Axel F

Author: Kyle Bernard <csktech[at]>

Copyrighted: Sept 16, 2003

Category: Crossover

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: None

Keywords: None

Warning: Crossovers ahead (Yes Plural.)

Disclaimers appear at the end with the cast list.

The Following TV Series or books have been included in the story.

* Beverly Hills Cop

* Home Improvement

Parked by the side of the road, Xander stood in the sunlight enjoying the warmth on his face. The old Ford wasn't the most reliable vehicle that he'd ever had, but it was cheap and it had gotten this far. So all of the little fender benders that he'd had on the trip so far justified his decision not to spend big bucks on transportation. "No," he thought to himself, there were better places for the money.

Driving with only one eye was a challenge, but Xander refused to give up on anything. That would be conceding that he was handicapped and that wasn't going to happen, not for a long time.

His reverie was broken by a familiar voice, "Penny for your thoughts!"

"Buffster…" he said in a voice that was far more cordial the in the past. Xander turned and even though he only had one eye he was amazed just how clearly he was seeing things now. The small girl before him was no longer the teenager that had smitten him on sight. Nor was she the all knowing slayer that she'd appeared to be only a few short weeks ago. The destruction of Sunnydale and the closure of the Hellmouth had changed her, just as it had changed all of them.

"Hell," he admitted to himself, the changes in Buffy started way before the battle for Sunnydale. Ever since Willow had returned Buffy from what they thought was a hell dimension Buffy hadn't been the same. Only loyalty to his friends led him to stay and help, he wasn't sure that he liked her as a person anymore. He knew damn well he didn't like the expanding influence that Spike had held over Buffy.

"Haven't you ever heard of inflation… it'll take more than a penny."

"Well I might have a nickel here some where."

"Sold to the lady with the incredible luck," although Xander's tone was a teasing one, he broadcast the fact that he believed that to be the truth.

Buffy gave a casual flip of her hair. "What's wrong Xander?"

"We were lucky back in Sunnydale," the words came out flat. "Before you jump on the 'well we won' bandwagon consider this, we won more out of luck rather than skill." Xander stared at her with his one good eye. "The price we paid was more than what it was worth."

"But I thought you didn't like Spike," Buffy said misunderstanding what Xander was saying.

"Couldn't stand the bastard, but that wasn't what I meant. The price we paid was more than the people we lost, though god knows that we paid dearly there as well. No what we paid in was respect." Xander couldn't face the slayer any longer; he turned away and looked down. "We lost out respect for you Buffy. The choices you made and the incompressible manner that you made them alienated everyone. Geeze Buffy, do really think we wanted to drive you away?"

Fiery passion raged in the slayer's eyes as she answered, "It sure seemed like it at the time."

Xander turned back to Buffy, unwilling to let her misconceptions go on any longer. "So get over yourself. Every step of the way you've made mistakes and every time we have forgiven them. When Angelus turned and killed Miss Calander, we forgave you. When Spike tried to sell us out to Adam, we accepted your dictate that he shouldn't be killed. You couldn't even kill the bastard when you knew he was a time bomb planted by the First, and we accepted that too." Finally saying the words felt good to the one-eyed Scooby.

The senior slayer stood there, partially in shock and partially because who was saying the words.

A hint of compassion entered Xanders voice. "Damn Buffy didn't you learn anything from Riley?"

A group of slayers had gathered at the back of Xander's truck, wanting desperately to hear what was going on. Faith and Dawn started forward only to be restrained by Giles. "Let them go. Perhaps this time it will truly sink in."

"What's Riley got to do with this?"

Xander shrugged his shoulders in disbelief, "You had the perfect chance to learn something and again you failed to see what was right in front of your face. Riley commanded as many people as you have and he never had to defend his orders. Do you know why that was?"

Buffy stood there blank-faced. She didn't know where Xander was going with this and she was sure that she didn't like the way he was lecturing her in front of the newly called slayers. "No," she meekly admitted.

"They never questioned his orders because they already knew that he'd considered their lives before he issued the orders. That's the called respect Buffy and lately we've been feeling that you just don't give a dam about any of us."

The harsh words from her Xander-shaped friend cracked the shell of rock hard Buffy. Tears welled up and what was now there was the Buffy of old, the one that cared for her friends. "How can you say this to me?" She said with a tear leaking down her cheek.

"I can say it because even after all that has happened I still love you Buffy." Xander noticed that Buffy refused to look him in the eyes. He cupped her chin and guided her face upwards, "I can say it…" he added softly, "because I paid the price for your mistakes, we all did."

With the façade broken, words flowed out of the senior slayer like water. "But thing were so different. I felt the weight of the whole world. It kept grinding me down and no one would listen." Buffy snuffled back her tears. "I didn't have anyone to talk to except Spike."

Xander let that one go. It no longer mattered that Spike had manipulated the whole event from the background and it wouldn't change things to dig up that past. "You're right Buffy, things are different." Xander looked into the setting sun. "There are hundreds of slayers maybe thousands out there... That's your legacy Buffy, not too bad for seven years wouldn't you say?"

"I guess."

"Alrighty then…" Xander walked away form Buffy hoping that the words spoken here would stick. The world needed her more that he would care to admit, but between Buffy and Faith, the new slayers would be more likely to survive, and that gave him time to do something that he'd been putting off for far too long. Xander slammed the truck's door closed and started the engine. "I'll see everyone in Cleveland in a couple of weeks."

Surprised that Xander was leaving Dawn rushed forward. "Where you going," she asked in her uniquely sweet voice, "can I come too?"

"Sorry Dawn, what I have to do, I have to do alone."

"But where are you going," she whined.

"Detroit, I have to visit an old friend." With that said, Xander stomped on the gas pedal and roared off. Only to stop a hundred yards away. The whine of the transmission in reverse screamed as he backed up. He stuck his head out the window again. "I think if you open my duffle bag you will find something that will come in very handy in Cleveland." With that said, he was off into the now fallen darkness.


It was nearly nine PM when the battered old Ford truck crossed the Welcome to Motown Sign, and Xander's body was feeling every single mile. His legs hurt, his arms hurt, but more than anything, his ass hurt. The I-beam suspension of the old truck, combined with seat springs that had seen their best days while Kennedy was still president, had left a lasting impression on Xander. He was tired, but more than that he was depressed. He'd hoped to get to town earlier than he'd done; now he had to wait till morning to visit his second cousin.

"Damn," he cursed as the truck hit yet another poorly repaired rut in the road. "Time to look for some place to park the old bod for the night." The scream of police sirens crashed through the night and the flashing red and blue lights reflected through the rear view mirror, Xander was being pulled over.

Xander pulled the Ford over to the side of the road and did what most people that had dealt with the Sunnydale police department in the past did; he placed his hand on the steering wheel in plain sight so there was no mistaking that he was playing nice. Xander watch the cop carefully approach through the driver's mirror. "Female and cute," he thought.

