A Breed Apart

Author: Merlin the Enchanter <merlin.enchanter[at]verizon.net>

Rating: PG 13 for now

Disclaimer: Joss, Mutant Enemy, and a lot of other people own Buffy. All the Forever Knight characters are owned by T.P.T.B. at Columbia/Tristar/Sony and James Parriott. I get no money by writing this, just hope for some kind words of encouragement.

Classification: Alternate Universe, Crossover, Xander/Cordelia relationship.

Authors Notes. This Fic varies at the end of Season 3 after the Scoobies Blow up the School. During Xander's road trip he gets as far as Toronto. Willow Oz, Never broke up in Season 4.

Authors Notes 2. The Religious Icon thing is my own creation, it will come out later that it is a matter of belief amongst the Vampires of Forever Knight.

Special Thanks to my Betas' for their help with this, Greywizard and Brer' Abbott.

Spoilers: a few here and there.

Summary: Xander's Road Trip causes him to face his Greatest Fear, and his Greatest Challenge.

Feedback: Yes please!!!!!

Distribution: If you like it... please feel free to place it on your site... but please tell me first.

Latest addition


November 12th 1999
Sunnydale Ca.

Xander sighed as he pulled the car into the garage of the house he had rented earlier in the week. He was still trying to keep his return to Sunnydale a secret for as long he could. He didn't think Buffy would be too happy to find out that he was now a "blood sucking fiend". Willow would be freaked out as well.

Thinking back, he couldn't of come up with anything he could have done differently to prevent his 'condition'. Seeing the woman in the alley fighting off the vampires that were attacking her, he couldn't not stop, but instead rushed in to help. However, he didn't expect the viciousness of the attack. Both he and the woman were severely injured, and the only reason he was still around was the fact that her 'boyfriend' was a vampire and he turned them both.


As the human known as Xander Harris dies, and comes back as a Vampire a hand reaches down to a chessboard and swipes the pieces off the board. Pieces that suspiciously look like Xander Harris, Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg are among those discarded.

\\ It's a whole new game now, // says a haunting unknown voice.

\\ Yes, and we have new players, // says another as the Black King is placed on the board. A piece that looked exactly like Xander Harris.

November 12th 1999
Sunnydale Ca.

Waking up and finding out he was a vampire was unnerving. At least, it was till he found out he was still himself, just a little different.

He soon learned that he was a different kind of vampire, not the type with which he was most familiar that was demon possessed. No, his newly acquired 'family' called themselves Vampyres, a totally different and ancient breed, who retained a measure of their humanity, and most importantly, their souls.

Over the next few weeks after his 'rebirth,' he learned what it was like to live in Nicholas' world. He also discovered that he was far stronger and faster than the vampires he was used to. His 'game face' was different as well, with the lack of forehead ridges; his eyes merely took on a golden hue and his teeth grew a bit.

He also learned the best part about his new lifestyle.

He could fly.

All right, it wasn't exactly like Superman, at least not that fast, but he could, and did, defy gravity and soar through the night sky like an eagle, reveling in the freedom and sheer joy it provided.

During the next few months, Xander and Natalie were taught everything needed to survive as a vampire, from controlling the hunger, to feeding in the public area without harming humans. They learned that the best way to feed that way was to prey on the soulless vampires who existed everywhere. When in the larger towns and cities, there were also usually vampire/demon bars where one could feed quietly.

He also learned that some of the much believed "Facts" about vampires were not true in all cases. About a week after his "Birth", he finally noticed when he got out of the shower that he was still wearing his cross. He picked it up and held it, just looking at it.

When he asked Nick about it later, his sire just laughed it off, telling him that almost all of the contact humans have with vampires are with the soulless demonic breeds, and it was effective on them. Additionally, holy water would not affect him, and if he chose, he would be able to enter a church if he desired. Sunlight and beheading would still kill him, as well as a stake in the heart. But when staked, he wouldn't explode into dust as the others did, he would go dormant, and come back once the stake was removed.

Xander spent the rest of the Summer and into the Fall staying with Nicholas and Natalie, learning as much as he could. He would need the knowledge if he was to survive and return home. He kept in touch with Willow and Buffy, explaining that his car had died on him and he was working to get it repaired, and that he would be home before Christmas.

When the girls started college, their contact cut back dramatically, and Xander actually gave more than passing thought to not returning to Sunnydale. However the ties to home proved too strong, and he ultimately decided to return.

As he was getting ready to leave, Nick handed him a folder with some information in it: contacts in LA for the "Community" there, as his breed of vampire called their gatherings or neighborhoods, and some money, something Nick called 'seed money' to get him started. Xander almost choked when he saw how much it was.

Ignoring Xander's protests, Nick explained that he has amassed a large fortune in his eight hundred years of unlife, and giving Xander five million was just a drop in the bucket.

After a final hug for both Nick and Natalie, and promises to keep in contact, he finally, and regretfully, made his exit. In so many ways that counted, Nick was much more of a father than Victor Harris had ever been.

Xander took his time returning to Sunnydale, traveling only at night, and pausing several times to rid several small towns of their vampires, and other unwanted creatures. To Xander, it was almost a dream come true, finally being able to compete with Angel on a near-equal footing.

Reality set in, though, when he tried to think of how to explain to Willow and Buffy and the others about his "condition".

So Xander returned quietly to Sunnydale and bought an older home in good condition that had a large private yard with lots of space. Thankfully, it was November, now, and it got dark out early enough for him to do the necessary shopping for him to furnish his home.

He had been back almost a week, and, in that time, he had managed to get his home set up to his needs and liking. He was even able to patrol successfully several nights in a row, finding plenty of opportunities to feed while also avoiding Buffy and the rest of the Gang..

He had also managed to locate a supplier for "Raven Cellars Wine," the Bloodwine made by Nick's "Father", and his "Grandfather," Lucien Lacroix, and set up standing orders for both Bloodwine and pure or "Uncut" blood.

Chapter 1

November 8th 1999
Los Angeles Ca.

Cordelia Chase was miserable.

She had moved to Los Angeles several months before, hoping to make her way as an actress. So far she had auditioned for over two hundred parts, and been offered several casting couch appearances. Not willing to sleep her way to a part, she quietly stayed unemployed.

"You're just not that good, honey," her agent told her. "There are a ton of beautiful girls in this town who are just as good as you are, and they don't have the same morals that you do. All I can do is set up the audition; how you or they handle it is not my business."

"Maybe I should try another agent!" Cordelia said angrily.

"Go ahead honey, be my guest, but they will all tell you the same thing."

November 12th 1999
Los Angeles Ca.

Her agent had been right. So, rather than take a job as an exotic dancer, Cordelia Chase decided to do the one thing that she had dreaded the most, returning to Sunnydale a failure.

Now, she sat, frustrated and unhappy, in the back of the Greyhound bus parked on the side of the road, waiting for the mechanic to get it fixed so they could continue on their journey.

\\ Great, now I get to get home after dark. My life sucks. //

Finally, after a two hour delay, the aging bus resumed its journey. Arriving at the Sunnydale bus depot a little after eight PM, Cordelia exited the bus.

Gathering up her two suitcases, Cordelia headed off towards her father's apartment. Having partially recovered from his financial hardships of earlier in the year, he now worked out of the three bedroom apartment he had moved into after his wife of twenty-two years abandoned her family for someone who had money.

Cordelia knew better than to walk at night, but she lacked the money for a taxi, and she was too ashamed of what she perceived as her failure to call any of her former friends and ask them to pick her up.

She was only about four blocks from the apartment complex which was her destination when her luck ran out.

A foursome of vamps accosted her, two in front stepping out and blocking her path, while their two friends came up behind her.

Realizing the magnitude of her blunder, Cordelia swiftly ran through her options: she didn't have a cross, no holy water, and the stakes she did have were in the bottom of her purse, now completely out of reach.

Deciding to go on the offensive, Cordelia swung her right hand suitcase up at the head of the large male vampire in front of her. It was a wasted effort, as the vamp swatted it out of her hand easily. The female on the left knocked the other one down as her mate grabbed the brunette beauty and pulled her to him.

After an initial stab of pain in her throat, Cordelia subsequently felt a wave of revulsion and evil course through her as the soulless vampire started to drain her. Then, as she was beginning to lose consciousness, she thought she saw a familiar face over the vamp's shoulder.

The Roof of the Bronze

Xander stood watching the couples on the dance floor and thought back to a time when his life was normal.

Well, more normal than it was now. Here he was, a Vampyre, brought across by one of the oldest and purest of the ancient line. His own level of power was great because of who his vampiric father and grandfather were. He estimated his strength as near that of a slayer, while his speed was far greater than Buffy could ever hope to move. as far as his ability to fly - God, what could he say? It was magnificent, to be able to soar above the rest of the town, to patrol from the air, to be free.

Xander turned away from the skylight and walked over to the edge of the roof, and it was then when he heard the scream.

He took off immediately, soaring up into the night and heading toward where he heard the scream come from.

When he first saw the four soulless vampires, the leader had nearly finished draining the female he had attacked, and Xander could hear her heartbeat slowing down. He landed behind the vamp and was reaching out to grab him by the shoulder when he looked into the victim's eyes.

\\ Cordy! //

He saw the flair of recognition in her eyes as they started to close for the final time, and his Rage broke down the barriers he had so carefully built to restrain it years before.

Xander's own eyes flashed gold and his fangs extended as he reached for the leader. Tearing him away from his former girlfriend, he brutally bent his head to the side. As his fangs dug into the cool white skin of the vampire's throat, Xander drank.

He drained the vampire as swiftly as he could, while listening to Cordy's heartbeat as it gradually faded. Just as her heart stopped, he pulled away from the lead vamp, who was now shriveling up and starting to turn to dust as Xander casually tossed him to the side. Gently, he lifted his former beloved's head into his lap, and used his own teeth to tear open his wrist and place it at her mouth.

As the blood ran into her mouth, what small part there remained of Cordelia Chase took hold of the sensation and started to drink.

Xander fed her as much blood as he could without weakening himself, and when he could feel her presence in the back of his mind, strong and solid, he then turned to confront the remaining vampires.

Dumbfounded by the sheer unexpectedness of the actions, three vamps watched in stunned silence as their leader was yanked away from the girl and drained by the strange vampire with the golden eyes.

Xander rushed them so rapidly that they couldn't react quickly enough to avoid him, and like a terrible nightmare come true, he ripped the heads off of both females and thrust a stake into the surviving male's heart faster than the vamp could see. All were destroyed, their dust drifting in the night air, before they knew what hit them.

Still feeling Cordelia's sharp, but gentle presence in the back of his mind, Xander hid her suitcases in some nearby shrubbery until he could come back for them. Then, as gently as possible, he lifted his former lady love into his arms and he took off.


On the chessboard where Xander Harris stands as the Black King, a hand reaches down and places a piece on the square next to him. It is the Black Queen, carved with the likeness of Cordelia Chase.

Xander's Place

After carefully laying her on his couch, Xander began cleaning Cordy up, gently wiping away the blood, sweat and dirt from her face and taking the time to clean the few minor cuts and abrasions he noticed she had somehow acquired, before hurrying back and retrieving her luggage.. He didn't think she would be waking soon, but he didn't want to take any chances. An upset Queen C was a loud and vituperative Queen C, and that was something he didn't want to deal with, right now. He prepared a room for her, then carried her into it and lay her on the bed. Returning to the kitchen, he pulled out three bottles of Raven's uncut and one of Bloodwine and returned to her room to sit by her unmoving form.

He sipped on a glass off Bloodwine as he waited, thinking of how he was going to explain why he had turned her. He remembered waking for the first time and the overwhelming hunger he felt; and how he wanted to stake himself when he realized he was a vampire. It was Nicholas who had to hold him still, until Xander finally realized that he was himself, just a little different.

It wasn't until almost eight in the morning when she finally woke up.

Her first sensation was hunger, a deep agonizing hunger worse that anything she had ever felt before this.

Xander rushed to her side with an open bottle of blood, and carefully held it to her mouth. She grabbed it out of his hands and drank swiftly and thirstily. When she had drained that, he handed her another, and then one more.

It was as she was finishing the third bottle, that Cordelia realized what was happening.

Her eyes flashed gold as she looked over at her former boyfriend and leapt at him, smashing the bottle down on his head.

"You bastard!" she screamed at him. "You god damned bastard." And she sagged against him, once more lost and scared.

"I know. Cordy. It's what we were all afraid of. But it's different too. We're not that kind of vampire. Feel yourself Cordy, feel your thoughts and emotions. They're all still there, and you're still you. Feel it?" Xander asked gently.

"Look at me, Cordy, look at my face. See? it's different too."

Cordelia looked up into the face of her former love and watched as his eyes turned a greenish gold, and his fangs dropped down. There was no ugly ridged forehead or twisted features. Xander still looked like himself, just with fangs and weird-looking eyes.

And as she sat quietly in his arms, she examined her own thoughts and feelings. She was still herself, and yet, she was something more.

"We are vampires, Cor," Xander told her, as he held her close, "but we're not the kind we used to fight and destroy. Our kind does not kill for food unless it is a vamp that we feed off of. We have rules and laws in our community, and I will teach you everything you need to know. We are different from the others, the Demon-Spawn, as different as night and day. Would you please look at this?" he asked, as he pulled the cross out of his shirt. "Crosses don't hurt us, and holy water is just water. We don't turn to dust when staked, but simply shut down, dormant until the stake is removed," he explained.

