A Breed Apart

Author: Knife Hand <d_lutke[at]hotmail.com>

Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated

Spoilers: Some, mostly early series.

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy. I would buy the show but I am broke

Category: Buffy/Xander

Summary: On her first day at Sunnydale High, Buffy finds an odd kinship to a fellow student and something she never knew about herself.

AN: The beginning of this fic follows the premier episodes of series one, Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest, and assumes that events occur as in the episode unless stated otherwise.

Latest addition

Chapter 1

Xander was skating along on the footpath outside Sunnydale High when he felt something he had never felt before. Looking around he saw a new girl, a petite girl with blond hair that he felt a kinship to and his loneliness faded a bit. When he looked back to where he was going he saw the railing right in front of him. Running on pure instinct he somersaulted over the railing and then pretended that the railing had flipped him.


"I really don't understand this attitude. You, you've accepted your duty, you, you've slain vampires before..." Giles said.

"Yeah, and I've both been there and done that, and I'm moving on." Buffy responded.

"I'm afraid you can't." Came a voice from the stacks.

A figure stepped into view from behind the stacks, which Buffy recognised as Xander.

"And why not?" Buffy asked angrily.

"Because you are not like them." Xander said. "And I'm not talking about being the Slayer, good for you by the way. I know you've felt it. The loneliness, the pain, the feeling that you don't quite belong in the world.

"You were always stronger and faster than you friends, but you hid it. You felt things you could never explain, heard conversations of people who were too far away. You sensed things that no one else could. You healed fast, even before becoming the Slayer.

"Were you ever sure you lost a fingertip or a toe or something but when you looked a few hours later, or the next day, it was as if nothing had happened? Or maybe you felt as if the whole world slowed and only you were moving a normal speed. You felt it, when you came here, that the loneliness got slightly less, didn't you?"

Buffy slowly nodded. Xander had been looking in her eyes the entire time that he had been speaking, searching for recognition that he found.

"Yes. How do you know all this?" Buffy asked, almost desperately.

"Because I am like you. I've felt the same thing. I never thought that one of us would become the Slayer though, we are so few." Xander responded.

"Excuse me, but when you say we, I get the distinct impression that you mean something specific. To what are you referring?" Giles said.

"Huh?" Buffy said.

"I was referring to our species. We are Dampir. Human Vampire hybrids, although not the vampire you get here on the Hellmouth." Xander replied. "We are from a different breed of Vampire that are not evil and blend into humanity rather than raging to destroy it. We are mostly outcasts, never fully accepted by either race, if they know what we are, which our Vampire kin do.

"My mother was a Vampire and she left me her journals and letters. I believe that Buffy's father was also a Vampire. We have Vampiric strength and speed, Buffy's will be enhanced by her being the Slayer. Sometimes we can move so fast that the world around us seems to slow, this also comes from our Vampire kin, and we can regenerate. Otherwise, apart from heightened senses, we are completely human, except for our lifespan."

"Two questions. One, what is a Hellmouth? And two, what is different about our lifespan." Buffy asked.

"Well, this town is on the Hellmouth, basically a huge demon magnet that will destroy the world if opened and the average lifespan of a Dampir is about two hundred years." Xander replied.

"Oh." Buffy responded before fainting.

Xander was ten feet from her when she fainted but, using his speed, he caught her easily before she hit the ground. As soon as Buffy was in Xander's arms calmness fell over her face.

"Contact with other Dampir calms us. Just so you know, we don't drink blood." Xander said to Giles.


Buffy ran out of the mausoleum and hears a vampire growl and a scream. She quickly ran towards the scream and staked the vampire just as it was about to get Willow. Xander came running up and quickly checked out Buffy and Willow.

"They got Jesse. There were too many." Xander said.

Xander picked Willow up from the ground and carried her off with Buffy following closely.

"Ok. We need to get her inside. We'll talk to Giles in the morning and see if we can find where they took Jesse, then you can track them." Xander said.

"Right." Buffy said.


Xander and Willow were waiting in the library for Buffy to return. Willow had initially freaked over the existence of Vampires and the fact that both Xander and Buffy were Dampir, however she quickly buried herself in research. Buffy walked in and everyone looked up.

"Did you find Jesse?" Willow asked.

Buffy nodded slowly and subconsciously let of a mournful whimper.

"Son of a Bitch!" Xander exclaimed.

"What? Is Jesse dead?" Willow asked concerned.

"Worse." Xander said before moving over to hug Buffy and giving off a comforting pur to which Buffy purred back.

"That is a little disturbing." Giles commented.

"So, Giles! Got anything that can make this day any worse?" Buffy asked.


"It's locked!" Buffy said, trying the door of the Bronze. "I can't break through this. I'm so stupid."

"Hey. You didn't know that you'd get grounded." Xander said. "Giles, Wills, try the back, we'll go in another way."

"Get the exits clear and the people out, that's all." Buffy said.

"Wills, remember, Jesse's gone, do what you have to, to defend yourself." Xander said.

Giles and Willow ran off towards the back of the building while Buffy and Xander made their way to the roof. Looking through the skylight, Buffy and Xander saw one guard on the catwalk and Luke on the stage. Xander accurately threw a stake dusting the guard before they made their entrance. Buffy and Xander dived through the skylight, somersaulting in mid air and landing impressively on the pool table, back to back and on one knee, Buffy facing the stage and Xander facing the doors.

"You!" Luke said.

"Yah, me. So what of it?" Buffy replied.

"I will kill you. The Master will rise and all of your kind, all the race of men, will die. Then we, the race of Vampires, will rule the world in blood." Luke proclaimed.

"Ok, now that is just stupid." Buffy said, getting a look of confusion from Luke. "First of all, you kill all the humans then what are you going to eat? Huh? Secondly, you vampires are not a race, you are simply infected, a plague. Finally, we are not human. We are Dampir."

Some of the older vampires looked worried by the last remark and the younger ones looked confused. Xander let off a low growl and they both performed a twisting forward somersault while gripping pool ques that they had grabbed from the table. Buffy staked a vampire with the pool que then performed a series of one handed back flips towards the stage ending with a twisting reverse somersault from a single handed handstand, a routine that would make an Olympic gymnast jealous.

Xander staked a nearby fledgling with his pool que before breaking it in half and taking the fight to the guards near the door. While Xander dusted the guards and opened the doors, Buffy engaged Luke and the back door opened revealing Giles and Willow.

"Everybody out!" Xander yelled and people started running for the doors.

On the stage, Buffy was desperately fighting Luke, however her pool que was getting in the way.

"Xander, switch." Buffy called, doing a back flip that allowed her feet to solidly connect with Luke's jaw.

Buffy threw her pool que at Xander and he threw his two stakes, the broken halves of his pool que, back to Buffy. Xander caught the whole pool que and began to lay waste to the vampires around him, using it like a quarterstaff. Buffy caught the two stakes; however a crescent kick from Luke knocked the stake out of her left hand. While Buffy exchanged more blows with Luke, Xander was dusting vampire after vampire, mostly fledglings, barely even flinching when he staked Jesse.

Suddenly Xander came up against a blond female vampire who was strong. He battled her for a while, exchanging blows and blocks. Finally Xander used his pool que to block a kick, causing it to break against his chest. Xander quickly used one end of the broken que to knock out the vampire with a blow to the head. Xander looked up at the stage and saw Buffy was in trouble with Luke, so Xander growled loudly. The growl was an alteration of the Dampir languages' standard danger signal, roughly translated as 'Duck, loved one.' but was slightly confused as the inflections that indicated sister, mate and friend were all present in the call.

Reacting on instinct, Buffy performed a split, allowing Xander to throw his stake into Luke's right shoulder, distracting the vampire long enough for Buffy to stake him. The remaining vampires ran and when Xander looked down the vampire that he had knocked out was gone. Buffy jumped down off the stage and ran to Xander.

Still running on instinct they both purred and gently sniffed the other's neck to see if they were ok, extending the treatment to Willow and Giles, who they considered part of their 'family' when they approached. When they finally finished, after discovering everyone was safe, they proceeded out of the Bronze.

"That was slightly weird. With the sniffing and the purring." Willow said.

"Sorry if that disturbed you Wills. It was instinctive, you are our 'family' and we were making sure you were ok." Xander said.

"At leat it's over." Willow responded.

"No it's not. That was not the first attack, nor will it be the last. The people in there will rationalise or forget or both. We, and others, fight and die for them and they will never know it unless we lose and then they are dead. That's just the way it is." Xander said as they walked.


Xander walked up to the door of the Summers' house and knocked. The direct sun was shining on him as Buffy's mother opened the door.

"Hello. Can I help you?" She asked.

"Hello Mrs. Summers. I'm Xander, one of Buffy's friends. I just came over to show her some history stuff, about some of the town's resident's." Xander said showing Joyce Summers the stack of folders he had in his hands.

Joyce stepped back and allowed him to pass without a word.

'Smart woman, she knows the town is not safe, if only subconsciously.' Xander thought as he entered the house.

"Buffy. Your friend Xander is here." Joyce called up the stairs.

Buffy appeared at the top of the stairs and smiled down at Xander.

"Cool. Come on up. Mum, we'll be in my room." Buffy said.