"Good evening sir. Could I please see your driver's license and registration?" The pleasant voice was belied by the dark uniform and the Sig-Sauer nine millimeter that she wore.

"Of course officer," Xander read her name tag, "McMurphey can I ask what I did to be pulled over?" Xander dug thought the glove box, hoping that the cop didn't notice the stake that he'd hidden there. He slammed the glove box quickly and handed her the registration.

"Well Mr.…" McMurphey looked at the name on the California license, "Harris, here in Detroit we like everyone to be able to see at night, So we try and encourage everyone to have the headlights working when they go out at night, one of yours in burned out."

"Oh damn. I've replaced everything in the system. Look here. Xander grabbed a plastic bag that had the logo of Kragen Auto Parts all over it. He pulled out a long receipt. "Headlight, headlight switch, dimmer switch, hell I even replaced the socket thinking that might be the problem. Look officer is there any way you can let the ticket slide?"

For the first time in the encounter McMurphey smiled, "Normally yes, but the end of the month is coming up and I'm short on ticket count."

"Xander luck strikes again," he replied bitterly. He stuffed the register receipt back in the bag; it joined receipts for the new battery and the new tires.

The cop handed Xander his paperwork back and then ripped the citation form her book and handed that to him as well. She leaned her head into the window. "Save those receipts and show them to the Judge, he'll probably dismiss the case."

Xander took the ticket as graciously as he could. "Can I ask you another question," he said with a smile on his face hoping to charm the woman.

McMurphey stepped back her hands on her hips. She didn't know what it was with men. Maybe it was women that wore a uniform. She fully expected to get propositioned again, but he had been nice. "Sure."

"I've been driving all day and I'm bushed, is there a decent motel around here that's, A cheap and B close?"

Surprised that it wasn't a come on, McMurphey smiled and stepped closer to the truck. "Nine blocks up you will see the Twin Pines mall. Turn right and go about a quarter mile and you'll see this old brownstone. That's the Edwards. It's not fancy, but it is nice and the cost is reasonable."

"Thank you very much." Xander started the truck preparing to leave.

"Oh and Mr. Harris," McMurphey added.


"Have a pleasant stay in Motor City."


Xander's luck held for precisely four minutes. He'd found the Twin Pines mall without a problem, the problem lay in what he saw when he did find it. Driving by he glanced to the right and noticed a broken down car. A normally enough sight in any big city, but what was going on by the car was only normal, in his experience, in Sunnydale.

All four of the car doors were wide open and in the floor of light at the front of the car there were three bodies on the ground. Standing around the bodies were four large vampires. Xander reached that conclusion when he saw that one of them had their fangs buried in a little girl's neck.

"Four vamps and one Xander, Not good odds," He mumbled, "Only one way to try." Xander dropped the clutch and rammed the stick shift in to second. The truck jumped the curb, bouncing Xander's head off the inside of the roof as he accelerated toward the demons. The roar of the engine or the loud protesting springs must have warned the vampires, The one that was still feeding tossed the little girl to the ground. Before Xander could get within fifty yards the vampires scattered in all directions.

Xander faced a quandary. He could chase one of the vamps, or he could check that beyond hope on of the victims was still alive. Xander being Xander stopped the truck at the scene of the attack, only to find that all four victims were already dead. His anger only increased when he noticed that the necks of the victims were all broken. "fucking vampires, They couldn't just drain them," Xander sputtered. Furious Xander got back in the truck, there was nothing he could do. He slammed the steering wheel in frustration and anger. "Time to find a place to stay them I'm going hunting." Still angry he stomped the gas pedal leaving rubber on the asphalt.


The two adjoining rooms at the Cleveland Motel Six were crowded. Giles had constructed a cock and bull story about how they were the California state field hockey championship team that had been invited to participate in a regional tournament. He needn't have bothered. The desk clerk was underpaid and he didn't care of one person stayed in the room or a dozen stayed there, He got paid the same either way.

Two rooms were barely sufficient to hold all the slayers, but Giles wasn't willing to spend anymore than he absolutely had to. Everything they owned in the world was in the van. Unloading the luggage had taken the group more than an hour. Now they were all gathered in one room wondering what to do.

"Well open it," Andrew whined.

"You open it," replied Kennedy.

It… was the olive drab duffle bag that Xander had left with the group when he'd left for Detroit. The problem lay in the fact that no one wanted to try and guess what was in the bag and even worse than that, it was locked.

"The hell with this," Faith tossed in, You guys will take all night trying to figure it out. She grabbed the duffle bag by the lock and ripped with all of her slayer enhanced strength, tearing the eyelets form the fabric of the bag. Faith upended the bag on one of the beds and three things fell out. The first was a letter. The second, and by far the thing that accounted for most of the bulk of the bag, packs upon packs of hundred dollar bills, still neatly wrapped in their Sunnydale National Bank wrappers. The third item was pure Xander; it was the key to the lock.

"Oh bloody hell," Giles said in shock.

"Got to agree with that," said Wood, the former principle of Sunnydale High School. "We're gonna need more rooms," he added.


Sitting in the crowded day room, Detective Axel Foley grabbed the folder from the pile stacked on his desk. Sipping form his cup of coffee, he regretted even coming in to work today. First off Mikey, in his usual grating manner had warned Axel that the Lt. was looking for him and second, the case that the boss had tossed his way was far beyond anything he had ever experienced in his 18 years as a member of the Detroit police department.

The initial report was filed by patrol officers and it was evident form the way that they wrote the report that they were more than happy to boot this one up the command tree to the gold shields. "Let's see," he muttered to himself. "Four bodies found in the parking lot of the Twin Pines Mall." Axel leafed through the folder looking for the autopsy reports and the crime scene photos.

Something wasn't right he thought to himself. The four victims were overdressed even for a Friday night in Detroit. The male, Dr. Robert Hogan the file said, was dressed in what was once a nice suit, but now looked like it had gone through the invasion of Iraq. The older woman, "Probably his wife," Axel guessed, was wearing a nice dress and other than the broken shoe, she looked like she was dressed for church.

The pictures were as gruesome as they were depressing. The bodies of a family were sprawled out on the asphalt as if the were rag dolls. Each of the victims' necks had been broken. What bothered Axel the most was the seven-year-old girl, dressed in a flowered dress, laying there with her eyes wide open, lifeless and dull.

Axel thumbed through the rift of papers looking for victim information. Finding the first report he began to read slowly, trying to absorb as much as he could before he had to talk to the one surviving member of the family. "Where's the damn autopsy reports," he exclaimed to no one in particular.

"I haven't seen them!" Mikey, the curly haired, goofy-faced detective, grabbed a chair and with an annoying scrape twisted it around and sat down. "So Axel…" he said in an all too cheery tone of voice, "what do we have?"