He pulled her up onto the bed, sitting beside her.

"Sunlight will still destroy us, as will beheading, but there are other things we can do as well," he said as he floated a few feet up into the air. "We can fly, and move as fast as the Flash!" he grinned at her, as excited as a little boy showing a new toy to his best friend.

Cordelia just stared at him, stunned but hopeful that there might be something good in all of this, after all.

"There are some downsides to this as well," he informed her. "It takes time to learn how to control your hunger, to learn everything you have to know to live as a Vampyre. You will need to learn how to fly, and how to use your hypnotic powers, or "the whammy" as Nick calls it. But mostly, you need to learn how to control the bloodlust," Xander explained.

"How long will it take?" the former cheerleader asked doubtfully.

"Depends. Nick had me where I could control myself in just a week, Natalie took about two to learn it. But Nick used a different method on us than most Vampyres do; he called it the 'Blood Kiss'. It's hard to explain exactly what it is, but you share blood with your Childé and your memories are shared, making it easier to remember. Nick's father, Lucien Lacroix was over two thousand years old, one of the oldest and purest lines of our breed, and he said that the blood is our life, the memories and the knowledge."

Cordelia just looked at her former boyfriend and marveled at the change in him: he was dressed stylishly in dark colors, and he radiated confidence and strength.

"What are you doing back here, Cor? I thought you swore that you would never return here, even to visit. Xander asked.

"I didn't plan on it, but I couldn't get any work that didn't require my clothing to be off, and me flat on my back. So my money ran out and here I am. As much as I wanted to be an actress, I wouldn't compromise my principles. So, I just gritted my teeth and returned a failure," she answered. "Now I *really* need to figure out what I'm going to do now. My working hours are going to be severely limited, and I need to figure out where to go."

"You can stay here, Cordy. I have more than enough room for both of us. You will need to stay here for awhile anyway, till I get you trained enough to be on your own. In our community, we don't tolerate those who risk our exposure. A young vampire who can't control their hunger, blood lust or abilities is quickly put down by the Enforcers," Xander offered.

Cordelia looked at him, and saw the sadness in his face.

"How can you afford this place, Xander? Are you using your abilities to rob people?" she asked.

Xander laughed at her question before answering.

"Funny, Cor. My father gave me some seed money when I left Toronto and returned here. He figured five million would be a good start for me," He replied.

She looked at him again, as if trying to decide if he was serious or not. Unable to tell, she gave up guessing and took him at face value.

"So, when do I start training?" she asked.

"As soon as you feed some more," Xander told her, as he left the room, before returning a few minutes later, with three more bottles of uncut, one for him and two for her.

Once the bottles were empty, he pulled her over to him, telling her to relax, and to do what came naturally.

Xander put his lips on the side of her neck and kissed her gently there, then ran his tongue softly over the veins. Cordelia shuddered at the sensation, a chill of anticipation running down her spine. Opening his mouth, he once more pressed his lips to her neck, as his fangs descended and he gently bit into her. The sensation surprised her, she was expecting the repulsive and evil feeling that she felt the night before when the vampire attacked her, but that was nothing like this. This was absolutely the most erotic and sexually intense sensation that she could imagine. Then the memories hit, and she felt a compulsion to bite, so she sank her fangs into the side of Xander's neck.

She reveled in the sensation and embraced the feelings. Memories swirled through her head and she saw so much history streaming past her mind's eyes that she was lost and confused. But behind it all was Xander, strong and powerful in her thoughts. She saw the whole 'Fluke' thing go by again, and felt the sadness in him. She felt his regret, and the sorrow in his heart when she left him. She felt his love for her as strong in his heart now, and she was sure it was then. Then she felt his turning and his education.

Through it all she felt his love for her wash over her in endless waves.

When they were done, Xander gently pulled away, then licked the wound on her neck, making her shiver. He lay her back on the bed.

"Sleep now. When it gets dark, Your training will begin," he told her.

"Stay with me?" she asked.

"No Cordy. Not after the blood kiss. I know what you are feeling. I feel it, too," he said. "I want you back, Cor, but I want it to be real, and not a result of anything else. I want it because you want it on your own terms."

He leaned over her and kissed her chastely on the forehead, then turned and left the room.

Cordelia sat up on the bed and looked at the door as it closed.

\\ Damn! // She thought. \\ I never stopped loving you, Xander, even when I was angry for the thing with Willow. Now I know how you felt, so we WILL have to talk about this. //

She lay back and pulled off her jeans and shoes, then crawled into bed in just a t shirt and underwear.

Seconds after her head hit the pillow, she was asleep.

Chapter 2

November 13th 1999
4875 Sunset Blvd.
Sunnydale Ca.

The first thing Cordelia noticed when she woke up was the sound.

She could hear the breeze blowing through the trees outside, and the distant sounds of traffic. Xander was on the phone with someone named Nick, and she heard her name mentioned. Then she heard a cork being pulled and the smell blood assaulted her senses.

She dressed quickly, finding clothes from her suitcases in record time, and rushed down the stairs to find one of the dark green bottles of blood waiting for her.

"Evening Cordy. Heard you waking up and got it ready for you. The first hunger after waking up is pretty powerful for the first few days, then it gets easier." Xander explained.

"I heard you down here. I mean when I first woke, I could hear all kinds of things. You, the wind, cars outside."

"Yea, you'll find out that your senses are much more powerful than they used to be. It's one of the things that help us make the 'whammy' work."

"Huh? What do you mean?" she asked.

"When we want to use our hypnotic powers, we listen to the heartbeat of the victim, then time our voice to match the rhythm of it, that helps considerably." He explained.

Cordelia drank enough to relieve her hunger then sat and listened to Xander explain some things important for her to know about being a Vampyre. He told her about the religious icons, and how many of his kind were not affected by crosses and holy water. It had seemed that some of the newer vampires just reacted to the items as they always had without though. Some of the older members of the community studied the situation, and found it to be psychosomatic, purely a result of their beliefs and fears. Some of the elder vampyres were able to actually be able to touch crosses and holy water, but most weren't, it was a matter of mental control and will power.

Cordelia sat entranced by Xander's words, not so much what he was saying, but by the man, er, former man, himself.

Whatever had happened to Xander over the summer had affected him deeply. Gone, was the young man who was insecure, gone was the boy who was easily flustered. In his place was Xander the Vampyre, the tall dark attractive man who had her stomach knotted in a combination of awe and desire.

Cordelia knew he still loved her, had felt it last night. And yet he turned her down. True his words didn't totally shut her down, but she Still felt that the old feelings that they had had for each other were still there.

Xander just sat and talked about how important her senses would be to her in her new "unlife", and how they could be used to tell many things. She would be able to tell if a person was drunk, had taken drugs, and if a person was ill. She would also be able to see in the dark, hear good enough to pick out a heartbeat from a long distance.

"Ewwww, that is just so icky, tell if a person is sick. That's just wrong." She stated.

"Cordy, there are times when it is helpful." Xander started.

"Like when," she interrupted. "And how reliable is it? Take me, what can you tell about me by using your vampire senses?"

"Cordy.." He started.

"I mean it Xander, what can you tell about me?"

Xander shook his head, this was not going to go well.

"Okay if you insist." Xander began. "Well, obviously you have no heartbeat. You used a little Chanel this morning when you dressed. And.." he paused, not knowing how to proceed.

"Come on Xander, spill."

"Cor, I think that was enough."

"Xander, go ahead, tell me. I dare you!" Cordelia demanded.

"Okay Cordy, but don't blame me. Your scent also tells me that you are a virgin, and that you are quite aroused right now." He said.

Cordelia gaped. \\ How could he know that? //

"I told you, the blood never lies. How do you think that Vamps and demons know who to grab for a virgin sacrifice? It's not like there are other ways for them to tell." He said.

The new vampire looked at the table, thankful that she wasn't able to blush.

"Come on. Finish up and then I'll start on some of your training." He said.

As she finished up her bottle of blood she admired him. His hair was quite a bit longer than she had ever seen it before, and it went well with the way he now dressed. His confidence level was amazing, and he seemed to be so sure of himself.

Cordelia rinsed out the glass she had been using and stood waiting for his instructions.

"Follow me." He commanded.

He led her up the stairs to his room, and for a moment she hoped that he was taking her to his bed, but knew that Xander would never do that. Not without her suggestion anyway.

As he stood before the covered French doors he turned and spoke to her.

"Cover your eyes Cordy."

"Why?" she asked.

"I want to surprise you with something." He replied.

And of course she did as he asked.

She heard the doors open, and felt the fresh air of the evening hit her in the face, but she didn't feel the cold. Xander grabbed her hand and led her forward to what she guessed was the balcony.

He stood behind her and wrapped his arms around her and spoke softly into her ear.

"Welcome to my world Cordy. You can open your eyes now."

The young woman opened her eyes and looked out into the clear California night.

Her first perception was of how sharp and bright everything was, how easily she picked out details of everything. Far off down the street she saw a bat catching insects. Then she saw a cat stalking a mouse three houses away, and these houses were not that close together.

She could pick out individual insects a block away, and everything hummed with life. And yet, she was dead herself.

She turned to Xander and hugged him.

"Thank you, for not letting me die. For sharing this with you. You do still want me, right?" She asked, feeling strangely insecure.

"More than you know Cordy. More than you know." He replied softly holding her.

"Now, for your first lesson in flying. Just stand there and think about rising, don't physically try to do anything, but just think about it. Not to high or to fast, but to think about gently rise into the air." He told her.

She relaxed, listening to the hypnotic tone of his voice, and felt herself rising a little bit into the air.

When she opened her eyes, she was more or less hovering about level with the top of the roof, and Xander was right in front of her. He reached out and grabbed her hand, then said softly.

"Just follow me babe."

Cordelia didn't even begrudge him the babe endearment, and she followed.

December 9th 1999
4875 Sunset Blvd.
Sunnydale Ca.

The past several weeks were a blur to the two young vampires. Cordelia's training went very well, Xander thought that it was probably because her personality was suited for it.

Cordelia had mastered flying, had become fairly adept at using the "Whammy" as Nick called it, the ability to hypnotize mortals, and weaker vampires.

She had changed in other ways as well, she still dressed as stylish as always, but now it was in dark, subdued colors, and she has developed a liking for leather.

Xander fondly remembered the shopping trip he was pushed into taking her on. Nick had let him know a few places in LA that catered to the community, and he had contacted one of the shop owners, and had her come and visit them to outfit Cordy with a new wardrobe. Cordy and the vampyre from the shop argued long and hard about her clothing, but they finally agreed, and Cordelia did look good when they were done..

Tonight was a special night for them, he was taking Cordelia for a night out to celebrate her nearing the end of her training.

The two climbed into the sleek black Dodge Stealth that Xander had purchased when he first got back and drove through the night to the outskirts of LA to a club called "Le Lion de l'éé" Nick had recommended it, and suggested that it be a place to take Cordy out. Since most of the patrons would be his kind of Vampyre, she would not be as tempted, and he would be able to check her restraint.

The two entered the club together, but all eyes were on Cordelia. The tall brunette had dressed for the occasion, she had added dark red highlights to her hair, and she wore a knee length, black skirt and a dark maroon silk blouse. Strappy high heels encased her feet, and a short leather jacket topped off the outfit.

Xander looked just as good with a dark blue silk dress shirt and black slacks. His black leather duster topped his outfit.

They sat near the dance floor and Xander ordered them both some of the Raven Cellars Merlot.

Cordelia was surprised to find out how good the Bloodwine was, and she smiled at Xander.

"This is nice Xand. How did you hear about this place?" She asked.

"Nick told me about it, said he hadn't been here in years, but that it was a nice place."

The two sat enjoying the music, and Xander was thinking of asking Cordelia to dance when a very beautiful woman who appeared to be in her late thirties came over to their table.

"Alexander Harris?" She asked.

Xander turned to her surprised, and said. "Yes, but my friends call me Xander."

"I'm Isabella Constantine, I'm the owner here. Nicholas told me you might be visiting soon, and when I saw the two of you come in together I knew that it was you just by the description."

"Well, Nick told me nothing at all about you, but he did mention your name as someone to call if I got into trouble." He replied.

"That sounds like Nicholas, always the gallant knight." She said with a fond smile. "Well, I won't bother you anymore tonight, just remember to let me know if you need anything, and have a good time while you are her."

As she walked away Xander looked at Cordy, then leaned close and spoke to her.

"Want to dance?"

Cordelia smiled one of her thousand watters and got up with him. The two danced several times that night, Cordelia surprised that Xander had finally learned to dance, and Xander surprised at how wonderful the brunette felt up against him.

Finally at about 3 am the two headed for home, the hour and a half drive spent talking and really getting to know each other. Something that had been previously missing in their relationship.


Over the next week Cordelia's skills and abilities grew to the point where Xander was pretty sure that she would be able to control herself out in the public. As a more or less final test try drove a little ways toward LA to a roadhouse that had a pretty sleazy reputation. Xander figured if she could control herself where someone was pretty much guaranteed to piss her off, that she would be okay.

