone screamed and came at them so Xander shot them. "Nice."

"Thank you." He put his gun back under his vest. "Not that hard." He looked at her. "Call tomorrow when Buffy's back. We're done for the semester outside of graduation." They disappeared.

Willow slumped, looking around. "This is so wrong," she complained. "So very wrong." Spike lit up a cigarette, showing he was there. "Did you know about that?"

"Heard rumors," he said. "Twins of chaos and hell born." He took a drag. "They did good work over there defending their people from stuff. Like an alien invasion." He walked off. "Might want a weapon since it's dark."

She huffed off after him back to the mansion. It wasn't right! Even if it had been her fault it wasn't right.

***

Xander showed up the next day wearing a t-shirt that had a ray gun with curved tubes and read 'elite duelists' on it. Buffy stared at him then grimaced. He looked down then at her. "We both won championships. We refused to duel each other but they understood that." He smiled. "We won three in the last ten years."

"With a movie ray gun?"

"Well, we do have a ray gun, but it's more practical than pretty. I need to finish working on the pretty parts." He smirked a tiny bit. "But no, we were dueling mages."

"Magic?" He nodded. "Why?"

"Because that's what we do, Buffy. We protected a lot of people that way." She nodded, still grimacing. "So, let's see what plans you have. Philip's dealing with his teacher that he doesn't want who wants to screw him into the blackboard in her office." He came over to look over things with her. He pointed out flaws in the battle plan, helping her straighten it out. She relaxed and he gave her the spell Willow would need.
"You're sure?" she asked.

"Yup." She nodded, taking it to Willow.

Giles walked in, staring at the t-shirt then at him. "You were where that man came from?"

"Yes. Lord Official Morganwaith was overseeing us since we were technically aliens. He made sure we got into decent schools, that we were doing our best. He nagged us about dating before Hallie could because they're pretty much Victorian over there. He helped me find an internship I wanted and Philip the healing program he wanted because the local one there was sucktastic. He made sure we had trainers so we learned what we needed to know as the heirs to the former demon hunting fraternal order they had." Giles sat down with a sigh. "Philip's hell on a battlefield."

"Doesn't that bother his healing skills?"

"No. Some it would but we don't have empathy like that." He waved a hand around. "All this stuff broke that before we started school."

"I see." He stared at him. "Now what?"

"Philip's got a residency in a few months. I've got an engineering one and then lab work I need to do one for." He smiled. "I'm a crafter."

"That's ...I actually expected that in some ways with the way you handled carpentry and the like." Xander nodded. "Spouses?"

"No. We didn't want to and didn't think it was prudent with the life we had to live."

"Probably not. I heard about the deal."

"It sure beats dying," he said dryly. Giles winced. "But his plan's not as stable as he thinks either and I'm not forbidden from stepping in there." He grinned. "We'll see what happens."

"That's the best we could hope for. I didn't want it to come down to you fighting the girls."

"It's not against the slayers." Giles stiffened. "That was a true demon, Giles, not one of ours."

"Like the ascension?"

"Like Fallen."

Giles sucked in a breath then nodded. "Then no, that's not technically what the girls would handle but I dare say some of them would be there."

"Some of us will," he agreed. "This one cut into theirs."

"That figures." He looked at him. "Are you well?"

"I'm good. Bit sore from the alien invasion last month but okay." Giles nodded. "Hallie sent Anya a letter. Since my vision said she'd die, I kindly sent her there."

"It's reversible?" Xander shook his head. "Then that's the same outcome basically, and I'm sure she'd be happier there."

"Probably. I even left her some stuff to play with." He grinned. Philip appeared, shaking his head. "Escaping her husband?"

"She got caught chasing me around the room by the building's security guard. She tried to say it was a game I had started until I pointed out I was trying to get away from her and her evil talons of whoredom. The guard was not amused but called the Chair, who nicely had gotten the packet of pictures and tapes I had left for him." He sat down in another chair, watching the slayers watch them. "We're magnificent but not that way," he said finally. "You can ask us things."

"Who are you?" one asked.