"Don't blame me Axel. I'm just doing what I'm told to do."

Axle's head jerked in response, "We…" he exclaimed in total surprise and annoyance. "What we? There is no 'we', Mikey. There's just me and I have a multiple homicide."

Mikey raised his hands in mock surrender. "Todd told me to work with you in this one." Axel went back to reading the file. "Go away Mikey," he added absently.

"Well I hate to burst your bubble buddy, but Todd specifically said that I wasn't to take any shit off of you.

Axel jumped to his feet grabbing his jacket; he marched toward the corner office that their commander occupied. "We will see about that," he tossed over his shoulder at the confused Mikey.

Axel stopped at the wooden door. He rapped on the door's glass pain right where it said Lt. Todd, Chief of Detectives. Lt. Todd was known for his temper and even the boldest detective knocked before he barged into that office. Axel heard the muffled 'Come' and headed in to the office to confront his boss.

Seated at the desk, holding a telephone to his ear, Lt. Maurice Todd was not in the best of moods. The coal black chief of detective was in a foul mood and the look on his face plainly showed that whoever was on the other end of the phone was giving him and earful. "Yes Mister Mayor, I'll put my best men on the case," Todd said into the phone in a very respectful tone of voice.


"I don't want to hear it Axel."

"But you didn't even hear what I was gonna say."

"Do you think I'm stupid? You've said it before. You work alone." The Lt. leaned back in his chair. "I don't care what you think. This is my division and I run it the way I want to, so I just don't want to hear the same old line of bullshit that you've spewed a thousand times before. You work with Mikey, that's it!"

"But he's a menace," Axel protested.

"He's a cop and you will treat him like a partner," a smile grew on Todd's face, "Cuz that's what he is, your partner." With the emphasis on the last two words, Todd sat back down, almost daring Axel to protest.

When Axel didn't say anything Todd continued, "Look Axel, I know you like working alone. But the brass is all over me on this one. That last call, that was the Mayor, and before him, the Chief of Police. They want to know why one of the leading citizens of our city was murdered coming home from his daughter's wedding rehearsal. More than that, they want this case solved and closed in record time. So shut up and get back to work."

Resigned to his fate, Axel turned around and headed out of the office. "Don't blame me if he gets shot," he mumbled just loud enough that the Lieutenant could hear it.

Axel wasn't surprised to find, that when he opened the door, Mikey was bending over near the door, obviously eavesdropping. "Dropped my pen," Mikey said in obvious embarrassment of getting caught. Axel continued past Mikey.

Mikey grabbed the pen he dropped on the floor as cover and chased after Axel. When he caught him, "A menace?" he asked.

"Look Mikey, I consider you a friend and I like you; but if you draw your gun, I'll shoot you myself."

Three hours later the pair had read the reports through completely three times and they were still no closer to an answer. They had made a few assumptions based on the reports and the crime scene photos. It was Mikey that had questioned the motive. He handed Axel a photo. "Look at this."

Axel scanned the picture closely, seeing nothing out of place he looked even closer. "Ok, what am I looking for?"

"If this were a robbery, then why does Mrs. Hogan still have her pearls around her neck?"

Axel considered, "Right." He grabbed his sunglasses off the desk. "Let's go."

"Where are we going?" Mikey quickly grabbed his notebook.

Axel smiled. "To look for clues and talk to people, you know, police work. You really need to get out on the street once in a while Mikey."

Mikey followed Axel out of the room. "Where to? The hospital and the surviving daughter?

"No, I called the hospital and she's been sedated. She won't be of any help until at least tomorrow; besides, she wasn't at the crime scene, she was still at the church."

Mikey reached into his jacket and pulled out the notebook. He flipped it open and found the notes he'd made while reading the files. "That leaves us Mrs. Gertrude Bean, the only eyewitness."


The old Chevy Caprice reminded Axel of his old 1973 Chevy Nova. It had the same feel down to matching the collection of junk in the back seat. The comptroller of the department refused to issue Axel Foley anything newer based on his past record. "Jesus Axel, haven't you ever heard of a garbage can?"

"Unlike you, I do things like stakeouts…"

"Turn left here," Mikey interrupted.

Axel ignored Mikey. "… and you have to do things, like living out of your car."

Mikey turned his head. "Are you done yet?"

"No." Axel sat there for fifteen seconds. "Now I'm done."

"Good. You just missed our turn."

"Shit!" Axel whipped his head back and forth. "Hold on." Without waiting he racked the steering wheel around and stomped on the brake. The beat up old police car swerved into the oncoming lane belching white smoke from the rear tires.

A huge semi-truck sounded its air horn… "Axellll," screamed Mikey.

Axle let loose with his trademark laughter as he slid the car into the second lane, narrowly missing the oncoming truck. The driver of the truck flipped Axel the finger as he went roaring by. "You should really learn to relax Mikey. Look at me, I'm totally relaxed and cool."

Axel stuck his head out the window and screamed at the truck driver, "FUCK YOU ASSHOLE!" He turned his head back toward Mikey. "See, totally relaxed."

"Pull over," Mikey said in a strangled voice.


"PULL OVER NOW!" Before Axel could even stop the car Mikey threw the door open and vomited all over the sidewalk.

"Way to go partner," Axel teased his sick companion. "I'd give you and 8.5. You'd have gotten a 10 if you'd missed the door."

"Axel…" Mikey groaned as he wiped the refuse off his chin. "Please, let's not do that again."

"Don't worry, you'll get used to it."


Axel and Mikey strolled up the walk. "Let me do the talking," Axel insisted.

Axel knocked on the door which was promptly answered by an old woman wearing a pink flowered mumu. She was carrying and small shaggy dog in her arms. "Can I help you?" she asked in her age-strained voice. The little dog in her arms started growling and yapping at the pair of police officers.

"Yes Ma'am. I'm Detective Axel Foley with the Detroit police." The small dog snapped at Axel causing him to step back. Axel reached into the pocket of his Detroit Lions jacket and flashed his gold detective shield.

"You be nice, Buster," the old woman admonished the little critter. "It's ok officers, his bark is worse that his bite." The little dog kept yapping at the pair, particularly Axel.

"Yes Ma'am. You reported a disturbance last…" Axel didn't get another word out.

"Oh my goodness yes, what a horrible thing. That whole family killed right next door. I was taking Buster for his walk." Mrs. Bean looked around to see if he neighbors were listening. "He has bowel problems you know so I don't like to let him go, you know in my yard. Too messy and the smell… Well, I don't want to start rumors but Mr. Albright swore he'd kill Buster if he went in his yard again. Imagine that, who'd want to hurt my poor little Buster."

