Buffy Z

Super Slayers Emerge Saga

Episode 41 - 47

Author: 3D Master <3d.master[at]chello.nl>

Website: http://members.chello.nl/~jg.temolder1/

Rating: R

Keywords: X-Over Dragonball/Z/GT, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angst, Drama, Action.

Summary: Wedding preparations are made, will people fall by the wayside? A Honeymoon follows, are the enemies too powerful for slayers?

Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its characters do not belong to me, but Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy Productions. Dragonball Z, its characters and the concept of the Saiyan race belong to Akira Toriyama.

Episode 41

The Trials of Life

"It's been nice having you around, Cole," Xander told the ex-half-demon with a calm face. They hadn't really gotten close; Cole was there to train, Xander had occasionally trained him. The rest of the gang were present as well, standing in front of the Summers' house. They too said their goodbyes, and then Cole got into his car and drove off.

The gang watched the car drive off, and then they slowly turned around and walked back toward the house. "So," Xander said with a mischievous grin, "the Wedding, it's about time we decide on its basic execution - apart from Vegeta does the honors. How about Betazoid style?"

"Huh?" Buffy asked confused.

"We're all nekkid," Xander said with a leer at all the girls, making them laugh.

"We are /not/ going to be naked," Anya said resolutely, stomping away that idea. They reached the entrance, and the group looked slightly surprised that Anya of all people would nix the naked idea. Xander looked mock disappointed, as the group entered the house and Anya continued, "We're going to have a proper wedding - with gowns, and tuxedos and well, everything that a wedding is supposed to have."

"Ooh, candles," Willow put in nodding enthusiastically, then looked over at Tara who nodded once in approval.

"Candles?" Dawn asked confused.

"How else are you going to have Mother Earth bless your union?" Willow asked a little confused. "You need candles for that ceremony."

Xander grinned evilly, saying, "Does that ceremony have to be performed naked?"

"Xander, we're not going to be naked during the wedding," Anya said in a huff, her eyes twinkling in amusement. "Get that through your head."

Tara frowned some, and asked, "Do you even want Mother Earth to bless your union?"

"Well, certainly not during the big event, what will the king think? We're getting royalty over, you know?" Anya said quickly, as the last of the group sat down in the Buffy's living room. "But we could do it a few days beforehand, right?"

"Sure," Tara answered confidently.

Buffy was the one who suddenly blurted out her idea, "What do we do about the demons?"

"What demons?" Dawn returned surprised.

"The ones who are going to crash the wedding," Buffy replied, looking around the room like nothing was the matter. The others looked at her in confusion, not getting it.

"Buffy, how do you know demons are going to attack the wedding?" Xander asked her with bewilderment.

"Oh, come on," the Slayer answered, folding her arms defensively over her chest. "Name me one big party, big event of us that /didn't/ get crashed by demons?"

The others stayed silent, thinking, not having an answer. "Well," Xander started, looking up, tapping his chin. He stopped and looked down at Buffy, "I suppose that falls under Slayer duties, eh?"

"Yeah, sure, I guess," Buffy replied somewhat happy, somewhat unhappy.


Darkness claimed Sunnydale as it did every night, and some would assert it did even during the day. The stars twinkled up ahead. The grass of the graveyard was tranquil . . . until a figure ran across it, disturbing the peace. The vampire ran for its life, toward the trees, hoping against hope. Buffy Summers, the slayer, was after it. It had gotten lucky earlier. While Buffy waited for another vampire to rise, it had stumbled upon her and he had managed to sneak away before she noticed him. His luck didn't hold however as the vampire she was waking for rose from the ground, and she blew him away with ease. Her senses no longer focused on the rising vampire, she had detected him quickly. Now he was running, and Buffy was in pursuit, rapidly gaining distance. Buffy could have run faster, could have blasted him away, could have done a lot of things, but killing the rising vampire and her senses suddenly picking him up had sent Buffy off on a completely different tangent. Her instincts had soared, her senses sensitive, every fiber of her being gripped by the predatory instincts of the slayer. Like a cat playing with a mouse, Buffy found herself suddenly playing with the fleeing vamp. Buffy was no longer Buffy, she was the Slayer, pure and simple.

With a bloodthirsty grin she suddenly sped up, passed the vampire by and then stood still in front of him. He skidded to a halt, fear in his yellow eyes, which were wide, trying to find a way out. He ran to the left, and Buffy was there, grinning at her prey. He quickly turned in the opposite direction, and after two steps, Buffy was there. Her hand suddenly lashed out, and grabbed the vampire by his neck. She lifted him off the ground easily, smiling at him. Almost casually she pulled out a stake and let it twirl a few times. Then, she stabbed it into the vampire's heart and he turned to dust. Buffy looked down at the dust with satisfaction, and suddenly went rigid. She peered around, into the wild growth beyond, into the trees, and then grinned. The moment she did, there was sudden sound as a few demons - three in total - that had been hiding there ran for their lives.

The Slayer chuckled and then burst into action. She quickly caught up to the first one, and snapped its neck while running passed her. Moments later she reached the second. It turned around and attacked. Buffy grabbed the punched and flung him through the air as she twisted the punch back upon him. He got back up, and attacked again. Buffy ducked, and gave an uppercut, sending him flying through the air until he crashed against a tree. Quickly Buffy was above him, and rammed her stake through its throat. Buffy smiled satisfactorily when she felt the life drain out of the demon. Then she burst away to her left, after the third and final demon. She caught up to it quickly. It grabbed a long branch and threw it Buffy, who hacked it in half with ease. She was by him a moment later, and rammed her fist through his chest. The demon's eyes bulged in shock, then Buffy tore its heart out, after which the heart and body, but not the blood, disappeared with a flash of light. Buffy grinned, and looked up. She closed her eyes, and then frowned. She looked to her right, and from underneath a bush and leaves another demon came whimpering, "Please don't kill me, Slayer. Please, I'm a good demon."

Buffy smiled at him, her mouth pulled to her left. She pointed her open hand at the demon, and a ball of energy formed. "Please," the demon pleaded, and then the energy blast left Buffy's hand. With a small explosion the demon was no more.

Buffy let her head hang back, and smiled deeply. She sighed with satisfaction then, relishing the look of the stars. Suddenly Buffy snapped back to reality and looked around her, seeing the corpse, then noticing the blood on her right hand. The memory of the last few minutes returned to her, but they were in a haze. "Oh, no, oh, no, oh, God!!" Buffy shook her head with denial, willing it wasn't so, but the scene didn't change, and the memories slowly became more focused, recalling for Buffy the bloodlust singing through her veins, and how good it felt to be in that state.

Buffy shook her head, and quickly left the place, shocked at what happened.


Buffy walked into the Bronze, and looked around. She spotted her sister with boyfriend, Xander with fiancee, and Willow with girlfriend standing around a table and talking to one another. She watched them interacting from afar, seeing how Xander was a little reserved around Dawn's boyfriend. Buffy felt herself growing cold, and slowly veered away. She found a stairs and climbed up, then placed herself at the far railing, so she could look down upon her family member and two friends and significant others. Watching them chatting and having a good time, completely without her made her feel even colder, a growing well of despair threatening to engulf her completely. Once again it was obvious they didn't need her. She was just excess baggage, a pity case.

She wasn't surprised when she felt his cold hands grasp her middle, just at her buttocks. She shuddered as she felt the thing that had let loose in the park growl inside her. It wanted to tear the blonde vampire behind her apart, it wanted to be let out and rage in the power, in the bloodlust. She clamped it down: she was not a sickening monster, not a beast without self control. She heard Spike whisper as his hands ran up her front to cup her breasts, "You belong with me, and you know it. Look at them, you're friends, they don't need you, they don't even like you." Buffy shuddered, hating the fact that his expert caresses stirred another primitive part withing her, disgusted with herself for it. His right hand went down, carefully reaching under and pulling up the skirt she had hastily changed into after washing the blood and gore of earlier from her, and dumping the ruined clothes in the trash. She felt his lips kiss her ear, and then his teeth nibbling on her earlobe, as his right hand reached into her panties, easily finding her now soaking cunt and tense clit. "Look at them, they hate you, they'd prefer to dump you. I love you, I need you, I like you, they don't," Spike whispered as he started manipulating her pleasure button. His other hand joined below, and gently tugged the panties aside. Buffy closed her eyes, a war raging within her, wanting to give in, not wanting to at all, the same going for the still present instinct to tear Spike limb from limb. Spike gently pushed her against the railing, making her bend over just a bit. He hiked up her skirt a little, and whispered onward, "Look at them, all in the light, they can't understand you and I, we are creatures of darkness." He unbuttoned his pants at the same time, and aimed his raging hard on. "You belong with me in the darkness," he whispered, ready to plunge in with a quick, powerful, but gentle thrust. Buffy's eyes snapped open, as she remembered again how the darkness earlier all but consumed her, had her engulfed completely. She snapped around, startling Spike, and with a quick yank on his shoulder she forced him to his knees. The vampire let out a muffled groan, afraid to attract the whole crowd down below, and once again being painfully reminded at just how much more powerful the Slayers and by extension the Saiyan really were.

Buffy looked cruelly down at him, and hissed softly, "If you want to please me, Spikey, use your lips and tongue." Buffy grabbed Spike by the back of his head, and pulled him to her, forcing him quickly underneath her skirt. After another muffled groan, he found Buffy's vagina with the requested parts of his body. Buffy moaned softly as he felt the tongue she'd trained in the past few months perform its duty. She leaned back, enjoying the ride. Spike's expert ministrations, cold but velvet tongue, and cool lips had her climbing toward climax quickly. Within eight minutes after Spike started, she was ready to come.

"Spiky, why did you leave me?" the annoying voice of Harmony called as she became visible climbing the last few steps of the stairs. Harmony sucked in an annoyed and jealous breath as she saw Spike on his knees, his head beneath Buffy's skirt.

"Shh, Harmony," Buffy whispered, then added cruelly. "You can have him back in a few moments. Yes, right there." Buffy released her moan in a deep breath, effectively keeping herself from making a sound. She shuddered a few times, coming into Spike's mouth, and then relaxed and leaned back. Only for a few moments though, then she stood up straight, pushing Spike away from her. "Keep up the practice, I think I'll be using that mouth of yours more often," Buffy whispered evilly at Spike, as she pulled down her skirt. Then she casually walked away like nothing was the matter. Spike sat there in frustration, turned on as hell, but wanting more. He wanted Buffy to admit she loved him. He looked to his right, where Harmony stood close to him now, her arms folded across her ample chest, wearing a tiny miniskirt and a shirt that showed off some cleavage.

"Why can't you just stay put for a change? If you had stayed with me, you wouldn't be so used my Miss Prissy," Harmony scolded him.

Spike vamped out, shocking Harmony just a little. He jumped up, and roughly - but careful not to make too much noise - shoved Harmony against the railing. Without even acknowledging her verbally, he pulled up her shirt, tore off her tiny panties and plunged deep inside the already welcoming wet cunt of the blonde vampiress. "Mmh, Spike," Harmony gasped softly, pushing back against him.


It was the next day. Dawn's boyfriend, Li-Huei, was sitting in his room, lying back on his bed. His three best friends were sitting on the floor, two of them playing a game on a computer game console.

Sean, a light brunet with glasses, the one not playing said, with a big grin, "So, I saw you with /Dawn/ and her . . . /odd/ family in the Bronze yesterday. That's some step, and it's been what? Two, three months now since you two hooked up? Exactly how serious are you two? Wedding plans yet?"

Li's three friends chuckled. "No! Not you too! My mom and dad are ready to bring out the bridal treasure. They're constantly hounding me about marriage, I'm starting to wonder how much is joking, and how much is dead serious, ready to chain me up and wheel me to the church!" Li called out. He then sank back in his pillow, smiling himself, as his friends' laughter increased. He sighed as he remembered his beautiful girlfriend's smile. "She's . . . incredible. Beautiful, sexy, intelligent . . . strong as hell, not afraid of anything I think . . . I'm a real, lucky bastard."

"So, you and her . . . uh . . . did you have sex yet?" Keith, his raven-haired friend asked.

"Keith!" Li called out with a little irritation, "It's not like that."

"Come on, there's something you're not telling us," Sean prompted smiling encouragingly, then looking back at the game in progress.

Li thought about it. He /had/ promised not to tell anyone, but he doubted Dawn hadn't confided in anyone at all. Undoubtedly she had shared the experience, apparently good with one trusted friend, or confidante, and these were his friends; he trusted them blindly. And he wanted to share a little of it so badly. He sat up, and said gravely, "This does not leave this room, got that, guys?" A disaccorded, but uniform choruses of positives came from his friends. Li nodded slowly, and then said, "She gave me a blowjob."

His friends went rigid, perking up immediately, on the screen Keith's character died. "Tell! Details!" Sean called out excitedly as he pulled the controller from Keith's hand - he wasn't about to pass up his turn, he could play and listen all at the same time.

"It was incredible, and the reason why she did, she's so . . . so . . . there are no words," Li-Huei said looking dreamily up at the ceiling. "Ok, it was like this . . ." And Li spilled the whole story, softly, not wanting his story to accidentally carry through the walls. He explained of his painful awakening, and the gentleness, and understanding, mature, not mocking him way that Dawn had handled the situation, culminating in the blowjob. "It was so good," he said dreamily, remembering. "Soft, velvet." He shook his head, clearing his head before he got a new erection at the thought.

"You are one lucky son of a bitch. You don't deserve her: /I/ do, but /you/ don't," Sean told him with an amazed look, one eye on the game.

"Yeah, I know, I must have done something right in a previous life," Li grinned back.


Harmony was sitting in the darkened crypt, for vampires burn in the sun and all, that was a good thing. She looked over at Maxine, lying contently on the bed sleeping. Her arms were still tied to the bedposts in an awkward angle, but that didn't seem to bother her. In fact, Harmony mused, the vampire fetishist seemed to enjoy a certain level of discomfort in such a way she slept better. The blonde shook her head. Spike had been exceptionally brutal to the both of them last night, being all worked up over what Buffy did to him, and Maxine had loved every second of it. Of course, so did Harmony, but she was a vampire, she was built for it, meant to enjoy it, and she was already healing up. Maxine would be uncomfortable merely sitting down for the next week at least, and probably the week after that.

Spike was out though, probably back at the Summers house, training - again. Harmony sighed theatrically, at which time her cell phone rang. Maxine stirred, Harmony didn't give a damn. She casually got up and walked over to the phone lying on a night stand. "Harmony, here," she answered the phone after picking it up and turning it on.

#Mistress Harmony, I'm not worthy,# the familiar voice of the vampire Disharmony sounded on the other side.

"Hey, Dis, how's it going, my slave?" Harmony practically cooed in the phone.

#Very well, my mistress, oh, goddess of lovelyhood . . .# Dis sounded on the other side of the phone.

"Yes, yes, yes, yes," Harmony interrupted him in irritation. Perhaps making him worship her before turning him wasn't such perfect idea after all, still a good idea, but not quite perfect. "Get to the point, Dis."

#Of course, exalted one. As per your brilliant instructions I have subdued Las Vegas, they are all paying tribute to you . . .# Dis let the sentence hang there, an unsaid 'but' floating across.

"But?" Harmony prompted in irritation.

Dis sounded positively mortified when he continued, #Forgive me, oh, beautiful, but there is a provision, they are all malcontent. They wish to see you, my Queen. They accuse me that you are but a ghost, and without you physical presence, and seeing for themselves the brilliance, the light, the beauty, and might that is you, there's a good chance they'll try to attack me and take over.#

Harmony took that in, nodding to herself. She grinned evilly then, and said, "Tell them to be patient for another three weeks, then I'll arrive there, ok?"

#Yes, your highness, forgive me for my intrusion, Mistress Harmony,# Dis answered with glee.

"Good, see you in three weeks then, Dis," Harmony answered with a wide grin. She hung up, and started pacing. She quickly found a way to get out of Sunnydale without being dusted; that one was easy enough, make it better for Xander for her to be gone, then to stay here. Now how to get Spike to come along? He was good in bed, and she saw how Spike was around Buffy - all obedient, and nice an such. She could so see Spike kneeling down before or beside her, ruling Las Vegas. 'Knight Spike, kill the annoying green one, then lick my pussy.' 'Yes, my queen.' Harmony nodded, grinning, if that frigid bitch Buffy could get Spike in that position, so could she, and it would be a fitting place for the blonde bastard who had betrayed her so often. Now, how to break Buffy's hold over him, making Spike her obedient puppy dog after that shouldn't be so hard, like she said, if Buffy could do it - not to mention an insane bitch like Drusilla - that should be easy. Breaking Buffy's hold though, that would take some doing, and she had three weeks to do it in. An idea started to form, oh, yes, she was good.

"Harmony?" Maxine asked somewhat confused, at the evil grin adorning the vampiress' face.

Harmony looked at her, grinned more widely, and then walked over in a few brisk steps. She yanked Maxine to her feet, and quickly undid her bindings, both frightening and arousing the girl. "I'm hungry," Harmony told her with a wide grin. Maxine moved her head aside, exposing her throat. Harmony vamped out, and bit deeply drinking in the blood hungrily. After half a minute of subdued drinking she released Maxine, and muttered, "Damn, keeping them alive sure makes them a convenient blood bank, not to mention the good sex." Maxine blushed in shame, and Harmony added, "Drink, eat, rest, build up your strength and blood, sweetie, I'm going to drink more from you later." Maxine nodded, enjoying the disrespectful treatment, she knew she'd be masturbating by the time Harmony left, which the blonde vampire did moments later, navigating the catacombs.


Spike's fist connected with Harmony's jaw and sent her hurtling through the air. Harmony had been right, Spike was training in the gravity gym. She crashed against the force field, and with an 'oof' she sank to the floor. Harmony still had no increase in her chi, although her muscle strength had significantly increased because of the higher gravity. "Bloody pathetic," Spike cursed, and shook his head, "there's no way you could train with me."

Harmony held back a scolding retort, there would be plenty of time left by the time Spike would consider her his queen. She groaned as she quickly got up, stretching herself out to remove the kinks from her body - not to mention show off her body in her skimpy training outfit. It had the desired effect, Spike halted his walk toward the other gym mat that he'd been training on, and was still at higher gravity levels. "I'll try harder, ok?" Harmony asked sweetly as she quickly traversed the distance between them. When she reached him, she said innocently, "I can't believe you let her walk all over you."

"What?" Spike asked.

"Buffy," Harmony clarified smiling sweetly. "The little slut just keeps using you for quick fucks and some pussy eating . . ."

"DON'T CALL HER THAT!" Spike growled out, rapidly grabbing Harmony by the back of her head and shook her roughly. "I love her, she loves me! We belong together, she doesn't use me, she just knows how to fuck a vampire, that's all!"

"Yeah, right," Harmony said, snorting. Then gently again, "She's the slayer bitch, Spike. She should know better, she should know who's the superior one between you two. Come on, you're the Slayer of Slayers - faced two slayers, killed two slayers - she should be the one servicing you." Spike calmed down a little, going over Harmony's words. He had to admit, his female counterpart had a point. Buffy should be the one begging for it, but he would break her down yet. "See, Spike, I know who's boss here," Harmony continued, and gently lowered herself to her knees, mirroring her words, "She should be the one on her knees, begging for the big bad to fuck her good, as a matter of fact, she should feel honored just giving you a blowjob." Harmony unbuttoned Spike's pants, and gently pulled it down a little, allowing her to retrieve his hardening vampirehood. "I mean, has she even given you one, Spiky? Has she been a good girl, and given it a lick yet." Harmony added the deed to the words, licking Spike's penis gently, reverently. "Mmh," Harmony moaned sexily. "See, I know what the big bad wants." Then she engulfed him, and proceeded to give him the oral sex of his unlife.


Dawn smiled as she entered her school. Life was pretty good after all. She was still concerned about her big sister, but Willow had regained control and was back with Tara. The witches had even talked about Tara moving back in the house. Xander and Anya's wedding was still very much on track, and her and Li's relationship - Yes! She actually called it a relationship now! - was progressing nicely. The fact that he and her had been at the Bronze before the weekend, right along with her friends and family, and they seemed to be hitting it off pretty well, was cause for elation. Thus suitably in a good mood Dawn didn't notice the whisperings at first. It wasn't until the second period that she was noticing something was odd. When a boy walked up to her, grinning a smile a mile wide, and asked, "Hey, slut, how about you and I meet at the parking lot in a moment huh?"

There were sniggerings from all around her, from boys /and/ girls. Dawn could get angry, and beat the boy into a pulp, but kept herself from doing just that, and timidly said, "No." Then she quickly passed him by and proceeded to her next class.

The boy wasn't quite finished and called after, "You've got some lips, babe, you should use them more often!" There was more laughter.

Dawn didn't understand, what was going on? They never treated her like this before. In class she now noticed the whisperings and the occasional pointing toward her. It unnerved her, got her scared. When the period was over, she hurried out of the classes, seeing more class mates look at her, some sympathetically, some curious, and some hostile. Dawn quickly went to her locker and fuddled with the lock.

"Shit, Dawn," a girl's voice said softly. Dawn looked over and recognized the girlfriend of one of the guys that Li and her occasionally hung out with. "Is it true?"

"Is what true!?" Dawn asked, driven to the breaking point, glad for the familiar voice and face, even though it wasn't exactly a friend.

The girl came closer, and continued the conversation conspiratorially, "Word is out you apparently gave Li a blowjob and . . . uh . . . swallowed."

"What!?" Dawn exclaimed in complete shock. How could anyone know?

The girl, her name was Daniella, took it to mean Dawn didn't do it, that it was just a lie, she nodded, and said, "Thought so, just a lie. I'm sorry, Dawn, we should find whoever spread it, and snuff her out like the cockroach she is. Have you got any enemies?"

"What? No . . . I . . . no, I gotta talk to Li," Dawn rapidly pulled out a book, and placed one she didn't need anymore for the day back in. "Thanks," she said, and Daniella nodded, before Dawn quickly sped off.


Li had just finished gym class, and he was hunched over and untying his shoe, the foot on a bench. "So," one of his classmates said with a big green, "Dawn swallows, huh?" Li looked up at him, somewhat confused. "You know . . ." he finished with a rude gesture and sound that could mean only one thing.

Li went from confused to enraged in one moment. He stepped over the bench, grabbed his class mate by the neck and lifted him off the floor, slamming him against a row of lockers, and holding him up there, adrenaline giving him access to amazing abilities. "HOW DO YOU KNOW!?" he roared out.

"Ffffuck," the class mate hissed out with difficulty. "Ssomeone . . . just told me," he croaked out.

Li calmed down some, letting the guy go. He sank to this butt on the floor, coughing to get breath back into his lungs. The other guys backed away a few steps from the seething Li, one of them did have the guts to remark, "So it's true then." Li looked up, realizing the mistake too late.


Hating himself, Li left the locker room fully dressed, and saw Dawn standing there across the hallway, profoundly distraught. *Oh, Dawn,* he thought in defeat. He quickly went over and took her in his arms, hugging her. Dawn crashed against him, and she said, "Somewhere private."

Li lead her around, and he found a way to the basement. He sat her down in an old chair, and she sat there for a few moments. "They know about . . . about me sucking you off," Dawn whispered shakily, briefly wondering if somehow via Tara - no way, if she had accidentally let something slip, she would have told Dawn, unless Tara didn't know she had let something slip, but Dawn didn't think that was possible. "Did you . . . did you tell anyone?" Dawn asked, hoping he'd say 'no', hoping he'd say 'yes', she didn't know which was better. Li remembered his talk with his friends, and looked down to the floor guiltily. "You, bastard!" Dawn yelled at him, angry needing someone to vent at. "You fucking bastard! You're going to tell everyone that's a lie, got that!?"

Li's head sunk lower, feeling horrible, and whispered, "Can't."

"What!?" Dawn asked, not having heard him.

"Can't," Li repeated better understandable after taking a deep breath. Dawn looked at him, both confused and with mounting anger. "I'm sorry, Dawn," Li continued softly, guilty as sin. "In the locker room Jim asked, I attacked him, I was angry - I didn't say something smart like, 'Who told you that bullshit?' I asked how he knew. Nobody missed what that meant."

"We're through!!" Dawn shrieked at him, tears flowing from her eyes. She grew angrier by the moment, and also sadder, she felt like her heart broke in a thousand pieces. "I don't EVER want to see you again! I DON'T EVEN WANT TO HEAR YOUR VOICE ANYMORE!!" Dawn screamed hysterically and ran out on him back up the stairs, tears flowing from her eyes in ever increasing volume.

"I'm sorry," Li answered pitifully, starting to cry himself.


Xander and Anya were sitting in the living room of their apartment, huddled close together. Wedding catalogues were lying in front of them on the low coffee table, and they were leafing through them. Xander was getting a little fed up, and so he suggested, "You know what? We'll just do a Star Trek wedding. Both of us in skintight dress uniforms, Vegeta dressed like Captain Kirk. It'll be great."

Anya looked dangerously at Xander, and said, "We are /NOT/ having a Star Trek wedding, we will have a /traditional/ wedding . . ." Something occurred to Anya then, and she finished, "So what's a traditional Saiyan wedding like?"

"Uh, well, the bride and groom go out into the woods in full body armor, and must slay a prey together within the hour. The prey must be at least the equivalent of an Earth wild boar, and I'm talking about the prehistoric giant one. If they fail, they'll have to go into a fourteen days tasting test whether they are compatible enough, if they pass they can get married anyway. If they succeed right away, the woman must cook the prey, which will be served at the wedding meal, while the man must defeat his friends in battle who symbolize the tides against the bride and groom," Xander began his explanation thinking hard to see if he forgot something.

"Wow, so what more?" Anya prompted her Saiyan fiancee.

"Ok, right," Xander said, verifying he hadn't forgotten anything so far. "Then the bride and groom go to whatever serves as the wedding hall, they both go down an isle, holding hands, showing they're unbreakable connection. Then they reach a few, well, bridesmaids for lack of better word, they are made up out of friends and family of the bride and groom, and the couple needs to beat them in battle together. The bridesmaids symbolize all internal and trickery foes, as well as teach the couple they must now stand with each other, against all threats to their union, including family, and whatever their ideas are about the couple and what they should do. Then when they reach the elder, or village magistrate or whatever, they get a blessing heralding a new unstoppable couple."

"That's . . ." Anya thought it over, slowly gathering her thoughts on the subject. "That's actually pretty romantic, and damn appropriate seeing our adoptive families." Xander nodded slightly, waiting, as he saw the wheels turning in his fiancee's head. Finally after a couple of minutes, she said, "How about we do a joint Saiyan - Human wedding?"

Xander raised his eyebrows, and asked intrigued, "What did you have in mind?"

"We can get rid of the whole hunting thing, that's just completely impractical, but since I don't have anyone to give me away, we might as well walk down the isle together," Anya explained her eyes shining. "Tara, Willow, Dawn, Faith, and Buffy will be our bridesmaids, and they can stand before us. We 'fight' them aside, not actually fighting them, but enacting it, you know, symbolically, and then we reach the King and we do a whole Human wedding, with the vows and everything."

Xander slowly smirked, her eyes filling up. Then he bent forward and kissed Anya on the lips, and then saying, "I love you, you are brilliant."

Anya smiled brightly, and then asked, concerned, "What about your family? Your adoptive family? I know this really shouldn't come until we discuss the guest list . . ."

"Uncle Rory we'll invite, the rest: no way in /hell/ will they come to our wedding," Xander told her, and she nodded in agreement.

"Okay . . ." the both of them trailed off. Xander turned the volume of the radio up a little, and the news broadcast sounded, telling off two volcanic eruptions. One in Alaska, not claiming any victims, a second in Indonesia, wiping out several villages. "You wanna help?" Anya asked slightly.

"No," Xander answered with a slightly smile, "they've handled volcanic eruptions for centuries, they don't need me to barge in there, and not knowing their language make things worse. Besides, I'm planning my wedding here, with the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, who also happens to be my fiancee." Anya kissed him, deeply, hungrily.


Willow and Tara sat in the center of the living room, of the Summers' household. The both sat across from each other in a circle made with a ribbon, in the lotus position. A few candles burned at the apexes of an invisible pentagram, and Tara gently chanted, "We call on thee, oh, Great Mother. Show us the way, show us the ones called Wolf, Ram, & Hart." Tara continued onward with her chanting, a sphere of energy surrounding the two witches, the flames of the candles grew in length and intensity.

The slamming door did not shake their concentration, Dawn's crying did. The sphere of energy disappeared, and both witches looked over at the weak Dawn, tears freely streaming from her eyes, pulling along her makeup. "Dawn!" Tara exclaimed concerned, and quickly got up. She ran over, and enveloped the other girl in a hug. Dawn slung her hands around Tara's back, and cried out, hiccupping through her sobs.

Willow had walked over, until she was almost there, and then stayed away, conscious of what she had put all of them through in her brief, I-rule-all phase. Tara looked at Willow out of the corner of her eyes, and gave a slight nod. Willow smiled deeply for a moment, and then her face went to deep sympathy, and she slung her arms around both girls.

When Dawn's crying lessened just a bit, Tara asked, "What happened, sweety?"

"Li told," Dawn wheezed out, gasping for breath, in deep breathy sobs. Tara gently walked backward and sat down on the stairs, Dawn sitting down in her lap, and Willow sat down next to her, looking deeply saddened. "Everybody . . . kn-kn-knnows . . ." Dawn's body shuddered with more tears and sobs, " . . . I gave . . . mb-mb-blowjob." Willow gasped out at the revelation, and Tara quickly silenced her with an angry look. Dawn cried more. "Everybody . . . hates me," Dawn said, and then wailed out with the sadness and pain. "T-t-told him . . . didn't . . . wa-ant to . . . see hi-hi-hi-him ag-g-gain," she wailed out, crying for all she was worth.

Tara tightened the hug, and rubbed her supportively. "Everything's going to be alright, Dawn," Tara soothed, tears coming from her own eyes as Dawn's sadness got to her. Willow too was tearing up. "Just let it out, sweety, it's ok, just cry." The three girls stayed together on the couch there, crying together. Willow wrapped her arms back around Tara and Dawn. Dawn took Tara's advice, not that she had enough self-control to do anything else. She just sat there, crying. Eventually her crying turned to sobs, and then they slowly came to an end.

"Thank you," Dawn whispered softly, wiping away a few tears. She slowly sat up a bit. "I . . ." Dawn started, and for the first time really noticed Willow, and remembered what she confessed. She was ashamed instantly, not just to Willow, but to Tara as well, that she had let herself be torn down like this. She got up, and quickly went up the stairs, her shame propelling her.

Tara got up, and slowly climbed the stairs, Willow quickly joined her. The reached the teen's door, and Tara gently knocked on the door. "Go away!" Dawn yelled out half-heartedly.

Tara knocked again, and prompted, "Dawn."

A few moments later the door slowly opened, Dawn was already on her way back to a chair at a window. Tara gave Willow a look, and she stayed behind, as Tara gently walked in and placed herself on the bed. "There's nothing to be ashamed of, Dawn," Tara said gently. Dawn didn't answer, dying on the inside. "Are you afraid of what the other kids are going to say?" Tara asked.

"Do," Dawn corrected. She sniffed and took a deep breath, "They've said pretty much everything they could say already - I have no idea what kind of practical jokes they might be planning. And Li . . . that bastard . . . I still love him."

"You love him?" Tara asked slightly surprised.

Dawn stiffened, and looked at Tara, realizing what she had said, something she hadn't been ready to tangle with herself. "I . . . guess," she answered conflicted.

"Things are going to be fine, you know, you'll get over him," Tara said trying to lift her friend's spirits.

Dawn shook her head slightly. "It's the whispers," Willow's voice suddenly sounded, and the other two girls looked over. Tentatively Willow stepped into the room, and quickly reached the bed, and then she continued, "It's the whispers and the looks, they are the worst. You know they think you're a freak, but they don't have the guts to say it out loud. They just avoid you, and don't talk to you." Willow knew she was right, she saw the pain in Dawn's eyes, apparently she had gotten that kind of treatment as well. "The insults you can handle, but the avoidance, like you're a disease . . . that really, really hurts." Dawn gave a quick nod, and Tara looked at her lover and then at her friend. Tara had never been popular in school, but she had never been a true outcast either, it was rather astounding to see this side of the others. "You know, Dawn, there are really only two things you can do; one, is sit back, and let it all wash over you, sink in on yourself, and letting them get to you. They think they're better than you, or at least want you to feel that way, and eventually you will, and you will walk around constantly depressed thinking you're not worth anything; that's what I did. Number two is what Xander did. He never let them get to him, he always held his head up, he was the only one in the entire school willing and able to talk back to Cordelia - and then he turned her into his girlfriend, which is another matter - he didn't give a damn what any of the people in school thought of him, except his friends, us - and we screwed that up on many occasions too, but that's another matter."

"But . . . he's Xander," Dawn answered.

The two witches looked at each other for a moment, and then Willow asked, "So?" Dawn didn't have an answer to that. Willow grinned, and added, "Whenever you feel like they are getting to you, physically lift you chin up, and just think . . ." Willow pauzed for a moment, and having no really other way to say it, just did, "'Fuck the public.'"

Dawn looked amazed at the redhead, and so did Tara. "Where does this all come from?" Tara asked her girlfriend.

"My therapist," Willow replied with a grin, then bent over and whispered to Tara, "I'll tell you later what we came across in our session today." Tara smiled, and then the two witches looked back at the stunned Dawn.

"I . . . I guess . . . I could try," the brunette said uncertainly, but a slight smile adorned her face. Dawn's phone rang then, and she looked startled. Tara got up with a smile, and then pulled Willow along out of the bedroom.

"Dawn Summers," Dawn told whoever was on the other side of the phone nervously.

#Hey, Dawn, I heard, I'm so sorry,# a familiar voice sounded.

Dawn smiled tentatively, saying, "Janice, hi."

#Are you alright?# Janice asked concerned.

Dawn thought the question over for a few moments, and replied, "Yeah, yeah, I think I am, or I will be at least."

#WHAT!?# Janice exclaimed in disbelief. #You just had your reputation destroyed, everybody's saying you gave Li a blowjob, that you're a slut, and you say you are all right? I don't believe you!#

"Believe it," Dawn said still a little forlornly, but Janice's voice was cheering her up really quickly. "I've got a fantastic family, or friends, or both, or whatever. Wasn't alright when I got back home, but now, besides . . ." Dawn hesitated a moment, and then said out loud, "Fuck the public." She let the words roll around in her mouth and head, testing them, she was almost starting to believe them.

#Now you're doing orgies?# Janice's voice asked. It was a mixture of humor, and confusion.

"It seems I am," Dawn said with a small grin, imagining what Buffy would say if she heard her say those words.

#So, did you do it?# Janice asked an odd tone in her voice.

"Yes," Dawn answered tentatively, scared of Janice's reaction.

For a moment nothing came from the line, then Janice sighed, and said, #Come on, spill!#

"Huh?" This from Dawn who was expecting something else entirely.

#DETAILS!# Janice called out exasperated. #DUH! You think I have the guts to suck off a guy? Tell me! When, where, why, how! Was it good? How did he taste? Did you taste his . . . uh . . . you know!? Would you recommend I stop whining and start sucking, and why?#

Dawn was laughing out loud, and fell back on her bed. It was so good to talk to her friend again, and in this matter, it was good to have someone on her side who was not in a way responsible for her upbringing that was on her side. Then she started explaining.


Outside the room, Willow and Tara looked. The blonde looked appreciatively at her girlfriend, and asked softly, "Fuck the public?"