Xander and Buffy made their way to Buffy's room and soon found themselves flaked out, surrounded by Xander's biological mother's journals and letters. Xander was more enjoying the comfort of being near Buffy that reading; he had read them all before.

"Grose. It says here that we can survive on blood, but we don't have to. It also says that we have a 'game face'. Do you know what it looks like?" Buffy asked.

Xander nodded his head sadly, his eyes filled with pain that Buffy could not see, due to the fact that his back was facing her.

"Yes. We get burnished golden eyes, not the sickly yellow of the Sunnydale vampires, and fangs. I've only used it twice." Xander said.

Buffy slipped off the bed, where she had been lying, and sat next to Xander, wrapping an arm around his shoulders in a gesture of comfort.

"Want to tell me about it? It might help." Buffy said her voice and eyes showing nothing but concern and a wish to comfort him.

"It only happens when I'm really mad. The first time was when I was five. My adopted parents were fighting. He was drunk and he was hitting her. At the time I did not know I was adopted and I got so mad. He got frightened when he saw my face, I held him up against the wall, his feet off the ground and told him never to hurt her again. He quit drinking after that. He goes to AA meetings and a psychiatrist a couple of times a week now. The other time was to protect Willow."

Xander paused to gather himself for the next part of the tale.

"Wills was attacked when we were seven, by a human. She was almost raped. I ended up killing the guy, I beat him to death. I broke every bone in his body before he died. She does not remember the incident but she changed after that night. She became very shy and for a long time would not trust anyone except me, not even Jesse."

Silent tears streamed down Xander's face as he recited the story, reliving the horror. Buffy was shocked and not that Xander had killed the guy, but at what the guy had done to Willow. She would have kept him alive and in agony for weeks before finally killing him. Buffy waited silently as the anger and grief caused by the memories subsided, which took a few minutes.

She was just about to speak when her mother quickly knocked and entered the room. Buffy's arm was no longer around Xander's shoulder, which was lucky as Joyce seemed to be looking for anything amiss.

"Do either of you want anything to eat?" Joyce asked.

"Yah that would be great." Buffy said, picking up another journal.

"I'll come and help. Keep reading, Buff, I've already been through them." Xander said before leaving the room with Joyce, to Buffy's surprise.

Chapter 2

Xander followed Joyce down into the kitchen, helping her as she made some snack food for Buffy.

"Buffy is special." Xander said after a few minutes.

"Of course she is. She is my only child." Joyce replied in a slightly nervous tone.

Xander paused for a minute trying to think of another way to approach the subject.

"Tell me about Buffy's father." Xander said at last.

"Who, Hank?" Joyce responded.

"No. Not your husband, Buffy's father." Xander replied.

"I don't know what you are talking about." Joyce stuttered.

"Trust is at the heart of all things true, from true love to true despair." Xander commented.

"He used to say that. Buffy's father, I mean. How do you know that phrase?" Joyce said.

"From my mother, my real mother. She was like Buffy's father. That is all the stuff I brought over. My mother's journals and letters. I don't even remember her; she left me for my own protection when I was very young." Xander confided.

"That's what her father said. He said he had to leave for her and my sake, that 'they' would never accept her. I never found out what he meant." Joyce said.

Xander and Joyce spent the next twenty minutes talking. Joyce told Xander all about Buffy's father, their relationship and the real reason why Hank did not like to see Buffy, he was 'shooting blanks' as Xander put it. In return Xander told Joyce about his mother, the truth behind vampires, both Buffy and Xander's respective parent and the soulless variety that roamed Sunnydale, and Buffy's calling as the Slayer, including that he would always stand by her.

"I want to help." Joyce said after hearing the full story.

"You are. Just be her mother, which is what she will need. An element of normality in her life." Xander responded.

Xander and Joyce walked back upstairs to Buffy's room carrying the snacks and drinks. Joyce left and Xander dropped onto the bed next to Buffy.

"Find what you wanted to know?" Xander asked.

"I guess." Buffy replied.

The lay there for a while both reading the same passage from one of Xander's mother's journals, not really noticing how close they were, or that their legs had intertwined.

"I got a great idea. Let's take over Sunnydale High." Xander said after a while.

"How?" Buffy queried, showing genuine interest.

"Redefine cool." Xander said with his patented lopsided grin.


The last few weeks, since Xander had shown Buffy the stuff about his mother, had seen progress in their plans to take over Sunnydale High. The first step was to get Xander, Buffy and Willow into similar outfits, mostly slightly loose pants and slightly tight shirts or blouses, usually in dark colours.

Xander had joined the swim team, which trained on Wednesday, and after convincing Principal Flutie to let them use the Gymnasium, every day except Wednesday when it was used for Cheerleader practice, they had formed the Gymnastics and Self-defence clubs, which met on Monday and Friday for one hour, two for more advanced students, leaving the rest of the afternoon and the entire afternoon Tuesday and Thursday for training.

General Hellmouth research was conducted on Wednesday, after swim practice for Xander, and most lunchtimes. Giles officially oversaw the Gymnastics and Self-defence clubs as faculty representative. As would be expected a fair number of Cheerleaders signed up for Gymnastics to work on their flexibility, and several to stare at Xander's muscles as he did routines on the rings and parallel bars in a tank top.

At first there were not many boys in the Gymnastics club, until they saw two things. First were some of the routines that Xander could do, including handstand on the rings and the giant swings on the high bar. The second reason that men began joining was an age old one, women. They saw not only the outfits that the girls wore, which resembled tight fitting one-piece bathing suits, but also that the girls seemed to like Gymnasts.

The Self-defence classes were a different matter. Most of the initial members were outcasts who were always picked on and now wanted to fight back. Most were slow to learn and wanted to do the cool sword fighting that Buffy and Xander would sometimes do without learning the basics first. Some of the students were surprising. Willow quickly became a decent fighter as she was doing both Self- defence and Gymnastics she was fast and flexible.

The Gymnastics, as well as training with Buffy and Xander, had increased her strength; in fact some of her training on Tuesday and Thursday were directly focused on strength. Another quick study was Oz, who was in the year above them and lead guitarist in a band. The reserved and quite type, Oz started in Gymnastics, the first male besides Xander to join, and was pretty good and he soon joined Self-defence as well.

Unlike his stoic personality, Oz was very adaptive in a fight and a slightly aggressive. The biggest surprise, though, came from the smallest student, Jonathan Levinson. Despite his small stature, Jonathan was fast and agile. Buffy and Xander decided to teach him a soft style of martial arts, which would utilise his speed and agility while turning his opponent's strength against them. He soon became one of the best students in the class and could probably survive an encounter with a fledgling or minor vampire, but they determined he was not ready, yet, to know the truth.

Putting Self-defence class out of her mind, Buffy walked into the Bronze looking for Willow and Xander. She hadn't seen Xander since they had gotten back from the fieldtrip to the zoo today. She quickly spotted Willow at one of the tables, and she made her way over quickly, stoping at the bar to get a coke and a croissant.

She sat next to Willow and they began idly chatting and ignoring the stares they got from all the high school boys. Xander saunters in and almost every female turns to look at him, their heads tracking his movement towards Buffy and Willow.

"Girls!" Xander said with a grin.

"Boy." Buffy responded glibly.

"Sorry I'm late, I... just forgot that we were gonna be here." He said, spotting Buffy's Croissant. "Hungry!"

Xander tears a piece of Buffy's Croissant off and begins to eat it.

Buffy looks offended.

"What is this crap? I need real food." Xander said.

Xander dropped the piece of Croissant, leaned towards Buffy, sniffing slightly and purring. While normally this would not be considered unusual, except that it was in public, the purring was unlike anything they had heard before. While there were some Dampir inflections, mostly mate, it was more feral and creepily comical.

At this point Kyle and party, who had just entered, took over another table, after being stared down by Xander. One of them made a cruel joke and the others laughed, joined by Xander.


"Something's wrong with Xander, Giles." Buffy said as she entered the library.

"Such as?" Giles responded calmly.

"I think he is possessed or something?" Buffy raged.

"And why would you think this?" Giles said.

"He's been different, meaner. He was teasing people, laughing at torment. He even went Game Face. He never goes Game Face Giles, not unless he's outraged, and he wasn't."

"Sound's like he is turning into a teenage boy. Testosterone is the great equaliser, it turns all men into morons. He will get over it, eventually." Giles said calmly.

"He smelt different." Buffy stated.

"Excuse me?"

"He smelt different. There was a feral scent overlaying his own scent, almost canine."

The doors came crashing open and Willow barged in.

"I think Xander in trouble." Willow said.

"How so?" Giles said.

"Kyle and his gang were picking on me, and then Xander came and stopped them. He said something about me being part of his pack. Then they called him a traitor or something and said the next time they saw him there would be a fight for leadership. Whatever that means." Willow babbled.

"God, I am so mentally challenged. He smells like the Hyenas at the zoo. I got to find him, he can't take them all. You two research animal possessions." Buffy said as she went out the door.


Buffy stepped up beside Xander as he faced off against the four other Hyena possessed students.

'Need help?' Buffy growled in the Dampir language.

'Just play along.' Xander responded in kind.