December 17, 1999
The Rockpit Bar & Grill

Xander walked in behind Cordelia to a loud smoke filled bar. Everyone was checking out the leather clad brunette while she looked for a place to sit, and a few of the women checked out the man dressed all in black as well. The found a place near the back where it wasn't too crowded.

"Tell me again why we are here?" Cordy asked sarcastically.

"I wanted to bring you to a place to test your control that was not likely to have anyone from the community hear about it if you lost control and killed someone. I don't think I could stand that Cor." He said looking into her eyes.

Cordy shuddered at that gaze and looked quickly away. Over the last few weeks she had definitely fallen in love again with Xander. His caring for her and his thoughtfulness to her needs had really hit her hard. Then there were the looks that he gave her, and the love she could see in his eyes. She suppressed another shiver and looked at her man.

She could tell that he had picked out all the potential troublemakers within a few minutes of sitting down, and was keeping an eye out for new threats. That was just part of who he was now, and she accepted that.

"What'll you have?" asked a bosomy blond in too short a skirt and too much makeup.

"Two SoCo, on the rocks. Mineral water back." Xander ordered.

"Be right back hon." Said the blonde as she walked away swinging her hips.

Xander looked bored, and Cordy had to stifle a giggle.

"What?" he asked.

"She wants you." She replied.

"Yea, right."

"Trust me Xan, I know. Check out her scent when she comes back, she want you bad."

"I'll pass. Only one woman for me." He answered looking in her eyes.

"Good." Cordy said smugly.

Their drinks were delivered and they sat quietly sipping at the alcohol, and occasionally at the water. They talked quietly and really didn't think about what was going on around them. That is until someone had a little too much and got stupid.

They were just talking about leaving, Cordy was showing excellent control, and Xander really wanted to be alone with her. Then the waitress returned.

She placed a pair of shots in front of Cordy, and a beer I front of Xander.

"From the table over there." She smiled.

Xander and Cordy both looked over at the three burly cowboy wannabees and then back to the waitress. "Take them back with our apologies please. We were just leaving." Cordelia told the blonde.

The woman gave Xander one long look and picked them up and took them to the other table as she was told. The three men listened to the barmaid, then started to get up.

"Oh shit." Muttered Xander.

"Hey, don't worry about it, were tough remember." Cordelia said.

"Yea, but we can't reveal ourselves either Cor. So keep it cool babe." He said.

Cordy smiled at the endearment, and let it slide once again." Like ice Xan, Like ice."

The three large men swaggered over to their table and grinned evilly at the dark pair.

"That was a might rude there to refuse our drink little lady." Said the tallest of the three.

"Sorry, but we were getting ready to leave." Said Cordy flashing a smile.

"I think you should still accept our hospitality." Said the fatter of the three as he pulled up a chair and sat down.

"Yea." Said the bearded one as he and tall one sat as well. "We were just trying to be friendly like. You know, a little drink before we started talking price."

"Price?" Asked Cordy, her eyes flashing.

\\ Oh Lord! // Thought Xander. \\ This is going to get ugly.//

"Yea, so do we discuss it with your man here, or deal with you directly?" Fatty asked.

"You are more than welcome to deal with me. To come straight to the point, once we factor in the ugly quotient, add in the dirtiness factor, and include the redneck clause and the grossness tax, there isn't enough money in LA." She said. Her eyes boring into the fat ones.

Xander started to cough to keep from laughing out loud.

The tall one put his hand on Cordelia's leather clad leg and started to speak. "Aww, hon, there ain't no need for erk!"

The tall cowboy chopped of his words, in too much pain to even scream. The woman had grabbed his hand and was squeezing with way more strength than a person should have.

Xander smirked as the guy froze in the middle of a sentence, his face having a weird grin on it, and tears filled his eyes.

"Look ass hole, I am not someone who performs sexual favors in exchange for monetary gain, I don't like the insinuation, and I like the thought of you thinking of me like that. Now get the hell out of here before I tear it off, and you never need a woman again." She said quietly. Cordy's tone dangerous and her use of hypnotism strong.

There was a sharp stink of ammonia as the tall one lost control of his bladder.

Fatty started to get up, but sat down when Xander stood and leaned over the table and got right in this face.

"Look, we just wanted to have a quiet drink before going home, we didn't ask for any trouble, nor do I want to deal with the likes of you. So just sit here and have a drink and think about how close you came to dying." Said Xander with a flash of gold present in his eyes.

The young couple stood up and Xander tossed a couple of bills on the table. He signaled the barmaid and gestured for another round for the three still sitting. He held up another twenty and tossed it down, then the two left.

The three men had several drinks then finally looked at each other.

"Am I the only one who thinks we should go to church in the morning?" Said the bearded one.

The other two shuddered as they remembered the look that the couple had given them, and the fat one actually crossed himself.

4875 Sunset Blvd.
Sunnydale Ca.

When the two entered the house Xander tossed his keys on the counter and turned and grabbed the leather clad beauty. He lifted her up and swung her around in a circle.

"I am so proud of you Cordelia Chase! You have come so far in such a short time. You are now pretty much complete with your training. A day or two and you can go out on your own." Said Xander looking lovingly in her eyes.

"I had a good teacher Xan." She said softly. Then as the two looked at each other they kissed for the first time since before they had broken up. After a minute they pulled back and looked at each other.

"Cordy." He started to say.

"Xan." She interrupted putting her finger on his lips. "I never stopped loving you, and I know you never loving me. I was hurt when I saw you and Willow, and when you never tried to explain why. I know the truth now, and I want this?"

"Are you sure Cor? Because I love you, and I want this too, but no games. I want this forever." He answered.

"Oh Xan." She said, kissing him again.

Her tongue thrust in his mouth, and he dropped his fangs and pushed her tongue up against them drawing the lightest drop of blood, then the full effect of their passion hit them, and clothes flew off as they flew upstairs to the bedroom.

If anyone would have been in the yard that night they would have heard loud cries of passion, something unheard of in that neighborhood. But before long the sun came up and the two slipped off into sleep.

The Next Evening.

For the first time ever Cordelia awoke in someone's arms. She liked the feeling.

Turning to face her lover she found his looking at her. Silently, letting his eyes speak.

The former prom queen looked in his eyes saw the love there, and kissed him long and hard. Once again they satisfied their passion, then lay quietly in each others arms, just enjoying the gentle contact with each other.

Xander jumped when the phone rang, only two people had his number, Nick and Lucien. He hoped it was Nick.

"Hello." He said.

\\ Good evening Alexander. //

"What's up Nick, you usually only call on Mondays?"

\\ I just wanted to congratulate you on the test of your Childé //

"Oh, so you, have had someone watching me. I thought someone had been following me, just wasn't sure."

\\ It wasn't me Alexander, it was at the councils insistence. No sane vampyre ever brings someone across as early as you did. I understand why you did it, I just didn't think you would be able to train her successfully. But you did, and from what I hear she is almost as powerful as you are. //

"Yea, she did turn out well." Xander said gazing lovingly at her. "So, am I off the hook now?"

\\ As long as you don't start building an army of them yes. We were only concerned Alexander, we are not trying to interfere with your life, but bringing a Childé across when you yourself was less than a year old was risky. //

"Yea, I know, but I loved her too much to just let her go."

\\ I know Alex, Natalie said that she was all you thought of while you were here, and how much you had hurt her. Well, I'll let you go now, I just wanted you to know that we are very proud of you, and that we will be visiting right after the first of the year. I'll let you know the details when we are sure exactly when it will be. //

"Okay Nick, we'll be waiting to hear from you. Talk to you later. Bye."

Xander hung up the phone then turned to his lover.

"Guess you heard huh?" He asked.

"Yea. I didn't realize you were risking so much by bring me across. Would they really have killed us?"

"Yea, they would have Cor. If you lost control and did anything they would have put you down, and me for creating you. The community doesn't like exposure."

"Well, how about we go get something to 'eat' then take a shower together?" She asked.

"Sounds good to me, then how about we hit the Bronze? Buffy is at her fathers this weekend, and Willow and Oz are in LA this weekend, so none of the gang will be there." He suggested.

Cordy slid out of bed and Xander watched her naked form as she padded across the floor to his closet, which she opened and pulled out his bathrobe. She tossed him a pair of sweatpants then left the room.

They fed and showered, which took a considerable amount of time considering their level of passion.

Finally they made it to the Bronze, however they found it pretty crowded and had to sit way in the back near the door to the alley. The two new lovers still managed to enjoy themselves, dancing and having several drinks.

They were seen by several high school acquaintances, and they managed to be pleasant and not get caught up in any "What are you going to do'" conversations.

Cordelia was glad that no one had brought up anything about her disastrous trip to LA, and she kept being very vague about what her plans for the future.

It was after midnight and things were quieting down when they were first noticed.

Angel was standing in the shadows under the stairway when he first noticed them. As far as he knew Xander was still on his road trip, and no one had heard anything from Cordelia.

Then his eyes widened in surprised as he realized that they had no heartbeat.

He started to move closer to them when they rose and headed toward the exit themselves. He moved closer and tried to keep others between himself and them. They couldn't be vampires, they were both still tanned.

He reached out will all of his senses and still could not tell what they were. Finally in a fit of frustration he approached them directly.

"Xander, Cordelia." He greeted when he was next to them.

"Deadboy." Xander said surprised. "Thought you went to LA."

"I did, just came back for a visit. So how long have you been home? Buffy didn't tell me you were back." Asked the brooding vampire.

"Not too long. And she doesn't know I am back." Xander replied.

"So, keeping secrets now." Angel baited.

"Not really, just none of her business. None of yours for that matter." Xander shot back starting to turn away.

"Listen boy, are you still holding a grudge cause I got there first?" Angel sneered.

Xander stopped and looked at him.

Angel felt uncomfortable at the stare of the "White Knight" and broke eye contact.

"Why is it that everyone still thinks I care for Buffy that way! Shit, I got over her a long time ago. Hell Angel I wanted her to let you die instead of get you any slayers blood. If it was up to me you would have been dead a long time ago." Xander said coldly.

He turned away and put his hand on Cordelia's back to guide her out when Angel grabbed his am and started to spin him back around.

He then found himself grasping air and had to fight to keep his balance. When he looked for them again they were opening the door. Cordelia stepped through the door first, a smirk on her face.

Xander looked at Angel, and smiled, his eyes turning a green-gold color and glowing for a moment as he stepped out the door.

Angel snapped out of the shock of seeing the young man's eyes change and rushed to the door. Flinging it open he stepped out onto the street and used all of his vampiric senses to try and locate the two.

He found nothing, and he stalked off down the street, anger evident in his posture.

On the roof of the Bronze the two young lovers watched him walk away.

Chapter 3

On the way home from the Bronze

No matter how often she did it, she could never get used to the sheer exhilaration of flying. Whenever she had the chance of not being seen, you would find her looping and rolling and doing other acrobatic tricks. Xander followed close behind her, but although he loved it just as much, he would tell you he was only doing it to look up her dress.

So when Cordelia stopped so suddenly that he ran into her, they were both surprised.

"I heard a scream," Cordelia whispered.

"Where from?" Xander asked.

"Follow me."

He followed her closely, though watching her even more closely.

The brunette Vampyre slowed, then dropped to the ground near the body of a young woman. They didn't bother to check if she was alive - they could hear no heartbeat, and whoever had drained her was not trying to turn her.

Xander observed the scene for a moment and frowned.

"What's up, Xan?" Cordy asked.

"Something about her is familiar, but I can't think what it is," he answered quietly.

Cordelia concentrated for a moment, then turned to her sire and lover.

"She smells of Angel, there's the scent of him is barely there, under the cheap cologne."

"Crap!" Was his reply. "Either Angelus is back, or she was some kind of demon, and I don't think she was."

"Yeah, well we better get out of here. I don't feel like being around a body if either Buffy or Sunnydale's finest show up," Cordelia suggested.

The young couple flew back to Xander's place, silently pondering the night's events.


Angel approached the Magic Box and noted that Buffy and the rest had returned from the night's Slaying already.

Although Buffy still had romantic feelings for Angel, she wouldn't allow herself to give in to anything more than friendship. So Angel just nodded to her and then addressed the group.

"Did any of you know that Xander was back in Sunnydale?" Angel asked.

The others looked at each other and shook their heads.

"No, I don't think anyone knows anything about Xander being back," Giles replied for the group.

"Well he is," Angel explained. "He was at the Bronze with Cordelia. And something happened to him while he was gone; I think he was possessed by a demon."

Willow gasped and put her hands up to her mouth in shock.

"What makes you say that, Angel?" Giles asked.

"I tried to stop him as he was leaving the Bronze, but he just vanished out of my reach. Then I saw him a second later, when he opened the door, and he turned to stare at me. His eyes changed to a kind of gold, like a cat's eye color and shape. By the time I rushed to the door, they were both gone."

"Why wouldn't he call me?" Willow asked no one in particular.

"Well, we'll have to try to find out where he lives. Willow, can you see what you can dig up on the computer?" Buffy asked. "Giles, can you think of anything that would possess a human that would give them the ability to stop time or teleport?"

Giles pulled his glasses off and started to clean them, a habit he had always had.

"Nothing comes to mind, Buffy. I'm afraid we will have to research it," Giles answered the slayer.

"And why would Cordelia come back? She swore that she would never return until she was famous," Willow added.

"I don't know," Buffy replied, deeply worried that her best friend had been turned into some 'thing'.