"Uh . . . well," Willow blushed, and looked at Tara guiltily.

Tara took Willow in her arms, and give her a gentle kiss, then said, "That was great work, Willow." Willow smiled, and felt Tara's hand squeeze her ass possessively. Willow gasped at the sensation and looked surprised at the smoldering brown-green eyes of her blonde girlfriend. "I think we should do some therapy of her own," Tara whispered playfully, but quite powerfully. Willow gulped as she felt herself growing aroused by the moment. This new - and she was certain: improved - Tara, was a far cry from the shy, sweet girl of old. The weeks in which the blonde was forced to fend for herself, and grow her skill great enough she could beat Willow, had put a whole new confidence, a new outlook on life, and new awareness of things in her. And she'd be damned, if the dominant, almost overbearing Tara didn't provide a whole new and exciting sex life for the two - and Willow reveled in her submissive and apologetic role. Suddenly a powerful laughter came from Dawn's room, and Tara looked back at it. Willow leaned to the right looking past Tara, then they looked back at each other and smiled deeply at the sound of Dawn obviously on a recovering track. "Let's go do that still from beginning to end now," Tara suggested, and Willow nodded, a little disappointed they didn't find their way to the bedroom right away.


Li was standing in his bedroom, his three friends sitting on his bed. He looked at them one by one with a carefully controlled rage. "Who did it!?" he demanded angrily. "Who was it!? Which one of you told everyone about it!?"

"Relax, man, don't have a cow," Farley, his third friend, said, "we wouldn't do such a thing."

"You're the only one's I told," Li demanded with blazing eyes.

Before Sean could answer that it could be someone that his girlfriend had told, Keith said with a wide grin, "Relax, man, it was me."

"What!?" Li blurted out, at Keith's relaxed manner. "Why!?" Li hissed out.

"Because you wanted me to, why else would you have told us?" Keith announced noncommittedly, and watched as all three looked at him with shocked eyes.

"She was /hurt/, they call her slut, they treat her like she's nothing," Li told him, with barely constrained, ever mounting anger.

"Yeah, the truth hurts. The way I see it, it's her own fault, she shouldn't have done what she did," Keith answered. Sean's and Farley's jaws were dropped in horror.

Li had his eyes squinted closed, needing all his might to restrain himself. "/She/ broke /up/ with me. She /never/ wants to /see/ /me/ /again/."

"Great," Keith answered, getting up, and looked at his soon to be former friends. He gestured with his hands wide out for a moment, saying, "I don't know what's the big deal, you're acting like you didn't know I was going to tell. You didn't actually want to go on with the little slut, did you? You said so yourself, no wedding, parents stop hounding you, you practically begged me to do it. I did what any self-respecting guy friend would do; I boosted your popularity, man. You should be grateful, one slut gone, all the best fish are still in the sea, and you're free to go get them."

With a roar - tears of sadness and defeat at what he had caused by telling this so-called 'friend' about his love life flowing down his cheeks - Li rammed a fist into Keith's gut, and he dropped instantly to his knees, grabbing his stomach in pain. "/Get/ /out/," Li growled down at his former friend. "Get out AND DON'T EVER COME BACK HERE!!"

"Fuck, man!" Keith said in indignation, inching away from the angry Li-Huei. Keith had never been a match for the trained martial artist, but it was obvious he was even stronger now. Keith didn't know about Dawn and her 'family's' amazing abilities, and how she and Li had been training together - gently - almost romantically. The added strength in his chi - although nowhere near Dawn's let alone the others levels - was quite considerate in comparison too untrained people. Like Dawn had said; Li had probably been able to hold his own against a normal Slayer, now, he could probably win against one with a little luck.

Li was in no mood, and kicked Keith, he literally flew through the door and landed in the hallway. Keith groaned in pain, and quickly stumbled to his feet. "GET OUT!" Li screamed out mad with righteous anger.

Keith backed up, "Listen, man. Don't do this, I did it for you man!" Keith staggered back and twisted around with the momentum of the fist that had collided with his jaw. His eyes widened as he saw the yawning opening of the stairs. He fell down, and bounced over and over on the steps until he lay moaning at the bottom of the stairs. He noticed Li stomping down the stairs, and as quickly as he could, he was out the front door. Li followed him out, and once outside, past the garden, on the community grass, Keith stopped walking and looked back at the still angry Li, who was following him out, the other two friends behind that. Keith stretched himself gently but painfully. "What do you want? I'm outside, aren't I?" Keith asked defiantly, angry at his treatment.

The question earned him a bloody nose and another free trip through the air, before he lay prone on the ground. Li bent over him, and hissed out, "If you ever came near Dawn, tell more stories about her, or even look at her wrong; hell, if you ever say anything about /any/ girl again, true or false, I will put you in the hospital. You got that, you piece of shit!?"

Keith nodded, and then Li stood straight, turned around, and stalked back into the house. Sean and Farley reached Keith and looked down at him. Sean shook his head, and said with disgust, "You are some piece of work, Keith. Forget about having me as a friend, I'm with Li."

"So am I," Farley added, and then the two of them turned around and headed back to the house. Angrily Keith touched his bloody nose, and slowly got up to go back home.


"Annoying witches," the demon growled with anger. He, and the four witches fighting him, were in a San Francisco back alley. The demon, massive, muscles, smoothly dark grey, with glowing green eyes, was mopping the floor with them.

Phoebe was already down, sitting dazed against a wall, trying to regain herself. Paige was slowly getting up from a rather vicious uppercut that the thing had given her. Prue was slowly getting up at the far corner, having been the unfortunate recipient of an encounter with eye beams. Piper pointed her hands at the demon, but it did not explode. It merely expanded a little before returning to its normal shape and advanced on her, grinning. "Oh, shit," Piper said, and tried again, then she moved her hands in a similar manner, and suddenly the demon stood completely still. Piper was about to breath a sigh of relief, when the demon came back to life and continued its advance.

"Don't you get it yet, bitch? You're time powers have no effect on me," the demon growled with an evil grin. His hand shot out and grabbed Piper around her neck. He pulled her up off the floor, and simply squeezed, holding her easily with one hand. She struggled, gasping for much needed, but unable to get breath.

"Shit," Paige said, looking at the spectacle from the side. She thought hard for a solution, and then pointed her hand, saying, "Piper."

Piper dissolved in blue shimmering light, and reappeared the same manner next to Paige - equally high off the ground. Piper dropped unceremoniously down, gasping for breath on the way down, and then yelling out her pain, looking pissed off. "Sorry," Paige said with an embarrassed face.

"Don't be sorry for her, be sorry for yourself," the demon's growl caught her attention and looked at it having turned to them and advancing. With a quick look Paige realized that Prue - although running toward them - was still too far away, and although Phoebe was up, she couldn't do anything against this monster. "Oh, boy," she muttered taking a step back. The demon's grin deepened, and then there was a flash of light, and a small explosion. The demon roared out in pain, turned a quarter of a circle and staggered back, while it was bent over, holding its stomach. It straightened up, revealing a gaping wound, and green blood oozing from it, but it was already healing. "Who dares!?" the demon growled.

"I dare," Cole's voice sounded, and the witches looked to Paige's right, where Cole indeed stood, a tiny crackle of his chi still at his right hand. Then Cole ran the distance with great speed, and jumped forward, landing his elbow in the demon's wound in its gut. It staggered back. Cole took a step and jumped up, uppercutting the beast, sending it flying through the air. As Cole fell back to the Earth, much slower than he really should - he hadn't quite gotten the hang of flying yet - and charged a very powerful energy blast between both his hands. He sent it down with a yell, and exploded right on target. The demon staggered back even more, roaring in pain, skin across his entire torso and face burned off, the flesh on the arm it placed protectively in front of him hung loose, and its bone could be seen beneath it. But it still wasn't dead, and muscles started to pull back onto him, healing. "Now!" Cole called back to the witches.

Piper, Paige, and Phoebe snapped out of their astonishment, and quickly got up. They joined together in the middle of the alley, clasping their hands together. Focusing their gaze upon the demon - as Cole quickly made place to give them unhindered access to it - they started chanting, "Heaven's fires, hear our call, cleanse this evil . . ."

The demon was smart, he knew when he was outmatched. He had deliberately kept the witches from forming a unit of three. As long as they were apart, he had the upper hand, but not anymore, this man had altered the playing field considerably. Growling in frustration, the demon turned around and started running, he would have to rethink his strategy, factoring in the new arrival. The wind and energy whipped up around the three witches, their frustration showing, the demon was about to get away.

The demon skitted to a halt, looking in the determined and angry face of Prue. "You're not going anywhere," the fourth witch said, and with a wave of her hand she sent the demon hurtling back to certain death.

The demon landed on his feet, ready to try away again, just as the trinity of witches finished their incantation with, " . . . BURN." Instantly a cone of fire burned around and within the demon. It roared out in pain as the magical blue flames engulfed him completely. Its skin melted, its muscles turned black and crackled before breaking apart and being consumed by the fire. After only a few moments the fire abated, and only the bones of the demon remained. They fell to the ground with a comical sound. Cole walked over, and crushed the thing's skull underneath his right foot.

Prue arrived, while the other three witches looked astonished at Cole. Prue folded her arms across her chest, and with a dark look she said, "You're a demon again."

Cole rolled his eyes, and said sarcastically, "'Thanks for helping us out, Cole.' 'No problem, it was a good thing I ran into Leo at the house and he told me where you were.'"

"Thanks Cole," Piper said, but she still suspicious which sounded in her tone of voice.

Cole gave her an appreciative nod, and added to Prue, "And I was a half-demon by the way, can we do this somewhere more private? Like say the manor?"

"Fine," Prue said noncommitingly. Phoebe walked up to him, slung her arms around his neck, pulled him down, and gave him a kiss. Then they walked out the alley to their cars.


All of them were in the living room of Halliwell Manor, with Prue and Piper kind of confrontational across from Phoebe and Cole. Paige sat neutrally in the middle couch, with Leo equally neutrally standing behind her, leaning on the couch. Phoebe looked at Cole with a mixture of apprehension and love, willing to trust, but still wanting to verify.

"So, you're a half-demon again," Prue accused.

"No, I'm not, I'm still all human," he answered with a grin.

"What then?" Piper prompted somewhat annoyed. "Did you go and steal demon powers? They'll corrupt you."

Cole shook his head, he closed his eyes and concentrated, bringing out his energy. "Whoa," Paige said. Phoebe just looked astonished, and Prue and Piper gasped, they all felt energy like static electricity prickling along their skins. They looked up when they heard a sizzling and saw as Cole had his hands out, electric discharges come from his hands, and soon after a plasma ball for above either. Cole open his eyes, and said, "It's Chi."

"What? Like the eastern martial arts masters?" Paige asked intrigued and a little taken aback.

Cole nodded, and explained, "All pure human life energy, yin and yang." He let the plasma balls recede back into his hands, and retracted his chi field.

"But they can't create energy balls, can they?" Piper asked, a little uncertain.

Leo nodded, and said gently, "I know of a small handful who recently have been pushing the boundaries of chi manipulation."

"Exactly," Cole said with a wide grin, "and I found one of even a lesser few who've pushed it to a whole new level, and convinced him to train me."

"Damn," Phoebe said appreciatively, letting her hand go across his chest, and arm, noticing the slight increase in muscle mass there. "He's telling the truth guys, I'm not feeling anything demonic coming from him," she said, extending her recently acquired sixth sense.

"I apologize for jumping to conclusions, welcome back," Prue said, and gave him a genuine smile, which he returned. All of a sudden the ground shook, and then rumbled.

"Earthquake," Paige said in shock, and got up quicly.

"Under a table," Prue ordered instantly, and the group split up in two and one went underneath the high table in the living room. The others quickly went into the other room and went under a table in there. Cole then concentrated and summoned a shield around him, Paige and Phoebe, where they rode out the earthquake.

Episode 42
Heroes' Paths

Tough Choices

Angel knocked on Wesley's door. After a while he knocked again. Finally the door opened, revealing Wesley. He looked disheveled, unshaven and perpetually angry. The scar on his neck gave him the appearance of fragility.

"What do you want?" Wesley spat out with a grumble.

"I came to apologize . . . again," Angel pressed on now, not giving Wesley the chance to intervene, "in the hospital . . ."

"SHUT UP!" Wesley yelled, which due to his damaged throat he was forced to keep down to a strangled hiss, interrupting the souled vampire. "You tried to kill me in the hospital. Now I just have to roll over and play nice guy?"

"I was wrong, ok?" Angel replied, getting worked up. "I screwed it up, I let emotions get the better of me."

"Too bad," Wesley wheezed gently, "but I don't care."

"Damn it, Wesley!" Angel cursed, "The agency . . ."

That was as far as Angel got. With a loud sound that hurt his throat but not caring, Wesley silenced Angel. "They obviously made their choice, but now I see why you're here, for them, not that you'd actually mean your apology."

Angel was fed up with Wesley's behavior and growled out loudly, making it impossible for Wesley to interrupt him, "WHAT ABOUT FAITH? HAS SHE MADE HER CHOICE AS WELL! This isn't just about us!"

"You DAMN well leave my girlfriend out of this!" Wesley hissed at Angel. "The judge made the choice for her, it's out of her hands. It simply means spending more time here, instead of at the hotel. I'm done with this conversation, so you dead wanker can leave me the hell alone."

Wesley took a step back looking at the very angry vampire. Angel had had enough from him. He was going to drag Wesley back to the hotel and let the others make him see reason. The vampire charged forward and bounced painfully off of a barrier and fell back until his head smashed against the wall with a sharp pain.

"Oh, yeah, I recanted the invitation. Did I forget to mention that?" Wesley told Angel with a grin, before slamming the door shut.


Faith, Archie, and Zoey had pulled off their final coup perfectly. Pictures of Tiffany kissing Archie had been hung everywhere, and the school homepage had the video and a URL to its location on it - so people could get to it after the site was reverted back to its original state. The three friends walked with contented grins to the mess hall. They quickly found their table, sat down, and got out their lunches.

The room became subdued when Tiffany entered the room. She looked around it stoically, even imperiously. When her gaze reached Faith and co, her eyes filled with pure hatred, before turning to face her fellow popular crowd. She walked over to them, and was about to sit down in an empty chair, when one of the girls placed a hand on the seat. "This seat is taken," she said vehemently.

"They are /all/ taken," her former best friend and new leader of the popular female crowd said. The guys didn't question the wisdom, either they didn't want to go against their girlfriends, fellow guys, agreed fully, or all of the above. The other few empty chairs suddenly seemed more heavily guarded than Fort Knox.

"Fine," an indignant Tiffany said, "see if I need any of you ingrates." She then walked over to another table filled with 'unpopular' kids. Tiffany went to a chair, hesitating when they regarded her.

"Sure, Tiffany," one boy said. Tiffany started to smile, she'd show them; she'd turn this sorry bunch into the next popular crowd. Her beginning smile faltered the moment the boy added, "go ahead and take the chair with you. I think there's still a spot free at that table over there." The boy pointed at the empty table without chairs in the far corner. He laughed hard then, and the rest of the table joined in.

Tiffany took in a deep breathe, poised herself and balanced her lunch tray in one hand. She took the chair, lifted it off the floor, and walked to the indicated table without even blinking, letting the laughter roll off of her. Once sitting down though, and out of others' sights, she shrank into herself.

"Aren't you going to do something?" Zoey asked.

"Huh?" Faith muttered, taking a huge bite out of her lunch. Zoey nodded in the direction of Tiffany. Faith turned around some and looked at the former high queen. She shrugged and said, "No, why?"

"But, Faith, we put her there," Zoey said with trepidation.

"Yes, and?" Faith asked confused. Archie and Zoey looked at her. "Damn it, she's evil remember? This is what we set out to do. She's evil, she needed to be put down. We got her back for everything she's inflicted on everyone. Why are you complaining now?"

"You went evil," Archie told her sternly, which got Faith's attention. "But your friends didn't give up on you."

"And were ready and willing to put me down if need be," Faith countered gently, enjoying the look in Archie's eyes now: they were filled with determination, "besides, Tiffany isn't our friend, and never has been."

"Neither were your friends really," Archie pointed out.

"And I had mitigating circumstances, partially things they did themselves. Tiffany is a spoiled rich kid," Faith returned right back. "Besides, unlike Miss Rich Bitch over there, /I/ showed I was capable of feeling guilt, and knew what I did was wrong . . . made it worse by torturing Wesley to get Angel to kill me, but still . . . do you see /any/ remorse in Tiffany, apart from remorse she fell for it?" Faith had a point, Archie and Zoey realised looking at Tiffany eating her lunch, without /any/ sign she had learned anything. "Didn't think so, now eat," Faith said, and started putting away her considerable lunch.

A boy came up to their table then, and he asked shyly, "C-can I join you?"

"Sure," Faith said absentmindedly. He sat down.

A girl approached them then: she was a popular girl, and she was holding a lunch tray. "May I?" she asked with a dazzling smile. Zoey and Archie were in awe: a popular girl was asking to join /them/.

Faith was made of sterner stuff though - for one thing she just didn't give a damn. "Only if you want me to break every bone in your body," Faith told the girl who had been part of Tiffany's posse. Once the surprise had passed Zoey and Archie sent their own hateful glares at the girl. She quickly moved on.

The boy that had joined them watched in awe. Another boy and a girl joined the table. Zoey and Archie looked at them, then back at the popular girl, before giving each other a look. Faith of course, was gorging down another sandwich. "Oh, my, I get it!" Archie half exclaimed, and then quickly settled down before anyone could notice.

"Get what?" Faith asked with her mouth full, and Zoey looked at Archie expectantly as she picked up her sandwich gently.

"Popular kids wanting to sit with us, unpopular kids looking at us in awe," Archie said with astounding. "Faith, we're no longer unpopular, we're not popular. We did the impossible: we went beyond popular, we're cool! We're the cool kids!"

"Oh!" Zoey answered, looked confused, and asked, "Does that improve my chances to get a date?"

Faith nodded, and looked back at Archie. "I /told/ you I'd get you a girlfriend," Faith said with a big grin. "Now we only have to work on asking one."


There was a knock on the door, and Wesley got up tiredly. He walked over, and opened it, revealing Faith in a trenchcoat, wearing a bright smile in ruby red lips. Wesley smiled immediately, and said, "Come on in, Faith."

"Ah, zzank god," Faith said as she stepped past him. Wesley's eyebrows raised upward at Faith's exaggerated French accent. "I zee I'm in zee right building, I was worried I could not find id, but you arre obviously zee man needing a nurse." Faith took off her trenchcoat and hung it casually on a hanger, then struck a pose. Wesley's eyes widened even more as he saw what Faith was wearing. A nurse's outfit with a lovely cleavage, over which Faith's hands now moved, as she pushed her breasts out, letting her hands glide down accentuating every curve of her body. The white skirt was ridiculously short - so short the white garters that held up her white stockings came five centimeters out from under it. "Does Mr. Wyndam-Price require anything, a drink perhaps, dienaerr?"

"Dinner would be lovely, nurse Williams," Wesley answered with a huge grin on his face.

"Oh, shoot, look at zee time," Faith said, looking at her wrist that was adorned by a small black watch. "I hope you don't mind I order pisa? My treat of course."

"Don't mind," Wesley answered, grinning widely, and he went to the couch as Faith went to the phone. While ordering, her persona disappeared for a moment.

"Zee order iz placed, Mr. Wyndam-Price," Faith said as she sashayed over between the couch - which Wesley was sitting on - and the low table in front of the tv. "Iz there anyzing else while we wait for the pisa?"

Wesley looked up at his girlfriend and thought it over for a moment. He grinned at her, and replied, "Well, I feel stressed, with the recovery and all . . ." Wesley gestured for his throat which produced the gravely sound that was his voice at the moment. He looked at her, seeing what she would do.

"Ah, strezz," Faith answered with a big grin. "I bellieeve zee correct treatment is a . . . oral massage, non? A blowjob, it iez called?" Wesley's eyes widened, he had expected a massage, but before he could say anything Faith was kneeling between his legs, and busy opening his zipper. She grinned mischievously at him, which took his breath away. A few moments later his cock was engulfed by a worm and nurturing mouth.

"Oh, god . . . Faith," Wesley moaned at the expert ministration his girlfriend's mouth gave. Wesley was feeling less stressed already as Faith's head gently moved up and down, sucking and licking. She was right, manual massages be bloody damned, oral massages was the way to go.


The television was on, and Faith and Wesley were enjoying their pizzas, two for her, one for him. Wesley looked with loving eyes at the girl sitting on his lap, chewing on the food in her mouth. Her eyes shone with enjoyment, and she was smiling despite her chewing. Wesley swallowed his food, and said, "You're amazing." Faith's smile deepened, and wiggled her ass seductively for a moment. "I still can't believe you did it just like that. /Real/ nurses should do that, patients would heal up in no time."

Faith swallowed her bite of pizza, and said, her face filled with mirth, "I agree, of course it would probably mean hospitals get really busy." Wesley laughed at that, and then frowned watching the tv, Faith looked over.

"This is the fifth day in a row that it's happened," the anchor on the screen said. "Starting with two volcanoes on the first, an Earthquake in San Francisco following that, then an Earthquake in Turkey, yesterday an Earthquake in Japan, and now Vesuvius has blown its top. Scientists are at a riddle, never in known history have so many rumblings of the Earth occurred consecutively; some say it's coincidence, some say they're related but don't know how. Religious people say it's a sign from god, others even a warning, a few new apocalypse cults claiming that the end is nigh have arisen, and a few older ones have resurfaced. We go to . . ."

Wesley clicked the tv off, and told Faith. "No doom and gloom tonight, huh?"

Faith kissed him, a deeply and passionately, and then said, "Nope, just us getting it on . . . and could you lose the week's worth?" Wesley looked at her a little astonished. She gently let her hand move over the starting beard. "It looks hot I admit, but kissing wise," Faith said gently, very much enjoying sitting in Wesley's lap. "Besides, a few days less, looks much hotter /and/ tougher."

Wesley rubbed his beard, smiling, "Ok, I can do that."

They continued eating their pizzas, and chatted about this and that. Finally Faith got up the nerve to ask about a matter that had been pressing on her. "So, about the Angel situation . . ." Faith started, and paused when she saw Wesley scowl suddenly.

"Please don't mention him, the bastard came along this afternoon, 'to apologize'," Wesley answered darkly.

"And you didn't accept it?" Faith asked with a deep frown.

"No, he only came here for the others, and I'm not in the mood . . ." Wesley started with annoyance.

"Damn it!" Faith interrupted him, with even greater annoyance. "He did /not/ came here for the others. Have you any idea how much he's been brooding lately? 'Oh, my god, I screwed it up this,' and 'I screwed it up that, I shouldn't have attacked Wesley thus,' 'now he doesn't like me anymore there,' and, 'Xander was so right that - that bloody bastard,' 'my thorn in my eye there, always better than me, and he's right too.' We finally got tired of it. Cordelia forced him to finally stop his whining and go apologize." Wesley looked at her with raised eyebrows. "Slayer hearing," Faith said deadpan. "Not quite vampire hearing, but you pick up some. Wonder what Xander told him . . ."

"Well . . . then he had the audacity to mention you, and . . ." Wesley started.

"DUH!" Faith exclaimed getting pissed off now. "The guy's legally my father, one who actually /cares/ about me. Of /course/ he's going to mention me!"

"FAITH!" Wesley exclaimed a little angry. "Everybody has obviously chosen . . ."

"To continue to go to work," Faith exclaimed, interrupting again. "The hotel is Angel Investigations headquarters, they work at Angel Investigations, so there they are." Wesley let that fact mull inside his head, as Faith continued, "Boss has got a problem with an employee that usually means the boss fires the employee. The boss doesn't stay sulking at home, and then complains the employees don't show up at his doorstep to get their assignments!"

Well, dang it, Faith had a point, and Wesley knew it. He took his hands away from his girlfriend and folded them across his chest, and said, "Well, I'm bloody well /not/ going over there now, looking like a puppy dog with hanging feet."

"AARGGH!!" Faith exclaimed in extreme frustration, and got up off of Wesley's lap, putting the pizza boxes down upon the table. "STUPID MALE PRIDE! We should lock the two of you up in a room, and then put in ten tvs showing porn, because the two of you deserve each other!" Then Faith stalked out of the room, and into the bedroom.

"Faith?" Wesley asked nervously. She didn't answer. He got up and walked over to the entrance of the bedroom. "Faith? Sexy?"

"STAY OUT!" Faith screamed from inside the room. Wesley backed off and went back to the couch, sulking.


About an hour later, a much calmer Faith came back out, and went to stand in front of Wesley. He looked up at the dark, beautiful woman, and tried a weak smile. "I'm sorry," Faith apologized sulkingly. "I shouldn't have blown up at you, I could have done that more tactfully."

"Well, apology accepted," Wesley answered, and said, "I'm sorry too."

Faith let herself drop down next to him. Wesley reached over and gave her a gentle kiss. She gave him a quick kiss back, and asked briskly, "Just think about it, okay, promise me?"

"Okay, I promise I'll think about."


"Tell me again," Cordy said exasperated inside Angel's new, and Wesley's old office. "How did it go?"

Angel looked at her, angrily, but not angry at her, although that was about to change. "He didn't let me complete a single sentence, insulted me, and told me to leave, after which I crashed into the barrier because he recanted the invitation."

"Yes, that's the short version, now sentence by sentence, because I don't get it," Cordelia told Angel quite frankly, and rather annoyed.

"Damn it, Cordelia, I tried, ok? Obviously he's not interested," Angel bit at her, his annoyance growing.

"Damn it, Angel, you practically attacked him after the first try!" Cordelia called out similarly pissed off. "You tried to kill him, smother him with a god-damned pillow! Did you think he was just going to nod his head, hug and kiss you, and say, 'Of course Angel, now I see how sorry you are.' You needed to work at it, and not let yourself get baited by several snide remarks coming from his hurt position."

"And he tried to take my son!" Angel returned angry now, and looked into Cordelia's eyes, which grew cold. "All right, thought about taking my son, ah, damn it! I know ok, I was more wrong than he was, but I've got my limits, the bastard all but staked me. I tried to apologize, what do you want from me?"

Cordelia sighed deeper, "Go and apologize again, and this time show you're two hundred forty years old, instead of two point four. Be the bigger man, stay civil, let him vent his anger and frustration, and apologize, a hundred times over if necessary!?"

"NO! I have my limits!" Angel answered her.


Out in the lobby, Lorne - cuddling Connor who was sleeping contentedly - Gunn, and Fred watched the proceedings inside the office. "They've been at it for what, three hours now?" Fred asked with big emotion-filled eyes.

"Almost, I think," Gunn added.

"Yeah," Lorne added, looking rather perplexed. "That's some big arguing going in there."

"But can you blame, Angel?" Gunn asked his two companions, one arm around his girlfriend's shoulders. "I mean it was his son, I wouldn't be exactly thinking straight if my son was gone. Then he goes to apologize and he gets the door slammed in his face. I wouldn't go to get the door slammed in my face /again/."

"I don't get it," Fred said.

"Pride, sweetums," Lorne answered her, as the argument inside reached a pitch. "Pride, that's what's it about between Angel and Wesley, two alpha males colliding. Pride, plain and simple."

The door to office opened wildly, and a fuming Cordelia stepped out. "MEN!!" she screamed out in irritation, then slammed the door shut, shattering the glass. She stalked to the exit, and left the building.

"Yikes, remind me not to be in her line of vision in the next few ours, kids," Lorne requested the couple next to him.


The day after Faith was thoughtfully walking through her school. Archie and Zoey were beside her. She hated it. She loved Wesley, she deeply cared for Angel, and the two were at odds. Both of them had screwed up majorly, both knew it, why couldn't they just make up? She hated being somewhat in the middle of them. Her friends stayed silent, letting her think, mauling through her troubles. The sounds they heard were familiar, sounds of laughter, sounds of taunting. Faith frowned, looking from Archie to Zoey. They made a quick detour and found the scene.

"How do you like it huh, bitch!?" the boy yelled angrily and kicked out, catching Tiffany in her stomach and causing her to roll over, her face squinted in pain, coughing. Her bag was lying on the floor with her possessions strewn about.

There was a small group of boys and girls around Tiffany, and a girl hissed out, "Not so tough now when the rest of them aren't protecting you, huh?" She kicked Tiffany in the shin.

"Yeah," a boy added and bent down into her face. "Popularity gone, reason to live gone, how about /you/ kill yourself, slut?"

"HEY!" Faith called out, startling the group. They turned around and looked into the angry eyes of Faith, and her two friends who looked equally pissed. "I said I won't tolerate that kind of behavior in my school - not from anyone, to anyone. Got /that/!?" The group nodded and then quickly left.

Tiffany looked up, tears streaking her cheeks now. "Th-thank you," she said softly starting to gather her things again. Her body shook, and wracked with a few sobs. She was determined not break down in full blown cries in front of her nemeses. "Leave me alone," she said. "Please." But it was really too late, the sobs came, and she cried.

Faith nodded, and said, "No need to thank me." She turned and her friends turned around with her, leaving the other girl to cry alone as she apparently preferred it.

A few moments later, Zoey said, "Damn, now that's something I never thought I'd see. I feel kind of guilty."

"Don't," Faith replied thinking deeply. "What she got from us she deserved; we gave her poetic justice. We don't abuse her, and we're not responsible for what other people do."

"You're right, Faith," Archie told Faith with a weak grin. "But it still kinda gets to you, you know. That is something /nobody/ deserves, and we kind of made it possible."

Faith stayed silent for a moment, and then said, "I know, Arch." They took a few more steps, and suddenly Faith wrapped her arms around the shoulders of her friends and with a bright smile said, "All right, one thing I've learned observing Angel is this: it doesn't pay to brood. Let's go have some fun."

"You wanna cut classes?" Zoey asked softly and practically in horror.

Faith nodded, with a big grin. "Sometimes you just can't learn anything, even sitting in a school bench."

"I'm in," Archie said, and Zoey slowly nodded.

Faith grinned and they turned heading toward the exit. "I'm gonna burn in hell," Zoey muttered.


Faith returned to the hotel past sunset. After enjoying the rest of the day together, they had gone to Archie's house to study. Both of Faith's friends had insisted upon it, to catch up on what they missed. Luckily, it took far less time to catch up, than to sit in classes listening to a teacher drone on.

She opened the door and stepped into the lobby, just on time to see a man pointing at Angel, and say, "This is all your fault." He then keeled over, crashed to the floor, and his body collapsed into a pile of dust and sand. A see-through squid-like thing slithered from the body then, and rapidly slithered and disappeared.

Miffed, Faith said, "I can't leave you people alone at all, can I?" She walked over to the pile of dirt, as did the others, looking at it lying right smack in the middle of the remains of the crooked pentagram.

"Damn," Gunn said.

"All right," Angel said, taking charge. He went over to the weapons closet, and continued, "Gunn close down the hotel, we can't let that thing get out. Fred, get a vacuum cleaner, and clean this up. Then hit the books and find out what we're dealing with."

"What?" Fred squeaked out fearfully.

Angel continued, as he started grabbing weapons. He gave a sword to Lorne, and said, "Lorne, you're with me. We get Connor, then we'll work our way upward. Faith, Cordy, you two go the third floor and work your way down. When you're done Gunn, stay with Fred and guard her while she works."

"Okay," Faith said, and they immediately set to work.


"You know, I hate to say I told you so, but . . . I told you so," Lorne commented to Angel as the two walked through a corridor of the hotel. The baby was sleeping peacefully in a carry bag on Angel's chest, leaving both his hands free.

"Yeah?" Angel asked getting a little irritated.

"Yes, you know a man died because of you messing with the black arts," Lorne commented, as they reached a door, and Angel opened it slowly.

As Angel peered inside, looking for the squid, he answered, "What do you want me to tell you? That I wouldn't do it again? Well, I can't, because I would . . . in a heart beat. He is my son." Angel tapped Connor lightly as an indication. "That thing wanted Connor dead, I stopped him, plain and simple." The two slowly moved into the room, looking around suspiciously.

"And what about Wesley?" Lorne asked gently.

"I screwed up, let my emotions color my judgement," Angel said as the two of them carefully examined every nook and cranny of the room, moving toward the bathroom. "I think I've learned to hold off judgement until I get all the facts from now on. This isn't exactly a pleasant situation I find myself in. I know it's a strain on Faith; I can see it in her eyes." Angel sighed, there was a sound and he gave Lorne a look. The green extra-dimensional alien got into a ready stance, and Angel slowly pushed open the door. They saw the squid hanging in the reservoir of the toilet, greedily, and audibly gulping down water.

"Whoa, little doggy," Lorne whispered looking at the thing, hefting his sword in a better position.

Angel raised his axe and took a careful step forward. Suddenly, the squid pulled itself out of the reservoir, looked at Angel, and hissed. He took an involuntary step back, and then the thing jumped forward, straight at Lorne as if it knew he was the lesser fighter. "Ah!" Lorne exclaimed, swinging his sword. He missed the slug, but destroyed the lamp above him, darkening the room. Angel rapidly turned around, and in the same fluid motion pulled a knife from his jacket with his free hand and threw it, impaling the squid and pinning it to the floor. It squiggled, then died down.

"Now, that wasn't so . . ." Angel started, but suddenly the squid moved again and shot away from the knife. In reflex Angel fired an energy blast, and it hit. The squid was destroyed, spraying some water, then the several pieces of its body rapidly shriveled up. " . . . hard," Angel finished, and then grinned at Lorne, as he went to fetch his weapons.


"I hate this," Fred complained, looking at three books on the desk in front of her, holding her head with her hands. She was sitting in Wesley's old office, and Gunn was standing at the entrance.

"Yeah, I know what you mean. That creepy crawler was messed up, with its feelers sticking out of its head, and slithering all worm-like . . ." Gunn started.

"No, I mean these books. I hate going through these books," Fred told him somewhat annoyed.

"Yeah, books, rough," Gunn answered trying to be supportive but somewhat confused. After all, Fred /was/ book gal.

"Everything on thaumogenesis is so cryptic, and full of words I've never heard before, like 'amulatives'," Fred said, as Gunn went back to looking around for any of the squids. "I keep having to cross-reference Chaldean with Akkadian magics . . . Are you listening to me?"

"Yeah, accordion music, go on," Gunn told her looking around the lobby.

Fred sighed, and said, "Ask me to research wave-particle dynamics, or the Schrődinger equation and I'm a hellcat, but this? Angel is just going to have accept that I'm not as good at this as Wesley?"

"Wesley doesn't seem to want to come back . . . and like Angel, I can't really blame him," Gunn said and turned fully toward his girlfriend, then walked forward. Behind him, directly above the pentagram extra-dimensional light shimmered. "We're kind of stuck in the middle, but we gotta stick together, so you're just have to get good at it. I know you can."

Fred smiled weakly at the compliment, but complained, "What if I'm not good at this, what if I can't find anything that can help?"

Several squids fell from the light and crawled away, as Gunn said, "I'm not saying I don't prefer something I can punch, but I think we can handle one hell-squid."


"So, you and Wesley, how are things going there?" Cordelia asked trying to get a conversation going with the extremely alert Faith, who was walking next to her.

"We had our first /real/ fight last night," Faith answered looking around as cold chills ran down her body. The fact she couldn't just pinpoint the thing wigged her seriously out. "We patched up though."