Xander began to sniff and purr at Buffy, who returned the treatment, however it was much more intimate than usual, which normally was the post battle ritual. The whole act was to convince the other possessed students that Buffy and Xander were mates, hence all the more dangerous when together as they would fight to the death to protect each other. After this display the faced off against the others, looking to scare them off for the moment.

As they stalked towards the others, Buffy brought forth her Game Face, then looked over at Xander with her burnished golden eyes and he brought his own Game Face forward. This caused enough fear in Kyle and the others that they turned and ran. As soon as they were out of sight, Xander retracted his Game Face, looked at Buffy, still in her Game Face, for a long second, as if he was struggling with himself, then he ran for the Library.


Xander ran into the Library, shocking Willow and Giles, and locked himself in the book cage. Buffy entered a second later, he Game Face gone.

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" Buffy demanded.

"Sorry Buffy, but I almost lost control. The Hyena, it's in me and I can't always control it. It wanted you during that, and then when you changed, the Dampir, I, wanted you. I almost lost it and I can't trust myself at the moment." Xander said, shame clear in his voice.

"Um. Changed?" Willow asked nervously.

"I went Game Face." Buffy said.

"Ok. I think we should get back to how we can reverse-trans-possess Xander." Giles said.

The poured over books and Willow searched the internet. Xander even helped from inside the book cage, Buffy or Willow passing him books to look through.


Willow waited, jiggling nervously outside the quarantined Hyena enclosure. Giles and the Zoo keeper were waiting inside the enclosure, readying the ceremony. Xander was leading the other possessed students to the enclosure and Buffy was out making sure that they followed Xander. Willow spotted Xander and Buffy running towards the Hyena enclosure, so she turned and entered to find Giles and the Zoo keeper.


Xander and Buffy rushed in and turned to face the possessed students. Then they heard a scream behind them and some weird chanting. They turned to face the Zoo keeper who was holding a knife to Willow's neck.

Xander and the other possessed student's eyes lit up, followed by the Zoo keeper's eyes lighting up. Buffy immediately smelt the change in Xander. Buffy growled softly, and Xander replied. Before anyone else could move Buffy and Xander ran at full dampiric speed at the Zoo keeper. Buffy pulled Willow away, making sure she did not get cut by the knife, while Xander, timed a second behind Buffy, crash tackled the Zoo keeper, causing him to fall into the Hyena feeding area.


Xander knocked at the Summers' door. Joyce opened the door and welcomed him inside.

"Xander? Did you come to talk to me or to Buffy?" Joyce asked.

Ever since his first visit, Xander had been visiting Joyce to talk about his mother and Buffy's father. For his part it was more a way to find out more about the life of his mother's kind, but for Joyce it was a way to reconnect, even vicariously, with the love of her life.

"I really need to talk to Buffy, Ms S., it is quite important." Xander said.

"Of course. She's up in her room." Joyce said, catching on that something was amiss but not sure what.

Xander walked slowly up the stairs to Buffy's room. He could feel her presence and he knew she could feel him as well. When he reached her door, she opened it and let him in.

"Xand. To what do I owe this pleasure?" Buffy asked with a grin.

"Buff, we need to talk." Xander said.

Buffy's grin disappeared when she heard his tone.

"What's the matter? Did anyone die?" Buffy said, genuinely concerned.

"No. We need to talk about us." Xander said.


"Look, Buffy. I am attracted to you, maybe it is the pull of another Dampir, and I know, at least physically, you are attracted to me. Hell I can smell it sometimes, like when we faced down Kyle and his gang last week." Xander began, forestalling Buffy when she tried to interrupt.

"Just let me get this out. There is a strength in you that the Hyena recognised, that whole mate thing, at least on my part was not all an act. Even the Vampire part of me senses it. I figure this whole thing leaves us with three options. Firstly, we try to repress these feelings until the tension builds up and one of explodes, literally or figuratively, this is the Hellmouth after all. Option two, I leave. Leave town, go forever. Or option three, we get together and try to make this work.

"I think that I love you. Not the vampire in you, the human. All of you and I want to give it a try. If, however you don't or for you it is just the pull of two Dampir then I will leave town. I'll give you all the time you need to think about this, ok. Come and see me, or call, when you have made up your mind."

At the end of his speech, Xander left Buffy's room, after a drawn out second looking into her eyes, to let her think about what he had said.

Chapter 3

Buffy entered the almost deserted gymnasium, looking over the equipment that Xander had purchased with his sizable inheritance from his biological mother. It had been almost a week since Xander had outlined the foreseeable options for them. She had spent the week thinking hard and had finally come to a discission.

Her eyes latched onto Xander and she definitely felt the physical attraction that he had mentioned. Xander was so wrapped up in what he was doing that he did not notice her.

Dressed in a gymnast's tights, Xander was performing a handstand on the rings. As she watched he slowly lowered his body into the basket, where his body was folded and his legs were parallel to the ground, before pushing back up into a handstand for a second before doing a full circle into an inverted crucifix, lowering to a normal crucifix without losing the position. He then did a forward circle to dismount. (AN: for those not familiar with Gymnastics, the rings are a very strength orientated apparatus and that is an impressive series of moves to end a routine.)

When Xander landed, he turned and looked straight into Buffy's eyes.

"We need to talk." She said quietly.

Grabbing a towel from his kit bag, Xander motioned to some benches by the wall and dried the sweat off him as they walked. Sitting down on the benches, Buffy's eyes searched the gymnasium, as if searching for a way out of the upcoming conversation. Taking a deep breath she began.

"Xander, this is going to be hard for me, so please just listen to what I have to say before you say anything." She paused, casting a glance at Xander for his nod. "Last time we talked, you said some things about instinct and attraction. I won't deny it, I am attracted to you because we are both Dampir, and it is a physical attraction."

Buffy looked at Xander and saw anguish in his eyes.

"However," she continued. "That is not all I feel for you. You are funny, and strong. I mean strong emotionally. When I'm around you I feel safe. I feel as if I have come home, and I'm not talking about the Dampir thing either. It is deeper, in my soul. I don't know if it is love or what it is but I do know one thing. I want to give it a try. I just have to know one thing first. Is it this face," Buffy gestured to her face, "Or this face that you love?"

As she said the last part, she brought forth her Game Face, her burnished Golden eyes gleaming with moisture.

"Oh, Buffy. I love them both. It is you, all of you, that I love." Xander replied, bringing forth his own Game Face.

They sat for the next hour, Buffy crying softly with relief into Xander's shoulder and neither noticed that they had their Game Face on or when it faded, they just saw each other.

The news spread through Sunnydale High like a brushfire. Xander Harris and Buffy Summers, the new king and queen of popularity at Sunnydale High after the unprecedented coupe a few weeks ago, which deposed Queen Cordy, were now officially dating.


Xander retracted the stake from the chest of the vampire in front of him, watching as it turned to dust. Willow had to admit, she was amazed by her life long friend. If this change had happened to anyone else, she would have freaked totally, but Xander was still Xander, there was just another layer that she had never known. She heard Xander give off a sound that she could not quite describe, almost like it was part of the night time noises and she thought she heard the reply from Buffy, maybe. Xander chuckled softly at what he heard.

'OK. That's kind of freaky.' Willow thought.

Xander and Willow kept walking through their part of the cemetery, with Buffy and Giles patrolling another area. They walked along in a comfortable silence. Ever since she found out that Xander and Buffy were Dampir, and what that meant for them, Willow had started to put her feeling for Xander, which were mostly a crush, if not away then at least on hold, particularly in the last month and a half, since Xander and Buffy had started dating. No matter how much she hated to admit it, Xander was out of her grasp. Xander had changed, but then again, so had Willow.

Xander now walked with confidence, radiating a sense of strength and danger at will rather than the goofy persona he usually adopted. His clothing had changed from baggy and so bright it was only fit for the colour blind or insane to dark but stylish clothing that revealed his well toned body. At the moment, Xander was wearing black combat boots, a pair of black slacks, a dark blue t-shirt and a dark jacket.

Likewise, Willow had undergone a transformation. Gone was the shy brainy geek that no one, except Xander and Buffy, liked, gone were the horribly un-trendy clothing. Willow had cut her hair shorter, so instead of flowing down her back, it stopped just below her shoulders and was kept in a permanent ponytail, which surprisingly brought out the natural deep red colour of the hair more than the longer style. Thanks to the continuous workouts for the Gymnastics club, the Self-Defence club and her extra training, Willow had stopped being clumsy to any degree, instead she had developed a subtle grace that seemed to be a reflection of Buffy and Xander's.

While you could never have called Willow fat by any stretch of the imagination, she had also never been called fit, until now. Her body had hardened, muscles that had been lax, from a lifestyle where sitting in front of a computer for hours was considered exercise, were now lean and strong. Unsurprisingly, Willow now had the physique of a Gymnast, a lean and flexible body that was supple yet strong. Due to the way she was trained and the way she fought, Willow actually had an advantage over larger and stronger opponents, using her speed against her enemies. She was even fairly decent against vampire opponents, well fledglings at least who relied on their vampiric strength to feed and fight rather than their brains, as many older vampires did. Willow was dressed similarly to Xander, with combat boots, hip hugging denim jeans, a pale green blouse and short, black jacket and she seemed more at home in this attire, with weaponry, than she ever had in her old clothing.