If they hadn't have been so worried for their friend, they might have noticed the sneer that appeared on Angels face.


The Next Evening
4875 Sunset Blvd.
Sunnydale Ca.

Xander woke just a short time before sundown and got up. He pulled a pair of jeans on and headed downstairs, leaving Cordelia to sleep a little more. He poured a mug of uncut blood and warmed it in the microwave, then headed for the phone.

He sipped it as the phone rang on the other end.

\\ "Hello," said a soft feminine voice. //

"Hi Natalie, it's Xander. Is Nick up yet?"

\\ "Yes, he is, let me get him," she said, setting the phone down. //

\\ "Alexander, good to hear from you. How are things going?" Nick asked.


"Pretty good Nick, considering what happened last night."

\\ "That sounds ominous, Alexander. Care to let me in on what happened?" //

"We were at the Bronze, the local club here and ran into Angel. I told you about him," Xander started.

\\ "Yes, you did; the soulless breed of vampire, but this one has a soul." // Nick agreed.

"Yeah, well, it looks like Angelus is back. We found a fresh kill this morning and the victim had Angelus' scent all over her. Either he lost his soul, or he found a way to get around it."

\\ "That is not good, Alexander. Angelus was a particularly brutal vampire that caused a lot of trouble in Europe over fifteen decades. The community sent many hunters after him, but they were never successful. Angelus is bad news, Alexander. You should stay away from him." //

"Well yeah, maybe, Nick. But knowing him, he's got some plan to hurt Buffy and the Gang, so I can't stay out of it," Xander argued. "But don't worry. I am just keeping an eye on things now, and I'll be careful with anything I do."

\\ "You do that, Alexander. Natalie and I will be there to visit after the first of the year, so we'll see you then." //

Xander hung up the phone and turned to see Cordelia wearing only one of his dress shirts, coming down the stairs. He poured a mug of blood for her and warmed it.

"Thanks," she said, as he handed her the mug.

"You're welcome, Cor," he answered as he kissed her cheek.

"What's the plan for tonight?" she asked.

"Well, I thought we could shadow the Gang tonight; see if we can get a hint of what Angelus was up to," he suggested.

"I can live with that," she agreed and flashed him a bright smile.

Setting her mug down, she headed back up to dress. Xander stood and watched her very shapely form as she walked away.

Early Morning
The Club Raven
Toronto Canada

Nick Knight knocked on Lucien LaCroix's office door. He received a gruff "Come in," and entered the luxurious office.

The pale blonde man looked up and surprise showed on his face.

"Nicholas, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?" He asked.

"I have some news to pass on to you, Father," started Nick. "Alexander called today."

"And how is your childé" Lucien asked, wondering about the powerful Vampyre his Childé had sired.

"Alexander is just fine, right now, but he did give me some disturbing news. It appears that the Souled vampire is no more. It seems that Angelus has returned."

Lucien LaCroix sat up straight and looked at Nick.

"That is not good, Nicholas. Angelus has always been one of the most vicious of all the soulless vampires. Together with Spike, Darla and Drusilla, they made a formidable group. If he is back, then things could get bloody."

"That is what I told Alexander as well, but he said that there was no problem, and he would handle it. Father, in the world of Vampyres, Alexander is but a babe. But yet he does not fear Angelus, and he has sired a childé of his own, when not yet a year old. I want to help him, but I don't think he would appreciate it if I did," Nick said obviously disturbed by the situation under discussion.

"That is true, my son. Your childé is a very special and unique individual. But he does seem to have a level of power that would belie his age. When I first met him, I was sure you were introducing someone else, another master close to your age; he felt that much like you. His presence was very strong for one so young."

"I noticed that too, but could not explain it. Unless it somehow has something to do with the Hellmouth influences in his life," Nick suggested.

"Well if nothing else, my experiences with you have taught me that interfering when not asked, no matter how good the intentions are, will only cause further problems. It is best you leave him to his own devices, unless you want him angry with you," Lucien suggested. "Unless..."

"Do you have an idea, Father?"

"Has Xander found a job yet? I know he was worried about what kind of job he would be able to maintain, once he returned to Sunnydale," LaCroix asked.

"None that I know of, and I'm sure he would have told me." Nick replied.

"Well, then, I have a suggestion. A few years ago, I obtained ownership of a club in Sunnydale called 'The Bronze'. Isabella suggested it might be a good location to set up another 'Raven' but the vampires in the area were all of the soulless breed, so I just left it to run by itself. It makes a very small profit, and I was only reminded of it by my attorney yesterday, who suggests I sell it."

"So what does that have to do with anything, Father?" Nick asked.

"What if I should have it remodeled and have Alexander run it for me? I have checked it out, and it might make a good profit if it was upgraded a bit. And, we would have a justifiable reason to send someone to help out at the beginning," Lucien suggested, a smug grin on his face.

Nick thought for a few minutes.

"Quite subtle, Father. It might work, it just might work. Are you going to suggest it?" Nick asked.

"No, I figured that I would just call him and tell him of my plans to expand our operations, " Lucien said softly. "And then, in a few years, I will just sign the deed over to him."

The two talked a bit more and then Nick headed home to wait for Natalie to finish her shift.

Lucien LaCroix stood on the balcony and called down to the bartender, Miklos. "Miklos. Will you put the word out that I need to get in touch with Simon Reign."

"Yes, sir," replied the bartender as he reached for a phone.


Just Before Midnight
Crestwood Cemetery
Sunnydale Ca.

Xander and Cordelia stood on the roof of a crypt about a quarter of a mile from the gang, watching them.

Cordelia looked carefully at Xander and then turned back to watch the others.

"It's a good thing that I know how much you love me, or I would be really jealous right now," she said softly, in a voice only he could hear.

"I do love Buffy and Willow, Cordy. You know that. But not anywhere near the way I love you. Willow has always been the sister I never had, and Buffy is just a very good friend. I thought I felt that way about her once, but finally realized that it could never be," he replied.

"Now that we're together, there's nothing more in the world I could ever want," he continued as he put his arm around her waist and pulled her close.

The Gang was just about to leave the cemetery, when they were jumped by a group of vamps. Xander and Cordy watched as the Scoobies dusted one bloodsucker after another. Just as they finished the last one off, another group of about twenty appeared out of the darkness, Spike and Drusilla at the lead.

With a quick signal from Spike, the entire group rushed to attack. Buffy and the others fought a determined battle, all but Angel, who only seemed to be feigning his attacks and was actually just pushing his foes around, noted a grim Xander. Giles went down and the others surrounded him, and tried to protect him. The small group of Slayerettes was outnumbered and it was obvious that it was just a matter of time until they were overwhelmed. It was then that Xander and Cordelia joined in.

Xander came up behind one of the soulless vamps and plunged the stake he was holding deep into his heart. As that vamp dusted, Cordy moved smoothly through his ashes and staked one of his companions in the back. The two Vampyres moved blindingly fast, staking several foes, while the soulless bloodsuckers were still wondering what was going on.

Buffy staked several more as their attention was diverted, as did Oz with his crossbow and Willow with her magic. Xander and Cordy moved smoothly, working well together as a team. They were two fast moving dark wraiths who staked and beheaded, leaving clouds of dust in their wake. Soon, it was just Spike and Drusilla left, and as Spike's infamous past would indicate, he had his escape well planned.

He pulled out a smoke bomb, pulled the pin and tossed it to the ground in front of Willow as they turned to run. It popped, fizzed for a second, but then did nothing. Oz got off a final shot that hit Spike in the ass, but it didn't even slow him down.

Too exhausted to pursue, Buffy turned to Xander, her vampire sense going crazy.

"I'm sorry Xander, I'm so sorry," she said softly, as she pulled a stake from behind her back and drove it in his heart.

Willow gasped and started to cry as her life long friend started a slow slide to the ground.

Buffy stood there with tears in her eyes as he started to fall, blood pouring out around the stake. She was about to make a comment when a pair of hands shoved her away. Buffy was pushed hard enough that she was knocked down and slid across the ground nearly twenty feet.

Her breath knocked out of her, she only gasped when she realized it was Cordelia who had done it. Oz brought up his crossbow and fired a bolt at her, and they all gaped, open-mouthed, when Cordelia snatched it out of the air.

"What is with you people? We come and save your sorry asses and this is how you repay us?" She said as she reached down and grabbed the stake imbedded in Xander's chest. Gripping it tightly, she yanked it out, the stake making a horrible sucking sound as it slid free.

She tossed the crossbow bolt back to Oz, and hearing the groan from Xander, helped him stand. She reached into his jacket and pulled out a flask, opened it and held it to his lips. As he drank, the others could see the wound heal.

"What is going on here?" Buffy asked, still on the ground and clearly confused.

"You staked me," Xander said flatly.

"But, you are a vampire, aren't' you?" She asked.

"Well duh," said Cordelia. "But so is Angel, and you didn't try to stake him."

"But, Angel has a soul," Willow said.

"Does he?" asked Xander. "Then ask him why he fed off a young girl last night, and then find out why he didn't stake a single vamp tonight, just pushed them around."

Buffy stood and walked over to Giles, helping him to his feet. She was confused and needed his input on this.

"That is true, Buffy, the vampire that knocked me down somehow survived his battle with Angel," the watcher confirmed.

The entire group looked over at Angel. He stood quietly for a moment, watching the group, and then his face broke out with a very evil grin.

"Hey, you can't say I didn't try," he said before he turned and started to run off.

Cordelia started to go after him, but Xander put his arm out to hold her back.

"There'll be another time, Cor," he said, putting his arms around her.

"Ummm, I know this is a most awkward question, but exactly what are you, Xander?" Giles asked.

"Well, this is kinda hard to explain, guys, but both Cordelia and I are Vampyres. Not like you are used to dealing with, but an older, ancient breed," Xander explained. "Look, can we meet you somewhere? I'd like to change, and then I'll explain everything to you."

Buffy looked at Giles, to see his opinion, and when he nodded, she turned back to the Vampyre couple.

"Giles now owns the Magic Box, it's the magic shop in town, and we usually meet there. Can you be there in, say, half an hour?"

"Not a problem, Buff. We'll see you then," Xander agreed, and then, holding Cordelia's hand, rose into the air and flew off, leaving a stunned Scooby Gang behind them.

"Whoa," said Oz.

Buffy turned and looked at Giles, the question unasked.

"I don't know, Buffy. But he did say that he would explain everything to us," Giles said quietly. "But we'd best get back to the shop, if we are going to meet them there."

The gang made their way to the parking lot and piled in Oz's old van.


Nick and Natalie's Home
Toronto Canada

After staring at the phone for almost an hour, Nick finally picked it up and dialed a familiar number.

"Hello Javier?" he asked.

\\ "Yes, Nick, what can I do for you?" //

"I was wondering if you would do a favor for me?"

\\ "Of course, Nick. What is it that you need?"//

"Well it involves traveling to Sunnydale California," Nick started.

\\ "What do you need that involves me visiting the Boca Del Inferno?" Javier Vashon asked.


The Magic Box
Sunnydale Ca.

Giles unlocked the back door and turned on the lights as he entered. Buffy did a quick scout through the store, then joined the others already seated at the big table. They heard a knock at the front door and Buffy went with her Watcher to let the pair of Vampyres in.

Once inside, Giles relocked the door and they rejoined the others back at the table where they normally researched.

Xander pulled out one of the chairs for Cordelia, then sat down next to her and looked at Buffy and the rest of the gang.

"There is one thing you guys have to know right away. Cordy and I are Vampyres, but not the kind you are used to dealing with. We did NOT lose our souls when we were brought across, and the community that we belong to has very strict rules about feeding," he looked right at Buffy as he spoke.

"We do not kill for food, and if by some chance we must feed from a human, we only take a little blood, and make the victim forget that it every happened. Most of us obtain our blood from various sources that receive expired blood from blood banks. I get ours from a place in Los Angeles, which is supplied through my grandfather's organization."

"Are there many of your kind?" Asked Giles.

"I suppose so, never really thought about it. There were about thirty or forty in Toronto, where I was brought across, and I guess there are more in LA, but the community frowns on bringing others across."

"You mean they don't want to expand their ranks?" Willow asked.

"Not really. They want to keep a low profile and stay out of the limelight. When I brought Cordy across, I kept wondering if they were going to destroy me. I found out that they were watching closely, and would have destroyed both of us if I had failed in training her or tried to bring more across."

"Why!" Demanded Buffy. "Why did you turn Cordelia?"

"I brought Cordy across because a soulless vamp had already ripped her throat out and I loved her too much to let her die like that, or be turned into a soulless vamp...." he answered, reaching out for his lover's hand.

"What happened, Xander?" Willow asked.

"When I went on my road trip this past summer, I went up the coast and then into Canada. I got as far as Toronto when it happened. Coming out of a diner, I heard a woman scream. I went to help, and found her being attacked by a couple of vamps. I tried to drive them off with a cross, and managed to stake one of them, but I got nailed by another who ripped my throat out with his claws.

"The woman's fiancé who was a Vampyre, showed up in time to prevent her from being turned, and after either destroying them or driving them away, brought both of us across."

"What exactly is so different about your type of Vampyre?" Buffy asked.

"Well, Buff, the most important thing is that when we are 'brought across', we do not lose our soul, and there is no demonic possession."

