Buffy Z

Hera Saga

Part 1: Death

Episode 60 - 65

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

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

Rating: NC-17

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

Summary: Death and clarifications.

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.

Author's note: Okay, this is going to be my most ambition part/saga/story/string of eps I have yet written. I had the basic concept for this part of the saga planned, and then I started reading the /actual/ Journey to the West. All 100 chapters of it. It was great, and completely unconventional, and then I decided to slightly alter this part. It would actually be /named/ 'The Journey to the West', meaning that the Hera saga had to be split in two parts, hence 'Part 1: Death'. Further, I decided I was going to try and copy the style of 'The Journey to the West' without sacrificing my own style. It's been a while since I read it, so I hope I can still channel the feeling of it, but I'm confident I can. One of the interesting things of the 'The Journey to the West' and other Chinese stories of that era is that they place poems right smack in the middle of it. Sometimes just for the heck of it to describe an environment, and sometimes have the characters make them up as part of the story. I'm going to try and do that myself, even though I used to hate poems; the ones in 'Journey' were simply so different and integrated into the story they just seem to fit. So, here I go trying this, wish me luck (and thus yourself :D ).

Shantia's theme: Apocalyptica - Hall of The Mountain King

Xander SSJ4 theme: Rammstein - Ich Will

Rising Fighting Spirit: Toshiru Masuda - Strong and Strike (Genkito Geki)

Oozaru theme: Mike Oldfield - Moonlight Shadow

Super Saiyan theme reminder: Rammstein - Weißes Fleisch

Episode 60
Birthdays and Vacations

Previously, on Buffy Z:

"Buffy," a raspy but familiar, and not very-well-liked voice called. Buffy looked over, a little shocked at the unkept man closing the door of his car. He walked around it, seemingly too far away to wonder why he hadn't seen Buffy go /in/ her house first.

"Who's that?" Anya asked.

"That's my father if you can call him that, right, Hank?" Buffy asked unfriendly, almost hatefully. She folded her arms across her chest, and waited defensively for what he had to say.

"I know, Buffy, I've been horrible," the man said, his arms and legs trembling as he took a few tentative steps closer. His grey eyes started to tear up, and he said, "I haven't even been to your mother's funeral, I can't forgive myself." He shook his head pitifully, and continued, "I don't understand it, I don't even understand why I didn't come to help you out, why at least I didn't send you money, why you had to sick a lawyer on me before I did. I'm so sorry, Buffy, I'm so sorry, I so hope you can forgive me." Hank Summers display got to Xander and Anya, and Buffy was startled, but she wasn't about to give up on the notion her father might just be playing this, just for him to leave her again. Hank's arms trembled and he groaned as he took a step closer. "I . . . I love you, I love you so much," Hank said and groaned again, this time grabbing his stomach. "I know this in my heart, and yet I stayed away from you, it even hurts trying to get you, it hurts all over. I pretty much forgotten you, how could I, if I love you so much? After the lawyer forced me to acknowledge you and send you monthly money you more than deserved, I . . . I-I was reminded of you and still I couldn't come, I had to force myself to finally . . ." Hank Summers groaned again, making Xander look at Anya in shock, and then at Buffy who was completely torn between running at her father, hugging and helping him, and not falling for a big old play.

Dawn made the decision for her, apparently the teen had noticed Xander and Anya weren't leaving, and recognized her father while finding out why. "DAD!" she yelled out in happiness as she sprinted past her sister and their friends. She jumped and wrapped herself around her father's neck. Hank Summers held the girl barely, completely startled. "I knew it! I knew you wouldn't stay away. I missed you so much, daddy!" Dawn exclaimed in happiness, pissing Buffy off that her little sister couldn't hold a level head and remember what their father had put them through by being pretty much incommunicado for the past two years, if not more.

Then Hank asked, "Who-who are you?"


"Who-Who are you?"

Three different words, four distinct words, that was all. Dawn, still clinging to her father - or rather perceived father - just looked off into the distance, with eyes snapped wide open, and her mouth slack. She felt like the world crumbled beneath her, and a wound in her heart that she had thought mended tore open with such agony she felt like she wanted to die. Tears instantly welled up in her eyes, that no amount of self-control could hold back; and although she managed not to cry, tears freely streamed down her cheeks. Slowly she let herself disengage from the hug, and took a step back on trembling legs. She did not dare to looked at the man slightly taller than herself, with short light brown hair and some grey here and there.

"Those god-damned monks," Xander said, making Hank look at him in more confusion. Like Buffy, his right arm was tensed in a deadly fist. He then said the same thing that was on Buffy's mind, "If Glory hadn't already killed them, I'd start hunting them down now." Anya gripped his fist, forcing it open and held on.

Buffy took a step over and enveloped Dawn in a crushing hug. The younger Summers girl finally broke down, trying to worm herself out of Buffy's embrace because she didn't want everyone and especially her boyfriend to see her like this. But soon she stopped fighting and just let her sister hold her, crying. "Shh, it's gonna be alright, Dawn; you're strong, I know, you'll get through this as well," Buffy soothed feeling her own tears well up and flow out.

"He doesn't know me," Dawn sobbed into Buffy's shoulder. Then much more softly in Buffy's ear, "He doesn't know me, Buffy, my father . . . your father . . . I have no father." Dawn's crying and sobs grew louder, her knees weakening. Buffy cried along; no girl should ever have to go through this pain.

"What's going on?" Hank Summers asked.

"What's going on?" Li-Huei asked the two witches next to him just outside the door. "Why doesn't her father know her?"

Tara and Willow looked at him, and then Tara said gently, "You've had quite some surprises to work through since you met Dawn, right?" He nodded. "Well, get ready for another on," Tara added gently.

"Really prepare, because it's going to be a doozy," Willow said with a sad smile.


They were in the Summers living room. Hank was sitting in the couch at the window. Buffy was sitting in the chair left to the table from Hank's point of view. Dawn lay curled up in her sister's embrace, sobbing softly. Willow and Tara sat across from Hank. Xander sat next to them with Anya in his lap, feeling weak, and deeply compassionate for Dawn. To their right on a stool sat a blank Li-Huei, taking it all in.

"Magically created?" Hank questioned dumbfounded, and seemingly trembling, as if forcefully keeping himself from standing up and running away. Willow and Tara had been explaining. They looked at each other, and Willow got up. She brought up her hands and a few minute later a few different color energy balls and a fire balls floated in air in the shape of a circle, and turned around. Hank looked at it in wide-eyed shock. Willow let the balls disappear, and sat back down. "And why did they think they had to hide this Key here?" Hank asked further, frowning as he tried to process it all.

Tara nodded her head which was a side bit a few times in preparation for her speech. Then she said, "Buffy is the Slayer, mystical chosen warrior endowed with greater strength, speed, agility, healing and warrior's instincts to fight the forces of darkness." She gave him a helpless smile. Hank looked over at his daughter taking her in with new eyes. She gave him a cool, short smile before she just looked at him.

"Did Joyce know?" Hank asked slowly.

Buffy nodded, and said, "She found out when I was in my Junior year. She also found out about Dawn, she loved her anyway." Slink in a nice suggestion. Hank looked at the sobbing magically created sister to his daughter.

"But . . . why don't I . . .?" Hank asked, clearly in pain. He didn't know the sobbing girl, but he could see how much pain she was in, and that she was obviously loved by his daughter.

"We think, and we're pretty certain," Willow started, giving Tara a look, "that the monks didn't have enough power. They gave us all, and everyone in Sunnydale, from classmates to more, from people in LA before the move, to people who moved to LA before Dawn got here fake memories, they magically forged documents, birth certificate, computer records, etc. That takes a lot of power, they managed to do this area, and perhaps large parts of the US, but then they ran out of power."

"With you being in Europe at the time," Tara elaborated, and everyone looked at her, starting to get the idea even without her explaining. "We took the liberty to make a few cursory magic scans of your brain, Mr. Summers, nothing invasive, just checking magical tampering. They didn't have enough power left to even give you false memories individually, and yet they couldn't have you show up in Sunnydale, be surprised at Dawn and give her identity away to Glory or her minions. They did have enough left for several magically enhanced hypnotic suggestions: your daughter is not important, forget her, you have fulfillment here, your ex-wife you don't need to look up, stay put whatever happens, you will feel pain if you love your daughter - those sort of things."

Xander looked darkly, so did Li-Huei, and Hank, who muttered, "Those bastards."

"If you allow us," Willow added with a depressed smile. "We can remove the magic, that way you can be here without trembling, without the pains." Hank nodded, and Tara moved over to him, and placed her hands on either side of his head. As she let them glow, Willow continued, "I must add, Mr. Summers, it's a pleasure meeting you. You loved your daughter so much, that once you were reminded of her you defeated several powerful magical manipulations of your mind. That is incredible . . . my mom and dad . . . well, I doubt they even know I have a girlfriend, they never cared much, Tara's parents mentally abused her to the point of making her believe she was a sick, twisted demon, and Xander's parents physically abused him . . . well, Buffy should consider herself lucky with two such awesome parents."

Hank smiled at the compliment as Tara's hands stopped glowing. She smiled at and said, "There it should be all done, you still feel lingering pain and urges to leave?" Hank shook his head as he tested out his body, and then looked over to his daughter - or daughters. "Good, Willow is right, you must love Buffy very much for being able to break the suggestions."

Anya looked at Hank looking at Buffy, and she whispered to Xander, "He's taking this remarkably well, isn't he?"

Xander nodded, and whispered in return, "Or he's in shock, and the big meltdown comes later . . . or he's holding himself strong for his daughters, and . . ."

". . . and the big meltdown comes when he's alone," Anya added softly.

Hank looked around the room, and said, "You can all call me 'Hank', Mr. Summers is not necessary for friends of my daughter . . . sss." He added the last 's' sound with a little guilt, especially when he heart Dawn's slightly elevated sound. He looked back at Dawn, just Dawn this time, and he came to a decision, seeing the tear-stained angelic face of the brunette. "Dawn," Hank called gently, and the beautiful crying girl looked up from her sister. "As far as I am concerned, I came here looking for a daughter, and found two. I may not have any memories of you, but I'd like to make new ones."

Dawn's eyes widened with hope, and she asked, "You mean that." Hank nodded, and held out his hands. Dawn smiled and got off of Buffy's lap, and then was enveloped in her father's hug. Buffy looked annoyed at the spectacle.

"You know," Tara said with a thoughtful look, "using Dawn's and Buffy's memories - multiple viewpoints make it more complete - we could probably give you, Hank, memories of Dawn. You'd have two sets then, one without Dawn, one with Dawn, if you'd like that."

Hank looked at her, and Dawn looked with hope. He then looked at his newfound daughter, smiled, and said, "I'd like that."

"Will take us a few days to prepare," Willow said with a smile. "Doing stuff with a mind like that is delicate work." Tara nodded.

Li got up rather resolutely and walked over to the kitchen. Dawn looked at him go with trepidation in her eyes. Anya suddenly got up and followed the young man.

"So what crawled up your cute butt?" Anya asked Li-Huei when she entered the kitchen and watched him leaning against the counter. Li looked over startled, and then shook his head and looked away. "Well, I supposed it's Dawn's origin, I suppose," Anya asked him.

"Part of it," Li-Huei said, and then sighed. "I mean, who is she? Key, Dawn?"

Anya smiled, and answered him, "I'm an ex-vengeance demon, Xander is a Saiyan, you're a Human. Does it matter? Does it matter if Dawn came on this world through the magic of magic, or through the magic of sex, impregnation, and birth? She's real now: a real girl, with real feelings, with a real relationship, with a real guy, with real sex."

Li-Huei looked at the smiling young woman in front of him. Dawn had pretty much told him Anya was someone who just blurted out everything that came to mind, and from what he had experienced with her that was true. Just because she blurted everything, didn't mean she was stupid, obviously. "Yeah, I guess you're right, but why didn't she tell sooner?" he asked Anya with a hurt look. "It isn't like she kept everything else from me."

"Now that, is something you should ask her. I suggest bringing her to orgasm first, would make her more talkative, and she'd be more reassured," Anya suggested genuinely. Li-Huei looked at the woman in disbelief, and then shook his head. He wondered why he had yet to get used to her directness.

When they returned, he found Dawn sitting on the stairs, not really crying anymore, but definitely very sad. He squatted down with her, nervous. "Why didn't you say earlier?" Li asked painfully.

Dawn shrugged, and said softly, "I didn't want everything to drop on you all at once, I wanted you to have the time to process the rest first; I was afraid you'd leave me." Li looked at her, she returned his gaze, and she added, "And I guess I wanted a boyfriend who didn't know, one who just saw the girl, not the mystical crap, not wondering if this is me, or some monks' idea of how a girl should be." They looked at each other, deeply, and Dawn asked, "Forgive me?" Li slowly smiled and nodded, then moved his right hand through her hair. He pulled her closer and gave her a deep passionate kiss.

"So," Hank Summers stated looking at the two finishing their kiss, "has someone determined that boy's intentions toward my daughter yet?"

Xander grinned and answered, "Yes, sir, that was me, and they are honorable. It's his Japanese upbringing."

"Yep," Li-Huei piped up, grinning almost evilly. "My dad told me to knock her up good, marry her before she's seventeen and give him and mom lots of grandchildren. Japanese honor." Dawn gasped, and the others looked at him. "He was joking at the time, but still . . ." Dawn giggled, and then Anya joined in, and Xander chuckled.

"That's not funny," Buffy said, folding her arms across her chest.


Buffy was in the kitchen, and Hank entered. "Buffy," he said slowly. Buffy turned around and saw the haunted look in his eyes. Perhaps all this had been a bigger blow to him than she had first suspected. "I know it's far too late, but I want to stay here, take care of my girl - girls. I can probably get a job here, and . . ."

"You will not live in this house," Buffy stated resolutely. Her father looked stricken at her, and surprised too at the force and adult tone behind it. "You're right, you're far too late. This household is functional, dad. We've had some rough times, but everything turned out fine. I know the social services inspector had a few doubts here and there, but the last time he was here he was all glowy again. Everything is settled, stabilized some; I can't take in a few-year-absent father, even if it isn't your fault. I still missed you the times /before/ there were any monks messing with your mind." Hank looked at her with pain in his eyes, Buffy knew he wished to protest, but he wisely kept his mouth closed. Buffy continued, "I /know/ you were overseas, and at work, and you can't be everywhere at the same time. As Willow and Tara pointed out, only thrice, or even twice was your fault alone, but you did send me cards and presents. Compare that with their parents . . ." Buffy indicated the living room, meaning about all of them. Her father looked down. "I have to think of Dawn, and I know having you suddenly come into this house is bad. She looks up to Willow and Tara as somewhat surrogate mothers, friends too, I've given them the authority to handle Dawn, punish them even, when I can't be here; you suddenly barging in here can't be good," Buffy explained taking a deep breath. "You being as completely absent though as in the last few years isn't good either, Dawn definitely wants her father, even if you don't have memories of her yet, and that seems soon to be remedied, so . . ." Hank looked up again, and looked at his daughter, now very much his daughter now the motherly duties were out of the way. She walked over a bit, and said, "If you can get a house or an apartment in Sunnydale, preferably close by, dad."

Daughter and father hugged each other close then, Buffy fighting to hold back the tears. She felt her father give her a kiss on the top of her head, and then he said, "I'm so very proud of you, Buffy." Her father gave a sob, and tears came from his eyes. "You've done incredible, more then any one father could ever expect, I love you."

"I've screwed up too, dad, very badly," Buffy told him, after the last year not feeling like she deserved such praise. Without her friends . . . she didn't even want to think what would have happened then.

"Doesn't matter," Hank told her with a smile.

Slowly Buffy disentangled herself and removed some tears from her eye sockets. "One hug, one 'I'm proud' and one 'I love you' doesn't make everything just better," Buffy said with mixed feelings.

"I know, I know," her father said.

"Until you get an apartment though, you're welcome to the guestroom, but you don't have indefinitely," Buffy told him and then steeled herself. As he nodded, she walked back to the living room. Before she went fully inside, she said, "I'm glad you're here, don't screw up with Dawn, most of those bridges are still standing. However much she likes to think she's grown up, she's still a kid, and her father is still her daddy." Buffy then walked onward.


Days later
Just after noon

Summer vacation having started, Dawn watched Li-Huei go, smiling. She went back into the house, finding her friends and family and even her father in the living room. She was still blown away at having him here. He now had memories of her, found a part-time job in Sunnydale, but was still looking for an apartment or house. She had heard from Tara that her seeming-easily-handling-things father had melted down when she and Buffy had been out shopping, but that was alright. She smiled sneakily, this was going to be it.

"Buffy," Dawn prompted, and he slayer made an acknowledging sound. Dawn grabbed a chair, stayed standing, and looked around the room. Xander - just finished with his training - was reading a newspaper, and her father had the other half. "I'm going to be sixteen tomorrow, and Li and I have been talking."

"Oh," her sister added, making everyone else present look up at her. Xander's internship was over, but Anya still ran her magic shop, so she was absent. The two witches looked expectantly.

"Yes," Dawn confirmed, nodding her head at the sister sitting across from where she was standing. "We both wanted to go on vacation together, and both of us sought backpacking across Europe would be awesome . . ."

"You're /not/ going to Europe all alone," Buffy told her with command. Their father obviously agreed.

"I won't be alone, Li's with me," Dawn argued.

"You know what I mean," Buffy returned.

Dawn sighed impetuously, and said, "But I can catch bullets with by bare hands, what could possibly happen?"

"Plenty of other things," Buffy answered somewhat irritated.

"Ok, fine, no Europe," Dawn agreed, "but can we go somewhere closer then? Like, oh, say, Las Vegas?" Tara's eyes widened and looked over to Dawn with big eyes. "That way we'll never be out of range, anything happening and you'll be able to help us in no time!"

"Okay," Xander answered, making everyone look startled at him, then Dawn looking hopeful.

"Ah, Xander, exactly since when is your name 'Summers'?" Buffy asked him somewhat annoyed.

"Dawn, could you leave us, so I can have a talk with your sister?" Xander asked, and Dawn nodded quickly and flew up the stairs. Buffy folded her arms across her chest, and looked at Xander with an expectant look. Hank summers looked equally contrite. "Dawn, no listening in!" Xander called upstairs. There were some footsteps and the door closed. "Dawn, I have a sixth sense remember." Everyone now looked upstairs where there was a wining sound and the door opening and closing. "Good, she can't hear anymore. Do you know where Harmony is?"

They all looked confused, Hank more than all the others at Xander. "No, I was kind of preoccupied, but what has /that/ got to do with anything?" Buffy asked fed up. Xander handed her the paper and pointed at something.

Buffy read the text, and noticed the relevant part, 'Las Vegas crime rate more than halved.'

"Harmony's in Las Vegas, she runs the place. She made a deal with me, she gets to live there, but no human gets harmed, not by demons, not by organized crime; and she isn't dusted. As you can see, she's held her end of the bargain," Xander said with a grin, and everyone looked surprised. Willow took the paper from Buffy, and read herself.

"You've got to be kidding me; Harmony? Stupid, useless Harmony runs Las Vegas?" Buffy questioned in disbelief.

Xander shrugged, "Don't ask me how she managed it, all I know is, she /did/ somehow. But you do see the benefit don't you? Dawn wants to go to Las Vegas, where she's completely safe, because Harmony will keep an eye on her if she wishes to continue unliving. It's like Dawn and Li will set up a tent in the backyard and consider that their vacation."

"She's only sixteen," Hank summers commented.

"Dad," Buffy admonished him, and then said, "She's only sixteen."

"She's /already/ sixteen, you mean. At her age we were battling the Master and Angelus; in some countries kids are going to night clubs at fourteen, their first vacation with only friends at that age, or at fifteen. You were just seventeen when you lived in LA for the whole summer vacation. Dawn's growing up, she can handle herself; better let her learn now, let her make mistakes now and learn from them, instead of by the time you can't bail her out of trouble anymore," Xander pointed out with a smile.

"X-Xander's got a point, actually," Tara said, a little nervous at Buffy's obviously growing temper. The Slayer looked over at Tara and narrowed her eyes.

Buffy looked back at Xander, and said, "A group of friends is one thing, but her boyfriend, and /only/ her boyfriend."

Xander answered her seriously, "Yes, she and Li might consummate their relationship, but would you rather she do it in a beautiful bed in a clean room in a hotel after a romantic diner, or in the backseat of a car, or perhaps in a dirty cockroach-filled motel room?"

Buffy sighed; Xander made a /real/ good point. Yes, Buffy wished Dawn would wait much longer with sex than she did, but like she had realized already a year before, there was no way she could control that - she gave a quick glance at the condom-filled bowl on the mantel of the fireplace. "Yeah, I think I can live with Dawn and Li going to Las Vegas," Buffy answered half defeated.

"Are you serious?" her father questioned.

"Yes, I am," Buffy answered and looked directly in his eyes. "Are you questioning my authority? Even my custody of Dawn?" Buffy's eyes pierced her father's directly; a tiny tug of wills ensuing. Buffy had made very clear, even without saying a thing, that she would battle her father through every court, and him being absent after Joyce's death, and her having provided a good home for Dawn in that same time, he really didn't stand much of a chance. Hank sagged, knowing himself how well Buffy had done till now.

"Dawn!" Buffy yelled loudly. A few moments later the teen came down the stairs. "You can go, on one condition; you will take with you a cell phone, and have it with you at /all/ times, so I can call and check up on you at /all/ times." Hank seemed to improve.

Dawn nodded enthusiastically and said, "Absolutely, sure, no problem. Thank you, Xander. Can I go call Li and tell him?" Buffy nodded, and Dawn disappeared back up the stairs; now only Li's parents were left to convince.

Buffy frowned, and realized she was going to have to buy Dawn a cell phone, and said, "That wasn't a burden, that was a reward, wasn't it?" Willow shrugged, and Buffy sighed.


Three days later Dawn was packed, and most of her luggage was already in Li's car. While Li was outside waiting, Dawn went over to the bowl on the mantel and pulled out a good number of condoms and stuffed them in her purse. The cell phone in her purse rang. She got it out, and turned it on as she turned around. "Hello?" she said in the phone seeing Buffy standing there holding the phone with a questioning, and annoyed look.

"Just checking if it works," Buffy said in the phone, then hung up. She looked at Dawn's purse as the teen put her new phone in it.

Dawn noticed where Buffy was looking and smiled innocently. "Just in case, you know," she said and walked to the door.

"Why do I feel like I've been had?" Buffy muttered before joining Dawn at the door to wave her goodbye.


"Woow!" Dawn yelled - throwing her hands in the air - as they left Sunnydale for the open road. "I can't believe we get to go."

"I can't believe it either, your sister is so awesome!" Li said, casually driving.

"Well," Dawn said sexily. "Seeing as I'm only just sixteen, and won't get driver's ed until next school year, I guess this means my boyfriend is the real man behind the wheel for this trip."

"Yep, that's me, man behind the wheel, two hundred and sixty miles to Las Vegas. Depending on how often and how long we stop, how often you have to use the bathroom, we'll be there anywhere between four hours, and eight hours," he said with a grin.

Dawn leaned back against the seat of the Ford, and grinned, "You and me, Li, boyfriend and girlfriend, on vacation together, and no one else."

Li smirked, and said, "Dawn, that's the tenth time you said that since we left your house, and about the three thousandth time in the past week or so. I /know/ already." Dawn grinned and leaned over to give him a kiss, the seat belt making things difficult. "Dawn, _no_! Not while I'm driving," he ordered, Dawn pouted. "No," he repeated.

Dawn leaned back in the seat again, and said, "I like it when you're all man like that."

He looked over and asked, "Is that the way to talk for a feminist?"

"Do I look like I care? Besides, whoever said I was a feminist?" Dawn asked Li with a provocative grin.

"You can lift this car over your head," Li pointed out.

"That makes me strong, not a feminist," Dawn pointed out with a smirk.

Li looked over, grinned and said, "Well, if you're not a feminist, you won't mind if I pull this car over and give you a good spanking, right?"

"Hey!" Dawn said, smiling as she pulled back as far as she could go from the dangerous look in his eyes. "I'm a feminist! I'm a feminist! Just don't confuse me with the ball-busting, men-belong-in-cages kind, okay? Equality here. I'm the kind who actually likes men, not just as boyfriend material. I'd be one evil bitch if I wasn't, with Xander as a role model and all."

"Deal, now let me drive, no kissing while in the car," Li told her, and she smiled.


They entered the Tropicana lobby, their luggage rolling in behind them. After the preliminaries a bellboy lead them to their room. "Here it is, sir, ma'am," the man said, holding the door open for them. They were on the fourth floor, and Dawn and Li gave each other look. They entered the room, and they gasped. The room was big, it was not only big, but in the middle was a four poster heart-shaped bed. They'd gotten the honeymoon suite.

"Uh, there must be some mistake, we're still in highschool, we can't afford this," Li said in shock at the spacious place.

"Oh, no, sir, compliments of the house. The owner requested you two visit once you've settled in, just call room service and I'll come pick you up to lead you to her," the man said, nodded his head and then left before they could even think about giving him a tip.

"What the . . .?" Dawn muttered in shock.

"You don't think they think we're mob bosses undercover or something, do you? Mistaken identity?" Li asked his girlfriend nervously.

Dawn looked at him for a moment, and then shook her head. Then she said, "Whatever it is, we can handle it. Bulletproof girl here, right?"

"Right," Li muttered in confusion.

"Uhm, why did you choose this hotel again?" Dawn asked a little perturbed.

Li looked at her, and said, "Xander recommended it to me." Dawn frowned in confusion, and a hint of suspicion.


Three quarters of an hour later their bellboy led them to a double door, and gestured. "You may enter whenever you wish," the man said, and then left. The two teens gave each other a look, looked around the green-carpeted hallway, then at each other. They shrugged and pushed open the doors, entering a spacious, luxury suite, which had everything; it was more an apartment then a suite. They walked onward until they reached halfway to the living room, allowing them to see the side walls and the doors leading to other rooms. A vamped out blonde entered from the right; dressed in a sexy neglige, and having a trickle of blood on one mouth corner which she scooped up with her right index finger and then sucked clean.

"Hi, guys, glad you could make it," Harmony greeted them; both Dawn and Li looked with dropped jaws. "What is it?" she asked looking around.

"HARMONY!" Dawn screamed, and immediately brought her hands up and charged a ball of energy. She fired it, and Harmony jumped screeching with fright and panic. "I'm gonna dust you, you little bitch!" Dawn growled, as Li went into his own fight stance.

"What, why!?" Harmony yelled in fear from behind a couch, peaking over.

"You're a vampire! And you're supposed to be in Sunnydale or dust city!" Dawn said firing another energy blast, destroying the couch.

"WAIT!" Harmony screamed out, diving behind a bigger couch, and then started an impressive imitation of rapid Willow babble, "I'm here with Xander's blessing! We have a deal! I keep every human safe from all demons and everyone else under me, and I'm not dust!"

"What do you mean: under you!?" Dawn said, getting an inkling on why Xander was so quick and easy on letting her get to Las Vegas.

Harmony nodded quickly, "I rule all of Las Vegas, I'm Queen H. I even pay him five million a year! Please don't kill me!"

"FIVE MILLION!?" Li gasped out in shock, and then he looked at Dawn.

"I haven't seen a dime," she said and then slumped, saying, "Now I understand why he would let me go here so easily and convince Buffy. As long as we're here, no demon or whatever is going to come after us. With stupid in charge here, we're utterly and completely safe. Did he tell you to spy on us!?"

Harmony shook her head, carefully standing back up. "No, just make extra sure you're safe, whatever you want to do, you can do as long as it doesn't break the law. You won't be followed or anything if that's what you mean," Harmony looked fearfully at the two. "You're not going to kill me?"

"What was with the blood? You didn't break the deal, did you?" Li asked, having a keen memory of the finger sucking event.

"My girlfriend's! She gets off on that stuff! Maxine, you know? Spike's former girl? I don't /actually/ hurt her," Harmony whimpered quickly. "She's still chained in there, the way she likes it, if you want to go ch- . . . actually, you're sixteen, better not go in there. Xander would dust me if he found out you got to see that scene."

Li and Dawn looked at each other and made disgusted faces. "One last thing; five million dollars? Is Xander keeping it all to himself?"

Harmony relaxed a bit, and said, "I'm guessing the first few payments he did, paying the wedding, the honeymoon, and the house - is it a nice house?" Li and Dawn glared at her in boy/girlfriend sync. "But you know, Xander, Mister Boy Scout, he probably set up a trust fund or something for the rest of you. You probably won't get access to it until you're an adult or really, really need it, like college tuition - you know big surprise birthday gifts for you?"

"He /would/ do something like that," Dawn sighed in annoyance. "All right, Harmony, you keep the hell out of our way and don't annoy us, or I swear, deal or no deal, you're dust."

Harmony swallowed deeply and nodded, "You won't even know I'm here . . ."

"We already do!" Li pointed out.

The vampiress shrank back, and said, "You know what I mean."


Back in their room, Dawn decided to forget about the whole Harmony business, and get her and Li's mind on more pleasant things; like sex. After putting on a tight shirt that left her midriff bare, a short skirt, and a pair of high heels she returned to the main part of the suite. Li was sitting on the bed, and was stunned as Dawn coyly entered the bedroom from the bathroom. She leaned against the doorframe for a moment and then swaying her hips she walked over to him, saying, "So, what do you think we should do tonight? Read a book?" Dawn stood in front of Li now, and slowly let herself slide down in his lap, her knees on the bed, and her body against his, eyes peering into her eyes. "Get our bathing suits and go to the pool? See if we can manage to get into gambling? Walk around LA and get some ice cream?" She then pushed herself against him and kissed him deeply and suggestively. "Have sex?"

Li's hands wrapped around Dawn's back, hugging her close he said, "I spent most of the day driving, I'm tired; so walking and gambling, not so much. Lying motionless in a pool sounds nice; and the last one, if you do the work - I could definitely do with a nice relaxing blowjob."

Dawn let her hand caress his chest, and said huskily, "I was more thinking we take this to the next step - we've done enough with our hands and mouths if you ask me - and go all the way. This is Nevada, legal age sixteen, no one can get us on some perceived breaking of some weird law."

"Uh, Dawn, I'm not really ready for that, I think," Li-Huei answered her a little nervous.

Dawn smiled kissed him in his neck, let her tongue lick for a moment, and said, "You're that tired, huh? You certain there's no way to replenish your energy reserves."

"Not like that, Dawn, I'm not ready ready," Li clarified nervously.

Dawn jerked back and asked, "Are you serious?" Li just looked at her. "I thought you guys all wanted to jump the girls on the first date."

"No, not all guys want that. And you don't have to do anything in order- . . ." Li started concerned for his girlfriend, wondering if he made her think.

"No, no!" Dawn interrupted him, and looked him deep in the eyes. "This not some idea of obligation, Li, I love you, I want you, I've been fantasizing about having you completely for weeks . . . months? I /want/ to have sex with you, badly!"

"I'm flattered, Dawn, but . . . I don't think I'm ready for that," Li answered her sagely.

"Wow, well, I'm not going to pressure you into anything, you can have all the time you need to get ready . . . just be ready by midnight," Dawn told him, and Li looked at her an odd look. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding, if you're not ready, I'll wait and make do with my fingers, your fingers and your mouth till you are."

Li grinned, "I guess it's to the pool tonight, huh?" Dawn nodded.