Willow knew that she heard the second call from Buffy, a few minutes after Xander's kill, and although she could not understand it, she heard the urgency in the call. At the call, Xander got nervous.

"Wills? You trust me?" Xander asked.

"Of course." Willow said without hesitation.

"Ok, then hold on." Xander replied.

Xander picked Willow up, holding her behind the knees with one hand and the upper back with the other. Instinctively Willow wrapped her arms loosely around Xander's neck as he took off at top speed across the cemetery. For a second, Willow was thrilled at the speed they were going, but then she just relaxed back into Xander's arms, taking comfort in the mere presence of her life long friend, hoping that she would never have to life without him, even if she could never be with him. When they reached Buffy and Giles, Willow assessed the situation quickly, knowing Xander would do a better job. There were a full dozen vampires, with dust evidence of several more. Three of them were attacking Giles, with evidence of two dust piles near him, while the other nine, as well as the rest of the dust piles, surrounded Buffy.

"Help Giles, I'll help Buffy." Xander said.

Willow nodded and braced herself for what she knew was coming. Xander threw Willow accurately towards the vampires around Giles before laying into the back of the ones surrounding Buffy. Willow controlled her flight so that she crashed feet first into two of the three vampires around Giles, rolling away from the downed vampires and giving Giles a brief respite. Giles too the opportunity to stake the third vampire, who was staring at the amazing, flying redhead.

At first glance, Giles looked like he always did, dressed in a tweed suit. The suit, however, was customized for Slaying. The shoes had steel caps in the toes, the trousers were not as lose around the ankle as normal suit trousers, so they did not interfere with kicks or footwork. The shirt, vest and jacket were slightly looser and cut slightly differently than in normal suits to allow for a greater range of motion while fighting, and the jacket held hidden pockets for easy access to weaponry. While Giles still wore a tie, in concession to Slaying, it was a clip on tie that could not be used to try and choke him. As the two vampires rose, one faced Willow and the other faced Giles.

Willow went on the offensive, only noticing Giles out of the corner of her eye, monitoring him enough to know if he needed assistance and knowing that he was doing the same. She used her slight speed advantage and whipcord strength to her advantage, avoiding the vampire's clumsy attacks and hitting with virtual impunity. When the vampire overextended on a punch, Willow managed to catch its arm and, using her whole body as a leaver, flip the vampire onto its back and stake it. Looking up she saw Giles sidestep a clumsy charge by his opponent and stake it in the back.

Willow and Giles looked over at Buffy and Xander, at deadly poetry in motion. Six of the nine vampires were dust and the remaining three were putting up a good fight, evidenced by a cut in Buffy's forehead, claw marks on Xander's jacket and the fact that were both in 'Game Face'. Buffy blocked the attack of one vampire, twisting its arm till it broke and throwing it clear of the combat zone. Giles grabbed a crossbow from the small bag that was lying nearby and shot the vampire in the heart, dusting it.

"Help us, Darla." One of the vampires called into the darkness as Xander sweep kicked and staked its companion.

Xander looked up and saw the blond vampiress that had disappeared from the Bronze during the Harvest. Growling to Buffy that he was going after her, Xander took off into the night following the four hundred year old female vampire. Buffy traded a few final blows with her vampire foe before she staked it. Dusting herself off, Buffy wondered over to join Willow and Giles. Buffy was wearing combat boots, slightly loose pair of dark cargo pants, with enough pockets to hide plenty of Stakes, a dark grey tank top and Xander's swimming team jacket.

"Um. Shouldn't we..." Willow said, gesturing in the direction that Xander had taken off in.

"Nah." Buffy said, shaking her head. "He'll be fine."

The group began wandering after Xander, and they went undisturbed for several minutes. They heard Xander approach before they saw him, Willow turning slightly red and the string of profanities and obscene comments that Xander spewed.

"Well, I would need a few days to recover from that one, but if you want to give it a go? I would not recommend it for anyone else though; a human would not survive that." Buffy said jokingly after Xander made an extremely violent and very obscene statement.

That comment, and the tone in which it was delivered snapped Xander out of his vocal introspection. He did however note the inquisitive look in Buffy's eyes from some of his comments, before he blushed.

"She got away." Xander grumbled.

"So I guessed." Buffy responded with a chuckle.

The group started off through the cemetery again to finish the patrol.

"Guess we are going to have to research this 'Darla', huh Giles?" Buffy said.

"Well, that would be prudent." Giles responded.

"You couldn't have just said 'yep'?" Xander said.

"Oh. Research party! And that was way to enthusiastic, wasn't it?" Willow said.

"Don't worry, Wills. We love you anyway. So what mix are we getting on the donuts?" Xander inquired.

"Make sure there are Jellies." Giles said.

Buffy smiled at the byplay. She may be the Slayer, Xander and her may be Dampir but they were all still themselves.

Chapter 4

Xander and Buffy were wandering along the street near the Bronze. They had just been dancing in the club and had left Willow chatting happily with Oz, lead guitarist of the band 'Dingoes Ate My Baby' (AN: For all Non-Australians who never got that, it is based on an old court case where Miss Chamberlain claimed that 'Dingoes ate my baby' as a defence when her baby went missing.) and member of both their self-defence and Gymnastics clubs. Willow and Oz seemed to be quite friendly, and Xander hoped that they might get together, it would be good for Willow, who is usually chronically shy around males, except Xander. It had been a few weeks since Darla had gotten away from Xander and they had found little on her in their research except that she is old. A faint sound behind them alerted the couple to their visitor.

"Ugh. If I didn't know you had a Soul, I would have staked you already." Xander complained.

"Heard you are going after Darla." Angel said.

"So what's it to you?" Buffy asked, annoyed at the souled vampire, mostly because he was a vampire.

"Well I know her better than anyone." Angel replied.

"And why is that?" Xander asked bitterly.

"Because she Sired me." Angel said flatly.


"It's clear. It's what's gonna happen. Uh, it's happening now!" Giles explained.

"It can't be. You've gotta be wrong." Angel retorted.

"I've checked it against all my other volumes. It's very real." Giles said.

"Well, there's gotta be some way around it." Angel said.

"Listen. Some prophecies are, are a bit dodgy. They're, they're mutable. Buffy herself has, has thwarted them time and time again, but this is the Codex. There is nothing in it that does not come to pass." Giles responded.

"Then you're reading it wrong." Angel countered.

"I wish to God I were! But it's very plain! Tomorrow night Buffy will face the Master, and she will die." Giles said, removing his glasses and rubbing his eyes.

It had been several weeks since Angel had told them about Darla and his unique situation. Angel had integrated himself into the group as a link to the underbelly of Sunnydale that the others could not get to; in fact he had obtained the very reference book that they were now discussing. Angel knew that Buffy and Xander disliked him, they were Dampir and that was natural, but he could not help himself but to protect the girl.

"Well, have you verified the text?" Angel asked.

Outside the office, Buffy began to laugh hysterically.

'I can't go to the Spring Fling with Xand cause I'll be dead.' Buffy thought bitterly causing her to laugh harder.

"So that's it, huh? I remember the drill. One Slayer dies, next one's called! Wonder who she is." Buffy said, then to Giles. "Will you train her? Or will they send someone else?"

"Buffy, I..." Giles started.

"They say how he's gonna kill me? Do you think it'll hurt?" Buffy interrupted. "Were you even gonna tell me?"

"I was hoping that I wouldn't have to. That there was... some way around it. I..." Giles tried to explain

"I've got a way around it. I quit!" Buffy responded

"It's not that simple." Angel cut in.

"I'm making it that simple! I quit! I resign, I-I'm fired, you can find someone else to stop the Master from taking over!" Buffy said angrily.

"I'm not sure that anyone else can. All the... the signs indicate..."


"No, I don't suppose I am." Giles admitted.

"I know this is hard." Angel said.

"What do you know about this? You're never gonna die!" Buffy retorted

"We just gotta figure out a way..." Angel said

"I already did. I quit, remember? Pay attention!" Buffy shot back.

"Buffy, if the Master rises..." Giles cautioned.

"I don't care! I don't care. Giles, I'm sixteen years old. I don't wanna die." Buffy pleaded.

Angrily Buffy threw her cross necklace on the table and stormed out of the library.

'I need Xander.' She thought desperately.


Buffy lay on her bed staring at a picture of her, Xander, Willow and Giles. It had been taken just before Xander had been possessed by the Hyena spirit. They all looked so happy in the photo, so care free. She had not seen Xander since her visit to the library, in fact she had run home and had been staring at the photo ever since, trying to recall the feeling portrayed by the image. Buffy was so lost in her contemplation of the photo that she did not hear her bedroom door open.

"Are you ok, Honey?" Joyce asked.

"Sure, fine." Buffy said absently, and then she seemed to focus. "Why don't we go away? Just the two of us, for the weekend?"

"What about the Spring Fling? Didn't Xander ask you?" Joyce queried.

"Yes, he did, but... How did you know he was going to ask me?" Buffy said.

"Hey. I may be your mother, but I'm not THAT old." Joyce replied cheerfully.