"That's what you say," Oz challenged him.

"Yes, that is what I say. Buffy, look at Cordelia's Necklace," Xander said.

The Gang as a whole looked, and noticed the very beautiful gold cross she was wearing.

"Crosses, Holy water and other religious icons really don't have any effect on us. I have been told that it bothers some of the older ones, but not very much," Cordelia added.

"You mentioned older Vampyres several times, Xander. Exactly how old are you talking about?" Giles inquired.

"Well, I don't know all that many, but my 'father" was brought across in 1228. His father was brought across in 79 AD, just before the eruption of Pompeii. Urs is something like a 140 and Vashon was brought across in the 1600's. There may be some older, but I don't know for sure," Xander explained.

"My God, that's incredible! A vampire who is almost two thousand years old?" Giles exclaimed.

"Look, guys," Xander started. "I didn't know how to tell you this, and after that vamp attacked Cordy, I was pretty busy helping her adjust, but I am still the same guy you knew, more or less. I want to be part of your lives, but if you can't accept me, just say the words and I will leave."

Willow rushed to him and enveloped him in a hug that would have been crushing to him before. Oz offered his hand as did Giles, and Buffy hugged him as well.

"So, where are you guys staying?" Buffy Asked.

"I bought a place over on Sunset Blvd. when I got back here. Cordy and I are living there."

"Bought? How could you afford that, Xander?" Asked Giles.

"My father gave me five million dollars as seed money to get started," Xander replied. "When you are like seven hundred years old, you tend to amass a large amount of money without trying too hard."

"Also, about that flying thing?," Buffy asked.

"Yes, that is another difference," he smiled as he slipped into his 'game face'. "The change in us is way more subtle. Our eyes change and our fangs drop. We can fly, and move really fast," he said as he zoomed to the front of the store and then back much to the stunned amazement of the Scoobies..

"Amazing. I am surprised that your kind could remain undiscovered for so long," Giles pondered.

"Like I said Giles, there are very strict rules on how the community behaves. Most of the time, humans are not allowed to even know about us. An exception was made for you guys, but the Council had better not learn about us," Xander stated flatly.

"Your secret is safe with me, Xander. I won't tell the Council anything." Giles promised.

"Uh, Guys? It's going to be light soon, and we need to be home before that happens, so, if we could pick this up again later?" Cordelia suggested.

"Good idea, Cordy," Xander agreed.

They said their goodbyes all around, and promised to meet the next night at the Magic Box.

The gang all watched as the young Vampyre couple walked out the back door, rose into the sky and vanished into the dark.


Sunnydale General Hospital

The young brunette who has been lying in a coma for the last several months starts to stir, and her eyes open suddenly.

Chapter 4

A Week Later
The Magic Box
Sunnydale, CA

The gang had just returned from patrolling and was putting their weapons away. Buffy had suggested that they all go to the Bronze, when Giles asked if Xander could stay behind for a minute and answer a few questions.

"Go ahead, guys. Cordy, I'll catch up with you in a few," he said as he watched them leave.

"What's up Giles?" Xander asked when the others were out of sight.

"Faith has awoken, and disappeared out of the hospital," Giles stated flatly.

"Crap. So, what do you think she'll do - take off or try to get back at us?" Xander asked.

"I don't know. If anything, she would try to get back at Buffy; she is the one who put her into the coma, after all."

"Well, I guess Cordy and I will have to take turns watching the house at night, while Buffy and the Gang patrols."

"Yes, and I would suggest that you keep this as quiet as possible. With Angelus and his group around, we don't need Buffy any jumpier than she already is."

"Okay, Giles. Cordelia and I will work out a watch schedule, and we may use Angelus as the reason we are doing it. He would certainly be enough reason as it is," Xander agreed. "Well, I better get going before they decide to come back and get me."

As the young Vampyre walked out the door, the watcher realized that the young man he once thought of as a son, even though he may be undead now, still retained an important place in his heart. And, he felt quite good about it.


The Raven
Toronto, Canada

When Lucien LaCroix returned to his office after finishing his radio show, he sensed someone in the room. He saw his chair slowly start to turn, and he readied himself for anything. When it turned completely, he saw the sandy hair and the strong jaw of his childé, Simon Reign.

The two men embraced warmly, having not having seen each other for over a century.

"Simon, it's so good to see you. How have you been?" Lucien asked.

"I've kept busy," the younger man replied. "I have been tracking down some leads and theories about the Templars, and where their fabled resources disappeared to," the man replied.

"Did you find anything?" Lucien asked.

"I've located the whereabouts of approximately half the treasury . About twenty five percent of it appears to have gone along with a group of the more radical knights. They initially went underground, and then appeared a few years later as the Free Masons organization. Another quarter was loaded on a ship that originally set sail for an undisclosed location. After a great deal of work, I traced it to a place called Oak Island, near Nova Scotia. From what I've been able to uncover about the Knights who settled there, it looks like they buried the treasure in some unusual underground chamber they constructed, guarded by a bunch of booby traps," Simon explained.

"Now Lucien, why did you send for me?" he asked.

"What do you know about a soulless vampire known as Angelus?" Lucien inquired casually.

"Angelus, one fourth of the Scourge of Europe, the leader and driving force behind Darla, Spike, and Drusilla," Simon replied immediately, "who were four of the nastiest, soulless vampires ever created. Angelus was cursed by a tribe of Gypsies with a soul, in order to suffer for the death of the granddaughter of the clan chieftain. Why?"

"What do you know about Nicholas' childé, Alexander?" Lucien asked next.

"Only what rumors I have heard, and what I have read in the reports I've seen," Simon said. "He seems to be much older and more powerful than he should be, if considering only the circumstances of his re-birth. Some rumors have suggested it may be because he was born and spent his entire life on the Hellmouth. In addition, despite being a fledgling, he was able to bring across a childé of his own and train her to the point where she is capable of complete control and is reputed to be nearly as powerful as he is. He also works with a slayer and her watcher. That's about it."

"I learned from Nicholas's memories that, at one time, Angelus called Alexander, 'Buffy's White Knight'; something to do with his facing down Angelus when he was human. In any event, that is what Alexander is: a true knight, always looking to help out the weaker humans," Lucien scoffed.

"So? What does that have to do with any of us?" Simon asked.

"The Four have reunited. They are together now, and either getting ready to run up a body count, or open the hellmouth."

"That would not be good," Simon observed dryly.

"No, it would definitely not be good. That was why I sent for you. Alexander thinks that he can handle things himself, but I am not as sure of his ability to deal with all four members of the Scourge simultaneously. I would like you to go to Sunnydale and help him in any way possible," Lucien said, standing to look out the windows at Toronto's Night Skyline.

"There is a club called 'The Bronze' in Sunnydale. I own it. I would like you to go there, and teach Alexander how to run it, that would be a good cover for him. You would be able to provide help to him if he needed it, and keep an eye on the situation there. If the media picks up on a large number of 'vampire like killings', you know there would be an investigation," Lucien sighed.

"Like we need those damned FBI agents snooping around again. What were their names? Mulder and Scully?" Simon agreed.

They talked for a few more minutes, mainly about old times, then Simon excused himself to go. He clasped forearms with Lucien and walked to the door.

"I'll keep you informed of how things go. I should be there within two days to take over the management of the club, so you should let your attorney in California know what is going on," Simon said.

"I will. I will also e-mail you his address so you can pick up the papers. I will call Alexander this evening to let him know what is going on as well." Lucien LaCroix paused for a moment, looking at the man leaving his office. "And thanks for doing this, my son."

"You're welcome, father." Simon replied as he slipped out the door.


The Bronze

Xander sat quietly at their table in the back of the club. Cordy was curled up against him, sharing the closeness and listening to the music. Willow and Oz were out on the dance floor, and Buffy was at the bar going over the menu trying to decide what to eat.

The Slayer finally made up her mind and flagged the bartender to place her order.

Cordelia turned to her lover and asked, "What did Giles want?"

"Faith is awake and missing from the Hospital," he said flatly.

Cordelia stiffened.

"Giles wants us to make sure that Joyce and Dawn are protected," he said, leaning forward to place a kiss on her neck.

Relaxing, Cordelia replied, "How do you want to do it? I think if I had to sit and watch the house, I would go nuts."

"If you don't mind patrolling, I can stake out the house. If I need you, I could send a text message to you on your phone. Wouldn't make any noise that way," he mused.

"You know, one of the reasons that I am so thankful for the blood kiss is that I have no need to be jealous of Buffy or Willow anymore," Cordelia started.

"You have never had to be jealous of her," Xander interrupted.

"I know that now, but I was always so insecure about Buffy. Now I know that you were just trying to lighten her burden a little. Being her "White Knight" so to speak," Cordelia said with a smirk in her voice.

Xander just glared at her. That was one of the things about sharing experiences he didn't like, there were no secrets. Not that he begrudged Cordelia knowing about them, but her ability to tease him about them was irritating.

"So, how are we going to handle this if she does show up?" She asked.

"I don't know Cor," Xander said sadly. "I never felt like Faith was really evil, more like just lost and angry."

"Are you saying that because you slept with her, or you believe it?" She said, teasingly.

"Because I believe it," he said sharply.

His lady love only nodded in agreement.

"So how do we handle it, Xan? We have to get her to admit, to herself and us, that at least she wants a chance to return to the good guys. Then who knows what Buffy and Willow will have to say about it."

"Yeah, I know. We are borderline accepted now; who knows what adding Faith to our group will do?" He replied.

"We do what we have to, Xan. You taught me that."

With that, the two got up to dance, and tried to have a good time while each attempted to come up with a workable plan.


The Next Evening
Sunnydale Ca.

The sun had been set for only a few minutes when the phone rang. Cordelia who was sitting at the computer answered it.


\\ "Is Alexander there?" // a very distinguished voice asked.

"Yes he is, can I tell him who is calling, please?" She asked politely.

\\ "I am afraid that is none of your business, girl." // the voice said regally.

"Too bad, then," Cordelia said and hung up the phone.

The phone immediately rang again.

"Hello?" she again said.

\\ "Why did you hang up on me?" // the voice demanded.

"I asked who you were as a common courtesy. You refused rudely, so I decided since you would not follow common courtesy, you didn't need to speak to him," she replied, waiting to hear the man explode. She was surprised to hear the caller chuckle softly.

\\ "You're right. Tell Alexander that his Grandfather is on the phone." //

"Thank you. Please hold on. I'll be right back."

Cordy went and got Xander out of the garage and hauled him into the office.

"Cordy, I can't believe you hung up on Lucien LaCroix like that," Xander said entering the room.

"Hey, he was rude and needed an attitude adjustment," she explained, with a shrug of her shoulders.

"Hello, Lucien," he said picking up the phone, still glaring at his lover.

\\ "Good evening, Alexander," Lucien chuckled. "You picked an amazing woman there, Alexander, one with a spine.." //

"Yea, she is one in a million," he agreed.

\\ "The reason I am calling, Alexander, is because I need your help. A piece of property I acquired in Sunnydale several years ago is having some problems, and losing money. I would like you to take over the business and run it for me. I will pay you for your effort, and if you make a success of it, there will be a bonus." //

"Lucien, I would be glad to check into it, and let you know what is going on, but I don't know anything about running a business," Xander explained.

\\ "That is not good enough. Alexander. I really would like you to take over and manage this club. I am sending one of my associates who is familiar with the business, and he will teach you what you need to know," // Lucien countered.

Xander was stymied. On one hand it was a great opportunity, but on the other, it left him under Lucien's control.

"Lucien, I am very interested, but to be honest, I don't really want to be under your thumb."

\\ "Xander, I think I understand what you are feeling. From Nicholas, I learned about your home life, and I assure you that I am not trying to manipulate you, or even bring you under my control. I just want you to run The Bronze for me, Alexander. You can run it any way you want to, remodel it if you so desire. The only condition I have, is that you have a section available for our kind." // Lucien explained.

"I don't know Lucien. Look, let me think about it for a day or two. I'll get back to you. All right?"

\\ "Fair enough, Alexander. Simon will be there in three days, and you can talk to him about it and let me know your decision, then," // Lucien offered.

"Thank you. Goodbye, Grandfather," the young Vampyre said as he hung up the phone.

Cordelia, noticing the frown on his face, asked, "What's wrong, Xan?"

"Nothing really, Cordy. Lucien offered to let me run a club he owns. Believe it or not, it's The Bronze."

"So, what did you tell him?" she asked.

"I told him I would think about it. Lucien is a very manipulative man, and I don't know if I want to let him get control over me that way," Xander explained.

"From what you've told me about him, if he wanted it enough, you wouldn't be able to stop him. So, if it's something that you want to try to do, you may as well go for it," Cordelia said.

That left Xander considering the idea as he got ready for guard duty at the Summers' house. Cordy would be meeting Buffy and the gang later at the Magic Box.


The first night was just boring. Xander had almost gone crazy the first hour listening to Dawn playing her CD's. He was just so NOT into pop music. If he had to listen to Britney Spears any longer, he was considering staking himself.

The second night was when it happened. Xander was lying back on the roof with his eyes closed, listening to the neighborhood. He heard scuffling steps, similar to the sounds Buffy made when she was stalking a vamp.

He pulled out his cell phone and readied a text message to go to Cordelia if, in fact, it was Faith.