"Well, good, positive thinking, making up, and . . ." Cordelia started enthusiastically. "Are you even listening to me?" Faith didn't answer as she looked around the corridor they were walking through. They reached an intersection, which was a little wider. Stairs were behind a door, an elevator was present as well, both leading down. "Faith, what's wrong?" Cordelia asked concerned.

"Something's wrong," Faith told Cordelia suddenly looking around.

"Yeah, I gathered that," Cordelia answered sarcastically, gripping her sword tighter, while Faith pulled the holy knife that Xander had forged for her from her pocket. "I just asked you that."

"Huh? Don't really know," Faith answered looking around, more chills running down her spine. "I can't really feel the thing, and at the same time it's like . . ." Faith shook her head to clear it, "I feel it everywhere. It's small, so I guess . . . but that doesn't really explain it."

"I don't feel a thing," Cordelia replied looking around, and realizing she probably should. She focused on Faith and did feel her, but skewed. Cold chills ran down her spine now that she was aware of it.

"Hold still," Faith suddenly said as she raised her hand. Cordelia looked at it, seeing sparks of chi fly between Faith's fingers and the knife, which was now pointed straight at her, and moving up.

Cordelia gulped, fear invading her mind. The moment the squid crawling along the wall behind Cordelia came into view, Faith shifted her aim and threw the knife. The slug squealed as it was impaled. The knife glowed for a moment, the slug squealed loud, and died. A moment later the remains of the creature lay on the floor and shriveled up. Cordelia whirled around and looked at it. "We got it," she said triumphantly.

"We got it? I got it!" Faith said indignant, as she retrieved her knife.

"Hey, if I weren't such a tasty morsel, it wouldn't have been crawling up the wall to get me," Cordelia answered, and started walking towards the door behind which were the stairs leading down.

Faith walked next to her and said, "I'm a much more tastier morsel than you are. It was coming to get me."

"If it were coming to get you, it would have been behind /your/ back. The thing isn't so stupid to come at you in plain sight," Cordelia returned, raising her voice.

"It's a slug! How intelligent can it be?" Faith replied, her voice a few decibels louder than Cordelia's now.

"It was /talking/ to us while in control of a /human's/ mind, and figured out Angel cast the spell without actually being here for the main event; I'd say that's pretty intelligent," Cordelia bit back, not even admitting to herself she liked the banter with the dark slayer. She opened the door revealing a smiling Angel and an equally relieved looking Lorne.

"I got it!" both Angel and Faith exclaimed at the same time, then simultaneously again, "/You/ got it!?"

"Ah, shit, there are more," Lorne observed.


"There are more?" Gunn asked with a little dread. The group was back in the lobby for a new tactics conference.

"Unless the two we killed was all there was, but we can't just accept that and gamble people's lives if there are more," Angel observed.

"I'd like to," Lorne sullenly remarked.

"We have one advantage though," Angel said, cooly.

"What!? They glow in the dark?" Cordelia sarcastically remarked. Angel said nothing, and slowly they realized that that was exactly what Angel meant.

"But that won't help any if we don't turn off the lights," Fred observed. Angel showed a slight smile as he showed a flashlight and flashed it once.

They looked incredulously at Angel, and Faith said, "You have got to be kidding me."

"They're strong, I speared one with my knife and it simply slid away. They're strong enough to attack us too, we need to make use of every advantage we've got," Angel said, and tossed the flashlight to Cordelia, who caught it. "Fred, go lock yourself in the office," Angel said as he pulled out a big mobile lamp, and handed it to her. "We still need to know everything we can about these critters."

"Yay, me," Fred said depressed and turned around to go do that. The others went to get flashlights of their own, except Angel and Faith whose better night vision made them unnecessary.

There was a sizzle, and Faith whirled around. The others looked as well as little orange arcs of light flashed above the pentagram. "So that's what's been messing with my senses," Faith said with enlightenment.

"Wait," Lorne said with a fearful face. "Are you telling me these things could have been coming through for weeks without anyone noticing?"

Faith nodded, and added, "Yeah, except I don't think so, we would have seen them sooner - or the shower wouldn't have worked."

"Oh, great, this keeps getting funner and funner," Gunn observed with a scowl on his face.

"I'm glad you're enjoying yourself, Gunn," Angel said, handing the black man a flashlight and smiled. "Because you're going to the basement and turn off the power."

"No no no no, no . . . damn!" Gunn exclaimed.


Gunn slowly descended the stairs of the dark cellar. The rest of the group hung back, except for Angel who followed a little behind him. There was a squeak, and Gunn whirled around.

"Rat," Angel deadpanned.

"Ah," Gunn said, and turned back around. "Rat," he repeated shaking his head, and reached the main power switch. He opened the metal casing, and pulled the big lever. An instant later all the lights went out, and everyone turned on their flashlights.


Back in Wesley's office the lights went out. Fred was about to turn on the big lamp when she noticed something glowing behind her. She turned around, and saw one of the creatures. Her eyes widened in shock. Her mouth opened to exclaim in surprise, and suddenly the squid jumped, straight into Fred's mouth. She let out a muffled scream, and then the thing rapidly crawled down her throat.


The group had decided to stick together this time, minus Fred and Gunn. They walked slowly through the corridor, and Faith asked, "Where are we?"

"South wing," Angel answered. "We hadn't found a use for it yet, so we kept it closed up."

"What's that noise?" Cordelia asked, hearing something weird.

"Eh, the erratic thumping of my heart in my poop chute?" Lorne offered.

"Ew," Faith commented.

"Sorry, hot stuff, but my heart is located in my left butt cheek. Can't help it," Lorne explained, as the group arrived at chained closed double doors.

"Lorne, information overload here," Cordelia admonished him. And the green alien shrugged.

"It's coming from in here," Angel said, gesturing to the door, effectively ending the squabbling.

"Do we even have a key?" Cordelia asked.

Angel smiled. Since Connor was once again sleeping against his chest, and he didn't want to wake him, he prompted, "Faith."

Faith took a step forward, and with one kick sent the doors crashing to the floor. Cordelia looked at Angel and Faith, and Angel gave a shrug. Cordy smiled a smile at them that said, 'Why did I even ask?'


Gunn returned to the office, and found Fred rocking back and forth in her chair. "Sorry, I took so long: made a sweep, made sure there aren't any critters around. How are you holding up?"

"Scared . . . very scared," Fred answered as she continued rocking.

"Yeah, try to hold up," Gunn said, and sat down in a chair. He looked lovingly at Fred, and said, "I'm thinking we should get away for awhile, spent a short vacation somewhere together you know?"

Fred broke a shake-and-snow toy, and brought the broken glass to her lips, gulping down the remaining water. "Oh, no," Gunn whispered.

"We're thirsty," Fred crowed out.


"Wow," Lorne said as he looked around the darkened ballroom. "This place is two parts hum and one part dinger. Ever thought about turning this place into a nightclub?" The other three occupants, turned around and looked at him incredulously. "I'm missing the life. Sue me."

Gunn and Fred came barging into the room. Fred was gulping down water from a plastic water bottle. "Guys, we've got a serious problem."

"Oh, no, Fred," Cordelia exclaimed and the other four quickly came over to the couple. All four looked deeply concerned. Gunn set Fred down on a raised ridge.

"Fred, can you hear me?" Angel asked the girl.

"Angel," she said softly. "I can feel it, I can feel its needs, its thirst . . . oh, god, I'm so thirsty." She picked the bottle back up, and started drinking from it.

"We've gotta get you to a hospital," Gunn said with deep concern, reaching for her.

"No, Charles," Fred stopped him. "We can't, that's what it wants, to get out, to spread . . . it will kill." Fred then looked at Angel, and added, "It really doesn't like you."

"The feeling's mutual," Angel replied subdued.

"I'm getting her help," Gunn said, fear lacing his voice. He reached forward and pulled Fred up.

"Gunn, we can't," Angel said, stopping him.

"He's right, Gunn," Faith said. Gunn looked at her. "We've got some asskicking to do, and then we'll get that thing out of Fred," she said and walked to the middle of the room. She pointed her hand and blasted a hole in the wooden floor.

They circled the hole and saw . . . a pool, completely filled with the luminescent slugs - shimmering water was a meter below the wood, the creatures had drunken almost all of the water already. They screeched louder and immediately started to move, some of them crawling upward. "Oh, my god," Cordelia said slowly, shocked. "We have a pool?"

"I didn't know we had a pool," Faith said excitedly. "That's so cool!"

The slugs crawled out of the hole, and the Angel Team backed off. Faith and Angel fired energy attacks and took a few of them out. Cordelia joined them, but ever more of the things kept crawling out. "There are too many of them," Faith called out in frustration as the squids' numbers grew rapidly.

"Fall back," Angel ordered, and the group quickly started to move out of the exit and down the corridor. "Run, move!" Angel commanded, as the things were getting closer. He and Faith covered the others' retreat. As Angel and Faith turned around, she came eye to eye with one of the creatures hanging onto the wall and suddenly it jumped. Shocked, Faith reacted a moment too late, and the thing forced its way into her mouth and down her throat.

She coughed, as Angel pulled her along rapidly. "Oh, god," she said as she ran alongside Angel. "I've got one in me! I've got one of them in me!"

The group managed to run into what turned out to be the kitchen. Angel closed the door behind them, and bolted them shut. Cordelia opened the doors on the other side, and found more creatures coming toward the door. "They're everywhere!" Cordelia exclaimed, and quickly closed those doors as well.

"I've got one of them in me!" Faith screamed hysterically with fear.

"Oh, god, Faith," Lorne said, and place a supportive arm around her. "Shh, calm down, we'll get it out, don't worry." Faith sat down, holding her chest, looking down at it, where the thing went.

"Turn on the ovens!" Angel suddenly ordered, getting an idea.

"We're going to cook them?" Lorne asked confused as he did as asked.

"Dry it out, make it too uncomfortable for them to want to come in," Angel explained, as he turned on ovens, heat blasting from them, making the kitchen quickly hotter. Connor woke up, and started crying then, apparently not liking the heat. Angel shushed him, but falling back asleep was one thing the baby wouldn't do.

Fred screamed out in panic. "Charles, where's Charles?" she asked in hysteria. Connor once again started crying, and Angel once again bounced him up and down soothingly.

"What?" Cordelia asked, disoriented from the speed of events.

"He's gone," Fred said in realization.

They sat Fred down against a pillar, and then Angel, Cordelia, and Faith - after pulling herself together - went about securing the entrances better. Lorne got up and asked the three energy fighters, "Can't you guys just blow 'em all away in one go?"

"Too many, too small," Cordelia rapidly explained, getting concerned. "We'd damage the building severely - too big a chance we missed a few and then they can get out."

Faith eyed the bottle at Fred's mouth, and she said, "We're thirsty." The three not infected people looked with concern at Faith. "Give that here," she said.

"No, we're thirsty," Fred returned.

Faith stepped forward, and grabbed the bottle. "Give it to me!" she hissed and pulled it from the much weaker Fred. Immediately, she put the bottle to her mouth and started gulping the liquid down.

Fred was up on her feet in no time, and grabbed for the bottle, screaming, "GIVE THAT BACK!!"

"NO!" Faith mumbled while drinking the water. Fred managed to grab the bottle and pull, but it wouldn't budge from Faith's hands. Fred pulled harder, Faith ready to push her aside, and most likely severely hurt her in the process. Cordelia quickly pulled Fred away from the dangerous slayer, while Lorne and Angel subdued Faith. They lifted her off the floor and put her down, the desperately drinking Slayer didn't care as long as she had the bottle to her lips.

"Faith! Control yourself!" Angel commanded, forcing the bottle from her hands.

Faith growled. Lorne gently but firmly pushed her down, saying, "Listen, hot stuff, I know you're stronger than a little squid." Faith looked up at him, then slowly brought herself back under control, as Angel handed the bottle back to the one needing moisture the most, having had the slug inside her longer.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Faith whispered, bringing her knees up, and putting her arms around them. She saw Fred eagerly gulping down the water, and Faith said, "We're thirsty." She shook her head violently, and started to shimmy around her pillar, so she didn't have to look at the tempting water, lose control and hurt someone in the process. She rocked back and forth slowly, squinting her eyes shut, murmuring, "I'm in control, I'm in control . . ."

Lorne joined her, and gently stroking her hair, whispered, "I'm here Faith, you can do it, I know you can."

Cordelia got back up, leaving Fred, and pulled Angel aside. "Angel," she started, whispering. "If Faith loses control, neither of us can stop her. She could easily blast herself free, setting the others free, and flying wherever."

"I know," Angel said, and then he had an idea. He walked forward and pulled the bottle from Fred.

"We're thirsty!" she screeched out, getting up. Cordelia and Lorne joined the scene and looked concerned at the angry Angel.

"You're not getting any, until I get answers!" Angel called out loud. "I want to talk to that thing inside of you." Angel pushed her back against the pillar and looked into her eyes.

"We're," Fred started, rocking back and forth. "We're thirsty."

"Work with me here, Fred. Make it talk to me. What does it want here?" Angel said intensely, not daring to let Faith do this, knowing she'd be unstoppable if she lost control while she let the thing inside her talk through her.

"To live," Fred answered. "To drink. And to be merry. It hurts us, and we have to get out."

A rattling came from the pipes against the ceiling. They moved about as the things crawled inside of them. "Sounds more like they want to get in," Cordelia commented concerned, hefting her weapon more closely, as did Lorne.

"Have to flee," Fred said slowly. "Such pain, it brings such pain."

"It?" Lorne asked high strung, checking how Faith was doing for a moment. "What happened to 'we'. Why the pronoun switcherooo?"

"What are you fleeing from?" Angel asked urgently.

Fred looked up at him, and said, "The bringer of torment. Agony. Death. The Devourer."

"Oh," Cordelia answered, with a shiver. "That's just not the name you wanna hear."

"Why is this Devourer after you?" Angel asked.

"It's not," Fred answered and looked intently at Angel. "It's coming for the Golden One."

Angel straightened up, in shock. "Shit," Lorne said in fear. "If this Devourer thinks it can take on Mr. Power Incarnate, it's either seriously overestimating itself, or it's /way/ out of our league."

"Or both," Cordelia added solemnly.


Wesley opened the door, and saw Gunn standing there, red shirt, no coat. "I need your help," Gunn said, and quickly went inside before Wesley could slam the door closed. "I don't have time to debate this," he continued urgently. "The hotel is infested with this slug-like thingies. They enter you, partially take over you mind, they drink every drop of moisture from you, until you're reduced to a pile of dirt. They got one guy already."

"Why do you need my help," Wesley casually remarked walking away from Gunn. "Angel or Faith will find a way to kill them."

"No, she won't; Faith's infected," Gunn told him, getting Wesley's attention. "Saw it happen just before I decided to come here, when I /knew/ we needed your help. Fred was infected as well, earlier."

Suddenly Wesley was all business. He went to the back of his room, and opened a small cooler. He took two bottles of a strong alcoholic beverage, and slammed it closed with his foot as he returned to the living room. He pushed one bottle into Gunn's hands. "You wanna drink on it?" Gunn asked completely confused.

"Alcohol dehydrates the body," Wesley clarified hastily as he put on a coat. "Let's go."

Gunn nodded, and went out the door.


"Tell me, where do yo come from?" Angel demanded from Fred. Lorne and Cordelia were busy trying to somehow slow the things in the pipes down, or hurt them.

"Need more," she whispered pawing for the bottle of water.

"Tell me!" Angel demanded.

"We're thirsty," Faith wailed out, crawling across the floor, her face dry and ready to crack. She started to lick up the water Angel just spilled. "Oh, god," Faith said, when she realized what she was doing.

Angel looked at Fred, and saw another crack form in her dehydrated face. Fred moaned, then grabbed her face, and begged, "Angel, help me!"

Angel looked back at Faith for a moment, and then called out, "Cordelia, Lorne get Fred and Faith to the hospital, now." He went to the ovens and started turning them off. "Turn on the water."

"We talked about his, infecting the world and all?" Cordelia asked as she went to the cranes and turned them open.

"They can keep them hydrated, while you find a cure, they have proper quarantine facilities too," Angel quickly said, as Lorne hefted Fred up and onto his shoulder. Angel tested if Faith could walk by herself. She signaled she could.

"How are we going to get out? They have us surrounded," Cordelia asked him incredulously.

"I'll keep them occupied," Angel answered.

"How?" Cordelia asked, as Angel untied the wailing Connor and tied him to Cordelia.

"By giving them what they want," Angel answered as he opened another crane wide.

"I should stay, I should be fighting," Faith whispered, shaking with the effort to keep herself under control, as they all stood near the doors.

"Now!" Angel said giving Faith an extra stern glance, throwing the door wide open, gesturing to the three of them. Lorne was out the door as the first slugs entered the room. Faith walked after them as fast as she could.

At the last moment, Cordelia decided to hand over the baby to Faith, and turn back. "I told you to get out of here, help them," Angel ordered, but she ignored him.

"They can manage," Cordelia said as the slugs ran past them to the running water. "Let's do this," she said, letting her chi flame burst around her, forming a shield to keep the first things jumping at her away. They splatted on her shield and shriveled up.

Angel nodded, smiling, and his own chi flame burst around him. Strangely no slugs really attacked him. They started firing ki blasts, taking out slug after slug, but the numbers entering the room increased exponentially. "Damn, why the hell are they only attacking me?" Cordelia asked surprised.

"I don't know," Angel answered as he fired another ball, and hacked at another slug.

"Why did they come after us, when there was still some water in the pool?" Cordelia asked again, her wheels starting to turn, shooting another slug.


Meanwhile, Lorne reached the lobby with baby-saddled Faith in tow, just as Gunn and Wesley entered the place from a side entrance just then. "Put my girl down," Gunn said.

"Faith!" Wesley exclaimed at the same time and quickly went to her side.

"She needs a doctor," Lorne half protested.

"She needs this, put her down, quickly," Gunn answered as he turned off the cap of the bottle. Wesley did the same with his bottle. Lorne put Fred on the steps leading to the exit, as he watched Wesley put Faith on the counter.

"Drink this, baby," Wesley said, Gunn saying a similar sentiment. Faith and Fred eagerly starting gulping down the fluid. "Keep drinking," Wesley ordered sternly, and Faith obeyed despite her face contorting in disgust.

Fred pushed the bottle away, spitting out what was in her mouth. "You need to drink this, Fred, please," Gunn said, half forcing the bottle back to her mouth, and she started to drink again.


"Fred and Faith were already infected, I'm dead, Lorne may not be compatible," Angel said, making a stab in the dark.

"Now why do they need us, we crumble to dirt in no time . . ." Cordelia spoke, killing a few more, but making barely a dent in the numbers. Suddenly her eyes widened, "Unless the hosts wherever they come from, don't go so quickly." She twisted her head, and looked at Angel fighting it out with a few more slugs. They were attacking him now too, to kill him most likely, because he was killing them too. "The sun!" Cordelia exclaimed in triumph. "The sun! If they need this much water during the night, they'd never survive more than a few moments in the sun. They're protected from it inside a body." Cordelia blasted a few more energy balls, killing a few more of the squids, leaving small holes in the floor.

"Great, now all we have to do is keep them busy until the sun comes up. Any ideas?" Angel asked Cordelia frustrated.


Faith gulped, made a gag reflex, and then Wesley pulled the bottle away. The glowing squid jumped from her throat, letting Faith breathe freely. Wesley instantly pointed his hand, and blasted the thing away.

On the steps, another slug jumped from Fred's throat, and Gunn did the same with than one as Wesley did with the first

Tears sprung from Faith's eyes, having been brought to the brink. "Wes?" she whispered.

"I'm here, Faith," he said huskily. Faith dropped forward and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, hugging him fiercely. Wesley gently pulled her from the counter and sat down with her. Faith cried, and oblivious to the others said, "I felt like I was being raped all over again, but worse."

"Ssh, I'm here now," Wesley soothed, kissing he on the top of her head. As Faith was soothed, she gently started crying. Connor slowly grew quiet, enjoying being in between the two warm bodies that were radiating a soothing calm. A meter away, Fred cried into Gunn's shoulder.


"Of course, stupid me!" Cordelia called out, and looked around the room. Her eyes widened. She grabbed Angel by a shoulder and casually lifted him off the floor, pulling him along.

"Cordy!" Angel yelled in shock.

She reached down, and opened the lid of a bolted metal box. She dumped Angel inside, closed the lid, and locked the clips. "Stay inside, Angel, stay inside!" Cordelia warned.

"Cordy!? Cordy!?" Angel's muffled voice sounded, as he pounded on the chest, but having the smarts to heed Cordelia's warning and not break it open. He was still seriously frustrated though.

Cordelia launched herself in the air. Hanging there, she looked up at the ceiling. She stretched out her hand quickly, and fired a concentrated beam of energy. A few moments later there was a clear hole a meter in diameter, through the floors, revealing the full moon. The slugs screeched. "Oh, please, reflect enough," Cordelia prayed to herself. She dropped the sword, and started rapidly turning around her own axis. She stretched out her four fingers on either hand, and as she whirled around she brought them to her forehead. "Solar Flare!" she called out, and instantly everything went white.

The bright, and relatively hot light spread through the hotel rapidly. The slugs squeaked in pain as the heat hit them, their fragile shells burst open, and they shriveled up as water burst forth. The light spread further out of the hotel, for a moment turning a two block area to daylight.

Inside the box, Angel was scrunched up to fit inside, and he called out again, "Cordelia!" The box had a few holes, and light came inside. It struck the palm of his right hand, that was trying halfheartedly to open the box. "Aah!" Angel hissed, and pulled his hand back from the beam, and saw smoke coming from it. "Sunlight?" he whispered before he felt pinpricks of pain over his body where the beams hit.

Then, as suddenly as it came, the light was gone. Cordelia looked around her. Those in the room were gone. The still opened magical fissure was still jamming all their senses though, so she quickly ran out of the room towards the pool, checking all around for any slugs. There were none. "Yes!" Cordy hissed, and quickly returned, freeing a slightly worse for wear Angel from his confines.


"What the hell was that?" Gunn asked looking around the lobby in shock after blinding white light died down.

"That was Cordelia," Angel called out, right after which she and he walked into the lobby. Angel limped a little; one of the holes sent a beam straight onto his lower leg.

"A Solar Flare to be exact, it's what I used," Cordelia said triumphantly. "All dead."

It was then that Angel noticed Wesley holding Faith, and he said, "Wesley."

Wesley let go of Faith, and took a step closer to the souled vampire, hissing, "You incompetent . . ."

"Listen, pal . . ." Angel bit right back.

"SHUT UP, THE BOTH OF YOU!!" Cordelia suddenly screamed out, fed up with the two of them. They looked at her, startled. "Listen, you two bastards! I've had it! He did this, you did that! PUKE!" Cordelia took a few more steps and stood in between the both of them. "You two listen to me very carefully. You took Connor because you trusted some prophecies and god oracle above us. You tried to kill Wesley while you weren't thinking straight, emotions high strung. /You/ shouldn't even have been thinking about taking Connor away, except as an absolute last resort and with us, and Angel knowing about and agreeing with it. /You/ should have trusted us to be able to handle and avert /any/ prophecy, we've stopped prophecies before!"

"And /you/!" Cordelia turned angrily to Angel. "You should never have considered trying to kill Wesley, no matter how high your emotions were going through you. And even /if/ he actually had taken the baby away, you should have trusted Wesley to be concerned with yours and Connor's welfare and he'd be doing what he knew would be best for the both of you. YOU BOTH SCREWED UP ROYALLY, GOT THAT!?"

Angel and Wesley nodded timidly, and Cordelia continued. "Good, then I hereby demand you kiss and make up, and hurry up about it, so we can get back to helping the innocent from gruesome demon-induced deaths."

"I, uh . . ." Angel muttered.

"Well . . ." Wesley started at the same time, both looking into the blazing almost insane eyes of a very angry Cordelia Chase.

"NOW!!" Cordelia roared out and took a step back so she was no longer in between them.

Wesley and Angel sheepishly reached out hands and shook each others, "I apologize."

"So do I," Wesley said.

"Accepted," Angel said.

"Same here," Wesley returned.

"I am /not/ seeing any /kissing/," Cordelia demanded, her eyes still blazing.

"There's no way I'm kissing him!" Wesley stated rather vehemently.

"And I'm not him!" Angel added, both men looking rather miffed at Cordelia.

"If you two don't kiss! So help me god . . .!" Cordelia fumed at them.

"Now listen here!" Wesley replied, authority in his voice. "There's no way in hell I'm kissing a guy. There's even less of a possibility to get me to kiss a vampire, so guess how much of a chance you got to make me kiss /him/! Especially since /I/ am the head of this agency, am I not?" There was challenge in that last statement, and nobody seemed to want to challenge him on it, least of all Angel, it seemed.

"I'm right with ya, Wesley," Angel added for good measure, just in case anyone had any doubts.

Cordelia was about to say something, but Wesley cut her off. "Uh! No sane or insane woman demanding like a blathering fool will get us to kiss. Not even if she's a goddess straight from a hell dimension! She'd have to do it over our dead bodies!"

"And even then, dead or alive, we'd probably kick her ass first if she'd tried any mind control!" Angel added for good measure.

"Exactly!" Wesley added, and then walked over to a rather stunned Faith. Even Connor had gone silent looking around the room with large eyes. "Now, I'm going to help my girlfriend to her bedroom so she can rest after her ordeal, and if anyone has a problem with that, he or she can take a hike." Wesley, still angry, pulled Faith along gently. She didn't protest,

though she wobbled somewhat as the alcohol started to take effect.

"And /I'm/ going to give Connor a bottle and put him to bed," Angel added resolutely, gently untying the carry bag in which Connor sat and taking him off of Faith's hands. Then the two men, one baby, and one distraught Slayer slowly walked to the left, and started up the red carpeted, lightly curved staircase, side by side, both muttering something about women.

Cordelia seemed to have been getting more pissed off by the moment as Angel and Wesley didn't relent to her demands. Then suddenly she relaxed, turned to face the stunned Fred, Gunn, and Lorne, placed her arms femininely across her chest, and whispered, "I'm so good."

Suddenly there was a sizzling and with a thump a monster came falling from the dimensional rift. Everyone looked at the ugly beast in astonishment. It roared . . . and then a huge maw came through the rift, engulfed the demon at around its waist, and then snapped shut, cutting the monster in two, and chewed. The legs of the demon disappeared in a yellow - orange shower of energy. Then the rest of the maw came through, followed by the demon it belonged to. It landed smoothly on its wiry legs, showing a two meter twenty tall beast. Its large head and maw giving it a frog-like appearance, but the raw muscles in its dark obsidian, and jagged, rock-like skin made it clear it was anything but a frog. It had three horns on its head, and beady red eyes. "The Golden One," it hissed out in anger. It whipped its head around, looking straight towards Sunnydale. "I can feel his power," it growled out. "Seventeen years I have prepared, seventeen years I have devoured any power in my way to gain what was needed. Finally I am here! Finally I have found a way, now I will make him pay for killing my infants!"

"Seventeen years?" Fred asked, confused, from what she had gathered, Xander wasn't even /in/ this dimension seventeen years ago.

"Time differential," Wesley offered in understanding.

"The Quor-toth," Angel said, holding his son close, putting two and two together.

"YES!" the thing roared. "Seventeen years ago, that bastard came and left, all for the sick, perverted need, to blast some rocks aside, and crush my infants! /NOW/ he will pay!"

Faith's anger pierced her mind like a hot knife. The ordeal with the invading demonic squid had brought her to the brink. The horror of what she had had to endure was fueling her anger, and here this /thing/ was threatening her hero. Her chi flame erupted, and she screamed out, "Never! You will never even lay a finger on Xander!" She jumped over the railing of the stairs, and everyone burst into action. Gunn took Lorne's sword, as the green alien pulled Fred along circling the demon and going to the weapon's locker. Wesley leaped into action as well, jumping over the railing, while Angel sprinted up the stairs to put Connor somewhere safely away from the demon for the time being.

The demon didn't care about them, and simply headed toward the exit, until Faith fired an energy ball at it. The monster simply opened its mouth, engulfed the energy ball and swallowed. Faith hovered in the air, shocked. "Yum, thanks, now out of my way," the thing growled, glowing for a moment: growing stronger. It bashed her aside, sending her flying deeper into the lobby toward the offices. She stopped herself and burst back toward the beast, as Lorne and Fred reached the weapons cabinet.

Gunn hacked with his sword. The sword simply bounced off the hard skin. At his second slice the demon grabbed the weapon and tossed it into his maw, crunching the weapon easily. It swallowed, and moments later twin metal pikes came out of the back of his hands, as well as two new jagged protrusions on its back, obviously it assimilated whatever it ate.

Gunn backed away from the demon, which simply lumbered onward to the exit, not caring in the lightest about Gunn. Meanwhile Cordelia tried to swipe its legs from under it, which only succeeded in hurting her own leg. Wesley rammed a fist in the thing's side, but apparently it didn't feel a thing. He fired an energy ball, but the monster bashed it aside with surprising speed, then lashed out at the pesky fly that it considered Wesley to be. The former watcher barely managed to avoid the hit. Faith rejoined the fight and smashed her fist into the back of the Devourer. Its hide cracked - that got its attention. The demon turned around to face Faith, who kicked out, catching the thing on its jaw. "You're strong girly," the beast said, and suddenly lashed out, grabbing the Slayer. "Not strong enough, you'll be a tasty treat." It opened its maw and pulled Faith to him.

"FAITH!" Wesley and Angel called at the same time. The vampire had put his son away, and came flying from the second floor. It crashed its foot against the things knee - and dropped unceremoniously to the floor, having done nothing to demon.

The monster's jaws snapped shut . . . but stayed open. "What?" the thing mumbled in surprise, feeling hands grabbing a hold of its giant teeth. Faith's feet stood on the bottom of the mouth. She used her strength to keep the thing from closing his mouth completely and eating her alive. The demon grinned, and Faith noticed a burning sensation. She looked down and saw the assimilating saliva of the demon start to eat her shoes. She jumped up, moving her head back, giving the demon the opportunity to close its mouth tighter. She stood now on its razor sharp, magically enhanced teeth, protecting her feet with a chi shield. Already, she felt the teeth starting to absorb her chi as well.

"RAAH!" she yelled out, powering up more, allowing her to keep the mouth open with a little more ease. Still the monstrous demon was slowly but surely using its leverage advantage to close its jaws completely. Then she remembered its mouth inside was soft. "SWORD!" She held out her left hand, and looked back. She saw Lorne throw the requested sword at her. It swivelled during its arc through the air. She caught it deftly, and with a rapid movement she stuck it up through the roof of the demon's mouth, straight into its brain. Its jaws were still closing though, and with one hand occupied, she did not have the strength to keep the mouth open. She jumped back, her chi bursting into existence. Rapidly she flew out and pulled the sword along, cutting the creature's head open. Faith made a backward somersault, and landed on her feet, looking wearily at the still standing, but wobbling demon. Suddenly it keeled over, and thudded onto the floor. Once it lay there, cracks suddenly formed in its hide, and a moment later it was consumed by an inner fire, before disappearing completely.

The adrenaline rush over, the anger and battle high gone with the demon, the alcohol once more took a hold of her, and she wobbled, trying to find her balance. Wesley was quickly at her side, supporting her, and asked, "Are you alright?"

Faith nodded, smiling silly, and slurred, "I think I'm drunk." The team gathered around the indeed drunken slayer, as she commented, "If that's what the demons in Quor-toth were afraid of that. It can't be as bad a place as it's cracked up to be." The team grinned, a drunk Fred slumped into Lorne's arms.

"I suggest we put the drunks and the baby to sleep, and then we close that rift, before something else slithers out," Wesley said, and the team nodded.


The next day, Faith was sitting at the lunch table in school. Across from her sat Archie, and Zoey was at the head of the table. Next to them sat a few more students.

Nervously, Tiffany approached them from the lunch counter, holding a tray with her food. "H-hi," she said weakly, and Archie, Zoey, and Faith looked daggers at her, the rest of the table looked at her with worse gazes. Tiffany ignored most of the middle kids and focused on the three completely unpopular ones, and Zoey - her worst victim - in particular. "I'm sorry," she said softly, the guilt practically poured from her face. "If yesterday was any indication . . . what I did to you was worse, systematic . . . I had no idea it felt so bad . . . I just thought it was . . . I'm sorry." Then Tiffany walked away from the table, with Faith, Archie and Zoey regarding her coldly. Once she had sat down, the three looked back at their lunch. Faith lowered her head, and stuffed a sandwich in her mouth, while Archie and Zoey looked straight at her.

Faith studiously ignored them until she had finished her sandwich. She sighed, "Yes, I know." She sighed deeper, in great annoyance, and pushed her lunch box forward so she could land her forehead on top of the table. "Why the hell did Angel and Xander have to put the damn bar so high? I'd love to stay nicely vindictive, and hateful, and . . ." Faith sighed again.

"What do you think of us?" Zoey asked her ruefully. "We've got it worse, you didn't suffer through Tiffany for the past few /years/."

Faith looked up, and said, "One chance, one second chance is all she gets though." Archie and Zoey nodded, while the others at the table looked at them in confusion. The three of them grinned, at each other and got up. They picked up their lunch boxes, and got their bags and coats. Then they picked up their chairs, and the other students watched astonished and then hateful as they walked over to Tiffany's empty table.

"There goes our cool," Archie said softly to Zoey as he leaned over a bit.

"It was fun while it lasted," she replied equally softly. They placed their chairs at the table, forming a nice square with Tiffany and sat down. Tiffany watched astonished as they got out their lunches again.

"Hi, Tiff," Faith greeted with a light smile.

"Wh-what are you doing?" she asked disbelieving.

"Becoming your friends," Archie answered her calmly.

"Why?" Tiffany asked her eyes bugging out. "I've been horrible to you."

"Because you apologized," Faith answered her. "Because you've shown guilt. That means you have the capacity to better yourself. Because some of my friends did the same for me, gave me a second chance, and hell, demanded I take them up on the offer. Now not to put their faith in me to shame - no pun intended - show to myself I've learned from their example, I have to do the same for you. One chance though, that's all you get. Screw it up . . . well . . ."

There were tears running down Tiffany's face, tears of gratitude. "Thank you," she said, "thank you. It's more than I deserve."

Zoey told her sulkingly, "Just eat your lunch. Don't expect us to suddenly be your biggest fans or something."


Faith returned to the hotel that afternoon, with a smile. Perhaps Tiffany didn't have to be as bad as they come. She looked around the room, and saw Cordelia finish taking a call. Faith walked over to her and asked, "New case?" Cordelia looked up at Faith, eyes wide in surprise, but apparently not at Faith's arrival.

"EVERYONE!!!" the former cheerleader screamed with such force that Faith for a moment thought she was going deaf. A few moments later the entire Angel Team was standing inside the lobby.

"What's going on?" Wesley demanded, but gently.

"That was Giles," Cordelia announced, and Angel, Faith, and Wesley looked on with the same surprise. "We're needed in Sunnydale, we have to pick him up at the airport on our way there tomorrow. His flight arrives at three PM."

Everyone stayed silent for a few moments, and then Wesley said, "Well, you heard it. Pack your bags, people, we're going on a trip tomorrow."

Episode 43
The End is Coming

Dawn returned home from school. She was subdued. Although she wasn't the complete wreck of a few days earlier, she was still not quite back to her usual chipper self. In the living room sat the rest of the gang, including Xander and Anya who were going to explain their ideas of their wedding, which meant asking the girls to be bridesmaids. Buffy was suspiciously not mentally present though, and Dawn's return would explain why - and incidentally throw a monkey wrench in their plans to ask everyone. The moment Dawn closed the door behind her, Buffy got up off the couch, leaving Xander to stare after her mid sentence.