Buster snarled at Axel and tried to bite the detective. < You can add my name to that list, > Axel thought. "Ma'am, can we get back to what happened last night please."

"And those men were so big… and fast."

That got Axel's attention, "Fast?"

"Oh yes, when the man with the truck came, they ran away."

Shocked, Axel stood there. There wasn't any mention of a man or a truck in the original report. "Mrs. Bean, did you tell the officers about this last night?"

A puzzled look came to her face, "I guess not. It was very late and Buster didn't like all the noise."

"Ma'am, can you describe this man in the truck?"

Mrs. Bean thought about if for a second. "Not really, he was a nice looking young man, but the truck was all beat up."

"Mrs. Bean," Mikey chirped in drawing a look form Axel, "Do you know what kind of truck it was?"

The old woman thought about it for a few seconds, "It was a Ford. My Stanley, god rest his soul, was a Ford man, never bought anything else. And it was missing a headlight. I remember thinking that it was ironic for a man with an eye patch to be missing a headlight."

Axel's eyes bugged out of his head. "EYE PATCH… HE WAS WEARING AN EYE PATCH!" Axel lowered his voice, "And you didn't think to tell that to the officers at the scene."

"They never asked," she exclaimed defensively.

Mikey restrained Axel with a hand to the shoulder. "Mrs. Bean, maybe we better start back at the beginning."

It took the pair ten minutes to get a description of the truck. An older Ford pickup painted white with some kind of dark trim and white licenses plates. The description of the man driving was similarly vague; Tall, dark hair, wearing jeans and a dark-colored shirt. It wasn't much to go on, but at least it was better than nothing.

As the pair walked away form the house, Mikey tried to lighten Axel's mood, "Gotta love that Buster, huh partner."

"Yeah… And if he were twins I'd make a pair of slippers out of him."


Axel parked the car at the city morgue, right next to the sign that said no parking. "Wait a second Axel, you can't park here," Mikey protested, "Todd will have a fit if he has to reclaim a car from the impound lot."

"Mikey… Mikey… You have to know how to play the system." Axel reached under the driver's seat and pulled out the Drs. placard that he'd stolen last year. "You have to find way to ignore the bullshit the system throws at you. Notice, we place the nice placard on the windshield and all the little patrol officers ignore the car completely. For all they know we are here saving peoples lives."

"Saving lives," Mikey stammered… "At the morgue you gotta be kidding me."

"Ahh young grasshopper, perception is much more important that reality," Axel laughed, "I always love that show. C'mon, let's go see what they have for us." The pair climbed the marble steps, only to be redirected to the basement by the building's security guard.

The combined stench of death and formaldehyde assaulted the detectives' noses. Axel ignored it. He'd been there too many times for it to bother him for more than a second or two, Mikey on the other hand, flinched at the smell, his stomach protesting and threatening to revolt. Axel ignored his partner and sauntered into the operating room like he owned the place. "Hey Frankenstein, how's it going"

Frankenstein, more formally known as Dr. Shelly Horvath, the Chief Pathologist for the City of Detroit, shared Axel's rather bent sense of humor, "Not Frankenstein this time, Axel. More like Bram Stoker."

Dr. Horvath pulled the sheet back form the first victim exposing the body that was completely white from loss of blood. "Cause of death was blood loss, but here's the interesting thing; the neck was broken prior to death."

"That's fucking weird," Axel leaned down and noticed the two puncture marked on the neck. "What's this?"

"That is where the blood was drained. The official cause of death is hypoxia, but if you figure out why someone would kill this way let me know. I've only heard of cases like this. There were reports of similar deaths like this out of a small town in California, place called Sunnydale."

"Did you call the coroner there?" Axel was understandably curious.

"Axel," Shelly started, "the place doesn't exist anymore. I called the L.A. office and Sunnydale fell into a sink hole about three weeks ago. Gives me the creeps."

"Thanks Shelly. Send me the autopsy reports when you have them completed ok? C'mon Mikey." Axel headed for the door.

"Axel… Wait a second," Shelly grabbed a report that she'd left on her desk. "One more thing, Vic one put up a fight and there were tissue samples under the finger nails. I thought it was a lab mistake so I was going to rerun the tests."

Axel was puzzled; Shelly normally didn't tolerate sloppiness in her department. He turned to Mikey, "I'll meet you at the car." He followed Shelly into her office, "So what else about this case in odd?"

The coroner handed him the report form the lab. Read it for yourself."

"You know all this shit is Greek to me; give me the cliff notes version."

"The tissue sample from this vic's fingernails tested as human, but here's the odd thing, it's necrotic tissue."

"Ok… now once more and in English this time."

"Axel," Shelly tried to find a way that didn't make her look like a complete fool. "If I believe this report, the man in the next room was attacked and killed by a dead man."

"Wait a damn second, dead guy sucking blood. You have to be shitting me, Vampires?"

The portly doctor turned her head away from Axel. "I'm not saying yes, but if you believe the legends…"

"Do you have any idea what Todd would do to me if I reported that the victims were murdered by vampires? They'd haul my ass off for a psych eval quicker that you can say dead body."

"Well, I just call them like I see them… and just FYI; I'm stopping by the store on the way home and getting some fresh garlic."


The Edwards turned out to be just as the police officer had described, nicely furnished and well within Xander's budget. Not that he really needed to scrimp overly much, but it was more in line with his character to save something for a rainy day. Xander woke up well rested. He hadn't really slept since before he'd lost his eye. It wasn't that the time wasn't there; it was more a case of either being in pain or worrying about the young girls that Buffy had accumulated.

The down side of finally getting away from all the stress is that he'd overslept and now it was late afternoon rather than early morning which is when he'd planned on visiting his relative. Rather than cry about spilled milk, Xander got dressed and headed out.


Xander stood in the graveyard. The headstone in front of him was all that was left of his second cousin. "Hey Tim," he addressed the tombstone that help the inscription:

Lance Corporal Timothy Knight, U.S.M.C.
Beloved son, brother and friend

For the longest time Xander stood there and just missed his friend and cousin, then hesitantly he began to speak. "I'm so sorry I couldn't be her before now man. I know that I promised your mom I'd be here for the funeral but something came up." Xander wiped the tears away with his sleeve and wiped his nose. "Guess there's no sense not telling you now."

For the next hour Xander told the story of Sunnydale, starting with having to kill his best friend who'd been turned into a vampire. That story was followed by how he had to save Buffy from drowning and that led into a long explanation on who Angel was and why he couldn't do CPR.

As he told the stories, Xander began for feel better about everything that had happened in his past. "I know I made mistakes along the way Tim, but I did some things right as well. I can't tell you how good it felt to talk Willow down from her anger and saving the whole world. You'd have liked Willow, dude. Well at least most of the time you would have."