"I'm Xander, that's my twin Philip," Xander said with a smile. "We helped Buffy until about seven months ago. She called in an SOS."

"My watcher said that slayers don't get help."

"He's full of shit," Philip said. "Because that's why Buffy's still alive. Even without the whole reviving thing. Slayers with backup last a lot longer than ones who go out on their own. Who watches your back on patrol?"

"That's up to us," another said.

Giles shook his head. "No. Buffy lasted for years before dying due to having people there to help her. With Willow and Xander, she was able to handle a number of higher level problems that she would've died doing alone."

"He's right," Buffy said, coming down the stairs. "The reason I lasted for years was Xander and Willow helping." She patted that one on the head. "When it's your turn, you'll find people who want to help you too." The girl smiled and nodded. She looked at Philip's dress pants and vest, then at Xander's jeans and t-shirt. "Wow, you're very dressed up."

"I just got out of my last class and avoided the teacher trying to molest me," he said dryly. "Certain things are expected in medical school."

"Like...being a doctor?" Buffy asked. Philip nodded. "Why?"

"Because it makes use of my skills and I like being a doctor, Buffy. The same as my wonderful twin loves being an engineer." Xander grinned at her. "Plus working on weapons for a future crime lab."

"You do?" she asked. Xander nodded. "Huh. Okay. Are you going with us?"

"We're going to be in New Jersey if you need us."

"I guess that's not that far away with planes and stuff." She went to talk to her slayers. It'd cheer her up. The guys shrugged at each other and went back to making sure the weapons were good and how to handle things.

***

Philip limped in his first day of his residency, nodding at his fellow residents. "Hola, my fellow slaves to the hospital." He sat down and rubbed his leg with a wince. He saw the looks. "Fight." They shrugged it off. The head of the residency program came in to talk to them. Philip raised his hand when he got to one confusing point. "Sir, some of us aren't general students." He pulled out his paperwork at the dirty look he got.

"You're supposed to be in the other room."

"They told me I needed to be in here."

"I'll straighten that out with her later. She does it every year." Philip nodded, putting that away. "Permanent injury?"

"Saving some female semi-friends from some assholes trying to beat them to death," he said. "Temporary but a few more days."

"Good." He got back to the lectures. The guy needed the same information. When they were done he walked him that way. "You managed to mis-direct one yet again," he sneered at her.

"I don't remember hiring any handicapped residents," she sneered back.

"Then it's good it's a temporary injury thanks to me saving a few women," Philip shot back coldly. She flinched. "Though I do believe that's discrimination." He stared at her and sat down. "I got the beginning lectures on where everything was, ma'am. Is there anything different we went over that you made me miss?"

"You're uppity," she sneered.

"No, only when you make me be."

"I bet you're some rich kid."

He laughed, a bitter, cold sound. "Really? You think that two parents on a check for being drunks are rich? That's odd. Though yes, I did pay for my own schooling." She backed down. "Now," he said more pleasantly. "Are you done trying to alpha dog me because I've got a penis?" A few of the girls in there laughed. "It's bad enough I had to turn in a teacher for trying to molest me by force and blackmail." He stared at her. "Did we have separate handouts in here?" She tossed them at him and stomped off. He wiggled his fingers. "Have a good trip! Bring back souvenirs." He checked them over and filled out the two he hadn't done in the other class. Another woman stomped in. "Ma'am, I'm sorry I had to show my baser instincts but she started it. No matter how childish that sounds." She stared at him. He smiled. "She misdirected me and kept going because apparently a temporary injury is an evil thing to her." He rewound his tape recorder and let her hear it.

She snorted. "She's got an attitude problem. Do you?"

"No, only when people start with me." He smiled. "I've met people who do that *so* much better than she does." A few of the other students laughed. "All I wanted to do was to start my first day like a normal person."

"Fine," she snorted, walking off. "Finish the paperwork. I'll have it input and send someone down to deal with you."

"Thank you, ma'am." He finished filling things out, shaking his head. "I hate it when those things happen," he muttered. Someone limped in and he handed over the packet. He got a dirty look. "I did the rest with the other class she sent me to, Doctor House."