Dawn looked at herself in the mirror a short time later. Her yellow bikini top showed off her cleavage nicely. She turned around and took her naked ass cheeks in her hands and squeezed them for a moment: nice and firm and soft. The yellow g-string bikini bottom left nothing to the imagination. She turned around and examined it up front. She moved her hand over the crotch area, and grinned: very tight indeed, she wondered what it would look like soaked with water. Li would soon find out. She checked out her muscular, but smooth legs. Yep, perfect. Just because she wasn't going to pressure Li into having sex with her, didn't mean she couldn't show off what he was missing in order to /get/ him ready. She grabbed a robe and put it on, then took a towel with her. In the room she found Li in nothing but boxer swimming trunks, just starting to put on his robe. She licked her lips at his muscular frame, and realized again how lucky she was; she did not only have the guy she was in love with, but he had a fantasy body to match, a rare combination indeed.

"Coming?" she asked with a smile. Li nodded.

A few minutes later they found the hotel pool, which was mostly empty, it being night. There was just one other older couple enjoying the water. Li took off his robe first and enthusiastically jumped into the water. "Come on, Dawn!" he urged his girlfriend.

Dawn grinned at him. She placed her towel on an empty relaxation seat, and then turned slightly away from Li. She untied her robe, and then slowly and teasingly let it glide down her arms. Once it was off, she bent slightly through her knees, pushing her ass out as she brought the robe to her front and placed it next to the towel on the cushioned seat. She then slowly turned around, and looked at the water with a pout, incidentally giving her the opportunity to take in Li-Huei's stunned face. Oh, yes, that had definitely worked. "Is the water cold?" she asked.

"Uh, no, not at all," Li managed taking in his girlfriend standing seemingly hesitantly at the pool.

Slowly and carefully Dawn put her right toes in the water, and then her entire foot, onto a first step of a few leading deeper into the pool. *Oh, yeah, women are /so/ scared of cold water,* Dawn thought evilly as she kept up her hesitant pout. She added the other foot gently, and then slowly turned right as she put her first foot a step lower. Thus she very seductively swayed her body bit by bit into the water. She hesitated a bit longer when she was about to let her crotch and bikini bottom sink into the pool's wetness.

"Come on, Dawn!" Li encouraged and then splashed some water her way. "We don't have all night."

"Hey! Hey! Watch it, that's cold!" Dawn exclaimed and grinned inwardly, *Thank you, look at all that water now glistening as it flows along my body.* She took another step and then let her pelvis and hips sink into the water, darkening the yellow. She shivered a bit for show, and then let the rest of her body sink down as she sped up the last part, making sure the water reached just halfway her breasts. Only then did she go horizontal and swim over to Li. whose pupils were dilated quite some. *Perfect,* Dawn thought with a grin. She slung her arms around his neck and pressed her body against his, then kissed him deeply. Once she broke the kiss she told him, "I love you, Li-Huei."

"Ah, I love you too," Li returned, and then felt Dawn's pelvis press against his, and he blushed.

"Don't be embarrassed," Dawn commented upon feeling his very present bulge. "I'm very flattered," Dawn added hotly, and then thought to herself, *Oh, yes, Li, don't you worry one little bit. I'll have you so ready soon you'll jump and ravish /any/ woman to relieve yourself, and I'll make certain I'll be the only one around when that happens.*


Li gave a sigh as he finished orgasming, and lay back. He watched Dawn get a towel and clean his stomach and penis. "Damn, you're good with your hands," Li said with amazement.

Dawn grinned as she tossed the towel aside, and said, "So are you, baby." She gave her pelvis a pat indicating his ministrations earlier, then she snuggled her naked body against his. She give him a kiss on his cheek, and asked, "Are we going to have fun this vacation?"

"Lots," he told her with a grin. "Oh, that was quite a nice show you pulled off earlier; you should think about becoming an actress."

"Huh!?" Dawn said confused.

He gave her a kiss on her forehead, and said, "If you were cold, you could simply have warmed yourself with you chi, and the water around you along with it." He grinned.

Dawn groaned, and said, "Great, two guys in the world who have a brain other than the one in their penises, and I'm the one stuck with one. I should go to a feminist convention and tell them it's way overrated." Li grinned more and kissed her deeply. When he broke it, Dawn said, "Wait, if you knew, how come . . .?"

"Just because I know what you're doing, doesn't mean you don't look hot doing it," Li-Huei answered with a grin. Dawn slumped her head on his shoulder, groaned and shook her head.

"I love you," she then murmured.

"Love you too," he added.


Two days later Dawn was frustrated. They had had lots of fun, but not that /one/ fun that Dawn had set her mind on. They were in their room, and it was time to get some answers. "Li," Dawn said gently, turning the volume on the tv down. The couch was comfortable, and Dawn hoped it wasn't too comfortable. "You said you didn't feel ready for sex, full on intercourse that is."

"Yes," Li answered, nervously and Dawn could say it plainly.

"I'm not pressuring you, or anything," Dawn quickly said to reassure him, "if you don't want to answer, you don't have to, but I would like to know /why/ you feel you're not ready. It isn't me, right?"

"Oh, no, no! You're perfect, Dawn, you're great, you're not it, well . . ." Li said, and wished he hadn't let that last word slip out.

Dawn felt a panic come up in her, and prompted with a whimper, "Well?"

"It's me, you, all of this," Li answered quickly and saw the look in Dawn's eyes grow more fearful. "Not like your thinking, not like that, it's just that . . . you're so powerful, and beautiful, and . . . well, look at me. I'm but a lowly mortal . . ."

"Don't say that," Dawn said, a mixture of fear and anger in her voice, as she put her fingers to his lips to gesture for him to stop. "You're just like me. I'm no more stronger than you, than you are to Janice; untrained. If you wanted to, you could equal, and probably surpass me; it's all a matter of more training."

"But, Key," Li added.

"No," Dawn said resolutely, shaking her head, tears in her eyes. "I'm no longer the Key, and even if I was, using it would mean having to die. The Key's power is drawn by cutting me open and letting the blood flow, got that?" Li-Huei looked perturbed, his blue-eyes twinkled with uncertainty and he nodded carefully. "Finally, Li, even if I /was/ still the key, and I had even more power, it wouldn't matter. I want you, I love you, /all/ of you, how many cars you can crush with one punch doesn't matter to me, okay?"

Li nodded, but said, "But, I feel like I hold you back or something, like you could do so much better without me; like you will resent me for it."

Dawn snuggled against Li, and told him, "I will tell you this, and I will tell you this only once so pay attention, Li-Huei Kijimuta. You do not hold be back, in fact, you /can't/ hold me back, even if you tried, because you know why? I won't /let/ you hold me back. Plenty of couples out there where both parties equally, or one more then the other, have a career, or otherwise awesomely successful in life. Whether I'm physically stronger than you are, or the other way around, matters nothing. Got that?"

"Yeah, I guess."

Dawn lifted her head, looking up at him, and asked, "Guess?"

"I'll think about it, process it," he answered her, giving her a kiss on her forehead.

Dawn nodded and put her head back on her shoulder. "You do that," she said with a smile.


Dawn looked in the mirror. They had agreed to meet at the diner table. It had been a few days since the night of the confession. They had had even more massive amount of fun, true, but /still/ that /one/ fun she had set her mind on hadn't yet occurred. All her seductive tricks had failed. So, this afternoon she found a reason to have some time alone so she could finish her one and final ultimate infallible seduction idea: tonight, she had vowed, /no/ man, not even a gay one, would be able to resist Dawn Summers.

For that purpose she had rented the dress; she didn't have enough money to buy one after all. Two thin straps held the dress on her shoulder. It was cut low enough to show her cleavage, and given the straps, she was not wearing a bra. The dark green shiny material of the dress clung to /all/ curves; and without that bra, that made her breasts very obvious. The flare of her hips was beautifully framed, and her legs were shown off by the deep slit on either side. The dress reached to just below her knees. Underneath she wore black high heels, and black stockings. The slits were high enough, that under just the right circumstances the tops of her stocks could be seen, and that included the garters, which led up to a garter belt that was just around her waist. This was the first time Dawn wore something like that, and it made her feel . . . sexy - considering what she was planning, that was a good thing. Over the garters, she wore a small lacy, half see-through thong, that she knew - if Li got to see her without the dress on - would drive him wild. Her outfit was completed with dazzling earrings and necklace covered with jewels (too bad, Dawn thought, fake). She had let her hair be tied up and back at a hairdresser, then curling down widely, almost like a pony tail. It was just wide enough to frame her face and neck. Her makeup was impeccable: light green with pinkish eye shadow, her lashes extra black, just a little pink rouge on her cheeks, and she just finished putting deep red lipstick on her lips.

*If looks could . . . there better not be guy's with weak hearts around,* Dawn thought, and gave herself a grin. She tried out a few poses to see which showed off the most of her body, and especially which poses showed off her tops and garters - those latter poses would have to be wielded with utmost care. Satisfied she was ready enough to seduce a whole carrier ship, she went out the door.


Li was there first, as planned. He just had his glass to his mouth, drinking something when Dawn made her entrance. Standing at the top of two steps that led to the dining floor, she surreptitiously called Li. He looked with his eyes, took in Dawn, and immediately coughed, trying to get the liquid now in his air pipe back. He sputtered some more, and slowly managed to get himself back under control. Dawn smiled as she gently went down the two steps, Li watching with a dropped jaw. *That's right, Li, don't fight it, just get rock hard, because you'll be needing it soon, tonight we're going to lose our virginities,* Dawn thought and reached the table with the quite some less-impressively-dressed Li. Dawn pulled her chair for the evening back, and sat down, bending at the waist, curving her ass. The dress fell away around her leg, the slit doing the work it was designed for: showing off her legs and the stockings and garter. She went to sit further, her chest lowered as she bent, allowing Li to just about look right at her breasts, except from above not from the front.

Once she sat down she smiled innocently at Li, which amazed him. How the little minx that thankfully was his girlfriend could smile so innocently while being guilty as sin was beyond him. The contrast turned him on immensely, feeling his pants constrict at his crotch.

Dawn saw the hot face of Li, saw how openly he was drinking her in, and it turn her on just as much. She shifted her position on the chair a bit, feeling herself grow moist. *I'm ready for this, so fucking ready,* Dawn thought, wanting her boyfriend of several months so badly, *perhaps a little /too/ ready, I hope the rentals don't wonder too much about a possible stain there.*


The door to their hotel room slammed shut behind them. Li was heavily kissing Dawn, who let herself be pushed toward the heart-shaped bed as she desperately got Li out of his clothes. Dawn landed on the bed on her back, while Li grabbed the strap of her dress wanting to tug.

"Uh!" Dawn stopped him, much to both's disappointment. "It's a rental, have to be careful."

Dawn got up and carefully slipped the dress off, while Li pulled off his own clothes. Once the dress was off, and Dawn put it carefully on a chair, he drank in her topless and gartered form. "God, I want you," Li said, his straining erection a testament to that. They met on the bed, kissing and stroking and caressing wherever they could. When Dawn's thong got a little caught in her garters, Li lost his patience and simply ripped it off.

Dawn squealed in shock, broke the kiss and looked at him again. Li looked at her with lust-filled eyes and she commented, "A real man's need behind the wheel, needs to be serviced, eh?"

"Oh, yeah," Li said and latched on her left breast, licking and kissing it, and slowly maneuvering to go between her legs.

"Mmh," Dawn interrupted, a hand against his chest. "Condom," she explained and hated that she had to get off the be again. She grabbed her bag - damn, where had she put the condoms? Right. She ran over to a table and ripped open the drawer. A moment later she returned with several, dumping all but on a night stand. She tore open the packaging using her teeth as she went back onto the bed, and placed the condom on top of Li's raging erection. Holding the tip, she couldn't roll it down smoothly; too nervous and hasty, but she managed eventually. They kissed again, desperately, and Li rolled her on her back, and maneuvered in between her. He thought of something, and looked at her vagina, noticing it glistening with her juices; nope not necessary, Dawn was more then wet and ready enough already.

Before penetration, he looked deep in her eyes, and asked, "You're really sure?"

"YES!" Dawn screamed out, "I've never been so sure in my life, I want you, damn it."

"That settles that," the sixteen-year-old returned and pushed inside. It was awkward, and it took some trying but eventually he slipped inside her wet confines, much to both their desires. He pushed in deeper, and hit her hymen. He looked deeply into her eyes, and saw the desire there, mixed in with a little fear. He decided to take the band-aid approach, and plunged in as deep as he could as fast as he could ripping her hymen. Dawn gave a painful squeal, and he halted once he was fully in side. He groaned and said, "God, that feels so good, all that soft, firm . . . damn, if it feels this good /with/ condom . . ."

Dawn had managed to calm her breathing, and come down from the quick but powerful burst of pain. "I'm good again, go for it," she whispered hotly with Li on top of her. She didn't exactly feel as wonderful as Li apparently felt, but she still felt good; not so much of the penetration but more the idea of having him inside her finally, and he enjoying it so much. Li nodded, and started thrusting, having a little difficulty, trying to find the right position. "Ouch!" Dawn called out, as he accidently put his weight on her right leg.

"Sorry," he said, and maneuvered her leg wider, and repositioned himself then continued. He couldn't believe he was doing this, he couldn't believe how good he felt. He heard Dawn breathing harder, and gave something in between a whimper and a moan during his tenth thrust. That was it, that was all he needed. He didn't know if it was a sound of pleasure; he was far too focused on their act to notice that, but it sounded incredibly erotic to him, and his young body reacting by climaxing. He groaned and moaned, managing to get out, "God . . . good, com- . . . ing! DAWN!"

Dawn was disappointed when he felt him lower on top of her. She hadn't gotten anywhere close to her orgasm. She felt and heard him breathing hard, and asked, "Li?"

"Huh? . . . oh," Li replied and pushed himself up, looking at the disappointed face of his girlfriend. "I'm so sorry . . . I . . ."

"No worries," Dawn told him, and then broke into a smile, "apart from /that/ moment, I wasn't in pain, and I certainly didn't hate it." Li looked sheepishly as he pulled off his filled condom, and looked around for the waist bin; it seriously need to be put closer the next time. "I know what you can do with your mouth and fingers," Dawn thought out loud, and felt her smile grow involuntarily. Li looked at her. She continued, "I'll bet by the time we finish with that, you're ready to go a second time. We'll take our time then, explore, you ok with that?" He grinned and nodded.


The mountain range outside of LA

The rock suddenly burst, shattered, sending remaining pebbles everywhere, and a hand shot up into the daylight. Almost immediately the hand started smoking and sizzling. Instantly the hand was pulled back down. Then, a much larger amount of rock exploded outward, the hand - in a fist now - once again resurfaced, this time enveloped by a white glow, and this time it did not smoke.

Episode 61
The Rising Tide of Death

824 AD

The black man looked stricken at the coast in front of him. Their Chinese ship, with a minimum crew was moving toward it. Next to him stood the second half of 'they', a short, young Chinese girl - the Slayer, one that had risen more to the occasion than he could even imagine a Slayer could. He had long since given up on ordering her around; in their last battle she had taken charge of the fight, and he knew when he was outclassed. Even though the council's teaching told him he should keep careful control of his Slayer, he didn't; he knew the fate of his life, her life, and possibly all life lay in her hands - hands that needed to be unbound.

"It can't be, Min," he said in shock. "Those abilities . . ." he shook his head in disbelief.

"It is, and that means it won't take her long to realize she's following a simple diversion, and that means we won't have much time before she comes following us. I give us a day, at the very most, then she'll find us," Min said with a determined face. "I will stop her, I have too."

"Do you have a plan? A simple stake won't work against her," he returned.

"Not fully yet, Bongani, I need to see the terrain first," Min told him, looking down. Her watcher could see the heavy burden on her shoulders, but couldn't quite figure out what it was about her that made her seem . . . well, /more/ burdened than ever. Of course, it had been eight months since she was called, and they were now facing a threat like no other before. Min continued, "but basically fireworks." She gestured at the cargo hold, and Bongani understood finally what had been loaded into it.

"Fireworks!?" Bongani exclaimed in shock. "Min! I know your people believe fireworks drives demons away, but you and I both know a real demon will enjoy the light show a few little fireworks cause, and then gleefully tear the people using them apart! Especially this one!"

Min nodded, her arms trembling for a moment, and said, "That's why I plan on using big fireworks."

*Big fireworks?* Bongani thought, and flashed back to seeing a man holding a firework too long in his hand, his hand severely injured by the flash and bang, then he imagined the bang bigger, and bigger. He looked back at the hold, not having seen just how much of the ingredients had been loaded into it, since he was mostly unconscious at the time - the daze he had been in couldn't really be called consciousness. "By all the gods," he muttered in shock as he started to consider the whole ship filled with it. Min nodded painfully, and he started realizing what this meant. The chances of their survival went down, and if some of them did survive - until now fireworks had been used as a mostly harmless fun and driving away of demons. For whatever reason Bongani didn't know, nobody had thought of using it as a weapon, not even himself, but his Slayer now had. Whoever came back alive, would understand how potent a weapon the Chinese had had for the past eight hundred years, but neglected it as such. If any of the crew had ambition; the world would be forever changed.

"The people on the other continent, do they know? Are there watchers? Or do you understand their language? We might only get this done on time if some of them help," Min asked him.

"Yes, although there hasn't been contact with the continent and the people there for at least two centuries if I remember correctly; but I know there is at least one place that is always under guard, and people live close by to do so; and we're headed to it, I think," her watcher added, thinking over what he remembered of the place. "Whatever watcher is there should know our language at least, even if I know only little of theirs."

"What place?" Min asked, dread filling her.

Bongani looked at her and answered, "The Hellmouth." Min looked at him with greater fear and a questioning look, and a hope it wasn't what it sounded like it was. "It's the gateway to hell, should anyone open it, all the demons banished there can come through to us."

"No, oh no! And I'm leading her straight to it, no!" Min shook now, and Bongani did another thing Council regulations didn't allow him to do. He enveloped his Slayer in a hug and comforted her, telling her it wasn't her fault. "I must stop her, I absolutely must, if we fail, she'll be drawn to it," Min sobbed out.


Recruiting the natives, and their watcher wasn't difficult; they knew the dangers that lurked in the night, and after hearing what was coming, they quickly helped. Min requested a place; a valley, a gorge, a narrow space flanked from all sides by rock and mountain - only one way in.

The natives knew such a place, and so they went. First they put all the ingredients together, great heaps of it, putting it into tons with a small opening. The tones they dug into the soil of the gorge and from their they led trails of the black powder. The walls of the barren rock surrounding the gorge - only an occasional bush was seen here and there - were fitted similarly with tons full of the powder.

It was mid day, and they felt safe, until the screeching voice of the demon that they had led here was heard. The female vampire flew in, enveloped in a white cone or flame of energy. "I'm going to kill you bitch! I will kill you for dusting him, I will, I will torture you to death!!" the black-haired vampire raged.

"It can't be, it's day!" Bongani exclaimed in shock. The vampire's eyes were the palest blue Bongani had ever seen, but knew the terrifying true color if she ever vamped out. He didn't really know what the original girl's origins were, but he guessed the Russian steps. His Slayer didn't waste time with being surprised and simply immediately ran down the least steep edge down into the gorge, while throwing him a torch, ordering him to light it. He caught it in reflex, but once the torch was lit, his heart broke. Now he understood! He understood her secret whisperings with the natives, understood her extra burden, understood why he hadn't told him her full plan; she had never intended to survive - /never/.

He watched in shock as the vampire landed in the middle of the narrow gorge, no more then ten meters across, right in front of his Min. The vampire landed the first punch, and he looked shocked as his Slayer was simply launched off her feet. A moment later the vampire actually arrived in behind Min, and his slayer smashed with the back of her head against the vampire's elbow. How could you fight such a being? He heard the vampire rage that she was going to torture his Min to death with only a fraction of her true power. He shuddered to think that this was nothing to the vampire. How ancient did she have to be, and if not, and even so, where did she get such power?

He heard his Min scream, "Now!" Then again, as she landed a punch of her own that did nothing but make the vampire laugh and backhand the Slayer away from her. "NOW!" Min screamed again a third time, obviously in extreme pain, probably broken jaw and other bones. Bongani couldn't, he just couldn't! He swore he could see tears flow from his Slayer's eyes. He heard his native counterpart yell at him to do it, to light the fuse of black power. But how could he kill his own Slayer, even if he knew it was the only way to stop the vampire? Of course, the native did the duty for which Min had talked to him. He yanked the lit torch from his hands and stuck it into the powder, which sprung to life immediately, sizzling as it burned up. A minute later the native watcher signaled more natives and a few Chinese standing at other trails of gunpowder, each leading to tons in the high rock wall, lit those trails equally.

Down below the vampire looked around and saw the powder burn toward her. She laughed and told the broken Min, "Fireworks!? You actually believe that'll work!? You're little superstitions won't help you now, bitch! I expected more of you."

Min felt the tears sting her broken face, and looked at her enemy. She would not let her get away, so she lunged. The vampire just grinned at her pitiful efforts, but was surprised when Min grabbed her feet and lifted her off them. The vampire crashed with her back on the rock ground, and then Min dove on her, scratching, and punching desperately, not intent to hurt her, but to keep her in place. "Bitch!" the vampire yelled and grabbed her hands. She was about to say something when her eyes widened, understanding filtering in her eyes. Min wasn't surprised: the vampire had a powerful sense of smell, and she had the same battle instincts as she had. The vampire pushed Min off, but before she could get up, Min grabbed her feet again. It wasn't much, certainly not against an opponent that could fly, but it was just enough to distract her enemy. A moment later the tons of gunpowder in the ground exploded with massive force, rock being launched in the air. Min felt her legs being shredded apart, but kept a hold of the vampire through gritted teeth and tearful eyes. She felt massive amounts of energy rise around her, coming from the vampire who raged at her with disgust, but also felt parts of the vampire being equally shredded. She felt the ground open beneath her, and falling down. Then the second wave of explosion, and a moment later the entire gorge collapsed in on itself, burying one Slayer, one vampire, and one black watcher that had run screaming after his slayer. For the Slayer and the watcher it didn't matter; they were long dead by the time layer after layer of rock covered them.


The present

[Play Shantia's theme]

Time after time had past, over a millennium easily. In the past few months though, something had changed. Several massive explosions nearby had occurred; several devastatingly powerful beings had fought close by. Their fists and landings had trembled the earth. The explosions caused by their attacks had rippled through earth and rock, and so something was stirred, and had awoken. The rock suddenly burst, shattered, sending remaining pebbles everywhere, and a hand shot up into the daylight. Almost immediately the hand started smoking and sizzling. Instantly the hand was pulled back down. Then, a much larger amount of rock exploded outward, the hand - in a fist now - once again resurfaced, this time enveloped by a white glow, and this time it did not smoke.

With a roar the hand was followed by a vamped out female vampire. Her clothes were all but gone; she covered in dust and dirt, her hair was a mess, and there were still the occasional piece of her body missing; but she was healing. Her red eyes, with darker red pupils were scary to behold. "WHERE ARE YOU BITCH!!!" she roared out in an ancient form of English and looked around, then at her attire. "NO! YOU'RE ALREADY DEAD! YOU DENIED ME MY VENGEANCE!!!" The vampire floated there, growing angrier and angrier by the minute, her chi flame burst out, fueled by an enormous rage, and she screamed, "FOR THAT I WILL KILL ALL OF YOUR SUCCESSORS AND ALL YOUR PRECIOUS WATCHERS! I WILL LEVEL THIS WORLD WITH THE GROUND!!!"

Her anger spent for now, she came crashing down. Twelve hundred years almost she had laid dormant, all but dead; most of her energy spent on healing and not dying. She lay on her knees breathing hard; her dead state had kept her from shriveling up, but now she needed sustenance; she needed blood, and lots of it. Especially as she was using up more chi to keep her body from catching flame and disintegrating from the sun above her. An odd sound was above her and she looked up. Her eyes widened at her first sight of a plane flying over, making its approach to LAX airport. "What the . . .!?" she exclaimed in shock. She followed the plane first with her gaze only, and then jogged after it, until Los Angeles became visible. She took it in, let it imprint in her mind, and then she screamed, "NO! IT'S BEEN CENTURIES!!!"

[Stop Shantia's Theme]


Faith moved up and down, her body shaking with the pleasure. Wesley's penis slid back and forth along her anus' fleshy walls, sending thrills of forbidden pleasure and just the right amount of uncomfort into her mind and body to make her moan out with the bliss of it all. She was facing away from the lying on his back Wesley, who had his hands on his ass and sent powerful bursts of his chi into her in time with her own heated, forceful thrusts. The pulses of energy were powerful enough to generate a little pain, making the whole experience the pinnacle of pleasure and uncomfort. The knowledge that his pulses of chi would give Wesley himself only more pleasure, while her own tight orifice was expertly stimulating his cock with the occasional pulse of chi when she hit bottom, was driving Faith wild. Here she was being subjected to that exquisite pain, in order to give her boyfriend even greater pleasure. Her body was raging toward an incredible orgasm, and she knew the same was true for Wesley.

Up and down she went, their groans of pleasure increasing. God she loved vacation time. For today she had kept her friends out of it, which meant hot sex in the middle of the day in the middle of the week, nice and kinky like right here on the kitchen table. Everything was awesome, everything was fantastic, just a little bit more and they'd be there . . . they froze. They look to their right with a frown, and shudder. What they felt couldn't be true. Power, quite a bit of it, out of nowhere, but much worse was this thing felt depleted of life, and depleted of unlife and yet /still/ it had this kind of power. But worst of all . . . they didn't even want to think it, it couldn't be real. And it was coming to the city.


Pike had been roaming around on his bike, slaying demons here and there, and now decided to look up his friends in LA again. Okay, he might have to work a bit on the friends thing, meaning he had to apologize once more, especially to Faith for walking in on her when she . . . Pike shuddered, damn what had that been a view. That hot sexy creature had featured in many of his fantasies, in fact even during sex with that girl he came across a week ago he had imagined she was Faith. He should get her a gift or something. Flowers? Chocolates? Perhaps a bit less romantic or he'd get his ass kicked by both Faith and her boyfriend. Hmm . . . his eyes widened, and he look to his left. Fuck! He tightened his hand around the gas handle of his bike, and pulled it loose fully; speeding tickets he'd gladly pay.


In the Hyperion Faith and Wesley joined the others; all but Lorne had felt it, and Lorne's supernatural senses just came across a shocking event. He was listening to a client sing. All was nice and peachy; the client had a magnificent future in front of him, if he managed to avoid a pesky little thing Lorne would warn him about, and even if the guy didn't, he'd still live a rather comfortable life. Suddenly though, out of nowhere, all Lorne could hear in the singing was death; death as black as the night sky, and more so. All of the rosy future was swallowed up like that, as if it all meant nothing. The bright future shrunk and shrunk, until it was all but a tiny little blotch, just one tiny chance in a million facing the utter blackness of oblivion. Lorne's face betrayed utter shock and fear, he had never come across this before.

The client noticed and he stopped singing, "What? What is it?"

"Stay here," Lorne said in rather terrified tone. "Whatever the hell you do, until I say otherwise, stay inside this hotel."

"Uh, why?" the man asked a little confused.

"Because I'm guessing you want to live, and this the safest place in LA at the moment," Lorne said bluntly and then left the office and saw everyone assembled, Faith and Wesley just coming inside.

"You guys felt it too, I suppose," Faith said, annoyed at the friskiness she felt between her legs. She hated not having been able to finish; whatever the hell had interrupted her sex session with her boyfriend was going to pay dearly for that.

"Felt what, exactly!?" Lorne asked fear on his face.

"A very powerful vampire, with chi power," Angel answered rather shocked. "And that other, it can't be . . . what's with you Lorne, you don't detect chi."

"No, but I just heard something I don't ever want to hear again," Lorne muttered in rather shock. "Angel, hum for me." Everyone looked questioningly. "Just do it," Lorne said fearfully. Angel hummed. "Dead," Lorne intoned. They looked shocked as Lorne turned to Cordelia. "Cordy," Lorne said terrified. Cordelia hummed. "Dead," Lorne once again said, and looked at Fred. "Dead," he said again when she hummed. He said the same thing when Wesley hummed, and after Faith hummed he said, "You might have a chance." Terrified he walked around the corner, explaining to a confused and concerned Angel Investigations Team, "I was just busy reading Mr. Allan in there, bright future, and then suddenly snuffed out. Death just closed in, eating the light, until there was just a dot left. You're all black as death too, except Faith." He grabbed the remote of the small tv on the counter and switched it to MTV. A clip was playing, and he said, "She lives in LA, right?"

Cordelia watched and nodded. "Dead," Lorne said again, and continued to another music channel. "He does, but he's on tour, his future is so-so," Lorne said and switched back to MTV, where a foreign group was playing. "A-ok," Lorne said, and found another music channel. "LA," Lorne said. "Dead." Everyone looked with shock as Lorne turned the tv off.

"It's Shantia," Pike's voice called from the Hotel main entrance.

They all turned around. "Shantia?" Wesley asked as he looked at a grim-faced Pike. He had never heard about this Shantia, who- or whatever she was. So how could this slacker slash drifter know?

"Shantia was - /is/ a Slayer, she was trained by the Hunters, about twelve hundred years ago," Pike said as he walked further into the lobby. "She had some rudimentary chi ability, and quite some skill in hand to hand combat on top of the Slayer package. One night she and her companion were ambushed by a powerful demon and his vampire minions. They took them, and the vampires drained her dry. The lead demon wanted a mate. The Hunter said that she tried to fight them off to the last, even without hardly any blood left in her veins, but they forced her mouth open, filled her mouth with vampire blood, forced the mouth back closed and pushing her Adam's apple making her swallow. They left the Hunter for dead taking her somewhere to await her rising, and when we found him we went after them. The first thing Shantia did upon rising was kill the lead demon, and then kill all but one Hunter, telling him he should take a message back; if the Hunters wanted to continue to exist, they should stop bugging her."

"Shit, you're kidding right?" Faith said out loud.

Pike shook his head, and continued, "Chi-ability, the Slayer genes enhanced by a demonic entity: her power grew exponentially. Within four years she killed thousands, and then Slayers. Finally another Slayer - a Chinese one - one trained by the Watchers, once again confronted her, although not of her own choosing. She killed Shantia's vampire lover, and then took a ship to here; a ship filled with the ingredients for gunpowder. Here she put the gunpowder together, lured Shantia to the middle of a narrow gorge completely saturated with primitive bombs, and had them set off. A few months later a group of Hunters came to investigate, finding the rocky rubble that was the only thing left of the gorge. They thought Shantia was dust, hoped they were right, and if they weren't that she stayed buried for the rest of eternity. This part vampire part Slayer you feel, can only be her. She has awoken."

"Bloody hell," Wesley stated in shock. "I know what you're talking about, it's in the chronicles, but it never said that vampire was a Slayer."

"Oh, great," Cordelia said in sarcasm, "a super powered slayer vampire, just when we thought we were heading for a nice quiet summer."

"We need to find her, and kill her before she regains her full power," Angel stated resolutely, and everyone obviously agreed.

Pike nodded and added for good measure, "Indeed, I don't know her full power, but she was beaten last time only by trickery, her own arrogance, and lots and lots of explosives. I'm rather certain a Super Slayer can take this bitch out, but seeing Lorne's little predictions here, I don't really want to find out."

"She must have detected our power," Fred theorized with the available facts. "That's why she's now hiding hers, she must have realized that in her present state she's no match for combined attack by all of us. She'll be needing blood to regain her strength, lots of it if she hasn't had any for twelve hundred years."

"Keep an eye out for chi signatures moving to a single location, vampires snatching people from the shadows," Wesley said to everyone, "the fastest way she can get a lot of people would be to take over a nest and have the vamps bring her food. We should go out and look, right now."

Everyone nodded, and Faith said, "Fred, Lorne, Pike, I don't think I have to tell you three that when you find her you give us a call, and get back to here. You're not equipped to handle this bitch." Fred looked pleadingly, but soon stopped at Faith dark unmoving look.