Buffy reached Dawn, folded her arms across her chest in a classic, Buffy, 'I'm determined' manner, and challenged angrily, "Did you think I wouldn't find out!?" Dawn looked at her sister blankly, too wrapped up in her problems to really understand what Buffy was talking about. "You /lied/ to me!" Buffy clarified with a low voice. "You said nothing happened, that Li just masturbated! You gave him a blowjob instead! Which is something we'll have to discuss separately!"

Dawn had been brought to the brink already. Still a few students were looking at her, and talking behind her back, and 'fuck the public' - something she as yet hadn't quite mastered - or not, that still took its toll. To top it off, Li had been avoiding her, and since that was exactly what she had demanded he do, Dawn was determined to keep her own distance . . . which hurt her to no end. She still had feelings for the bastard, as she had forced herself to call him, they didn't just go away with one click of a button. In short, when Buffy came onto her, she lost it. "SHUT UP!" Dawn burst out, pointing at Buffy. "Don't you think I've got more important things to worry about than you pestering me about a little white lie?! I certainly /don't/ have an interest in your high moral stance, bitch!"

Buffy reeled back and Dawn's vicious outburst. The younger Summers then stomped up the stairs, fuming. "You know what, Buffy!? I'll help you punish me, I'll go to my room and stay there all evening!" A few moments later the door to Dawn's room slammed closed. Buffy was still looking up the staircase, shocked. Finally she shook her head and got her coat from the clothing rack.

"I need to kill something, I'll go patrol," Buffy bit at her friends and went out the door. Willow and Tara looked dejected at each other for a moment. Anya and Xander sat there, letting the train wreck work into their minds.

Xander took a deep breath, and as he got off the chair - gently picking Anya up off his lap and setting her down on her feet - he pronounced, "I'll go check up on Dawn." Willow and Tara nodded their ascent, and Anya smiled at him.

"Hey, Dawn," Xander said as he gently stepped into her room. Dawn was lying on her stomach, deeply saddened, almost crying. Her choice of attire was drab, and unflattering; she hadn't felt sexy once in the past few days. "How's my bright Dawn?" Xander added, taking out Dawn's desk chair and sitting down in it in front of her.

Dawn turned her head looking at Xander. "I, uh . . ."

"Decided to join the sex-having crowd?" Xander asked her with a reassuring smile.

Dawn stayed silent for a moment, blushing, never having expected to having /this/ conversation with Xander . . . unless it was Xander she joined that crowd with. "I . . . well . . . yeah . . . orally at least," Dawn blushed deeply, studying Xander's expression. His smile hadn't wavered one little bit. "We . . . kind of broke up . . ." Dawn added, her blush slowly receding when she noticed Xander didn't seem to mind. ". . . he told some people . . . it got out, now I'm the talk of the school . . . told him I didn't want to see him anymore." Silently she added to herself, *and I guess he took me at my word.* She looked at Xander again, and saw his gentle eyes looking at her, but she glimpsed a cold, hard steel inside them. "You're not going to hurt him, are you?" Dawn asked a little concerned.

"Only if he breathes," Xander answered, and then saw Dawn's eyes grow with warning. "Fine, fine," Xander relented. "I won't harm him . . . unless he tries something."

They stayed silent for a few minutes, comfortably. "Don't hate your sister, she's just concerned about you," Xander said gently. Dawn slowly nodded. Xander got up them, and protectively stroked Dawn's hair. "Everything'll be fine."

"I'm not dirty? Not even in guys' eyes?" Dawn asked uncertainly.

"Especially not in guys' eyes," Xander replied, grinning, giving her another comforting stroke across her hair. "You'll get a few bastards who think you'll do anything, same as you get bitches who'd like to burn you at the stake, but don't pay attentions to /those/ people." Dawn smiled, then Xander turned around and walked the door of her room. "Wanna sulk some more, or come down and play a board game with the rest of us. I think I can persuade them to Monopoly."

"I'm gonna cream you guys," Dawn answered with a bright smile as she jumped getting off the bed. After two steps she hesitated. She frowned and with a light blush she said, "And I don't mean . . ." Xander laughed and gestured for Dawn to get a move on, which she quickly did.


Buffy stalked across the graveyard, senses out, trying to find a vampire or demon to kill. For a moment she thought of going to Willy's to clean house, but decided against it. 'I need to kill something,' her own words echoed through her mind, and she remembered the other night. Tears started to flood Buffy's eyes, but she battled them back. "No," she whispered to herself. "No, stay away," she added as she felt a need to growl. She steered away from her planned path, and not much later found herself in front of Spike's crypt. As she stepped inside, her very unhappy face melted into a cruel smile.


The next day

Spike and Harmony walked silently through cemetery, toward the crypt, just walking . . . except for Harmony's incessant arguing. "Come on, Spiky," she said, irritating Spike to no end. "Can't you see she's using you? She abuses you even! She fucks you when you don't want to, she fucks us when you want her. She beats you, she hurts you, she humiliates you, she hardly ever lets you come, she's just on a power trip! She feels bad, so she fucks you!"

"I'm a vampire here, Harm, in case you forgot the concept! I get off on pain!" Spike told her briskly, wishing Harmony would shut up with her pesky harrowing, her constant questions that cast Buffy in a bad light . . . and he loved Buffy's body way too much to want to see her in a bad light.

"Yeah, hard, rough, painful, and damn good sex," Harmony answered with a deep sigh. "I know the concept, I love it! But there's that, and then there's abuse, hell, rape! The latter is what Buffy's doing! Look at yourself! Slayer of Slayers! There was a time when you would have torn her to pieces with joy in your unbeating heart, now you follow her around like a good obedient, well-trained puppy dog!" Spike hated the fact that the dumb blonde actually had a valid point. "There was the chip phase, fine, but no chip now!"

"Instead I've got a golden-haired freak with enough power to destroy the world in his pinky hanging over me like the sword of Damocles," Spike returned bitterly.

"The sword of demon lessons?" Harmony asked dumbly, furrowing her brow trying to make her brain dredge up anything meaningful.

"Oh, for sod's sake, it means he might kill me at any time!" Spike explained to her in irritation, then muttered under his breath, "Bloody stupid bint."

"Exactly!" Harmony answered brightly. "And why haven't you told him yet of what Buffy's doing? There was a time you would have loved to needle the bastard with that, instead you keep nicely silent for /Buffy's/ /sake/. Ugh! I mean, we have a deal with him, I think that means we should also be protected from psycho rapist slayers! We help and we don't get harmed, was the deal, right?" Spike grabbed his head, since when did the sodding cunt have so many valid points anyway? Harmony trudged on unperturbed, the two soulless, living corpses reaching their crypt home quickly. "Lots of harming done here, my back aches like hell. Granted, great orgasms, but they're not worth this aggravation. But you keep servicing the little bitch everything she wants - like a well-trained sex toy. You should change your name to Slave of Slayers; much more appropriate these days."

"Shut your bloody trap!" Spike hissed out at Harmony. "Just shut the bloody fuck up!"

The two reached the door, and Harmony folded her arms in front of her, looking smug, and said, "Truth hurts, doesn't it, Spikey?" Spike growled angrily, but Harmony continued, "And to think things could be so much better! You and I - and I suppose we can take the slave slut along - on the road, or in a nice town." Harmony stepped forward and draped herself around the male blonde. "You me, and the slave, all alone, all fucking, all the time. We could go to Vegas, with all the demons you killed from there, we could probably take over in no time! Then lots of sex, and you in charge of it, no more being left with a straining hardon ready to explode! No more servicing at any time, any place! You'd be with me, you know how good I am in the sack. All we'd have to do is convince Xander to let us go, that we wouldn't hurt a fly wherever we went, and that it would be more to his benefit than to keep us locked away here. It isn't as if they need our help or anything."

Spike had finally had enough and bashed his fist across the whining vampire's cheek. With a thud she went down to the ground. Instinctively she vamped out, spit out some blood and then looked up at Spike. "Exactly, just like that, Spike. You'd be the one dishing out the punishment, not some stupid slayer." Harmony licked her lips seductively.

Spike growled in frustration. He opened the door to his crypt and walked inside. Maxine came flying from the bed section of the crypt, and quickly opened one of the shopping bags that Spike had with him. "Where's the orange juice?" Maxine asked frantically, moving onto another bag to check that one out. Spike groaned gently, and a minute later Maxine came up for air - none of the bags contained the orange juice. "You didn't bring the orange juice? How could you forget that?! I need my orange juice in order to replenish my fluids, Master. How do you expect my body to replenish all the blood it lost without fluids?"

Spike growled in frustration, and Maxine flinched back a little. Spike spat out, "I'll punish you for that." Maxine swallowed nervously, and Harmony smiled. Good, Spike was getting angry already, soon he'd dump Buffy and get on with the proper program.


Li sat in his room, sulking and thinking over his misery. For a few days he had kept away from Dawn, and felt horrible being apart from her, really apart from her as in 'no longer a couple.' For the millionth time he wished he hadn't trusted Keith, wished he had kicked him out a long time ago. He had laughed at some of the guy's jokes at the expense of girls and women; how was he to know Keith's underlying sentiment was /not/ good humor, but actual disrespect.

"Li!" It was his mother, and she sounded mightily enraged. "Get down here!"

Li sighed, said that he was coming, and got off his bed. He arrived in the living room a minute later, and watched his mother pace back and forth like a caged and ready-to-explode tiger. "Sit down!" she hissed, and he did, wondering what he possibly could have done to deserve this, and coming up empty. Once sitting down he dared a look at his father, who looked at him with a whole mixture of emotions. One of them was disappointment, which flashed across his face on occasion as if it was a conditional one. Seeing that was a whole new level of pain for Li, having his father be disappointed with him dumped right on top of the pain of losing Dawn was devastating.

"I thought I taught you better than this!" Danica told him angry and disappointed.

"What are you talking about, mom?" Li asked, looking bewildered at events unfolding before him, knowing he was part of it, but feeling like he was outside of it.

"You've been extremely depressed in the past few days, and you refused to talk, refused to come out of your room, you barely ate your food," his mother lectured, pacing back and forth in front of him. "So, since you didn't tell what was going on, I went to investigate, and I found out. Now I understand why you won't talk!" Li looked pale, so incredibly wishing that his mother hadn't just said what she said. But Danica trudged onward, her arms animating her sentences, "Dawn performs a . . . favor on you that few women would think of giving so freely - and we will return to that later - and you repay her by blabbing it all over school to make yourself look good!? I wouldn't believe it first, but everyone I asked had the same story! No wonder Dawn broke up with you! And another . . ."

Once his mother had explained what she perceived had happened, an inner rage started to boil inside Li. Every bit of being polite to his parents, and other people went out the door when every tiny little piece of frustration, and pain built up in the last few days exploded outward. "/I/ BLABBED OVER /SCHOOL/!?" Li roared, instantly silencing his mother. "/I/ DID /NO/ SUCH THING! /KEITH/! /Keith/ that rat bastard, /HE/ blabbed over school! I /thought/ he was my friend, I confided in him, Sean and Farley, /explicitly/ told them it was /not/ to leave the room, and the GOD DAMNED BASTARD blabbed it over school, because /he/ /thought/ he was doing me a FAVOR!" Li's eyes were misty, a tear flowed down his right streak, and he breathed heavily after that outburst. Realizing what he had just done seeing his shocked mother and father, he meekly added, "Mom."

"I /knew/ it wasn't true!" his father cheered triumphantly, standing up off the couching, his right arm victoriously raised into the sky.

"Oh," his mother said subdued, and watched as Li sat back down, defeated his tears threatening to fall. Instantly the mother in her dismissed the accusations, and sat down next to him. She slung her arm around her son's shoulders, and said, "I'm sorry, I didn't have more faith in you." She held him a few more minutes, as Li broke down and cried. Then she asked, "Have you explained this to Dawn yet?"

"No, she doesn't want to see me anymore, and I can't blame her, I betrayed her trust, even /if/ I only told my friends," Li answered weakly.

"If you think she hasn't confided in her best friend or friends you're very wrong," Li's mother stated, as she got worked up. Li looked up at his mother somewhat astonished. "And what makes you think she doesn't want to see you anymore?" she asked.

"She told me herself," he answered dejected still.

His mother and father looked at him. "Oh, you poor, poor fool," Nobu said shaking his head back and forth. His mother looked amazed still, barely comprehending.

"So you give up, you avoid her?" Danica asked in disbelief. Li looked confused. "I take it she screamed it at you in frustration and anger, huh?" his mother asked him, and he nodded. "That doesn't mean you should just give /up/ and let her walk away! She'll probably scream that at you a few more times during your lifetime! She doesn't mean a damn word she said, Li! She's angry, afraid, frustrated, so she just blurted out the first thing that came to mind!"

"She's avoiding me at school," Li answered defeated.

"Of course she is," Nobu answered, shaking his head again. He moved over to the two and sat down in front of them on the table. "You haven't talked to her, called, or went by. She thinks you've abandoned her, /of/ /course/ she's upset and avoiding you."

Li still looked even more defeated. His mother rolled her eyes at him and said, "Li, you will go to her and apologize, explain the whole thing, grovel, and beg if necessary. She may not take you back, but you owe her at least the explanation. Further, you described her as 'fantastic', 'incredible' and 'beautiful', and from what I've seen - and heard - she might be exactly that. You really think that fantastic and awesome a girl, isn't capable of forgiving you? You buy some flowers, and apologize."

"If I know Dawn right," Li said slowly sitting up, "and I do, she'll hate me if I bring flowers or any gift as apology."

"Then don't bring the flowers, but don't give up the girl so easily, go over there, and explain and apologize. Try to get her back!" his mother told him with a bright smile.


The whole gang was present inside the Summers' household. Everybody was waiting impatiently for Anya and Xander to finally get to the point. Xander had just about finished telling them their idea of a mixed Human and Saiyan wedding, which came right after a speech about friendship and such, which had all of their hearts pounding in their throats, moved deeply to their cores - of course they were still desperate for the whole point of the thing. "And so in conclusion," Anya took over from Xander, who smiled at his fiancee, "Buffy, Dawn, and Tara, would you like to be my bridesmaids? You'd be joined by Faith if she accepts."

Dawn was elated, she bounced for joy on the couch. Tara smiled brightly and nodded happily. Even Buffy was happy, actually feeling for a moment that they cared for her. "But why not me?" Willow whimpered deeply saddened.

"Will, bestest bud of bestest buds," Xander said with a huge grin. "There is only one position left unfilled of course; be my best man . . ." Willow looked up at him with huge loving eyes. " . . . you can stay a woman of course, just see man as meaning pers- and I'll shut up now, before I make myself look even more stupid."

"I'd love to, Xan," Willow said with a giant grin, her eyes starting to tear up with emotion.

Dawn burst out in laughter, which stopped Willow's tears instantly. "Willow, you'd have to organize the bachelor party," she crowed out, her eyes dancing with a playfully cruel mirth.

The room went silent. "Uh, I would have to . . . I don't know . . ." Willow trailed off, making Xander's smile waver a little: Willow wasn't going to bail out, was she?

"She'll do it," Tara stated with confidence, her eyes twinkling.

"I will? Bu-but I don't know anything about a bachelor party?" Willow said starting to panic. "I don't know what guys like to do among themselves, I don't know about . . ."

"Strippers?" Tara prompted with a wide evil grin.

"Exactly!" Willow said gesturing, adding, "I would have to hire girls to take off their clothes, showing their young, nubile . . . hmm . . ."

"Yes, Willow, I know it's tough," Tara said with a huge grin, "but this is your best friend since childhood, you're simply going to have make the sacrifice. Just buck up, and do it."

With every other occupant in the room grinning, Willow's smile rapidly returned, saying, "You're right, Tara, I'm simply going to have to make this /huge/ sacrifice."

"Of course, as your supportive girlfriend," Tara continued as she grinned with anticipation, "if you say you need me, I will have no choice but to make the same sacrifice, supporting you in making this highly important undertaking for the most important event in your childhood friends' life."

"Oh, baby, forgive me?" Willow asked with a wide grin, and a guilty tone that sounded more comical than guilty - Willow obviously wasn't meant to be an actress. "I know it's tough, but I must request you make this sacrifice with me."

Willow and Tara looked up at Xander, and he said with a bright smile, "You're invited to the bachelor party, Tara."

"Yes!" Tara breathed out. Everybody laughed out loud, except Buffy, who just smiled broadly at the scene.

Dawn recovered first, and said, "Ok, dibs on preparing the bachelorette party!"

"NO!" Buffy yelled out in shock.

Even as Dawn added, "There will be a bachelorette party, right?"

"Of course," Anya said with a huge, predatory grin.

"No!" Buffy repeated, to Dawn's annoyance. "You will /not/ be preparing any bachelorette parties!"

"That leaves only you, Buffy," Anya said with a grin. That stopped Buffy cold. She looked up at the smiling Anya like a deer caught in headlights. She shook her head then, and Anya added, "And I /am/ expecting strippers, male ones, just in case." Buffy pleaded silently, and everyone looked with baited breath at the tug of wills.

Finally Buffy slumped her head down in capitulation, saying, "Fine."

"Yes!" Dawn exclaimed.

"You're not going!" Buffy ordered in big sister mode.

"Am so!"

"Are not!"

"Am so!"

"Are not!"

"Am /so/!"

Before Buffy got to start her coupe de grace the doorbell rang, startling everyone. Buffy got up out of her seat, and went to the door. She opened it, revealing Li. "Hello, Ms. Summers," he said, with a bouquet of flowers in his hands. "These are for you. May I talk to Dawn?"

The smile on Buffy's face was gone instantly, replaced by a deep scowl. She didn't take the flowers. Back in the living room, Dawn froze, and the smiles on the others disappeared instantly. Dawn got up first, followed by the other four. She folded her hands across her chest, and when she reached the stairs she told Buffy snidely, the snide aimed at Li, not her sister, "Tell the little bastard to go the hell away."

Dawn climbed the stairs with a mixture of emotions - anger and sadness the most predominant. "Dawn, please," Li started, the angry Buffy keeping him from stepping inside. "I want to talk to you, explain, apologize, please?"

"Get lost, asshole!" Dawn burst out in anger, and then ran up the stairs. Li looked dejected, and became aware of the dangerous gazes pointed toward him. Buffy's and Xander's the most. He swallowed a lump in his throat, and started to take a step back.

"Hold on, you too, Li," Tara suddenly, and surprisingly commanded. The group looked surprised as Tara quickly followed Dawn up the stairs. After a few moments of surprise, the gang realized it was too late to protest, so they returned to glaring at Li, wondering what Tara was up to.

"Is he gone yet?" Dawn asked, lying on her stomach on her bed, hugging the pillow, a few tears flowing from her eyes.

"No," Tara answered softly as she walked over and sat down on the bed next to Dawn. Dawn looked up at her friend, upset. "Do you really want him to just go?" Dawn looked up at her, face crunched up with determination. "Dawn, I know you don't really want to talk to him, it's a lot easier that way."

"The last few days he hasn't even tried . . ."

"Like you demanded," Tara said gently. "Agreed, not the brightest thing to do, to take a hysterical outburst as being dead serious . . . but he's young."

"Does that mean, I am too?" Dawn asked, not liking it coming from Tara, and biting her lower lip.

Tara smiled, nodding. She stroked Dawn's hair once, and said, "You can let him say his piece, for what you had with him, what you still feel for him. It could bring closure, always good." Dawn looked away. "Plus you know, not letting him speak, would make you look like a weak little girl not even able to talk to an ex. If he /is/ evil, that can't be good for him to think." Dawn bit harder on her lip for a few moments, before groaning in frustration. She grabbed a handkerchief from her night stand and dried her tears with it. "I'll let him speak, then I'm personally going to kick him out the window," Dawn said with anger and frustration.

"That's my girl," Tara said with a smile and left the room, followed by Dawn who had her arms folded in front of her.

They reached the stairs, and Tara went down. Dawn, still arms resolutely in front of her said icily, looking at Li waiting in the doorway, "You can come up and have your say, but that's it." Dawn turned around and went back to her room.

Nervously, Li came inside, holding the flowers out to Buffy. Buffy glared at him, but yanked the flowers from his hands. Then he slowly climbed the stairs, with daggers being stared into his back. Li and Tara passed each other halfway the stairs, and Tara gave him a quick smile. When she arrived at the bottom, Willow was the one to ask, "What was that about?"

Tara just shrugged, saying, "I have a hunch."

Li walked into Dawn's room, and saw her looking out the window, her back turned to him, and she had her hands folded across her torso, a very powerful and standoff pose. "Talk," she demanded.

"I'm sorry," Li said with a heavy voice. "I screwed up. I came here to say that, and to explain. I didn't tell just anyone, I told three friends. Farley, Sean, and Keith, you've met them." Dawn was about to speak, Li knew it, and he quickly talked on, not letting Dawn interrupt, "I told them to keep it a secret, they agreed. Keith broke his word, he went ahead and told people, the bastard thought that's what I wanted, that I wanted to /gain/ even more popularity by having my friends tell. I'm so sorry. I ended the friendship. I kicked his ass, and told him I'd put him in a hospital if he tried anything like that again."

Li saw Dawn look down, and he just knew Dawn was ready to break down, what for he didn't know. "Do you expect me to believe that?" Dawn bit out, just before she remembered their big blow up at school, Li's words finally penetrating her then fogged brain, 'In the locker room Jim asked, I attacked him, I was angry - I didn't say something smart . . .'

"It's the truth, I swear it. I never wanted this, Dawn. I love you," Li told her rapidly, extremely nervously. "If you say we're through now, I'll back off. But please, Dawn, forgive me. I'm sorry I didn't try to talk to you before today, but I took your outburst for real. My mom just pointed out to me I was being stupid, that I should have talked to you before, asked you to forgive me, not give us up without a fight. I realize it might be too late, but I'm fighting now." Li saw Dawn tremble, trembling with emotion over his words. "I don't know if you confided in someone, if you had the urge to share with someone you trusted, but I did. It won't happen again, no matter how much I'd like to, or how much I trust my friends, my lips will be sealed. Will you forgive me, Dawn? Because you are fantastic, and I don't want to lose you . . ."

"Shut up!" Dawn hissed out, silencing Li. She was still facing away from him, her eyes misty, remembering how she confided in Tara, how the blonde witch comforted her and alleviated concerns over the 'badness' of her act. How could she blame Li for doing the same thing? It was as if Tara would have betrayed her, she could scarcely imagine what that must feel like. Dawn remembered Keith. Keith! He had leered at her every chance he got. She hadn't said anything to Li about it, because Keith was Li's friend, and it hadn't gotten /too/ obtrusive . . . yet. Li's other friends had leered at her on occasion, but their leers had been, 'Damn you're hot, I wouldn't mind spending a night with you. Li's such a lucky dog,' and they had looked away ashamed when she had caught them. Keith's leers had been, different, if Dawn had to give the thoughts she saw reflecting in his eyes words, they would be, 'Hot bitch. I'd love to make you my personal slave.' That and the inflections in her boyfriend's voice made it obvious to Dawn, she had gotten to know Li well enough - she /knew/ he was telling the truth.

Dawn turned around and regarded Li, lowering her hands, the defensive pose gone. "I forgive you," she said with tears staining her eyes and cheeks. She loved Li, and she'd be damned if she let that creep Keith break the two of them up. She quickly traversed the space dividing her from her regained boyfriend, and flung her arms around his neck, hugging him close. As she placed her hand against his shoulder, crying in happiness and releasing pent up emotions, Li wrapped his arms around her as well, hugging her back. One hand was around the small of her back, the other, his left, held her at the back of her head. "I love you too," she whispered barely audible.

"Oh, thank you," Li whispered and gave Dawn a kiss on the top of her head, then tightening the embrace.


After a minute of hugging, and another minute of making out, the couple emerged at the top of the stairs, embracing each other. Dawn was smiling, and Tara smiled as well. Her hunch had paid off, there had just been no way the boy she had gotten to know would just break Dawn's trust with so little disregard. She wondered just /exactly/ how close to the truth her hunch was.

"You took him back!?" Buffy yelled out in disbelief.

"What spell did you use, bastard?" Willow burst out, missing the fact that she hadn't felt any magic coming from the room. Tara pulled her girlfriend back, and shook her head sternly. Xander calmly, but with a frown looked at the proceedings.

"Buffy, he didn't do it," Dawn said in explanation, as the two of them started down the stairs. "He confided in a friend, and that friend betrayed him, ok?"

The group stayed silent. Buffy gaped as the couple came down the stairs. "And you believed the bastard!?" Buffy exclaimed once again.

"Yes, I did, I happen to know the creep," Dawn replied calmly as she and Li reached the bottom of the stairs, getting angry at Buffy's inability to simply trust her in doing the right thing.

"Damn it, what kind of gullible fool are you!?" Buffy retorted, completely angry now. Li was scared looking into the glaring eyes of the slayer, Dawn returned the glare with equal intensity though.

Xander of all people, came to his rescue, "Hey, Li, let's go to the kitchen so the women can have their little spat." Before Li could answer he was gently pulled along.

Buffy and Dawn looked at the two men walk away for just a moment, before their anger resurfaced. "Listen, Buffy, I don't like your insinuation that I'm not capable of judging my boyfriend's sincerity."

"DAMN IT, DAWN!!!" Buffy yelled out angry. "I've got more experience, and I'm telling you, men can lie, and cheat, and manipulate like experts. They don't seem what they are, they'll say and do anything to get into your pants. You can't accept a little sob story just like that. He'll know . . ."

"Projecting much!" Dawn interrupted with a growl. "Unlike you, Buffy, I don't get the hots for the dead, and Li most certainly is not a manipulating bastard like Parker, let along a vampire whore addict like Riley!"

"How do you . . ." Buffy started.

Anya interrupted, hissing, "Xander does not cheat, lie or manipulate! Just because you choose the wrong guys, doesn't mean they are all wrong! And everyone knows about Parker. We kinda use the story whenever we need someone to pity you."

"Ah, I-I . . . w-wouldn't exactly s-say . . ." Tara started a little intimidated when two explosive Summers women now joined by an ex-vengeance demon were ready to go head to head, all three seething with indignation.

"SHUT UP!!" Buffy screamed in frustration. She was pissed enough, both Tara and Willow took a few steps back. "This is not about me! This is about you making a big mistake Dawn! Even if he's telling the truth, he betrayed your trust."

"And /I/ betrayed /his/ when I told Tara, and I did it before he did. So if we're going to throw mud, /he/ should be the one breaking up with /me/!" Dawn yelled back, her anger growing.

"We're women . . ." Anya started.

"Quiet, I'm . . ." Buffy interrupted.

Only to be interrupted by Anya in return, "I'm at /your/ side, stupid! We're women, Dawn, we're meant and allowed to share with other women. It's one of the most fundamental women's rights in the universe. If I were you, I'd put the little bastard in an eternal sleep, that only an ugly prince's kiss cam wake him from."

"And /that/ proves that from us three, I'm the only one with brains," Dawn concluded. Victory in one swoop! She stomped up the stairs leaving the two blondes seething.

"Aargh!" Buffy yelled out and stalked out the door.


Meanwhile in the kitchen, Xander gave Li a valuable piece of advice. "A tip, Li - when women go crazy: flee, you don't ever want them come to the point they decide we should be the referees . . . be ready to bolt out the door."

"Uh, ok," he replied nervously.

"So," Xander said as he casually poured two glasses of Coca Cola Light, this being a household of women, there was no normal cola. He put the bottle back in the fridge, handed the glass over and asked, "the dude who betrayed your trust, does he have a name?"

Li took a swallow, and looked at the smiling Xander, who drank down half the glass in one go. "Keith, Keith Adams, why?" Li asked nervously, drinking away a good portion of the rust remover.

"No real reason," Xander answered drinking away the last of the fluid. "Oh, Dawn's forgiven you, apparently you just made mistake. Fine, can happen, Dawn loves you, takes you back, so you'll hear nothing from me . . . Except this, hurt her again, I don't care if you were responsible or not, or whether you didn't mean to get her hurt - I will hurt you . . . so please, give me a reason." Li swallowed too fast, coughed deeply, sputtering out some of the cola, and then, once the fit was over, looked shocked at Xander, who just smiled at him.

Willow, Tara and Anya came into the kitchen, looking perturbed, and in Anya's case upset. "Well, that was a nice fight . . . what was it about again?" Willow asked with wide eyes.

"Dawn's upstairs," Tara said addressing Li. "She could use some comforting." Li blinked, quickly focusing on his girlfriend he bolted away from the crazy man in the kitchen. "What did you tell him?" Tara asked suspiciously as Li bounced a little too happily out of the room.

"Oh, nothing, he just swallowed his cola down the wrong pipe," Xander answered masked in false innocence. "Anya, come on. I have to run a little errant, and then we'll go home, work off some of the stress. " Xander wiggled his eyebrows once, and Anya giggled with anticipation. The two greeted Willow and Tara goodbye, and quickly left.

That left the two witches, and they looked at each other. "Well, it seems we're the chaperones for tonight," Willow started, and watched Tara smile at her.

"Let's go watch some tv. Perhaps we can pop in a DVD?" Tara suggested lightly. Willow smiled, and nodded. A few moments later the two girls sat in front of the tv, keeping the volume down so they could listen to any suspicious sounds coming from the couple upstairs - with the explosion just now, it wouldn't do to have the two go at it like bunnies.

Tara zapped past the channels, seeing if anything interesting was on. She zapped past the news, and Willow snapped, "Back, that seemed interesting."

The reporter on the screen, a complex geometric pattern behind her, said, "Today one Earthquake and a volcano erupted in this mysterious consecutive streak of activity from the Earth. The volcano erupted on the west coast of Canada two fifteen PM this afternoon, it was practically on the border with the US. The Earthquake occurred on the west coast of Africa, one and a half hour later. Science however /has/ come up with a partial answer: the position of the events fit a pattern in a still obscure area of science called Hyperdimensional Physics, and the two events were predicted, allowing anyone in either areas to be evacuated beforehand, much to the people's annoyance - until of course the events occurred. Critics have said that this does not validate Hyperdimensional physics because the scientists working on it were still unable to explain the positioning of the pattern of events, as well as /why/ it occurred in the first place . . ."

"Will, let me turn it off? I know you like physics and such, but my brain is going to hurt if I keep listening to this much longer," Tara complained. Willow blinked startled at Tara, and then smiled and nodded, giving the blonde a kiss on her nose.

"You look cute just before your head is going to hurt," Willow offered as explanation.

Tara still looked oddly at the blushing redhead. As she zapped away the tv she said, "Sometimes Willow . . ." The blonde shook her head and smiled.


Buffy burst into Spike's crypt. At first she had gone out to kill a few demons and vampires, but her objection to Slayer spirit taking a hold of her made her choose otherwise. "Spike!" she called out in anger and frustration, determined to get some release from him.

The blonde vampire was just busy fucking his sex slave. Maxine was forced against a wall, a silky rope around her neck, tied to a piece of metal sticking out the wall. The rope slowly constricted around her throat. Harmony was licking out Maxine's anus, pussy, and stimulating Spike's thrusting cock, but Spike didn't seem to be quite into it.

"Spike! Get off them!" Buffy ordered with supreme demand. Spike froze for a moment, then withdrew and turned to regard Buffy. "Get on your knees, bastard," Buffy ordered, looking forward to dominating the vampire once again.

Before Spike could obey however, Harmony was up and away from Maxine, and yelling, "You see, Spike! Ordering again! Now stand up to the bitch! You've let yourself be used enough!"

Both Spike and Buffy looked at Harmony, Spike contemplating the other vampire's words. There was a truth to it. "Spike! I'm not in the mood for your stupid bitch's yapping. Beat her up!"

"Damn it, Spike!" Harmony countered. "Stand up for yourself for once! If the slut would care about you, and return pleasure, I could get behind it! But you know as well as I do, all she does is abuse you!"

"I . . ." Spike started, getting a fist in his face, making him stagger back and vamp out.

"Quit this, bullshit, Spike! Get on your knees, as I ordered, quickly," Buffy ordered vehemently, then turned to Harmony. "As for you, bitch, if you don't shut up, I'll dust you."

"Spike, now she threatened to kill me! We have a deal with them, have we not! We haven't broken it! Come on, say something, call Xander, anything!" Harmony squealed out in anger and quite a bit fear.

Spike looked confused, the yapping that was now back in Buffy's court pissing him off. He shook his head, remembering what happened in the last few months: his practical enslaving by Buffy, the constant pining and stupid remarks by Harmony, the blonde vampire stepping up with constant criticism of his relationship with the slayer, her sexual manipulations to boot. In his mounting anger he realized the female vampire was right about Buffy, but wrong about herself. He was about to give up on the whole thing, not really wanting to see what Xander would do after he let loose, once Xander found out. "Spike!" Maxine squealed out, trying for breath, forgoing the obligatory 'master'. "I'm going to suffoc-c . . ."

Something snapped inside the bleach-blonde, male vampire, an ancient demonic rage and anger emerging. He whirled around, ripped the rope off of Maxine, and with the same movement tossed her across the crypt toward the exit. "OUT!!" Spike roared. Harmony and Buffy looked stunned, Maxine scrambled up and limped toward the door.

"Not you, her," Harmony said, pointing at Buffy.

"WHAT!?" Buffy questioned angrily as Maxine opened the door, not wanting to face the uncontrolled vampire inside.

"NO!! THE BLOODY LOT OF YOU, YOU STUPID CUNT!" Spike roared, his anger peaking. Harmony and Buffy both took an involuntary step back, even though Buffy could easily handle the raging vampire if she stopped to remember. "OUT I SAY!!" Spike added taking a menacing step forward.

"But Spike," Harmony started.

"OUT, ALL OF YOU, I'M BLOODY WELL DONE WITH YOUR YAPPING, AND YOUR WHINING, AND YOUR BEATINGS AND MANIPULATIONS. I'M DONE WITH IT!" Spike roared again, and then put his hands forward, bursting forth energy and a giant gust of wind. The female vampire and the slayer were launched off their feet, both flying neatly through the doorway and landing on the grass of the graveyard, making a tumble backward. Spike stalked forward to the door, "I'M THROUGH BEING YOUR BLOODY LAP DOG, YOU HEAR ME, BLITHERING BITCHES!? IN FACT I'M THROUGH WITH YOUR WHOLE BLOODY SPECIES!? I WILL GO /GAY/ BEFORE I EVER START ANYTHING WITH ANOTHER GOD-DAMNED WOMAN AGAIN!!" And then he slammed the door shut, leaving two half-naked and one fully clothed, dazed and confused women outside.

Buffy and Harmony still looked shocked at the closed doorframe. Harmony didn't seem to mind her semi nakedness when she got up from the floor in an angry mood. Maxine on the other hand, still in her slave outfit, desperately tried to cover herself up. Why she thought anyone alive who didn't know discretion would come into a graveyard at this time of night will forever remain a mystery.

Buffy got up as well, mostly in shock, Harmony's angry voice changed that quickly. "You bitch! This is all your fault!" the vampire yelled imperiously.

"/My/ fault!?" Buffy retorted, anger quickly boiling inside her, forcing her to clamp down on the thing she felt coiling inside her.

"Yes!" Harmony screamed out, extremely pissed. "/Your/ fault. If you hadn't used and abused him like that, he would never have done this! You crushed his self-esteem, made him feel worthless, you practically raped the bastard!"