"You know me?"

"I did six weeks following you and you pretended I didn't exist then too," he said dryly. "Thankfully I learn a lot by watching assholes in action." House burst out laughing. Philip sat down again.

"Permanent?"

"Temporary. Stopping a fight."

"Good. They might think I'm cloning you or something."

Philip smirked at him. "I doubt my twin would like that since he likes engineering things."

"You're a twin?" House demanded.

"Yes, I am." He smiled. "Xander's at home right now. He starts tomorrow with his internship."

"Damn. Usually they only hire female twins."

"I'm super special," he said with a drawl and a grin. "And I'm amazing." He pulled something out of his packet to toss over. "From one of the teachers up at Princeton."

House read it and then stared at him. "You finally got rid of her?"

"The guard caught her." He grinned.

"Good!" He nodded. "Let's go, plebes." They followed him up the hall to all the interesting places, and a few things they were supposed to be seeing as well. The last stop was in the morgue. He pulled out a drawer. "What killed him?"

They all looked then at him. One brave woman raised her hand. "We're not ME's and there's been no autopsy done. Wouldn't that be necessary to determine a cause of death?"

"The stuff in his eyes point to a poisoning of some sort," Philip said. "See the off-color? That's only with poisons. I've seen a few cases here and there." He shifted to smell above her mouth. "I smell incense. Ritual?"

House shrugged. "We have no idea. How do you?"

Philip smiled. "My life has been a bit odd here and there, Doctor House. I'm not telling otherwise but I'd have to say it was swallowed or absorbed somehow." He backed up. "No obvious signs of struggling like bruising or marks to indicate he was tied down."

"Good point. We think it was in an enema."

"Which points to a probable strange cult ritual sort of thing," another one said. "Interesting case. Ours to study, sir?"

"No, something we're all trying to figure out." He stared at them. "Either of you two have something you want to declare?"

"No, I'm perfectly nice about such things. I know a few who practice Wicca," Philip said at the continued stare.

"Huh. So weird women who really love nature," House said. Philip nodded. "Sisters?"

"One was close to me and the other was her girlfriend before she died. But if you see the redhead, run. You don't want to talk to her. It might encourage her to do things."

House shook his head as he walked off. He'd figure that one out soon enough. Though that one hadn't really lied, just glossed over the truth a bit. He sent the residents home and went to recover. The administrator walked into his office. "Real cute new group, Cuddy. And finally a male twin."

"There is? Both?"

"One. The other's an engineer."

"I did not know that. Is that the one in the vest?" House nodded. "There's something weird about him."

"I noticed that." He stared at her. "He guessed fairly well at that one death."

"Interesting. Involved?"

"Claimed he knew a few nature lovers."

"Weird rituals so I guess that's normal." She shrugged. "He didn't fill out the whole packet?"

"He was in the other group. She did it again."

"I'll straighten her out and keep them apart." He handed over that letter, making her huff a small laugh. "About time." She left to make her notes. Residents always had problems. This one may just have other problems as well.

***

Philip showed up the next day looking calm and professional, and without the cane but still limping. He nodded at his instructor as he signed in. "I was told nine. Wasn't that right?" he asked, checking his watch.

"It was but I doubt you want to wear that much jewelry, Harris."

He tucked the necklace inside his shirt. "I promised my twin I'd wear it for protection." He smiled. "He worries sometimes."

"Watch?"

"I need it, don't I?"

"Fine. If it gets broken it's your fault."

"Of course and then I'd have my brother fix it. He built it." She shook her head as they walked off together. "Where am I hovering to stare in confused awe today, ma'am?"

"ER." She turned him over to his trainer. They shook hands and walked off together talking about the current case. She went to gather the others that were supposed to show up at nine. Philip had at least been prompt. Three others weren't. At least one came in by ambulance with the cause of the other two being late, doing CPR on the car crash victim. She followed to help.

***

House found Philip in the cafeteria reading a comic book. "Shouldn't that be a textbook or journal, Harris?" he said blandly.