"Let's split up," Angel said grabbing his coat. "I'll check the sewers obviously, perhaps my nose can pick her up."

Then everyone moved out, most of them didn't bother putting on coats in the hot California summer day.


[Play Shantia's theme]

Shantia walked through the sewers of LA. If the date she had seen on one of those pieces of paper was to be believed she had been buried for almost 1200 years. 1200!!! Everyone was going to pay for that, and pay dearly. She counted her blessings that her teachers so long ago thought a Slayer should know how to read, write, and speak multiple languages, just in case she had to operate in a different country, and send written notice for help. Of course her English was rather profoundly different from the English today, but she had found it was still similar enough she could understand the basic message behind sentences. Worse though, she had been sensing several very powerful chi signatures, a souled vampire (and how the hell did that happen?) and a Slayer among them. In her present condition she couldn't fight them together, so she was forced to hide her presence.

She had also stolen some clothes; sneakers, jeans, and a pink top. Pink! Pink for Hecate's sake! She simply pulled the first garment she found off of rack, and now . . . pink! Before turning it had been her favorite color, with the demon it represented everything it hated: fluffy, nice, sweet. She had found she couldn't understand the size indicators, and so she had chosen medium. The top was far too short; not even reaching her belly button, or so she'd thought. After seeing a few girls walking around in similar attire before finding a sewer entrance, she realized this was normal. The jeans were too tight, for real - they fit, but just barely, and were practically skintight now. She felt the pressure on her belly where the button was closed and in her upper legs. She had seen one girl with really tight pants, but from the way it fit she was certain the pants she herself was wearing were definitely a size too small. Finally the sneakers were a size to large, but she would live it, they did walked very comfortably she considered; she couldn't wait to lay this whole world into ashes. They were going to pay for burying her for 1200 years, all of them.

A few moments later she reached the nest of vampires. They were flanked around the room, with a ridiculous make shift throne across the middle. As Shantia simply walked toward the throne without slowing down, the vampire sitting on it intoned, "I am Legrat the Great! Who dares enter my domain."

"I am Shantia," the Slayer vampire said when she was right in front of his throne. "And from now on you all work for me." Legrat looked surprised at first and then laughed. Before he could order his minions to do anything, Shantia moved forward, grabbed him by the back of his neck, and sank her fangs into his throat. She gulped down the stolen blood with ease and relish, Legrat futilely struggling against her superior strength. Blood straight from the source was much better, and was better too of course, but she wasn't about to waste a drop of blood she didn't have to. When she was about almost finished she casually broke his arms, tore them off, broke off his lower legs by the knees and then ripped off his head with casual ease. The screaming vampire turned to dust, with the other vampires looking in shock at the strength this girl vampire possessed. Shantia brushed Legrat's dust off the throne and sat down on it. "I've been asleep for a long time, I require blood, find it for me," Shantia intoned with a superior voice.

"But, it's day," one vampire fearfully said.

Shantia narrowed her eyes at him, and said, "Take them out of the shadows, sneak into public buildings, I don't care, just get me people to drink from, or I'll drink from you." The vampires nodded after deciphering her odd English and quickly left to go do her bidding.

[Stop Shantia's theme]



Dawn was in her room, unpacking. Home coming an hour ago had been awesome. Her father and sister had been there, and Xander and the rest. Her father had returned to his apartment though, the window cleaners would arrive today, and he needed to be there. She an Li had told them most of the fantastic things they had done. There was a knocking on her door and she invited whoever it was in. Tara came into her room and closed the door behind her. "Hey, Dawn," she greeted and Dawn greeted back, continuing putting her dirty clothes on a pile to be brought to the laundry later. Tara sat down on Dawn's bed, looked at the teen for a few moments and said, "So, how was your first time?"

Dawn froze and then looked at Tara. After a moment, she smiled self-consciously and said, "How do you know that?"

Tara tsked and said, "Come now, Las Vegas? When you suggested the destination I knew immediately what you were planning, I mean, I pretty much gave you the idea - and if your sister ever finds out about that . . ." Tara shuddered at several unpleasant things a Super Slayer could do to a little witch like her.

"How did you know I succeeded?" Dawn clarified with twinkles in her eyes.

"Dawn Summers - guy - Dawn wants sex. Even if he didn't want to right away, he would never stand a chance against Summers' seduction," Tara said with a big grin. "So?"

Dawn thought for a moment then sat down next to Tara, and looked at her. "The first time was . . . well, we were both nervous, and I had to get him so worked up . . . that's private . . . it was awkward, and he didn't last long, all around it was somewhat of a disappointment, and the tearing of my hymen hurt too." Tara nodded sympathetically; Willow had taken hers once, and it had rather hurt. Dawn's neutral face than turned to a huge grin, and said, "The second time though, was mind-blowing, of course, since the second time followed the first time by only fifteen minutes . . . I guess the first time was mind-blowing after all." Tara smiled at her friend, stepsister, surrogate daughter and encouraged her to continue talking with a gesture. Dawn couldn't keep her grin off her face and said, "It was . . . I guess you wouldn't quite understand, being a huge dyke and all . . ."

"Hey," Tara mock warned, grinning brightly.

Dawn smiled, continuing, "But the feeling of him on top of me, his male body and muscles and . . . oh, boy."

Tara grinned and stroked Dawn on the top of her head, ruffling her hair a little bit. She told Dawn, "The maleness, nope, the one you love, oh, yes!"

They stayed silent for a few moments - a comfortable silence while they smiled at each other. Tara then pointed at the pile, and asked, "You about done? I can help carry."

Dawn nodded, and quickly went and pulled her dirty clothes, and towels and such out. She contemplated for a few moments, and decided to leave the rest until after she brought the laundry away. Dawn wrapped her hands about part of the pile and pulled it up with difficulty. She may be strong, but keeping a large amount of separate clothes in hand was not about strength but about reach, leverage, and how well the clothes were clotted together. Tara joined her and carefully scooped up the rest, noticing a garter belt. She raised her eyebrows at Dawn, who blushed. "Ah, well, Li was playing hard to get, more then playing, actually," Dawn muttered in explanation.

"That's not what I meant, I'm talking about the big sister mother hen," Tara replied with a smirk.

"Oh," Dawn thought, then sighed, and said, "She's gonna have to find out sooner or later, I doubt she's going to believe Li and I used the missing condoms for balloons."

"I'd hate to be you or Li-Huei right about now," Tara said and then once more scooped up the pile a bit better and out they went.

A few minutes later they came out of the side kitchen where they had put the laundry and into the main kitchen, seeing Buffy finish preparing some snacks. Dawn smiled, and the three of them went into the living room, seeing Anya sit on Xander's lap in the chair close to the fire place. She noticed the bowl with the condoms. Hmm, it would be nice to find out what Xander had been doing with the money, or should she find out on her own, and not ruin a potential surprise? Her eyes suddenly widened with an idea. Oh, yeah! Dawn sat herself down on the couch near the window and watched as Tara sat down next to her and Willow, and Buffy put the snacks on the table. Once her sister was sitting down, Dawn said, "Oh, Buffy, we need more condoms, Li and I used some of them." Dawn took in their reactions.

Tara swallowed heavily as Willow looked surprised, and so did Xander and Anya. The latter two broke into smiles soon after, while Willow blushed a little at the implications. Buffy looked pale, and then grew red with anger. Just as Buffy was about to explode, Dawn sweetly remarked, "Oh, Xander, Harmony mentioned she pays you five million dollars a year. What did you do with all of it."

The room grew silent, four girls turning to look at Xander with a shocked face. "Xander?" Tara asked perturbed.

"/Five/ /million/?!" Buffy requested in an explosion that neatly diverted most of the actual reason she was angry onto the new target.

Willow quickly calculated, saying, "That's 416,000 and a little bit a month, we could use some of that!"

"That bitch!" Xander cursed, and Anya comforted him. "Well, the first payment went to the wedding, the honeymoon and the house," Xander said in explanation. "The second and third payments I split five way. One part to Anya and my bank account, and four closed bank accounts managed by me so you won't suddenly get the IRS on your head. One for Willow and Tara, one for Buffy, both released to you once you graduate, finally one for Dawn and one for Faith, both released upon graduation of highschool so they can pay their college. It were supposed to be graduation surprises. Harmony . . ." Xander gave an annoyed growl.

"Wait, wait, that's one million dollars every year for each of us!" Willow exclaimed in shock. She looked at Tara and then smiled; they weren't exactly desperate for money, but they were definitely not flowing in it either, until now.

"One million?" Buffy muttered, her anger deflated at the big shock.

"Surprise!" Xander said with fake enthusiasm, then added, "Do keep it a secret from Faith, okay? I want to see the look on her face when she graduates and I giver her her present, a bank book with a huge sum."

"Sure," Dawn said, smiling, rather surprised at the amount despite the fact that she had expected something like that. She could go to college fifteen times over with that kind of money; Harvard, or Yale! Not some average college either. Hell, if they didn't let her in outright, she could probably /buy/ her way in. "What made you decide to split it evenly?" Dawn asked rather curiously; he made the deal, she wasn't sure if she would make a nice even cut herself.

As the other three girls still looked forward silently, trying to come to terms with for all the trust funds being rich, Anya was the one to answer for Xander, "Because Harmony was basically /all/ our responsibility, so she's basically paying /all/ of us, and Faith is really going to need it if she wants to go to college, not quite as much, but still. Right, Hon?" Xander nodded with a smile.

All but Anya looked toward LA at that moment, and Anya frowned. "You think Faith and the rest can handle it?" Willow wondered.

"Shouldn't be too much trouble," Xander said with a smile. "Unless it manages to regain its full strength before they get to it, but then I can always help out if need be, let them handle it on their own first."


An hour later Xander and Anya were back in their home. They were playing a game of strip blackjack. Whenever one was out of the ten bucks they started with, they could get ten bucks back by taking off a piece of clothing. Xander grinned as he watched his beautiful wife take off a blouse, revealing a lacy bra.

Suddenly he frowned and looked away. "Faith?" Anya asked before realizing Xander was looking the wrong way.

"No," Xander said and got up. "Something else, and it's a whole lot more powerful than what Faith and the others are facing." Anya looked sadly at him as he got up. She was just starting to enjoy this game. "I have to go face it, because it most definitely is not friendly," Xander told Anya, looking at her with a smile. "It's a few hundred miles away, I have to go there." He dipped down and gave Anya a caring kiss on her left cheek. "It isn't that powerful to be a threat from here, unless it's got surprises hidden away, this shouldn't take long," Xander reassured Anya with a grin. Any nodded and waved him away.

Xander nodded and quickly went out the house, transforming to Super Saiyan and flying over to Buffy's, where he found a Super Slayer Buffy, and two witches enveloped in white chi flames - one with black eyes, the other with blue - already waiting. They joined him in the air as he went to level two. They shot off, Buffy enveloping the witches in her much more powerful chi and shot off toward the newest threat. Xander went to the third level and enveloped the three girls with his power, then sped up; being careful not to accelerate so fast he'd hurt Willow and Tara.

Back at the Summers house, a just returned, Hank Summers, and his other daughter Dawn watched them fly off. "Shit," Hank muttered in shock, "hearing they can do that, and seeing them actually do it are . . . damn." Dawn laughed; she had been annoyed at Buffy telling her to stay put, but that had now quickly gone away. "Uh, don't tell you're sister I said those words, she'll wring my neck," Hank told Dawn nervously.

"Don't worry, besides I'm sixteen, it isn't like I don't know them," Dawn answered him with a wide grin. "Let's go play Monopoly until they return!"

Hank groaned, and said, "So my daughter can beat me again? For the fifty-thousandth time?"

Dawn looked at him, and he looked back, both eyes widened when they realized what he said. "Wow, you don't just /have/ the memories, you /remember/," Dawn said and then broke in a huge grin, flying around her father's neck.


[Play Shantia's theme]

The old man tasted rank, hell he tasted of piss, but Shantia couldn't be choosy. They were coming for her, she knew, and if she hadn't replenished most in not all of her power by then, she'd be dead. They'd outnumbered her. One good thing about drinking blood, was that it didn't just bring blood, quite a bit of chi was stored in the blood's cells. Better yet, Shantia had long since mastered how to not just drain her victims of blood, but of their life force as well. She tossed the dead man aside, and grabbed the young girl one of her minions offered to her - the last one they had brought her. The girl screamed to no avail, and Shantia sank her fangs into her neck. This was much, much better, much more energy too, still being young. That had been her tenth draining. Ten times five was fifty liters, forty-five liters more than she needed to have circulating in her veins; the excess was being transformed into energy once again. She was feeling much, much better already, but she had been extremely powerful before her burying, much, much more powerful then ten ordinary humans. Luckily for Shantia, and unluckily for the rest of the world, her regenerating her full power was not depended on draining as much energy from victims as she had lost. The blood and energy she took from them allowed her to rebuild her energy reserves to much greater heights.

She tossed the dead girl aside, and got up from her throne. She walked down looking at the entrance with a grin. Once off the throne she grabbed the vampire to her right, and proceeding with draining its stolen blood, before tearing its head off and letting it fall to dust. The other vampires looked at the event shocked, before finally coming to their senses and running away screaming. Shantia intercepted a fleeing vampire and proceeded with draining her as well. Her minions fled to the entrance, where several dusted, admitting Faith and the rest of the fang gang, minus Pike, Fred and Lorne.

The vampires looked shocked. Shantia killed the vampire she was holding and laughed at the shocked newcomers. "I've been expecting you," she hissed, looking at the Slayer up front and those behind her. She grabbed another of her minions, and Faith and the others exploded into action, realizing that they couldn't let Shantia drain even on more drop of blood. Energy balls were blasted by all of them, and a few moments later all Shantia's minions were dust. The whole gang now confronted the still grinning slayer vampiress. "Now that's annoying, interruptions during diner. I admit, I'm impressed with you're abilities, but I will guarantee you this: you won't be able to defeat me; you're too late."

"We'll see," Wesley said. The four of them gave a nod, and shot forward powering up. Faith reached Shantia first and smashed her fist forward. The vampire ducked beneath the swing, and blocked Angel's kick. Cordelia's fist hit, but didn't do much damage. Shantia focused on Faith's kick which she deflected away from her, and kicked Wesley in the gut, sending him flying away. She went backward, making Angel miss and stumble. Cordelia and Faith lifted rapidly in the air and both fired an energy ball. Shantia avoided one but got hit by the other, and was launched backward until she crashed through the throne. With a roar of anger she got up and fired an energy ball at everyone. Wesley avoided the one coming for him, but got showered in the debris and shockwave of the explosion as it crashed into the sewer wall. Angel was forced to take his head on, gaining many small injuries. Cordelia deflected hers by using her telekinetic abilities to send it around her. Faith was hit, and absorbed most of the power with her chi, being shoved over the ground.

A moment later Shantia rammed a fist into Faith's face and she was launched back. The slayer vampire twisted around her axis and roundhouse-kicked Cordelia away from her. A vamped out Angel landed a punch to her face. His follow up to her chest she simply grabbed. Grinning evilly, her red in red eyes took the souled vampire in, as she steadily started crushing his wrist. Angel grunted at first, trying to get free, and slowly started a sound of pain from the back of his throat.

Shantia's grip loosened as Wesley landed a powerful kick to the back of her legs, allowing Angel to loosen his grip and plunge a stake into Shantia's heart . . . except it didn't, the stake simply splintered upon contact with her chi-saturated skin. The slayer vampire grinned as Angel looked astonished, and then rapidly slammed his hand into her face, backing her over a bit. With a roar of anger Faith moved in, Wesley backing away. The Slayer's kick slammed into the red-eyed vampire's back, making her jerk with the impact. The soulless vampire kicked out and caught Angel in his chest, launching him back. She then somersaulted backward, circling over Faith's punch. Just as she was about to straighten up, Faith followed up with a massive left uppercut, and as planned Shantia simply shot into the air, through the roof of the sewers and then out into the open air. Sunlight filtered through the whole, and Angel quickly jumped out of the light when he felt the intense pain when it landed on him.

That should have been it: vampire and sunlight equals toasty, but the slayer vampire's chi remained present. "Come out and play!" Shantia laughed from above.

"No fucking way," Faith said in shock. They had felt her power in the light before of course, but hadn't thought about it; subconsciously they had simply assumed the vampire had found away to cover herself, but now all she had been wearing was a pair of too tight jeans and a tiny flowing top; most of her was bare.

"Sorry, but it seems demons like to fuck with us," Cordelia commented breathing hard and looked over at Angel. The vampire shrugged, he couldn't fight with them anymore.

"Let's finish her off good, once upstairs, you go super, Faith," Wesley ordered and the two other remaining warriors for good nodded and shot up through the hole.

Once all three of them were out of the hole, Cordelia and Wesley immediately attacked, while Faith went to transform. Most people had already left, or were leaving the street, not that there weren't that many to begin with. They were practically in the center of LA, several tall buildings close by. Cordelia grabbed Shantia with her telekinesis and pulled her off the ground, pinning her arms to her legs. Wesley charged in with a glowing hand, straight at Shantia's heart. It hit, and it started penetrating before Shantia was fed up and flexed her power. Wesley's energy ball exploded, sending him flying away, and breaking Cordelia's hold. "Bitch!" Shantia hissed, instantly moving to the seer, smashing a knee in her stomach, grabbing the doubled over Cordelia by her neck and tossed her toward where Wesley had been launched off to. She crashed painfully against a wall and sank down to the ground.

With sudden burst of energy Faith finished her transformation, and Shantia took it in with wide shocked eyes. She landed on the ground, facing Faith, and looked at Super Slayer Faith with still large eyes. Her black holes for pupils, the sky-blue aura almost disappearing against the sky, and the electricity crackling and whirling up her hair was impressive. "You're going down, bitch. I will tear you limb from limb for hurting my friends, and killing those people," Faith growled at Shantia.

Shantia suddenly laughed, hard, and out loud. "Incredible," she said with a huge grin. "There's actually a Slayer who managed to do this." Faith's eyes widened at that statement and then Shantia roared. Her power, just like Faith's went up, and up, and up. There was no stopping, power was sent into the sky, the ground started shaking. The asphalt cracked open in a starlike pattern, the cracks rapidly growing longer and wider. In a wide radius windows cracked and shattered, lesser walls even tore open. The roar that Shantia exuded was ominous. Electrical discharges started crackling in her hair and it started whirling around. Suddenly her darker red pupils turned black, spiraling inward, utterly empty black holes. Faith took a step back in shock, the black, empty pupils were disconcerting enough, but at the bottom of that emptiness lay pure evil, and the eyeballs stayed blood red, giving an even worse impression than Faith's own eyes, and even Buffy's insane ones she faced earlier. The bolts of energy around Shantia then burst into a massive chi flame, the shockwave doing even more damage throughout Los Angeles. But unlike Faith and Buffy's sky blue Super Slayer flame, Shantia's was twisted to a dirty purple, corrupted by the demon.

Faith looked shocked as Shantia beckoned her over with an evil grin. Faith grimaced and then burst forward, ramming her fist with all her might into Shantia's gut. The slayer vampire didn't budge, she didn't even flinch. Shocked Faith looked up. Shantia chuckled, "Pathetic." She simply grabbed Faith by her throat and lifted her off the floor, squeezing. She laughed evilly while Faith struggled. Faith forced her eyes open, looking around, trying to find a away to free herself. She felt chi gather at her neck and looked straight into Shantia's eyes. Shantia pulled her arm and thus Faith as she charged her energy at the hand. She then rapidly moved her arm forward as if punching and released her energy at the apex. Faith was launched away from her twisting and turning, groaning powerfully at the burning pain at her throat and throughout the rest of her body. She heard Wesley and Cordelia call her name, but there wasn't much she could do. She screamed out in pain then, horrible pain, as she crashed into a building, crushing stone, bending metal. At the same moment Shantia's energy ball exploded, and Faith was forced to not just protect herself, but the building and everyone in it as well. When it was over she groaned and shuddered, staying put for a few moments before she dropped on the pavement and slowly pulled herself to her knees.

[Pause Shantia's theme]


Xander and company arrived at the place where the demon that had seemingly emerged from out of nowhere - several hundred miles from Sunnydale. The demon was big, about three times the size of Xander. It had dark brown almost black skin, which showed green pulsing blood veins at key positions. Its nails were long enough to classify its hands as claws, the feet equally so. It had a long tail that lazily swung about, its end had an arrow shaped head, the point and edges of it seemed exceptionally sharp and hard. Two fangs were outside of its lips, two short, curved cow-like horns adorned its forehead, one on either side. It's eyes were deep pools of green, through which lay a network of seemingly dangerous looking deep red veins; very different from the green blood that was obviously pumping through its arteries. It was naked, in its crotch area was a bulge and a slit; it seemed like its genitals were protectively drawn into its body.

It smiled, as it took in the four people confronting it. Then it gave a grumble, and said, "I've been expecting you."

"I'm rather short on time," Xander told it, gauging the demon's power now. Tt was going up rapidly, but still nothing that should be a problem for him; but better not make assumptions, if this thing was expecting them it might have a few aces up his sleeves. "Some friends of mine are fighting another sickening thing like you, I want to get back just in case they need help." Xander turned his head, his long golden hair flowing of its own accord and because of the wind. He looked at Buffy, Willow and Tara, and they gave him a go ahead nod. He was free to start this on his own.

Xander smirked, and readied himself. His smirk wasn't quite as big as usual, concern for the events in LA tainting his Saiyan lust for battle somewhat. The demon suddenly raised its left arm, charged a rather big ball of energy, and fired it. Xander casually bent left and the ball shot past him. "You missed me. Don't tell me that's all you've got, because if it is, you won't stand much of a chance," Xander said smirking, his Saiyan blood starting to boil after all. "And that means I won't get my jollies."

The demon smiled at him and shrugged, "I guess you'll have to come and find out."

Xander nodded, his chi flame and electric discharges becoming more intense as he powered up some more for good measure. He blasted forward, and landed fist in the demon's stomach, then backed away. Xander watched as the demon took the punch, grunted with the impact, and straightened back up from his slightly bent position that had resulted from the punch. Either this thing was severely over estimating itself, or it still had lots hidden away. The demon attacked then, rapidly, and Xander blocked the first punch, avoided the second, and the third he grabbed to twist the demon over his shoulder and throw him violently down to the ground. He immediately sent an energy ball after the demon. The demon crash-landed, and then immediately got up to avoid the blast. He only have succeeded, getting caught in the explosion. It roared in irritation, and a little pain and shot back at Xander. The fist - as big as Xander's head - missed that very body part. Right after which the sharp end of the tail sliced at Xander's neck, but he ducked. The tail returned twice more, both times avoided by Xander, and then got the demon's claw raking over his chest, followed by a suddenly more powerful and devastating punch from his other hand.

Xander shot back, feeling the impact, but was not really hurt, the claw had managed to tear his clothing but not his chi-protected skin. Xander grinned as he saw the demon still standing in his punch apex position, leaving open most of its defenses. With an enjoying grimace Xander flew forward, increasing his speed rapidly, smashing a kick in the demon's right knee, then a left punch in the demon's left. The demon yelled out with pain as Xander hit him, then hit him with a rapid succession of punches on the creature's upper thighs, stomach, and Xander finished with a devastating upper cut. With a powerful groan of pain the demon shot up and back. Xander fired an energy ball at the demon, which it squatted aside, and renewed its attack, firing multiple energy blasts at Xander. Xander took several of them without too much difficulty, avoided another few, and smashed one ball down into a mountain side where it exploded and created a crater.

Buffy, Willow and Tara watched with enjoying smiles as Xander continued to dominate the match, or at least so it seemed.


[Continue Shantia's theme]

Shantia laughed and casually started floating over to the injured Slayer. "Hmm," she mentioned and turned around as she heard a raging roar. She watched ten energy balls come at her. They exploded against her, but she didn't even flinch, grinning. A moment later Wesley's fist rammed against her chin and stopped there. He groaned, then pulled his broken hand back. "God, are you stupid," Shantia said with a smile and simply pulled Wesley off his feet by his hair.

"WESLEY!" Faith screamed in horror as Shantia placed a knee in her boyfriend's stomach. He doubled over and chocked as blood spurt from his mouth. Shantia tossed him upward and to her right, undoubtedly damaging his skull, and pulling out some hairs. She then moved forward, right arm along his neck, and crashed him into a stone building. Stone was crushed and broken, Wesley yelled out at the pain, a few trickles of blood running down the wall and then he slumped into unconsciousness. Shantia simply let him go, and thus he dropped bonelessly to the ground.

Faith shot at Shantia with a scream of mental anguish, and started an incredibly rapid barrage of punches, that actually made Shantia stagger back. She finished with an energy ball charged with both of her hands. The Super Slayer Vampire simply raised a shield, taking the explosive energy easily without it even touching her. She laughed and backhanded Faith across her face, sending her casually flying back to where she came from, crashing into the asphalt and skidding along it, scouring out a small ditch. When she came to a stop she gripped her right shoulder, feeling some blood seeping from graze wound, and she spat out some blood, breathing hard.

The vampire casually walked over, smirking. In her mind she had already won. Suddenly she stopped moving, apart from looking surprised. Then she lifted into the air, while she tried to break free of whatever had her. Cordelia appeared from the alley she had been deposited earlier, breathing hard, and having her left hand open and outstretched at her quarry. She grimaced, she was having difficulty control the huge strength of the slayer vampire, but luckily her telekinesis wasn't stopped by the blue shimmering shield. "Destructo disc!" Cordelia called, charging the disc in her free hand. If only she could keep the struggling and rapidly growing angrier and more powerful vampire in position, she could cut through the shield and sever her head at the neck. She tossed the disc with all her might and looked with satisfaction as it went on course. Shantia growled, and the disc sliced into her shield . . . and stopped. Cordelia's eyes widened in shock. Shantia laughed as the disc tried to slice through her chi shield and only succeeded in rapidly shrinking into nothingness, some energy crackling between the two forces.

"Annoying little bitch," Shantia hissed and she lifted her hand slowly and aimed. Cordelia's eyes widened in shock as an energy ball formed at the outstretched hand and came straight at her. She let her telekinesis go and focused everything she had on guarding herself. She ignored Faith desperately screaming her name, but still it wasn't enough. The energy ball hit, and exploded, easily blasting away her own shield and launching her backward in a haze of fire. She screamed at the pain; her clothes were mostly burned and torn, blood poured from multiple wounds on her body. She crashed to the ground with her head, and rolled end over end a few times, before lying still a bloodied mess.

Faith had reached the slayer vampire with a rage fueled by pain, and rammed four consecutive glowing with energy fists at her rival. The shield held with ease, and Shantia laughed at Faith's pitiful attempts and surprised face. With an enraged growl Faith suddenly shot backward and charged a half a meter across pink ball of energy with both her hands. She fired it at Shantia a moment later. The Super Slayer Vampire just chuckled at the pitiful attempt, then looked surprised. About a meter before her the ball split up in six smaller balls, one in the middle the others circling around that one. Half a meter in front of her - an instant later - the balls suddenly shrank rapidly and then seemed to disappear. "Huh?" Shantia managed to get out before the now too small to see energy globules smashed against her shield and finished their implosion by letting out powerful shockwaves into her shield. The shockwaves strengthened themselves on multiple points, while they annihilated each other on others putting massive different kinds of stresses on the shield.

With a roar Faith executed wide arcing kick /behind/ Shantia just as her shield failed. The kick smashed across Shantia's unprepared right cheek, snapped her head back and launched her off her feet. "HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT, HUH, BITCH!?" Faith screamed in rage while she zipped around the vampire and crashed her elbow into the back of her head. With a yelp of actual pain Shantia was launched up into the air. "Devised it myself! *GALLIC GUN FIRE*!!" Faith screamed and shot the multispectral energy wave up after Shantia. "I call it the Shield Buster!" Faith called after her as the big energy beam crashed into Shantia and enveloped her fully. Once high enough above LA the energy attack exploded brilliantly, sending a shockwave high through the air, and one down to the city, doing damage but not much.

"No way," Faith said in shock. Indeed Shantia's chi had not diminished, and a moment later a black dot rapidly grew larger and landed on the asphalt in front of Faith, cracking it open with two more potholes.

"Now you made me angry," Shantia said with black and red eyes blazing with an unholy fire. Surviving the Gallic Gun okay, but coming out of it with only a few scratches and slightly dirty clothes!? Faith took a step back, fear gripping her being. How can someone possibly beat such a thing? A moment later Shantia's fist smashed into her gut, and she doubled over, groaning in pain. The vampire followed it up with a knee to the face, making Faith stagger back, and off to her right. Shantia laughed heartily, her hands casually by her sides charging two energy balls. By the time Faith caught herself the energy balls were released and crashed against her. She had managed to put up some defenses, but they were not enough. She felt pain surge through her body, and blood flow from several wounds. She threw a punch, but Shantia simply grabbed it and squeezed. Faith groaned at the pain.

Suddenly she was let go, blinking away the spots in her eyes she saw why; a few energy balls had distracted her assailant. Who could possibly be firing energy blasts at the Super Slayer Vampire? She noticed him a moment later. "PIKE! NO! GET AWAY!"

The relatively new Hunter didn't listen, he simply charged forward and landed a solid punch on Shantia's jaw, breaking his hand in the process. He grimaced and prepared for a new attack when the vampire spoke with annoyance, "You insect, what do you think you're doing?" She smashed her fist across his face, breaking his jaw, blood splattering everywhere, and Faith screamed in horror. Pike twisted around with the force and then Shantia kicked him viciously to his lower back. Where the man got the power to scream in pain from after that punch Faith didn't know, but he did as his lower back tore open. Pieces of bone flew away as blood and flesh splattered from his back on the floor, some of it covering Shantia who grinned with enjoyment of it. Thus with his spine twisted and broken, and a large gaping wound Pike was flung away, already unaware of what was happening he crashed in a wall, ribs audibly breaking. He bounced onward, crashing across a big trash bin and then dropping to the ground in the side alley, rolling along a few meters before he finally came to a stop. "NOOOO!!!" Faith screamed out; the guy may have caught her masturbating, but she considered him a friend. Tears freely flowed from her eyes now, as Shantia chuckled gleefully.

A rapid uppercut Faith couldn't avoid, and she moaned out at the pain in her jaw. As she flew up and backward, she was certain she felt blood fly from her nose. Before Faith was too high for Shantia's tastes, she appeared at the same height and flew rapidly forward, ramming her elbow into Faith's chest, and continued to move forward until Faith crashed into the stone wall of the tall apartment building behind her. The glass had shattered a long time ago, but the stone could still get some more damage, and it did. Faith screamed out in pain as the wall gained a large circular indentation from her impact, feeling her bones being bruised. Shantia laughed heartily once again, and smashed her fists across Faith's face back and forth, turning the already injured face quickly to a bruised and bloody mess. With each punch Faith was punched deeper into the building, and new pains blossomed in her. While Shantia did this, she spoke, "I'm going to kill you slowly, bitch. Piece by little piece I will tear you apart. I will do the same afterwards with everyone in this city, before I level it with the ground." A particular nasty punch to Faith's stomach doubled her halfway over, blood spitting from her mouth, and then she lost her transformation in horrified shock. Now she truly didn't stand a chance, she was done for, it was over. "Look at you, pathetic and stupid. You're finished bitch, and when you're dead, and everyone here is dead, I will look up your successor and kill her the same way, I'll drain her dry. Then I'll kill everyone in whatever settlement she's at, after which I'll find the next Slayer. And so on, until there are no more cities and slayers and watchers left, and I will rule supreme, on Earth, in Hell and in Heaven," Shantia told her, as she continued to slowly torture Faith with massive bone cracking blows.