"GET AWAY FROM HIM YOU DEMON." Xander's train of thought was interrupted by the scream of an angry girl, only to be followed up by a kick to the ribs that sent him flying more than ten feet. He tried to get up and explain, "Wait a sec…" The dark-haired girl smacked him with a right cross that would have done Mike Tyson proud.


Xander did the only thing he could think of, he dropped to the ground and leg swept the girl as gently as he could. "Wait one second. If I were a vampire, don't you think I'd be having a minor problem with all the sunlight right about now? Now I'm letting you up and you can decide what you want to do."

The young girl had the good grace to at least blush about her mistake. She got to her feet. "I'm sorry, I thought you were defiling Tim's grave."

Xander got up, wiping the blood off his mouth. "Pretty nice right cross for a girl; who are you?" There was something familiar, but Xander didn't know why, maybe that punch had rattled his brain.

"My name is Trish."

Now that name rung bells in Xander's overly abused mine. "Trish… Tim's little sister, Trish?" he said, not believing his own ears.

"I'm fourteen."

Xander did some quick addition in his head. "Yeah, I guess you would be. What's with attacking me?"

Trish blushed. "I thought you were a vampire."

"Come close a couple of times, but no. I'm your cousin Xander. A bell went off in Xander's head and everything began adding up. The unexplainable strength, him getting kicked ten feet by a girl that wasn't a hundred pounds soaking wet. He sank down to the ground beside Tim's grave and began to laugh.

Trish wasn't amused. "It all started three weeks ago, these boy's were picking on me at school and the next thing I know they were all on the ground crying."

That sent Xander over the edge. He started laughing so loud that even he was embarrassed about it, but he couldn't stop.

Trish, now red in the face with anger, stomped her foot. "WHAT"S SO DAMN FUNNY?"

"I'm so sorry hon, but first it was Buffy and now… Trish the Vampire Slayer, doesn't quite sound all that impressive, does it?"


Hours later found Axel back where he'd started the day, at his desk still drinking the same cup of coffee. Axel didn't even notice that the coffee was bitterly cold. The forensic evidence was pilling up, but he was no closer to an answer and in the back of his mind, Shelly's contention of the supernatural had the wily cop mentally shuddering. He was to the point where he was willing to consider anything.

Axel leaned back on the chair and tried to consider everything that he knew so far. It was a damn short list. One: four dead, all apparently form blood loss. Two: One half-blind witness and her little scruffy dog. Well at least we can place the time of the crime he conceded. Three: Another potential witness that had chased the perps away, but couldn't be found.

Axel's head popped up. "Wait a second." Axel rushed over to Mikey's desk and rummaged through it for the notebook that Mikey used for notes. He quickly thumbed through it for the information that Mrs. Bean had given them. When he found the page he was looking for, he picked up the phone and called the patrol desk.

"Hello, this is Detective Foley with homicide; can I speak with the traffic desk please?" Axel got the painful chore of listening to elevator music while he waited for the connection to be completed.

"Traffic division, Sergeant Parsons"

Axel was relieved to hear a friendly voice on the other end of the line. "Bill… Axle here, man I need a huge favor… Yeah, I got stuck with the Twin Pines case… Look can you do a quick scan of the traffic complaints and see if there was a repair citation issued to an older Ford pick up in the last twenty four hours… Oh sorry, you're looking for a broken headlight… Yeah, I can wait."

Once more Axel was subjected to the damned elevator music as he waited for what he hoped would be the big break in the case. When Sergeant Parsons picked up the phone again it was bad news. Axel slapped his fist on the desk in frustration. "Thanks Bill, do me another favor, keep checking for the next few days will you. I know how sloppy some of the patrol cops can be about turning in the paperwork. Thanks again man."

There wasn't anything else that Axel could do. He was done for the may so he decided to head for home. If he was lucky and the traffic wasn't too bad he should be able to watch his favorite show.


Rupert Giles stood at the doorway of his newly assigned room. He didn't really regret the good fortune that had allowed him to rent a few more flats but the letter in his hand bothered him.

Dear Gang, the letter had started and it went down hill after that.

Sorry to have to drop this on you in a letter, but If I had told you this I would have never gotten away from Giles's worrying and clucking. No, I didn't steal the money; I found it in Anya's stuff when we were leaving Sunnydale. I've been planning this trip for a while now and the time seemed right to make a contribution to the cause in Anya's name.

I don't know how or when Anya got the money, but don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Quit frowning Giles, sure the money is stolen, but on the bright side: Who's left to file a complaint?

I'll be back as soon as I take care of some personal business.

Love Xander

The scholar side of Giles cringed at the thought of keeping the stolen money, while the Ripper side delighted in the thought of getting away with it. In the end, the pair comprised. Setting up in Cleveland was going to be expensive. There were books that would have to be reacquired; housing for everyone, even just feeding the growing army of slayers would stretch any job that any one of them might get. So in the end, this was for the best.

Giles felt someone approaching. A small smile grew on his face. "Yes, Willow?"

"It's a little over two million dollars," she said. Gone was the fast talking, babbling Willow from the past. In her place was a calmer more serene Willow. The experiences of the past two years had changed her more than any of the other Scoobies, and not all of the changes had been for the better. Willow had faced and conquered her darkest side and still the memory haunted her.

"I see, I suppose it would be best to set up some sort of foundation that could channel the money to, oh what is the current cliché that Tom Clancy favors, Direct action."

The redhead was startled, "You read Tom Clancy… Wow, I'm impressed."

"Willow," Giles started to say.

"I'm just teasing you Giles. What about the council?"

I've solicitors in England working on that, but it will be sometime, if ever, before any of the council's assets will be made available to us. I suppose I should thank Anya for her, posthumous, contribution to the cause."

Willow recalled Anya's fervent chase for money, "Capitalism at its finest." Willow's words held more that a hint of sarcasm.

"Quite." Both of them smiled.


Trish sat there watching her distant cousin; they had reached the impasse that happens when you run into a secondary line of your family. You know you should have more to talk about, but find it hard to really relate to them as family. Tim's memory had helped a lot, but now they had run out of things, that either was willing to say, even to family. The short raven-haired slayer made a decision.

She got to her feet gracefully, her training as a gymnast enhanced by the slayer abilities, clearly showing through, "C'mon Xander, its time to go." She offered him her hand.

Xander was pulled to his feet. "Go… Go where?"

"To the place that Tim considered 'His' church." The young lady refused to say anything beyond that simple statement.


The cab of the truck was crowed with all of the junk that Xander kept in there so Trish and Xander sat together closely. Trish was wondering how to bring up what could be a touchy subject. "Turn right and go down a couple of blocks."

Xander flipped the turn switch up as he acknowledged her directions, "Gotcha ya."

"Xander…" Trish nervously drew out the final r in his name.

"Trish…" Xander tease her by drawing the final consonant.