"It's complicated." Buffy said simply.

"Is this about Darla?" Joyce asked.

"WHAT?!? How do you know about that?" Buffy said, shocked.

"Xander. He told me everything." Joyce replied, the smiled at Buffy's shocked expression. "What? Did you think we talked about crochet and chocolate brownies? Well, we did talk about the brownies, but that's beside the point."

"Huh, what, how?" Buffy stammered.

"We talked, ever since he first came over with those journals. I know about you being a Dampir and the Slayer, but none of that matters. You will always be my Buffy, my little girl." Joyce said reassuringly.

"What did you talk about?" Buffy asked, genuinely intrigued.

"Mostly about his mother and your father." Joyce said. "He did love you, in fact he gave you the name Buffy, but he left for your own protection."

"Much good it did. I'm dead anyway." Buffy said.

"Says who? Is it written somewhere?" Joyce asked.

"Yes, actually. Tomorrow night I will die, there's a prophecy and everything." Buffy said bitterly.

"Xander won't let that happen. You know he won't." Joyce said, reassuringly.

"Damn strait I won't." Xander said from the doorway, having arrived a few seconds ago. "Anyone gunning for you has to come through me first."

"I don't want to die." Buffy sobbed.

"Hey, you're not going to get rid of me that easily. If you die, I'll bring you back." Xander said, lightening Buffy's emotional load. "Joyce?"

Joyce read Xander's unspoken question and gave the couple some time alone.

"Tell me everything." Xander commanded gently.

"It was in the Library. Giles and Angel, did I ever mention how much I really hate that guy? Anyway they were talking, which I kind of overheard...." Buffy started, relating to Xander what had happened earlier.


Xander and Buffy walked into The Master's lair, Xander having followed Buffy and the Anointed One at a small distance and he had staked the Anointed One after he had shown Buffy the entrance to the lair. As they entered Xander spotted Darla in the shadows, she was obviously The Master's contingency plan, and it was lucky that Xander was Buffy's. after growling his intent to Buffy, Xander engaged Darla. Xander got lost in the action of fighting Darla. She was slightly stronger, slightly more agile and had more experience. He was faster, had longer reach and more basic skill. All in all, they were fairly evenly matched.

Xander became so into his fight with Darla, blocking her attacks and probing for weaknesses, that the fight became his entire world, a phenomenon know to fighter pilots as 'Loss of situational awareness' and to bomber crews as 'Having your head up your ass in the upright and locked position'. This was both a blessing and a curse. After fighting for god knows how long, and both Darla and himself landing some damaging blows, Darla was distracted by something in the lair, flicking her eyes off Xander for a split second and causing her to smile. This provided Xander with an opening that he exploited, breaking through Darla's defences and Stakeing her.

Turning from the floating dust that was Darla, Xander saw what had distracted the Vampiress. The world seemed to grind to a holt as Xander was engulfed in strong emotions, anger, fear, nervousness, loss and determination. Buffy lay face down in a small pool, the water droplets from her splash still hanging suspended in the air on their upward arc. There were two small holes in her neck, and The Master, in the act of turning away from her had blood on his lips. Xander's rage and grief brought out his full speed, not available to him during his fight with Darla.

Before the water droplets could reach their pinnacle and begin their descent, Xander had crossed the distance between himself and The Master. Plunging his stake into The Master's heart, then pulling Buffy out of the water before The Master's soft tissue could disintegrate, leaving his bones behind. As he laid Buffy's head on his lap, the world returned to normal. He could not hear a pulse, or feel one. Laying her onto the floor, Xander began CPR, which managed to restart her heart after a minute, causing her to come around some. Even with her heart going again, Buffy was in bad shape, having lost a lot of blood. Removing his black, long-sleaved button up shirt, leaving Xander in his black t-shirt, he turned the garment into a makeshift compress, which he placed over Buffy's neck wound.

"Buffy? Listen to me." Xander told the semi-conscious Slayer.

Buffy made an incoherent response.

"Buffy. You don't want to do this, but you must. Drink." Xander said.

With this last comment, Xander slit his wrist with his small dagger that he kept in his belt. Holding his wrist over Buffy's mouth, Xander feed her his blood. His blood quickly brought her around, and he stoped feeding her.

"What have I done?" Buffy asked shocked when she realised what Xander had done.

"You lived." Xander responded.

He picked Buffy up and carried her out of the old church, heading towards Sunnydale General Hospital. As he strode out, Xander crushed the bones of The Master under his booted feet.

Chapter 5

Buffy sat in the hospital bed. She hated hospitals, but at the moment she more wanted to get away from Xander than from the hospital. Everyone had come to see her because she was injured. Very few people, only Xander, Giles, Willow, Jenny Calender and Angel, knew that she had died yesterday. She had been visited by her mother, the entire self defence and gymnastics clubs, and the aforementioned affiliates. Currently only Xander was in the room with her, and she could not meet his eye. He was annoyed, she could feel it and it was kind of freaking her out.

'How can I feel what he is feeling?' she silently asked herself.

"Look at me." Xander said. "Buffy Anne Summers, look at me this instant!"

His anger washed through her and she shyly looked at him.

"What's the matter with you? You are stronger than this." Xander demanded.

"I drank." Buffy responded, her voice full of shame.

His anger and annoyance faded, replaced with warmth and concern.

"You're not like them, if that's what you're thinking. The fact that you are ashamed proves that you are better than them."

"You're not mad?" she whispered.

"Why would I be mad? I fed you." He responded. "Free will, Buff. Plus, I promised that you wouldn't get rid of me that easily."

Buffy laughed, she could not help herself.


Xander smiled at Buffy across the dinner table, and Joyce grinned from her position at the table. The summer was drawing to an end and they would have to return to Sunnydale High in two days.

"Right, off to bed you two." Joyce said. "Big day tomorrow."

Xander and Buffy had been spending a lot of time together over the summer, especially since Joyce had insisted that Xander move in. Joyce had gone over to Xander's early in the summer, concerned about her daughter's boyfriend as he never discussed his home life. When she had arrived and asked for Xander, she had seen stark terror in the Harris' eyes. No one should live in a house where their parents feared them for nothing, so she had convinced Xander to move in to the Summers Household. She was not sure how Xander had convinced her to let him stay in Buffy's room, with Buffy, recalling something about Dampirs and closeness, but she trusted him, especially after he vowed that he would kill himself before ever betraying her trust or hurting Buffy. Buffy had even related that he had locked himself in a cage to stop the possibility of him hurting her.

The next day was bigger than the start of the new school year, bigger than their defeat of the Master just before the start of the summer. Buffy, Xander and Joyce, had been discussing the possibility and consequences for what was about to happen all summer. Tomorrow evening, Buffy and Xander would be mated, in effect married. Joyce had insisted that they go over everything with her, the mating ritual in particular. The mating ritual was to be combined with a traditional wedding ceremony performed by a local priest who they had saved last year, and he kept them in supply with Holy Water and blessed items. After they had explained some of the advantages of the mating, such as a permanent, two way version of the empathic connection that Buffy had experienced after the fight with The Master and the ability to know where the other was, among other things, Joyce had agreed on the condition that they would not be intimate till they both reached the age of 18, after negotiating Joyce down from 39 years old. In California underage couples could get married so long as they had parental consent (AN: I don't know if that is true, but for the purposes of this story they are.), which Joyce had provided when they had agreed on the arrangement, and they had gotten from Xander's adopted parents through their fear of him.

Buffy and Xander went to bed, comfortably wrapped in each other's arms. Tomorrow would be a big day.


Buffy and Xander were walking the halls of Sunnydale High, just having been to the office to change Buffy's surname to Harris and Xander's address to 1630 Rodello Drive, Buffy's address. As they walked, hand in hand, they were intercepted by the new principal, since Principal Flute died in a "Gang related incident involving PCP" also know as a vampire attack. The new principal's name was Snyder and he was a little weasel of a man who seemed to hate children and teenagers.

"Enough of that." He ordered, indicating to their joined hands. "School is not the place for that. This is not the time for that."

"And when, prey tell, would be?" Xander asked.

"Um. When you are married, many years from now." Snyder responded, thinking he had got them.

"Too late. We are married." Buffy replied, showing Snyder her wedding band, as did Xander.

The newlyweds walked off leaving a stunned Principal, heading to home room. They arrived early and wait for class to start, Xander sitting next to Buffy as always. The rest of the class filed in, as did the home room teacher, who called the roll. Buffy and Xander tuned out till the teacher got to H.

"Harris, Alexander."

"Here." Xander called.

"Harris, Buffy." The teacher said, shocked.

"Here." Buffy responded.

Everyone in the classroom except Xander, Buffy and Willow, who had been at the mating/wedding were completely shocked.

"What the hell?" Cordelia called out.

"Got married. Der!" Buffy responded.

Cordelia fell off her chair in shock.


Buffy and Xander walked into the Library laughing at the reaction of their classmates to their marriage. They got an impression of a honey chocolate skinned girl with long, bushy black hair before she slammed into Xander and started punching him. Buffy yanked the girl off of Xander and dropped into a fighting stance facing her as the girl flip-kicked to her feet and dropped into her own fighting stance.