"AAAH!" Shantia suddenly screamed out, snapping her head and upper body backward. She grabbed her head as it was in some form of extreme pain, and then dropped to the ground.

Deliriously Faith watched and looked around not understanding, until she saw Cordelia walking toward Shantia, her right hand outstretched at her, and her face twisted in an extreme anger. "I'm going to tear you apart from the inside out, bloodsucker," the former cheerleader hissed out, her eyes seemingly twisted up in her eye sockets, "starting with your mind, do you like being tortured within, huh!?" If they survived this, if Cordelia defeated Shantia Faith swore, she would never get the seer pissed off at her.

Shantia screamed, twisting her head in agony, then yelled, "That's it!" With a roar her she powered up, powerful enough to send out a shockwave, that Cordelia had to fight against or be blown away. All that power was too much for her to control, and Shantia shot at her with a devastating elbow across her jaw, and cheek. The bones instantly shattered under the force. Once more blood spurt from a human being as part of her skin was completely sheered off, and she was launched back into the alley from whence she had come. The slayer vampire breathed heavily and then raised back toward the beaten and crying Faith. "I'm thinking I should get her and finish her off properly in front of you eyes, make you watch, or I can let her lie there and die slowly and painfully. It's a toss up, extra pain for her, extra pain for you, what do you recommend?" Shantia asked with a sickening smile. Faith let out a sob, and looked down and away.

[Stop Shantia's theme]


Buffy, Willow, and Tara watched with excitement as Xander dominated the demon with seeming ease. The few hits and energy attacks the demon had managed to get in, didn't really do much damaged to Super Saiyan 3 Xander. Their friend landed a devastating elbow to the thing's tail, right where it came out of its backside. The demon screamed and backed away, it was obvious its tail use was heavily compromised. Their excitement was tampered by the metaphorical eye they kept on LA, and the shocking emergence of a Super Slayer Vampire. They needed to get back and help; they also understood Xander's reluctance to finish this quickly with raw overpowering in case he walked into some kind of trap. The demon had pretty much told them it had come prepared; but until now it couldn't really do much. There was the possibility that it had some kind of magical mirror and was waiting to blast them all with Xander's full force, or something.

"Xander!" Tara was the one to call out. "Stop being cautious, we need to help Faith and the rest, right now!"

Xander looked over and nodded, charging the Tanekakosa, and seeing if the thing /had/ come prepared, or was just bluffing. The demon stopped caressing his backside, and laughed, grinning at Xander. Xander frowned, then decided to continue, he was just going to have to deal with whatever it was that had the demon anticipating his attack. Then the demon asked, interrupting him, "Exactly what made you think I missed?"

Xander let the energy in his hands wane, frowning, not understanding the question. Then suddenly his eyes snapped open when he realized. With a panicked roar of, "NOO!" he burst away with everything he had right for Sunnydale.

"Xander!?" Buffy called out shocked watching him shrink rapidly to a tiny dot and then disappear.

The demon laughed and the three women looked at it. It cracked its knuckles, and said, "While he's off watching his wife die, I'm going to kill you, and when you're all dead, he won't have the spirit to fight me."

Two witches and one Super Slayer looked shocked for a moment, and then looked determined. Their power burst around them, Buffy's hair flying up once more crackling with electricity. Without a spoken word, the three women knew that if they wanted to successfully fight this thing, it would require team work. A moment later they burst into action, magical energy rings, and the Earth under magical command joining massive chi blasts to take on this threat to life on Earth, their actions fueled by anger thinking of what the demon had done, or was going to do.


Xander raced with a desperate roar across the sky, whenever he came close to the trees on a higher mountain, they outright flattened from his power. He didn't bother using up energy to keep air displacement and thus the sonic booms to a minimum. Trees, mountains, villages, and farm land zipped by with incredible speed. With every moment he gained on the rather slow energy ball, all designed so Xander wouldn't focus on it. Tears sprung from his eyes, hoping and hoping, the thing had a massive head start. Soon Sunnydale became visible, and with it the energy ball racing on. Closer and closer Xander came, the houses of Sunnydale zipping past. The ball almost seemed grabbable, just out of reach. Xander's newly bought house, in which his wife Anya waited oblivious to her potential fate just ahead. Now or never. Xander surged forward with some extra speed he managed to press out, and grabbed for the ball, he slowed down instantly, or he'd be the one destroying his house as he crashed into it . . .

He missed. The energy attack crashed through the slated a roof, and a moment later it exploded, the house shattering, pieces of wall flying about, a fireball consuming everything. "AAANYYAA!!"

Episode 62
Saiyan Grief

The Monkey 's Power

*Damn,* Buffy thought. This /so/ wasn't good. She was looking for Xander. Her being a Super Slayer, she was pretty much elected by fate to do so. It had been a week since last they saw him. Anya's funeral had been an abysmal affair. She remembered crying herself, Willow did to, and Faith, most did really when she came down to it. In fact the only one who hadn't cried had been Xander. Cordelia had come, even with her face bandaged, and some skin from the back of her leg grafted onto where the Super Slayer Vampire had taken her skin off her left cheek. Giles had even been there, really the only who hadn't was the comatose Pike, and that bastard Spike. Angel had stood away, heavily cloaked in the shadow of a tree. She shook her head again, trying to shake the sad thoughts, it was better to think of the future instead of the past. She could still remember returning to Sunnydale, already knowing what they would find, but no one knew what they would find until after. Anya had been pregnant the medical examiner had told them. Pregnant! Xander didn't know, for sure, the embryo was still too young to register as a separate life on their senses, it hadn't even had gender yet.

The shock of that revelation and the full scope of the tragedy had been devastating to all of them. Xander most of all; or so it seemed, or perhaps it didn't seem. He turned . . . empty, meticulous, cold, logical. He hadn't shown any emotion than a blank face as he seemingly casually and without regard prepared his wife's and unborn child's funeral and buried her. She still remembered when Giles had asked in shock to no one in particular how two people of two separate species could reproduce . . .


As Xander continued to write something down in his notepad in Buffy's living room, he answered the question, with eery detachment, given that it was about his deceased wife and unborn child, "Two possibilities really, Giles. Either in my birth universe the laws of nature are just different enough that two relatively similar species /can/ successfully reproduce and I carried this along across the barrier, which is a possibility considering we've seen humanoid pigs, talking cats, a dog-man for president and more, or there is something in the Saiyan species' DNA in case of near extinction that will adapt, change to fit a similar enough alien DNA pattern. Before Frieza destroyed us, there was some research done on the subject that considered it a possibility."


Buffy shuddered again, as most did that day, hearing Xander so casually explain that when it was about his dead wife and child. The moment the funeral was done with though, and Anya safely placed in the ground, Xander had blasted off, while transforming and disappeared.

Buffy shuddered, did she really want to find him? This new form wasn't just powerful as hell, it was also scary as hell. Those eyes! But then she had to, hadn't she? This was Xander, her friend, their friend. He was hurting. That much was obvious. He was also hiding his presence, and she wasn't even certain if she were anywhere close to him; he could be on the other side of the planet. No, something in her gut told her he was here. But she had to find him, had to . . . She shuddered again. She never thought she'd see a demon beg for mercy, but she guessed as they said there was a first time for everything. Of course, she had never considered in her wildest dreams it was possible for a demon to beg for a mercy /kill/, but again, there was a first time for everything . . .


"AANYAAA!!" Xander screamed out in horror as he so the destroyed house. Worse, he couldn't sense his wife anymore, not like he knew her at least. With his heart pounding in his chest he tore at the wreckage. Glass, wood and stone were tossed aside like they were nothing. Xander's face was drawn back terrified and pale. After a few moments he found Anya's body, broken, burned, crushed. He picked her up and quickly placed her somewhere level. No heartbeat, no respiration, and her chi rapidly going down; Buffy hadn't had that. He started performing CPR with tears in his eyes. One . . . two . . . three . . . four . . . five, blow. "Come on, Anya, baby, you can do it, come back to me," Xander cried, as he pushed her chest gently, pouring his chi in her to let her body take advantage of it. "Please, Ahn, you're so strong, I know you can do it," Xander muttered and blew new breath through her lifeless mouth. He once more did the compressions, begging the lifeless girl in front of him to come back to him. "Please, come on, baby, sweetheart, honey, I'm here, come back," Xander cried, blowing air in again, and then kissing her on her forehead. But Anya did not wake up, her chi was still disappearing, there was no way for her to wake up without some serious magic. After a few minutes of trying, something inside Xander broke, defeated; his Anya was dead he finally realized. He tried one more time and then his tears slowly dried up.

[Play Xander SSJ4 theme]

Defeated a stood up and took two steps away, and stared into nothingness. With humans, pain over dead lovers can be overwhelming, anger usually comes after the loved one has been given a burial. With Saiyans, it's the other way around. Xander bent over, his face twisting into uncontrollable rage. His chi flame burst around him, enveloping the broken body of his wife protectively, his long hair waved more energetically as the power kept rising. "Pay!" Xander hissed, his voice dripping with hate. "That thing's going to pay! Pay! Pay! PAY! PAY! PAY!" Xander threw his head in his neck, and shook it from left to right in ever increasing speed as he continued his mantra. "PAY! PAY! PAY!"

Hate burned through ever fiber of his being, this thing was going to pay. This wasn't revenge, this was something far more than that. The hate burned into everything, in his mind, in his veins, boiling in his blood, in every cell of his body. It was so all consuming it even touched the most primitive sides of his being, and mind; and that part stimulated with such awesome primitive rage and hate, demanded something. It demanded a change, but for that change to happen it needed something, something that was missing. A Saiyan's tail is the only body part of a Saiyan that can regenerate, which it often does when they are still adolescent. It takes much more once they hit adulthood however, and this was such a time. The cells in the knob where his tail normally began on his backside were stimulated by the hateful chi, and started multiplying. Xander's pants ripped and a moment later a black-furred tail emerged, almost reaching the ground. Another moment later the black fur turned golden like the rest of his Super Saiyan stimulated hair.

Under normal circumstances the transformation about to occur could only happen under the influence of the full moon. Through the Saiyan's eyes a specific amount and frequency of energy would be absorbed, and relayed to glands in the tail that would excrete hormones, and electrical signals throughout the rest of the body, starting the startling transformation. But compared to the energy generated by the third level of the Super Saiyan, the little bit of energy absorbed from the moon is nothing; and combined with the electrical signals fired by the hate boiling in every fiber of Xander's being; it was more then enough to trigger the transformation /without/ a full moon. "PAY! PAY! PAY! Ungh!" Xander stopped the twisting of his head and his screaming suddenly, then a deep low growl came from the depths of his being. He bent back over forward as the transformation took his being, at the same time his entire eyes suddenly turned red, pupils, irises and whites alike. He drew his lips back, teeth clench, and hairs started growing longer along his body. His arms grew thicker, his teeth longer and sharper, and his face elongated into a snout. His body then started to grow, and grow, his clothes tore open as Xander body towered in height, on and on. The ground beneath his feet split open in massive cracks, some half a meter wide, and the continued on splitting open the asphalt of the nearby street. Soon there was a massive giant monkey, tail flipping about, easily sixty meters in height, thirty stories and more tall. It's fur was golden, and hung down like a woolly rhinoceros, especially from his arms: Super Saiyan 3 Oozaru, or better Super Oozaru 3.

The roar that came from its throat was incredible, a raging sound of grief, anger and hate that tore from the depths of its massive being. It pounded its arms on its chest, and stomped its feet, making all of Sunnydale shudder, as if jostled by a powerful Earthquake - and Anya's broken body still lay protectively enveloped in a golden chi field. The monster monkey looked up into the sky and opened its mouth, a devastating beam of energy lanced out harmlessly into the sky. It turned its head down and sideways and once more opened its mouth, a massive fireball erupted, crashing against a forest-covered mountain of California and setting it ablaze. With another raging roar the monster looked to the other side and fired another beam of energy which crashed hundreds of kilometers away into the desert, and exploded in a white flash and huge mushroom cloud, in a quick span of time leveling several hundred square kilometers.


Faith let out a sob, and looked down and away. Shantia, the Super Slayer Vampire - who had just asked whether she should kill Cordelia in front of her or let her die slowly and painfully - laughed. "Pitiful, truly pitiful, more fun for me, though," Shantia said with a twisted evil grin. Then her eyes widened, as did Faith's who looked up and to her right with a stunned face. Shantia equally looked to her left. She had felt great powers earlier, but she had focused on her fight here, and trusted in her own near indestructibility, and incredibly rapid healing should someone or something manage to hurt her.

"What /is/ that!?" Shantia wondered in shock.


The trees or rather wood branches grew from the ground and wrapped themselves around the demon. Willow added a devastating fire attack, setting the demon aflame, and then added green, energy-restricting rings. Right after Buffy landed a massive punch across his face. He roared in anger, as Buffy continued her punches. She flew back a bit and charged a Kamehameha. The demon tore through all its restraints with a roar, and Buffy fired. The beam blew up against the demon. "You insects!" the demon roared emerging from the explosion quite damaged, but the wounds healed right in front of the three girls' eyes. "You're nothing to me, don't you understand that yet? All you can inflict upon me will heal!" He then fired several balls of energy at all of them, and especially Tara and Willow - already both growing tired and have multiple scratches and few deeper wounds on them - had to exert all the speed they had to get out of the way of the powerful explosions.

Buffy was desperate, if only Faith was along for the ride. She knew with two Super Slayers they'd be able to take this thing, but with one it was just too much, even with the witch's backup. Well, if she couldn't win, she'd have to settle for taking it along with her.

Then all of them froze, and looked in the direction of Sunnydale. "My god," Tara whispered in shock. One powerful beam of energy shot into the sky, a second fired toward the Earth, but fully in their direction. The beam hit somewhere in the desert several hundred kilometers away from them, and then all went white. An incredibly massive explosion followed, leveling more and more ground.

"Whoa," Buffy muttered in shock.


Spike sat up in his bed. He had only just finally healed, and two days earlier had done his first full power training. He looked with shocked wide eyes, and then roared, "NO!! NOT AGAIN! WHY AGAIN!!"


The Xander Oozaru roared once more to the sky. It started shaking its head from left to right. Only very few Saiyans actually had, or would develop any kind of control over this form. From deep within Xander's mind there came a mantra, one that had been going on throughout the transformation. *Pay! Pay! Pay!* The giant monkey opened its mouth again, and growled with enormous volume, "Pay! Pay! Pay! PAAAY!!"

The golden chi-energy with powerful lightning bolts charging through it started twisting around the giant monkey rapidly, faster and faster. It wrapped itself tighter and tighter around the monster, and then the monster shrunk as if being compressed by the energy. The energy soon reached such density the monster was obscured from vision. Then with a flash of light, Xander stood where he had been standing all the time: naked. His legs minus feet were covered in thick, soft, black fur as with his crotch, keeping him mostly decent. The fur went up on his torso, and then spread out in a v-shape, leaving some of his chest and his neck bare. The fur went over the shoulders and equally black fur covered his arms and back, reaching all the way onto the back of his hands. His hair was just below shoulder length and also black. His black tail waved gracefully and dangerously up and down. Xander's face was twisted in rage, anger, and a primitive need for destruction. His irises were golden, with a greenish edge, looking very much like an animal's predator eyes, the rest of his eyes were bloodshot. Blood veins crisscrossed across his whites, and the lower edge was so covered with it, it almost seemed as if the eyes floated in a pool of blood. Super Saiyan 4 Xander Littica hissed out, "I'm going to make that thing /pay/!" Then he blasted off, heading with incredible speed toward the demon fighting his friends that had done this despicable deed. As he blasted off, windows in a one kilometer radius shattered with the power.

Nearby in a house, a man held his head, whispering his mantra, "It's not true, it's not true, it can't be true, it isn't true."

[Pause Xander SSJ4 theme]


Shantia's eyes widened; as if the first power surge hadn't been enough, the energy shot up another raw amount.

Faith grinned, laughed, and said, "You /really/ feel that, huh? You've already lost." Shantia whipped her head about, and looked at the smiling Slayer. "Even if you had managed to defeat me, he would come and tear you limb from limb without breaking a sweat. He's a friend of mine."

"What do you mean, 'had managed'? You're already dead, you just don't know it yet," Shantia hissed at Faith.

[Play Rising Fighting Spirit theme]

Faith grinned, shaking her head, and said, "You're like me, Slayer, but worse, demonically enhanced, healing faster than even the Goddess Glorificous. I saw you hurt all my friends, I thought you were unbeatable, but I forgot . . ." Faith opened her eyes and looked fiercely at Shantia, saying, "I have been given the power to fight evil things like you, to protect my friends. I saw only you and me, saw how much more powerful you seemed to be, how much weaker I was, I fought with desperation." Faith indicated her defeated friends with a nod, then the whole city, and said, "But this isn't about you and me, it's about /them/. Now you'll face my true power: my love." Then she roared out. Her eyes turned black once more, her hair crackled upwards with electricity, and massively powerful, blue, ethereal chi-flame burst around, enveloping her with power. She grimaced as she looked at Shantia's surprised face and then burst forward.

Faith landed a flurry of bows, each powerful enough to kill a whole squadron of demons. Shantia was flung about like a rag doll. Faith followed up with several kicks, shooting the Super Slayer Vampire along the street, while her chi flame kept growing with intensity - Faith was still continuing to power up, drawing energy from somewhere. She appeared behind the vampire and crashed her elbow in her back, followed up with an upward kick, and shot energy ball after energy ball after Shantia. With each explosion on the vampire, some more glass shards of windows that had remained inside their fittings shattered. Faith flew after Shantia again and landed a downward punch in the vampire's stomach, and the demon shot down to the ground. Faith's energy still charged as she flew after Shantia and kicked her horizontally away from her once again.

Suddenly Shantia twisted around and grabbed Faith by her neck, her claws going into her flesh, and blood came pouring from the wound. With a roar Shantia rammed her knee in Faith's stomach doubling her over. The vampire followed up with a powerful raking uppercut, making Faith groan out in even more pain. Then she rammed her fist from right to left across Faith's jaw, followed up by an elbow pulling back. Faith screamed in pain, and then more so when another uppercut followed. Shantia let go of Faith's limp form, grabbed her hair, making the Slayer groan as her movement stopped courtesy of her hair roots. Thus she dangled limply about. Blood poured from the wounds in Faith's neck and face, which was swollen and threatened to obscure her features. Amused, Shantia sneered, "Pathetic, look at you. You're nothing to me. All that new power, all that /love/, and all you managed was an extra scratch? And that's already healed."

Faith chuckled and managed to give Shantia an ugly smile with her bashed in face, and said, "That's because I haven't used it yet." Shantia's eyes widened in surprise and confused at that statement, and suddenly Faith's arms widened out. She brought them to her middle together then, not even a centimeter from Shantia's well-endowed chest, and releasing all her charged up energy she screamed with a distorted voice, "*FINAL FLAAASH*!!"

The massive beam of raw energy spewed forth, instantly enveloping Shantia. Her eyes widened in shock, letting go of Faith and crossing her arms in front of her as the beam increased in power. "No! Can't spare . . . move! NO!" she screamed in defiance as Faith kept up the Final Flash with a grimace. The attack at such close range easily devouring even someone as powerful and almost indestructible as Shantia the Super Slayer Vampire. "No! . . . Won't give . . . AAAAHH!!!" And then there was nothing left of the seemingly invincible vampire.

With a sigh of relief Faith directed the energy beam up into the sky, and then tumbled to the floor, dropping down to plain, old normal Slayer. She did it! Finally! Shantia was dust in the wind, and not even that, completely vaporized. She fell to the floor with a groan. She would live, but would her friends? A few moments later from the hole she heard Angel's shaky voice talking into his cell phone. From the conversation Faith understood he had called 911. Then she slipped into unconsciousness.

[Stop Rising Fight Spirit theme]


[Restart Xander SSJ4 theme]

Buffy's fists crashed over the demon's face, and with a roar he bashed her aside. She felt Xander's power, such enormous raw power, coming incredibly rapidly closer. With a bash from the demon's underarm to her gut she was launched away and took control. As she flew away she watched how Tara fired a powerful stream of freezing ice against the demon. The demon grinned as he blocked the pitiful attempt. He failed to understand the attack was two-fold and a stream of white hot fire crashed against him from Willow. He screamed as very cold skin was rapidly heated by white hot flame, and some of his right arm and surface area of his torso was shattered outward. Even as the wounds started healing, Willow and Tara tried to press their advantage but were quickly forced aside with several well-aimed energy balls.

Buffy felt happy though! Xander was already here. What incredible speed! She turned around and got the shock of her life. She saw some /thing/ with fur, a tail and blood-shot eyes filled with bloodlust. They could hopefully defeat the demon they were fighting, but no way could they fight another one at the same time. She almost started looking around for where Xander was, until she realized something; Xander's signature came from this . . . this monster. The characteristic golden cone of energy surrounding him, seemed to attest to that.

"Xander?" she asked shocked as she saw Xander's body tremble with undisguised rage and hatred. "Is that really you?"

"What the fuck? Who the hell are you?" the demon asked looking at Xander in his fourth level of the Super Saiyan.

"*You killed my wife! Now you pay!*" Xander hissed out, his voice dripping with hate and rage. Willow, Buffy and Tara looked with shock as Xander shot forward, three times as small as the demon, but so fast the demon couldn't even react. Xander's fist crashed into, and then straight through the demon's stomach. The demon doubled over in shock, green blood shooting from its mouth and nose. With a growl Xander pulled his fist back, fur covered in green blood and gore. Xander followed up with an uppercut that broke the demon's jaw. Then a kick to the chest that audible broke ribs. The demon threw a half-hearted punch that Xander caught. He squeezed and the bones in the demon's hand cracked, making the demon scream in pain. Xander twisted the arm and with the elbow of his free hand broke several bones in the demon's arm. Xander let go as the demon screamed, and tried to put distance between Xander and him. It didn't help, he was no match for Xander's Super Saiyan 4 speed. The demon hadn't been able to beat the third level, against this fourth he didn't stand a chance.

The demon lashed out with its tail, and Xander grabbed it. With an evil smirk he shot down and slammed the demon on the ground. Xander twisted, pulled, and made the demon sail over him, crashing into the ground on the opposite side. Xander repeated the process, now only a quarter of a circle motion, and then did it again, and again, with rapid speed. By the time he let the demon go, the demon was a bloody mess. The demon was lying in a small indentation in the ground. It groaned, and Xander stood at the edge of the crater looking down. The demon noticed the bloodthirst in Xander's eyes and flinched. How could this be a souled being? Xander's evil smirk stayed there, and the demon felt himself healing up. He widened his eyes in shock. When most of his wounds were healed, Xander attacked again. Smashing his feet into the demon's legs, breaking the bones. He continued wounding the demon, reducing it once again to a bloody mess, before waiting till it was half-way healed, and started over.

"Xander? Don't you think he has enough?" Willow asked timidly watching Xander meticulously torture the demon just short of death over and over again. Xander didn't answer, he simply continued. "Xander?"

"Sweety, I don't think Xander can really hear you," Tara whispered fearfully, clutching to her girlfriend as Xander continued.

It didn't take long before the demon begged for mercy, all the three young women listened to it in shock. A demon? One of this caliber begging? For mercy? Xander didn't do anything but continue its torture, face twisted in rage, occasionally licking up a glob of green blood that had managed to land on his face. He punched, kicked, fired small energy balls, over and over, while the demon screamed and screamed in pain. Not long after, it yelled, "Please! Aargh . . . just . . . oogh . . . k-kill me . . . AAAH!! . . . please!"

Xander didn't even seem to hear it, he just continued with torturing the demon almost to death over and over. Buffy put her hand in front of her mouth, shocked at the display. Saiyans, warrior species, indeed. The three of them had never really seen what that meant, until now. Xander didn't stop until fifteen minutes later. For the first nine the demon continued to beg 'please' and an occasional 'kill' followed by more screaming and a 'me', but then it ceased doing that as well, reduced to only screaming in pain. Only when the demon was so depleted of energy and raw materials that it was no longer healing, did Xander stop for a length of time, the demon nothing but a blood mess. When Xander realized the thing really wasn't coming back for more, he simply pointed his hand down and fired.

A moment later there was a blinding flash, energy shooting sharply upward from the explosion, sending sand and rock everywhere. Buffy, Willow, and Tara had difficulty maintaining there position under the onslaught, and indeed were pushed back. They watched in shock as the smoke settled - if they had been were Xander had been standing, they'd all be dead they realized. Xander - as their sixth sense already told them, but they didn't really want to believe - emerged unscathed, his hand still outstretched. The demon was no more, vaporized.

Xander's three friends watched in shock as tears started streaming down Xander's cheeks, more and more. There was one sob, and then Xander screamed out in fury, grief and rage, before calming down. His golden glow swirled around him, and then Xander was standing in Super Saiyan 2 mode, golden tail wrapping casually around his waist. He looked up, tears dried, and it seemed as if he noticed Buffy, Willow, and Tara only now, and probably did. He blinked once, and said emotionlessly, "Let's go." He then blasted off, expecting the girls to follow. After a moment of looking at each other, they did.

[Stop Xander SSJ4 theme]


Buffy shuddered again at the memory. Such power, such uncontrollable rage, such hate . . . she guessed if someone had killed someone she loved as much as Xander loved Anya she'd go over the edge as well, but that didn't make it any less terrifying. The first explosion, caused by that second beam of light, and leveled three villages, killing ten thousand people and some more. None of them fully grasped why Xander would do that, but they hadn't really been able to ask. He must have been truly completely out of it though, she couldn't possibly conceive of a Xander even somewhat in control letting out some energy beams in random directions.

There was a crashing sound, followed by a tree falling over. Buffy turned her head toward the falling sound, and caught the glimpse of golden light. Damn, he was at least a Super Saiyan, and she still didn't really feel him. He most definitely was somehow masking his power. She turned and flew down gently. She landed between the trees and found Xander casually chopping the tree to pieces with his bare hands - she guessed for firewood or something. She stayed watching for a few more minutes as Xander hauled the tree over to a cabin she guessed he had either built or repaired. She marveled at the golden tail wrapped around his waist, it looked so . . . odd.

She worked up her courage, mentally cursing Willow, Tara, and Dawn. They had expected her to go find him, since she was the strongest of them and the most like Xander. Of course, she had kind of expected it of herself as well, but it was better for her courage to curse them instead of herself. She took another deep breath and then walked into the clearing, saying gently, "Xander?"

"Go away," he said coldly.

Buffy stayed still for a moment. Of course, she didn't know how to mask her energy, he must have felt her coming a thousand miles away. "I can't do that, Xander, we all would like you to come home," Buffy said softly.

The blazing Super Saiyan turned around while laughing at her. "What home?"

*Oh, great, stupid!* Buffy told herself, and looked down. "You can stay in our house, there's one guest bedroom as you know, could be yours."

"No, now leave me alone," Xander hissed angrily.

Buffy looked around, watching Xander work on whatever he was working on. She couldn't just give up yet, and asked, "What are you doing here anyway?"

Xander turned around slowly, and watched how his tail uncurled seemingly of its own accord and started waving - to Buffy it felt dangerously - up and down. "Killing all of them. Don't worry, you'll no longer be targets. I will wipe them out all by myself. Now get the /hell/ out of here, because you're starting to piss me off."

Progress! Of course, it might be deadly progress, but this was Buffy's best friend. She wasn't going to let him drown, she knew what that felt like, and from his reactions she figured she could get through to him, unlike any of them with her. She had closed herself off completely, only bitter remarks and ignoration had been her MO. Xander at least was talking somewhat. "Xander, it's not your fault that Anya got killed," Buffy said softly, guessing his depression.

Xander laughed, then roared, going to the second level automatically. "OF COURSE IT IS!!" Xander raged, firing an energy ball from his right hand in some random direction. A moment later there was a powerful explosion some distance away. Buffy took a step back, at Xander's raging display. He twisted around and crashed his hand through a tree and it splinted partially and fell over as he yelled, "I UNDERESTIMATED THAT THING!!" He kicked the part of the earlier tree that he hadn't finished yet high into the sky, screaming, "I should have realized! I should have known! I broke the first lesson I taught all of you! All my fault, all my stupidity! No more! I will torture them all to death for what they did to Anya, and . . . and . . .!!"

Buffy had quietly transformed, just in case she needed it with Xander so unstable. Her hair hung gently down to her shoulders, only her eyes betrayed her transformed state. "Xander!" she said urgently, grabbing his arm softly, turning him to face. "It's /not/ your fault! There was /no/ way for you to know it had knowledge of where you lived, and that it would target Anya . . . and your unborn . . ." Xander yanked himself free from her gentle hand, rage on his face. "Xander, you took your time! Trusting that Faith and the others could hold on, so you wouldn't walk into a trap! You didn't underestimate that demon! Underestimating the demon is . . . is . . . vertical. The demon's knowledge and targeting . . . that's horizontal. There was no way to know, know way to anticipate, no way unless you were psychic, and you're not psychic, Xander!"

With a roar of rage Xander's fist smashed into a tree. The tree half exploded, and the rest was launched away. "I should have! I should have known . . . I should have . . ."

"Xander," Buffy tried gently again, rather afraid. She wanted him back in the house though, especially with Dawn and Willow present he probably would keep himself from going off the deep end there; plus they would be there to keep him amongst the living, "Please come back with me. Willow, Dawn, and Tara want to see you, Faith too I imagine. They're scared for you."

"NO! Won't endanger you anymore," Xander said, almost said.

"You can't fight them all alone," Buffy tried.

"Yes, I can, oh, yes I can," Xander answered, the grin on his face, and the unholy fire as he nodded his affirmative made Buffy's spine crawl. He turned away from her again, his tail whipping about more furiously.

"Just because you're not with us, and not training us, doesn't mean they don't know where to find us and attack us anyway," Buffy tried hopefully getting through to him this way, with logic. "In fact, if you don't train us, we'll probably be a lot less prepared when they do."

"JUST GET THE FUCKING HELL OUT OF HERE!! I'M TIRED OF YOUR NAGGING!!" Xander raged out suddenly, turning to look at Buffy, his eyes blazing.

Buffy swallowed as she had taken an involuntary step backward. Okay, last option, one trump card. She just hoped Xander didn't decide to play his own trump card of smashing her skull in. She swallowed again; she had to do this, had to get through to him. His blazing eyes were still locked on her, expecting her to leave, and so she said, "Do you think Anya would want you to abandon your and her friends?"

He transformed with a whirl of energy instantly, and there was that terrifying form she didn't want to see aimed at her. Those bloodshot primitive eyes, that fur, but now his clothes were still intact, although the red blouse was a lot tighter. His hand reached out with such speed, she could barely see it even as a Super Slayer - she most certainly could not avoid it in any way. His hand wrapped tightly around her throat and she got slammed backward into a tree with such speed and force she felt it hurt her body. Reflexively she powered up and grabbed for the hand squeezing her neck close, while he hissed, "/You/ don't /get/ to talk about her like that, *BITCH*!!" His hand didn't move, no matter how hard she tried to pry it loose. Steadily her oxygen supply depleted, as Xander continued, "You /hated/ her from the start! You didn't consider her good enough for a dog! You despised her, you didn't /know/ her at all!"

"Not true," Buffy gasped out, but not really able to get air in. "I . . . knew . . . her, loved . . . her; friend."

"You lying slut!" Xander hissed at her, bloodshot eyes continuing to blaze with anger, his tail still waving about. Desperately Buffy kicked out at Xander's torso. She groaned - her foot and shin burned with pain, and Xander hadn't even flinched. As she gasped, Xander smirked, and said, "I told you I wasn't human, didn't I? That I was different. Like the real me? Like the true Saiyan with proper tail? Like the cold warrior, well? I will do everything I need to do to win."