Philip looked up. "If I only study then I get bored and I have to do things to cure it. At least this way I get a mental break from all the problems. You can sit with me if you want, Dr. House. I've only got another ten minutes." He went back to reading and eating.

House sat down, taking the comic book to put on the table. "You're not like the others."

"No I'm not."

"You're more polite."

"Hallie would've been appalled if I wasn't."

"Sister?"

"Caretaker for a few years."

"Nanny? You?" he snorted.

"Not exactly." He smiled. "Longer story, don't share that one. Sorry," he quipped.

"Are you that into steampunk?"

He looked at himself then at House. "Not exactly but Hallie was so she got to buy the clothes. We didn't care as long as we were comfortable. She insisted."

"You need to look more normal."

"I don't care what others think of me, Dr. House. That's their mealy minded opinion on my clothes. I have more important things to worry about than if they like my shirt." He smiled. "I'm professionally dressed and clean, that's all that should matter."

"You look like you're uptight."

"I'm not uptight by most standards. Really I'm a bit wild. I just can't do that in the ER."

"No, not likely. Which field are you going into?"

"I was thinking GP but I'm considering something along the lines of plastic surgery." He shrugged. "I've got time to make that choice."

"You do." He stared at him for a moment. "Where are you from?"

"Sunnydale. The town just got sank the other day. It's been on the news." He grimaced. "At least that bit of hell is no more." He tucked his comic into his bag and got up. "I'm going to be late. If you want to ask some more questions I'll be on again the same time tomorrow." He walked off. He ran into two people fighting in the halls. "Don't make me pull a sword," he warned. That made them stop so he shoved them apart. "In my way, children." He sighed as he walked off.

"Hey!" one shouted. Philip turned to punch him and he went down. "Ow," he cried.

"Don't attack me. I don't like it." He looked at the other one, who shifted over slowly to take care of his friend. "Thanks. Much appreciated." He hummed on his way to the ER. "The 'she's mine' fight in the hallway was ended by punch to the nose," he told the shift nurse. "But I don't think I broke it." He took the things he needed and walked off to find his mentor to follow around again.

The nurse shook her head. "I don't know what's wrong with that boy," she sighed, telling the security guards strolling around so they could check on that.

***

Xander came in last and shook his head at his twin. "The other engineers think I'm crazy."

"So do the other docs. It happens. We're too magnificent for them." Xander grinned. "Get anything done today?"

"We were looking over a structural issue. I pointed out where the supports should have been and why they were ugly. I had to point out that any old bridge could be used but a pretty bridge people appreciated and took pictures of so they shared and others wanted the designer of the bridge to do their bridges." He grinned. "The guy in charge agreed that could happen and pretty wasn't mandatory but usually nice to the clients." He put his bag down and sat down beside his twin, getting a hug. "How was your day?"

"I punched a fighting guy in the nose. Two cases of STD's, and a baby being born without warning. A couple of car crashes, I got to stitch a forehead." He shrugged. "About normal." Xander nodded and they both settled in to watch tv. It was going to be a long year of dealing with this.

***

It took six months for the slight secret to get out. Dr. House found Philip healing someone. At least he wasn't using a potion. He was however glowing and touching her. He stepped back, watching her vitals drop. "I hate it when you do that," he muttered, pulling off his bracelet and twisting it a few times before shocking her with it. That worked and it set the healing spell. "There, better." She moaned and shifted some. "Easy, dear. It's been a long nap. Wake up slowly. Okay?" He turned to look at the doctor, shrugging. "Some of us do have gifts."

"Bull. Shit."

Philip shrugged again. "It is."

"You... what did you do?"

Philip walked closer and touched the senior doctor's cheek under his black eye, healing it. "That." He grinned. "Comes in handy but has to be used fairly rarely."

"You know she's probably going to be arrested?"

"Exactly. Someone needs some closure." He stared at him. "Sorry if it disturbs you." He walked off, going to get a drink. Healing always did dry him out. He was sitting outside having some water when Cuddy came up to him. "Ma'am, I'm only taking a ten minute break and I've already done the rounds Dr. Mort wanted."