It was. Xander saw her as she hopped over the fence and stood quietly in the shadows.

He watched quietly as Faith stood looking into the back of the house. He knew Joyce was doing the dishes by the sounds coming out of the house. He pressed the final button and the call went out to Cordelia, and Xander readied himself to defend Buffy's family.

Faith just stood there, at the edge of the light in the Summers' back yard. She could see Joyce cleaning up the kitchen and she smiled sadly to herself. Buffy didn't know how lucky she was. The Dark Slayer was just starting to turn to leave when she got a strong vampire vibe, and froze.

Xander froze as well when he saw Faith start to turn away, then turn back. Seeing her face, he realized that she had picked him up with her Slayer sense. She had always been better at it than Buffy, more sensitive to the presence of creatures of the night.

As he watched, Faith stepped out into the light, just a bit; trying to draw out the vamp she thought was stalking Joyce.

Crestwood Cemetery

Buffy and Cordelia had just finished dusting a couple of vamps when Cordelia's cell went off. She pulled it out of her pocket and checked the screen. It was Xander, and the psycho Slayer was at Joyce's.

"Something just came up Buffy, gotta run," she said, maintaining a casual tone of voice as she lifted up into the darkness.

"I hate it when she does that," Buffy muttered to herself, as she watched the brunette fly away into the distance.

The Summers House

Xander sat motionlessly on the roof, waiting to see what Faith would do. The brunette was casting around, concentrating on what she was feeling.

However, as fate would have it, about this time Dawn looked out the window and saw Faith in the yard. She screamed and ran downstairs.

Using the distraction that the teen provided, Xander lifted up and flew down to stand behind Faith, so that he was waiting when the Dark Slayer turned to run.

"Hi, Faith," he greeted her offhandedly, when she realized who it was.

The look on Faiths face was one of confusion, shock and sadness as she realized where the vibe was coming from.

"Ahh shit, Xan. Why did it have to be you?" She said sadly.

"Just good old Hellmouth luck, I guess," he answered. "But why should that make any difference to you? The last time we saw each other, you tried to choke me."

He saw the shock and sadness on her face as a tear slipped from her eye and ran down her cheek.

"Look, I'm sorry I treated you like crap, Xander, and I owe you for trying to help me. But I won't let you hurt Joyce or Dawn, and it won't stop me from staking you."

"I won't let you hurt them either, and I really doubt that you could stake me," he answered.

"Like you could stop me," she threatened, taking a step toward him.

"He could, just as easily as I could," said a voice from behind her, as she felt a pair of cool, steel-strong arms wrap her up.

"What the f…" Faith exclaimed as she found herself immobilized. If she had been at peak strength and performance, she might have had a slight chance to slip out of Cordelia's grip, but being comatose for months had robbed her of much of her strength and coordination.

"Give it up, Faith. You will not be getting your revenge on Buffy by hurting her family," Xander told her.

"But, I wasn't going to hurt them," Faith said softly, a look of hurt in her eyes as she spoke.

"Tell me another one, Faith. I haven't heard a good one like that in a long time," said Cordelia.

Faith stiffened when she recognized the voice of the former prom queen. She turned to Xander.

"How could you?" Faith demanded.

"Easy, I loved her too much to let her die," answered the young Vampyre.

"Well, I guess there is only one thing to do," he said, nodding to Cordelia.

Faith's senses were screaming at her. She looked at Xander's face as his eyes turned greenish gold and his fangs dropped into place. Behind her, she could feel Cordelia putting pressure on her head, tipping it to one side.

She felt the slight prick as the tips of Cordelia's fangs touched her neck and she wanted to scream out in fear and terror, but something was stopping her.

{ "Why were you going to hurt Joyce?" } She heard Xander ask her, his voice having a droning hypnotic quality.

"I wasn't. I was here to look one more time at what I wished I could have had. I was planning on going to L.A tomorrow," she answered in a flat voice completely void of emotion.

{ "What were you going to do then?" } He again asked in that voice.

"Try and find the biggest demon I could and fight it to the death. If I won, I was just going to keep going 'til I lost."

{ "So, you expect us to believe that you were not going to try and get revenge on all of us?" }

"No, you didn't do anything but try to stop me. I was the evil one. I was hoping that Buffy would kill me, but somehow I survived. All I could do was think while I was in that coma, and I came to understand a lot. I was never any good, and never deserved to be a Slayer," she said, her voice fading to almost nothing.

Xander knew she was telling the truth, having read her with all of his senses, his hypnotic ability preventing her from lying, and he nodded to Cordelia to let her go.

Faith was emotionally drained, and didn't even have the strength to flee.

He wondered what to do next, when the decision was made for him.

At the back door stood Joyce, looking at them, the back of her hand raised to her mouth stifling a scream, as she looked at him, still in game face.

He met Joyce's eyes with his own, and then looked away in shame.

When he heard Dawn scream again, he grabbed up the Dark Slayer and lifted up into the air, Cordelia right behind him. The three dark figures disappeared into the night sky.

Faith struggled a little in Xander's grasp until she looked down. She gulped, then grabbed onto Xander for dear life.

"Don't be hugging my guy too much, Slayer," Cordelia threatened, hostility permeating her voce.

To Faith, the entire situation was surreal. She finally woke from a month's long coma, confused and trying to decide what to do. She had then gone to see one last time, what her life could have been like, only to be grabbed by the only person who had unselfishly tried to help her. He, treated her as though she were a demon threatening them.

Even more unnerving, was the fact that he was now a vampire, as was his former girlfriend, but at least not the standard Hellmouth variety. Then they had worked some kind of mind control mojo on her and gotten her to spill her guts.

Now, after being seen by B's mom and little sister, she was being carried away by those two vampires, who were flying away with her.

Flying, actually up in the air flying.

She was seriously freaked out now.

They came to a gentle landing on the deck of a rather large house in the better part of town. She just stood there when she was released.

"C'mon Faith, let's get inside. I think I have some explaining to do," Xander told her as he and Cordelia entered the house.


Buffy entered her house in a pretty good mood. She, Willow and Cordelia having staked or crossbowed an even dozen vamps. She was getting hard pressed to keep up with the former cheerleader, when it came right down to it, and she absolutely *hated* losing.

She closed the door behind herself and turned to find her mom, an angry look on her face, and a teary eyed Dawn standing there glaring at her.

"How could you not tell us?" her mother demanded.

"Tell you what?" Buffy asked, confused.

"That Xander's a vampire," Dawn sobbed, as she gave her sister a look of loss, outrage and incomprehension.

"What happened?" Buffy asked, looking around the house for damage.

"I was finishing up the dishes when I heard Dawn scream and come running down the stairs. She was just petrified when she saw Faith standing in the back yard."

"Is she still there?" Buffy asked.

"No, after I got Dawn calmed down, I went to look out the door, and found her being held by two strange vampires. They were different. I could see that their eyes were this weird green-gold color and they had fangs, but their faces weren't deformed like vampires usually are. Then one of them turned around, and I could get a good look at his face. It was Xander," said Joyce.

Buffy started to say something, but was silenced by her mom.

"How could you not tell us, Buffy? Xander was like a son to me, and Dawn worshipped him! Why didn't you tell us?" Joyce quietly demanded, tears running down her face.

"I only found out a couple of weeks ago, Mom. And it's a little weird. Xander is a different breed of vampire than the ones here. He is stronger, faster, and he can fly," Buffy explained. "But most important, he never lost his soul."

"Really?" Joyce asked warily.

"Really. He explained that his kind gets expired blood from blood banks or feeds off the demonic kind of vampire. They try to fit into society, not use it as a smorgasbord. You probably saw him with Cordelia tonight; he 'brought her across' when some regular vamps killed her. He was still in love with her, and couldn't let her die."

"Still, why didn't you tell us Buffy?" Joyce again asked.

"It wasn't my secret to tell. He's uncomfortable with his old friends knowing about him. I was leaving it up to him to tell you if he wanted to," she explained, as she turned to grab the telephone.

Xander's Place

Xander pointed Faith to a couch when they entered the living room and sat across from her. He could tell by the way that Faith wouldn't meet his eyes that she was afraid of him; whether it was his vampyric strength or his hypnotic abilities, he couldn't tell.

But he could smell the fear on her.

Cordelia went into the kitchen and returned with a can of coke, a bottle of Southern Comfort™, and one bottle of bloodwine. She set the coke in front of Faith, and returned to the kitchen, coming back this time with some shot glasses and wine glasses. The brunette Vampyre poured shots of SoCo for all three of them, and a glass of Raven's Cellar for her and Xander.

Xander tossed the fiery liquid down and set his glass back on the table as he stared at Faith. Cordy, the young Vampyre playing the perfect hostess refilled it.

Faith was getting nervous at Xander's stare, and finally spoke up.

"So, um, what happened? How'd you get turned?" She asked

"I was on my road trip last summer, and I went up into Canada," the tall brunet began his story. "I got as far east as Toronto when my typical luck showed up. I was coming out of a diner, when I heard a woman scream. I went to help, and found her being attacked by a couple of vamps. I tried to drive them off with a cross, and managed to stake one of them, but I got nailed by the other, who ripped my throat out with his claws. The woman's fiancé, who was a Vampyre, showed up in time to prevent her from being turned, and after destroying the last vamp, brought both of us across," he explained.

"I eventually came back to town here, and bought this place. A few days later, when I was out on patrol, I heard a woman screaming. Four Sunnydale bloodsuckers had attacked the woman and by the time I arrived, I saw that it was Cordy. She had been almost completely drained. I destroyed all of the vamps and then I brought Cordy across. The reason I did that was because a soulless vamp had already ripped her throat out and I loved her too much to let her die like that, or be turned into a soulless vamp…." he answered, looking into his love's eyes.

"Cordelia and I are Vampyres, but not the kind you are used to dealing with," he elaborated a moment later, as he continued their story. "We did NOT lose our souls when we were brought across, and the community that we belong to has very strict rules about feeding on humans."

He looked in Faith's eyes as he spoke. "We do not kill for food, and if by some chance we must feed from a human, we only take a little blood, and make the victim forget that it ever happened. Most of us obtain our blood from various sources that receive expired blood from blood banks. I get ours from a place in Los Angeles, which is supplied through my grandfather's organization."

Faith grabbed up the shot that Cordelia had poured for her and slammed it back. Grimacing a bit as the harsh liquid burned its way to her stomach; she looked at the young man who had offered to be her friend at one time.

"So. What happens to me now?" She asked.

"That depends completely on you," Xander replied flatly. "What happened to you was a combination of tragic circumstances, Faith. First was the fact that everyone treated you like an outsider, me included. Then we all expected you to be just like Buffy, rather than Faith. No one gave a shit where you lived, what you did, and we all ignored the fact that you were younger than Buffy, but were not in school. Then, after the incident with Finch, we totally shut you out. So we were partially to blame for what happened, too."

"I realize that I was wrong about a lot of things…" Faith started.

"I really don't want to hear about why it happened, or what you were thinking, Faith," Xander interrupted her. "I just want you to tell me: what do you plan on doing now?" He asked.

"I, I don't know?" Replied the young Slayer, confusion clearly visible on her face.

"The way I see it, you have two choices. One, you can leave town and start over somewhere else. Or, two, you can rejoin us and continue the fight against the bad guys here. If you do the first, you are on your own. If you choose to stay, Cordy and I will let you move in here, and will help you with whatever you need."

Xander paused, then looked directly at the young woman, letting his eyes shift colors.

"However, if you ever go bad again, or do anything to hurt any of our friends, or for that matter, any human, I will find you. And I. Will. Kill. You. Myself." Xander let himself slide fully into vamp mode and unleashed all of his presence at her as he emphasized his last few words.

"Do you understand me?" he demanded.

Faith was nearly in full panic right now; her slayer sense was going crazy, and she could feel the raw power in the young vampire. He completely outclassed Kakistos in sheer vampiric presence as he sat there looking at her.

Fighting back the urge to flee from him, she looked determinedly into his eyes.

"Yes, I do, Xan. Yes, I do."

"Good," he said as he changed back, pulling his presence back in.

"So, did you get turned by a Master?" Faith asked.

Cordelia snorted, and Xander just smiled.

Faith looked at the couple confused.

"Faith, we are a totally different type of vampyre, not demonic or evil. Well, most of us aren't, anyway. My father, or sire, was brought across in 1228. His father is almost two thousand years old. How powerful we end up is mainly based on bloodline, though my father tells me I feel much older than I should. He thinks it may have something to do with growing up around the Hellmouth," Xander explained shrugging. "And the term we use is 'brought across,' not turned."

"I'll get her room ready," Cordelia said, as she got up and headed upstairs.

Faith still sat quietly, seemingly afraid of the former Zeppo.

Xander looked at the normally brash slayer, and took pity on her.

"Looks like you and Cordy will have to go shopping as well, though I will warn you, she has really gotten into wearing leather now, and knows the best places to go. But I would suggest you tone down your style of dressing some. We really don't need to attract too much attention now."

"Um, Xander, are the police looking for me?" she asked.

"Nope, Willow hacked into the computer system after everything calmed down, and it looks like the Mayor covered it up for you before we blew him up at graduation," Xander explained.

"Yeah, about the mayor, Xan…." Faith started.