"Let . . . go, pl- . . ." Buffy felt unconsciousness slipping in, the transformation slipping away, vision blurring, looking at Xander's enraged eyes. The smirk still on his face. He continued meticulously squeezing the life out of her casually, didn't seem to be concerned about her welfare. Suddenly, casually, as if inconsequential he let go and turned around. Buffy dropped to the ground and coughed as her vision cleared, desperately sucking in air.

"Now, leave me alone! This is the last time," Xander hissed out as he looked at his hands. Buffy could hear the sadness, and pain in his voice.

Slowly she got up, and said, "No, you're our Xander, species, hurt, and anger doesn't matter. You care about us. We're your friends, remember we made a promise that at least once a month we'd spend time together: just you, me and Willow? That's next week. I can't possibly know how much it hurts to lose your wife, or husband as well as a child like that - I won't try, but we can help you feel something, anything other then a dark pit of endless pain. Please, Xander, I doubt this pain will ever fully go away, I won't presume to tell you 'everything will be fine', but I think things could improve a bit." She felt tears flow from her own eyes, and she was aware of the sobs that came from Xander. She took several steps forward and wrapped her hands around his waist, putting her head against his back, feeling the fur beneath his blouse. "Tara and Dawn loved Anya as well, and I did, I got to know her a little better just before the wedding and after. She was amazing, and you and I both know she'd want her husband to watch at the very least over Dawn, and I'm pretty certain over the rest of us." She broke down fully then, she was still amazed, just like the first time she cried how much the blonde had come to mean to her, and how much more empty and dreary their lives were now, even with her gone for barely more than a week. She had been amazing, so completely a fresh breeze whenever she arrived. "Please- . . . Xan, let us help," she sniffled, and felt him break down to. He lay down on the ground, and she went along, holding him, hugging, returning to him what he had done so often for her.

"She . . . she . . . and- . . ." Xander choked on the words, crying out, releasing huge amounts of pent up emotion that he had only manifested as rage, hate, and anger until now.

They lay there for half an hour, crying together, before Buffy finally sniffled into the drenched shirt beneath her, "Come home with me, Xan, please. I'll make my home yours, okay?" She felt him nod weakly.

Episode 63

The Lowering Tide of Death

Willow, Dawn, and Buffy watched with fascination as Super Saiyan 4 Xander trained in the gravity gym. In short distances there didn't seem much more speed than Super Saiyan 3, but the power behind each energy blast and punch was immensely more. This Xander was . . . scary.

Xander's training was mindless, filled with grief and pain. It had been two days since Buffy had brought him back. For one day he had lain in Willow's arms, crying. When Buffy had walked in on them to call them for diner, she had been a little jealous on the connection the two had. Hers and Xander's was strong, but it was nowhere near theirs. She remembered Tara walking in on her spying, and their conversation about it all. It had been rather enlightening.

Xander stopped his training for a moment, and looked seemingly emotionlessly at his arms, and chest; the gi was sleeveless, and low cut enough to show his fur. The robots fired plasma bolts at him, that hit, but he just ignored it. The things couldn't even hurt him. Suddenly out of nowhere he threw a massive punch, while screaming, "AAAAAAH!!!" His fist crashed against the middle of the far narrow end of the force field, and he kept it there as for a moment the whole gym trembled. Then there were sizzles in the shield emitter, making the three girls drop their jaws. It followed by sparks and little pops at the emitter tile where Xander had hit. The shield and the tile flickered, and then died completely. Xander watched it dispassionately, and then tears flowed from his eyes and he stepped defeated, wobbling through the hole in the shield he just created and slowly walked over to the women.

"How much again? Before . . ." Buffy asked in shock.

"Two megatons," Willow added flabbergasted.

"Are you telling me, Xander just threw a . . . a . . ." Dawn muttered in shock.

Willow nodded, as Xander casually came closer, and she said, "An over two megaton punch."

Dawn added, "Wouldn't the hole mat be gone then?"

"Not if he focused all of the energy in one point, not letting it go anywhere," Buffy answered shaking her head.

Xander reached them, trembling, and he said, "Anya would have . . . would have loved . . . would have loved this form." The three girls grabbed him and hugged, once more rather frightened at this form's raw power. They noticed several work robots come over, apparently preparing to repair or replace the tile.


Dawn, Li and her Father were sitting in his apartment, playing a game of Monopoly. The two men already knew they would lose, but enjoyed the game anyway. Besides, they kind of enjoyed seeing who would win of the two, and neither male could really ever not enjoy watching Dawn in her element.

Li rolled the dice and counted off his throw's number. He landed squarely on one of Dawn's streets having a house on it. Dawn didn't say anything about it. "Dawn? Are you alright?" Li asked concerned, Hank equally so. This getting-to-know-the-father visit was both for Li's and Dawn's sake, both needed to meet the father and get to know him - who knew how close, or completely wrong the fabricated memories were? And they weren't even of all of her father after all.

"Hmm?" Dawn looked up. Now the males were /really/ concerned. Dawn Summers, self-proclaimed Queen of Monopoly not paying attention during a game?

Hank reached over and placed his hand on her forehead. "No fever," he said after a while and looked at Li, smiling, but with some concern in his look.

"Huh!?" Dawn now said, completely not getting it, while she seemed . . . sad.

Li looked with concern at Dawn, and said, "Dawn, I'm standing on one of your streets, having a house. You're not paying attention at all."

"Oh," Dawn said and then grabbed one pile of the Monopoly money and held it up. "It's the money," Dawn said with a sad look, "Anya loved money, it reminded me of her, she's also the only who's ever beaten me at Monopoly." Li-Huei moved over and quickly hugged Dawn. She let her head rest on his shoulder. Her father watched it, it actually warmed his heart. He was good for his daughter he saw. Dawn explained, "I guess I miss her more than I thought. She was . . . she was this ray of sunshine. I don't think I've ever seen her down, no wait, only when mom died. Sh-sh . . ." Dawn's smile faltered and she chocked on her words. Her dad came over and then hugged her from the other side. Dawn reached out for the strength needed and continued, "She always had this big, often goofy smile on her face; she just refused to be depressed . . . She just lit up a room with that smile."

"Yeah, I suppose with as much sex as she had . . ." Li-Huei choked on his words, realizing who was in the room with them. Dawn looked up at him with big eyes, and her father let go of the hug. ". . . ah, uh, nothing."

"As she had?" Hank prompted with a questioning look.

"Ahh . . . well, ahm, as she had, y-you would h-ha-have a per-per-perpet-perpetual smile on y-y-your face as well," he managed to stutter out.

"Yeah," Dawn cut in quickly, "Good thing we don't any sex yet, because else I'd be pestered in school for that goofy smile till I run away crying." Dawn kept her gaze away from her father, but then bit by bit peeked.

"Good," Hank stated with a smile, and said, "Just you two promise me you never mention sex in front of me again. To me my two daughters are as innocent as snow; kissing is the most they do."

"And . . . children?" Li asked him suspiciously.

"The ostrich brings them," Hank stated resolutely.

Dawn smiled at her father and said, "Deal, as long as the same goes for me. Buffy and me were brought with ostriches and my parents and my father /never/ had or will have sex."

"Deal," her father said and they shook hands on it.


Super Saiyan 4 Xander smashed his way through one gym mat after another. The whole place shook, force fields were destroyed, until he finally sank to his knees crying out in rage and helplessness.

Willow had watched it happening, and now that he had calmed down a little bit she ran over and slung her arms around him. "I'm here, I'm here," she cried along with him, "You'll get better, don't worry."

"NO!" he raged going rigid, and Willow had difficulty moving on. "You don't get it, I could have saved her! I could have sent her a telepathic message, I never did - I was too focused, too much on my own fear, and my own need to get that stupid ball of energy . . ."

"Xander, you do realize this thing had someone behind him, right?" Willow asked him, and he turned his had, looking in her tear eyes, just like his were. "Some demon just comes out of nowhere, knowing exactly where you live? Or more accurately where Anya is? Anya could have been at the Magic Box, or over here. Yet that energy attack went straight for her. If she had run, it would simply have followed her."

"But I was /this/ close," Xander wailed, indicating a small tiny little slit with two fingers, "the difference in distance would have given me the time I needed."

"And your telepathic contact would undoubtedly have slowed you down," Willow murmured rubbing her cheek in his fur, liking the softness, and feeling how much good her hug did Xander. He may have a tail now, and be a furred big, bad monkey, but he was still her Xander, and she knew him that well. "If it was that small a difference, then just a tiny slow down would keep the distances that small."

"I . . ." Xander whispered.

"Xan, you were afraid for Anya's life, panicked, realizing you were way behind. Nobody's perfect, not even you, you can't think of everything, not under those kinds of circumstances; if you could, you would never get in those kinds of circumstances, because you'd be cold and heartless," Willow whispered soothingly into his ear. "You might be ruthless, and a killing machine in a fight to those who deserve it, Xander Littica, but my Xander has never been cold and heartless." Willow felt several shocks of pain go through his body, which turned into sobs. "Just cry, Xander, stop second guessing yourself. You did everything you could. It's not your fault, it's that demon's and whoever was behind him's fault. Not yours, not yours at all. She'll live on in all our hearts, Xan, they can't take that away from us," Willow whispered, feeling her heart break when she felt the waves of pain coming from him. She herself had no idea what she would do if Tara died.


One and a half weeks later

Buffy fit her blouse, tucking it in her skirt and was ready to leave the house for her vacation job; a clerk in a local book store, selling books. She watched Xander in his new form lying on the couch, dead to the world.

"Xander?" Buffy prompted, and the depressed monkey slowly turned his head, looking dully at her. She walked over to him and crouched down, sitting on the low table. "For weeks now, all you've been doing is lying on this couch and training. I don't think I can tell you how you should mourn, and how long, but don't you think this is starting to get unhealthy?" Xander gave an uninterested shrug. "You need to get off your behind, Xan. Just lying here will only make you feel worse; you should at least remember life is still moving on." Dawn entered the room, munching on a sandwich and decided to watch the exchange. Buffy stroked Xander's long hair, and smiling said, "Xander, I'm your friend, and I'm telling you - grieve, be in pain, but get up and /do/ something."

"She's right, Xan," Dawn muttered, continuing to eat the sandwich. "For once my big sister is right, and you can't ignore the signs when even Buffy can figure something out." Buffy gave her sister a glare, who just shrugged and smiled at her. Xander made a sound, and the two sisters looked at him. Dawn made a guess, and said, "Buffy, look at him, it's all your fault, he can probably now smell Spike on you, you with your big corpse fetish."

Buffy narrowed her eyes at her sister, took in Xander for a moment, and then said, "Oh, Li! Oh, Li! Hey, Li, my sister might like corpses, but I'm just a big slut who likes everything alive! You don't mind do you?"

"What!?" Dawn said angrily, narrowing her eyes at her sister. "Oh, you're gonna pay for that . . . hm . . . 'Here, Dawn, plenty of condoms to screw the whole football team with! WHAT!? You've got a boyfriend!? And you /kissed/ him!? How dare you, you big slut!? Men are evil, they'll betray you the moment they get a chance, take an example to Willow!'" Xander sniffled once.

"Oh!" Buffy said with a grimace, and then put up a big fake smile as if talking to a bunch of toddlers. "'Hello, boys and girls. I'm Dawn, I'm not real, I want to have something of myself, I'll think I go steal from my friends and family, and then from the stores down the road. See? All mine, mine, and mine alone, for real.'"

"'Oh, Riley, oh, such a good fuck yeah, I didn't know humans could be so good in bed! What!? You're a drug-addict, super charged soldier!? But that doesn't . . . Taught by female vampires!? Ah, now I understand! Oh, yeah, use those teeth,'" Dawn mimicked another really caricature version of Buffy's speech. There was a tiny giggle from Xander.

"That was low," Buffy said with narrowed eyes, and then widened hers. She sped to the kitchen.

"What? Giving up?" Dawn called after her bigger sister.

A few moments later Buffy returned, licking a lolly pop, rolling it around her lips. In the other hand she had a cold slice of pizza. She bit so horribly in it that all around her mouth there was pizza topping. While chewing she looked dreamily at Xander, while Dawn's jaw dropped. Exceedingly perky Buffy swallowed the pizza, and stuffed the lolly pop in her mouth, suckling loudly, while her mouth was still covered. Then she took out the lolly pop, and said with a little girl voice, "'Ooh, Xander, you're so hot, so fantastic. Hmm, I loooove you, Xander.'" Xander chuckled a bit. "'I looove you sooo much,'" Buffy said. One pizza topping fell down, staining the blouse wrapped around her chest. Dawn folded her arms across her chest in annoyance. "'I love you, and I'll hug you, and I'll kiss you, and show you how grown up of a woman I am, right, Xander? You love this mature woman back, right?'"

Xander's damn burst, and he laughed. It was too ridiculous, and he remembered Dawn like that, big crushing-on-him eyes. He remembered smiling at her, flattered at the girl's crush, showing her he loved her like a big brother, and encouraging her to stay herself further. So utterly exaggerated, with the build up, it was too funny not to laugh. Only slowly his laughter died down. "You think of me like that, Xander? Or thought?" Dawn asked with a pout, an almost perfect copy of her sister's.

"No, Dawn," Xander chuckled with a bright smile, "you were a beautiful, fantastic girl, and even while you were like that, I never thought of you bad. Just young. Although you were never that bad." Buffy was still exaggeratedly suckling the lolly pop.

Buffy then took the lolly pop out of her mouth with a pop, and with superior smile at her sister, she said, "I go clean myself up, I can't arrive at work like this. Will you do something, Xander? Check out what you want to do with the . . . house, and the Magic Box, for example, you'd have to go by the bank? For me? For little Dawn."

"Hey!" Dawn said, and the two sisters then grinned at each other. Xander gave a deep sigh and nodded; it was obvious he was seriously down again, but not quite as bad as before. Buffy nodded satisfactorily and ran up the stairs.


Xander walked along, depressed once again. He had been by the magic box and the ruins of the house. So many magical memories of his beautiful and sparkly wife assaulted him, the thought that he would never see her again made him infinitely sad. He was pretty sure he was going to sell both, there were too many memories attached to both. The sale of the magic box of course would have to be done with Giles' permission, since he still owned half of it, but he was pretty sure the man would agree.

Thus he walked steadily toward the bank to talk about selling the ruins of the house, and cash in on the insurance of it. His blouse kept most of his fur covered, but along the collar it could be seen. He didn't know which of the four girls living at Buffy's had done it, or perhaps they had all chipped in, but lately he no longer found pants that didn't have a hole for his tail, which was now wrapped around his waist. He felt himself steadily decline in a darker, and darker mood. The primitiveness of his Super Saiyan 4 form helped with that as well.

He stepped into an alley and walked on, not really noticing the three men holding a woman at three gun points, demanding her money. Xander didn't care, he just walked onward, quickly bridging the gap between them and him. He was looking down, so his eyes weren't visible to the mugger who noticed him. "Hey, guys, look at this, I think the circus forgot to close the cage of the circus freaks," the mugger called to his friends. The two turned and looked, seeing the fur on the outside of Xander's fists, going under the sleeves, and visible around the neck. His long black hair equally fit the vision of a guy having his hair grown all over his body, like someone having a throw back gene activated. The tail wrapped around Xander's waist didn't really draw much attention.

One of his friends snickered, pointed his gun at him, and said, "Hey, freak, give us your money, man!" The female victim shivered, whimpering some. Xander just continued walking.

"Hey, are you deaf? Or blind? We've got guns, pal, hands in the air and hand over the cash!" the third guy said, all three guns were now pointed at Xander who just continued walking, and closed to only three meters.

"All right, you've asked for it," the first guy said, aimed carefully and pulled the trigger. There was a bang, and then the sound of something metallic falling on the ground. The guys looked down at the sound, and saw the bullet now just behind Xander since he hadn't stopped moving. "What the fuck!?"

Xander finally looked up, his predatory bloodshot eyes taking them in. "Jesus Christ," the third guy said in shock, just when their attention was drawn down by a sound. Xander had his hands in front of his gut, where an energy ball formed. The muggers took a step back, their victim looked on in fear. Xander spread his face in a wide, deadly grin, and the ball of energy ignited in flames. Xander pushed his hand forward, letting the fire ball fly, which immediately split up in three slightly smaller balls. A moment later each ball found its mark, and amid screams three muggers were engulfed in fire. Xander simply walked past the burning muggers without slowing down. There were several loud bangs, as the gunpowder in the bullets exploded.

The victim stayed rooted on her spot, pressed against the wall, watching as several melted pieces of metal - guns, buttons, belt buckles - clanged to the floor, accompanied by black ash, and a few charcoaled pieces of bone. She swallowed heavily, glad she was alive, and she said timidly, "Th-th-thanks." Xander didn't answer, so she hurried in the opposite direction.


Two days later the house or what was left of it, was put on sale, as a piece of virgin ground for those who'd like to built their own dream house from scratch. The Magic Box actually had a new owner, or rather a new partner for Giles.

He was lying on the couch in front of the window again, normal form this time. His tail hung next to the couch, and carefully waved back and forth. Willow and Tara were sitting on the other couch, drinking coffee, and watching the painfully sad and depressed Xander Littica. Buffy was sitting in a chair to the left of Willow and Tara.

"Xander," Tara prompted.

"Hmm," he managed to answer.

"We'd like to run something by you," Willow said with a concerned tone.

"Hmm," he said again.

"Y-yes, Xander, uhm . . ." Tara looked at Willow, and then both at Buffy.

The Slayer rolled her eyes and looked at Xander, "Xander, we've been thinking; for the past few weeks you've all but just been lying on that couch." Xander eyed her. "How about you take a break? Go somewhere else for a while, breeze out, recharge your batteries."

"Yeah," Willow added with a concerned face. "I know you, Xander, all you've been doing is remembering Anya; you see her sitting in your lap here, see her do something else elsewhere, no matter where you go."

Tara nodded, and added, "We th-think it m-m-might be good if you, well, you know, be in a place where you a-aren't constantly reminded of her, s-so you can heal, r-remind yourself there was and is more to life than just A-anya."

Xander sat up, a little angry, wanting to call her on it, then slumped. His childhood friend spoke up, "Xander, we'd like our cheerful friend back, the one who used to take everything head on, and never let himself be down. We know you, we love you, we're not asking you to forget her, or saying she wasn't immensely important to you, and even us; we want you to heal as best as you can, so you can live your life again, not waste it away on a couch."

"What? A nice suntanning session on Hawaii?" Xander asked sarcastically.

"If you want," Buffy supplied and smiled gently at him, "but we were more thinking, at least to start of, spending some time in LA, with Cordelia, Faith, and Angel. You don't really like the vampire we know, but you do like the girls, and they would do everything in their power to help you heal, cheer you up, make you live again."

"Q-quite frankly," Tara said, trying her hand at a joke to lighten the mood, "we'd like to get rid of you so we don't have the doom and gloom around us all the time." Xander looked at her with a strange expression.

Willow nodded and said, "A bit more frankly: you're worse than Angel."

"I am /not/!" Xander protested vehemently at that concept.

Buffy added her two cents worth, "Sorry, Xan, but at least Angel tended to brood alone, you bring the whole house down."

"You take that back," Xander told her with narrowed eyes.

"Can't take back the t-truth," Tara said, growing a bit nervous as Xander's gaze settled on her. "We could be wrong, prove it by spending t-time out of Sunnyd-dale."

Xander looked at the three girls, "Okay, fine, I'll spend some time in LA if that's the only way to prove it to you."


"Hey, you big lug," Cordelia greeted happily, but with a tiny hint of sadness. The double scar on her face where different skin had been grafted was very visible. They had taken the bandages off only a day earlier. She wrapped her arms around her just after he stepped down the steps to the lobby of the Hyperion.

Xander hugged her back tightly, wrapping his tail around her waist to make it even more enveloping. He breathed in her familiar sent, and greeted, "Hey, Cor, good to see you again. How's the cheek?"

"Alright, doesn't hurt anymore. I've been focusing my chi on it, another few weeks and you'll barely see the scars," she said with a sad smile. If she had to do it all over again, once more having her cheek torn open, she would without question.

They unwrapped and Cordelia watched as his tail wrapped around his own waist, touching herself where the tail had enveloped her. "That's so weird, in a good way," Cordelia said and then smiled up at him. "We prepared a room for you."

"Yep, we did alright," Faith said as she took Cordelia's place, hugging Xander tightly. She perfectly fine now of course. He returned the hug, his tail wrapping around her waist as before. "Good to see ya again, and actually huggable and talkable too, Xan."

"Thanks, how are you Faith?" Xander asked.

"Five by five," Faith said, and then reluctantly broke the hug. She went over to Wesley, and told him playfully, "Now why can't you have a tail?"

Wesley looked at her with annoyance. He took a difficult step forward at the same time and offered his hand. He was still bandaged up, and in several casts, leaning on a crutch. The human and the Saiyan shook hands, the human wincing at his hand, and Wesley said, "Welcome to Angel's humble abode, and our base of operations. We'll make your stay as pleasant as possible." Wesley seemed to be in a little pain while speaking.

"Thanks," Xander said, as Cordelia and Faith each took a suitcase and watched as Lorne and Fred made greetings.

Buffy, who had stayed behind, watched as Xander and his luggage were ushered further into the hotel. She smiled, and Angel appeared behind her. "They'll take good care of him, we all will," Angel said softly.

"I know," Buffy said, sucking in air as she hugged herself tightly. She turned around, looked up into his face, and smiled. "This is the best for him right now," Buffy told him with a smile. She still loved Angel, she realized, but very differently; a friend, with a deep connection, with just a hint of nostalgia. But no romantic interest, certainly nothing sexual. She would never tell him, but after her experiences the past few months, a cool, vampire body would never do anymore; in fact it turned her off. She took a step forward and gave him a quick hug, which he gladly returned. To her satisfaction, she didn't feel any of the old attraction, and doomed love coming from him either. He had a responsibility, which was made pointedly clear. A baby phone nearby turned on, and Connor's crying could be heard.

Angel smiled brightly. He pointed with his thumb at the baby phone, and said, "Duty calls, I better go see what he wants, and if he isn't doing it just to manipulate any of us. I'm getting the distinct impression he knows we come and pamper him whenever he cries, so he just cries for the heck of it."

Buffy chuckled, and said, "Okay then, dad, I'll go home them. Call me if anything is amiss, yes?"

"Amiss?" Angel asked.

Buffy shrugged, "I like studying languages."

Angel grinned, and said, "Goodbye, Buffy."

"Goodbye, Angel," Buffy said and then stepped out of the hotel. She looked around once she was outside, smiled, and burst into the air. With a grin she made several loops and twists. She made a slalom around several tall buildings. Freedom; this was just so fantastic, flying about, tumbling along, freer then a bird. She never really appreciated the joy these new abilities brought. She felt a little guilty for feeling so good after Anya's death, and the state Xander was in, but decided life was too short, even if she lived to be a hundred, not to savor every happy moment she knew - and with being all doom and gloom the past two years, she had catching up to do. With a sharp twist, and wail of joy she twisted around a building, her skirt flapping about in the wind. Her eyes widened in shock when she saw someone jump of a tall building and plummet to his death: if she didn't do anything. She sped up, and went underneath him. She caught him, moving further down, but slowed rapidly, so the man's bones wouldn't break and he died smacking against her arms instead of the pavement. Without changing anything, she let the energy she used to slow her down, push her up. She smiled in at the pudgy guy's tear-stained face, as he looked at her with wide eyes of shock.

A few moments later they reached the roof and she placed him on it on his feet. As she sat down on the higher stone edge of the roof, she said with a smile, "You know, jumping off a roof isn't the healthiest choice of action. One of these days nobody will be around to catch you."

The man looked at the smiling girl, enveloped in a white light that slowly died down. "A-a-a-are you an a-ang-ngel?" he asked in shock, standing there.

"Oh, god no," Buffy said grinning. She stuck out her hand, and said, "Hi, I'm Buffy Summers the Slayer."

The guy looked at her hand, and wrapped his own meaty one around hers tentatively, and muttered, "Chris Rivers."

"Nice to meet you Chris Rivers," Buffy said with a grin and let go, pulling her hand back.

"H-how can you fly? And wh-what's a Slayer?" he asked in shock, latching on those things instead of more depressing matters.

Buffy sighed, and said, "The Slayer is the one girl in all the world chosen, and given the power to fight the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness, yada, yada, yada. Although through a fluke there are two these days. I can fly because I've mastered my life force. Everyone can do it really, if you're willing to put in an enormous amount of effort and time in training."

"Y-y-your a super hero? A-a-an a-a-actual super heroine?" he asked in shock.

Buffy sighed, telling him honestly, "I don't know about hero, the things I've done lately aren't exactly . . . heroic." She looked up and asked, "So what about you, Chris Rivers?"

"Uh, uh, I-I-I'm a . . . uh . . . I work in advertizing, I sit behind a com-computer screen in a stuffy room with others doing the same all day," Chris answered her.

"Not exactly the most enjoyable profession, I gather, but that can't be enough to want to end it all," Buffy told him, with an expectant look.

The guy looked down, sadly, and said, "Look at me." Buffy looked at him, and shrugged. She'd seen worse, much worse - thinking of Spike, she realized she'd done it with much worse. "I'm fat," he continued sadly, he had nothing left to lose after all, "and I'm not just fat, I'm short, I've got a crappy job, a bad taste in clothes apparently, and nobody likes me, everyone at work mocks me. I've got no friends, women don't want me, the only reason why I'm not a virgin is because I visited Vegas once and paid for it . . ." He paused when he saw Buffy take him in thoughtfully.

"Not so baggy clothing would make you look a lot less fat," Buffy confirmed, making him look sad. She continued, "You've got a job that obviously pays the bills, you aren't bad looking although you could lose some pounds. You could do with a better hairdo, but what's so bad about you no-one would like you?"

"You're just saying that because I tried to kill myself," Chris told her with pain in his voice.

"Hell no, well that too, but it's the truth," Buffy told him genuinely. "I'm short, do I look like someone scared of my own reflection to you?"

"You're beautiful, you're hot," Chris said accusingly.

"And yet, in the morning when I look in the mirror, I wish . . . and wish . . ." Buffy shook her head. "Look at my nose, it's practically square."

"It suits you, it makes you look sexy," he said protested again. What could this beautiful creature know of his hell?

"And do you think if I wore clothes to hide myself, dump a tone of makeup on my nose to make it look round, I could possibly be sexy? Let me tell you, no way, even you would reject me," Buffy told him confidently. "The only thing you /really/ lack is confidence. Why would a girl want to go out with a guy that doesn't himself think he's worthy of her? You step up to people and girls with an attitude that you're god's gift to humanity and girls - without becoming an arrogant pig of course - and they'll notice you, positively, and that's without the improvement in hairdo and wardrobe."

"You're lying," he accused.

"Hell no, if you don't let the rest walk all over you, and stand up to some people when they try to talk you down, you'd probably have friends in no time as well," Buffy said with a smile. "Not the bastards trying to pick on you, but others you know. And some women are just shallow or so picky they won't settle for anything less then physical perfection, their loss." Chris looked at her in dumbfounded. "Seriously, if you started talking to me in a bar, with enough confidence that I don't dismiss you as a wimp, I'd most likely accept a date if you ask me, I'm not kidding. In fact, a few weeks ago I picked up a guy who didn't look any better than you, damn, what a night, wouldn't trade it for a night with Fabio," Buffy told him, remembering the guy with super pent up sexual frustration with pheromones blasting out like a stereo. She got up and placed her right hand on Chris' shoulder which was barely higher than her own. "Trust me on this: I was in a hell hole myself, a self made hell hole, and I got out of it, and let me tell you this: nothing, absolutely /nothing/ is worth killing yourself over, got that?" she questioned him with power.

Chris blinked several times, surprised how the beauty's clear blue eyes penetrated him, and made him feel a lot better. "Yeah, you're right, god, oh, my god," he said when the realization of what he had almost succeeded in doing hit him fully. Suddenly he was enveloped in a hug, and a few moments later when the panic attack had gone Buffy let go.

"Listen, I have to leave you, but I've gotta go, friends and sister waiting for me you know," Buffy told him with a smile. "You're gonna be okay? Won't do anything stupid like trying a second time."

"Yeah, yeah-yeah, I'll be fine now. Thanks for saving my life and everything," he told her almost sheepishly.

"Great, see you," Buffy said happily and walked past him. Her chi flame enveloped her and she took off.

"WAIT!!" Chris screamed, turning around fully taking in what Buffy, such a beautiful girl had said. To his relief he watched Buffy halt and then turn around, enveloped by a powerful flame-like cone of white sparkling light, she floated there, like a comic book drawing of a flying super hero. "Uh . . . I uh . . . was wondering if you'd like . . . to go on a date with me," he asked with only a few hesitations. He looked at her hopefully.

Dang, what to do. He actually seemed quite cute in that hopeful pose, Buffy mused. A year ago, or even two years, she wouldn't have given him a second look. But she stopped considering herself superior, just enjoying life, just a girl. And she had meant it, he really wasn't that bad looking. He still needed a confidence improvement though. Problem was she just saved his life, was it really a good idea to mix business with pleasure in such a matter? Was he too damaged goods for dating him at the moment? Finally she decided to take heed to her earlier words; she nodded, while saying, "Sure, I'd love to. When?"

"Uh, uh, Saturday, 7:30, evening of course, down below at the entrance to the building," he suggested, pointing down over the edge behind him.

"Okay, is there a dress code?" she asked, and he shook his head. "Alright then, till Saturday." She waved once, and then sped away.

Oh, wow! Oh, fucking wow! He had a date with a beautiful, hot super heroine! What the hell should he do? Wait, what had she said? Confidence? Perhaps he should just take her to his favorite places.

Episode 64
The Art of Relationships

Buffy Gets a Boyfriend?

Xander and Faith stood at Pike's bed. The young man was out of intensive care now, but he was still very much in a coma. He breathed on his own, but that was it. Faith slung her arm around Xander's waist, and said, "I told him to stay away, stupid fuck."

Xander looked at him with a sad expression. He then reached over to his head and placed his hands on his head. Faith looked astonished as Xander closed his eyes. Pain rushed his being; using the telepathy to save him, when he failed to use it to try and save his wife.



It weren't really thoughts, but more of a general state of mind that Xander picked up. It quickly became clear what it was. A sister - Xander just /knew/ it was Pike's sister - stood there. Young, innocent, blonde, large eyes that looked around the world with curiosity. Then her broken dead body, blood caking large sections of it. Flashes of the scene where she fell over the railing of a bridge, as a result of a group of larger boys picking on Pike through his sister. Being held back by some of the other guys, his sister Emily falling over the railing, struggled out of the guy's arms as he was holding her up. After he had managed to get to the railing - the boys running away - the dull image and sound of watching her crashing to the asphalt below and that of her body breaking. Once his sister was dead, he hadn't had any reason to stay with his abusive mother. Images of Emily and himself being beaten by their mother and uncle when the latter babysat. No father in sight; from what Xander gathered Emily wasn't even fathered by the same guy that fathered Pike. Emily being overlaid with images of a young brunette that seemed a lot like a younger Faith, being abused, and the sight of her bloody body crashed into the building. Shantia defeating him with frightening ease. Images flickering back and forth, showing Buffy fighting vampires, her watcher Merrick blowing his own brains out to keep a master vampire from turning him and using him against her. Once more Faith's and Emily's broken bodies, the former still alive at the time, the later very much dead.

/*I FAILED AGAIN*/!! The sensation of utter failure, and this hell he had created for himself, almost overwhelmed Xander. Finally he could see Pike himself, he was crawled up in a heap in a lonely, small, deepest, deepest point while the images continued to play over and over around him in a circle, forcing himself to watch his failures over and over again.