"I heard." She stared at him. "We have security cameras."

"Which I nicely shut off to fix her problem."

"They noticed that. What did you do?" He stared at her, sipping his water. "Illegal medicine from somewhere else? Potions, lotions, herbs?"

"Something like that." He finished the bottle and tossed it out. "I did show Dr. House, ma'am." He stood up. "This way that whole sad saga is finished."

"Is she going to die?"

"No but this way they can take her to jail," he said dryly.

"You...." She stared at him. "You healed her somehow."

"I did. It's a very rare thing."

"Are you something like would be at that bar by the college?"

"I like that bar but not natively. We have friends who go there to play poker and we learned from them. Sometimes, it's in the blood." He shrugged then grinned. "It only works on certain people."

"Fine. Don't do it again."

"Yes, ma'am."

"I want to know all the restrictions."

"I don't know all the restrictions and I'm actually trained in how to use it. Sometimes it won't work at all. Sometimes it works too well and overdoes it. Sometimes I can only do a little bit. It's not a cure-all or perfect."

"Why her?"

"Because someone I know asked so she could face justice."

"You'd do that for them?"

"Yes. They helped raise me." She slumped. He shrugged. "She's a good caretaker. Taught us all sorts of stuff. Including how to swear in nineteen languages." He grinned. "Anything else, ma'am?"

"Never again without my express permission."

"Yes, ma'am."

"Go." He went back to work. She went to check on House, who was glaring out the window. "Nice coverup job."

He looked at her. "It's not makeup."

"Not the black eye, House. We saw that the cameras got turned off and wondered why." She stared at him. "He said it doesn't always work." He snorted. "He's to never do it again without my permission."

"Fine. If he agreed."

"He did." She looked him over. "What else is odd about him?"

"There's some inconsistencies with his home town and his education."

"You think he lied?"

"I think somehow he has the training of a full doctor back in medical school. One of his teachers caught him doing stitches one night in a bar after a brawl. They hadn't taught him that."

"You think he learned at home somehow?"

"I don't know. I can't crack him."

"Well, see if you can. Let me know if there's something dangerous that would get his license yanked."

"No I've went over that with a tiny flea comb. Not even a tiny hitch there. There's days I wonder if he's from here though." He grumped off, thinking bad thoughts about some of the residents. A few others were stupid or dangerous. This one, he wasn't sure what he was. He went out that night, thinking some bar time and a loose girl would help his mind start to work again. It did until he caught that resident fighting something in an alley by the bar. He watched. The guy had style. And the thing he was fighting went to dust. "That's not right," he said.

The guy turned and grinned. "Sorry, had to happen. It tried to snack." He walked off.

"Harris."

"I don't know you do I?" he asked.

"Oh, you're the twin," he said dryly.

"Hmm, yes, I am Xander," he said with a grin. "So you must be one of Philip's coworkers. What did you need Dr...."

"House."

"He said you caught him earlier." He smiled. "What did you need?"

"What was that?"

"Vampire."

House snorted. "No way in hell, kid."

"I'll take you to their bar if you want but you were clearly nibbled on." He pulled out his handkerchief and dabbed at the doctor's throat. "Most of the ones around here only feed a little bit at a time to not get attention. She was stupid for trying me." He showed him the white cloth. House touched his throat and looked at his fingers, taking the cloth back to put pressure on it. "They'll seal by the morning usually unless she did it wrong." He shrugged and put his hands into his pockets. "I really should go home. Philip's in a snit."

"You're not from California."

"I am but that's not all of where we're from," he said with a grin. "We're not exactly like others sometimes." He strolled off. "Have a happier night and don't go to the biker bar on the park. They'll eat you there." He disappeared around a corner then disappeared completely to apparate home. Philip looked up. "He ran into me staking my potential date."

"Charming. Memory spell?"

"Not likely. You know that's unethical. We can explain it and there's no ministry here."