"Kendra. Stop this instant." Giles ordered. "Buffy, stand down."

Buffy growled and Xander was getting to his feet.

"I know, but stand down and I'll explain." Giles said. "Kendra?"

Buffy straitened, followed by the girl Giles called Kendra, who eyed her and Xander suspiciously.

"Kendra, why did u attack them?" Giles asked.

"Because dey are vampires, sir." Kendra said shyly, with a distinct Jamaican accent. "I can feel it."

"She's a Slayer." Giles explained.

"But I though the only way to get a Slayer was for the old one to die?" Willow said.

"Hey! I was only gone a few seconds." Buffy protested.

"Excuse me, sir. But why are you taking to dem?" Kendra asked.

"Sorry, this is Buffy and Xander. She is also a Slayer." Giles responded.

"But dey are vampires." Kendra said.

"Hey. We are not vampires. We are Dampir. Hello, standing in sunlight." Xander said.

Giles sat everyone down and explained the situation. Kendra's Watcher had been injured, by a car accident of all things, and had send Kendra to Giles until he recovered. He believed that there was no active Slayer on the Hellmouth and had sent Kendra to protect it, and Giles was to act as her Watcher for the time being.

"So, you're a Slayer. I like that in women." Xander said with a grin.

"Um. I mean…um." Kendra stuttered.

"Hey. Yesterday we get married and today you are hitting on the new girl? You are unbelievable." Buffy said.

"Hey, I was just welcoming her to Sunny Hell, trying to make her feel comfortable. Plus we are Mated. You know what that means." Xander said.

"Yah. I know. Sorry." Buffy muttered.

"Plus now we got another Slayer to break in. Sometimes I worry about Wills, she does too much." Xander said. "Welcome to the team, Kendra."

"Um. Thank you, sir." Kendra said, nervously.

"Call me Xander. Or the other Slayer's Husband." Xander said, earning him a slap across the back of the head from Buffy.

Suddenly Buffy and Xander started looking around.

"Deadboy's coming." Xander called.

A few seconds later a vampire appeared on Kendra's Slayer senses.

"Don't slay." Buffy ordered. "As much as we hate him, this one's a good guy and he helps us."

"We got trouble." Angel said as he walked in, then he spotted Kendra.

"She a Slayer. What's the deal?" Buffy snapped.


Chapter 6

"Are you ready to go yet?" Xander called up to Buffy.

"Almost." She called back down.

Things had been interesting over the last few months, since Kendra's arrival. Kendra had been taken on as a library assistant who was tutored by Giles, who had taken her in, and she had finally been integrated into the Scooby Gang. She was now friends with Buffy, Xander and Willow and had come to respect Angel for his fighting abilities. Spike had been a bit of a thorn, having organised the splintered vampire groups who had been left leaderless by the death of The Master and his most powerful minions, Darla and The Anointed, and had started probing the weaknesses of the Scooby Gang.

But tonight was not about work, tonight was about fun. It was Halloween and Giles had assured them that the vampires would not be active, so they were going Trick or Treating. They would have been stuck with a group of kids by Snyder, but his respect for all things athletic, Xander being captain of the swim team and the recent wins by the Gymnastic club, and his personal fear of Buffy and Xander had curbed his urge to control them. Xander adjusted the neck of his outfit as he went to answer the door, which had just been knocked on.

"Wills and Kendra are here, Buff." Xander called as he opened the door revealing his friends.

Kendra was dressed in boots, short legged pants, a tank top, a small backpack and a gun belt. She had her hair tied back in a long braid. Xander smiled.

"Lady Croft." He said bowing to her, causing her to smile. "What's your costume Wills?"

Willow was dressed in a long trench coat that seemed to cover her usual patrol cloths. Flipping her ponytail over her shoulder, she opened the coat to reveal a sword sheathed in the lining.

"Myself as an Immortal." Willow said with a grin.

"Nice, and practical on the Hellmouth." Xander responded.

At this point, Buffy came down the stairs. She was dressed in camouflage cargo pants, a green halter top and a camouflage over shirt, with her hair back in a ponytail and carrying a mock assault rifle.

"I'm GI Jane." She said when she saw Kendra's blank look.

"We ready?" Xander asked.

"Yes Captain." Buffy said, cheekily.

Xander was dressed in a padded, black bodysuit with a strange logo on the chest. At his belt was a holster that held what looked like a baton (AN: For all you J-verse fans, No, he is not dressed as a Kine Commander and the baton is not Elan.) balanced by an unusual looking pistol on his other hip. In effect he was dressed as Captain Dylan Hunt from Andromeda.

Giles, as usual was organising the library and Oz, now a probationary member of the Scooby Gang and Willows boyfriend, was at a gig with his band. Joyce came in to see her daughter, son-in-law and their friends off.

"Have fun." Joyce said.

"We will, Joyce… I mean, Mrs S." Xander said.

"Xander. You can call me Joyce. You are my Son-in-law, you can even call me mom." Joyce said.

"Thanks… mom." Xander said, blushing slightly. "Ok. Let's haul ass."

"Hurrah." Buffy said, getting into the spirit of her costume.


Buffy looked over at her husband and smiled. He was loving this, she could feel it through their connection, and so was she, they hardly got any time off. The group was laughing, more from the shear exhilaration of not being in a life or death situation. They had been Trick or Treating for about four hours and their stashes were pretty full. She could not remember the last time that the group was so carefree.

"Before the Hyena thing." Xander whispered.

Buffy smiled, she loved it when he did that. He could not read her mind, per say, but he had developed a gift of telling what she was thinking from her face and their bond. She pulled him in for a quick kiss, causing Willow and Kendra to roll their eyes. As they walked, they were suddenly hit by dizziness. When the dizziness faded, Buffy did not recognise anyone.

"Alright, who the hell are you? And where the fuck are we?" Buffy said, raising her assault rifle, and smoothly switching the safety off.

The dark haired woman with the braid drew her two pistols from their hip holsters and, like Buffy, began trying to cover the others. The tall, dark haired man pulled a wired looking pistol which he used to cover the girl with the two pistols, and a baton which he switched between Buffy and the fourth person. The fourth person was a redhead who was dressed in a long trench coat who simply stood shaking her head, as if arguing with herself.

"Ok. Why doesn't everyone calm down and we'll discuss this." The dark haired man said.

Buffy slowly lowered her rifle as he put up his pistol and baton, followed by the dark haired woman. For some inexplicable reason, Buffy trusted the man, against all her training; her head said don't trust him, but her heart disagreed.

"Alright. I say again, who the hell are you?" Buffy said.

"Who are we, who the hell are you?" The dark haired woman said with a British accent.

"Lieutenant Elizabeth Summers, Navy SEAL team 6. Friends call me Buffy." Buffy said.

"Lady Lara Croft." The dark haired woman said.

"Captain Dylan Hunt. Systems Commonwealth." The man said.

"Never heard of 'em." Buffy said before turning to the last woman. "Who are you?"

The redhead seemed to have finished arguing with herself and seemed unhappy with whatever the outcome had been and where she was.

"Name's Willow Rosenberg. None of you are going to like this but we are not really who we think we are." Willow said.

"Huh?" Buffy asked.

"Let's see, Lady Croft here has never been to England, in fact she is a mystical warrior know as a Slayer, her name is Kendra and she hails from Jamaica. The good Captain here will be unable to contact his Spaceship, called the Andromeda, or contact any of his crew due to the fact that it and they doesn't exist; in fact he is a high school student by the name of Alexander Harris, though he prefers Xander. You, missy, are still Buffy, except you are also still in high school, a Slayer and married to Xander here." Willow explained.

"Umm, ok. What about you?" Xander, I mean Dylan, asked.

"Me? I'm a former computer geek school student instead of a three thousand year old Immortal." Willow said casually.

"Oh." Buffy said sarcastically.

"I'm calling Giles." Willow said, before pulling out her phone and walking a few paces away.

"This is crazy. Do you believe her?" Buffy asked.

"I don't know. But I do feel a connection to you." Xander replied.

"Alright, Giles is going to take care of this. We are going to keep things from getting out of hand." Willow commanded.

"But you are unarmed." Buffy said.

Willow opened her coat to reveal her sword and pulled a pistol from behind her back, with a smile.

"Ok. Let's move." Buffy ordered, bringing her rifle up to a relaxed by ready position.


"Well that certainly was interesting." Buffy said.

After Giles had broken the spell, everyone had gone to their respective abodes to change into their normal attire before meeting in the library for a meeting.

"I second that." Xander said. "Shame that the lance and pulse pistol went back to being plastic."

"Yah, but Willow's sword went from being a replica to an authentic Samurai Katana." Giles added, having inspected the sword after the incident.

"That was fun, shame you had to miss it Ripper." Kendra said with a slight British accent.

"What did you call me?" Giles said.

"Sorry bout dat. Seems Lady Croft met Ripper in her youth in London. They raised some hell, particularly with the Vampires." Kendra said with her normal accent.

"G-man. You're Ripper? Terror of the London Underground? Shit man, you're a legend, even some of the Vamps here know and fear you." Xander said.

"Looks like we'll have to get you back in training, Ripper." Buffy said with a smirk.