"Listen, bitch!" Buffy yelled back, rage rapidly taking over. "Do you see me running in there forcing myself on him!? Don't think so! The little shit wanted it himself! . . . And why in the blazes do you care if you consider him a bastard." That last tidbit she rather suddenly realized.

"Well, duh, I had plans!" Harmony answered with annoyance, too angry and stupid to realize she was pissing off a very, very powerful slayer.

Buffy growled out, and lashed out her fist. It connected with the vampire's chin and sent her flying through the air until she crashed through a gravestone. "Fucking slut!" Buffy roared out, stalking toward the groaning vampire. "/You/ were the one manipulating him, and now you have the audacity to accuse /me/!"

"I was trying to make things better for him! And me," Harmony groaned out, pain lancing through her body. Slowly she got up, and whimpered in fear, "A vampire being a slayer's lapdog, do you have any idea how damaging that is to his reputation?"

Buffy took a few more steps toward Harmony, intent on killing her, the darkness inside screamed with joy, reaching upward. A single incessant need inside of her screamed out: kill, slay, destroy, butcher! Buffy stopped in her tracks, closing her eyes, willing the thing back down into the pit from whence it tried to escape; she was /not/ going to let it take over again. "You're not even worth expending the energy to kill," Buffy said, covering herself from scrutiny, and quickly turned around, walking away from the vampire and the vampire fetishist.

"M-mistress Harmony?" Maxine whimpered to the vampire. "I . . . uh . . ."

"Damn it!" Harmony cursed, thinking, *Oh, well, no lap dog Spike . . . guess I have to do this alone . . . then again . . .* Harmony eyed the willing sex slave, and with a grin she asked, "Still want to be mine, huh, slut? If not a male vampire, then a female one?" Harmony smiled predatorily, and lustfully at the girl - she was good at it after all. Maxine blushed, a clear answer. "What?" Harmony snapped.

"Y-yes, mistress," Maxine answered quickly, smiling at the blonde.

Harmony grinned, testing her sore chin, wincing but pleased it was already healing. "So . . . where do you live when you're not here?"


Later that night, on a rare occasion the whole gang was out patrolling, including Dawn and Li, only Anya was missing. Xander had been very displeased; he had been looking forward to spending the night with his fiancee when he had finished with his 'errand'. Dawn's pleading over the phone had broken through his resolve rather quickly. The girl had wanted to show Li what they did at night. Once a subdued Buffy had returned, and apologized - chalking part of the argument up to the thing inside her that she was starting to fear - it was all that Dawn could think of doing, wanting to show Li that the 'Scooby Gang' wasn't all about screaming and yelling at each other. So finally they had all relented, and now a beaming Dawn - with her arm hooked in Li's, her other hand gently holding the same upper arm - was walking along the others in the fifth graveyard they had graced that early night. Of course no vampire or demon had dared attack or even come out of hiding - most knew the group by now from the frequent information-gathering missions to Willy's - and although some were willing to try on one of them, taking on the whole group was considered so much committing suicide, even the most powerful and arrogant of the demon regulars of Sunnydale wouldn't come after them.

"Boring," Xander said under his breath, thinking of how he could be lying in Anya's arms and doing . . . well, whatever a man does to his fiancee in bed.

Buffy walked next to him, and she give his arm a gentle prod with her left elbow. She wanted to stop her worrying. The worrying was only for her of course; as the Slayer it was her job to protect her friends, not the other way around, even /if/ they all could more than handle themselves - and some were unquestionably better than her on her best day - as the Slayer it was her job to protect her friends, not the other way around. So she forced herself to be cheerful to the point of believing it herself, and said softly, "Buck up, Xan, Dawn and I have made up, Li's probably an ok guy if Tara said so. Just think of this as a nice night out on the town with your friends."

"Couldn't we have caught a movie then?" Xander whimpered at her, mindful of not letting Dawn hear who was walking behind them with her boyfriend, both seemed to be having the time of their lives.

The phone rang - Willow's cell phone to be precise, and she got it from her light coat and answered it. "Hi!" she exclaimed enthusiastically, but before she could say more, the one on the other end stopped her. "Uhuh . . . uhuh . . . okay . . . yeah . . . of course, we'll be ready." Willow hung up the phone with wide surprised eyes and the others looked at her questioningly. "That was Giles," she said a little dazed. "He's coming over with Angel and the others tomorrow . . . he didn't sound like it was a social call."

"That can't be good," Buffy commented slightly perturbed. She turned to regard Xander as the group trudged onward in the deserted graveyard, "could it?"

"I'm not going to worry myself sick if that's what you mean," Xander replied, actually giving her a smile. Buffy returned it.

The two of them, at the head of the little procession, passed a tree, and suddenly, a figure emerged from behind it. The gang halted their momentum, and the figure came into the light of the moon. It was male, wearing a cape and it smiled. Buffy gasped, saying, "Dracula." Apparently staking the bastard thrice hadn't been enough. Behind her the rest of the group gasped similarly after her pronouncement. Li looked dumbfounded at the count. Buffy could feel Xander's anger coming off him in waves, a growl emanating from his lips. Buffy winced in just a little sympathy; Dracula was going to feel pain the likes of which he probably couldn't even imagine.

Xander took a step forward, a twisted grin on his face. This thing that had managed to take over his mind by slipping in the back door of his doofus persona, was going to pay. Suddenly Dracula pointed a hand at Xander, and the Saiyan stopped in his tracks, eyes wide. "Xan?" Buffy asked, Dawn and Willow echoing the question a moment later.

Xander groaned, then grabbed his head. He stumbled forward, groaning and moaning. "Xander?" Buffy asked again, hearing Dracula chuckle with his lips closed as he kept his hand pointed at Xander.

"Get . . . aaah!" Xander exclaimed, stumbling a bit more. He caught himself, standing bent over but in balance, a growl emanating from the depths of his being. Then with a roar he stood straight, his hair turning golden and his golden ki flame emerging explosively. The energy sent the rest of the gang back a bit, hair whipping about.

"What the hell?" Li exclaimed in shocked surprise.

Dracula was so dead, Buffy thought . . . until Xander turned around to face them with a twisted evil grin. "What are your orders, dark master? Shall I kill them?" They were so dead, Buffy amended in her mind, hearing Dracula chuckle without opening his mouth.

Episode 44
The Return of Giles

Never a Good Thing

Shocking Theme: NEU! - Super 18

Last time on Buffy Z:

Buffy and Xander, at the head of the little procession, passed a tree, and suddenly, a figure emerged from behind it. The gang halted their momentum, and the figure came into the light of the moon. It was male, wearing a cape and it smiled. Buffy gasped, saying, "Dracula." Apparently staking the bastard thrice hadn't been enough. Behind her the rest of the group gasped similarly after her pronouncement. Li looked dumbfounded at the count. Buffy could feel Xander's anger coming off him in waves, a growl emanating from his lips. Buffy winced in just a little sympathy; Dracula was going to feel pain the likes of which he probably couldn't even imagine.

Xander took a step forward, a twisted grin on his face. This thing that had managed to take over his mind, slipping in the back door of his doofus persona, was going to pay. Suddenly Dracula pointed a hand at Xander, and the Saiyan stopped in his tracks, eyes wide. "Xan?" Buffy asked, Dawn and Willow echoing the question a moment later.

Xander groaned, then grabbed his head. He stumbled forward, groaning and moaning. "Xander?" Buffy asked again, hearing Dracula chuckle with his lips closed as he kept his hand pointed at Xander.

"Get . . . aaah!" Xander exclaimed, stumbling a bit more. He caught himself, standing bent over but in balance, a growl emanating from the depths of his being. Then with a roar he stood straight, his hair turning golden and his golden ki flame emerging explosively. The energy sent the rest of the gang back a bit, hair whipping about.

"What the hell?" Li exclaimed in shocked surprise.

Dracula was so dead, Buffy thought . . . until Xander turned around to face them with a twisted evil grin. "What are your orders, dark master? Shall I kill them?" They were so dead, Buffy amended in her mind, hearing Dracula chuckle without opening his mouth.

And now the conclusion:


Dracula's chuckling turned to a full out bellylaugh that made the gang's hairs stand on end. Buffy took another step back, looking at the possessed Xander. There was no way they could stand up to a Super Saiyan, least of all one that could still go to level 2 and 3 if he wanted to. They had to get through to him, get him out of the control, fastest way to do that would probably be to kill Dracula. Problem was, they had to get past Xander to get to the vampire. Dracula started talking then, grinning evilly, "Never had a taste for world conquest, always considered it to be suicide, but now I can do it easily through him. Once I figured out just exactly who he was, and that I had him under control last time . . ."

"Xander, snap out of it, I know you're too powerful to let that halfwit control you," Dawn said, stepping forward right next to her sister.

"Halfwit!?" Dracula questioned, angry at the insult.

"Yeah," Willow said, joining the two sisters. "Xander think back, you know who I am, remember how I broke the yellow crayon, and you covered for me? That was only an hour after Jesse made me drop all my books, you do remember Jesse, don't you?"

"Hurt them," Dracula commanded with an evil smirk.

Xander smirked, and with a short yell powered up rapidly, a small shockwave of energy bursting from him. It yanked his friends off their feet, made them sail through the air a few meters, and then crashed down upon the ground.

"This is bad," Tara muttered somewhat in pain, as she and the others slowly got up. Xander took a step forward, still smirking.

Buffy had an idea, if they couldn't defeat Xander, they probably could defeat Dracula, and she knew just how to distract the pompous egomaniac. "How can you still be alive? I staked you three times!" Buffy exclaimed as she got up.

"You stupid girl," Dracula started, fully according to plan. Then, however, something quite unexpected happened.

"Ooh, ooh, let me explain, Master," Xander said with a scary all 'happy to serve thee' face. Before Dracula could give or deny permission Xander continued, "You see, Buffy, you never staked the Master, you hardly even fought him." Buffy and the others looked surprised at Xander's revelation, so did Drac for that matter. "He can't really turn himself into gas, and stuff, just like Spike said - a few parlor tricks. He can cast illusions, that's what you fought, and staked. For example, the master isn't actually standing right next to me here," Xander said, and then his face suddenly turned vicious. He turned a quarter circle to his right, facing the tree Dracula had come out behind from, and pointed his open hand. "He's really standing right over there," he finished coldly and an energy blast left his hand at the same instant. There was a yell and a groan of pain as the energy blast connected with something invisible. Then Dracula disappeared, only for the same figure next to the tree to become visible and fly back and land painfully on the ground.

The Scooby Gang looked astonished for a moment, and then broke into smiles. Xander disappeared from his position with pure speed, appeared above the real Dracula and rammed his foot into the vampire's stomach. The demon screamed in pain as he doubled over, and Super Saiyan Xander said, "Can you say 'psyche'? Took me a little while to find ya, huh?"

Xander grabbed the count by his collar and lifted him up off the ground, grinning in satisfaction. "I'm going to make you /pay/, you piece of shit!" Dracula looked in fear at Xander; this was not supposed to happen. If he couldn't control Xander, the Saiyan was simply to kill the illusion and he could slip away unharmed - no danger, at least that was the theory. "NOBODY and NOTHING controls a Saiyan's mind; we're too damn /PROUD/!" Xander smashed his face into the vampire's head, making him reel back. Some blood flew through the air, landing on the ground, and poring now from the wound on Drac's face. "I'm going to enjoy killing you," Xander said, letting go with one arm and ramming it into the count's stomach hard enough to make him scream and break his ribs. Punctuating every word with a punch to the vampire's torso or head that made Dracula groan and scream out in pain, Xander growled, "/Last - time - you - took - me - only - because - you - took - my - other - personality, - my - FAKE - personality!/" Xander dropped the vampire to the ground then, making him groan in extreme pain as he landed, since his entire torso was reduced too an excruciatingly painful mush. "And that one didn't have any pride," Xander hissed out and pointed his hand down straight at Dracula's head. The groaning count looked up in fear. Xander grinned and said, "Time to die . . . for real." The energy blast that followed exploded Dracula's head, and a moment later the vampire's body turned to dust . . . there was /no/ gas ready to reconstitute.

The group looked at the spectacle with relief and happiness. "Damn it, Xander, for a moment there . . ." Willow breathed out with a big smile, letting the sentence hang.

"Uh, not to rain on your parade or anything Xan, but I /do/ remember a certain hyena boy," Buffy questioned with a big grin, glad she didn't have to try out her idea on how to get past a Super Saiyan.

Xander laughed, detransforming, and said, "Buffy, do you think if the hyena had me one hundred percent under control, a table would have knocked me out? If I hadn't been fighting that thing off and let myself go unconscious you wouldn't have stood a snowball's chance in hell."

"Oh," Buffy said a little perturbed.

"You know, Hyean's are matriarchal, the Alpha should have picked one of the females, but it chose me, because I am who I am," Xander added with an amused grin. "It couldn't afford /not/ to take me as the Alpha because I was /so/ vastly more powerful than the others.

"The only thing that ever had '/me/' under control was that spell at Halloween, and that was only because I was still a good guy while possessed, so I never so the need to fight it, and I just went with the flow," Xander said with a big smile. The others, except Willow and Li smiled back.

Willow's smile faltered suddenly, and she accused him with a deep frown, "Wait a minute, you said you didn't /remember/ anything from the hyena possession."

Xander's smile faltered, and turned to an embarrassed one, and as he furiously scratched the back of his head, he said, "Oh, yeah, I did, didn't I? I lied, heh, heh, thought it be easier for all of us that way." Both Buffy and Willow punched Xander, Willow in his gut, and Buffy in his arm. "Ow!" he exclaimed. "See, I was right."

"WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED HERE!?!" Li screamed out hysterically. Vampires and demons were one thing, flying with chi another, golden haired transformations were /way/ out there.

Dawn quickly went over to him, hugged him, and said, "I guess we have another round of explaining to do."


The next day, just before sunset, all of them were waiting inside Buffy's house, waiting for Giles, Angel, and co. Even Harmony, and Spike were present, under threat of death of course. Spike listened to the quick recap of last night. "So," he drawled, sitting in a chair at the high table, "You really killed the blighter this time? No coming back?" Harmony was standing next to him, and that was it, Spike had made clear with a look the other vampire would be touching him on punishment of a dusting.

"Yep," Xander confirmed.

"And you didn't get my ten quid first?" Spike asked disappointed, gaining a glare from all of them. He just shrugged.

"Now that I think about it, that whole, not having a deformed face thing when vamping out? That was part of the illusion?" Willow wondered out loud.

"Nope," Spike answered without thought. They all looked at him questioningly. "Oh, brother," Spike replied, sat up straight a little, and explained, "All right, it's like this. There are two types of vampires . . ." They all looked at him dumbfounded, he waved them away. "One of them is us, obviously. The other race has been banished from this world centuries ago. They're weak . . ."

The doorbell rang, and Dawn quickly went to it. She opened it and Angel rapidly came inside, his coat held up and over him so he wouldn't burn to a crisp by the slowly setting sun. She greeted him, and then Giles with the others behind him, enthusiastically letting them in. They came in just in time to hear the rest of Spike's explanation.

" . . . barely half as strong as us. They get a demon inside of themselves just as us, but they're alive and still have their souls, the demon corrupts it, and until they feed they can actually be turned back into humans with some magic," Spike explained calmly. "Their faces don't transform as much as ours, they've got a few more tricks up their sleeves, they can transform into bats for example. But overall they really are a bunch of pathetic halfwits, for one thing, if you kill one of them, you also kill all the vampires he or she sired, were sired by his or her children, and onward."

"So Dracula was one of them?" Tara asked with a question.

"No," Spike replied. "He was both. The story goes he was once like us, and how exactly I don't know, but somewhere down the line of his unlife, or perhaps even at the beginning of it, he also became one of them. He gained all the strengths of their species, but lost none of the strength of ours."

Wesley, with his arm around Faith piped up, "So Vlad the Impaler is dead, huh?"

"Yes, Vlad has been lying in his grave for the past few centuries," Angel answered with slight smile. "It's the one big flaw Bram Stoker made, and Drac didn't see fit to correct him when he wrote his book. Different Dracula. The vampire is over two thousand years old. Dracula, as in the Roman god of the underworld, the Roman devil. I don't know whether he was so bad in his days back then that they considered him bad enough to wear the name of the devil, or whether his name was given to the devil, if I get my hands on the bastard, I'm going to tear him limb from limb. I hate him, hated him when I was soulless, hate him even more now."

"You're too late, he's dust," Dawn told him with a big grin.

"He'll turn up, he always does, that slimy son of a bitch," Angel said vehemently.

"Nope, he's really dead, no coming back for him," Xander answered with a grin. He was sitting on the couch, his arm around Anya, mirroring Wesley's around Faith.

"How do you know? Any idea how tough he is to kill? It's like he's invincible or something, he just keeps reconstituting himself," Angel told Xander.

"Oh, pretty easy, it's just that nobody's killed him before," Xander answered with a wide superior grin. "Before all people managed to dust was an illusion he cast; and I made doubly sure I killed the actual vampire, not the illusion . . . Hi, guys, welcome."

The conversation about Drac over, the two groups greeted each other warmly, the Sunnydale crew getting up and shaking the other's hands. Once the greetings were over, everyone found a place. Fred and Gunn stood embracing each other with one arm leaning against the doorframe leading to the stairs. Wesley had sat down in a comfortable chair, and Faith had sat down in his lap. Cordelia had deposited herself next to Xander and Anya on the couch in front of the window. Willow and Tara had sat back down onto the stairs that were next to each other to the left of the coffee table, and actually belonged to the high table further into the living room. The Summers sisters were sitting in the second couch - the younger smiling a little nervously wondering how bad it could be that had Giles arrange this get-together. The older in turn was not looking happy at all: subdued, pained even. Easily seen if someone looked at her, but everyone's attentions was focused on Giles who was standing in the middle of the living room. Once he placed a laptop to everyone's surprise on the coffee table, he was ready to speak. Harmony was still standing next to Spike - the vampiress was obviously in a bad mood. That left Angel to his annoyance and astounding standing on the other side next to Spike. The blond grinned evilly at his sire, and said, "So, you never saved Buffy's life, huh? Droopy beat you to it every time, I heard." His eyes shone with evil amusement when the other vampire jerked his head to look at the blond in even greater annoyance.

"Well, now that I have all your attention, you probably all want to know why I gathered you all here?" Giles questioned with a serious expression, but his eyes showed just enough happiness to show he was glad to be back, even if it was under apparently bad circumstances. "There's a prophecy . . ." Giles started, interrupted by the groans of virtually all present. Giles smiled appreciatively, and continued once the groans died down, "it's rather obscure, but through near infinite research I've pinpointed its meaning to be here, and now, let me recite it." Giles opened the ancient book he'd been holding, and read aloud,

"From the burrow of fire they will arrive,

multitudes of them, ancient power,

the world shall fall, and none can stand in their way,

for the major shall lead them on,

and all will perish."

Giles reset his glasses and looked around the room. Xander was the one to speak up, saying, "The Hellmouth is a burrow now? These prophets are extremely desperate for new material, aren't they?" Giles raised an eyebrow, but Xander continued before, he could answer, "G-man, I'm tired of all these prophecies, hardly anyone of them every come true. Have you any idea just how much similar crap we've seen come our way in the past months? And how much of them turned out to be nothing? For the one who was true, another fifteen if not more are bogus."

Giles grinned, and said, "This." He bent over and opened the laptop, the computer turning itself on instantly. He motioned for Wesley and Faith to get up out of the chair and move to the other side. They did, and moments later they could watch the screen from the other side. With everyone silently waiting with anticipation to find out what Giles meant, the Watcher started up a program. Moments later there was a globe of the Earth on the screen and several dots appeared on strategic positions. "I think you recognize them," Giles said with a grim face. "They are the places of the Earth shaking events of the past few days," he added.

Angel figured something out, and said, "You're the one who got everyone to evacuate those last two sites."

"The Watcher's Council to be precise, but basically, yes," Giles explained to everyone, smiling without enjoyment. "The biggest problem the hyperdimensional physicists have, is explaining the sites positions, or rather the position of its focal point . . . I can." Giles pushed the space bar, and lines started crisscrossing into and through the globe, through the place of the planet's unrest. Most lines, and the shapes they formed, stopped on an imaginary sphere that was given a gentle highlight. The lines formed several shapes within the sphere that was smaller than the Earth, and cut through the planet. Most of the shapes were tetrahedrons, and all of them dissected in one center.

"Sunnydale, right here," Willow said, looking at the view on the screen.

"Actually, 1.6 miles that way," Giles corrected Willow mildly. "The Hellmouth, down the inch." He paused for dramatic effect, and then finished, "Someone or something has been preparing to open the Hellmouth from a remote position, and with the amount of power that's used in doing it - witnessed by the Earth's rumblings - it will open big. No nice small circle of energy like we've seen till now, whatever is coming through, will be very big and very powerful, will come en masse, or both."

Everyone in the room looked grim, and Spike replied for all, "Bloody hell."

Xander was the first to talk after that. "Ok, great, Giles, but why did you bring them along?" Xander asked somewhat perturbed. "You had them put everything on hold, call Faith in sick from school . . ."

Xander was interrupted by Angel's gasp. "I knew I forgot something," the souled vampire said, making everyone look at him. "Someone remind me to do that in morning." There were several groans in response.

Xander rolled his eyes in exasperation, then continued, ". . . and kept them from helping people who might need it; what for?"

"Prophecy, earthquakes, volcanos, giant, major super demon? I thought it prudent to make sure we had every last bit of power we might need here," Giles answered, somewhat confused.

Xander looked at him for just a moment, enrapturing everyone present. "Uh, hello, Super Saiyan 3 here," Xander said incredulously. "Capable of leveling a tenth of a continent with one blast, and having plenty energy left to fire many more of such blasts? Just how much /more/ power do you think we'll need? And who's going to provide it? The Slayers are strong, Giles, but neither can generate a significant amount of energy to make a difference against anything that can handle me at my max." The others looked somewhat dejected at that, and Giles, who had been smiling mostly at his return and everyone's attention, stopped smiling instantly. The Brit for once didn't have much to say. Xander sighed, and asked, "When?"

"Three hours from now the Hellmouth should open," Giles replied a lot less in charge.

Xander nodded, and said, "Good." He got up off the couch, and said, "Tara and Willow can get everything ready to close the damn thing. I'll take care of whatever 'major' is coming through. In the mean time; Faith, let's spar."

Faith got up quickly, and after giving her boyfriend an apologetic smile, followed Xander out. Buffy got up and put her hand on Giles, and said, smiling, "Don't worry, Giles. He didn't mean to put you on the spot."

"No, I did that quite by myself," he answered a little dejectedly. Willow, Tara, Fred and Gunn left together, up to the witches' room, because Fred wanted to see the witches in action. Dawn, Anya, and Wesley went to join Faith and Xander, and Giles and Buffy went to the kitchen by themselves.

"This is /so/ not fair," Harmony whined like a little child. "I join the forces good, and I get killed in the first real battle."

"You won't even have to throw a punch, you sheep," Cordelia told her former friend with a glare.

The vampiress shrank back, and defended herself feebly by complaining, "This isn't LA, you didn't say anything about not coming here or you'd kill me."

"Oh, shut up," Cordelia said in exasperation, and left the room to the kitchen in disgust.

Spike chuckled at the exchange, and turned to Angel. "Kind of reminds me of what you and Xander must have been like back in the day, all bickering and such, he always right, you always wrong, so you go put some gel in your hair, and being just in time to watch the boy save Buffy's life, yet again . . . how did that feel like, hm?"

Angel started a growl and suddenly bent over in Spike's face, smiled and said, "I got to be her first." Then he turned around and started to superiorly walk away.

"I got her more than once," Spike replied, and Angel stiffened. "You don't believe me, just use your nose, I'm pretty certain there's still some of her sent lingering around." Spike watched Angel struggle for control, smiling evilly. Harmony shrank back, afraid. Then Angel walked onward. Spike grinned and turned his head to regard Harmony, the vampiress shrank back even more.


Wesley, Anya and Dawn sat down on a bench near the control screen. Faith and Xander had gotten up upon one of the mats. The shield indicators were already red. "Saiyan versus Slayer," Wesley said with a grin, "This should be interesting."

"Not much to see other than Xander beating the crap out of your girlfriend," Dawn returned with a similar expression. Wesley looked at her and she elaborated, "Buffy hasn't yet made any leeway."

Xander went Super, and grinned at the shocked Faith. "Let's go," Xander said beckoning her with his fingers. "Show me how much you've improved."

Faith got her shock under control and nodded determined. She powered up. Her chi flame burned brightly, and she attacked. Super Saiyan Xander easily blocked the first punches, and Faith added more of her strength and speed in them. Xander lashed out and caught the Slayer across her jaw, making her stumble back, barely catching herself from falling over. "Faster!" Xander commanded.

Faith gave a yell and shot forward. Her hand lashed out with much greater speed and precision. Xander avoided them all, but the very few he blocked casually. The two warriors slowly rose in their air, Faith's feet were added to the deadly dance. She charged her energy while fighting Xander, and suddenly she charged a blast and fired it, yelling rapidly, "Galeck Gunn Fire!" Xander pitched his torso to the left and the energy wave harmlessly sailed past him, only to explode against the force field. Faith next punch was to Xander's stomach and he blocked it with his right palm. Faith followed up with a left hook with great speed, which was blocked by Xander merely raising his right hand and letting Faith's hand crash against the back of it.

"FASTER, DAMN IT!" Xander yelled and kicked Faith back with his left foot into her stomach. Faith growled, and attacked viciously. Kicks, and punches followed with almost unfathomable speed. The two warriors flew around the training area as they fought. Energy balls were launched, discs flung, but Xander avoided them all, or blocked them, and constantly he yelled, "FASTER! STRONGER! MORE! COME ON, FAITH!!"

After almost ten minutes, Xander grabbed one of her punches and twisted underneath it. The two were up in the air, and Xander continued his motion until he rammed his foot into her stomach from the side. He twisted his foot to her back, and kicked her there, making her yell out at the pain. Xander twisted onward her arm behind her back into a painful hold, and gave her an uppercut to her chin. He followed up rapidly with a knee to her stomach, and then rammed her head into that knee. Faith's body was twisted back at the impact, and Xander suddenly twisted around. Her head was down, but now he twisted her body onward. His right foot caught Faith in her ribs, and with a pain-filled cry she was hurtled down to the ground where she landed with anguish. Xander landed next to her, and powered down, returning to his black-haired self. "Better than Buffy, much better than Buffy, but not good enough," he said, looking down at Faith. The girl looked up at him, guiltily, as Xander spoke, "I know you're better than this, Faith. You're faster, more powerful, and more agile. You're holding back - why?"

Faith averted her face, then took Xander's offered hand, and let him pull her up. "Well," Xander prompted.

"I . . ." Faith tried to start, her eyes flickering to the watching Wesley, Anya and Dawn. Xander's eyes switched to the spectators for a moment as well.

"They got to you, didn't they?" Xander understood with disappointment. "You let them get to you." Faith let her head hang down. "Why? /Damn/ /it/! There's nothing wrong with fighting, nothing wrong with letting everything you've got out . . ."

"Yes, I know . . . and nothing wrong with enjoying the kill . . . that's not it," Faith interrupted, her eyes misting up. "Not all of them fully trust me yet, especially after the crisis with Tiffany," Faith continued, her voice desperate, almost pleading. "The only way to earn their trust and forgiveness is I'm a model citizen. So no enjoyment in fighting, no uncontrolled fighting, I'll be their idea of a perfect slayer. Please understand." Xander shook his head with annoyance. Faith took a step forward and placed her hand on his chest, begging his approval. "It's not a problem anyway, I'm more than powerful enough to handle any little thing, and we have you for the big ones," she added.

"What if I'm not around for the big one next time? Or there's more than one?" Xander asked her and felt his resolve to fight this issue until Faith had changed her mind slip away when he looked into her pleading eyes. What the hell was it with him and being defenseless against doe-eyed girls anyway? If any of the demons or gods ever found out, they'd send an army doe-eyed goddesses and he'd probably just melt on the spot. He sighed in defeat, not able to keep his anger up, much to Faith's relief. "You're going to get people killed with this attitude, you know," Xander said gently, refusing not to get that last shot in.

Faith looked pained, but the two walked off the mat and toward their friends. Xander slowed to behind her for a moment and whispered to himself, "Great, now I've got /two/ slayers who coulda but don't wanna. What did I do to deserve this?"

"So what was the conversation about?" Dawn asked curiously as the two reached her and the other two. Wesley seemed interested as well.

"Oh, nothing, just some advice on a few techniques," Xander answered, incredibly managing to only half lie.

"You were awesome," Wesley praised, and Faith managed to smile. Her boyfriend not realizing she'd been holding back for quite some time.

"Yeah, but that pesky Super Saiyan, huh?" she said indicating Xander.

"I need to ask you something, Faith," Anya interrupted before the Slayer in question could kiss her boyfriend. "I was planning on calling you today, but face to face is much better anyway. Would you like to be my bridesmaid along with Dawn, Tara, and Buffy?"

"Uh, yeah . . . yeah, I'd love to," Faith replied in the ambush then smiled, until the hammer fell.

"Great, you should be here a week from now," Anya answered handing Faith a card with the address to a shop where they sold fancy dresses, "I get to pick out dresses for all of you." Faith's face turned to one of panic when she realized her mistake. She turned to Xander with a horrified and pleading face.

He smiled evilly at her, saying, "I want you as a bridesmaid as well Faith, and you accepted, too late now."

She turned to Dawn then, but already knew she wasn't going to get another answer. "Yep, you accepted, now you get to spend the day in hell with the rest of us," Dawn answered the slayer with a big grin.

Anya looked confused for a moment, but quickly dismissed it and hugged Faith. "This is going to be great!" the ex-demon exclaimed with a wide grin, tightening the hug fiercely.


"So, what's going on with you, then?" Giles asked Buffy in the kitchen. The blonde sighed as she leaned back against the counter, watching her former watcher sip some tea. It had been nice staying quiet and just watching him make it, things felt like old times for that short while.

"Feeling much the same as you, I guess," Buffy answered subdued. Giles kept watching her, and she elaborated, "Obsolete, useless, unneeded . . ."

"Why?" Giles asked a little startled.

"They don't need me, none of them do, hell, most think they need to protect me, my sister included," Buffy replied gently, clamping down upon the tears threatening to break. "Willow and Tara are both stronger than I am, and Dawn is gaining on me, I can tell."

"Life, and friendship isn't all about strength, and power, Buffy," Giles answered gently. "They need you, or they wouldn't feel the need to protect you, however misplaced that need is."

"Doesn't seem like it," Buffy muttered weakly. Cordelia walked in, pissed about something, interrupting Buffy and Giles' heart to heart. A few moments later Angel came in as well, brooding, seemingly more so than usual.

"Can I talk to you, Buffy? Alone?" the vampire asked.

A minute later they were standing underneath the tree in the backyard. Buffy looked up into the night sky, admiring the stars for a moment. Angel accused, "You're sleeping with Spike? Why?"

For a moment Buffy felt herself go hollow with panic. Having no interest in talking about this with the /other/ vampire that had shared her bed, the void quickly filled up with rage. "What's it to you?" Buffy practically hissed. "And how do you know anyway?"

Angel took a step at the Buffy's vehemence, and answered, "I smelled him on you."

"Still?" she asked pissed, the void inside of her growing in strength by the moment.

"He's a soulless evil . . ." Angel started to berate Buffy in disbelief.

The Slayer's right hand snuck out faster than Angel could follow. She grabbed him by the throat and lifted him off the ground. Angel looked in eyes so filled with anger he got scared. He'd never known Buffy to have this kind of anger, least of all toward him. "I fuck whoever, or whatever I want to fuck, and least of all an ex-boyfriend and demon-animated corpse gets to tell me otherwise, got that?" she hissed out. Angel nodded, and Buffy put him down, shoving him away from her and into the tree.

"Fuck? You're not . . ." Angel said a little afraid and softly.

"Puhlease," Buffy told him and turned away from him toward the house. Angel put himself back in some semblance of control. "This stays between us," Buffy said, Angel unable to see the guilt on her face. "Promise me."

"I promise," Angel said, thinking that even though he couldn't reveal what Buffy was doing, he could point out to the others there was something wrong with the blonde Slayer.


They were in the kitchen a short time later. They being: Willow and Tara, Xander, Cordy, Angel, Giles, Dawn and Wesley. Gunn and Fred had quietly taken up a room together. Faith and Buffy were Anya's victims at the moment. Anya's description of talking about the bridesmaids' arrangements had even sounded too scary for Xander to contemplate staying around his fiancee for the moment.

While the others were doing some chit chat, and drinking some tea or sodas, Angel was contemplating how to break the subject of Buffy, without betraying the promise. "Buffy seems a little off," he tried. Xander sighed, Willow and Tara's heads went down, and Dawn groaned. "You know?" Angel asked surprised.

"Of course we know," Willow replied softly. "She's our best friend, of course we know she's not herself and wallowing in self pity over something or other."

"She's my sister. Why do you think we're so protective? We're trying to keep the cow as safe as we can," Dawn added smiling weakly, making Cordelia flinch for just a moment at the use of 'cow'. Ever since Pylea, the word had a less nice association. None of the Scooby Gang had talked about the Buffy subject with each other, but they were all doing the very same thing; like an organic net in perfect synergy.

"But what can you do?" Xander asked the Angel Team and Giles. Continuing, he explained, "Buffy won't talk about it, tries to hide it, be all sweet and nice, and never acknowledge there's something wrong. All attempts at trying to get her to talk about it, have failed - and forcing the issue would only make things worse."

"Perhaps you should be less protective," Giles answered with a frown. "We didn't really get far, but Buffy did say she felt useless and unneeded. Overprotected. Just let her make mistakes." Angel had figured out by now that the Scooby Gang did /not/ know about Buffy's sleeping with Spike, as he had assumed earlier, but the picture painted made him understand the difficulties.

Xander sighed deeply, "Yeah, basically in order to get her out of a mood that might get herself and other people killed, we're just going to have to let herself and other people get killed, or we'll protect her as best we can, and save her and other people when she's about to get her and them killed, but keep the danger around."

"You see our dilemma," Tara added with a weak smile.

"It's the problem with Summers women; all more stubborn than a mule," Cordelia summed up the hole thing for everyone.

Dawn folded her arms across her chest in annoyance, and bit out, "I'm standing right here."

"It's also one of their greatest assets," Wesley philosophized, making Dawn relax a bit and smile at him.


"KAMEHAMEHA!!!" Buffy screamed with anger and annoyance inside the training area. She had fled here to work off all her frustrations over the boring and endless talking that Anya had done with her and Faith, which mostly came down to a string of commands with some explanation sprinkled in between. The powerful beam of energy shot out form between Buffy's hands, but before it could get to anywhere it dissolved and disappeared. "DAMN IT! DAMN IT!! DAMN!!" Buffy raged out in frustration. Obviously it wasn't helping.

"Still can't do it, huh?" a voice asked. Buffy whirled around and watched Faith standing within the force field. She was smiling at her fellow slayer, and Buffy growled.

"Damn, Faith!" Buffy hissed, and lowered herself to the floor. "What the hell do you want?!"

Faith shrugged, "Safety from Anya?"

"That girl is insane," Buffy confirmed coolly. "I can't believe Xander can put up with her, let alone marry her." Outside Faith's field of vision Buffy softened a bit. Anya wasn't as bad as she always thought she was.

"Oh, I don't know," Faith replied casually. "I think the two are made for each other. She's just not made to interact well with me."