"Good point." They grimaced and got back to their private projects. They had stuff to get done before the upcoming attempted apocalypse that had gotten them that temporary life over there. Philip was checking over his dueling vest, a red leather waist cincher with shiny buckles that went up higher than his usual ones, and they had matching wrist guards too. Xander had another device to finish first. A holding device. You could never have too many of those when you were dealing with certain types of demons.

***

House stopped Philip the next morning, staring at him. "So, let's talk," he said sarcastically. He had spent all night online trying to find out something about those two.

"If you're that bothered, I can do a memory undo," he offered with a grin. "Though since I haven't had coffee yet I might be a bit mean." House snorted. Philip grinned. "I'm going to be late, Dr. House, and I don't want to be punished today. We can chat later. You can come over for snacks if you wish." He walked inside and signed in, shaking his head at the odd looks from his mentor. "Dr. House is trying to find out about my former life. I should introduce him to a few of them but I'm trying not to be mean today since I haven't had coffee yet."

His mentor patted him on the back. "I doubt you can be a bigger bastard than House, Philip." He walked him off. "We have rounds."

"Delightful. More wound debreeding?"

"Yup."

"Charming! Then I'll have coffee." He mentally sighed but he knew he needed the practice again. It wasn't something he had to do too much of in his former life as a healer. Most injuries never got that bad before they came in.

***

Xander opened the door, staring at the doctor standing there. "It's only ten, it's my first day off in two damn weeks, and there's no coffee in the house. What do you want?" he demanded coolly.

"Your twin invited me over."

"I'll beat him later." He let him inside. House looked around. Xander smirked a tiny bit. "What?"

"You guys really do like steampunk stuff."

"We grew up with some." He went to get some juice. "We have water and juice," he offered. House stared at him. "What?" He sipped his juice. "You're the one who woke me up."

"What are you two?"

"Damned good at what we do." Something appeared and Xander summoned his wand before blasting it into nothingness. "Hmm. Imps." He took the letter it had been holding and banished the remains. "Oh, that's sweet. He wants us to stay out of things. Not likely." He walked off. "Call Buffy," he said.

"Calling," a mechanical voice said.

"Xander, it's early," a female voice said.

"In about six weeks there's going to be a massing of those special things that we like to stake a lot in a graveyard in South Dakota."

"I've heard rumors."

"I'm not forbidden from stepping into this one," he said dryly. "Even though he was the one who saved us. Or one of his people were."

"Hmm. Can we stop it?"

"Yes. Look in your email for a change. It's been in there for a week." He finished his juice. "End call." The sound of a dialtone went away after a second. He shrugged at House's furious look. "It happens when you deal with demons."

"That was... What?" he demanded.

Xander nodded. "That had been an imp. They're not generally harmful but they're like rats. Once you have them in your house they never go away." He yawned and put his wand on the table.

"You used a stick to kill it."

"Yeah, I can't do that spell wandlessly."

"You..spell?" he demanded. Xander picked up his wand and swished it with an evil smirk, making House squeal as he turned into a lop eared bunny rabbit.

"Why, yes, magic," he said dryly. He petted it on the head. "Let me finish my nap. I'll change you back when I'm less grumpy." He went to his room. The grumpy doctor bunny hopped after him to beat him until he changed him back. It took him an hour but he finally managed it. Xander changed him back mid bounce on his head and made him float in midair then turned over and went back to sleep.

"How did you do that?" he growled. He got snored at. House shifted carefully. Still floating but not over the bed now. The floor was only six feet down but that was going to hurt.

A redhead appeared, already scowling. She put him on the ground. "Who did that to you?" she asked. "We felt magic around Xander." House pointed at the guy on the bed. She snorted. "He doesn't have magic."

"He turned me into a bunny."

"Maybe you need drugs. Philip could probably find you some. He's a doctor and they do that."

"Not all of us," he sneered. "Who're you?"

"Who're you?" she demanded.

"I'm one of the Philip's overseeing doctors." He stared at her. "Your turn."

She snapped her fingers. "You don't need to know that." She banished him to the town park and huffed when Xander didn't react to her being there. She left in a bad mood and went to complain to Buffy.

***
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