"Wanna go with the quarterstaffs?" Xander asked.

"I'll wipe the sodding floor with you, ya ponce." Ripper said, getting angry.

"Maybe, but Dylan Hunt was an Expert with the quarterstaff." Xander said.

"Hey, I now got three thousand years worth of experience with swords." Willow said, grinning.

"I think I'm going to visit Colonel Henson in the morning." Buffy said with a grin.

"Who's that?" Giles asked.

"CO of the local Army Base. I think we need some supples, and he owes me, though he does not really know it yet." Buffy said.

"How's that?" Kendra asked.

"We saved his wife and two daughters from Vampires last week. Plus he might want to know that we killed the demon that was eating his men." Buffy responded, calmly.

Xander smirked. This event certainly added character to the group.

Chapter 7

Xander smiled as he looked out the window, tightening his embrace of his wife slightly.

"What ya thinking?" Buffy asked, not opening her eyes, just enjoying the comfort they drew from each other.

"How ironic it is that all of us chose to buy costumes from a demented British Chaos Mage." Xander said casually.

"Who, according to Kendra, was a friend of Ripper in his day." Buffy added.

"You know, in any other place that would be considered very strange." Xander replied with a grin.

"Hey, it's Sunnydale. Strange is commonplace. If we had a normal Halloween that would have been strange."

"Come on, we gotta get up and see Colonel Henson and then get ready for School tomorrow."

Xander got up and went downstairs to start on breakfast while Buffy took a shower. In the kitchen he met Joyce who was cooking breakfast.

"Hey mom. Oh, pancakes." Xander said happily.

"Where's my daughter?" Joyce asked.

"She's having a shower." Xander said casually.

"So what are the two of you up to today?"

"Well, let's see. First we are going to convince an Army Colonel to grant us access to his base and weaponry. Then we're going to clear out a vampire nest off Main Street. After that we might catch a movie." Xander said between bites of his pancakes.

"Ok. Have fun." Joyce said as Buffy came down the stairs.

"My turn in the shower." Xander called, running off with his plate, which was still half full with his third helping.

"That boy sure does love his food." Joyce commented with a smile on her face. "So, which movie are you two going to see and do you have enough weapons for the nest?"

"Don't know which movie, and we're taking a sword each and a bunch of Stakes." Buffy replied as she began to digging into her pancakes.

"Ok. Have a good time and try not to intimidate the Colonel to much." Joyce said calmly, reading the paper and taking a cup of coffee off to relax in front of the TV.

Buffy chuckled as she continued to eat.


Monday morning saw silence reign in the Library, not that it was void of people. On the contrary, there were six people in the Library, all of them moved with varying degrees of grace as they followed the flowing movements of the Tai Chi routine. Buffy and Xander were leading, standing in front of the others, with Willow and Oz behind and slightly to the side of Xander while Kendra and Giles were in similar positions behind Buffy. They moved in unison, as if a single mind controlled all their actions, and if there was an observer, they might be amazed and the unity and beauty of the flowing motions of this diverse group of individuals. With a few final, synchronous moves, the group came to a holt, holding to last position for a second before they dropped their extended hands and lost all trace of synchronisation. Giles proceeded to his office to retrieve his reading glasses, while Xander went to the book cage and began playing around with a quarterstaff. Buffy, Kendra, Willow and Oz all made their ways to the main table and sat down.

"So what did you guys get up to on the weekend?" Willow asked, excitedly.

"You mean yesterday, cause Saturday was Halloween." Buffy said.

"Yah." Willow said, still chirpy.

"Let's see. We got free access to the Sunnydale Army base, with a back up unit that is under our command for extreme missions and Apocalypses, from a grateful Colonel." Xander began.

"Then we took out a bunch of lame vampires in a nest, and then saw a movie." Buffy finished.

"So. A slow weekend then?" Giles said, only half sarcastically.

"Pretty much." Xander said. "What about you guys?"

"We stayed in and watched movies." Willow said.

"I assisted Giles in cataloguing some new acquisitions." Kendra responded.

"Cool. Well we better get to class, and we got Self Defence class on this afternoon." Buffy said.

"I don't know, I think I preferred it last year when we held Gymnastics on Monday." Willow said as they all, except Giles and Kendra, walked out of the Library.


"No, no, no!" Xander said stopping a pair sparing. "Mike, you can't concentrate just on what you want to do. You have to be able to adjust your style to counter what you opponent is doing and try and force them to do what you want them to."

"Alright everyone. That'll do for today." Buffy called. "Same time next week."

All the students filled out of the Gymnasium leaving the Scooby Gang behind. Xander went into the equipment room and brought out an armload of weapons, while Oz went and sat down in the stands. Xander put the weapons in a pile and immediately retrieved the quarterstaff. Buffy took the broadsword, Willow took the Katana, Giles took the Rapier and Kendra took the English Longsword. All of the swords were blunted, either the edge or, in the Rapier's, case the tip.

"Alright, me and Buffy, versus you three." Xander said as they all began to test the weight of their weapons.

"Willow. With your Immortal experience in one on one, you take Buffy. Kendra, you and I'll take Xander." Giles said, letting a small part of Ripper come to the fore.

Xander and Buffy separated moving to different parts of the Gym, waiting for their opponents. Willow faced off against Buffy while Kendra and Giles bracketed Xander. Buffy charged Willow, which forced the redhead on the defensive, while Xander waited for Giles and Kendra to come to him. Kendra came in hard with an overhand blow, which Xander blocked, and then he pivoted to intercept the lunge that Giles was delivering. Buffy and Willow were battling furiously, neither gaining nor losing any ground. As Xander pushed Giles momentarily away, he spun around and began to attack Kendra, forcing her back with a flurry of blows, which she barely managed to block. Before he could get past her defences, Giles came back into the game and he had to dive to the side to avoid the thrust of the Rapier.

As he rose, Xander managed to sweep Giles' feet out from under him and imitate a kill shot to the Sola Plexus. While Xander performed a back roll to gain some time and move away from Giles' "Corpse" and went on the defensive against Kendra's attack, Willow managed to catch Buffy's blade, so that Buffy's sword was over her shoulder but behind her own blade, which ran from behind her neck, resting against her other shoulder. Despite Buffy's belief that she had the stronger position, when Willow began to swing her sword from behind her Buffy was unable to stop the attack, which Willow halted just before it decapitated Buffy.

"You're dead." Willow whispered.

Buffy dropped to the floor and lay there, as Giles was doing, providing the same obstacle as a real corpse would. Willow turned to see how the others were going. Noting that Giles was out, she saw Xander dart past Kendra's defences with his quarterstaff and take her out, wrapping her smartly on the wrist, knee and, lightly, on the side of the head. Kendra dropped in a heap, but Willow noticed that she was alright. Xander and Willow moved carefully away from the "bodies" of their friends, keeping an eye on each other. Their weapons flashed, probing for weakness in the other's defences. After almost ten minutes of attack and counterattack, Xander managed to break through Willow's defence and mock a blow to her throat.

"Look down." Willow said with a smirk.

Xander's eyes drifted down and he barked out a laugh. Willow's sword was stopped just inches from entering his gut.

"Guess that means it's a draw." Buffy said, kipping up.

"Cool." Oz said as he joined them.

"Indeed." Giles added as he and Kendra rose from the floor. "Not bad at all."

"Wills, you got to tell me where you learned that move." Buffy said, unconsciously working her neck.

"Immortal me learned it from Duncan Macleod. It's hard. Sometimes my first reaction to something weird is, 'Call Duncan and Methos', then I remember that they are dead. A second later I realise that they probably don't exist in this reality." Willow said sadly.

Silence reigned for a second, everyone remembering those they lost, either in reality or from their Halloween memories, before it was broken.

"Who wants donuts?" Xander asked.

"Oh, me!" Willow said happily.

"So Giles. What's on the books? Any world endage scheduled that we have to stop?" Buffy asked.

"Not at the moment. However some people will be suffering from major mobility problems if they eat all my Jellies." Giles threatened.

"Check, double the Jelly order." Xander said.

"Don't forget the powdered." Kendra added.

As the Scooby Gang filed out Angel, who had been watching from the roof support beams, stared amazed at the display he had just seen. The Gang naturally had known he was there, having invited him to watch the students, but they had forgotten all about him when they had begun the match.

"Wow." He said, before he ghosted out through the sewer entrance to avoid the sun.


Chapter 8

Taking the second that came after one vampire was killed but before the next stepped up to face her, Buffy glanced around. Willow was a whirlwind, her Katana flashing in the pale light, decapitating and dismembering with every move. Giles and Kendra fought back to back, his Rapier flashing as he thrust and parried, dusting vampires with every thrust due to the small wooden inlays in the thin blade, while she methodically cut down every vampire that got within range. Xander, well he danced. That was all she could really determine before the next opponent was upon her and she was fighting again.