"Pike," Xander said, standing behind him. Pike swivelled around and looked at him in shock. Xander held out a hand and said, "You didn't fail, you succeeded. You gave Faith just enough time to recover and finish the bitch off." Pike looked at him, disbelieving. "It's true, come check for yourself," Xander added, putting his hand a little further. Tentatively Pike took it, and let himself be pulled up and up.


Xander's hands glowed, pumping his life force in Pike's mind. "It was mental and physical," Xander said, giving Pike the energy needed to jumpstart his mental pathways. Faith watched with wide eyes as Pike slowly opened his eyes, looking around the room. Xander took a step back allowing Pike to see a perfectly healthy Faith.

"Faith?" he groaned out.

"Yeah, thank god you're awake," she told him with a smile. He weakly reached out his right hand, not quite believing his eyes. Faith took it, and said, "You're the biggest, stupidest fool on the planet - didn't I tell you to stay away from the fight?" Pike let his eyes roam over her, making sure she /really/ was Faith, and not a trick. "If you're thinking of . . ." Faith looked at Xander, slightly embarrassed for a moment, ". . . that - I will put you right back in that coma, you bastard." The door to the room opened and a doctor walked in, staying quiet at the scene.

His eyes shone with happiness, a few tears released from his eyes, and he said, "It's really you." He then angled his head toward Xander, and muttered, "Thanks, man."

"No problem," Xander said, and couldn't help but smile at the guy's recovering. He let his tail wave about with the good feeling, and Pike noticed it, looking astonished. Xander just shrugged. The doctor noticed Xander's tail too, and was rather astonished; he hadn't heard of a recessive gene activating to create a full tail, and that tail not being cut off at birth. But Xander wasn't the guy's patient after all, the man - who upon waking up out of his coma had set off a few alarm's with his changing EEG - was.

"Fuck," Faith said, rather surprised at why Pike was tightly holding her hand. She went on, "the others have been here regularly too, hero man, the guys from Sunnydale as well. You should have seen the waterfall of tears that Buffy lets out every time. When they find out you're awake they'll all be by soon, probably tonight."

"H-how long?" he asked, grasping the situation.

The doctor chose to speak up then, "Almost five weeks, it's good to see you finally awake, you took a mighty fall on your back during the meteorite storm."

Pike looked over at the guy for a moment, and then turned back to Faith and Xander, who shrugged. Pike's eyes suddenly widened with utter shock, "I . . . I can't feel my legs." Faith grabbed Pike's hand tighter, hating this.

The doctor walked over to the other side of the bed and said, "As I said, you had a mighty fall on your back. Part of your spine was crushed, and the nerves severed between your third and fourth vertebrae. We've restructured everything as best as we could, but I'm afraid that you will never walk again." Pike looked at the man in shock. This really couldn't be happening. The doctor never liked this, intruding upon time the patient should spend with friends and family. "I will schedule rehabilitation sessions, if you really want to, and mandatory lessons on how to handle a wheelchair around the house, and such things," the doctor said matter-of-factly. "You can do rehabilitation sessions to try and get your legs moving again, but they won't really help - your spine wasn't bruised, it was severed."

Xander then bent over and started whispering in Pike's ear. Faith could understand him of course, and her glum look brightened as Xander explained. Pike's pained face brightened as well, and the doctor didn't understand. Xander then pulled back, and Pike told the doctor, "Moving legs sessions, schedule 'em, doc." The doctor was about to try and explain further they wouldn't help, when Pike added resolutely, "Schedule 'em."

"Okay," the doctor said, and then left.

"What happened between then and now?" Pike asked, and as Faith started explaining, Xander left in pain. Pike soon understood why.


Willow and Tara looked with wide eyes at the announcement a happy Buffy made. Dawn went a more direct routed, "WHAT!?"

"I'm going on a date," Buffy repeated to her younger sister. The four of them were in the kitchen, the day after Buffy saved the man attempting suicide, having breakfast.

"With . . .?" Dawn prompted again, really wanting to check if she heard and understood correctly.

"The guy I saved," Buffy answered with a smile, actually looking forward to her first date in . . . Buffy frowned, was it really her first real date period? Angel had precluded dates, with Riley they had found out about their alter egos and got closer together through that before they had any real dates - unless one had to count the time trapped in the sex-crazed haunted house - and Spike . . . enough said about that. Oh, wait, there /was/ that bastard Parker who had taken her out to a few coffee dates and the like - but they were lies packaged as dates, so she didn't really count them. The 'dates' she had during her time at Hemery High had been popularity contests, as she had realized quite some time ago. Damn, this really was her first, /real/ date, being taken out by a guy. Her younger sister in comparison must have been taken out on dates a hundred times by Li by now, the close the two were was so nauseating, at times Buffy imagined they had gone out on dates more often then there were days they were together.

"The guy you saved from a /suicide/ attempt?" Dawn asked for clarification.

"Uh, yeah?" Buffy asked.

Dawn through her hands in the air out of utter frustration, and she called, "Mamma mia! Caramba! Baka no baita! Kuso! AARGGH!!! I cannot believe you! First vampires, then drug-addicted super soldiers with masculinity problems, now jumpers!! How the hell is it possible that I'm the clone of a girl with such horrible taste in men!?"

All three girls looked at the pissed off Dawn. "Dawn, that is not funny," Buffy said, hurt.

"No, it isn't!" Dawn said and then desperately grabbed Buffy by shoulders. "Don't you get that this will end horribly!? Here you've got a guy that thinks he's unattractive to women as one of the main reasons he jumps off a building to his death, you tell him he isn't, and he should live, then he asks you either like a manipulative bastard, or a desperate fool on a date, and you go with him! You should just have cited people who saved someone's life shouldn't start dating them or something!" Buffy looked at her, and Dawn shook her sister. "Wake up! If you learn you can't stand him, he might jump to his death after all. Even if you let him down easy after this first date he might still jump to his death after all. If you actually start a relationship with him, and are in love with him, and he doesn't, he'll undoubtedly feel obligated to stay with you because you saved his life and 'nobody else wants him.' Even if he does love you, you'll doubt for the rest of your life whether he's actually in love with you, or he's just grateful, feels obligated, and doesn't think he could get anyone else. Or /he'll/ doubt whether you actually love him, or whether you're just saying so, so he won't jump to his death!! If you break up with him, he'll always wonder if it was real or not and be devastated . . . and once more jump to his death! *This can't end well, Buffy*!" Dawn explained desperately to her sister.

"Says you," Buffy said perturbed, she had looked forward to her date, and she had been rather happy lately, minus the time she had been mourning Anya's passing and Pike's comatose state. She had started to think things were looking up, her taste in men improving.

"She's got a point, Buffy," Tara said out loud. Dawn moved her arms up indicating Tara, her face crunched up in a silent 'see', and then let her arms drop down in frustration, slapping against her legs. Tara continued, "I think you should let this guy down as easily as you can. He's not your type, personality wise, or something like that. Give him a kiss goodbye you know, a loving one so he knows you aren't repulsed by him, and encourage him to believe in himself and all that." Dawn nodded in agreement.

"Yeah, Buff," Willow added with a reluctant face, preferring to have been able to encourage Buffy. "They're right. I can't see this ending well either. Best to let him down as gently as possible, preferably you let him meet some girls and get him to talk to them, you know, build his confidence and all."

Buffy looked down, and thought it over. It seemed they were right. She didn't like that, she didn't like that at all.


Angel came back out the sewer. He had just taken care of a demon that one of Cordelia's visions had alerted them to. When he entered the lobby, he boasted out loud the size of the thing and how well he had done killing it. Cordelia and the still injured Wesley looked up at him, and he noticed Xander sitting on the far side of the circular couch, looking down at the floor. He walked over to Cordelia who was behind the counter, taking down notes from a phone call, Wesley sitting close by. When she hung up, Angel asked, "Is he /still/ sitting there?"

"Hm? No, he's sitting there again. Faith's in the toilet," Wesley answered him.

Cordelia then handed over the paper to Angel, and said, "Either the guy is seeing things that aren't there, he's drunk and he can't make a good description, or there really are bees the size of cats flying around in his house. How about you bring him along?"

Angel and Wesley looked at each other for a moment, and the leader shrugged. Angel then walked over and he asked, "Xander, we have a situation of possible giant bees. Would you like to accompany me and help out?"

Xander looked up, then shrugged, and said, "Why not?"

The two of them left through the sewers again, Angel still allergic to the sun after all. Which was all much to Xander's disgust, he'd have preferred clean air. A few moments later Faith returned to the lobby and looked surprised when she couldn't find Xander. "He went with Angel on a case," Wesley told her with a gentle smile.

"Yeah, and they'll smell just as bad as you do when they get back," Cordelia shot at Faith. Damn, if she didn't wish she had Slayer healing. Her body still ached on multiple occasions, although it was all getting better.

"Hey, I don't smell," Faith protested.

"Of course you do, you just took a dump for ten minutes straight," Cordelia bit back.

Faith grinded her teeth, and returned, "Well, Miss Cheerleader, you smell worse when you get off the can."

"I do not, my poop smells like flowers in spring!" Cordelia exclaimed with conviction.

Faith was about to return another insult, when Wesley diffused the situation, by asking, "Faithy, could you help me to my office?"

"Of course, babe," Faith quickly said and rushed over to him, offering her body to lean on, which really wasn't necessary anymore, but he had neglected to mention that to Faith so he had a good excuse to bring her into his office, in situations like these.


"So, Dead Boy, how are things going on you end?" Xander asked without interest as he and Angel flew through the sewers.

"Apart from having to watch how my friends get their asses kicked by an insane super vampire, okay," Angel answered, annoyed at his continuing use of that nickname.

"Yeah, you can't protect yourself from the sun, but that vampire apparently could, must suck. Why is that you think?" Xander asked him with narrowed eyes.

"Because you can handle the sun, so you didn't have to device a technique to handle it?" Angel returned, getting more annoyed.

Xander shrugged, and said, "You could have tried yourself."

"Never considered it possible, I'm trying now," Angel bit back, thinking to himself, *And failing miserably.*

Some time later they arrived at the address, or at least according to Angel. "You can tell the street by how the sewer looks?" Xander asked dumbfounded. Angel looked at him with an annoyed, and sheepish expression. "Man, you really need to get above ground more," Xander muttered shaking his head.

They climbed out the sewer access, Angel sprinting from that to the building rapidly, holding his coat up. Xander leisurely strolled behind him. When they were inside the apartment building they looked surprised. They had definitely felt a large number of energy signatures, and one larger demonic one, but this was insane. When they had forced the door open, a hard substance had caked around it, closing it, only to be forced open by their superior might. It was a substance that looked a lot like what beehives were made of. Inside was pandemonium. People were armed with frying pans, brooms, the occasional shovel, mostly hidden behind mattresses. Undoubtedly the few that were trapped inside their apartments would also be using couches and the like, hoping to make the openings too small for the cat-sized bees, or perhaps wasps seeing as how one wasp was dragging a hugely swollen up human being along and it still had its stinger. The wasps seemed to like human flesh as sustenance because four almost immediately attacked Xander and Angel. Both of them fired two energy balls and the insects splattered all over the walls and floors amid screaming people.

Xander fired another ball, destroying the wasp that was busy dragging the swollen human, and he hoped it wasn't too late to save the human later. The chi-signature and his groan as he collapsed when the wasp's grip disappeared proved he was still alive now. Xander and Angel were getting desperate; they had chi shields up, but there were simply too many - they would never be able too keep them all from going out the building, and keeping the wasps from attacking all the people. Xander placed a shield around a few people, while Angel did the same to another group. The wasps, they had noticed earlier to both their surprise, weren't demons, but there was a magical and demonic residue. Apparently the demon they had sensed earlier had used some form of magic to enslave and enlarge the animals.

"Dead Boy, how much do you want to bet these will turn to normal if we kill the source, huh?" Xander asked, focusing on where the demon was.

"They will at least not multiply or consider human beings snacks, don't know about the size," Angel agreed with a nod, blowing away another of the fifty wasps they could see in the two visible corridors alone.

"Let's get going then," Xander said, and they flew forward, straight through the wall of wasps, killing them whenever possible. The humans they left behind, especially those not enveloped in a chi shield, screamed out for help. The Saiyan and the vampire rapidly flew up the stairs, until they reached the middle floor, and flew down the corridor, crashing through the hive substance that compromised a central chamber. The chamber was one large maturation chamber, with larvae all around. A lot of normal enhanced wasps, but Xander and Angel also sensed fully demonic ones. The wasps were fawning over the offspring. Their gazes focused on a man-sized demon wasp, having two sets of arms with claws, and one set of clawed feet - the queen obviously.

"You dare interrupt me!? You will fail, soon my numbers will have grown enough no man, demon or god can hold me back!" the demon hissed at them.

Xander and Angel gave each other a look, and they blasted forward, while all the wasps made suicide runs on them. Xander reached the demon first and started exchanging blows, quickly assessing its power, and realizing it wasn't holding anything in reserve. He slipped below her right set off arms and then slung his tail around her waist, flinging her away, making her fly toward Angel with a shocked face at the human's power - and since when did humans have tails? With the demon's back toward him, and her defenses wide open, Xander fired his preferred energy wave, yelling, "Tanekakosa!"

The powerful beam of energy cut a swath through the wasps that were throwing themselves in the way of their precious queen, committing suicide in an attempt to save her, but it was to no avail. The beam dissected the queen, and exploded, splattering her torn apart body around, and partially covering Angel. "Aaah, damn it!" the vampire called out as the wasps calmed down and didn't seem to have an idea what to do now.

Xander then started destroying them, starting with the demonic larvae.


"I cannot believe you!" Angel called in rage as he and a smirking Xander returned to the Hyperion lobby. Lorne, Cordelia, Fred, Wesley and especially Faith waved their hands in front of their noses at the horrible stench. They took in a clean Xander, and the horrible dirty Angel with a tattered coat. "You did that on purpose!" Angel accused.

"I did not such thing!" Xander protested with a grin. "I had to destroy the queen demon, I can't help it if you can't anticipate there might be flying remains when I blow her up."

"You tossed her to me!" Angel accused again, with the Angel Team watching the exchange, pressing their noses closed with one hand.

Xander shrugged, "Split second decision, and there isn't much directional control when a Saiyan throws something with his tail. Not my fault."

"And the bloody honey!?" Angel asked him angrily.

"It was honey!" Xander protested with an exaggerated shrug.

Angel growled and held his coat, "Acidulous honey! Look at my favorite coat, nothing but holes!"

Xander repeated, "It was /honey/, I wanted to slick up the wings so they couldn't fly! How was /I/ supposed to know it was acid?" Xander made an another I'm-innocent-gesture. "Besides who wears his favorite coat to a battle anyway?"

"You knew! Don't you dare deny it!" Angel growled at Xander, who shrugged. "And what about the fucking water huh!? You splashed it up!"

"It was an accident, I swear, I was preoccupied with thinking of a way to pay you back for accidentally ruining your favorite coat, so I forgot about the extra weight and I dipped a little to low. Besides, you were so complaining about how bad the guts and honey made you smell, shouldn't you be grateful you got some water to clean it off some?" Xander countered with an innocent look, far too innocent where Angel was concerned.

"SEWAGE WATER!" Angel snarled enraged.

"Yeah, well, ok," Xander conceded, and then added, "but stop focusing on that. Just remember the doctors said we got the guy to them in time before the venom would have become fatal. That's the important part."

"Don't think- . . ."

"Angel!" Cordelia commanded loudly with a nasal voice, interrupting the vampire, unable to keep a small smile off her face. "Get a shower, now, and just vaporize the clothes."

"But . . . it's my favorite- . . ."

"Vaporize it already!" Cordelia called out. Angel grumbled and then quickly, sulkingly went upstairs.

"You are a bad, bad, bad man, Xander Littica," Lorne commented with a smirk.

"Huh?" Xander said, keeping up appearances. Faith snickered, and Cordelia scolded her with a slap across her shoulder, barely able to hold back her own smile. Fred was giggling like a mad woman.

Wesley schooled his features, and said, "Well, I do hope you're a bit more careful the next time, you could have killed Angel if the honey was acidulous enough."

Xander's face turned dark, looking over at Wesley, and he said, "Are you saying I wasn't careful!? Are you saying it's my fault!?"

"Well, obviously, who else . . .?" Wesley started.

Suddenly Xander's wrapped his hand around Wesley's throat, shook him back and forth, and said, "You take that back."

"The hell I will, all you do is complain and mope. If you expect me to hold back on you when you do something you shouldn't have done endangering people, just because your wife died- . . ." Wesley spoke angrily, having gotten annoyed at the woe-is-me-attitude worse then Angel ever put out.

"*WESLEY*!" Cordelia called out loud interrupting, having realized the very angry Xander had transplanted Wesley's statement about the acid and Angel onto Anya. Cordelia was pretty certain that if the acid had been deadly Xander would have known and hadn't done it, although Wesley was right at the base. Cordelia looked over to Lorne: the somewhat empath too understood, and Cordelia didn't need to explain to Faith she was sure. "Calm down, both of you," Cordelia said pulling Xander back from the British man, while Lorne did the same with Wesley.

Faith joined Cordelia with Xander, while Fred went over to Wesley. "He wasn't talking about Anya, Xan," Faith said gently and confirmed Cordelia's guess.

"Yeah," Cordelia said as she heard Lorne and Fred explain to Wesley why Xander had reacted in such a matter. "Don't worry about it. I can't believe you did that to Angel though."

Xander shrugged, a sad smirk on his face, and said, "Annoying Dead Boy never ceases to bring a smile to my face, even in the darkest of times."

"Yeah, well, now you two /men/ shake hands and make up, before I get pissed," Cordelia told him.


The next day

Cordelia and Wesley walked next to Pike as he wheeled himself toward the rehabilitation gym. He grinned as he pushed the wheels of his chair onward, and said, "I love it that your guys are here for this. My first rehabilitation session, and you're here to support me." Pike rolled on, as Wesley and Cordelia smiled, acknowledging him.

"I had to be here to have them do some tests too, the results I'll get later," Cordelia told him with a smile. "I wouldn't be a friend if we didn't came down." Wesley nodded in agreement.

Pike smiled up a them, and rolled onward into the gym. His back was the biggest problem, Pike knew. The reconstructive surgery was still healing, but he had asked the doctor if it could handle standing up, walking, and perhaps falling down - hypothetically speaking of course. The doctor had laughed, and said his back could handle it, although it would hurt a whole lot more. He was going to surprise them all, even his friends - only Xander and Faith wouldn't be surprised if they had been here.

A short while later they were at Pike's place in the gym, a nurse had joined him. Cordelia and Wesley sat down on a bench nearby, pain in their eyes. Pike would never walk again, all because he tried to save them from worse fates then they had gotten. The scar on her cheek - which her constant pumping chi into it was slowly fading already - was a painful reminder of how much worse things could have been. Wesley the same, most of his broken bones had mended, it was now steadily putting the finishing touches on its healing, even though he was still forced to walk with a cane. That would soon no longer be necessary either. The doctors were rather astounded at the speed of both their healing, with their extensive injuries it should have taken a lot longer before they were as perfectly up and about as they were. They had told their doctor about their practicing their chi, and they should check up in eastern health practices, and recommend it to people. Pike instead, was crippled, not even chi could heal a spine.

"Well, Mr. Ambrose," the nurse started.

"Pike, please," Pike told her annoyed.

The nurse nodded, "Okay, then, 'Pike', I'm Ellen, and today I will put pressure on your feet, and the goal is for you to try and push back, or at least feel that I'm holding it, that . . ."

"I don't think so," Pike said with a smile and then schooled his features, breathing in and out deeply. The nurse looked astonished, as did Cordelia and Wesley and looked at each other. Pike visualized what he was going to do, moving his arms about in several circular chi building movements, breathed deeply through his nose while doing so, and explaining at the same time, "I will get up out of this chair, and make a few steps." The nurse looked even stranger. "Do you know what 'chi' is, Ellen? It's my life force, or in western terms, the electro-magnetic fields my cells and moving, electrically-charged particles in my body generate. I suppose as a highschool graduate at least, and the stuff you have to know about biology and physics to get this job, you know what induction is?"

The nurse looked in shock at his answer, and then slowly said, "Generation of a current through a changing electro-magnetic field, why?"

Pike nodded with a grin, and breathing deeply concentrating more, he explained, "The signals going through my spine are electric, so they generate a small electro-magnetic field. Suppose I have enough control over my chi, my energy, and through it over the cells around the injury of my spine . . ." Pike paused his explanation to take a deep breath, closing his eyes, and bringing his hands together in a seal in front of his chest. He explained further, "Suppose where my electrical signals stops, I'll be able to harness the field it generates and propagate it perfectly with other cells around my injury, where through induction it will fire a new electrical signal further through the rest of my uninjured spine. This electrical signal, if I did it right, will be exactly the same as the one that was stopped by my injury, and so . . ." Pike took several more deep breaths, and then concentrated, the strain on his face obvious. This is what Xander had explained to him, whispering in his air, he hadn't fully understood the science behind it, but he had requested a few books behind the phenomenon. He himself after all, had never finished highschool.

To the nurse's shock, the impossible happened. Pike's right foot twitched, then the other, and then the legs. Cordelia and Wesley were bent forward on the edge of the bench, silently sending their encouragement with tense hopefulness. Pike's right leg lifted, and he put it down, then he did the same with his left leg. He grinned and took several more deep breaths, refocusing his concentration. This was exhausting, he realized, he wasn't going to manage more then a few steps and some time standing still, before he was out of strength and energy. Before he could do this on a regular basis, all day long, he needed several weeks of intense training to improve his ability and build up his chi stamina, but this first victory he'd attain now. Slowly his right leg moved, and he placed his right foot on the ground. The nurse's jaw was already dropped as Pike slowly rose, placing his left foot next to his right. He removed the hand seal. Beads of sweat moved down his face. He took a left step, and then moved his right to join it. He grinned, making a right step, and then screamed as he collapsed, then screamed harder at sharp pains just at the place of his injury where he still had feeling.

Cordelia and Wesley got up instantly, yelling his name with concern, joining him as he lay crumpled on the floor on his stomach. "Shit, fuck!" Pike yelled out, feeling along his back with his right hand. "Aargh, damn it! Okay, so this is harder than I thought it would be, and it will take quite a bit more training to master. Nngh!"

"Are you alright, Pike?" Cordelia asked concerned, feeling along his back.

"Yeah, help me up, I guess I'm going to have to settle for training inside the damn chair just moving my legs and building up stamina and strength first, ugh," Pike said with an annoyed tone, and thought, *And once I can move, constant feeling, because there is no way I'm not going to feel blowjobs from my significant other once I find her, uh, uh, no way.*

His two friends and his slack-jawed nurse helped him back into his chair, where he breathed deeply to catch his breath, and wiped the thick pearls of sweat of his brow. "You were awesome!" Cordelia complimented him.

"Quite impressive indeed," Wesley commented in his typical, British, stiff-upper-lip manner. Pike gave one short chuckle, and then went on to start doing bending exercises, while he adjusted his plans. A few weeks this with the nurses to teach him basic rehabilitation techniques for the spinally injured, then on to bigger things - like multiple Earth's gravity to build up enough strength and chi to allow him to fly around like a fighter jet, and by definition enough to let him walk around and feel as he never had been injured at all. He nodded satisfactorily at his plan, and moved his legs up and down.

"I've got to . . ." the nurse said and then sprinted out of the room to get a doctor.


"She's not going to boil my brain, is she?" Lorne asked a little perturbed to Xander, while Cordelia stood behind him.

"No, Lorne, she'll learn some medical techniques, that is the opposite of boiling your brain," Xander answered him, with Faith, Wesley and Fred watching them. "She could probably have helped Pike sooner if she knew this stuff."

Lorne nodded, and said, "Well, just making sure."

Wesley and Cordelia had just returned from the hospital, and when they talked about Pike, Xander had realized Cordelia's telepathy should have been able to reach Pike as well, which only left giving his body the life force needed to jumpstart his brain. Thus Xander talked her into making the telepathic connection with Lorne, reaching deep within his subconscious, telling not to go into his memories any more then necessary thus respecting his privacy. A few moments later Cordelia started humming a catchy tune, which she stopped herself from doing a few moments later when everyone looked at her. "Heh," Lorne commented sheepishly, "I usually play that tune inside my head when I'm nervous." Xander then told Cordelia how to pour her chi inside in a medicinal way. "Whoa, that's nice," Lorne commented with wide eyes as Cordelia's hands glowed.

"All right, Cordelia, you teach Faith and Wesley the healing touch, and I'll go train with Fred a bit; she needs a lot more control over her chi before she can do that, okay?" Xander asked them all, and they nodded.

He took Fred along to another mat of the gym. "How much?" Xander asked.

"Five," Fred answered, and Xander nodded. A moment later the g-forces were set to 5 gs.

"Okay, brainy girl," Xander said with a sad smile. "Show me how good you are."

Fred nodded, biting nervously on her lip. She probably wouldn't even be able to hit him, but she was going to try. She burst forward and threw a punch that Xander easily deflected with his right hand without even moving from his position. The same result was with her follow up punch and kick. "Okay, hold it," Xander said, and Fred did. "Raw power is nice, but you want to put some more subtlety into it. Like so." Xander showed Fred how better to let her chi flow through her arms, and then gestured for her to continue. Which she did, Xander easily continued to deflect the for Fred difficult blows at 5 gs.

/"No, Xan, I'm not a warrior," Anya said./

/"Okay, fine already, but at least let me teach you some basic self defense, no energy blasts and stuff, just enough you can handle some thugs, and some vampires, okay? Please?" Xander pleaded./

/"Well, okay, fine . . ." Anya relented. A short while later Xander easily deflected Anya's blow and explained how to do it better./ Xander easily deflected another one of Fred's blows. /Xander swiped Anya's feet from under her, and after she groaned at the impact with the floor, Xander explained how to better utilize her legs to keep from falling so easily./ Xander kicked against Fred's upper leg. "Come on, what's wrong with you?" Xander snarled viciously at Fred. "You should have been training a long time ago, stupid girl." Xander smashed a fist into Fred's/Anya's face and she was launched off her feet. "YOU WOULDN'T HAVE DIED IF YOU HAD!!" Xander yelled, while Fred looked fearfully at him.

Faith appeared in between them, while Cordelia wrapped her arms around Fred. "Damn it, Xander," Faith hissed angrily, "you try that again, and I swear, more powerful than me or not, I will kick your ass!!"

Xander looked shocked at the crying Fred. "You bloody bastard," Wesley joined in, coming over, while Lorne joined Cordelia and Fred. "You god-damned, sickening son of a bitch. Look at what you did to Fred! Like I said, Mr. Woe-is-me, you think you can just . . ."

Wesley was interrupted by Xander turning around and leaving the gym. Faith turned to Cordelia, Lorne and Fred, and joined them. She slung her hand around Fred, and said, "He didn't mean it - he's just going through the same stuff you went through those months ago." Wesley looked pissed off at Faith's statement.

"He's right, if I had trained then G-Gunn . . ." Fred started.

"Bullshit," Cordelia told Fred, "What happened to Gunn is not your fault. Xander's just being his stupid, old dweeb self."

"Cordy, is right, short stuff. Are you physically okay?"

"I'll have a few bruises, but that's it," Fred mumbled crying. Faith stroked her across her head and looked at Cordelia, making a quick silent communication. She then got up and went to the exit.

"Faith," Wesley said frustrated.

"In a minute, I have to go talk some sense in the fool first, ok?" Faith said and quickly walked out of the gym. Wesley looked at her with a grimace, flexing his muscles and he shattered his cane.

"Watch out with the splinters, Mr. English," Lorne commented.



Faith walked into Xander's room, finding him sitting on the bed, slumped over. "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?" Faith yelled at him, and he weakly lifted his head. She continued as she walked to right in front of him, "You want to bash your frustration out, you use me or Angel, but you will keep your fingers off of them! You got that!?"

Xander looked up, tears running down his cheeks, and he asked, choking up, "D-did I hurt her?"

Faith felt a tug at her heart, seeing him so hurt and vulnerable, and she shook her head, "A few bruises." Faith then sat down next to him, and he looked at her as she slung her arm around him.

"I'm sorry, I'm evil," Xander whispered painfully.

"Save your apologies for Fred," Faith bit at him, and then asked, "What do you mean with 'I'm evil'?" Xander looked away. "Well?"

"I hate Anya," Xander said and then sobbed deeper. Faith blinked. "I hate her, why couldn't she just have learned, she would have been able to defend herself. 'I'm not a warrior.' I'm pissed with her, enraged at her, I really hate her, Faith," he whimpered. He turned his head to look at her, tears running down his face. "I love her so much, she's my wife, what kind of man hates his dead wife? Why did she have to leave me?"

Faith couldn't keep it dry either, to her own shock. She didn't think she had really cried between her twelfth birthday and Gunn's death. And with his and Anya's death she had more teared then cried. She hugged him tightly and let her tears go, whispering in his ear, "Xander, it's okay. You're not evil. You're just all crunched up. The feelings you've got now toward her will go away, trust me. I don't know you as well as Cordelia and Willow, but I /do/ know you; you're not evil, if you don't believe me, call Willow and she'll tell you the same thing. This is just a reaction to her death, don't worry about it."

He sobbed in her arms for a few minutes, while she cried along, and then - drying her tears - Faith said, "How about we go for a walk later on? Just let the night air breeze through us? I have to talk to Wesley first - you can call Willow and let her confirm what I just told you while I talk with him. Okay?" Xander's sobs slowly came to a halt, and he nodded.


"All right, what's going on?" Faith asked, closing the door to Wesley's office behind her. He stood there, taking a drink.

"What do you mean?" he asked angrily at her.

Faith reached his desk and leaned on it, accusing,"You were never like this with Fred. You were patient and comforting, you weren't biting her head off at every opportunity."

"Hmpf," Wesley said, sitting down angrily into his seat, and told her, "Fred never hit people, or put people in danger, or . . ."

"Bullshit," Faith said and circled the desk, leaning her ass on it right in front of him, "That's really one of the biggest crocks I've ever heard you tell me, Wes. Now spill."

Wesley fidgeted, looked down guiltily, looked back up in his girlfriend's steel eyes, and said, "You're fawning all over him, he isn't that . . ."

"So is Cordelia, we care about him, doesn't mean you have to attack him at every chance," Faith said a little angry, and then blinked, understanding, "You're jealous."

"Well, bloody hell, yeah!" Wesley suddenly said, pissed. "Here's your great hero, the guy you were completely utterly totally head over heels with. The guy you left Sunnydale for because you can't stand hearing him be with Anya anymore, that's how much you wanted him. He's this super whatever power, and you're spending more time with him, than with me." Faith laughed, glad. "This is no laughing matter," Wesley stated indignant.

She gave him a naughty smile, and pulled him out of his chair, much to his surprise. She turned around, putting Wesley in the place she was just in, and then slowly sank down, never breaking eye contact, smiling sexily. "Uh," Wesley muttered, and watched her on her knees opening his zipper. "Faith," he admonished as she pulled open his pants and started on his boxers, "Is a blowjob your answer for every- oh." Faith engulfed the head of his cock, sucking gently, stimulating him with her tongue. She sucked gently, making him say, "Oh, my . . ." He hardened rapidly, and a few moments later she had him lodged in her throat. She moaned with enjoyment, hearing him moan his own pleasure. She bobbed her head up and down, sucking and licking around his shaft. Wesley gasped, and climaxed, shooing his sperm powerfully into Faith's mouth. Faith just sucked on the head of his cock, letting his seed fill her mouth before swallowing it down. She pulled back, and Wesley's last few spurts landed on her cheek, forehead and nose.