Buffy lowered herself to the floor and turned around, regarding Faith. Having nothing to say, the blonde decided to leave, stalking silently past her darker half.


At the time Giles had specified, the whole group - including the Angel Team - except the non-fighters were present near the highschool, which was half rebuilt, half still in ruins. Also exactly as Giles had specified the Hellmouth opened, all those with energy detection abilities felt the thing open like a lighthouse. Unlike what Giles had specified the Hellmouth closed almost immediately after. A minute later a rapid, slimy figure darted from the highschool. Xander looked at the others with a raised eyebrow and then sped after the thing. The others followed, with the slowest trailing behind. After passing several streets the demon darted into a spacious alley that gave access to the back of a string of houses. Xander grinned; this was the best place to strike. He sped up and saw the demon, which seemed to be covered in a deep, dark green ooze, look back with a panicked face. It relaxed a little when it saw him and the Slayers close on his heels. The demon reached a t-split with garages lining the top side. The demon panicked again and started toward the left, but Xander was too fast. With a grin the Saiyan pulled the demon around to face him, which made it smile evilly for a moment, and then its face turned to that of shocked confusion. "But . . ." it started. At that moment though, Xander's fist connected with its jaw and it was flung backward until it painfully crashed into the wall of one of the garages.

"This is it, huh? The major demon," Xander said, and shook his head. "Prophecies," he hissed and fired a small ball of ki. The demon's eyes were wide with shock of impending death. The ball slammed into its chest and penetrated its heart before dissipating. Lifeless, the demon sank to the ground.

Xander turned around and watched his friends arrive. He walked to them with a big grin, saying, "Well, mission accomplished. Once again; I hate prophecies." He took several steps to his friends, who smiled back at him. "Needling Giles is go . . ." Xander started, and then suddenly wobbled.

"Xander?" Buffy asked, as the Saiyan grabbed his forehead. He took a heavy step forward to regain his balance, but wobbled some more.

"Xander!?" Faith and Willow asked together, shocked. Then Xander sank to his knees like a sack of potatoes and keeled over.

"XANDER!" they all yelled in unison, scared to death.

Willow and Tara reached him first and examined him. "He's still alive," Tara announced in shock. "But unconscious." A shudder went through Xander's body.

"What happened?" Angel asked with shock as he looked at Buffy and Faith joining the other two girls next to Xander's prone body.

"Must have something to do with the thing's slime, or it was something he ate," Wesley said trying to lighten the mood a little with that last remark, taking charge of the situation. "Does anyone have something to safely gather it up? Like gloves and a test tube, or something?"

"At the Magic Box," Willow answered eyes misting up at the serious condition of her childhood friend.

"All right, keys, you've got some?" Wesley asked rapidly. Willow nodded, and Tara produced a key chain. With shaking hands she removed one. "Good, you take Xander back to the Summers house, I'll go get everything we need from the store to analyze that thing's goo, and gather it up safely . . ." At that statement the ex-watcher fell silent, looking at the demon corpse.

As Buff and Faith gently gathered Xander up, Tara said, "I'll cast a spell, will keep anyone who doesn't know it's there from seeing or touching it."


Four hours later
3 AM

Xander was lying on Willow and Tara's bed. He groaned on occasion. He twisted and turned regularly. Anya was sitting next to the bed, dipping Xander's sweating brow with a cold washcloth and making soothing sounds. Tears freely ran down her cheeks.

Faith, Dawn, Cordelia, Buffy and Tara were present in the room as well, while the others were researching elsewhere in the house. Fred and Willow on the science angle, Angel, Wesley, Harmony and Spike - both under threat of bodily harm - and Giles in books.

Willow then called from downstairs, saying she had found something. The group quickly left the room, reconvening in the living room. Anya stood close to the window, next to the couch on which Wesley and Fred sat. Faith joined them. Anya was hugging herself, tears slowly drying. Buffy went to sit in a chair. Dawn was already waiting desperately on the chair near the exit to the hall. Angel, Harmony and Spike entered the living room from the kitchen and went to sit or stand in their chosen places. Tara joined Willow who had found a central place to get everyone's attention. Cordelia leaned against a wall, distraught like everyone else.

Spike had placed himself back at the tall table, seething. Xander was out for the count - so easily killable right now - but instead of one slayer, there were two. Not to mention everyone else. Killing Xander and then the others one by one was out of the question. Giles was sitting at the far end of the same table, examining a book and his laptop intently.

Willow - her hands wrapped in protective plastic gloves - held up a vial with a clear liquid inside, and said, "This is the poisonous element in the demon's slime. It's part 'simple' chemistry, part mystical, and it's a very good thing none of us here - living or not - touched the stuff. If any one of us had gotten only a single drop of the demon's slime on our skins, we'd have been dead within a second, and the vampires dust." The others stayed silent, eyeing the vial with distrust and fear. Carefully she walked over to the table and placed it inside a rack; she was still going to need it to try and find a cure later.

While Willow put the vial away, Tara said insecurely, "So this could be the 'major demon' after all? J-just not in size but in killing potential."

"What about the army that would come through the Hellmouth?" Dawn asked, afraid they might be caught off guard if this wasn't it. Willow walked back to the middle.

"Cockroaches," Spike muttered, looking at the vial still. Everyone looked at him. "Wha?" he said regarding them. "Plenty of them must have scurried out from under or back under the ruins once the Hellmouth opened. They've conquered the world, and they're unstoppable; you could nuke the planet and they'd /still/ be around. That's the problem with prophecies; you can interpret them in a thousand, bloody, different ways, and you'll never know which one it is until it's been fulfilled, and even /then/ you're not certain."

"That's nice, what about curing Xander?" Anya blurted out fearfully.

"There's no cure," Willow answered solemnly. "I'll try to make one based on the poison, but . . . I don't think I can make one on time . . ."

"What about that pod?" Faith asked with a hopeful look.

Willow looked sadly at Faith, and explained, "Xander's been teaching me how the thing works at its base; it doesn't cure diseases, it only heals physical trauma. Xander's got no physical wounds, and one thing the pod does, is speed up a Saiyan's metabolism. It might help Xander, it might just spread the poison faster."

"Magic!" Cordelia exclaimed. "You can use magic to cure him, right?"

Willow shook her head with dejection, and said, "Remember what happened with Xander's love spell on you?" Cordelia's eyes widened. "Whether it is because magic was designed for human's and Xander isn't, or he's from another dimension, or both, Xander and magic don't mix very well."

Tara completed the thought, "A-again, it might c-cure him, or i-it c-c-could kill him." With so many people around, especially people she didn't really know, her old shyness returned somewhat.

"So . . . what can we do?" Gunn asked them, already anticipating the answer.

"Apart from me trying to find an antidote," Willow started, letting the sentence hang there for a few moments, "hope Xander makes it on his own."

"Oh, boy," sounded. Everyone looked over at the origin: Giles.

"Giles," Faith replied with a fearful edge to her voice. "I don't think I've ever heard you say, 'oh boy.'"

Giles got up and took a few steps forward. The look on his face made everyone more concerned. "I've made a slight error in my calculations," Giles said, taking off his glasses and started to furiously clean them. "The Hellmouth wasn't going to open four hours ago . . ." All the faces of the ones capable of detected energy widened in surprise.

[Play Shocking Theme]

"Let me guess, Giles, oh, say about . . . now?" Buffy stated with a sarcastic and panicked tone. Then there was a light that illuminated the Sunnydale sky, and the Summers' house windows, followed immediately by a vibration that went up everyone's spines via the ground. The cold tea in one cup rippled.

"Yeas," Giles answered fearfully, then there was another vibration, and then another before it stopped. Everyone looked around fearfully, wondering what it was.

Anya, being the closest to the window, slowly turned around, and saw it first. Her face went instantly pale - paler then death. Her right hand managed to point, but not higher than her middle. "B . . . b . . . b . . . b . . ." she said, and more she could not do. Her eyes were wide with fear and shock, and she stood rooted to the floor.

The others came into action, turning around when necessary, going to the window, and they looked at it in shock. "I-I'm g-g-gaining a new un-understa-standing of Anya's theory on b-bunnies," Tara muttered out in shock.

"More than that," Faith said, swallowing away a fearful lump in her throat, "I'm starting to agree with her."

There it was; the demon towered up over the houses. It was easily twice as tall as a two-story house, if not a three-story one. It wore a jacket, made from leather, and some form of pants underneath it, but they couldn't really see it, because that was obscured by the houses. Its eyes glowed an unholy red. Its long furry ears moved in different directions to pick up all traces of sound it could find - it was a bunny. A giant, white-furred, purely evil demon bunny. Instead of a pair of nice square teeth in front to chew vegetables, they were round, curved downward and ended in seeming impossibly small, and sharp points: they were built for the sole purpose of slicing through bone and flesh like hot knives through butter. It smiled, opened its mouth, showing several rows of razor-sharp, round, bone-crushing teeth. Its hands rose above the houses for a moment. Even from this distance, the claws were easily identifiable. It growled, and the heavy dull sound reverberated throughout Sunnydale. The glass in the Summers home vibrated in its frame, and it burned through the bones and bodies of everyone present, causing fear and in some cases terror to grip them.

Anya still only just stood there. " . . . b . . . b . . . b . . ."

Episode 45
Big Bunny

Really /Big/ Bunny

"I can't fight that!" Harmony whined in terror.

"You'll help fighting it, or you're dust," Buffy warned coldly. Harmony swallowed with difficulty and nodded.

The shock over, Wesley - the most strategically inclined and the most experienced leader - took charge with a well-honed reflex. "All right, the same basic strategy applies - the witches close the Hellmouth while we fight this thing, then they join us." The Angel Team nodded automatically, well aware of his surprising leadership abilities.

A few years ago nobody would have believed this could be the ex-watcher. Those who hadn't experienced it, most notably Buffy and Giles still didn't believe it. She was about to protest, but Tara's voice of reason and helpfully unfamiliarity with the old Wesley stopped her. "No time to argue, let's go," the witch said before the fight she saw brewing could erupt.

The Scooby Gang nodded in agreement, and all of them except Giles, Fred and Anya, who still stood mouth bobbing like a fish, left to fight a losing battle. When they had gone, Fred suggested, "How about we bring her up to her fiance? Might help them both if they're together."

Giles regarded Anya, who was still just uttering 'b's, and he nodded, "Good idea." He walked over to the prone Anya, and gently picked her up, in the classic way a groom carries his bride past the door. Then he carried her upstairs, Fred following him.


All nine of them arrived at the school almost a minute later. They landed smoothly behind a building to allow them a quick discussion before engaging the frighteningly large bunny demon. Except for Harmony; the vampire still didn't know how to fly, and she was dumped to the ground by Spike who had been carrying her.

"Wesley, we need to get it away from the populated areas," Buffy suggested, with an amiable tone. She hated that he was in charge, that nobody thought she could do a better job. She violently forced those feelings away - they were going into the fight of their lives, feelings like that could get her and others killed.

Wesley nodded, and pointed toward the abandoned industrial area. Once it was a thriving part of Sunnydale, but the economy had shifted to other businesses, and now it was the hangout of two bit demons and vampires alike. "Still abandoned?" he questioned quickly and softly.

"Yeah," Dawn answered swiftly.

With a mere look he told Willow and Tara to go. The witches nodded and took off, going into the school. "Let's go, annoy the thing, quick strike and out, so it'll follow us," Wesley ordered and the remaining nine shot at the giant.

"Don't die," Buffy told her sister softly. Dawn returned a quick smile.

Between the time of the monster's arrival and their attack now, not even two minutes had passed. The demon however, was already losing patience. It was waiting for his promised army to arrive, but it seemed he would have to do things on his own. With a roar it smashed its fist into a wall and it crumbled, luckily for the wallet of the town of Sunnydale it was part of the new section, but of the ruins that hadn't been brought down yet.

"Hey, pal, are you Christmas diner?" Cordelia screamed at the thing, her famous lashing tongue put to good use.

The monstrously large bunny slowly turned to regard the floating female and quirked what could be considered an eyebrow. Its legs were an odd mixture of human and Bunny, giving it the best of both worlds. "My, my," it said, its voice thundering through Cordelia's body, as well as the others, "a mortal that's learned to fly, how amusing."

"Let's see how amusing you consider this," Cordelia told it, and fired an energy ball at it. It exploded against the bunny's stomach, and it didn't even flinch. Multiple energy balls followed from all sides, including many taunts.

Harmony stood at the thing's massive foot encased in an equally large shoe, which reached to her middle. She threw a punch at it. "Ow," she said cradling her hand. The bunny didn't even know she was there. "This is ridiculous," she muttered to herself, running away from the foot so she wouldn't get squashed if the demon decided to move. "Why are they expecting me to fight this thing?" she whined.

The whole group of fighters under Wesley's lead started moving toward the abandoned section of Sunnydale, daring the demon on. It laughed. The powerful sound shook all of them to the bone, on top of that it was a horrendously evil laugh, and they were terrified. "You think I don't know you're trying to lead me away from here? You don't want me to hurt more of you foolish humans! Well, lead on I say, I'm in the mood for a fight, and whether I kill you first and then the rest of this ridiculous town, or the other way around, matters not to me."

"Damn it," Wesley muttered, knowing now the bunny demon wasn't as stupid as it looked. This meant things were going to be a lot more difficult. They blasted off, and the demon lifted in the air after them following.

"Bloody hell," Spike muttered seeing the massive bunny fly with the same ease they were. Obviously this thing had abilities comparable to their own.


Willow and Tara arrived near the Hellmouth, amongst the clean ruins of the Willow's highschool's library. The looked at the giant vortex standing on end, and the army on the other side marching toward them. "Damn, I'll never look at bunnies the same way again," Tara said looking at the multitude of bunnies. The Hellmouth itself was as big as the bunny demon outside and waiting to expel the army coming toward it. Apparently the giant demon's steps were a lot bigger than the little ones coming at them now and it took them longer to get to the entrance. Apart from the bunny army, with red glowing eyes all of them, there were Turok-Han, several other demons, some of them flying with wings. No multi-headed demon thought, it seemed with the destruction of the last one, most left the Hellmouth's vicinity, or there simply weren't anymore close by.

"Uhuh," Willow said, and then the two witches quickly unslung the backpacks they had brought along. From it they took the ingredients they needed. Tara quickly drew a decagram with blood, while Willow set up candles all around. Once finished the two witches placed themselves on either head point of the drawing. The two looked at each other, and Tara's eyes went blue, her energy flowing around her. Willow swallowed hard, she had been dreading this. Her eyes went black, and energy whipped around her. "Oh, god," Willow whispered, sucking in her breath feeling the soothing familiar energy flowing through her at these levels once again.

Tara held out a hand, and smiled. Willow took it, and her girlfriend soothed, "You can handle it, center yourself, temptation won't find you there." Willow nodded, and Tara looked at the Hellmouth, and watched the army arrive. "We have to stop them, we can't perform the spell with them trying to kill us," Tara said quickly. Willow looked over where Tara was watching and nodded. With Tara's right, and Willow's left hand still holding each other, they pointed their other hands at the Hellmouth, and started chanting Latin. A few moments later a shield shimmered into view, covering the Hellmouth. The white wall of energy gently flickered as the first wave of the demon army pounded on the shield in frustration. The witches stiffened a little as an entire army pounded their shield.

"We'll have to hurry," Willow told Tara, knowing the both of them couldn't hold the army back forever. Their shield would eventually collapse.

Tara nodded, and the two brought their hands together and raised them up and out, holding onto each other. The two started chanting, "Spiritus dominus. Boca inferno, close your gates . . ." Their chanting grew in strength, and so did the energy surrounding them. It quickly started twisting around them, forming an orb which whirled on the end of the circle they were standing in. It was blue and reddish in color.


They arrived at the abandoned industrial area. Old factories were everywhere. Most were no longer in use and the very few who were, weren't active at this time of day. The expanded Angel Team surrounded the giant bunny demon. "Well now," the demon thundered, the sound going through bone and marrow, "shall we begin?"

"We shall," Wesley stated resolutely, and the remaining six warriors charged energy balls. They fired them, and watched as they impacted and exploded. When the demon took a step back to steady itself under their combined assault they /knew/ they could defeat it if they worked together.

They started weaving in and out as Wesley had indicated. Dawn shot between its legs and fired an energy ball up at its groin, while Faith smashed a fist across its snout. Meanwhile Wesley and Cordelia fired energy blasts at the monster's front upper and lower legs. At the same time Spike and Angel attacked the back of the bunny's legs in a concentrated effort to topple the demon and take him out on the ground.

The attacks didn't do much other than annoy the giant demon who focused on the presently more dangerous threats to its well-being. Buffy per plan was testing how well destructo discs fared against the giant demon. The first one had - on account of the bunny underestimating it - cut a nice bloody gash across its palm. Now though it was actively and carefully neutralizing the cutting discs, which Buffy was throwing at him with great speed. They tried to slice its neck and head open, but the bunny was effectively avoiding the discs, or pushing them away, or destroying them.

At the same time Faith annoyed the hell out of the demon by hovering around his head too close for him to see without losing sight of Buffy's attacks. This allowed Gunn to sneak along the bunny's body until - out of sight - he reached what they had considered might be a weak spot. He emerged right above the hole of the bunny's giant floppy ear, and charged an energy ball. Suddenly the ear whipped down and slapped Gunn down with gargantuan force. The black man yelled in pain as he was catapulted down to the ground.

"Bad boy," the giant demon growled as it bashed aside Buffy halfheartedly. It was still hard enough to make her yell out with pain though. The monster pointed its snout down, and opened its mouth. A giant fountain of flame erupted from it and hurtled down. Faith, Wesley, and Cordelia quickly flew aside.

Gunn rapidly somersaulted backward and landed with his hand on the asphalt. He pushed himself onward missing the fire barely. He flew backward, placing his hands in front of him, and raising his chi. His eyes widened as he felt an unfamiliar pain where the fire started to burn him. His feet reached the ground and he jumped up, using his chi he shot upward like a rocket. He quickly rose through and above the fire, and looked down at it in shock. He felt as if his life force was burning.

"You felt it, didn't you?" the bunny asked him, as the others watched the fire melt the asphalt, reducing it to a thick paste. "It doesn't just consume your body, it also consumes your soul . . . or demon." It took advantage of their shock at that revelation. The bunny whirled around, and with one massive kick it sent both Spike and Angel flying. Both vampires groaned in pain at the impact and again as they crashed through the wall of an abandoned factory.

The demon shifted its body and stretched out its hand pointing it straight at Dawn, already forming a powerful ball of energy. The former key widened her eyes and raised a spherical shield around herself, but it was no match for the bunny's huge power. She was launched back and screamed as a lot of the energy penetrated and in places completely collapsed her shield. She crashed into a low building, straight through a raised edge of the roof, then impacting on that roof. The bunny's energy exploded, collapsing the building. It took Dawn all of her chi, skill and willpower to keep the explosion from killing her. Fear and adrenaline raced through body when she felt herself and building fall. Then, as the building crashed down upon her, it took everything she had to keep the rubble from crushing her, and to get out from under it so she wouldn't suffocate. She did not, however, have enough power to get herself completely free - with her upper torso and head in the clear a particular large piece of debris pinned her lower body and torso. She twisted and screamed in pain. Then, looking up, she slumped into unconsciousness.

"DAWN!!" Buffy screamed out in deep concern for her sister. It earned herself attention from the monster bunny. It turned to her, growling with blood thirst and amusement. Its eyes glowed, Slayer instinct made Buffy raise all her defenses. Her shield now glowed brightly. A moment later twin beams of red death lanced at her. She was forced back under the onslaught. Twice more the beams lashed out; Buffy screamed out in pain at every impact. Suddenly the demon shot forward and sent Buffy down to the ground in pain with a vicious elbow to her back.

The bunny continued with its assault. Faster then they had thought possible, the demon lashed out and grabbed Faith, its hand almost as big as her body, and squeezed. Faith screamed out in pain as the demon laughed. Seeing no other alternative, Faith charged energy balls, and let them explode. The bunny growled at the sharp pain, and let go in reflex. Of course the explosion rocked Faith herself as well, and she was dazed. Long enough for the bunny to bash her down, where its knee smashed into her. With a final massive left, Faith was launched to the ground, where the impact created a good size crater and she remained stunned.

The monstrously large demon quickly fired an energy ball at Cordelia and Wesley who had tried to sneak around to get a better angle of attack. The ball was powerful enough that the explosion shattered every window in a four block area, and sent the two tumbling about in pain. With a final elbow Gunn was flung away until he smashed into a building. "Pathetic," the giant bunny grinned, and slowly turned to Gunn as the others - those that were not unconscious - regained their composure.


Back in the Summers house, Anya had stopped muttering the letter 'b' a few minutes earlier. Blankly staring ahead, she sat on the bed in which Xander lay twisting and turning and groaning. Fred and Giles watched the proceedings with deep concern from the chairs standing in front of Anya. A light flared in the window, almost immediately followed by an explosion. Fred flinched at it. "This isn't good, is it?" she asked the watcher with large eyes.

"No, but it will be," Giles assured her, "no other outcome is acceptable." Fred nodded weakly.

Anya's eyelids fluttered. Then fluttered again. "She's waking up, I think." Giles nodded.

Indeed, slowly, tiny bit by tiny bit, Anya woke up. Her body relaxed a little first, then she blinked more animatedly. Finally she groaned, and raised her arm, feeling her forehead. "That was such a horrible nightm- . . ." Anya became aware of Giles and Fred looking at her with expectation, which meant she was not lying in bed. The sounds of groans, and the feeling of someone tossing about made her look back, and she saw Xander. "Oh, no, oh, god, please no . . . it's not a nightmare!" Anya exclaimed, tears of fear, concern and distraught flowed from her eyes.

"Anya?" Giles said gently.

Anya whirled around, saying hysterically, "We've got to get out of here . . . Where are the others?"

"They went to fight it," Fred replied, and Anya turned her head to look at her. The ex-demon's eyes widened and widened onward with shock and fear.

"No, they can't," Anya whispered with terror. She turned to look at Giles, saying, "They're not . . . oh, god!"

"What's you got riled up, isn't just that's a big bunny, is it, Anya," Giles asked gently, dreading the answer.

Anya looked around, fearfully for a moment, then looked back at the Watcher, more tears flowing. Weakly she shook her head, and said, "Remember I was with an Ascension?" Giles nodded, looking more intently at the blonde, started to get an inkling. Anya turned her head toward where the demon was fighting as if she could look straight through the wall, and whispered, "Lohesh."

"Didn't Lohesh have wings?" Giles whispered.

"The hybrid, this one doesn't need wings to fly," Anya muttered, still trying to look through the wall. "Oh, my god, it's all coming back to me," she said weakly, tears coming with greater volume. "He did it in minutes, not hours."


Anyanka, Saint Patron of Scorned Women watched her next victim trudge onward. She was in a village, and the sheep farmer had brought his sheep to market. The village was in a green plain, green from the grass. She was just about to perform the punishment, the man's wife, who had summoned Anyanka earlier, had demanded when it happened. The village was located at the foot of a rocky, steep mountain, on which stood a castle. Day turned to night, and interrupted the vengeance demon. Anyanka looked up and watched in shock as pitch black clouds formed overhead. They whirled like a fluid, like ink black smoke. They circled at the same time, expanding, the castle the center. Lightning flashed down almost continuously, and the ground started shaking. A cone of energy erupted above the castle then, arcs of energy jumping in them. A laughter that deepened and grew in power became audible, and then the cone was being filled by a rapidly enlarging figure. Big floppy ears emerged above the castle, followed by a vicious head with huge teeth. The newly formed demon roared out with satisfaction, and with a small exertion of its life force the castle crumbled, stone flung outward. The remains rumbled down the steep mountain side, along with figures running for their lives. No humans, they hadn't survived, but several of the sturdier demons in the no longer wizard's employ ran in fear.

"MY SUBJECTS!" the demon stated with a booming voice, filled with evil amusement. It laughed then, looked down, and opened its mouth. From on high a massive flame came shooting down. Anyanka's eyes widened in even greater shock and started running, her demon guise easily visible, but nobody paid her any heed - only the flame of onrushing death mattered.

She ran, and realized she would never be able to make it. Just as the fire was about to consume her, she gathered her wits about and teleported away. To her shock, she did not find herself halfway across the world, she found herself sitting on a taller roof in the very same village. Looking around she saw the people being consumed. One of them, a male, looked straight at her from the ground, a pleading look on his face, not minding her demon visage. His hand stretched out to her in the vain hope she could grab it and pull him to safety. The fire rushed through the village the moment it hit the ground, and so it consumed the man. He screamed in eternal pain, his skin liquified, and then vaporized as the flames engulfed the man. His clean bones were visible, and Anyanka - to her shock - could even see the man's soul. A energetic see-through representation of the man she had just seen burned to death was there, enveloping his skeleton like living flesh and skin . . . and then the soul was consumed as well. The soul screamed in even greater pain than the flesh had, as blue fire engulfed it and reduced it to nothing. It left only the man's bones, but they too were vaporized before they could even hit the ground. The horrible screams of the people and their spirits dying was so horrific, even Anyanka was moved to the deepest depths of her still present, but imprisoned soul.

About five sixth of the village was reduced to flames with that one attack. The bunny roared out in laughter, pointed his hands and fired two energy balls in extreme overkill - one would have been more than enough. In fact, eventually the fires would have worked their destructive force on that part of the village as well. The balls of raw energy zipped across the distance between the giant demon and the part of the village that had remained standing. The moment the balls impacted on the ground they exploded - obliterating the remainder of the village in one go, and some of that which was on fire. "What power!" the demon called out in jubilation, "with this, no one can beat me! I will rule this world!"

Anyanka shook herself from her shock as she noticed the flames burning the house she was sitting on rapidly. Soon the flames would reach her. She tried her teleportation again, and failed - the energy of the demon blanketing the village was too much for her meager abilities to overcome. She spotted a place where the fire had done its job, and had extinguished when it had no more fuel to burn. Taking careful aim, she jumped, screaming out. Once standing there, pausing to gather her wits, she came to the shocking revelation that she felt her spirit tingling. The proximity to the flames had its effect on her even now.

Carefully she started maneuvering, trying to get away from the place. The giant bunny jumped from the mountain and came hurtling down, straight to her. Anyanka froze in fear, crying, whimpering, begging softly to her demon pimp D'Hoffryn. The bunny landed, it hadn't even seen her, its feet mere meters on either side of her. The impact with the ground rattled Anyanka even as she was unable to hold her balance and dropped to the floor. She cried out, terror gripping every part of her being, trying teleportation again and failing. She summoned up all her power, magical abilities, and the wish and directed it at the huge monster of a bunny as it casually took several steps forward and ripped the roof off of a house. Inside were people, who had been higher up in buildings. They hadn't perished yet, but soon would be as the flames and demon encroached upon them. They screamed out now, as Anyanka felt her power simply bounce off the demon's life force as if it was worth nothing. Anyanka watched in horrific fascination as the demon scooped up three humans and tossed them into its mouth. It snapped closed, the twin razor sharp slicers of death tore through the bodies like they were tissue paper. It flung its head up, the parts of the bodies that had been outside its mouth were flung upward. It chewed and swallowed, then flung its head back and opened its mouth. One torso, no legs, but a still an alive woman screamed as it dropped into the giant maw, alongside her child's and husband's legs. The mouth snapped shut again, ending the screams - at least of that particular human. Anyanka cried, in fear, not of concern or empathy. The bunny could eat her just as easily as it did those humans.

Unexpectedly from over a ridge demons appeared. Multitudes of them, an entire army.

"Well, look, at, that!" the bunny stated with a huge grin. "My old allies and minions have come to betray me." It took several steps toward the army, not afraid in the least. "You are far too late," it bellowed and roared out in laughter, the sound going through Anyanka's body, making her cry out in fear even more.

"WE WON'T BE YOUR FOOD AND SLAVES!" one demon roared, and then ordered, "FIRE!!"

The army of demons fired everything they had. From fireballs to energy blasts, from magical spells to spears and arrows. Tens of thousands of projectiles, and the Lohesh demon did nothing but spread its arms and took them all to the chest. It laughed, the sound reverberating through everything in the vicinity, and it took a few steps closer to the ridge. The demons stopped firing, and looked at their superior in shock - it didn't even have a scratch. The bunny opened his mouth again, and it spewed more fire. A large part of the army was engulfed in flames in one go, they screamed as they died the same way the humans had. The demon then stretch out an arm and casually grabbed up a handful of demons and tossed them into his mouth, noisily and messily chewing them up and eating them. "Mmmh, not quite as good as humans, but tasty," it grinned, and laughed some more.


"How can it be killed?" Giles asked rapidly, hope flaring in his heart. They were about to get victory tossed in their laps.

"Killed?" Anya asked confused and terrified.

"How was it stopped?" Giles added quickly. "I've never read anything about a giant bunny rabbit laying waste to the world, so how was it killed?"

"It wasn't killed, it can't be killed," Anya answered, and explained onward.


The demon army had been shocked at how ineffective their attacks had been. The demons had come from all over the country and beyond. At first helping out a crazy old coot of a wizard trying to attain what he called 'Ascension' had been a barrel of laughs . . . until they found out he was succeeding, until they found out exactly what 'Ascension' meant and what he was going to turn into. When they realized the wizard's chosen demon, and that his Ascension would reduce them to food or at best slaves they had decided to fight back. Too bad it was too late, by then the wizard had gained too much power, and he was irrevocably headed for Ascension. So, they figured, they had to defeat the ascended form of the wizard, which meant that they needed whole armies. Once they had explained to every other demon they could find near and far from the castle, most had agreed to help out, so they could continue to be the top of the food chain. They had never expected the ridiculous ease with which the Ascended demon would take their combined attacks, but they had planned for the eventuality that their combined strength wouldn't be enough. That time had now arrived.

They went into retreat, and several moments later twelve of the most powerful magic using demons opened up a giant dimensional gateway to a seriously bad dimension. The goal: to go through it, and lure the ascended demon through. Then, once on the other side, they would lead him to another big demon, undoubtedly whatever they could find would be no match for the super demon they were facing, but it would stall their former master enough so they could get back through and seal the gateway . . . then hope the demon had no way to open its own dimensional gateway.

They gateway was open now, and the demons fled through it, with fear gripping their hearts. "YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET AWAY THAT EASY!!" the bunny roared out, as it stepped up onto the ledge with ease, ready to charge forward. So far so good.

The demons however, had not counted on one thing. A certain vengeance demoness, who was now crying and screaming in fear sitting defeated in the destroyed village. "D'HOFFRYN! HELP! HELP ME, D'HOFFRYN!!" Anyanka screamed out it fear, crying out heavy tears.

Finally her boss, the green-skinned classical goat-like demon D'Hoffryn appeared with a flash of light. "Damn it, Anyanka! Are you trying to make me look bad!? Crying!? This better be good!" he scalded. The fearful Anyanka pointed. Her newly arrived pimp turned around and his eyes widened in shock. He staggered back in fear, hissing softly, "Lohesh, the killer of spirits, a pure one! How!?" D'Hoffryn looked around and finally took in the scene of the destroyed village, and back again at the massive demon charging forward into the dimensional gateway. D'Hoffryn looked up at the castle and noticed the last disappearing wisps of the black clouds, "An Ascension . . . you're forgiven, Anyanka."

Once the pure demon and virtually all of the army of demons had disappeared through the gateway, D'Hoffryn wasted no time. He pointed a hand at the gateway, and powerfully chanted magical word after magical word. The gateway fluttered, shuddered, and then collapsed in on itself. The demons left on this side screamed out in fury, as their comrades were trapped on the other side with an impossible to beat monster bunny. "Let's get out of here," D'Hoffryn said quickly, seeing the demons searching for the cause of the collapse. "And hope Lohesh doesn't know a way back, and if it does, it never finds us," he said, helping the terrified Anyanka up, and teleported them both away.


"You can't kill it, it's far too powerful, it'll shrug off whatever is thrown at it!" Anya exclaimed in fearful desperation, having gotten up and holding onto Giles' collar to get the point across. "They won't stand a chance, they'll be slaughtered like animals." Fred and Giles looked at the fearful Anya with mounting dread, starting to see the hopelessness of the situation. "There's only one person here, who /might/ stand a chance against that thing!" Anya added with wide eyes. She slumped, and turned around, looking at the bedridden Xander, still struggling, and tossing around, groaning as he battled the poison in his system.


The shield the witches had placed in the Hellmouth shattered, and the demons started filing through. The ritual the two of them were doing was reaching its apex. The entire candles caught aflame - candle as well as fuse - melting instantly in three foot flames. The flames were pulled into the orb of magical energy surrounding Tara and Willow. It lit the sphere with yellow light from the inside. The first demon reached the couple, screeching with anticipation it plunged its hand into the whirling energy orb. The magical inner fire immediately latched on, followed the arm out, and a moment later the small bunny demon's arm disappeared, vaporized by a powerful flame. It it screamed in pain, looking in horror at his loss. The other demons quickly backed off from the energy encased witches.

The witches turned around then, side to side, one set of arms slung around their backs. Their chanting picked up in for the demons a frightening pitch and heavy drone, ready to reach the finish line. Tara's left, and Willow's right hand pointed toward the dimensional gateway. Chest to chest, their arms were stretched out, touching each other, joining together. Energy started crackling around the arms. The energy flowed around and strengthened the other and slowly moved forward toward their hands. " . . . close," the witches finished their chanting and a powerful beam of energy shot from their hands. It lanced out over the demons, and penetrated the red colored wormhole.

The demons looked at it in dreaded fascination, and then suddenly the beam stopped. It punched against something invisible it seemed, stayed there for a few seconds and then the Hellmouth groaned. The ground started shaking, the Hellmouth's energies became more violent by the moment. Suddenly, when the wind reached such velocities it picked the smaller demons up as if they weighed nothing - Willow and Tara protected by their energy orb - the Hellmouth shuddered. Immediately after it suddenly pulled up, making its opening point to the sky again. Most demons were pulled along, some were shredded. The Hellmouth fluttered again, as it shrank just a little . . . and then it contracted rapidly, and pulled itself back down, disappearing completely. Only a few demons were left on this plain, and they were quickly finished off by the witches.

"Let's go help the others," Willow said resolutely. Tara nodded and they were off.


Spike cried out in pain as the giant bunny smashed its fist on him. The fist was as big as he was and everything in his body hurt. The fact that Spike didn't fly back was only because the demonic bunny held him in place with the other hand. The demon threw Spike down to the ground then, straight down. The impact broke several of Spike's bones, his chi not enough to protect him. Like with all of them, his clothes were torn by now, bruises and cuts littered his body. The monster laughed as it showed one of its long claw nails, and whispered ominously - which was still loud enough for everyone to hear, "Vampire; death by decapitation."

The demon was about to add deed to word, but Faith smashed into its stomach. Wesley, Buffy, Gunn and Angel followed suit. Cordelia fired energy balls from a short distance, but the monster didn't even flinch at the impacts. Spike in the meantime got himself out of the way as the bunny was preoccupied with his compatriots in arms. Buffy and Faith backed off a little and both charged destructo discs - they had seemed to be the most effective. They threw one each. The bunny roared its energy flaring, and sent the others tumbling back, then grabbed both discs. "Not working anymore," it hissed, showing the discs. He closed his fists around them, there was a muffled sound, and then he opened his hands, revealing nothing. It also showed the earlier cut had already healed, leaving a scar. Buffy and Faith were taken aback, but quickly threw their remaining discs. The demon grabbed one, blew the other away with the beams from his eyes, and then fired the same beams at the Slayers. They managed to raise their shields in time, but even they didn't protect them fully from the enormous amount of power the giant bunny generated. They were flung to the asphalt down below, which they only barely avoided crashing into, landing on their feet instead.