"I told you, I didn't want to hear it Faith, and I meant it. The past is the past, and I really don't care why it happened. There were a lot of mistakes made on both sides, and I don't want to dwell on them. I just want to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again."

"Yeah, well.."

"No 'yeah well,' Faith. Just do the right thing," Xander said.

The phone rang making Faith jump a little.

"Hello," Xander said, scooping up the receiver.

\\ "Hello? Xander?" // asked Buffy.

"It's me, Buff. Whatcha need?"

\\ "I hear you found Faith. What are you planning to do with her, send her back to the Council for trial?" //

"There won't be a trial, Buff. What Faith did was an accident, and you don't try people for that."

\\ "But she killed a person, Xander She has to be punished." //

"She will be, Buffy. For the rest of her life, she will remember what she did. That is punishment enough."

\\ "Xander!" // Buffy started to say, and then the phone was pulled from her hand.

\\ "Xander, this is Joyce. Why did you never come to see us, to tell us?" //

"I didn't want you to see me, Joyce. I didn't want to expose you to what I was," Xander replied softly.

\\ "That means nothing to me, Xander," the brunette's mother of his heart stated firmly. "I want to see you tomorrow, just as soon as it gets dark. And bring Cordelia and Faith with you, as well. Faith is okay, isn't she?" //

"She's fine Joyce. She was just stopping to look to see what she had missed growing up, She wasn't going to hurt anyone."

\\ "Okay, Xander, we'll see you tomorrow night. Right after dusk. Rupert wants to talk to you now." //

Xander heard the phone being passed to Giles, and could clearly hear Joyce tearing into Buffy in the background.

\\ "Xander, I am assuming, from what Joyce said, that Faith is okay, and there are no problems with her. Is that correct?" //

"None at all, Giles. And she's said she wants to help us again. She has assured me that she will not be straying from the light again," Xander explained.

\\ "And you believe this, Xander? // Giles asked, somewhat shocked at the brunet's matter-of-fact statement.

"Yes I do Giles. She didn't lie to me, and in fact, she couldn't. I used my hypnotic power on her and read her body with my senses. She is telling the truth."

\\ "That is good, but there is one problem with our implementing her intention. The council is sending a wet work team to track her down and take her back to Britain for trial." //

"Well, shit," was Xander's final comment.

\\ "Exactly." //


Chapter 5

The same night.
Xander's Place
Sunnydale Ca.

Cordelia had taken Faith up to her room while he was on the phone with Giles, and now the dark-haired Slayer was standing there looking at him, her hands on her hips, and a look of anger on her face.

Xander hung up the phone and turned to confront her.

"What is it now, Faith?" he asked, irritation easily recognizable in his tone.

"What is all of my stuff doing up in that room?"

Xander sighed, it was just not his night.

"I went back to your place when you were in the hospital, and moved all of your stuff into storage. I thought that you would eventually come out of the coma, and you might like to have your belongings. Even though you tried to kill me, Faith, I don't believe you would have gone through with it even if Angel hadn't stopped you. I knew you were confused, hurt, and angry, but I didn't believe that you would have gone through with it."

"When I told you that we had a connection, I didn't mean the fact that we had sex, I meant the connection that a similar childhood gave us."

"Oh," Faith answered weakly, her anger diffused by the vampyre's answer.

"Yea, anyway, I brought all of your stuff here when I moved in. When I found out that you were out of the hospital, I set up a room for you, because I was hoping to get you back on our side. If not, well, I could have just given it to the Salvation Army."

Faith started to go back upstairs, but paused and turned to the two Vampyres.

"Thanks, Xan. You too, Cordelia. For everything," she said softly.

Xander locked up the house and then joined Cordy as they headed upstairs.

Cordelia went in and took a shower, wanting to remove the dust of the vampires she had dusted that night, and Xander went out on the deck to think.

When Cordelia finished her shower, she could feel his presence, but saw he wasn't on the deck, so she pulled a robe on and went to look for him. She found him in his favorite place, sitting on the roof, just below the peak.

She was further surprised to find him smoking a cigarette.

"What's up with the stinky burning thing there?" she asked.

"Just an old bad habit, Cor, something I don't think any of you knew about. I've been smoking for years, usually only when I get really stressed about something. This is the first I've had since getting back to Sunnydale, though."

"That worried about seeing Joyce, huh?" she asked. Proving she did know him well.

"You could say that."

"Well, give me one. Always wanted to see what it was like, and since it can't kill me, I guess now would be a good time. And you can tell me what's bugging you."

Xander fished the pack out and handed her one, then held the lighter for her.

The two smoked in silence for a few minutes, before Cordelia disturbed the quiet.

"It is kind of relaxing. So, tell me what's up."

"Not much. It's just that Joyce became more of a mother to me than my own mom. During the summer that Buffy was gone, I used to stop by to see how she and Dawn were holding up, and we used to talk. She got me to open up about my parents and home life, and even offered to let me move in with them. She helped me to understand a lot of the summer school work that I had to do so that I would be able to graduate with the rest of you. She was someone that I could talk to, someone that listened to me and didn't judge me. She helped a lot."

Xander turned and looked Cordy straight in the eye.

"She also helped me to understand more about you, and why we had so many problems with our relationship. She explained about what she thought you were feeling about us, and how your popularity could be affected. She helped me to let go of you. Not that I ever completely did, but I did get rid of the anger and resentment I felt. I was finally able to move on."

The two lovers looked at each other, finally making peace with their past, understanding why things were different now, and how their immaturity had torn them apart.

They ground their cigarettes our and flew back into the house together.


Faith was the first one up, and she took a few minutes to realize where she was.

Then the events of the past few days flashed into her mind, and she lay there, quietly wondering what was going to happen next. Xander and Cordelia were some kind of old breed of Vamps. They were ones that made those she was familiar with look like weak, insignificant bugs.

She had gone to see Joyce, to say goodbye; well, not in person, but in her own mind. Then she was going to go out and find some bad guys she didn't have a chance against, fight them and get herself killed, to end the evil essence that was Faith Williams, murderer.

Then the two of them had shown up before she could leave - Cordelia making like she was going to drain her, and scaring her so badly that she would never forget that feeling.

And Xander! Green-gold eyes glowing, and making her pour out her soul to him, all the time in control, and scaring her worse than the cheerleader.

She sat up shaking her head, and headed for the shower.

When she was done drying herself, she stood in front of the full length mirror in the room, and examined her nude form. All the curves were still there, but more subdued, her ribs showing when she raised her arms. She had probably lost about ten to fifteen pounds while in the coma.

She finally dressed, wearing something more subdued than she normally would, taking Xander's advice to tone it down seriously. She headed downstairs to the kitchen, hoping that there would be some food there.

Opening the refrigerator, she found mostly green bottles with Raven's Cellar labels that she assumed were blood, and some pre-packaged dinners, all ready to be micro-waved. She opened one and nuked it; then, when she was that, she heated another.

While she ate, she kept thinking about everything that had happened, realizing that she was being given a second chance here, and vowed to herself not to mess it up.

She was nearly done eating when she felt a presence behind her, and was startled when Cordelia spoke.

"Morning, Faith."

Wheeling around, she saw Xander's girlfriend, and grabbed her chest.

"Damn, C! Don't do that! I ain't used to you guys being all stealthy like that. You just about made me wet myself."

Cordelia smirked and pulled out a bottle of blood. She poured two cups and, warmed one in the microwave.

"Better get used to it - Xander is even better than me at sneaking around. I don't know how many times he has scared the shit out of me, just coming out of nowhere," she laughed.

Cordy sat down at the table across from the Slayer and looked at her. To Faith, it was as if the Vampyre was examining her like she was a bug under someone's microscope.

"Don't make him regret helping you, Faith," Cordelia stated flatly. "Xander thinks that there is something in you worth saving, and if you go bad, he will kill you. And that would tear him up inside.

"But if I can get to you first, I * will * save him the grief, and I would not feel bad about it, at all."

"Don't worry, I won't let him down," Faith replied softly.

"You better not, because I won't be nearly as fast or as gentle as Xander would."

Faith found she was unable to meet the other woman's gaze, and looked back down at her plate.

"Trying to put the fear of 'Queen C' into her, huh, Cor?" Xander asked from the doorway.

The two dark haired women looked up to see Xander standing in the doorway, dressed all in dark colors and arms crossed over his chest.

"See what I mean?" Cordelia tossed over her shoulder at the Slayer as she got out of her chair and greeted her love.

Xander warmed the cup of blood that was waiting for him, and then sat at the table between the two women.

"You ready for this?" he asked looking into Faith's eyes.

"No, not really. But I will do my best," she replied, trying to sound brave.

"You have to realize, Faith, that you have caused problems for everyone. You threatened both Willow and Joyce, and pretty much terrorized the rest of them. It won't be easy to deal with, but you do HAVE to apologize to all of them. If you want to explain to them, you can, but that is up to you."

He paused to take a drink from his cup.

"Acceptance by them will be a long hard process. Joyce will probably be first to accept you, then likely Giles. Buffy will be next, then Willow will be the last. As far as Oz goes, who knows what he ever thinks? But he will hold out until Willow accepts you."

The three sat at the table talking about everything that had gone on while Faith was in her coma. Both Xander and Cordy had more blood, more than they usually would, since they wanted to be full while in the presence of several humans. Both had full control of themselves, but if things got tense, or even ugly, they wanted to be sure.


1630 Revello Drive
Sunnydale, Ca

The Black Stealth pulled into the driveway, and parked behind Joyce's Green Cherokee.

Xander, Cordelia, and finally Faith got out of the sleek sports car and walked to the front door.

Buffy had heard them pull in and was waiting at the door. She didn't say a word, and stepped back from the door. She looked surprised when both Xander and Cordy walked in without being invited.

Faith followed, painfully aware of the glare she was receiving from Buffy.

When she got in the living room, she was aware of the glares she was receiving from all but Joyce and Giles. The Watcher's face was a stony mask, unreadable to anyone.

The three new arrivals went into the living room of the house. Xander greeted Joyce politely, and handed her a bottle of Raven's Cellar Merlot wine.

"From my grandfather's cellars. It is a very good vintage, and it really is plain wine," Xander explained.

The three outsiders then sat on the couch on the opposite side of the room from everyone. They were all feeling very uncomfortable under the gazes of their gathered friends.

Xander sighed, and then spoke.

"Okay, we are all here. So what did you want to discuss?"

Buffy jumped to her feet and glared at him.

"Why are you protecting her Xander? She's killed people!" she demanded.

"I am not protecting her Buffy," he replied softly. "I am helping her find her way back."

"That's not an answer. You're just avoiding the issue. I want to know why you are protecting her. She's evil, and she has killed people, Xander! She needs to be turned over to the council, to be tried for her crime," Buffy shouted.

Xander turned and looked at Giles, pinning the Englishman with his gaze.

"Giles, if we turn Faith over to the Council, what will happen?" he asked.

"She would be taken to England and tried for murder. The verdict is automatic, and she would then be put to death," Giles answered.

"So, even if it was accidental, she would be killed?" Xander asked again.

"Even so, she would still be tried, and then put to death. The Council is very harsh on anything that causes the death of a human. Even if it was accidental."

"So, if you were to report to the Council, that Buffy failed to hunt down and destroy Angelus when he was loose, thus causing several humans to die, what would happen?" Xander questioned.

Giles and Buffy glanced at each other.

"Tell the truth here, Giles. A person's life is at stake," he pointed out.

"She would be taken to England and tried for gross incompetence, and being an accessory to murder," Giles said reluctantly.

"So, in the eyes of the Council, Buffy would be just as guilty of murder as Faith is. Now, I am just guessing here, but it would seem to me that Giles was possibly a little creative with his reports that he was sending to the Council," Xander said sarcastically.

All at once, everyone broke into excited chatter, all speaking at once. Xander sat back and tried to catch what everyone was saying.

Buffy was the loudest, demanding to know why she was being placed in the same category as Faith.

"Everyone shut up!" Cordelia screamed.

The silence was sudden, and surprising. When everyone was sitting back down, although glaring at him, Xander spoke.

"Joyce, I can understand your anger, and it is justified. What has happened has been far more than anything a young girl should ever have to go through. But it is not fair for everyone to attack Faith for what she did, and hold Buffy blameless. She was the one who threw Finch toward Faith."

Buffy interrupted. "But * I * didn't kill anyone!" she said angrily.

"No Buffy, you didn't. But you did let Angelus run free to do whatever he wanted, and made no effort to track him down and stake him," Xander said softly.

"But I loved him!" she whispered in reply.

"So that makes it right?" he asked. "Look, Buffy, I am not saying that what you did was really that wrong. I can understand that it was more than you could deal with, but what happened with Faith was just as wrong."

He noted the confused looks on their faces, and continued.

"Okay, Look. When Faith showed up here, she had just turned seventeen, a year younger than you, Buffy. And yet, all we ever did was compare her to you. No one asked where she was living, how she was expected to pay for anything or support herself, why she wasn't in school, or even asked anything about her life. We made her feel like Buffy's backup, just a spare Slayer."

He looked into everyone's eyes and tried to make them understand.

"We spent so much time comparing her to you, that we never tried to know her, never learned about her past, what she liked to do, or what she felt about anything. Plain and simple, we used her for what we wanted, and ignored her for the rest of the time."

"I never really thought about it that way..." Giles started.

"Xander, it's okay, It didn't…" Faith started to say.