Faith moaned and sucked and licked his cock clean quickly. She then got up, closing up his pants again and looked at her heavily breathing boyfriend. She grinned, and started, "Now, do you see me . . ." She started scooping Wesley's cum from her face with her left finger, and licked and sucked it clean, to start over again, and continued speaking, ". . . giving Xander blowjobs just because he feels down, hmm?"

"Uh, no," he answered her, looking amazed at her, she just never ceased to do that.

Faith placed a kiss on his lips, and finished, "Exactly. I stopped being in love with Xander almost a year ago. Now I'm just helping him move on after Anya's death. You have absolutely no reason to be jealous, although I love that you are. Shows me, you love me." Wesley groaned and sank himself down a bit, and then smiled at her. "Good," she said with a grin.


Chris stood on the pavement, waiting nervously. Some moments later he became aware of Buffy flying around the corner of the building. A few moments later she landed in front of him, on high heels, wearing a thick coat, and a hat. "Hi," she greeted and pulled off the hat, which she was wearing to protect her immaculate hair cut. She removed the coat then, revealing a lovely short dress, with a little cleavage. She was wearing a necklace, the pendant of which hung just above the cleft of her breasts. She was made up beautifully, red lips, a little rouge on her cheeks, and her eyelids in bright blue and purple, her lashes deep black.

"Wow," Chris muttered in amazement at the beautiful creature in front of him. She had looked good enough to eat in jeans, a shirt, a coat, and no makeup, now . . . she was a goddess. He himself was wearing jeans and a new blouse, which Buffy thought looked good on him. Chris realized something, and said highly nervous, thinking he had already blown it with his staring, "You didn't need to buy a new dress, you know."

"This old thing?" Buffy dismissed his observation nervously, and he looked at her. "Okay," she said sheepishly, "It's a date, and I was in the mood for a shopping trip anyway, nothing special really, you just asked me out at the right moment."

Chris realized another thing with her dismissal of 'the date' and her buying stuff as 'nothing special', and he asked, "This is going to be a one time thing, isn't it? Just a pity date."

Buffy looked surprised, and then said, "No, not a pity date. But this can't be anymore than one time. I saved your life from suicide, it's like a therapist with a patient, you know? It can't happen, you understand?" Chris nodded disappointed, he did understand. To his surprise Buffy then put her arm around his waist, and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek. She looked deep into his eyes, and said, "If that hadn't happened, then many more dates could have come after this."

He looked into her eyes, and wanted to kiss her deeply, but that had just become a big no-no. He sighed disappointedly, and said, "I ordered a cab, should be here any minute now."

"Hey, don't look so glum, let's just have some fun. You know what, I'll see if I can get another beautiful girl to go out with you? Hmm?" Buffy asked with a bright smile.

"Yeah, I guess," he said, cheering up a bit, and then the cab arrived. After the driver made sure they were the ones he was meant to pick up, Chris opened the backdoor, and said, "Well, my lady, step in, your chariot awaits."

Buffy smiled brightly at him, and answered, "Why thank you, my good sir." She giggled and got into the car. Chris smiled and got in after her.


Buffy laughed. She laughed out loud, a full on belly-giggling laugh that refused to quit. He was funny, and had just made a joke that she couldn't stop laughing about for two minutes. Once she collected herself a bit, she was glad she had just swallowed the food, or she knew she would have splattered the food all over the table and all over him. She had only barely been able to spit the wine back into the glass after all or it would have come out of her nose and too splattered all over the table and all over him. He smiled at her, and she looked at him, finishing down a few final chuckles, and thought, *He really isn't bad looking, not at all.*

"That was really bad," she scolded him with a huge smile, and he just shrugged and smiled at her, while she ignored all the looks being thrown her way with ease. She really didn't care what other people thought, although she hoped he didn't consider her a spas now. Dang, he had been so nervous at first, until his realization this was just a one time thing. From the moment the cab arrived and he made his big gallant door opening, all his nerves were gone. He no longer had to worry about looking good to her, and so he was just being the great guy he was, treating her a lot like he would a friend, not a potential girlfriend.

She took several more bites from the food amidst some conversation, and felt really full. So did he apparently. After paying for the food, they left the restaurant. "So, which movie would you like to see?" Chris asked, as they walked side by side.

Buffy shrugged, and said, "Don't know."

"Spider-man is showing, or you want something less comic book?" he asked her with a smile.

"Hey," Buffy said with a smile, "I can fly, fire energy bolts from my hands, I battle the armies of darkness on a daily basis, nothing 'comic book' to me about a guy with spider powers. Let's watch it."

He grinned, with the fun they had at the restaurant, he had almost forgotten she was an honest to god super heroine the rest of the day. "All right then, Spider-man it is," he said, and without thinking took a hold of her hand. She held his hand back, giving him a smile and they picked up the pace a bit.


Elsewhere in Los Angeles inside an expensive limo. "Oh, no," the girl on the back seat said going through her purse. "Shit, I think I left my lipstick in the plane. Charly, do you think it's too late to drive back to the airport?"

The driver chuckled, and said, "Miss Mears, you've got plenty of lipstick, plenty of money to buy yourself your own private airplane, so you've got enough money to buy a new lipstick, or /have/ someone buy you a new lipstick tomorrow, /or/ have someone /check/ the plane tomorrow, although bringing it over from the plane will take longer and is more expensive than bringing it from a store."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," Jessica Mears replied and then sat back in the seat. "It's just annoying, and I wasn't always rich; losing your lipstick was once a big deal."

Two men stood in the middle of the street, and Charly slowed down. "There are two men on the street, Miss Mears, I'll see what they want."

Jessica looked up, and replied, "Ok, let's hope nothing that'll take to long, I wanna get home and go to bed."

Charly nodded as he stopped the car. He opened the window and the two men came to the window. "Can I help you?" Charly asked.

"As a matter of fact- . . . holy shit, is that Jessica Mears in back!?" the man asked, while the other repositioned himself to see if he was right. Jessica gave them a smile and a wave, hoping they weren't going to demand an autograph in the middle of the night now that they knew she was in here.

"Yes, that's her, now what's the matter? Miss Mears is rather tired from a flight, and would like to go to bed," Charly said, and got fearful when he noticed more men appearing from around the buildings' corners on either side of the street.

"Blood, we like it," the man said, and both men's faces deformed, gaining ridges, bigger teeth, fangs included and evil yellow eyes. As Charly's breath got stuck in his throat, the man grabbed his door, and tore it out with casual ease. Jessica paled in shock, and stayed frozen.

Both vampires grabbed Charly, who smashed a fist into the first, and called back, "JESSICA, RUN!"

The celebrity was jolted out of her shock by the command, and she grabbed the door handle, and after a failed try opened the door. She ran away from the two vampires assaulting her driver and bodyguard, as well as the other vampires, a total of another six, appearing. Before she ducked into an alley she took one look back, and saw three vampires sink their fangs in Charly. Terror gripped her heart and that scene and she ran as fast as she could with her heart pounding in her throat. She came across a cross section of alleys and decided to go right. After a moment a calmer thought gripped her mind, *Vampires, that can't be real. But . . . If I'm being punk'ed, I'm going to kill Charly, that bastard Kutcher, and everyone else who set this up, 'cause this isn't funny!*

After a few minutes she slowed down, and stopped, bent over, right hand leaning against a wall and breathing hard. "Tired already, we were hoping for a longer chase," a voice said, and Jessica looked up. The vampire's fangs gleamed in the moonlight, and his yellow eyes glowed like a cat's. The demon had appeared from behind a right corner, there was a way to the left, a way straight forward, all pretty much blocked by the one vampire. She turned around, coming face to face with three vampires, one of which licked his lips.

"Shit," she said and then turned around again, running. The vampire in front of her came at her, but she was already swinging her purse with her handle. It slammed against the vampire's face, unbalancing him, allowing her to duck to her left. She looked behind her and the vampires were after her. Another vampire came jumping down from a roof just missing her. Terror further gripping her, she ran, and went past a cross section, where another vampire stood, grinning evilly. *They're toying with me,* some part of her mind still capable of higher thought supplied. *What am I doing!?* "HEELP!!! HEELP!! SOMEBODY HELP ME PLEASE!! VAMPIRES ARE TRYING TO EAT MEE!!" she screamed with everything she had. "AAAH!!" as she crashed her purse in another vampire, while taunts from the vampires that were casually keeping up behind her, which she couldn't get away from reached her ears. *Nobody will come and help me, because they know, they won't dare!* the thought of despair filtered through the rest of her thoughts which came down to 'run, hide, anything, help me.'


Faith and Xander casually walked through the streets of the less good parts of Los Angeles. "So, you've created medical techniques now?" Faith asked him.

Xander shook his head, and answered, "Tara, she taught the rest of us."

"Cool," Faith replied, and they walked onward in silence. A silence that was strangely both comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time. After a while Faith admitted, "I don't know how to do this. Buffy and Willow said you were really down, I didn't realize just /how/ down. I thought I could cheer you up, or at least bring you in neutral territory, let you face life again with a /somewhat/ positive view. I've just been winging it, and I don't think I've helped much, or Cordelia, or the others for that matter."

Xander shrugged, and then said, "I think I've gotten better since I left Sunnydale, not everything here reminds me of her, that is, unless I'm going half crazy and I see Anya everywhere, even mistaking one of you for her."

"Yeah, well, Faith Williams is obviously not cut out to be a psychiatrist, kill me if I ever get the crazy notion to go study it," Faith said with a weak smile.

"Deal," Xander said with a grin.

Faith suddenly looked up, and said, "I hear somebody calling for help."

Xander looked around, and added, "I've got bunch of vampires."

"Let's go," Faith said, and they sped off.


Blood and heart pounding in her brain, Jessica ran. She ran, and ran, while her legs ached, and her lungs burned. She had given up screaming, or rather she couldn't scream anymore. Tears ran down her cheeks; she didn't want to die, but with every second that passed that seemed more certain, to such an extent she had really already lost hope. Something inside of her though, refused to give up; some deep routed instinct kept her running.

She reached a t-split in the road, and to her horror both sides were cut off by a vampire. She turned around, seeing the rest of the vampires. So this was how it was going to end. Why couldn't they have waited till she was seventy? Crying and sobbing she came to a halt against the dirty wall, trash lying around. The vampires grinned and closed in on her. "Please, don't kill me," she whimpered, sinking down along the wall with heavy tears streaming down her cheeks. The possibility that this was a candid camera gag had been long gone from her mind - this was all real, and she was going to die horribly and painfully.

"Sure, no problem," one vampire grinned evilly. For just a moment hope shone in Jessica's eyes. "We can always turn you, the vampire Jessica Mears - has a nice ring to it. Imagine video's, bathing in blood, actual real blood, of virgins probably, the new image would sell like hot cakes, we'd be your managers." The vampires snickered as they formed a small enclosed half circle around her, as she tried to push through the wall, crying. "Oh, is the little blonde cry- . . ." With a gush the vampire turned to dust right in front of his companions', and the celebrity's eyes. Growling the vampires turned around, seeing two figures a distance away.

The female of the two said, "Now that's not a very smart thing to do in my territory."

"I'm with her," the male said with an angry look.

Growling again the vampires charged them . . . and were dust a few moments later. Xander and Faith reached the still sobbing girl, who looked at them with large terrified eyes, tears still streaming from them. "Fuck me, you really are Jessica Mears," Faith said with a surprised look.

Xander just looked at her. "You're not going to hurt me?" Jessica whimpered with a small voice.

"No, we just saved your life, people usually don't hurt the people who's lives they saved. I'm Faith, and this is Xander by the way," Faith answered her calmly.

"I-it's over?" she asked them, breathing hard and deeply, seemingly ready to start hyperventilating.

Xander raised his eyebrows as he answered, "For the foreseeable future."

The bottle blonde let her eyes roam over them, and then pointed at Xander, and accused, "You're wearing fur."

"Huh?" Xander asked looking down.

"Well, I'll be damned, what makes you complain about that in this situations even if he /was/ wearing fur?" Faith asked the girl, folding her arms across her chest in annoyance.

"That's not fur, that's my tail," Xander added, and uncoiled the tail from his waist, waving it about gently. Jessica looked at it with huge eyes.

"Oh, right, the tail," Faith muttered.

Xander explained, "You've seen the South American guys with the throw back gene so they're covered in fur, right? On Discovery?" Jessica nodded fearfully, slowly regaining her equilibrium. "Well, I was born with a fully functional tail in the same way."

"Yeah," Faith said, and offered her hand to the girl. "Are you five by fine?"

Jessica looked confused at Faith, taking her hand tentatively. As Faith pulled her up, Xander clarified, "She's asking whether you're okay."

"Apart from out of breath, and oh, my god, Charly! My driver and bodyguard, you don't think he could still be alive?" Jessica asked hopefully. "I saw three of them sink there teeth in him?"

Xander and Faith looked at each other for a moment, and then shook their heads. Xander said, "If it had been one, there might have been a small change it didn't drink enough to kill him, but three . . ."

Jessica broke down, grasping a hold of Faith, fully crying now. "You cared for him, huh?" Faith said gently at the girl that was about as tall as she was.

Jessica nodded, "One of the few employees I considered more than just an employee. He gave his life for mine."

"Well, let's go find his corpse then, and make sure he won't rise a vampire himself," Faith suggested, and they started walking. Jessica slowly breaking away from Faith, and walking in between her and Xander.

"How come you two are so strong?" Jessica asked with curiosity.

"Chi, life force, and lots and lots of training," Xander commented somewhat sadly.

Faith smiled at Jessica said, "Me too, and I have an added advantage that I'm the Slayer." Jessica looked questioningly at her. "In ever generation there's a chosen one, one girl in all the world given the power to fight the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness, she is the Slayer - that's me."

"Seriously?" the singer asked with half-doubting eyes.

"Seriously, the whole war between good and evil, a shitload of legends and myths, all true," Faith said with a big grin. Jessica shuddered.


They arrived at the limo, finding Charly's broken body. Life force at a far too low level and rapidly diminishing into nothingness, and nothing demonic coming from him either, unless that still had to come, but Xander doubted it. He placed himself on the opposite side of the car, arms folded across his chest, leaning against the corner. Jessica stopped right in front of the grill as Faith went to check upon Charly. After a few moments she rose and shook her head. "I'm sorry, he's long dead. I don't see any blood in his mouth, so he shouldn't be rising as a vampire. You need to drink their blood first," Faith explained sadly.

The building Xander was facing had a large main door, like a garage door, or perhaps a door for fire trucks to come screeching out. That door folded upward noisily, revealing vampires, a few demons, and a brown-skinned, larger demon who's tail was casually flicking about. It wasn't quite as big as the one that killed Anya, but most definitely one of the same kind. The back of the room was lined with wooden shelves filled with burning candles and glowing orbs in glass bottles or urns. Xander straightened up immediately, muscles tensing, and grimacing in almost uncontrollable rage. Jessica shuddered in fear, while Faith wondered why they hadn't sensed it and its demon minions. The demon intoned, "So, you killed my minions, you will- . . ."

He didn't come any further. With a growl of rage, Xander's golden chi engulfed him, and he emerged as the fourth level, blood shot eyes, fur visible wherever his clothing allowed it, and the limo was pushed by the energy, twisting around as Xander zipped forward, until the car's nose was facing the building. Faith grabbed Jessica and pulled her away so the twisting car wouldn't hit her. By the time she looked back, Xander and demon were in the middle of the ground floor of the building, and his fist came out the demon's back, while it was coughing up blood.

Xander pulled his fist free, and the demon dropped to the floor. "Bastard," the demon coughed out, as his healing started to work. "You will pay for this." The other demons, among them vampires, looked at the spectacle in utter shock, eyes wide and paler then they normally were. While Xander looked down at the floored demon, several demons started making motions to run away.

"*Don't run!*" Xander warned with a growling voice, making the demons stop for a moment. He turned around, letting his bloodshot eyes glide across the demons, saying, "You will suffer more if you do."

Three of them behind Xander decided to take their chances, and started to move, toward an exit for either. Xander twisted around, firing six small balls of chi, blasting away the knees of two vampires, and one green demon. The shockwaves of the small explosions shattered a lot of the glass urns, or tipped them over shattering on the floor. Outside, Faith instantly felt the demonic presences, and the very powerful leading demon, the one healing rapidly. Xander went over to the first vampire, and with the demons frozen in fright, he meticulously went about breaking every major bone in its body with his feet. The vampire screamed with a mixture of terror, pain, and helplessness, freezing whatever demon that thought trying to get away while Xander was occupied was a good idea. Xander blasted the vampire's heart away, making it turn to dust. He then went over to the second, and did the same with cold ruthlessness, apart from finishing the vampire off by crushing it's skull with a stomp of his right foot instead of an energy blast. Once more through it all the vampire screamed in utter pain and horror. Xander casually walked over to the green demon, who was already begging for mercy. Xander coldly looked down to him, and said, "I warned you." He brought up his right hand, charging a small chi ball. He fired it, shattering the demon's lower left leg, making it scream loudly in pain. Xander charged another ball, and another, and another. Over and over he fired the chi balls, systematically destroying the demon's body without killing it until he was satisfied he had suffered enough and blew away the demon's head. Xander turned around just as the larger demon rose. It tried to say something but Xander crashed his foot into the demon's knee, shattering it, and forcing it down to its knees yelling with the pain.

Faith had put Jessica back with the car, while she moved to in front of it, and watched in shock as Xander tortured first the three minions, and now the big demon to death. For three whole minutes, Xander casually kept destroying parts of the demon's body, often just regenerated parts, while the rest of the minions watched in terror. Finally Xander finished the thing off, and then looked around at the minions. He killed them quickly with a bunch of well-aimed chi balls. Xander then turned around, and muscles tense, eyes filled with pain and rage, he came walking over. Faith was struck with the yellow predator eyes, shot through with blood-filled veins, and the blood-red color. Faith hadn't been able to grasp what Buffy had meant with 'Xander was scary'. How could Xander possibly be scary, unless you were a demon or evil? He was just this big lug of a teddy bear after all. She understood now - the cold way with which he had tortured them to death, and those eyes filled with just one thing: killing. "Xander?" she asked as he came closer, just casually walking out of the building. He didn't listen, or didn't hear, or ignored her or something. This so wasn't good. "Xander, can you hear me?" she asked again, feeling some fear grip her being. There was something decidedly 'not- Xander' about Xander. She couldn't quite put her finger on it; something primitive, something dark, something animalistic, something that just /wasn't/ Xander no matter /how/ hurt and vengeful he could become; it was this new form, there was something about it. So this was the true nature of the Saiyan race; she hoped she never faced one as an enemy. Xander stopped just left and in front of her, and looked down. Something suddenly occurred to her, if Xander could put fear in her . . .

She whipped her head around and back, looking at the relative naive, innocent blonde, sitting on the floor, looking up at Xander's eyes with terror. She was trying to shimmy further backward, but she was stuck against the rear tire of her limo, but she seemed only aware of Xander. A liquid puddle formed and grew underneath her: she was peeing herself with fear.

Xander casually took in the scene, from the puddle up to her terrified face, and then Xander's eyes suddenly widened. Golden energy swirled around him, and he was back to his normal form, much to Faith's relief. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry I frightened you," Xander said with pain in his voice. He sank into a crouch, and said soothingly, "I'm not going to hurt you, you don't have to be afraid. The main demon was of the kind that killed my wife. I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you, do you understand? Please don't be frightened of me."

Faith watched as Jessica stopped trying to move backward, and just looked at him. Faith realized the girl kind of looked like Anya from this angle, explaining why Xander was so profoundly affected seeing her like that, and why he didn't want her afraid of him. "Please?" Xander continued pleading, tears forming in his eyes. "Don't be afraid of me; it's just that it killed my wife. I won't hurt you, I'm sorry."

Jessica blinked once, took in the hurt guy, and then slowly nodded, getting a grasp of her wits. Xander smiled at her, feeling pain overwhelm him, and he quickly got up, and walked passed her. Faith moved to standing next to Jessica, while the celebrity turned around, and slowly got up, looking in disgust at the pee coating her legs, skirt, and now hands. Xander roared with pain, making Jessica look up. She flinched with some fear as Xander transformed purely out of the pain into Super Saiyan level 1, making his hair stand up and turn golden. At the same time he raised both his hands above his head, balled them in fists, and brought them down. He knelt at the same time, crashing his fists against the asphalt of the side alley. The buildings shook, the asphalt cracked open in several widening circles, several cracks ran up the side buildings, and a wooden fence a few meters further behind the building shattered and fell over. Then the transformation went away, and Xander sank further to his stomach, crying deeply. The crying was filled with pain, and sorrow, having wasted his anger earlier against Fred, and in the talk with Faith, and just now against the demon, the crying was pure: just sorrow, sobs full of it.

"He isn't human, is he?" Jessica whispered, feeling care for this man filling her being. He may have been scary, but seeing this, and knowing the reason why he had been so scary, he suddenly wasn't scary anymore. He was just a deeply hurt man.

Faith shook her head, while answering, "He's an interdimensional alien, we'd appreciate it if you keep at least that a secret." Faith turned to look at the partial wet - in a bad way - singer, and she said, "If you have clothes in the car, I suggest a change."

Jessica blinked at Faith, then looked down at herself, blushing with embarrassment, almost having forgotten about peeing herself out of fear, and nodded, "Yeah." As Jessica opened the trunk, and pulled out some baggage with some difficulty - throwing a sad look at the crying Xander and her dead almost-friend - Faith slowly walked over to Xander. Jessica then disappeared into the car. Faith reached Xander and crouched down, putting a comforting hand between his shoulder blades, knowing she didn't need to do anything else, just let him cry. Perhaps she wasn't so bad at this after all?

A few minutes later, a toweled dry and cleanly dressed Jessica Mears joined her at the other side, looking with compassion at the crying Saiyan. She looked back, and once more took in her dead companion's body; she needed an escort, they needed something to cheer them up, and she was certain they were going to escort her anyway. "You know," she started gently, "I need an escort, and I'm scheduled to do a concert next week right here in Sunnydale. You guys bring me home, and I get you backstage passes and front row tickets . . . unless you hate my music of course."

Faith perked up a little, looked at her and said, "We've got friends who fight the forces of darkness as well, and we all lost our friend." Faith nodded at Xander, indicating his wife and their friend were one and the same.

Jessica smiled, and said, "They'll all get tickets." Faith brightened, rubbing Xander's back as he slowly stopped crying.


"That was a good movie," Buffy said with a smile, as they were on the way back.

"Yeah, I wish I could jump like that," Chris commented with a grin.

"You could, if you trained long and hard enough, and more," Buffy said, and charged two balls of chi in her hands. He looked astonished as she started to juggle them for a few minutes, and then took the energy back into her body. Buffy shrugged at his look, and said, "I can't just /do/ it, you know. A year ago I couldn't even jump as high as Spider-man, took training, control of my life force, all under multiple times Earth gravity."

"Really?" he asked her curiously. Buffy nodded. "You're not worried I'm going to report you to Area 51, or something?"

Buffy shook her head, and said, "The military already knows about us, we stopped the asteroids after all, and we've had battles since then that no military satellite and stuff wouldn't pick up. They're either smart enough they know we're protecting the world, too busy with their world conquest 'look at all the non-existent terrorists because we blew up the WTC ourselves'-schemes, scared, or all of the above."

"That's true? I read it on the Internet, but . . ." he asked in shock.

Buffy nodded, brushed a stray hair out of her face, and said, "They just wish to control all of humanity, the demons and the gods want to destroy it, the latter have first priority, besides, it isn't going to be as easy as they think it was going to be with Europe and the rest of the world knowing it."

"Shit," Chris muttered.

Buffy looked around, shrugged, and said, "Hey, wanna play Mary Jane?" He looked at her and then nodded happily. She grinned, grabbed him around the waist, he held on tightly, and she burst into the air. Chris looked with wide eyes as they flew through LA, slaloming around buildings. "Whadda ya think?"

"Wow, this is awesome!" Chris yelled with happiness. Buffy smiled, feeling herself grow warm on the inside.

A few minutes later they arrived by his building and she landed them in front of its entrance. She put him down, and she looked into his eyes. "I had a lot of fun," she said with an almost said smile.

"Me too, I guess you were right, never worth committing suicide, huh?" he told her, half joking, heart beating in his throat when he remembered again how close he had come to being dead, and having completely forgotten what for he had tried it. Basking in this beauty in front of him, no problem seemed insurmountable, even without super powers.

"Can I give you a kiss goodby, at least?" he asked her hopefully.

"Sure," Buffy answered, feeling her own heart beat powerfully. When he took a step closer so did she, and placed her lips on his, parting them, and a moment later she was giving him a passionate tongue kiss. After a while they broke apart, and Buffy asked, "Would you like me to come up to your apartment with you?"

Chris looked shocked at her, pleasantly shocked. He swallowed heavily while he nodded, and asked, "But what about . . ."

"One time sex and then leaving shouldn't be such a problem, should it?" Buffy said huskily, feeling flutters in her stomach, while she battled her friends' words with a guilty conscience. "A girl may go on a date with a guy she doesn't want to go on a date with, and not have sex with a guy she'd like to have sex with, but she'll never have sex with a guy she doesn't want to have sex with . . . as your therapist, it's practically my duty to show you, you're /not/ disgusting, and girls /do/ want you." Chris nodded hungrily, and kissed her again. They kissed regularly all the way to his bedroom, where she desperately unbuckled and took off his clothes, while he did the same with her. Not wearing a bra made it easy for him, he just had to slide a few garments off her body.

A moment later she gently place him on his back on his bed, and sat down upon his belly. Smiling, she bent down and kissed him once again, while he let his hands roam across her body, finding her breasts and massaging them. She caressed him all over his body, and after a few moments she was far too worked up. She slid back, leaving a trail of fluid on his stomach, and found his erect penis. With a quick grab she got her purse, and fished out a condom she had always with her these days. With several expert moves it was around his penis, and then with a satisfied moan she sank down upon it, feeling his cock stroke her vaginal walls. With a contented smile she started undulating her hips, while riding up and down. "Oh, wow," he moaned, feeling her inner walls grip him like no vagina ever did.

"Oh, this is good," Buffy moaned, and placed her hands on his chest, sending a pulse of energy into his body. His eyes widened, and groaned with pleasure at that. She dipped down, increasing the speed and power of her hips' motions. When she reached his stomach, she started licking up the juices he had left behind, finding out she liked the feel of his chest hair against her body. She charged her vagina with her life force, and moaned in response to his groan, and slightly hardening and a bit more growing of his hardness inside her.

"Oh, god, I'm going to cum," he said, lifting his head, and then felt her vagina pulse a different rhythm of energy into his erection, instantly stopping the sensation.

"No, you're not, not yet," she said passionately, increasing the pace of her riding motions.

"Oh, wow, your amazing," he told her, lying back, and then grabbed for her breasts, caressing them.

"Yes," Buffy moaned in appreciation.

Minutes passed, and while he held her hips, moving them up and down upon him, and turned around with need to kiss her. Buffy moaned and let him. A moment later she was on her back in the missionary position, and he drove forcefully into her. Buffy nodded, eyes closed with pleasure, breathing heavily, meeting his thrusts with her own. When he pressed his lips to hers, she moved her arms around his neck kissing him back with all the passion in her being. A moment later she closed her legs around his waist, not being able to reach around fully to hook her feet together. "God, you're good," she murmured as her pleasure built, the two bodies writhing in ecstasy.

"You're better," he whispered back, and they continued their kissing, as he thrust inside her over and over. With every thrust his penis stimulated her vaginal walls, and combined with feeling his weight on top of her and his hands around her back, or at her breasts as they switched position often, she was rapidly building toward her orgasm.

Moaning heavily, she returned to her previous energy pulses, and told him, "I'm gonna come, come with me, come inside me, baby."

"Me too, I will, oh, oh, wow, this is so, I'm . . ." he moaned out, and then increased the speed of his thrusts. A few moments later Buffy screamed out her release, while he groaned and pumped the condom full of his seed. Shuddering with the release the two came down, and he lay fully on top of her.

"Wow," he muttered.

"Yeah," Buffy confirmed, and kissed him deeply, satisfied, enjoying the closeness they were sharing. Too bad it had to end. "You got to get rid of the condom before it spills over, I think you released a huge load, Chris."

Chris looked at her, smiled, and then pulled out. He removed the condom while he got up, and dumped it in the dustbin. A few moments later he got back into his bed, and snuggled up close to Buffy, lying in a spoon position.

Buffy bit her lip, she felt so wonderful in his arm. "Chris?" she said.

"Yeah," he said sadly, guessing this was where she was going to leave him.

She turned around, looked him into his green eyes, took in his dirty-brown hair - she liked the color - and then asked, "Can I be your girlfriend?"

"What?" he asked in shock.

Buffy nodded, and explained, "You made me laugh tonight, really laugh, not a smile, not a snicker, but a complete belly laugh. I can't remember the last time I did that - a good friend of mind died a few weeks ago, my mother a little over a year ago, and in between was a year of hell . . . and I've done thinks that have made me disgusted with myself. I've gotten better, luckily. But you made me laugh, really laugh, you have no idea how great a precious gift that is for me." Chris looked into her pained eyes, and felt his heart break. Buffy continued after a moment, "I like you, I'm comfortable in your arms, you're good in bed, you're smart and insightful, and with the talking we've done tonight . . . I can see myself falling hard for you, and in fact, I think I'm probably already busy doing that."

"I-I'm falling for you too, hell, what sane guy apart from gays wouldn't? But what about the therapist - patient stuff?" he asked gently, wrapping his arms around her.

Buffy smiled, and told him, "We'll make it work, we can overcome it, we'll fall in love with each other, and then it doesn't matter."

"I would be honored to have you as my girlfriend, I'd be stupid if I wasn't," he said with a big smile, feeling the whole world brighten up around him.

Buffy broke her smile, and kissed him lovingly. "The only question is, how do I break this to my sister and friends? They were all 'stupid Buffy' when I told them I merely accepted the date," Buffy asked him with a sheepish smile.

"Excitedly," he answered before asking, "Will you sleep in my arms tonight?"

Buffy nodded, and snuggled even closer. A few minutes later he fell asleep, and she followed a few minutes after that, a contented smile on her face.

Episode 65
Gods Like Pop Music Now?

She looked at the happening. In this valley, mountains on most sides, the valley once green, but now with deep cracks, and lots of uprooted sand, from the battles earlier. There he was, with his companions. The destroyer, the bringer of death, the one who murdered and killed virtually all she held dear, floating just above the ground. Across from him, herself, floating in the air. Herself from the future as she had said. Herself from the future was scared as was she, the hate and evil painted on the destroyer's face was a fearful sight to behold. "You will die here!" herself from the future yelled. "You lost your tail! Without it, you can't transform, you can't beat me!" With a fearful roar of her own, she charged a giant ball of energy above her, easily three times her own heigh in diameter, then flung it at the destroyer.

He grinned, and she watched it happening. His golden glow intensified, a tail grew from his backside, and a moment later there was an even more terrifying version of him, and horrifically more powerful; a monkey, black fur wherever his clothes didn't cover, except his chest. And his eyes, bloodshot with the promise of destruction, golden irises of a predator animal. With a mighty yell he simply punched, /punched/, against the huge ball, which instantly was flung right back at herself from the future. Herself from the future that was so much more powerful than her now, and yet, her ball was sent back as if it was nothing. She watched as herself from the future froze in horror, and then turned her head left, directly at her. A strange, almost sad look crossed her face, and then the ball of destruction hit her. What was that look? Why did herself from the future look so strangely at her? She watched in horror as herself from the future was engulfed by her own attack, and screamed in pain. She was consumed, and destroyed, torn apart piece by piece, and then the ball exploded, sending most of its energy up into the sky, the earth protected by a force field. Fear, and terror consumed her, and she made a vow: she would change the past, by changing the future at all costs. She knew what the future would bring, so when he would arrive, she would destroy him, before this could happen, and make sure she'd live.