"Stop that. Tim used to do that to me all the time and it drives me nuts."

"You gotta be able to take as well and give Cuz." When Xander saw that his words had hurt Trish. "Sorry hon, I guess what was the response you were looking for."

The teenager's hands jerked up in a double stop motion and she shook her head. "Ok I don't know how to say this so I'm just going to blurt it out. What happened to your eye?"

"Do you want the official story, which I might add is what we are going to tell your parents, or do you want the truth?"

"Turn left into this parking lot. I want the truth of course. I hate it when adults don't think kids can handle the truth." Trish sighed, but I guess I'd better hear the official story first."

Xander pulled his truck into the nearly full lot and began to look for a spot. "This is Tim's version of a church?" he asked in an astonished voice.

"He never missed a week," Trish confirmed. "Now quit stalling."

Xander parked the truck and turned to his cousin. "Ok. The official version is that I was caught in the collapse of Sunnydale and was rescued by the highway patrol. The truth is a lot less pleasant."


So…" He mimicked, "The truth is my eye was gouged out by a demonic bastard that hopefully is now roasting his balls in hell, which for your information does indeed exist."

That revelation left Trish speechless, she could barely gulp. Xander took pity of the girl so he offered her and out, "Shall we go to the service and pray for our souls?"

Trish led Xander to a side door where they were let in by one of the assistants. Trish waved to a teenage boy that was helping to set everything up. She tugged on Xander's sleeve and pointed the boy out to him. "That's Randy, he goes to my school. We better hurry; they will only hold the seats so long."

Trish dragged her cousin to the front of the auditorium and they slid into seats in the front row; it wasn't long before the overhead light dimmed, signaling the start of the 'service'.

A beautiful, well-built woman, wearing a pair of overalls walked on to the stage and asked, "Does everyone know what time it is?"

Trish cupped her hands and yelled, "IT'S TOOL TIME."

"That's right. Binford Tools is proud to present Tim 'The Toolman' Taylor."


A relatively handsome man, in a rugged sort of man way, entered the studio through the barn doors that were located at the back of the stage. The man was dressed in jeans, coat and tie but he immediately headed to the coat rack to the right. He paused, "That's right, I'm Tim the Toolman Taylor and welcome to Tool Time."

He traded the jacket for a tool belt that was filled with interesting toys. Strapping the belt on he addressed the audience, "We're going to do something a little different today, you see My normal…" Tim smiled at the in studio audience, "Who am I kidding; no one would consider Al normal. Sorry Al wherever you are.

"Anyway my normal partner, Al Borland, won't be here today." The audience groaned in disappointment. "You see it was two for one day over at Krispy Kreme and Al's mom over indulged," The group groaned in sympathy, "Don't worry she over at Detroit General getting her stomach pumped. Let that be a lesson to everyone, just because you can do something doesn't mean you have to do it."

Trish snickered under her breath. She turned to Xander and whispered, "That's the pot calling the kettle black."


"You'll see what I mean."

Tim picked up his commentary, "So today we are making Tool Time history. Today one of our studio guests is going to play…" Tim looked to the left and then to the right. He let the dramatic pause turn into a pregnant one. "Today one of you will get to be Al for the day. Before we let the audience in, we taped envelopes under the seats and one contains a red Tool Time sign. Would everyone please look under your seat and we can get the show started, but first, a word from our sponsor, Binford Tools."

Xander reached down and in true Xander fashion found only an empty envelope. Trish on the other hand tore hers open and began to jump up and down. "I won… I won."

During the break the production staff raced over to Trish and Xander. Paul confirmed that Trish had the winning ticket. He groaned. He told Tim that this idea was whacky and an underage girl winning wasn't on his yellow sheets. "Tim, you better come over here, we have a problem."

Tim sauntered over, when he noticed the girl, he flashed her a big smile, "Hey Trish, how ya doing." He turned to his director. "What's the problem?"

Paul grimaced at Tim's always good humor. "She's the problem. She's only fourteen Tim and we don't have time to get a parental waiver for her to be on the show, I'd call that a problem because we have 23 seconds to air."

Trish knew that Paul was right, she turned to Xander. "You have to do it… Tim would have killed for the chance; you just have to do it." Assuming that Xander would say Yes, Trish turned back to Tim. "This is my cousin Xander, he'd be perfect."

"Ten Seconds," one of the assistants yelled.

Xander gave in to his cousin's expectations. He got to his feet and followed Tim down onto the set. "Wait right here and make-up will get you ready. Oh, by the way, what is your last name so I can introduce you to the folks at home?"

"Xander Harris," Xander said as carefully so as not to disturb the girl that was dabbing his face with powder.

"In Five… Four…" Tim rushed back to the set and hit his mark.

"Welcome back to Tool Time. While you were seeing all the great new tools from Binford tools, we were finding our 'Al for the day.' Can everyone please give a huge Tool Time welcome to Xander Harris, our new Al!" Xander walked on stage and stood next to Tim.

"Welcome to Tool Time, Xander." Time did an exaggerated look up and down Xander. "My, you are a big drink of water aren't you?"

Xander couldn't resist his own nature, "Not really Tim, you're just short for your size."

Tim did a quick double take. That was something that Al would have said. He let the quip go and went back into the script. "Before you can really be Al there are a few changes that need to be made. Heidi, if you would, please?"

Heidi walked back on stage carrying a shirt and a tool belt. "Here it is Tim."

"Ahh, the official AL Borland flannel shirt… Since the beginning of the show Al has always worn flannel. Sometimes I'm not so sure it isn't the same shirt." He handed Xander a red and black flannel shirt. "Wear this with pride and do Al proud."

Xander casually donned the flannel shirt and reached for the tool belt that Heidi was still holding. He whipped that on with a familiar ease.

"I see this isn't the first time you've worn the honorable tools of the construction trade, do you have some experience?"

Xander blushed with pride, other than fixing windows in the house of Scooby; he rarely got to demonstrate his construction talents. "Mainly carpentry but I've also hung some sheetrock in my day and a little plumbing, too."

Tim Taylor turned back to the camera, "Folks we have a real nugget here… For today's project…"


The skyline of Detroit was unseasonably clear. The pollution of the factories had blown away with the evening winds, leaving the city looking just as the city public relations department would have painted it. Sadly, the glinting light of the downtown area hid a much deeper cancer. The lights in the office of Ronald Cost burned brightly, but they were overshadowed by the anger of the CEO of the fledgling company called Detroit Automated Systems.

Ronald Cost was a young man, but you could never tell that by looking at him. Tall and gaunt, with hair that was prematurely grey because of the deals he'd made to push his company to the pinnacle of the electronics world. No one had ever accused Cost of anything underhanded or illegal, not for a lack of trying, his success had flowed because he always let others do his dirty work.