"No, Faith, it's not alright, and it is my fault more than anything else. I saw the signs, and I ignored them. I should have paid more attention to you than I did, but I had other things on my mind at the time. It is no excuse, but I am sorry, Faith."

"As I am," said Giles. "I was concerned with my Slayer, and totally neglected you. I should have been more concerned for your welfare, and your well being. And to my utter shame, I must confess that I never took the time to look at you as an individual, but only as a Slayer. I should have never have treated you as I did, and my comparing you to Buffy was inexcusable. Faith, I am sorry."

Willow just glared at the dark Slayer, not saying anything. She was more than likely still angry about her sleeping with Xander. And it would take time for her to accept things.

Oz, as always, wore an inscrutable expression his face.

Joyce glanced at Faith sadly, and gave her a thin lipped smile. She would come around, though it would take time to get over Faith holding a knife on her.

Buffy just sat there, looking at the three visitors.

She knew that there were still issues that would have to be worked out between them. She also realized that everything that Xander had accused her of was true. She had neglected her duties because of Angel, and it had cost Giles the love of his life. Jenny Calendar's death hit him pretty hard, as did Angelus' torturing him. He was the one she had hurt the most, acting the way she did, and he was the one she owed an apology to.

"Xander," Buffy started. "How do you know Faith won't cross the line again?"

"When we first encountered her, Cordy grabbed her, and made like she was going to feed from her. That scared her badly, and then I hit her with the whammy - that's what we call our ability to hypnotize humans. While I had her under my control, I asked what she was doing. She told me that she had come to say goodbye, before going off to get herself killed."

Giles, Joyce and Buffy looked surprised.

"Before I left with her, I was completely certain that she regretted everything that had happened, and would do anything to take back what she had done. I knew what she was thinking and feeling, so I knew she was telling the truth," Xander explained.

Joyce, seeing how tense things were, decided to create a distraction.

"So, Xander, what is so different about you compared to the vampires that usually are around here?" she asked.

"Quite a bit," he stated, pausing for a moment to consider the best way to explain to them about him and his family.

"Okay, look guys, what I am about to tell you HAS to stay in this room, and is just between us. My father and grandfather had to stick their necks out a good bit to get me the okay to tell you guys about us. The Enforcers were not happy about it, but agreed when I told them that you could be trusted, but you can be sure that they will be watching you," Xander started.

"Giles, I know you can keep a secret, but this cannot get back to the Council, for ANY reason."

"You have my word, Xander," Giles agreed.

"Part of the reason I finally got the okay was that I told them about the Cruciamentum, and what happened when you went against the Council, and that seemed to make then understand a little better," the brunet explained.

With that said, he launched into the explanation, giving the background on what he was, and the differences between his family, and the soulless vampires that they found around Sunnydale. He explained about how he never lost his soul, and how his breed of vampires lived in communities that had well defined rules about contact with humans.

"But, Xander, I can feel that you are a vampire. It is almost exactly the same as what I am used to feeling with the other vampires that I deal with," Buffy told him, somewhat sarcastically.

"That is only because we learn to control our presence early in our training. Otherwise, anyone with any sort of sensitivity to magic would be able to feel that we were different, and that would attract the wrong sort of attention."

"What specifically do you mean, Xander?" asked Giles.

"We have the ability to mask our presence, not allowing it to be felt by others unless we want them to. Sometimes it can be an advantage, since the soulless vampires seem to feel uncontrollable fear when they feel our presence," Xander explained.

"Here let me show you what I mean. You, Buffy, Willow and Oz should be able to feel it. Joyce will feel it as well, but it will be different that what the rest of you will notice. Is Dawn here? Because if she is, she might be able to feel it as well, and it might startle her."

"She's at Chrissy's tonight," Joyce answered.

With that, Xander sat up straighter and seemed to relax. His eyes changed from their normal brown to a green gold color and his fangs dropped.

Joyce, the only one in the room with no magical ability or talent felt only a strong desire to flee from the room. She felt fear, dread, and a feeling of hopelessness.

Giles, with only a remnant of the mage talent he had once possessed, felt the same things, but also felt immense power radiating from the young man he had thought of as the son he would never have.

Faith felt the same thing as she had the night before, and was ready for it this time, and kept a straight face, showing no emotion or reaction.

Buffy freaked out, jumping out of her seat and standing in the center of the room, looking wildly about. Her Slayer sense was going crazy, and she felt an unaccustomed fear and dread. The feeling of raw power almost overwhelmed her.

Willow, too, felt fear and dread wash over her, and then the feeling of power hit her and she was awash in several different emotions, fear, desire and lust being the foremost. She had never felt such power before, and she reveled in it.

Oz felt the power wash over him, but his face only changed slightly, revealing only to those that knew him that they had any effect on him at all. His sense of smell detected Willow's arousal, and his lips tightened, the only visible sign of his jealousy.

Cordelia also noticed the scent from Willow, and she gave the young witch a look, telling her that she had noticed, but showed no other reaction.

Xander reeled his presence back in and looked around the room, gauging the reactions of his friends.

"Good Lord!" Giles exclaimed, rubbing his glasses furiously, as if trying to put a whole new polish on them.

Buffy just stared at her oldest friend, not sure what to make of the level of power that she had felt come from him. Even the Master had not affected her like Xander did. She was both afraid of him, and in awe.

Joyce looked at the rest of her visitors and sighed.

"Well, that was different. Certainly not something that I would like to feel again anytime soon," she said.

Willow stayed silent, a reddish hue on her cheeks. Both Xander and Buffy noticed that Oz was watching her carefully out of the corner of his eye.

"If you think that was impressive, you should try hanging around my grandfather. He tells me that I feel like I am about seven to eight hundred years old. He is almost two thousand years old, and when he lets it all hang out I just want to head for the hills," Xander tried to joke, hoping to lighten the mood.

"Tell me more of this 'Community' that you mentioned before Xander," Giles suggested, trying to get them at least speaking again.

"Well, I know Toronto best, so I will use that as an example. The usual communities exist in most of the larger cities, mainly to be near places where they can acquire expired blood obtained from blood banks. Toronto's community consists of about forty of our kind of Vampyre. LA has between eighty and a hundred," he explained.

"The communities are led by an Elder; in Toronto, that is my grandfather. There are usually about four or five enforcers out of that number, Vampyres whose job it is to control the number of humans who know about us, and to prevent any of our kind from indiscriminately feeding from humans. Those that do, are dealt with swiftly and severely."

"What do you mean, Xander?" Asked Joyce.

"They are destroyed, as quickly as possible. The same thing goes for anyone who 'brings across' someone without a very good reason. The community does not want to attract attention to itself, and that includes adding members to the community."

"And Cordelia?" asked Joyce.

"I couldn't get a decent job when I was in LA without compromising my morals," Cordelia explained as everyone turned their attention to her. "I found myself torn between leaving there and returning back here, or trying to get a part in a movie or TV show that required me to sleep with someone, so I returned. The bus broke down on the way, and we spent several hours on the side of the road, waiting for it to get fixed. As a result, I got home after dark. By that time, I was tired, and not thinking straight, so I headed to my father's apartment on foot, since I didn't even have cab fare."

She noticed that everyone was paying attention to her, as she continued.

"I was about halfway there when four vamps confronted me. I tried to hit one with my suitcase and run for it, but got nowhere. He grabbed me, and bit into my neck. The last thing I saw before I lost consciousness was Xander's face over my attacker's shoulder. When I awoke the next day, I was hungrier than anyone could ever imagine. Xander handed me a couple of bottles of blood, and after I drank enough so that I could think straight and realized what I was now, I tried to beat the crap out of him. He held me, and made me understand that we were different from other vamps, and then, finally, he got through to me."

She looked at Xander, as if asking permission to go on.

He nodded his head slightly to her, and she continued.

"Xander began my training the next evening, starting with the blood kiss."

"Ewwww, that just sounds wrong!" Willow exclaimed. Then she looked around at everyone and apologized. "Sorry."

The 'Blood Kiss" is something special, shared by only our type of vampire," Cordelia explained, looking quickly at Xander to verify this.

He nodded his agreement and she continued.

"It is only shared by a vampyre and the person who brings them across, or by their immediate family members. It is used mainly to train new vampires, and it is rarely shared by anyone not in the family. It is extremely intimate, and passes knowledge to the two who share it. As a result, I have the memories from Xander, his father, and his grandfather."

Cordelia saw the look that quickly passed over Willow's face, realizing that the young witch understood what she was saying.

"With it, I learned that Xander still regretted our breakup, and I * knew *that he was still in love with me. I also learned about his fear that the Enforcers would destroy the both of us. Normally, a vampire waits until they are over a hundred years old before they even think of bringing someone across," she finished.

"The *unwritten* rule about bringing someone across is usually because of control," Xander broke in, to explain. "Usually, it takes that long to be able to control a childé. I never even thought about it when I did it, but, after I gave it some thought, I was worried about what might happen because of it. I *never* stopped loving Cordelia, and when I saw her dying, all I could think of was saving her."

"So why didn't the, um, Enforcers do anything?" Giles asked, interest plainly showing in his manner.

"Probably, it was mostly due to the influence of my father and grandfather. They are both well known and respected throughout the communities of the world. Also because, according to them, I feel a lot older than I actually am to others of our kind. Grandfather thinks that's probably due to growing up in the vicinity of the Hellmouth. I do know that they were watching us very closely the whole time," Xander explained. "At the first sign of any problem, we would both have been eliminated."

"So why have we never run across any of your kind before, Xander?" Buffy asked, still feeling uncomfortable about her friend.

"Because of you, Buff," Xander replied.

"They know about Buffy?" Joyce asked, worried for her daughter.

"Not Buffy in particular, but they do know about the Slayer. The community is aware of them, and tries to avoid them. Plus, we are not comfortable around the soulless breeds; they have caused too much attention in the past."

"They know about the Slayers?" Giles inquired.

"Yeah, they do, Giles, and, in fact, they have even helped them in the past, if they could do so without being noticed. My father helped out a Slayer in Italy back in the twenties, kept her from being ambushed," Xander replied.

"But why?" Giles asked.

"Because they fight the vampires who would not care if the truth were to come out. The community wants things kept quiet, and we hate the soulless kind."

Before Giles could ask another question, Xander asked one himself.

"Giles, is the Council sending someone after Faith?"

"I'm afraid so. Wesley notified them of Faith's crossing the line, and now that she has awakened, they will be sending someone to retrieve her, and take her back to trial," Giles sighed.

"Well, for now, we'll keep her out of sight as much as possible. Maybe we can convince them that she left town," Xander said, thinking out loud more than anything else.

"And we will all keep quiet about her as well," said Joyce, looking at Buffy, Willow and Oz with her 'Mom' look.

"Yeah." "Right." and "Uh huh." The three teens agreed.

"Of course," Giles also agreed. "But the Council may look for you as well, Xander," the Watcher pointed out. "It won't be that hard to locate you."

"Don't be too sure about that Giles," Xander grinned. "Since I returned, some things have changed. We have someone in the 'Community' that arranges things for us, like untraceable identities, and my house was bought under one of those ID's. The car is also registered under that. Plus, I haven't stopped by to see my parents either, and have no plan to. I doubt they will be able to track me if I don't want them to," he explained.

"Don't sell them short, Xander," Giles warned the brunet Scooby. "They are all former SAS veterans, and are not only chosen for their combat skills, but for their knowledge of special operations as well. They will be very hard to avoid."

"I will be careful, Giles, but Aristotle is very good at what he does, and he doesn't leave traces," Xander sighed, looking around the room and seeing the slightly dazed expressions on everyone's faces.

"Look guys, I can tell that you are all surprised and a little uncomfortable will all of this, so we will take off, and leave you to yourselves. When you are feeling a little more comfortable and want to talk more, let me know. Giles can contact me, and pass any messages along. And Joyce, say "hi" to Dawn for me."

"I will, Xander," she agreed.

Xander stood, walked over to Giles and offered his hand which Giles shook without hesitation. He had thought to offer the same to Joyce, but she was already standing and hugged him before he could react. She then embraced both Cordelia and Faith, showing that she didn't resent the young vampire woman, and forgave Faith.

"Take care, all of you," was all she said.

"Buff, Wills, Oz. You guys take it easy out there. If you need me, you know how to get in touch with me, just let Giles know," Xander said as he turned and opened the door.

"B," started Faith. "I know you won't believe me, but I am sorry. For everything."

Buffy looked at the younger Slayer and smiled slightly.

"Thanks, Faith. I do believe you, and I'm pretty sure that in time we might be able to be friends."

Cordelia, although she had never really been close friends with any of them, made sure that she said goodbye to each person. She made sure that Giles and Joyce were aware that she cared for them.

As the door closed behind them, Joyce turned to her remaining guests and sighed.

"That went very well, don't you think!" she said sarcastically.

"Indeed," agreed Giles with weary sigh.

"Well, it has given me a lot to think about," Buffy commented. "I guess I need to rethink the way I handled things, both personally and when it comes to slaying.

Willow and Oz were both whispering furiously to each other, ignoring everyone else.

As the two vampyres and the formerly renegade Slayer drove home, a private jet was approaching LAX International Airport. It carried a watcher, and eight men, all tough and determined looking.

Sunnydale was going to get very interesting, very soon.