The bunny quickly fired a blast to Cordelia, while it grinned in amusement. It hadn't had a proper fight in ages, he was going to enjoy this as long as it lasted. The seer quickly shot back and to her right, avoiding the ball of death, and watched as it exploded destructively where she stood moments before.

Gunn attacked, shooting forward from his position as fast as he could, directly behind the demon, intending to kick the thing's neck with all he had, to see how well that part of the creature's anatomy could handle punishment. Instantly the demon turned around and its right hand shot out. Gunn's eyes widened and he exclaimed in shock, but he was too slow. Instantly he was in the demon's hands, and it squeezed. Gunn screamed out in pain as he felt bones crack and flesh tear. "You're going to be a tasty little treat," the demon said with a wide grin. Before Gunn knew what was happening he was tossed forward, and the demon's snout opened wide. He screamed out one last death defying howl, before the jaws snapped closed. The bunny's teeth worked exactly as designed: they sliced through Gunn's body so easily it was almost as if he wasn't even there. Gunn's lower legs stuck out of the mouth, and were now tumbling down to the ground, as was his head.

As the bunny chewed tastefully, making approving sounds, the Slayers and their friends watched in shock as Gunn's head - still gurgling and for six agonizing seconds still very much aware - fell. The head landed on the asphalt with a dull crack, and bounced up. With the second landing there was another crack and Gunn's head split open, spilling out his brains, then it lay still.

"Gunn!" Cordelia howled, tears flowing from her eyes.

There was a swallowing sound. "Yum," came the comment. "I haven't had Human in millennia, still as tasty as ever. "

"GUNN!!" Faith screamed out from where she stood, pain and guilt screaming through her mind, Xander's words coming back to her. 'What if I'm not around for the big one next time? Or there's more than one?' 'You're going to get people killed with this attitude, you know.' She screamed out in horror and rage, her chi flame burning intensely white, and she shot forward with a murderous gleam in her eyes, directed at the overgrown bunny.

Next to her Buffy had watched the horrific event unfolding, she wasn't as personally involved with the black man as Faith had been, but it still had been an ally and friend that had been brutally cut down. A cold anger simmered at the bottom of her stomach, and the black mass latched onto it. The abyss shot upward, and engulfed Buffy whole. With an inhuman growl her chi flame burned with almost the same intensity as Faith's and she followed her junior with everything she had.

The Slayers were incredible. They wove in an out. Twisted underneath the demon's hands and feet, while their punches and kicks smashed across its entire body. The back of its legs, the front of them, torso arms, and legs. Not that it did much other than annoy the demon. Faith went for one of its eyes, but just before she could land a punch a red beam shot out from it. It impacted upon her while she was unprotected, and the energy seared into her. She screamed out in pain and was launched backward. She crashed into Spike and Angelus' old abandoned factory hideout, and it promptly collapsed on top of her.

Buffy landed an uppercut on the demon's chin, her eyes twisted in an inhuman predatory look. The demon actually took a step back from her, as it exclaimed, "Argh, annoying insects." Faith shot out from the collapsed building like a bullet, now knowing going for the eyes was out of the question, so she chose another weak spot. She crashed into the demon's crotch, hoping it was of the right gender, it was. The bunny roared in pain, and grabbed its balls, but it did not go down. As it staggered back, both slayers started firing giant energy balls rapidly after another. They impacted and exploded with enormous power. The demon, still imbalanced staggered back under the onslaught.

As Buffy continued, Faith placed her hands on her left sighed and a powerfully crackling ball of energy formed. "GALECK G- . . ." Faith started.

"THAT'S IT!!" the Lohesh demon growled out, the sound sending chills through the girls and their friends down below. The demon opened its mouth and its soul consuming fire shot out. Faith and Buffy rapidly moved out of the way, causing Faith's charging Galeck Gun to evaporate, and the shock of the close call to snap Buffy out of her consumed state. She quickly clamped down on the darkness and stuffed it back down. The fire streaked along the sky and was quickly extinguished. "You little bitches are GOING TO PAY FOR THAT!!"

Faith attacked again, with the same intensity. As did Buffy, but less intensely. The others looked at the fight with incredulity. They had never seen either Slayer fight with such intensity, and more incredibly the demon hardly seemed to notice. It shot several energy blasts down, missing the Slayers, but obliterating two buildings with them. One headed straight for Wesley. Faith zipped past and pulled him to safety just before the blast would have killed him, now it only destroyed pavement and cracked some walls.

The demon gave as good as it got. The three combatants were in the air circling each other. It did not hit them as often as they hit it, but superior strength made up for inferior quantity, all getting about the same damage. It was sadly not enough damage to even phase the demon, but it was more then enough damage to do daze the Slayers, and even injure them. The demon was already pissed off at them attacking his balls though, and was growing more angry by the minutes. His superior outbursts of earlier were gone, only the sound of teeth grinding against teeth in frustration came from the behemoth.

The demon stopped its fighting for a moment and growled in satisfaction, looking straight at Wesley standing in front of a destroyed building. He pointed his hand and charged a massive ball of red, purple and blue energy, easily the size of a human being. Faith and Buffy halted, Faith looked with mounting fear at Wesley, and the massive blast that was pointed at him. "I knew it, you're little spiritual and pheromonal connection could only mean one thing," the demon stated with amusement, and made the blast grow a little more for good measure. "He can run, he can fly, but this here thingy will follow him every which way, and its explosive power makes it so he can't escape the blast." Faith looked stricken with fear and indecision. "Choose, my sweet," the bunny said with a sickening grin, making the ball grow another foot in diameter, "not even you can survive this - try to save him and die, or continue to fight me - uselessly - and he dies."

"DON'T DO IT, FAITH!!" Wesley screamed up to his girlfriend with all he had. "LET ME DIE, YOU MUST DESTROY THIS THING!"

Faith looked back at the bunny, who grinned, making the thing look even more demonic than it already was. "Decide," it told her, and fired the ball. Faith hesitated for an instant, screamed out in anguish and then raced down. The demon laughed, turning to Buffy who screamed out a negative, both at Faith's decision and the demon's evil deeds.

"I can't beat this thing alone, Faith!" Buffy cried out in despair.

Faith sped to Lohesh's energy ball with everything she had, feeling its power. She pushed against it, but it did not veer of course. She fired an energy blast into it, but it just absorbed her power. All of this happened in under one second. She blasted forward then, passing the ball. "Faith, don't!!" Wesley yelled, but his girlfriend didn't listen. She turned around and landed just in front of him, the energy ball crashing against her outstretched hands in the same instant. She roared her defiance, only one option: lead the energy away. If it exploded right here right now, then Wesley was dead anyway. She sank to her knees, the ball then engulfed her, changing course along with her almost directly down. Wesley screamed out in pain, as he watched Faith, her back against the ground, be consumed by the energy, dissolving in the glare. Then the energy exploded, but Faith's sacrifice and alterations were just enough. There was a brief but powerful pillar of energy, going straight up, and then it was gone, leaving only a round hole the size of the energy ball in the ground.

"NOOO!" Wesley wailed out, futilely searching for his girlfriend's life force, but there was nothing. He sank to his knees in defeat, tears streaming down from his eyes. There was a low rumble and suddenly lava bubbled up in the hole, and instinctively Wesley scampered back from the deadly substance and the heat radiating from it. The lava didn't come spurting up and over the edges uncontrollably. It bubbled at ground level, spilling over only a little bit, and as it cooled it slowly hardened, sealing the hole back up.

"That leaves just you, bitch," the demon told the blonde slayer with an evil grin. "The others are nothing to me, not that you are, but at least you can keep me from hitting you for a short while. Hold your own just a little bit." Buffy looked at the massive demon, tears streaming from her eyes. "I've never eaten a Slayer before, I wonder how tasty you are, and whether your little line ends when I consume your spirit," it growled in anticipation, grinning evilly.

Down below a teary Angel got up. "Bollocks," Spike said close by, getting up painfully. "Perhaps Harm had it right after all, and we're gonna die here."

"No," Angel whispered. "We'll help Buffy, and beat this thing. One friend and one daughter sacrificed themselves for the world, we won't fail them, and if you dare run away, so help me god, I'll torture you to death, slowly."

"My, my, some of Angelus is still in you after all then," Spike needled, grinning at him, and then looked back at the demon. "What the hell, I'm gonna die someday, might as well be in the biggest fight of my life." Up in the air, Buffy resumed her attacks on a laughing demon bunny.

A few ways off, Cordelia reached Wesley and hugged him close, tears streaming from her eyes as well. "Not her too," she sobbed, the losses of close friends mounting to inconceivable levels. "How are we going to beat this thing? We haven't even soiled its clothes, we need Xander."

"I know," Wesley said slowly getting up, as he struggled to get his sobs over the death of his girlfriend under control. He couldn't fight and sob at the same time, after all.

Episode 46
Two Brave Witches Attack

The Unleashing of the Kamehameha!

Willow and Tara Battle Theme: Slayers Next - Megumi Hayashibara - Give A Reason (Remix)


Tara and Willow arrived near the battlefield. They were just in time to watch Faith spectacularly die. "Faith! Oh, no!" Tara exclaimed with grief and dread. After several seconds she said misty-eyed, "I can't sense her anymore - she's . . . dead."

Willow didn't like Faith particularly much, but it was a shock to see the powerful Slayer die. She also realized something else; "I can't sense Gunn, I can't see him either . . ."

Tara's tear-stained face just gained more tears. "I-I c-can," she cried lightly, and pointed. Willow's eyes widened in shock when she saw the vague outline of two lower legs, and a few ways off the crushed remains of a black-skinned head.

"Oh, god," Willow whispered and then hugged her girlfriend close for both their benefit.


Buffy's punches landed, but they had no effect. The leather-clad giant bunny smiled at Buffy's pitiful efforts. Spike and Angel joined the Slayer. Their basic strategy: don't get hit. They flew in circles, and figure eights all to avoid the devastating blows from the giant bunny demon. At first the bunny ignored them, focusing totally on the Slayer. He fired several blasts with a big evil grin, and Buffy avoided them or deflected them aside with everything she had. She fired her own balls of energy, and the demon laughed. "Without your darker sister to add her power, you're nothing, nothing at all," the bunny growled evilly, and landed a devastating punch on Buffy, sending her streaking to the ground. With all her might she kept herself from crashing, and shot back up to battle the flying demon.

Angel's energy attacks had as little effect as Spike's. The massive blast that Buffy sent to the demon during their attacks did more, but nothing that would make a difference. Angel felt guilt and pain racing through his body as he hopelessly battled the enormous monster. Gunn just died, his foster daughter Faith just died - he had failed to protect them, failed to keep them safe. At once, it made him a more effective fighter, as well as a less effective fighter. The raging adrenaline made him stronger, but the distraction limited his abilities.

As he flew around the demon, it was finally annoyed enough. With lightning speed the bunny smashed his elbow around; since Angel was pre-occupied he took the elbow full on. He was sent rocketing away in pain, until he crashed into the pavement, leaving a small crater. The giant demon quickly whirled around and put his claws to good use. Unable to avoid all the nails, Spike was cut across his stomach. The blood flowed rapidly from the big wound. Luckily Spike had managed to back up enough, or he'd been torn apart. He however was not able to avoid the followup rushing elbow to his face that broke a bone and damaged the others. He shot to the ground with a pain-filled roar.

Angel smashed his foot in the back of the monster's head at the same time as Buffy punched her fist against the bunny's knee. The enormous demon didn't even flinch at the vamped-out vampire's attack, but it growled in frustration and a little pain caused by Buffy's well-aimed punch.

Buffy fought onward with the desperation born from near defeat. She threw an uppercut which the bunny avoided, followed up with an energy blast that was sent up in the atmosphere. The demon retaliated with a kick that Buffy narrowly avoided. Blocking attacks from something so much bigger, and more powerful was useless, at most one could counter and use your opponent's power against him which was in turn much more difficult when an opponent was so fundamentally different and bigger than you yourself was.

Buffy was going to try anyway. The bunny fired an energy blast even as Angel and Spike fired their attacks at the back of the demon. Cordelia and Wesley rejoined the fight, even though they couldn't hurt the monster bunny. Their energy attacks joined the vampires'. When the giant's energy blast reached Buffy she put her hands forward and put them inside. She screamed out in pain as she managed to let the energy envelope her. She was doing something wrong, she knew, because it wasn't supposed to feel like she was being cooked alive. Finally she succeeded in redirecting the energy back to her hands, marveling at the power the bunny wielded with such casualness. With a scream of defiance she hurled the energy back at the big bunny.

The blast crashed into the huge demon and exploded along with several energy blasts of the others. The smoke cleared, but Buffy was already on the attack. "Annoying pests," the bunny grumbled, having sustained no damage, not even its clothes were dirty. With a roar that tore through the warriors for light every being, the bunny powered up, sending out a powerful whitish shockwave that sent everyone flying away from it, holding on with their chi for dear life. Dark pink and purple discharges sizzled through the bunny's chi flame, until it settled, and the flame gently faded from few.

In the distance, the first rays of the sun peeked over the horizon, rapidly lighting up the town. Spike growled in frustration and pain at the rising sun. Angel was disentangling himself from some rubble in which he had crashed. "Bloody hell!" Spike cursed, he didn't fancy waiting underground for a giant bunny to finish him off, but he had no choice. He quickly scanned the scarred landscape for the nearest sewer entrance, and then ran to it once he found it. He easily lifted the heavy lid and started climbing down.

"Coward!" Angel hissed at his childe.

"Sodding fool!" Spike returned with a grimace. "We live, we might help them after the sun sets, but if you think burning to dust is a better way to help - go right ahead, Peaches, I won't stop you."

Angel looked at the quickly rising sun, and started to feel himself smoke, hating the fact that Spike was right. He gave his friends who were struggling to get up from broken rubble one last guilty look, and then joined Spike down the sewer, where the two bumped into Harmony. "Did you win?" the female vampire asked hopefully. The scowling and enraged faces told her they hadn't.

Meanwhile a roughed up Cordelia - bruises, and cuts all over, worse so were her clothes - managed to disentangle herself, and ask the nearby Buffy, "Can you do that again? Keep firing its own blasts back against him?"

Buffy shook her head, "I'm doing something wrong, it's something Xander only recently started teaching me. I got as much damage doing that as if it just hit me. Besides, it can just decide to stop firing at me."

Cordelia grimaced, "How do we beat this thing? What would Xander do? I wish he was here."


"We have to help them," Tara decided, watching the two vampires go into the sewers away from the sun, which the bunny picked up on as well.

"That's right, you pathetic vampires," the bunny laughed heartily, "go scurry away underground, fear the sun. I'll tear this whole town apart and unearth you later."

"How?" Willow asked fearfully, seeing the demon's monstrous size and power. "I think it's just playing with them, we can't generate the power quick enough, especially not if we have to avoid its attacks constantly."

"We'll have to pre-power several spells, teleportation spell definitely," Tara answered thinking things over.

Willow's eyes widened, and then she smiled. "I get it," Willow nodded in understanding her eyes turning black as Tara's turned blue, their energy fields growing, and Tara mumbling a masking spell for the two of them.

"We'll have to stay on the ground," Tara observed trembling with nervousness before they continued preparing spells.

Willow nodded, supplying the explanation showing Tara she understood, "In flight he'll have us in no time, we'll keep to the rubble and buildings."

"The third of our power rule - out the door," Tara added, in between pre-powering another spell with Willow.

Not contemplating any other outcome but a good one, the redhead nodded, confirming, "No magic for a week after this."


The massive bunny landed on the ground with a vibration. Grinning, it casually walked toward Buffy. Buffy had already sent Cordelia away, which she had gladly done. Buffy attacked - her body battered, and bruised, her clothes torn, she was quickly reaching the point where she would be spent.

A punch was blocked, a kick was parried. Buffy backed off and fired several energy blasts at the demon, who bashed all but one aside. That last one exploded against his face and did nothing to it. The demon attacked, throwing a punch that Buffy avoided. The second one coming from the other hand, she did not though, and she was flung off to her left, an energy blast sent after her. Buffy was unable to avoid it, and it exploded on her. She was launched onward, with pain lancing her every fiber. The bunny appeared above her, made a fist with its right claw and bashed Buffy down. A moment later there was another new crater where Buffy had landed. Weakly the slayer got up, and wobbled to her feet.

Fighting off the tears threatening to spill from her eyes, Buffy attacked in desperation again. She needed Faith, she knew. Alone this thing was just too much, with two slayers they might just have stood a chance, but not like this. Buff was not about to give up though, she had things to prove for one thing. Buffy smashed her fists rapidly in the much bigger bunny's chin. The demon took a step back, and then opened its mouth. Buffy quickly went to the left, avoiding the fire that came out a moment later. It was heading toward the still unconscious Dawn, and so Buffy fired an energy ball on an intercept course. Several meters before Dawn would have been incinerated, the ball of energy and the soul-destroying fire collided, and the ball exploded. The resulting shockwave consumed the fire, keeping Dawn safe.

With lightning speed the bunny lashed out with its right hand. Buffy - being preoccupied with saving Dawn - was too late to react. The fist collided, pain going through her body. She was flung backward, but the bunny grabbed her. He pulled her back and smashed her onto his giant knee. Then it followed up with an index finger to Buffy's stomach, the sharp nail cutting her open, making her scream. The bunny was sadistic, and instead of just running Buffy through - killing her, it took its sweet leisure time. Buffy realized it was over, she had used up almost everything on her last attacks and trying to stay alive, she hardly had anything left. She started crying, fearing for her life, and feeling the pain of failing to protect her friends. They would die after her. The demon licked where Humans would have lips, drooling in anticipation. He was about to engulf Buffy and chew her tastefully when . . .

[Start Willow and Tara Battle Theme]

"Let's hope we get lucky, and this works," Tara whispered preparing looking intently at the giant bunny preparing to eat Buffy.

"And if it does, that we get a normal rat, not a giant one," Willow answered timidly, hardly believing they were going to take on the giant monster.

Then holding each other around the waist, and pointing their remaining hands, they chanted together, "Goddes Hecate, work thy will, before thee make the unclean thing crawl!" A giant magical transformation beam was launched from the witches two joined hands, hurtling straight for the demon.

The bunny's eyes widened, and dropped his prey unceremoniously. As Buffy fell to the ground, the demon twisted around and lashed out its arm. He was not able to sense the ones who cast it, but the beam he could feel. The back of its left hand connected with the start of the beam and bashed up into the sky. "Spell casters," the demon growled angrily. "I hate spell casters." Then it laughed, as it looked at the stunned witches. "Slayer, I'm letting you watch as I kill your friends first," the demon grinned.

"No," Buffy commented weakly.

The bunny fired an energy blast that connected with the two witches, who were obliterated with a mighty explosion. Some of their blood and gore splashed against the walls of a building. Buffy looked horrified. "AAH!!" the bunny screamed out in pain. Buffy looked up and saw a giant anvil on the bunny's head squashing the ears down. With a frustrated growl the bunny took the anvil from its head, and looked at it. "Where . . .?" As the demon crumpled the anvil between his hands it looked up, then down, then turned around looking for the source. Then the demon screamed again, and arched its back. An angry deep purple twisting drilling beam was drilling in the demon's back. With a growl it turned around and squatted away the beam, looking dumbfounded at the source. The two witches looked startled and then quickly ran behind the building they had come from around of. "An illusion," the bunny guessed correctly about the blood and gore now no longer marring the building, "did I mention I /HATE/ spell casters?"

The demon suddenly grabbed its throat and started gurgling. On the other side of the same building stood Tara and Willow, their energy whirling and their eyes glowing. Their hands were outstretched, slowly squeezing the demon's throat shut. The bunny roared in frustration, and a little fear, then got a grip, and fired a ball of energy. The witches stretched out their other hands. Tara's eyes glowed brighter, and Willow's shimmered with power. They mumbled and the powerful ball of energy shrunk and then was absorbed by their shield. The bunny coughed and wheezed. As it was forced to its knees, it saw an opening. With a roar it made a double-handed fist and rammed it on the street. A crater formed, and the resulting shaking of the street put Tara and Willow off balance, their choking spell going away.

With a grimace the bunny fired its fire at them. The witches' eyes widened, and grabbed each other close. A blue spiral enveloped them and it and they disappeared into the ground. "What?" the bunny muttered. With Cordelia, Buffy, and Wesley watching with hope the witches could pull it off, Tara and Willow emerged in the same blue spiral behind the demonic bunny.

A giant ball of energy formed between their hands and they fired it. The demon turned around quickly, placing both its hands on the ball of energy that had grown to become the size of its torso. With an annoyed roar it threw its hands up, sending the ball out into outer space. "You little bitches!" it hissed.

"We're witches!" Willow threw at him, before they ran back behind the building. The demon quickly ran over and looked around the corner. No witches, but a small ball of energy hung there, and exploded in its face, and then a powder formed around him. The pepper instantly made him sneeze several times. Then it took a few fast steps forward and looked along the other side. No witches to be seen. They had already circled almost the entire building in a dead run, much to their three friends amazement. Willow and Tara now looked at the giant ass, and started firing small, but powerful balls of crackling energy at it.

The demon yelped at every impact. Eight in all managed to hit it, before it turned around and fired red beams from its eyes, too late though, because Willow and Tara once again disappeared in a blue swirl, leaving two new molten holes in the asphalt just behind where they stood. The demon growled, and when he noticed things rapidly growing darker he looked up, muttering, "Huh?" He looked on in amazement as dark thunder clouds formed overhead. The first lightning strike flashed down, hitting the demon directly in the snout. "Aah!" it yelled, raising its power into a shield, and raising its hands to cradle its aching nose. More lightning flashed down, one after another, and his shield buckled and shook with everyone. After rubbing his nose for a few moments it roared, "That's it!!" It sent his power upward, the massive amount of energy quickly dispelled the thunderstorm, once again revealing blue-grey sky, and a three quarters of the way risen sun.

Looking around, the demon walked back to the most destroyed area, trying to find where Willow and Tara were hiding. Once back, there was a big rumble. "Now what?" the demon questioned with irritation, looking around. With wide eyes it saw the rubble of a destroyed building lift and rise. A few moments later there was golem made from rock and concrete, which stood as tall as the bunny. The bunny looked astonished as the second giant came rushing at him, and smacked a piece of debris that went for a fist across its chin. The bunny staggered back at the impact, even as the fist shattered to pieces. The golem charged the bunny, landing an elbow in its gut. The bunny doubled over for a moment, and then growled. Its eyes glowed red, and the golem didn't have the speed necessary to avoid it. The red beams sliced into the magically created monster, and quickly reduced it to dust.


"Damn, still barely a scratch," Tara muttered in frustration, peeking from behind a piece of wall, looking at the raging demon.

"Yeah, I wish we'd had more time to power up, but I doubt if even at our full power we could beat it," Willow muttered fearfully.

"Don't think like that, we'll beat it. Like Xander explained, if it can't hit us, it can't beat us - we'll eventually wear it down," Tara said with determination.

Willow nodded, and asked, "Ready to go to the future?"

Tara nodded, "Let's do it."


"DAMN YOU!!" the Lohesh demon roared in frustration. "Come out and fight me! Don't hide cowards!!" The bunny took several steps, searching for Willow and Tara.

"Over here!" a voice called, and the demon looked over and grinned, looking at the witches who had stepped from behind a building.

"No! Over here," sounded the other witch. The bunny looked around in irritation, as two more witches stepped out from some rubble.

"Hold on! They're fake!" another voice called and the demon turned to look at the new arrivals - another pair of redheaded and blonde witches. To the demon's mounting frustration there was another voice and moments later a fourth set of witches.

"Which ones of you are real!?" the Bunny question nobody with its anger growing.

"We're /all/ real," the four sets stated simultaneously, and four massive beams of energy were flung from them. The demon widened its eyes in shock, and quickly formed a shield. The beams collided and exploded. Combining the four seemed to work for a moment, but then with a roar the demon burst forth, raising its hands in frustration to the sky. The demon shot its eye beams at one couple, but just as it was going to hit, the two witches disappeared in a yellow light. Two more couples did the same, but by the time the demon looked at the remaining witches, they had scurried away again.

"AARGH!!" the bunny roared out, his annoyance with the pesky annoyance that were two weak witches mounting by the moment. He felt something trying to constrict his throat again, but he flared the protective field of energy he had placed around it after the first time and the constriction was lifted instantly. Mist then rose off the ground, quickly obscuring the demon's view, imagining the things the witches could do without him seeing it, like somehow managing to cut off his feet made him seriously pissed. Blasting out his energy the mist was quickly evaporated, and he saw the witches run toward him, whatever they were planning, and jerking to a standstill looking fearfully. He chuckled and charged an energy ball, only for the witches to teleport away again before he could fire it. "Damn it! Damn it! DAMN IT!" the demon roared in extreme irritation and then took to the air.

He grinned as he found the witches next to a building, looking around fearfully. The blond looked up, but too late. With a hearty laugh the bunny generated a shield around the witches.

Willow and Tara looked fearfully. A test with an energy ball showed the shield was too strong to breach. They tried their teleportation spell, but the shield kept them from going through even during teleportation. The bunny laughed hard, sending chills down their spines. They looked up at it, seeing an energy ball charging, and it said, "That shield is powerful enough to keep you in, but not powerful enough to keep this ball out. End of the line, you stinking spell casters!" The demon turned his head, saying, "Hey, Slayer, watch closely now, say bye . . . what?"


Buffy struggled up to her feet, looking at the demon driving her friends slowly but surely into a corner. *One chance,* Buffy thought looking up at the massive demon leisurely hanging high up in the air.

"KA!" Buffy screamed, her hands next to her body, poring every little bit of energy she could draw out of her into this most powerful of weapons.

"ME!" Buffy knew this was a long shot, she still hadn't mastered the weapon. *I must not fail, I /must/ succeed.*

"HA!" Buffy watched as the demon was nicely preoccupied with the now trapped witches. *I /will/ succeed!*

"ME!" Buffy yelled out, the energy ball between her hands crackled with angry energy, different frequencies finding a synergy, readying to be unleashed into one of the most devastating energy blasts ever conceived, but also one of the most difficult to perform. The demon started saying something to Buffy, but she didn't hear. All her power and concentration were being poured into this one last ditch effort. *All or nothing, this is my one chance!*

" . . . what?" the demon said, surprised seeing the powered up slayer, her chi flame burning brightly and the energy ball in her hands crackling widely.

"HAAAA!!" Buffy flung her hands and the ball of energy forward. The massive, deadly beam of energy shot forward from them, going with great speed straight for the demon. Buffy gritted her teeth in concentration, she refused to fail to deliver the beam on target. Her aim was true, and finally she completed the beam. It impacted on the shocked bunny, its jaw dropped and eyes wide, and exploded with incredible force. Buffy's knees buckled once the effort was expended and she dropped back to her ass on top of the rubble to watch.

[Stop Willow and Tara Battle Theme]

The explosion went outward instantly. Willow's and Tara's prison went away, and the witches dropped themselves to the floor, hands over their hands in protection as the shockwave of the explosion rushed over them, and picked them up, tossing them about for a short while. Three remaining buildings were shredded, and torn apart. Cordelia who had watched the proceedings was pulled off her feet, and so was Wesley.

The rubble in which Dawn was trapped was jostled and jerked. Dawn moaned, and slowly started coming to, as a result. She opened her eyes and looked astonished as the giant fire and dust ball in the sky, big enough to engulf several blocks filled with flats. With some effort she managed to destroy some of the rubble, pushed more aside and dig herself free. She walked out in the open place of sand and shredded asphalt that had only an hour ago been a well-kept, albeit abandoned part of a town. Dawn looked around and couldn't find some people she should have found. She watched Wesley get up, and Buffy sit on a pile of rubble looking up with a satisfied grin.

"I did it! I DID IT!" Buffy screamed out with elation. The Kamehameha had worked, there was nothing but dust and dying fire in the air now.

Then her smile faltered. "No way," she whispered, her mind unwilling to believe what her sixth sense told her. With open mouth - slowly shaking her head in denial - she watched the sphere of dust clear, and something waving about inside it. A little later it was to be revealed a soot-covered, furred claw.

The bunny became visible again, the dust quickly freeing open as the bunny coughed and waved it away. He took stock of himself. There was an irritating tingling were the beam, whatever it had been had hit. He checked, finding singed fur and now naked singed flesh, but that was it. Apart from torn, dirty and half-burned clothes he was unscathed.

"No! No!" Buffy whimpered in fear, tears flowing from her cheeks now, realizing just how undefeatable the bunny really was. Dawn, and the others looked with the same fear at the power of the demon.

"YOU BITCH!!" the bunny roared, and gently floated a little toward her, putting her better in its sights. "HAVE YOU GOT ANY IDEA JUST HOW MUCH CLEANING AND REPAIRING CLOTHES THIS SIZE COSTS!?" The anger was blazing from him, eyes glowing red. Then he pointed a hand at her, and charged an energy ball. "Guess you are going to die first afer all," the bunny told her with an evil grin, ready to fire the energy ball down at the now completely defenseless Buffy Summers, and end her life once and for all.

Episode 47
The Emergence of a... /Super/ /Slayer/!?

Super Slayer theme:
Linkin Park - In The End

The bunny grinned devilishly. His hand outstretched, and the energy ball ready to kill Buffy once and for all pointing down at her. Then there was a sound, a low, gentle rumble. The bunny hesitated for a moment, and then grinned more evilly, telling Buffy, "Hear that, the Earth is shaking because it knows its true owners are coming back."

"That's . . . no earthquake," Buffy croaked out, spitting out a little blood, looking defeated up at the bunny, crying.

"No earthquake?" the bunny asked confused, as a new gentle rumble was heard.

With a quivering lip, Buffy told it, "Borne in California, grew up with Earthquakes . . . this is . . . not one."

The bunny looked at Buffy for a few moments, then the sound - no longer a rumbling, now high pitched one - rapidly grew in strength. The bunny let his energy ball dissipate and looked around confused. Then a small round patch of ground started vibrating more, the sand whirling up, until with a small bang a blue, purple and red energy ball shot from the ground, leaving a hole and flew up with great speed, right past the bunny. "What in hell?" the demon muttered in surprise, following the ball of energy with his eyes. "Where did . . . wait, that's /mine/?" Dumbfounded the demon looked back down at the hole from whence it came, and waited in shock.

A figure burst from the hole, she barely fit through the hole, which was much smaller than the one through which she disappeared. She coughed, her chi flame burning brightly, a few blue sparks shooting through it, and then it flickered and died. She let herself drop to her knees on the ground. She was battered and bruised. Blood pored from multiple wounds. Burned flesh in many places, some not just red and blistered, but even scorched black. Her clothes were all but destroyed. Her pants hung in tatters and barely reached her knees in only a few places. Her top was all but destroyed, displaying her naked and bruised breasts. Only two tiny slivers of fabric was left: one curling around her shoulder and over her right breast, the other a small band around her waist. The mere strap hardly covered anything.

"Faith," Buffy said in shock, as some more lava came flowing from the new hole, eventually sealing it again.

On the other side of the clearing, Tara asked her mouth ajar, "How? We couldn't sense her anymore?"

"The rock, the crust, in between it must have dampened her life force," Willow considered after a moment.

Faith coughed, and coughed, drinking in deep mouthfuls of air. She had almost suffocated to death, going first down and up, often just barely finding a new pocket of air. "Well, damn, now that's one tough little girl," the bunny commented with an evil grin.

Faith snapped her head up, looking at the giant bunny floating there. "No," she whispered weakly. Buffy and the others hadn't managed to defeat it as she had thought they would have. Wobbling she stood up, looking at the demon, incredibly readying herself to fight on, although she had no idea how to fight this thing now - she didn't have the energy left. The bunny roared out in laughter, the powerful sound once again went through everyone's bone and marrow.

"Oh, this has got to be the biggest joke the universe has ever played on a mortal," the demon laughed with evil glee. "Sacrificing your life in order to save your loved one, managing to survive, and then watch him die in the same way after all." The demon turned lightly, and then pointed its hand at Wesley, who was standing in front of one of two buildings around the clearing that hadn't been completely destroyed.

Faith turned her head to her right, following the demon's point and her eyes widened in fear. The demon laughed evilly as it formed another ball of energy - the same one he used earlier - and fired it down.

"NO!!" Faith screamed, anger and fear propelling her forward. She shot across the difference.

"Faith, don't!" Wesley protested again, but it was too late. Faith reached Wesley right on time, and managed to put her hands against the giant ball of energy. Her feet dug into the soil, and with gritted teeth she pushed back against the ball of energy. This time she had no intention of taking a trip through Earth's crust, and with a defiant scream she kept the ball in place.

"What?" the bunny wondered in shock. There was no way the little girl should have been able to hold the ball in place, without engulfing and destroying her, and yet she was doing it. The demon grinned then. No matter, he was nowhere near using his full power. With a grin he pored more energy into the ball, expanding it to twice Faith's size.

"Aah!" Faith screamed, as the pulsing energy ball now twice as large as before pushed back against her. The energy that blasted outward where the two titanic forces met was sending sand and rock flying outward. Faith was pushed back, slowly but securely. Her back first started going backward, the ground beneath her feet gave partially away, sinking her deeper. "No! I won't let it happen!" Faith said, tears of pain, emotional and physical streaming from her eyes. With all her might she pushed back, slowly raising the ball back to its former position.

"My, she's a stubborn bitch, isn't she!?" the bunny grinned evilly, and casually pored even more energy into the ball, that was connected to him by a beam of energy. The ball grew even more in size.

"NO!" Faith screamed defiantly as she was pushed back again, sinking further into the ground. Her white chi flame that glowed brightly around her, breaking and sending aside more sand and rock from around and beneath her feet.

"Faith," Wesley pleaded from beside her. "Let it go, I'm not in its path anymore."

With tears flowing from her eyes, Faith shook her head, saying, "Too . . . big . . . explosion . . . Aaah!" Faith went back even further, and searched her being desperately, finding some untapped reserves, her chi flame burned brighter. Blue electric sparks shot through her chi flame for a moment, and she pushed the ball back up. " . . . would kill everyone here . . ." The ball grew in size once again, and Faith screamed out at the pain lancing through her body, and much more so her hands that were constantly forcing against the deadly energy. She leaned back, almost in defeat.

*Trust in yourself.*


Back at the Summers house, the three conscious people were looking out the window. Far in the distance the form of the demon was visible, firing a continuous stream of energy down. Anya whimpered in fear at the flickering light show. "What do you think is happening?" Fred asked fearfully of Giles.

Anya answered for him, "They're losing, that's what's happening."

There was an odd groan from Xander, and the three of them looked around, seeing a smirk on Xander's face. "He's smirking," Fred pointed out in shock. "Why's he smirking?"

Anya took a few steps forward and sat down on the bed, looking at Xander smirk. "Xander?" she asked hopefully.


Two years earlier

Xander floated in the basement of his parents' house, making rapid punches and kicks for his training. Two balls of energy were floating around him, he had generated them himself, and he was avoiding them for additional training. He didn't need to check the stairs and the door leading up into the house, if one of his parents came toward it, they made so much noise they'd be unmistakable, or were so drunk they wouldn't believe their yes, or both. Anya was a different story. She came in through the door leading outdoors without much sound. And the stairs down didn't make much sound either. "Xander, are you in here? I want more s- . . . ."