Cost sat at his intricately carved teak desk fuming at the four 'men' standing before him. The only sign of his rage was a vein in his forehead pulsed like a drum with every heartbeat. "You fucking imbeciles," he said to the four vampires. "I send you to do one simple task… One fucking thing." Cost jumped to his feet and slammed the first one to the ground. "And you bring a world of shit down on me and MY COMPANY"

The largest of the men stepped up to challenge the man that they had been paid to help. "Sir, nothing was left at the scene to point to you."

That's failed to placate the industrial magnate. "Is that so!? And tell me; just how long will it take the cops to start checking Hogan's business relationships, Huh? I don't pay you morons to think. I pay you to do as you're told."

His furor contained, Cost punched the intercom button on his desk. "Conti," the CEO said as he made a decision, "show these gentlemen out though the back way please. Then come back here, we have to decide how to clean this mess up.'

Andre Conti, Ex-special forces, Ex-cop, ex-con and the most immoral man in Detroit, opened the twin oak doors and walked in to the room like he owned the place. "Gentlemen, if you would follow me," he said smooth as butter.

"What about our money?"

Cost didn't even look up from the newspaper he was reading. "Payment will be made before you leave the building."

Andre lead the four vampires to the elevator. "You boys fucked this one up big time. Your lucky Mr. Cost didn't dust you right then and there."

"Be careful human. You could be next."

Conti grabbed the offending vampire by the throat and the stake he'd hidden up his sleeve was now pressed against the demon's chest.

"You should show more respect to your betters, blood sucker." The ding signaling the arrival of the elevator calmed both the vampire and the security expert. They all mounted the elevator car and Conti reached into to his pocket and got a pair of fancy sunglasses out and put them on.

"When do we get paid?"

"Right now!" Andre Conti pressed the button for the 13th floor and the elevator cab was flooded in artificial sunlight. Ten seconds later the vampires were nothing but dust in the collection bag of the automated vacuum system.


Andre Conti walked back into the elegantly furnished office singing a happy song. "Dust in the wind… All they are is dust in the wind…" a sour look from his employer killed his happy mood. "I told you we should have never hired then. The stupid beasts are useless for any covert type action."

"There were other conventions that you aren't privy to that required their use." Cost opened the desk drawer. "There are other considerations that must be taken into account." He tossed a large manila file onto the desk. Pictures and reports from the crime spilled out. "Our sources in the police department have procured the working file."

Conti read the file slowly; he raised his head. "Two witnesses, that's going to be pushing coincidence."

"Then you will have to be careful now won't you? Look Andre, I hired you because you have a certain reputation. I haven't spent the last five years building my company only to fall because some big name doctor didn't like the kick back I was offering. In the next three months there will be seven major hospitals and fifteen universities using our automated record systems. In three years you won't be able to find a doctor's office that is using paper records anywhere. It projected to be a three billion dollar a year industry and we have one shot at the whole enchilada. So, my mercenary friend, be creative and we will both be very rich men."

Andre tossed the file back on the desk, retaining only the address and photo of the old woman. "This one's no problem. The fat old bitch just reeks of heart attack. But they don't even know the name of the second witness."

Ronald Cost leaned back in his leather chair and interlaced his fingers behind his head, "When I was a boy, I loved hunting raccoons. Smart little critters, but we always had the advantages. The first was coon dogs and the second was that a coon would never give up on something once he had it. Did you know a bloodhound's nose is up to four hundred times more sensitive than a human's? The best part was the hounds were just as single-minded as the coons were, so the key here is to follow the follower, which leads us to this man, Axel Foley."


Xander watched as Tim closed the show. It had been fun, though he'd had to bite his tongue a few times when Tim started to do something stupid. He couldn't really laugh at the television host, well not out loud anyway, for he saw in Tim a kindred spirit. In Xander's eyes, Tim was the high school version of himself only grown up. That's a nice thought. I sort of hope that I would have found a place that let me be me without changing too much.

Xanders thoughts were broken when Tim came over. "Xander, I'd like to thank you for filling in today." Tim's eyes filled with light; just as they always did when he had what he thought was a great idea. "I'll tell you what, why don't you and Trish come home with me for dinner?"

"I wouldn't want to be a bother."

"Nonsense, Jill, my wife, would love to meet you and with three boys there's always plenty to go around. Besides," Tim glanced over to the corner where Trish and Randy were chatting away, "I think Randy would kill me if I didn't at least offer, so what do you say?"

Xander was warmed by the offer of friendship and the thought of a good home-cooked meal was nearly more that his fast food adjusted taste buds could stand. "I say what time do we eat!"

Fifteen minutes later found the foursome in the parking lot. Xander followed Tim over to a bright red 55 Chevy Nomad wagon. "Wow! Is that yours? It was there that Xander made his fatal mistake. He should have known better, all the signs were there but he failed to read them right, "My Uncle had a 57 Bel Air, what's she got under the hood?"

Tim made a beeline for the hood latch. Before Randy could get a single word out he had the hood open. "I started with a short block 350 but I have the cylinders bored 30 over. The heads, intake manifold and the carbs are all Edelbrock, a complete MSD ignition system that we adapted from a Corvette and here's the clincher. See that braided line that runs into the back of the manifold? That's a concealed NOS system." Tim grinned like a fool. "The 352 duration cam and the heads give a much larger power band."

"Dad…" Randy tried to interrupt.

"I was going to use a 700R4 tranny, but the lock-up converter caused too many problems, so we went with a TH-400, posi rear end, and a custom driveshaft,"

"Dad… Mom's going to want HER car back."


Following Tim turned out not to be an easy task. The old Ford just didn't have the get up and go and Xander's single eye still gave him enough problems that he was comfortable at driving fast. It didn't help that Trish had elected to ride with Tim and Randy. Thankfully Tim would stop every so often and let Xander catch up. Less than an hour later, the mini convoy pulled up to a nice white tract home in the suburbs.

Xander pulled up behind the station wagon and parked the big truck. Rand and Trish had already disappeared into the house and Tim was busy pulling a car cover over the classic car. Xander got out and slammed the door just as Tim was finishing up. "Nice truck Tim said. "In a little rough shape but the potential is there. What motor does it have?"

Xander shrugged, "I wasn't really paying attention at the time. I needed something that was cheap and this was what I found."

Time reached between the grill, fumbling around. "I know it's here somewhere," he grunted. The hood sprung open on it own accord, smacking Tim on the jaw. "Owww!"

"You ok Tim?"

Tim stood there holding his jaw and staring into the grimy engine compartment. After a few minutes he mumbled, "Do you have any idea what you have here?" He pointed to the distinctive, front-mounted distributor and the generator mounted on top of the engine. Ohh. Ohh, ohh. Ohh. Ohhhhh. "This is a late Ford Flathead, one of the best motors that Detroit ever made." Tim let out a long wolf whistle. "Someone spent a lot of money fitting it to this truck." He turned back to Xander. "You gotta restore it."