Buffy and Xander moved with the same fluid grace. While Buffy's broadsword flowed, with a speed that seemed impossible when seen with such flowing movements, taking out vampire after vampire, often when the vampire thought it was outside her range, making a beautiful, if deadly sight, however it was Xander that was the one to watch. With his Quarterstaff spinning so fast that it seemed to be nothing but a blur, Xander broke bones and used the ends of the staff as stakes, taking out the vampires that surrounded him. He moved from position to position without effort, one moment seeming venerable as he attacked and the next having an impenetrable defence. Some moments his staff seemed to hold still in the air as his body flipped and kicked around it. Eventually one of the vampires was able to blindside him, while he was taking out four of its comrades simultaneously, and disarm him.

Drawing his reserve sword from its sheath, he continued to fight, but without the grace of his preferred weapon. Sensing a slight advantage a group of forty vampires rushed him, swamping him with shear numbers. By the time he was dead, so were thirty nine of the vampires, several having had their throats ripped out by his fangs as he went down. The fortieth vampire was instantly cut down by Willow. At the death of her best friend, the redhead charged into the mass of vampires, as Buffy slowly began to back up the slope behind her, internally mourning the loss of her mate but not letting the grief overwhelm her. Willow, without Buffy's self control, let her rage control her, slashing at the vampires with abandon and carved a swathe of destruction before she was taken out by the vampires' en mass. Ten minutes later, Giles fell when a vampire, who had taken Willow's Katana, shattered his Rapier and slit his throat, almost severing his head, and then shoved the sword so deep into Kendra's back that a foot of blade exited between her breasts.

Buffy kept killing the vampires with a vengeance, but they still forced her to retreat by their shear weight of numbers. What she saw when she reached the top of the slope shocked her to the core. Swarming up all sides of the pyramid that she was stand at the apex of, and for miles in every direction, as far as her Slayer enhanced eye could see were vampires. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of vampires. She was so shocked that she unconsciously dropped her defences.

'How could there be so many?' she thought as a vampire sunk its teeth into her neck, ending her life.


Buffy shot upright, her petite body covered in sweat. Looking hurriedly around she saw, despite the darkness, that she was still in her bed, in her mother's house and her husband was lying next to her.

"What's the matter?" Xander asked, having been woken by the waves of terror and shock that had passed though their mating bond.

"I had a nightmare. An endless army of vampires killed us all. There were millions of them, Xand." She whispered, burying her face in his bare chest as he wrapped his arms around her.

"Shush, baby. It was just a dream. We're all ok. It's alright." Xander said.

"It felt so real." Buffy said.

The next few hours were spent with Buffy sobbing and whimpering, the words for pain and loss in the Dampir language, into his chest as he whispered and purred reassurances to her.


Joyce came down for her morning coffee and saw Xander and Buffy at the dining room table. Buffy was field stripping and cleaning her MP-5/10 while Xander was checking over a pistol. Xander noticed Joyce and her indicating to the kitchen with her eyes.

"Want a Coffee?" Xander asked, getting a negative grunt from Buffy.

Xander followed Joyce into the kitchen with a sigh.

"She had a nightmare again, didn't she?" Joyce asked, having been tipped off by her daughter's actions.

"Yeah." Xander replied, remember the other nightmares and Buffy's ritual of cleaning her MP-5/10 after each one.

"It's been over three months. Sometimes I wish she never dressed up as a soldier, all those memories of battle. At least they don't come too often."

"True, but this was different. It was not Soldier Gal's memories, it was a nightmare about an endless army of vamps."

Glancing into the dining room, Xander saw Buffy finish checking the barrel for obstructions and begin to reassemble the gun.

"I just wish I could do more for her." Joyce said sadly.

"You're her mother. She needs you to be you. We try and take care of the rest." Xander said.

"Xand, I'm gonna patrol the sewers. You coming?" Buffy called.

"Yeah, I'll be right up to get ready." Xander replied.

Joyce puttered around the kitchen, worrying about her children. Both Buffy and Xander were strong, physically, but Xander seemed to have an extra emotional resilience above and beyond Buffy. She was glad that they had each other. By the time they had returned to the kitchen, Joyce had prepared a number of water bottles and laid out a small pile of high energy bars. Her children accepted the rations with a smile, looking quite different than they had only a few minutes ago.

Both Buffy and Xander were in similar gear. The both wore green camouflage cargo pants, with pockets bulging slightly indicating extra weapons clips, which were tucked into their black combat boots. Their dark green t-shirts were covered by a black combat harness which contained two knives, one with a wooden blade and the other with a steel core covered with silver, attached with their hilts downwards, with various small bottles of holly water, experimental sprays of silver nitrate solution, bottles of mace, grenades and other paraphernalia were located in the small pockets of the harnesses, to which they added the energy bars. Their wide belts were covered with loops containing stakes, crosses with sharpened ends, more spare clips, radios and a few other knives. On their right hips rested their sidearms, a Desert Eagle .44 for Xander and a MK-23 SOCOM for Buffy, and they attached the water bottles to their left hips.

Buffy's broadsword rested on her back, with it's hilt protruding over her right shoulder, while Xander had his quarterstaff on his back, with his backup sword, a Wakizashi, a smaller version of the Katana, in an inverted scabbard alongside. They both wore green camouflaged caps, and their exposed skin, their arms, necks and faces, were covered in green and black camouflage paint. Buffy had even put something in her hair, which was pulled back in a ponytail, to darken it and take away its natural shine. Buffy carried her MP- 5/10 with a familiarity and assurance that spoke of reliance on the weapon, while Xander carried his H&K G3 rifle in a more business like manner. With the black crosses that hung on chains around their necks to finish the effect, they looked a fearsome sight but Joyce still saw them as her children.

"Alright. Now remember, be careful, make sure any demons are really dead and if you get in trouble, head for daylight." Joyce said in her motherly voice.

"Yes mom." Buffy and Xander chorused, an odd sight in their hunting gear.

Joyce escorted them down into the basement, to the armoured sewer entrance they had set up there.

"Have fun." Joyce said as Xander followed Buffy down the ladder.

"We will." Xander said, before Joyce closed and locked the sewer access.


'Sierra Alpha, this is Sierra Golf one. Comeback, over." Buffy said quietly over the radio.

"Sierra Alpha, go ahead. Over." Came Kendra's voice over the radio.

"Sierra Golf One and Two in the Run at access point Bravo. Over." Buffy said.

"Rodger, Sierra Golf One. Sierra Tango on Route Echo-Niner-Bravo, T plus fifteen. Over" Kendra replied.

"Copy that, Sierra Alpha. Inform Sierra Bravo that we're rendezvousing with Sierra Tango. Over and out." Buffy finished, nodding to Xander who had tuned his radio to a different channel.

"Sierra Tango One, Sierra Golf Two. Comeback, over." Xander said.

"Sierra Tango One, over." Came the voice of Captain Michael Stands.

"Expect rendezvous with Sierra Golf One and Two at point Gamma on your patrol route. Over."

"Rodger. ETA, twelve minutes. Over and out."

Tapping Buffy on the shoulder, Xander pointed down one tunnel, indicating ten second branching tunnel coverage. They began to slowly walk down the indicated tunnel, their rifles raised and constantly sweeping the sewers for hostiles. Every thirty seconds or so, Xander or Buffy would turn and walk backwards, covering the tunnel behind them. They killed about a dozen vampires with their alternating explosive tip and tracer rounds before they approached the rendezvous point, working off some of Buffy's fear from her dream.

"Sierra Tango One, Sierra Golf Two. Two in from South East. Over." Xander transmitted a minute before they reached point Gamma.

"Rodger Sierra Golf Two. Two in from South East. Over." Captain Stands replied.

Thirty seconds later, Buffy and Xander joined up with the ten men of Sierra Tango squad.

"Majors." Captain Stands said, saluting.

Buffy and Xander both returned the salute. When Colonel Henson had arranged for the military team, call sign Sierra Tango, to work with Buffy and Xander, he had given them Field Commissions, Buffy as an Infantry Major, technically in charge of the team, and Xander as a Major in Military Intelligence, for onsite intelligence on demons, as his knowledge was more extensive that Buffy's. Buffy and Xander did not make major changes to the team, leaving the Captain run it in most circumstances, only really stepping in for Apocalypses or with information to kill the more bizarre demons.

The rest of the Scooby Gang were classified as Civilian contractors but they had earned the trust of the military team in engagements and were designated Sierra Golf. The military operations control centre that supervised the team at the base was designated Sierra Bravo while the library went by Sierra Alpha. Sierra Tango continued its patrol, using the point to drag method. Whenever there was an intersection, the pair on point would cover the branching tunnels and then they would go drag till the next intersection, when the next pair took over.


Buffy and Xander climbed up the ladder and out into the basement of the Summers house. Buffy smiled at her mother, who was lowering the shotgun that she had been pointing at the hatch, having rushed down when the alarm attached to the ladder had gone off.

"How was the patrol?" Joyce asked.

"Uneventful." Xander replied, popping his neck.

"Ugh, I need a shower." Buffy said. "Wanna join me?"

Xander took one quick look at the shotgun in Joyce's hands and started stammering.

"At this stage, I think Xander would rather have the use of his legs." Joyce said cheerfully, with a smile on her face. "You run along, Buffy. He'll be up later."

Xander gulped as Buffy left the room, very disconcerted by Joyce's smile.

"Want some coffee and fresh brownies." Joyce asked.

A grin broke out on Xander's face. All's well that ends in food, that was his way of thinking.