Xander failed to sense Anya's arrival, due to his preoccupation with his training. He just finished reabsorbing his chi balls, and then quickly landed on the floor, looking expectantly at Anya. "You were floating!" she accused suddenly.

"Me!? Float?" Xander tried nervously. He gave a laugh, and added, "this is /me/ we're talking about, right?"

"Don't try to bullshit me, Xander Harris!" Anya told him in no uncertain terms. "I was the patron saint of scorned women, I can smell a lie on a man a mile away!"

Xander sighed, the jig - as they say - was truly finally up. "You can keep this a secret, right, Ahn?" he asked slightly nervously.

"Of course," she said.


Impatiently, she said, "I promise, now spill!"

Xander waited a heartbeat, and then stated, "I'm not human."

Anya looked confused, looked around a little, then up, and asked, "Don't know any demons quite like you. What kind are you?"

"Ahn!" he exclaimed slightly in frustration, and the rest in amusement. "I'm not a demon, I'm an alien . . . from another dimension, I'm an interdimensional alien." Anya blinked confused, and so - after getting Anya to sit down - Xander started explaining. About Saiyans, the basics of their race. Frieza. His interdimensional trip just as the warlord blew up his planet, and finally about the legendary Super Saiyan: Xander's goal.

Once he was done explaining he looked at Anya expectantly. "Wow," the ex vengeance demon muttered, taking it all in. "Wow!" she said again, bright eyes now, then she cocked her hand. "Super Saiyan? That actually kind of reminds me."

"Oh?" Xander prompted.

"Well, there are only two things the pure demons, the demon gods, and the gods, the Powers That Be fear," Anya replied thoughtfully. "One is the legendary Super Slayer."

"Super Slayer?" Xander asked astonished. "Never heard of that."

Anya shook her head in confirmation, saying, "You wouldn't. A few of the older demons still mention it sometime, but basically it's reduced to a very scarcely known myth. The last time one emerged was seven thousand years ago. Most demons think Slayers have lost the ability to become one. Super Slayers are like . . . well, Super Slayers are awesomely powerful beyond most people's dreams."

"Really? Super Slayer, huh?" Xander said, thinking it over. Having thought enough about it, he asked. "So what's number two?"

Anya's eyes bugged out. How could Xander not know? It was only the most well-known myth and prophecy in millennia. "The Sedra Soli?" Anya asked him expectantly. Xander shrugged. "Come on, I've gotten a bit of demon /and/ human mythology in me, I know he's in both!" Anya urged, but he didn't know the answer. "The Chinese call him Sun Wu-k'ung? The legendary Monkey King? Giant magical abilities? Practically impossible to beat or to kill? Can transform into almost anything? Can make himself a giant for one thing? Freed mankind from the biggest yoke of the gods? Giant hero in almost all nations? The first king of man? The biblical Adam?"

"Oh, him," Xander said not recognizing anything until 'Adam', being preoccupied with thinking over Anya's words.

"Yes, him!" Anya said exasperated making an annoyed gesture with her arms.

"Anya did you just say Monkey King?" Xander asked a little shocked. Anya nodded, not understanding. "And transforming into a giant?" Anya nodded again. "Anya, Saiyans are born with tails, I had to cut mine off to blend in, but . . ." Xander took a step closer, and lowered his head a little, looking intently into Anya eyes. "When a Saiyan with a tail looks up at a full moon, he transforms into a giant, thirty meter tall and more, unstoppable ape. Incredible power, basically a living breathing engine of destruction, especially breathing."

"Really?" Anya asked, blinking her eyes rapidly, then they widened as she got it. "Super Saiyan, Sedra Soli. Add ten thousand years of language change . . . the first letters still remained intact."

Xander nodded, he didn't have to explain it, Anya understood as well. "My god, I never knew a Saiyan breached the dimensional barriers, and then coming here . . . and a Super Saiyan at that."


[Play Faith Super Slayer Theme]

More of the ground beneath Faith's feet were blasted away. The power of the ball she was only precariously holding back immense, and forcing her steadily back. A few tears flowed from her eyes. The tears were a heady mixture: of pain, of defeat, of despair, and elation. That had been Xander! He had somehow managed to send a telepathic message, perhaps he could recover on time, she thought, even as she asked herself how she could trust herself as he had told her. Then again, how many more had to die before Xander was at full strength? And what if he didn't recover on time after all?

Faith screamed out at the effort it took to merely stay standing, going over all her failures. Her failure to keep Kakistos from killing her watcher. Her failure to make the Scoobies notice her. Her fall to the dark side, after putting too much trust in a fellow Slayer. Her failure to get the Angel Team to trust her, failing to see killing 'innocent-looking' demons might not endear to her to them. Allowing herself to stop killing them, be extra nice and sweet in that department to appear more trustworthy, more sane, less psychotic. Now, Gunn. All the time that past by since being called, letting so many people down. And now . . . She was forced back some more, when she latched onto Gunn, watching him being eaten like he was a bunny at a Christmas diner. Bunny!! Gunn!!

Faith got angry rapidly, grimacing. "NO!" she called out and forced the ball back up, only for the bunny to increase his power, and once again forcing Faith back down. The blue sparks in Faith's chi flame grew in power. She screamed out her defiance, feeling something bubble inside of her, a power lying in the pit of her stomach, wanting to get out. "I WON'T! I WILL /NOT/ LET IT HAPPEN!!"

Slowly she forced the ball back again, now looking up, straight through the ball of energy at where the bunny was. Her face grimaced with anger, as the blue sparks intensified, seemingly waiting for something. The tug of war continued, and the bunny put even more energy into it, grinning evilly, not worried one little bit - that was its failure. "I WON'T LET IT HAPPEN!" Faith screamed again, the bunny squarely in her sights, the rage growing by the minute, although all she could see was the ball of energy. *I can forgive myself, I /do/ forgive myself for what I've done, but I can't ever forgive myself if I let even one more of them die!*

"I'm sorry, Wesley," she said softly giving him a quick look. Then she screamed, and plunged into the seemingly bottomless pit of raw power that had been awaiting her inside. Her energy burned brighter instantly, as she screamed in pain, feeling changes happening in her body. Every cell in her body undergoing a tiny mutation. Electrical sparks flew around her hair, and then two lifted up in the air, with a electrical arc rising up in between. Once the arc had reached the hairs' apex, it sizzled off, and the hairs fell down. Quickly it started occurring with many more hairs, and soon her hair was flowing up and down continuously, with electricity crackling between them in a show of immense power. The black of her pupils rapidly swirled like something inky to cover her irises, turning her eyes - except the white of her eyeballs - pitch black. Not completely unlike Willow tapping into her power, yet very different. Where Willow's eyes were just raw dark power, potentially used for creation as well as destruction, the Slayer's eyes were different. No light came from the irises, even any reflection off her lens above them were blanketed out: they were empty, bottomless pits of nothingness that promised only a few things: chaos, destruction, pain, suffering . . . and death. Then with a small shockwave the transformation completed, as Faith's white chi flame turned sky blue, ethereal and tranquil in appearance.

The shockwave knocked Wesley off his feet, and sitting on his butt he looked astonished at the transformed Faith. After seven thousand years it had finally happened again; the legendary Super Slayer, the embodied of death, had emerged.


Down in the sewers, Angel looked back in astonishment at the raw amount of power that was being exuded, dwarfing that of the bunny's completely. "Faith," he whispered in shocked elation. Spike next to him had his jaw dropped.

"What happened? Are we gonna die?" Harmony whined.

"Sod it!!" Spike cursed with irritation. "Not the bloody bitch too!"


"What's going on? What's the blue glow?" Fred asked, looking out the window. In the distance an intense blue glow had shot up, exactly where the bunny was firing it seemed. The glow seemed to match the color of a clear blue sky, but early in the morning the sky wasn't perfectly clear yet, and so it had become very visible.

"I've got no idea," Giles muttered blandly.

Xander groaned again, his smirk deeper. The three occupants of the room turned around to look at him. "Sup . . . Sl . . ." he managed to groan out, his smirk never wavering.

Anya's eyes widened, and then turned around looking back. "OH, MY GOD!" she screamed out in elation and hope. "Oh, you sneaky bastard, I love you! A SUPER SLAYER!!!"

"But, that's just a myth, it's not true, it can't be true, they're already . . ." Giles trailed off.

"Everybody thought it couldn't happen anymore! Buffy or Faith, they must have done it! For the first time in seven thousand years! YES! Oh, let it be enough!" Anya crowed out in happiness, a giant smile on her face.

Giles looked out the window at the blue glow, and then grinned with satisfaction. "'I'm so powerful, they can't make a difference.' 'So why did you bother bringing them?' Bloody no respect for experience these days, that's what it is," he told no one in particular.


The bunny pored even more energy into his ball, too preoccupied with his determined extermination of Faith to bother to notice the change. Faith - her intense light blue flame pulsing with a high pitched sound - casually removed one hand from the ball and straightened up. She stood there, holding the ball of energy back with one hand in relaxation, rage growing inside of her.

To her side was Buffy, looking astonished at the blue glow. The ball hid most of Faith from view, but she knew something had happened. The massive amount of intense power assaulting her senses was proof of that. "Faith," she whispered astonished.

Cordelia had joined Dawn to check up on her, and the two women looked astonished for a moment. Dawn suddenly jumped up, screaming, "YES! YES!" Then Dawn hugged Cordelia.

Faith looked up, still holding the ball in place with ease. Then her face grimaced, and she shot her energy from her hand, forcing the ball up toward the bunny with frightening simplicity. Then she launched herself after it.

The bunny's eyes widened in surprise. In an instant all of his energy was overwhelmed, crumbling his strain like a bug under its feet. "Impossible," he muttered as he saw his giant ball of energy shoot upward toward him. "Impossible!" he screamed in fear, giving up on firing energy down. He put his hands forward to stop the ball, but it was too powerful. It engulfed him, and exploded, tearing into his being, but even this wasn't enough to kill him.

He coughed away the dust and debris, and waved it aside, when he saw it. It was there for only a moment, two pits of blackness that scared him shitless, two pits of death, two pits of pain, and suffering, a girl attached them. She moved so fast, he could hardly see anything else of her. He screamed out in extreme pain an instant later.

Faith had simply flown straight through the bunny. She had gone in through the front, and come out the back, pulling along blood and intestines, and pieces of other organs. Faith's pulsing chi flame of raw power kept any of the blood and gore off of her being - not that it would have mattered much, after all Faith was already covered in dirt, rock, and her own blood, not to mention half-naked.

Faith stayed floating there for a moment, as the giant bunny - coughing up blood - groaned in pain, and slowly moved up with the impact, and started turning over. Suddenly Faith turned around, and roared as she kicked downward turned around her axis. The bunny twisted around in the air, as it rocketed down to the ground. Faith sent two energy balls down that exploded against the bunny making him scream out in pain even more.

Then the massive bunny landed on his back on the ground, right in front Buffy, sending up dust and debris, groaning in extreme pain. Buffy looked astonished at how quickly the seemingly invincible bunny was reduced to a groaning mass of defeated demon. An almost insane enraged scream made Buffy look up, seeing a blue blur shooting down.

The bunny's eyes widened in shock and fear as he saw the impossible powerful girl shooting downward. She was nothing but a blur, even to him, except those eyes - those impossibly black promises of death, like holes in the fabric of space and time coming straight at him. With her battle cry still ringing from her throat, Faith landed with enormous power. The foot she held up, she stomped onto the bunny's face going straight through, as planned. The head shattered and splattered open. Bone and fur flying everywhere, blood and brain matter equally distributed, ears flopping through the air. A powerful fountain of blood spurt from the now open neck. It shot horizontally over the ground before splashing down. The powerful chi flame once again kept Faith less dirty, and she growled in satisfaction at the kill, euphoria spread through her being, and she enjoyed it.

Buffy watched Faith, the enraged and enjoying grimace on her face. When Faith looked at her, she got to look into those black, black eyes of death, and she jerked back in shock. Faith looked horrible, in that moment she seemed more evil than the demon they'd been fighting, more deadly than an army of giant bunnies. "I can't be like you, and I never will," Faith told Buffy, almost sadly.

Faith then picked up the bunny's torso by its collar, and pulled it up, lifting in the air herself. With an enraged scream she tossed the carcass up into the air. "GALECK GUN FIRE!" she screamed, firing the energy beam up with release. It enveloped the corpse, and quickly vaporized it. Faith then lowered herself to the ground, and looked down in defeat. Her blue flame disappeared, and so did the electric arcs in and around her hair, letting them fall gently down. Only if one saw the black eyes would one know she was still in her transformed state.

[Stop Faith Super Slayer theme]

Cordelia and Dawn slowly came out, and Wesley got back up, looking astonished at Faith standing there dejected. Dawn ran to Faith, saying quickly, "You're awesome!" Then she ran onward to Buffy checking up on her sister. Buffy was hurt, bad, Dawn could see, but like Faith, Dawn knew that it wasn't enough to keep a Slayer down for long. Gently she helped her sister up. "We did it," Dawn said happily.

As Wesley reached Faith, and gently put his arm around her, Buffy said, "No, we didn't."

"What do you mean?" Dawn asked stricken, looking around to see if there was another bunny. Willow and Tara emerged holding each other closely, joining the others.

"Gunn," Cordelia said, looking around. His remains were no longer where they lay before. Finally she spotted them. The head was even more damaged, and one leg was reduced to only the lower leg. The other leg was destroyed completely, only the smoking tatters of a shoe reminded everyone that it had been here once. Dawn's breath got caught in her throat, seeing the black man's head. "The bunny ate him," Cordelia whispered as tears flowed from her eyes again. Dawn broke down as well, and Buffy hugged her as she started crying again. Willow and Tara sobbed in each others' embraces.

Wesley tightened his arm around Faith, but she felt the grief and guilt start to overwhelm her. She didn't know why, but powering down was something she didn't seem to be able to do at the moment. She was just too high strung. She pulled herself free from Wesley's embrace, when she realized the outburst that was rapidly coming closer would be of such power in her transformed state she could seriously hurt, or even kill him and the girls. "Faith?" Wesley asked, concerned.

"Stay back, stay away," Faith said, tears started to flow from her eyes. Wesley and the others complied. She stumbled around in the sand a bit, until she stepped on some asphalt, almost tripping in the process. She walked forward a bit more, and then stopped. A cry of anguish rose from her throat, her chi flame burst forth, electric discharges once again whipping her hair about, sending pebbles and even a few larger chunks of pavement and asphalt away from her. She sank to her knees even as she raised her fists above her head, then let them crash down in front of her. Instantly the asphalt cracked, and sank down, a large cracked circle surrounded her, her chi flame and electric sparks flying high in the air. Then the power ebbed away, her chi flame disappeared, so did the electricity in her hair. Her eyes turned back to her normal hazel color and she broke down, crying on the ground.

Wesley gently picked her up of the floor, cradling her gently - right arm under her back, left under her knees. He gave her a kiss on her head, and marveled at how such an incredibly powerful being could look so fragile. Faith wrapped her arms around his neck and sobbed into his shoulders. The others circling the two lovers, not knowing what to say. Faith looked up timidly, and asked, "You still want me?"

"Why wouldn't I?"

"I like this; fighting, killing demons, I've tried to suppress it . . ." Faith told him fearfully.

Wesley gave her a silly-girl smile, "I love you. You're perfect just the way you are, flaws and all, and I don't think this is a flaw."

"You're not afraid I'll go psycho again?" Faith whimpered.

"I've gotten to know you too well for that in past few months," Wesley replied giving her another kiss on the head.

"But I got Gunn killed," she whispered, just loud enough for the others to hear. "I held back, I could have released so much more fighting that thing earlier, I . . ."

Everybody looked stunned at that revelation, and then Wesley realized something. "But would you have transformed into this . . . this Super Slayer?" Faith looked at him without an answer. "If you didn't transform, then that thing could have killed you proper, and the rest with us, and then the world. Considering the possibilities, it ended relatively well. What's done is done, don't dwell on every decision you made, and start thinking of better 'what if' scenarios, they'll just drive yourself mad."

"Yeah," Tara added gently. "Wesley's right Faith. No matter how much I hate to say it, considering a friend is dead, but, all things considered, it ended well."

"God, how are we going to tell Fred?" Cordelia asked in horror.


The vampires had reached the Summers home first, and were now in the living room. Harmony was trying to fret over Spike's slash marks, but he pushed her away.

Giles, and Fred had come downstairs, Anya staying with her fiance. "What happened?" Giles asked curiously.

"Not certain, apart from Faith returning and getting some kind of massive power boost, and killing the bunny," Angel said, brooding already. "We had to leave early on account of the sun . . . Fred." The tone Angel used, had her immediately on alert. He knew this was his responsibility, he got Fred out of Pylea, and kept her with them.

"What? What is it?" Fred almost whispered, dreading the worst.

"Gunn . . ." Angel paused looking into the tearing up eyes of Fred. "He . . . didn't make it . . . h-he's dead."

"No!" Fred screamed, tears running down her eyes. "No! We'll get him to a hospital! They'll perform CPR, stitch him up!" Angel tried to grab Fred, steadying her, but she was twisting her head so much in denial that her entire body twisted around.

"He got eaten, pet," Spike drawled out disinterested, "Apart from his head, and legs there's nothing left."

Fred looked at the blonde vampire, and then shook her head more furiously, yelling, "He's /not/ dead! He /can't/ be dead!"

The front door opened, letting the other seven, weary warriors. They had wrapped Gunn's remains as best as they could in several plastic bags they had found. Fred rushed over to Wesley who was holding a now walking Faith close. "Gunn isn't dead, tell me Gunn isn't dead!" Fred demanded of him.

Wesley didn't answer, he just looked to Cordelia, who was holding two plastic bags. "No," Fred whispered and then went over to Cordelia.

"Fred, I don't think you should look," Cordelia said gently, but Fred shook her head.

"I have to . . . I have to see," Fred muttered. With tears flowing down her cheeks she reached over to the heavier bag. Her arm trembled as she opened it, seeing the heavily damaged head of Gunn. Fred looked at it, jaw trembling for two seconds, before she crashed to the floor and wailed out in hysterics. "No! No! Can't be!!" she screamed out, twisted and turned in seeming physical pain. She wailed out more, everyone looked at her helplessly.

"Sod this," Spike muttered in irritation. "I didn't sign up for hysterics girl." With everyone glaring at him, he got up, pushing Harmony aside, and left the house, being careful not to stay in direct sunlight for too long.

"IT'S YOUR FAULT!" Fred suddenly screamed out, sitting out and pointing her finger at Faith. "YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROTECTING HIM!! YOU'RE THE SLAYER!!" Faith's head slumped, looking guilty, and pained. She switched her finger to Buffy, "AND YOU TOO, YOUR FAULT!!" Buffy started tearing up again. "I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU ALL!!"

Angel took a gentle step forward and placed a hand on Fred's shoulder. "Fred," he said gently. Fred immediately whirled around and latched onto him, onto the hero that saved her from the cave, and cried out against his chest. Angel just held her.

Dawn leant forward, and with pain in her voice, seeing the spectacle, she whispered in Tara's ear, "I'm going to Li's, before I go like that." Tara, holding desperately onto Willow, and vice versa, slowly crying, turned her head, and gave Dawn an approving nod. Quickly Dawn left the house, and burst into the air.


Li was lying awake in his room, masturbating. What he had seen, and most other people had seen he guessed, after the explosions woke him up, just couldn't be real. Even in a world where demons were real, there just couldn't be such a thing as a giant bunny, could it? Mostly he had lain afraid in bed since then, fleeing the town was far too late. He was afraid for his girlfriend as well - if this wasn't a dream, there was a good chance Dawn was out fighting the monster. When the explosions stopped, and the bunny was gone, he needed some serious stress relief, so he had started jerking off.

A knock on his window, and startled he looked over, seeing a floating figure - he could only think of one person that could float and would come to his room: Dawn. Embarrassed at his state, but concern for his girlfriend overriding, he quickly tucked his erection away into his underwear and got up. He opened the window, and saw a battered, bruised, dirty, and dust- and soot-covered Dawn floating there. "Dawn?" he asked shocked, barely recognizing her.

Dawn nodded with difficulty, and asked weakly, "Can I come in?"

He almost answered her, but caught himself. He simply opened the window further, and made room. Dawn floated in and landed. She turned around, and watched Li close the window. When he was done, he turned to her. Instantly she latched onto him, hugging him, not caring that she felt his erection press into her belly. She just broke down and cried. He hugged back fiercely, not caring about the dirt covering him now. "You were fighting that thing, weren't you?"

Dawn nodded, and said, "One of us . . . didn't make it. I came real close myself." Li tightened the hug even more, feeling himself tear up. A few minutes later when most of the tears were gone, Dawn leaned back a bit, and then passionately kissed her boyfriend. He happily returned the kiss.

When they stopped kissing, Li asked soothingly, "How about a nice, hot, relaxing shower?" Dawn smiled at him, and looked down, for the first time really noticing just how dirty she was. She nodded.

A few minutes later, after the painful, and slightly embarrassing removal of Dawn's clothes, she found herself in the cubicle of the Kijimutas' shower. The stream of water that splashed down upon her was hot, just short of scolding, and very soothing. She looked out the still open door, and saw a smiling, and dirty Li. "Come in with me," she said, letting herself admire his chest.

"You sure?" he asked uncertain. Dawn nodded. He removed his boxers, and went in, closing the cubicle behind him.

"Wash me," Dawn pleaded, and Li grabbed a big fluffy sponge, and put shampoo on it. Carefully he started to clean her back, being extra carefully when he washed the myriad of cuts and bruises marring her body. Dawn winced at most of them, but she relaxed more and more, sighing at the sensation of the gentle but strong hands washing and caressing her. Li had been very aware that he would reach Dawn's ass soon, and his erection returned with a vengeance.

He hesitated just above her ass, and Dawn turned her head, noticing his hardened penis. She looked back up at him, and said softly, "Go on." He smiled and continued to gently clean and massage her ass, marveling at it. He squatted down when he was done with it, and continued cleaning her legs, admiring the strong muscles there, and the gentle layer of fat that gave her her feminine curves. He had really tried /not/ to look at her /there/, but it had been irresistible. Too his own pride, he /had/ managed to tear his gaze away after giving her tight vaginal lips and trimmed triangle of hair a good look, but he still felt guilty about it.

When he was done with her back and legs, he started cleaning himself from the dirt she had left on him earlier. While he was doing that, he looked astonished at the reddened water washing down the drain. She must still be bleeding from several small wounds. Dawn was finished with washing her hair, finally, and she still couldn't be certain she had managed to get everything out there. She turned to Li, giving him full view of her perky, but battered breasts, and the rest of her. "Would you massage my front too? It felt really good," she asked with a smile.

"Uh, sure," he said, and cleaned out the sponge for round too. He decided to look her into her eyes while he was busy massaging and cleaning her breasts - they felt incredible in his hands. Their eyes locked, and they got closer, kissing deep. Dawn winced and moaned often when he went across another bruise or cut. Without really thinking about it, he went lower, eventually reaching her vagina, and he stopped. He broke the kiss and looked at her. She nodded. He swallowed heavily and gently ran the sponge in between her legs until he was certain she was clean.

"You clean too?" she whispered breathlessly. He nodded. They turned off the shower and went outside. After drying each other off, he got the first aid kit from a cabinet, and put a plaster on any still bleeding cut, and bandaged her twisted ankle. "Thank you," she told him from the bottom of her heart. He nodded, still with a raging hardon, and the two went back to his room. She smiled at him, getting into his bed. Still naked, she beckoned him over. "Will you hold me? Lie next to me?" she asked uncertain.

"Yes, sure, but . . ." he looked down self-consciously, and continued, "if we want to avoid last time's fiasco, I think I should . . . uh . . . make a trip to the bathroom first."

Dawn looked down at where he was looking. She gave a giggle, and nodded, "Hurry back."

Li quickly hurried back to the bathroom, and quickly masturbated, ejaculating into the toilet. Breathing heavily, but his erection and a very naked Dawn no longer impeding his thought processes, he quickly grabbed some clean boxers - in comparison to the ones Dawn had soiled in her dirt covered state - out of the washing bin, and went downstairs. His mother and father were at the breakfast table, both having a haunted look. Obviously, they too had been awoken by the explosions and seen the demon. "Can you call school, and tell them I'm sick?" Li asked quickly.

"What for, you're not sick," his mother asked.

"Trust me, Dawn just flew in, she's . . . not well. Call her sister too, and ask her to call Dawn in sick, and ask if they could bring over clean and intact clothes later. Please?" Li asked them. His father nodded.

Li smiled and sped back up the stairs. Back in his room he changed into real clean underwear, and joined Dawn in bed. He quickly enveloped her waist and stomach with his arms, and thus hugging her, he gave her a quick kiss in the neck. Dawn moaned and snuggled back into him. "I love you," she said, and he returned the sentiment. Then they drifted off to sleep.


"Wake up sleepy head," he said very gently, and gave her a kiss. The blonde that was lying next to him and that he was hugging, stirred slowly to wakefulness. Finally the blonde woke up, and looked at him.

"Xander!" Anya exclaimed in happiness, and gave him a passionate kiss. Then she broke it, and rammed her fist in his upper arm. "Don't do that again!"

Xander grinned, and said, "Yeah, remind me to wear poison slime proof gloves from now on." Anya kissed him again, and then looked out the window, through which sunlight streamed in. Another apocalypse averted.

"What time is it?" Anya asked.

Xander checked, and replied, "Just past one in the afternoon. I'm hungry."

"You're always hungry," Anya scolded. "But I suppose after battling a deadly poison all night and morning, you'd be extra hungry." Xander nodded, and gave her a kiss, then got up.

He entered the hallway, and the door to Dawn's room opened, revealing a nude Faith. Shocked she looked at the once again awake Xander. After showering last night, they hadn't thought to place the spare clothes they had brought with them just in case in their temporary room, so now she and Wesley were coming out to go get them. Talk about timing. Faith didn't know whether she should allow other men to see her naked now that she had a boyfriend, so coupled with her shock at seeing Xander amongst the standing again, made her just stand there. Wesley came out right aver her, and placed hand around her waist, and then blinked when he saw Xander. Xander grinned, and supportively placed a hand on her shoulder, and said, "Well done. Well done, Faith. And I'm sorry about Gunn."

Before she had an answer Xander walked on, and went down the stairs. In the living room he found Fred curled up in Angel's lap, sleeping now. The vampire was awake, and Xander whispered a respectful, "Angel." The vampire nodded, and Xander went into the kitchen to fix himself a much needed breakfast and lunch.


An hour later, after a good breakfast and lunch, and leaving some money to Buffy to pay for the whole thing they were all outside. The remainder of the Angel Team were about to go home, and prepare the funeral of their fallen comrade. Giles would go with them, he needed to catch a flight back to the UK soon.

Xander and Faith had separated themselves from the others, so they were standing in the middle of a fanned out circle. "So, the legendary Super Slayer," Xander asked with a slight grin. "Show it to me."

With a quick roar Faith transformed. Xander appreciated the new Faith, marveling at her power. He walked around her, slowly inspecting the blue-flamed super warrior that Faith had become. Once he was standing back in front of her, he shook his head, saying, "Awesome, absolutely awesome, about the equivalent of an Ultra Super Saiyan, I'd say."

"Ultra Super Saiyan?" Tara asked confused. Faith nodded with the same sentiment.

Xander transformed, then yelled out and he powered up. His muscles grew, and grew, until they were almost ridiculously extended. He stood there, saying, "Ultra Super Saiyan." They looked astonished at the bulging muscles. "You could say, Super Saiyan 1.7 or 1.8." He deflated, but stayed Super Saiyan, and added, "The muscles severely slows one down though, kind of useless."

"You /knew/ about this!" Buffy accused suddenly, taking a step forward. "This is what you've been training us for. You've been pushing us to reach this state! Why didn't you say?"

Xander nodded, and grinned at Buffy. "I could become a Super Saiyan a lot earlier," Xander started his explanation. "Transforming takes a balanced mind, I was too focused on becoming one, to get that balance, until the final end. I thought it'd be a safe bet, that a Super Slayer would require balance as well. If you didn't know there was a Super Slayer, you could never get so focused on it that it would become impossible to transform."

"But, what makes you think, we, or I wanted to become that-that . . . thing," Buffy said, disgust on her face as she looked at Faith's black eyes.

"You told me you were with us all the way, didn't you?" Xander asked a little bit perturbed.

Buffy remembered her decision to kill the souled beings that were killing humans in the rainforest. She lowered her head, she had told Xander she was with them all the way. She wasn't so sure now.

"Giles, you're coming to the wedding, right?" Xander asked of the man, after he detransformed. Faith followed suit. "You seem to be busy and on the move a lot so I don't know if you'll get the invitation we'll be sending out soon."

"Of course," Giles told him, smiling. "I wouldn't miss it."

"Good, it's March fifteen," Xander said, and shook the older man's hand. The others went to say their sad goodbyes as well.

Xander went to Angel as well. The vampire was still standing inside the house, and Fred clung to the vampire in grief. The Saiyan shook the vampire's hand, and said, "We'll see you guys at the funeral."

"Thanks," Angel said, and got a respectful nod from Xander.

Wesley opened a car door to the car with the blacked out windows, and Fred went over first. Then Angel quickly ran, and dove into the car closing the door behind him before the sun could burst him into flames.

The Scooby Gang watched the rest of the Angel Team file into their cars, waving. "Oh, Faith!" Xander suddenly called out, his hands in his pockets. "How do you feel?"

Faith looked startled at the Saiyan, and thought over the question. Guilt, and grief for Gunn was flooding her being, but strangely she felt at peace. She felt whole, complete for the first time in a very long time. With a slight smile, and without really thinking about it, she answered, "Five by five, Xan." She seemed shocked for a moment, realizing what she had said, and then added, with a little more conviction, "Five by five."

"That's very good to hear, Faith," Xander said, and with a sad smile watched Faith get into the car, who smiled back equally sad. "That's very good to hear," Xander muttered as he and the others waved at the departing cars.

"So," Willow said casually, once they were gone. "We just beat back the Apocalypse . . . again. School day is bust. Magic is out for a week. Wanna play Monopoly?"


London, England
Watchers' Headquarters
Two days later

"The Super Slayer is nothing but a myth," one watcher in the assembly stated in outrage. "The flying and energy ball shooting Slayers are nuts enough - but I must admit, seeing recent developments they must have existed - they probably /are/ the Super Slayers of myth."

"That's what I thought, until I saw one with my very own eyes," Giles stated to the assembly with conviction. "Faith Williams did it, she transformed in a black-eyed, blue-chi-flamed Super Slayer, and she destroyed a giant, almost indestructible, pure demon in that state. She saved us all from another Apocalypse. She's got even more power than a standard Super Saiyan. Once again that group of young men and women has proven to be the best anti-Apocalypse team ever. It's about time we acknowledge that, and give them access to all of the knowledge contained within our organization. I volunteer to be their liaison, since they probably wouldn't trust an unfamiliar face, but if in your wisdom you decide it to be another, I will abide by the ruling."

Several voices of agreement rang out from the people making up the council, but an equal number of disagreement, and others not yet knowing. This was going to take days, Giles thought in irritation, if not weeks. "Order, order!" Quentin Travers spoke up, ramming a hammer onto the table. "I propose we take a recess, it seems all of us could use some time to calm down."

So decided the watchers slowly filed away, and as Giles did the same, he muttered, "Bloody pillock."

Travers stayed in the room, and waited until everyone had filed from the conference room. Then, sighing heavily, he turned around and walked to a candle holder. He pushed it up, and a secret door opened up. He quickly went inside, and the door that was a bookcase on the public side closed behind him. He walked down a set of winding stairs, finally reaching the end. He stepped into the dimly lit room. A round table was in its middle, six people were sitting around it, and a head chair still unoccupied. Each part of the world had a representative. Travers looked up, and he shivered in fear as he gazed at the painting hanging on the far wall, right above the unoccupied head chair. The painting showed the frightening image of a girl, blue coloring, empty black eyes, her face twisted in an evil grin. She had horns, and several other traits that showed the painter had taken artistic license to make the vision much more scarier . . . but it was obviously a Super Slayer.

"So it's happened then," one of the men and one woman, who was playing with a knife said. "After seven thousand years of making sure it doesn't happen - a Super Slayer has once again emerged."

Travers nodded, and walked around the table, taking his seat in the head chair. "It's that damn alien . . ." another man, a black one, stated vehemently.

"She'll destroy the world," another man stated, his voice quivering. "A Super Slayer can't be controlled, it can't be contained, least of all by the Slayer herself. She'll grow continually stronger, as will her thirst for destruction and blood, until she'll destroy everything in her path."

"I told you, we should have killed her a long time ago," another one stated.

"We've tried, remember?" the black man told him. "The ones we sent to the prison came back the same way the assassins of Wolfram & Hart did, and as for the helicopter we sent after they defeated Glory . . . well . . . you know what happened to them."

"We're doomed," the man explaining the Super Slayer earlier said.

"Not yet," Travers told everyone. "There's still a small chance, a tiny window of opportunity."

"How?" the black man asked.

"We'll have to be very carful, very smart," Travers answered. "But the only way we can get to Faith, is if the most powerful of her friends are gone."

"How do we do that," one man asked.

"Simple," the woman finally spoke, sitting up gently. "There are only three that are a true threat, the others we can handle. Of those three, we start with the weakest link." She threw the knife clear across the room into a nose of one of several large heads hot photos nailed to pillars. "Buffy Summers."

Faith's Super Slayer Theme:
Linkin Park - In The End

The song of course, fits Faith to a tee:

It starts with one thing
I don't know why
It doesn't even matter how hard you try
keep that in mind
I designed this rhyme
To explain in due time
All I know
Time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away
It's so unreal
Didn't look out below
Watch the time go right out the window
Trying to hold on, but didn't even know
Wasted it all just to watch you go
I kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when

This describes Faith's journey from abused self to her psychopathic self, to her present day self, where she's keeping all her enjoyment of fighting inside of her.

One thing, I don't know why
It doesn't even matter how hard you try
keep that in mind
I designed this rhyme, to remind myself how
I tried so hard
In spite of the way you were mocking me
Acting like I was part of your property
Remembering all the times you fought with me
I'm surprised it got so (far)
Things aren't the way they were before
You wouldn't even recognize me anymore
Not that you knew me back then
But it all comes back to me (in the end)
You kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when I

One hundred percent the Buffy/Faith relationship describing it from S3 onward to this day. It's almost frightening how well it describes it.

I've put my trust in you
Pushed as far as I can go
And for all this
There's only one thing you should know (2x)

A double meaning this time. It describes both Faith putting her trust in Buffy back in S3, as Faith putting her trust in Xander today. But in both cases she placed too much trust in them. First in Buffy, rightly, expecting a fellow slayer to be more helpful to her plight, who finally pushed her as far as she could go, and she went over the edge, going psychopathic. And now in Xander, but wrongly, expecting him to always be there, but even he can't be in more than one place at the same time, so now him not being there, pushes her once again as far as she could go, and then over the edge, becoming the Super Slayer.

And finally the chorus:

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter

Faith tried incredibly hard, and got so very far in suppressing her dark side, making the Angel Team believe she's now almost a Buffy clone. She also tried so very hard to get Buffy and the gang to notice her in S3, in both cases it didn't matter, she fell, and lost it all, her goodness, her sanity, eventually her freedom. Nicely it now actually gives this very depressing song a positive spin; in the end it doesn't matter anymore, because here is the Super Slayer.