"I don't know… Seems a lot of work for an old truck."

"This isn't old… It's a classic, plus with all the pony's you can make with that flathead, Woo Hoo. Talk about a sleeper."

Xander was saved by the bell, a female voice yelled from the porch, "Tim… Dinner is ready."


The traffic combined with the pockmarked roads contributed to Axel's foul mood. Add in the fact that he'd already missed the start of 'Tool Time' and he found himself just plain pissed off. He pulled the old Chevy up to the traffic light and just as everything else that day went wrong, it turned red. Axel was tempted to hit the mars lights and keep on going. That thought was soon lost as the sound of automatic weapons fire overwhelmed the night. Bullets scarred the side of the car in front of Axel's and the side mirror of the patrol car went spinning off into the street.

Axel didn't waste a split second. Looking around, he found that his car was hemmed in on all sides; ducking down under the meager cover provided by the dash, he rammed the shift lever into park and drew his Browing Hi-Power. "Don't that just beat all, I'm off the clock and still I get shot at. Some one up there just don't like me!" Axel slowly peeked over the top of the passenger's side door. Four men were coming out of the bank. Axel had just a split second to see the automatic weapons that they were carrying when the passenger window exploded, covering him in tiny shards of autolight glass. Almost without thinking, he popped over the now shattered glass and fired two rounds from the Browning. The hot ejected casings dropped down the surprised detective's shirt. "Holy Shit," he yelled as he wiggled his upper body trying to dislodge the hot brass.

Axel grabbed the door handle and pulled hard, then flung the door open. He rolled out on the ground and came up firing at the sedan that the robbers were trying to get away in. The first bullet struck home and blood spouted from the head of the driver and splashed the windshield and the other men in the front seat.

Axel quickly fired another two bullets, this time aimed at the rear tires. His eyes budged out as the rear door of the get away car opened and the maw of an M-16 began spitting fire; he jumped. Axel's dive roll saved him from being well ventilated by the high speed bullets, but it didn't do anything for the old Caprice. The 5.56 mm bullets stitched a pattern from the front quarter panel along both doors and ending near the rear tail light. It was only fate and a nearby fire hydrant, that when the Chevy exploded, its gas tank punctured, that Axel lived at all.

Axel leaped to his feet. "Police! Freeze!" he screamed as he targeted the gunner. When the man turned back toward Axel, Axel caressed the trigger and shot the man in the chest twice. The two remaining men took off in two different directions. Axel's head twisted back and forth "Eeny meany miney…! Oh fuck Mo." Axel took off running after the one that was carrying the bank bag.

His breathing became labored. He'd been chasing the perp for the last 10 blocks, not losing him, but not really gaining on him either. Axel swung around the corner just in time to see his prey duck into an alleyway. Axel slammed against the faded brick façade. Drawing a deep breath, he jumped into the middle of the street pointing his gun down the alley.

The sight in front of him was one that every cop hated to even think about. The perp, caught in a dead end, had grabbed a little girl and was holding a gun to her head. The background was filled with the sound of squealing tires as police cars filled the entryway behind Axel.

Fear caused a sweat to break out on the bank robber's face. Nervous energy made him tighten his grasp on the little girl that he'd found playing in the alley. He stared the black cop straight in the eye, daring him to come forward. "Stop right there motherfucker." The sound of the hammer cocking back on the revolver echoed off the dirty brick walls, "One step and I blow this kid's head off."

In the background, Axel could hear the officer's bodies hit the hoods of their cars and Axel's training told him that at least four shotguns were now aimed down the alleyway. "Don't do anything stupid, man. Right now the only thing we have is a little bank robbery, that's nothing compared to murder. They gas your ass for that."

"I ain't going back to prison."

"Man, no one said nothing about prison. You got lawyers and all that shit. It would be years before you get to a jury. Now be cool and let the little girl go and we can do this all nice like." As he spoke, Axel crept forward a step at a time. "Look, I'll tell you what; let the girl go and you can have me as a hostage. Now that's a good deal isn't it?"

The cops words and the cool look on his face were affecting the perp. Indecision was settling in on his face and the pressure on the trigger was backing off slightly when a sudden crashing sound filled the alley. The bank robber's head jerked; the sound of a garbage can crashing to the ground and the wail of a feral cat caused him to glance away for a second or two.

That was what Axel was waiting for, he dove forward, his knee striking the perp in the groin. At the same time, Axel ripped the girl from the guy's arms and tossed her backward gently. The would be criminal fell to the ground clutching his testes and moaning. Axel fell on top of him and put the barrel of the Browing to his head and pried the revolver away. "You have the right to remain silent, which, you dumb bastard, I'd highly recommend."


Four hours later, Axel was finishing up the paperwork on the shooting. The on-scene investigation had revealed that the bank robbers were a part of a right wing militia that robbed banks to support the revolution. The two DOA at the scene included the group's leader and secretly Axel was pleased; one more dirt bag off the street.

"Axel, what the fuck is going on?" Lieutenant Todd wasn't happy with being called in from home and it was even worse when he'd discovered that Axel was involved.

"Don't know chief." Axel handed the report he'd been working on to Todd. "I guess it has something to do with the two dead scumbags and the one that's down in lock up."

"Axel…" Todd said in a wary tone of voice.

"Really Chief, I don't know. It was a good shoot." Axel glanced at Todd's office, "Better get in there, IAD's been waiting for the last hour."

Todd walked over to his office and opened the door and stepped in, "What the fuck is going on…" The door slammed close before Axel caught anymore of the Lt's Tirade.

Fifteen minutes later a much calmer Todd opened the door. "Axel, can you come in here please?" There was a hint of dejection in Todd's voice that Axel didn't like.

The men in the room waited till Axel was seated. "Axel, this is Lieutenant Burns from IAD."

The weasel-faced cop took over from Lt. Todd. "Foley, I need your gun, your badge and your ID."

"What the fuck!"

"Until the current investigation is completed, you are on paid leave."

"Get the fuck outta here. I have cases pending." He turned to Todd. "What about the Hogan case?"

Todd glanced suspiciously at the IAD man. "Mikey will handle that case till we get this cleared up." He stared Lt. Burns. "And we will clear this up as soon as fucking possible, have I made myself clear?"

Axel slapped his gun and wallet on the desk. "This is bullshit and we all know it."


Axel unlocked his door and headed straight to the phone, ignoring the flashing light on his VCR. He dialed a number from memory and hoped it wasn't too late. "Damn answering machines," he swore. "Billy, it's Axel. Look man, I'm in some shit and I'm gonna need some help. Call me back as soon as possible."

Axel grabbed a beer from the fridge and sat down on the couch. He grabbed the remote and pressed play.