"He's here, he's here," she whispered frightened. "He's really here, just like he promised; a god of light, and a god of dark, both destroyed by him." For a short while she had thought he wouldn't be here after all, that something had changed history, changed the future. But here he was, in all his terrifying glory. She had to find out how strong he really was, if he was already as powerful as he was back then, charging in blindly would get her killed.

After a short while she was shocked, looking on from within her dimensional pocket. So casually he transformed and flew to San Francisco, why? After a short while she had come up with just the thing she needed. Right, it might not be enough to get him to show his true power, but it was a good start. The coven in San Francisco she had detected when /he/ went there would be perfect for it.

One night, when they were in communion, she appeared before them as a great benevolent goddess of nature. "The Sedra Soli, is here," she whispered through the winds, and the witches were suitably impressed. "I have come to warn you, the destroyer of all live, bringer of Armageddon has arrived. He is in Sunnydale, and you might be the only ones who can stop him. Hurry, save us all."

She disappeared to the safety of her own place once again, and watched. A few days later the coven decided to make their move. They captured him with energy rings, sapping his power. Hmm, perhaps she got even lucky and they finished him off right away. No, they didn't, there was the blinding golden flash once more. A little later his power went up, and up, and up! She felt the fear coming back once more. Such power, in a mere mortal, it wasn't right, he needed to be destroyed. He stopped, stopped his powering up. Was this it? Was this truly his max. She didn't dare fight him one on one, she just couldn't, even though she knew he couldn't beat her now. What if she was wrong after all? She had to think of something, something that allowed her to destroy him without having to face him.


She looked at the two large rocks. Yes! Here in space they could be maneuvered, maneuvered to do her bidding. To destroy him; it would most likely destroy them all, or at least a large part of them and plunge them back into the stone age, but there would be no way for him to stop it. No way for all of them. They'd waste their energies on the first, and if they succeeded in stopping it, the second bigger one would finish them off. She grinned evilly. This would do it, this would be the finishing touch. From here on out, she would no longer have to worry about the Sedra Soli and her fate at his hands.

"Great Goddess Hera, we cannot let you do this," a voice stated.

Hera turned around and looked at two men all in white. "What!?" she exclaimed in disbelief. Did she really just hear right?

"If you send these asteroids toward the Earth, it would either mean the destruction of almost all life, or if they all work together, perhaps they can deflect them, but it would expose magic to the general public," the second man in white told her.

The first then added, "As you well know, our purpose is to keep magic hidden."

Hera laughed, and told them, "Of course I know, I helped set you up, didn't I? For /my/ purposes, and if my purposes now clash with mine then, mine now take precedence. Now get out of my sight, I do as I wish, and /nobody/ tells or makes me do otherwise." She turned around, and continued what she was doing.

The cleaners looked at each other for a moment, and then the first said, "Great Hera, we have no choice but to stop you."

Hera laughed, whirling around, and hissed, "You insignificant insects, what make you think, /I/ will let you interfere?"

"You know as well as we do, that we were created to clean magic, and to contain gods of your caliber . . ." the second told her, but was once again interrupted.

"*You /weak/ fools!! /You/ are /nothing/ to me!*" Hera growled out with anger. "*I built you, you /exist/ because of me, and /you/ have the audacity to tell /me/ what to do!? You think you can control me, you think I have to worry about what a bunch of insects tell me? RAAAAH!!*" Hera made a swipe with her hand, sending out an arched blade of energy, cutting through the middles of the two white-robed cleaners, and they exploded, being wiped out easily. "Those, insignificant . . ." Hera hissed out, and continued her work. Once both asteroids were on course, she teleported away. It would take some days before they reached Earth, and giving her time do something else in that time.


Hera reappeared in a blueish seemingly futuristic circle, the court ground, council ground of a magical court and council; a council on keeping magic hidden. Outside the circle there was nothing but blackness. Hera stomped her foot in the middle of the circle once, grimacing with anger at the infraction brought upon her. Putting her energy into her foot had the desired effect. An echoing powerful bang, the shiny floor cracked open, anyone who was on this council wouldn't be able deny her demand. A moment later several large heads appeared around the circle. Some of them were Elders and the like, and the others were powerful demons from the underworld.

"/You/ /dared/ send them after me!" Hera told them with extreme anger, grimacing completely.

"What you have done, will expose m- . . ." one of the members started.

"*I DON'T GIVE A DAMN!!*" she screamed at them. "Without me, you'd all be dead. */I/* told you how to defeat the Hollow! */I/* gave you some of my essence so you could give some of my power to humans and defeat the titans! */You/* do /not/ tell me what to do! */I/* do as I please! /Even/ if it means exposing magic, /even/ if it means destroying you all! */I/* am the Goddess here, */you/* are the mortals! You're /nothing/ to me!"

A demon - they are always arrogantly evil - stated, "We are /not/ mortal. Our power combined . . ."

With a roar of rage Hera charged her power in an instant, the shiny ground cracking open and shattering aside. She glowed with power, massive balls of energy formed at her hands. She fired two balls and they exploded against the demon's head that had spoken. The darkness lifted, revealing an elder or demon standing in a see-through protective chamber behind every head. The Elders and the demons looked at each other, and then their eyes widened as Hera charged even more energy and now pointed it at the ground where she stood. A moment later there was a massive explosion, the heads crumbled, the protective cases shattered like they were nothing, and a moment later the shockwave destroyed the Elders and the demons, the chamber itself shook, cracked and couldn't contain the energy. Hera balled one hand in a triumphant fist and said, "/I/ decide." She disappeared in sparkles of light just before the whole chamber collapsed and was engulfed in the explosion.


Hera watched the event. She watched how the first was destroyed, and she nodded, "That's right, waste your energy, heh, heh. Now you die." She watched, and watched in shock as the Slayers, some more humans, and then all the magic-able people pushed the bigger asteroid in a decaying orbit. She then grinned, "Just a stay of execution, you will die Sedra Soli, you will be finished." Thus she waited for the asteroid to hit. About a day went by, and she watched the pitiful attempt of the Slayers and the military with their nuclear weapons.

To her shock, the very being she wished to destroy returned on time. She shook her head: it didn't matter, even he wasn't powerful enough. "No! No! This can't be!" she yelled when she saw his power rising and rising. She shuddered, feeling his power, he was reaching her power levels. She saw the hair elongating, and everything. "No! /That/ form!" Half the world was affected by his and the asteroids power. Feeling apprehensive, she watched. The massive enormous power beam shot from him. She watched with wide eyes as the beam hit the asteroid, and then all went white. She had to shut down her viewing window, it was that blinding. After a few moments she opened again and watched with failure as the asteroid was largely destroyed, broken apart. "He doesn't have any life force left," she grinned in triumph, roared with approval. It was done! He wouldn't last much longer. She turned off her viewer, secure in her victory.


It was two weeks later that she found out he was still alive, to her very shock. She cursed everyone and everything for an hour before she started desperately planning again. Yes, yes that might work.

The planning stages for the next attack were big. She had to make sure he was out of commission, because she wouldn't dare unleash a demon as powerful as him. She had to open the Hellmouth from afar, which consisted of gentle prods here and there to the Earth's hyper-dimensional field. The resulting energy chain reactions would work on the Earth's plates, but also upon the Hellmouth itself.

She kept her attention upon Sunnydale though, and along the way became aware of the Trio, and their desire to summon a very powerful demon to kill the Slayer. It was easy to travel to hell, and whisper into the type of demon they were going to summon about glory of defeating the Sedra Soli. Not that the demon would have a chance against the Sedra Soli, but you never knew, and things could develop. The Slayer herself destroyed the demon, so as really expected, nothing came of it.

She continued her further preparations, and once more went to hell, materializing on the steps right in front of the throne of Lohesh, the soul killer, the original one. "Lohesh," she said, as she was fully aware of his armies below in his cavern stirring and getting ready to attack her.

Lohesh the massive bunny demon laughed, and growled, "A Power That Be, down in this hell hole. Which one are you?"

"I'm Hera," she introduced herself, her green eyes glittering with unholy power.

He took the goddess with bug-clothes in, and said, "Ah, yes, Hera, Hecate, Goddess of air and magic. Tell me, oh, magical one, what stops me from turning you into a power that was?"

"You are powerful Lohesh, you can take on most of the gods, and not only survive, but win," Her told him with a grin. "But I am not just any god. I am one of the oldest, and most powerful, and I haven't been sitting around feasting on human brains and souls being all smug and self-indulgent. My power has grown immensely, and I can kill you easily - it however is still not enough to take on the Sedra Soli."

"You think so?" Lohesh asked, his eyes piercing hers, and she felt like she was on trial.

"I'm not certain, I do not know his full power, I don't know what he's hiding," Hera answered him, and noticed the armies behind and below her stopped in their advance, but stayed ready to attack.

Lohesh laughed, and said, "You're scared, you don't dare take him on one on one, even though you might win."

Hera grimaced, and said, "How would you like to kill him, and rule the Earth?"

Lohesh chuckled, and said, "I'm rather stuck down here."

"You keep an eye out on the Hellmouth, yes?" Hera asked him with a sneer. He shrugged, shifting his position on his massive throne slightly. "Then you've felt it shudder, that is my doing. I'm preparing to open it, big enough so you can come through, along with your armies."

Lohesh sneered back and her and said, "If you're so powerful you can kill me, but you're not certain you can kill him, what chance would I have?"

Hera slowly smirked, and turned around, leaving the Bunny wondering for a short while. Meanwhile she took in the armies, large masses of them, several true, giant, Lohesh-bunnies like Lohesh himself among them, leaders of the legions. Hera turned back around, and told him, "Before you yourself will come through, you will have to chase a Shinang demon through, make it think you're trying to kill it with your army."

"SHINANG!?" Lohesh thundered, his ears angling back, his red eyes blazing. "Are you crazy!? They are poison incarnate. They kill with a touch. It'll kill a hundred of my followers in no time. It's poison can even incapacitate me with enough quantities. Only demon lords like me dare go up against those."

"It cannot fly, it has no range, use that to your advantage, and yes, some of your followers will die, but that's the price you'll have to pay for ruling the Earth, and being the demon that saved everyone by killing the Sedra Soli, and even consuming his soul," Hera told him with an evil smirk. "You see, a Shinang's poison, is the stuff that will incapacitate the Sedra Soli, like it would incapacitate you. And when he's down, you can kill him easily."

"Hmm," the demon grumbled, with an odd grin on its face. "You gods are really that afraid of him huh, won't even go at him yourself when he's out."

"I've seen his power first hand. I was there ten thousand years ago. Will you do it or not?" Hera requested.

"Oh, yes, I'll do it," Lohesh said with an evil grin.


Hera retreated back to her place, continuing her manipulations of the Earth's hyperdimensional field, and with it the Hellmouth. Eventually the time came, the Hellmouth opened; first one small blip, admitting the poisonous Shinang demon. Hera watched the Sedra Soli attack and kill the Shinang demon, and then he keeled over. "YES!" she yelled in triumph. This was it, there was no more saving him now.

She finished the final few manipulations and the Hellmouth blossomed open to its fullest. Lohesh came about. She grinned, and watched as Sedra Soli's companions came to fight the monster, all suicide. The witches closed the hellmouth in the meantime, but that didn't matter much to Hera, in fact, it had been half expected. None of them could stand up to Lohesh anyway, he'd consume their souls, and then finish off the Sedra Soli.

A sister down, a black man dead, a Slayer dead, everything went as planned. Witches returned to the fight, next Slayer going to be killed . . . What!? The first Slayer isn't dead yet? No matter, she still wouldn't stand a chance. Hera watched with a grin as Lohesh blasted another big energy ball at one of the humans, and Slayer placed herself in between. To Hera's shock the Slayer was not vaporized, she held the ball at bay in a tug of war, and then . . . "NO! It can't BE! Super Slayer!? She's that bitch that was with him!?" Hera balled her fists and watched in mounting terror as the newly emerged Super Slayer made quick work of Lohesh the Soul Killer. "NO!! NO!! DAMN YOU, BITCH!!! DAMN!! NOOOO!!!"

"Must think, must think of something new, have to stop him, have to," Hera shuddered, pacing about. "Why!? Why is this happening!? No matter what I try, the bastards and those bitches . . . AAAH!!"


When the Sedra Soli took on Wolf, Ram and Hart themselves, Hera hoped for a fleeting moment that they'd destroy him, but of course, they didn't. She had to think, she had to think deeply. While she did that, she let her senses go across the Earth. Days turned to weeks as time continued. Hera could be patient, she just had to figure out a strategy that would do the trick. That was it, truly, just be patient. Weeks became months, and she was frustrated when the other Slayer transformed as well. Time went on, and then she became aware of a stirring, of something or someone awakening.

Hera took closer looks, and finally understood, "Shantia . . . the Super Slayer Vampire is awakening. I need to capitalize on this. While she'll keep the bitch in LA occupied, something needs to take on the Sedra Soli. No, not possible, too powerful, or- . . . wait . . . yes. If both Super Slayers are dead, and . . . and his wife . . . yes, yes." Now she simply had to bide her time, until she arose.

When she finally did, Hera made her move. Making sure she had her power and energy masked she appeared above the United States. She peered, flexed some of her power, and the cage of energy keeping the demon inside caged for the pas several centuries appeared. The brown-skinned, tailed demon looked at her with angry eyes. "Well, well, if it isn't one of the gods," the demon sneered at her. "Trickery by humans put me in here, so what would you possibly want?"

"I want to release you," Hera told him with a smile.

"What!?" the demon asked her in shock.

Hera grinned evilly at him, and said, "If I release you, and set you free upon the world once more, the Sedra Soli and his companions will undoubtedly come for you."

The demon laughed, and said, "No thanks, keep me locked up. I can't fight him, especially seeing as I lost a lot of power of the centuries just staying alive, even in hibernation mode."

"What if I told you, I know how you can destroy him, even less powerful," Hera said with a smile.

"Why don't you do it yourself, then?" he asked her.

"Nothing is ironclad," she told him. "I don't like to take risks." The demon laughed and looked at her expectantly. "I can tell you where his wife is, let you lead your attack right to her. You keep yourself alive against him long enough the attack is too far away - he'll rush after it, leaving you to kill his helpless companions, and when he finds his dead wife, he'll be too heartbroken to put up a fight."

The demon grinned, and then chuckled, "I like that plan, I like that a lot. What are we waiting for?"

"For Shantia to recharge, he's got two Super Slayers as companions and two super witches, I thought you'd like to fight just one of the Slayers, and the two witches, while the other gets torn apart by a vampiric version of the Slayer," Hera told him with a grin.

"I like the way you think," the demon told her, and Hera nodded, calmly waiting, keeping a sense on the vampire's power level. "Now looks about right, ready?" The demon simply grinned at her, and then she breached the magical cage with her power. "Go have fun," she told the demon who roared in laughter returning fully to the standard plane of existence.

Hera watched the events unfold with an evil grin. The dark Super Slayer and her friends got pummeled with frightening ease. The demon was being beaten up by the Sedra Soli, but the energy blast was nicely heading for his wife. Then, as expected, the Sedra Soli burst away after the blast, gaining ground. But he would never catch up . . . then again, he was getting obviously close. Hera sighed with relief as he failed to catch it. His house blew up, and his wife's life force snuffed out. "YES!!" Hera hissed in triumph. She grinned evilly, but then the opposite happened of what she was expected. Instead of heartbroken and empty, the Sedra Soli was heartbroken and filled with hatred and rage, his power spiked to unprecedented levels. "NO! What's this!? What's happening!? This can't be!?" Hera screamed in fear and disbelief. She watched as the Sedra Soli transformed into a giant golden monster ape. "What the hell is that!? How can this be!?" Then the ape transformed once more, into a smaller ape. If goddesses could have heart attacks, she would have one right now. "NOO!!! No!! Not that form, this can't be!? How!? WHY!?" she screamed out in utter terror. She shook with the fear, trembled at the sight of the being that killed her ten thousand years ago. "This isn't possible! This shouldn't be! How can this be!?"

Hera watched with mounting terror at how the Sedra Soli took apart the demon, over and over again. Tortured him to death with frightening ease. Hera placed her hands in front of her face in horror; the true evil, the true power had emerged. Death incarnate was busy torturing her newest plan to death. And if it all wasn't enough, the dark Slayer defeated Shantia.

Shuddering in fear Hera retreated to her place, and stayed there for weeks before the anger finally overcame her horror. She needed to do something. Fear was not an option. She needed to destroy him, needed to find something or someone powerful enough to do it. She had to, she just had to. Yes! She had it!

She left her place and traveled to the Oeral mountains in Russia. She quickly found the place, blasted it back open and entered the cave. After smashing through several more protection mechanism, she reached the inner sanctum of the place, and the god entombed there by multiple beams of energy, charged by machines and magic. "Stribog," she whispered in awe, of the white-haired, blue-skinned god. The god of wind, the sun and power. Entombed by his own wife Xiara and a whole string of other gods ages ago, because he was getting too powerful and enjoyed it too much for their liking. A young god, and yet so powerful. Fearful of the god's power - he'd be the only one she could think of that might be able to defeat her ancient nemesis; and kill her with same ease as the Sedra Soli could - she hesitated. Steeling herself, she destroyed the machinery, and used her magical powers to remove the rest of what was holding him.

Stribog roared in rage and anger, stepping mightily forward; his purple eyes crackled with electricity. Hera took a step back, and Stribog took her in, hissing, "Xiara, that bitch, where is she. I'll show her who's boss."

"Your wife is dead," Hera said with a fearful look, even now after several thousand years of inactivity without food or water, his power was still so much.

"WHAT!?" he yelled and grabbed her by the throat.

"But I know who killed her, and where you can find him," she told him quickly.

He narrowed his eyes at her, loosening his grip. "Who?" he growled out in a low eery breezy voice.

"You might want to rest up, and get your strength back fully. He's in a city they call LA, and he's the Sedra Soli," Hera told him, and felt the grip around her throat tighten while he laughed.

"The Sedra Soli is just a story, to scare us kids, you old bitch," he hissed at her angrily.

"Not anymore," she told him.


With a bright smile on her face Buffy set down in front of her house. Hugging herself close with enjoyment of the events of the night before she walked over to the door of her house. That door burst open though, an angry and concerned Dawn bursting out. Buffy blinked as Dawn screamed, "WHERE WERE YOU?! WHY WEREN'T YOU BACK!?"

"Dawn!" Willow called behind her sternly. Tara and Li stood next to her. "How about you let your sister come inside first, huh? Good morning, Buffy."

"Good morning," Buffy greeted back with a smile as Dawn chewed her bottom lip, her arms folded across her chest waiting impatiently. Buffy smiled at her and entered, her sister close behind her.

When Buffy was in the living room, Tara was the one to gently ask, "We were kind of worried, Buffy. We didn't sense you, I guess you either locked your power away or were busy hiding it somehow. And you turned off your cell."

"I locked it away," Buffy confirmed with a smile. She felt so good. She had a real boyfriend in almost two years. And this boyfriend might just be a keeper; no vampire, no super soldier, no jerk, just a nice guy. "I stayed over," she said.

Dawn narrowed her eyes, walking over to where Buffy had parked herself in front of the window. "Please tell me he was suicidal and he needed you to hold his hand," she said dreading the real answer.

Buffy shook her head, and said, "I slept with him."

Dawn looked with disbelief at her sister, and Willow and Tara were a bit stunned. "You slept with him? You lay unconscious next to him? Please say it's that," Dawn asked fearfully.

Buffy smiled at her, and said, "I had sex with him." Everyone looked stunned, apart from Li, who had gotten an earful on what the guy his girlfriend's sister was like from said girlfriend and how she was so concerned. He just looked and listened. The silence gave Buffy the opportunity to add, "We have a second date set for next week, it'll be in Sunnydale this time. I'll have to pick him up."

"AAAAAHH!!" Dawn screamed out, raising her arms in frustration. "YOU STUPID COW!! Which part of 'this will end bad' didn't you get!? What the hell is wrong with you!? Now you knew on /beforehand/ he was a bad choice, and still . . . you stupid cow!"

Buffy looked hurt and protested, "It's not like that. He made me laugh. You know how special that is? I like him enormously, I'm falling in love with him. Yes, there are big hurdles, but we'll make it work, I know it."

"Aargh!!" Dawn screamed in frustration started to stumble around in frustration. "I have the stupidest woman on the planet for a sister! I can /not/ believe this! What's wrong with you!?"

"There is nothing wrong with me!" Buffy returned angrily. If her sister didn't care for her, or didn't stop soon she'd send her up to her room. "And if you don't shut up, you can damn well go to your room."

"Of course, send the smart sister away!" Dawn called out, while Willow, Tara and Li went into action. Li went to Dawn, putting his arms around her waist and pulling her close, fighting her struggles because she was too annoyed to just calm down right away.

Willow and Tara reached Buffy and put some soothing hands on the girl's body. "She doesn't mean it that way, Buffy," Tara whispered.

At the same time, Li whispered in Dawn's ear, "Calm down, beautiful. It's your sister's life, she can do with it what she wants to. Don't get worked up over it."

"Buffy, she just doesn't want you to get hurt," Willow told Buffy who calmed down some. "I can't see I agree with your decision, Buffy, but if this is what you want to do, I'll support you."

"The same goes for me," Tara told Buffy with a smile.

Dawn relaxed but rolled her eyes. Buffy smiled and said, "Thanks, guys. He made me laugh you know. Really laugh, belly-shaking hard. He's polite, smart, I've fallen in love with him. Best of all, he's just a guy, no corpses, no soldiers, no nothing, just a guy who's, well . . ." Buffy paused for a moment, and then added softly, ". . . very good in bed."

"I could hear that," Dawn spit out annoyed, pushing back against Li letting his embrace take away the frustrations. Buffy blushed. She had hoped her little sister wouldn't have been able to hear. Willow snickered, making an uncertain Tara smile.

The phone rang, and Tara picked it up. "Summers residence . . . Hey, Faith! How are you doing?"

"Okay, that's good, and Xander?" Tara asked her. "Oh, making Angel's life miserable, huh? I guess that's an improvement."

"What!? Y-you're not kidding, right?" Tara asked, and after a moment her face brightened. She put her hand in front of the phone, and called out, "Guys! Faith and Xander saved Jessica Mears' life from some vamps. They've got tickets for the concert next Saturday for all of us if we want to go."

"All right!" Dawn yelled out excitedly.

"Yeah, Jessica's hot!" Li yelled out, and everyone looked at him. "You know . . . as in popular, very good, good music, good voice," he added, fidgeting a bit. Dawn grinned at him, and put her arm around his waist.

Willow nodded at Tara, "He's right, she's a babe. We're going." Li blushed, as Tara nodded in agreement.

"I'll call Chris," Buffy said with a smile, and went to get her cell, making Dawn frown at her in annoyance.

Tara then returned to the phone, and said, "We're all coming! Oh, and Buffy has a boyfriend, can he come to? . . . Great, see you then!"


Tara sat in Faith's room, watching the brunette get dressed for the concert. Faith had absolutely no qualms at her half-naked state. Actually she was more than half-naked, she was only wearing a thong, and was busy putting on a stocking, which she hated judging from her expression, but she seemed determined in putting them on. Tara could see the brunette's breasts sway, and she quickly looked away. She wondered if Willow walked in she'd get her ass kicked by the redhead. It took all her self-control to look away.

"I see you're still doing great. We didn't have much time to talk during the wedding . . ." Tara's face fell, ". . . and the funeral."

"Yeah," Faith said pained, pausing her struggling with the stocking for a moment, and then continued. "I'm good, I'm going to show Wes a really good time. I'll be for him all the way tonight. Between me and Cordy taking care of Xander, and Pike's slow recovery, I've been neglecting him a bit."

Tara smiled at her, and then quickly once more took her gaze away. Faith noticed it and looked up at her, pausing again. "Do I have a zit or something?" Faith asked, peering across her body.

"No!" Tara exclaimed blushing. She took a deep breath, and said, "I'm a Lesbian, remember?" Faith looked at her, not comprehending. "It's like I'm a guy and I'm looking at you."

Faith shrugged and said, "If they are good enough friends, they get to look." With some effort Faith finished pulling on the stocking, and smiled. "Putting them on is hell, but boy do they make me feel sexy," she said, and then got the second stocking. Tara grinned, at the comment, nodding. She loved the sight of Willow in stockings, and she loved the look on Willow's face when she was in them. Faith continued her earlier thought as she once more had difficulty with the second stocking, "In fact, you should have seen Archie's face a couple of months ago, and even more so when Tiffany and Zoey tried to keep him from looking." Faith grinned suddenly, leaning over, and looked with twinkling eyes deep into Tara's and said, "Tiffany's and Zoey's were even more priceless when I told them he could look."

Tara grinned, and said, "I'll bet. You should have seen Willow's face the first time I suggested doing a ritual in the nude; priceless." Tara snickered a bit, and added, "Sometimes it still makes me laugh, and then she'll ask my why I'm laughing and I tell why, then I laugh harder at the pout."

Faith finished with the second stalking, and said, "She got a cute pout?"

Faith got her top, and Tara said, "The sexiest, the hottest, the most beautiful, the most innocent, the loveliest- . . ."

"I get it, I get it," Faith interrupted Tara and smiled at her, tugging the tight white top over her ample chest.


Chris arrived at the address Buffy had given him, or at rather a short distance away from it. The hotel seemed imposing, the more so because he knew his brand-spanking new girlfriend and her friends and family were inside there. Friends and family he had never met before. Should he go in, or wait a bit? To his surprise he saw his blonde girlfriend come through the gate, and then rapidly walk over.

"Hi," Buffy greeted him, and planted a quick but steamy kiss on his lips, having to stretch her arms around his girth. She broke it apart, looking at the sudden smile on Chris' face. "You don't have to be nervous, they'll like you, and even if they don't; doesn't matter, /I/ already like you, and more."

"Yeah, no problem," he bluffed rubbing his hands nervously, taking in his girlfriend. 'His' girlfriend, it still amazed him. Today she looked even better then on her first date. Very tight hip-hugging, dark-blue pants. Bare midriff, lovely bellybutton, and a pink sleeveless vest with a deep cleavage. It was finished with a frilly, white choker. Her lips were bright red, and her eyes colored. She looked good enough to eat right here. God, she was absolutely, stunningly beautiful and sexy.

"My brave hero, and don't worry about my sister Dawn, she'll probably be nasty, just ignore her. She thinks she needs to look out for me," Buffy told him genuinely and then hooked her left arm into his right, and trudged him along. Buffy brought him into the hotel, and proudly told everyone present, "Guys, I'd like you to meet /my/ boyfriend, Chris Rivers."

"Uh, hello everyone," Chris said with a nervous smile, not really looking at anyone, not wanting to break into hives.

"Let me introduce you to everyone, starting with my best friend," Buffy said with a smile, pulling Chris off to the right. Buffy gestured to Willow who had Tara's hands wrapped around her waist from behind. "This is Willow Rosenberg, she's a witch," Buffy said with a smile. Chris reached out his right hand, and the petite redhead grabbed his. Chris swallowed as she took her in. High heels, a short, black tight dress, reaching half-way her knees. Her small, but lovely prominent breasts were practically all on display. Her red hair reached to below her neck, and seemed to flow around her head. Her lips were bright red as well, her eyes green and blue. Obviously, just like Buffy, she was dressed for a night of fun.

"Uh, hi," Chris said.

Willow smiled, and told him, "Hi, nice to meet you and put a face to all the superlatives Buffy's been sprouting about you." Chris turned his head to Buffy who blushed lightly.

Tara took her hands away from Willow's waist and stepped forward. Buffy introduced her, "This is Tara McClay, Willow's girlfriend."

"Nice to meet you," Tara said and Chris and her shook hands.

"N-nice to meet you too," Chris said taking in yet another beautiful woman. This blonde was wearing a slightly more conservative dress. It seemed it was a dress that if went all the way down it could be make her look like a grand Earth mother. But now it was cut above her knees, and the neckline plunged down deeply, showing off parts of the globes of her breasts, making her look like a naughty Earth mother instead. High heels, and immaculate, less-contrasting makeup as Willow's and Buffy's completed her look. She wasn't as petite as Willow, and not as thin as Buffy, but his eyes had been drawn to the curves she had wherever they were meant to be.

"She's a witch too," Buffy added with a smile.

Chris widened his eyes, but held back. "What did you want to say?" Tara asked with a smile, taking her girlfriend back into her eyes. "Go on."

"I-I w-was about to say that . . ." Chris looked over at Buffy who gave him an encouraging nod of her head. Confidence, right, right, right. ". . . that I-I should be glad th-that Hollywood and f-fairy tale cliches aren't real." Willow and Tara smiled gratefully, at the compliment.

"Amen to that, friend," Lorne's voice answered.

"Oh, absolutely, a rehabilitating sight for the crippled," Pike added with a huge grin, while everyone smiled, making Tara and Willow blush furiously.

Chris turned around and took in the green guy who gestured at him; it was the first time he noticed the green skin. The guy in the wheelchair next to him grinned too. Buffy smiled, and told Chris, "Lorne, an alien from who really knows where, he's a mystery even to himself . . ."

"Hey, no mystery here, Bombshell, I'm the real alien originating from Soul," Lorne protested a little bit.

"And Pike," Buffy added with a wry look. "We'll get to him later."

"Hey, what did I do?" the wheelchair-ridden guy said. Lorne bent down and whispered in his ear. "Oh, right," Pike said. "I guess."

Chris shook his head as he weakly waved at Lorne and was pulled a bit to the left, going around the circle. Next up: Xander. His tail happily waved around, the guy had pulled a really bad lottery number for him to get to meet /everyone/ /all/ at once. It was a fun little enjoyment of the suffering though. "This is my best friend, Xander," Buffy said gesturing to the Saiyan.

"Hi," Xander said offering his hand.

Chris looked the muscled guy over as he shook the guy's hand. He looked incredible. He made Chris feel like a troll. Then he noticed the waving tail. His head shook back up to Xander's face, and said, "H-hello."

Buffy added sheepishly, "He's another alien. A Saiyan from another dimension."

"O-okay?" Chris said, really starting to wonder where he had landed. What did it matter? He had a stunningly sexy and beautiful super heroine for a girlfriend. So she has some weird friends, big deal.

They went to the next two people, a stunningly beautiful girl with a somewhat Asian, and very good-looking guy holding her around her waist from behind. "And /this/ is my infamous sister Dawn, and her boyfriend Li-Huei Ki- uh . . ."

"Kijimuta," Li-Huei supplied with a smile, breaking contact with a glaring Dawn for a moment to shake the guy's hand.

"H-hello, I'm Chris," Chris managed to say, taking in Dawn. Even with the glare she looked incredible. A few more years and he wouldn't be surprised if she was more beautiful then her sister, or perhaps she already was. She was quite tall, especially in comparison to her sister, giving her an air of chilling beauty.

Dawn got a nudge from her boyfriend to Chris' surprise. She look back at him, glaring as he retook his place behind him, but shook her sister's new boyfriend's hand anyway. "Hello," was all she managed to say, and he smiled at her.

With a happy smile Buffy pulled Chris along, and they reached Angel. "This is Angel. Angel, Chris, my new boyfriend," Buffy said, and gave Angel a quick warning-glare.

Chris was stunned. This was Buffy's ex, and he looked incredible. He couldn't grasp what Buffy now saw in him if she was surrounded by such incredible specimens of manhood. They shook hands and Chris glanced down for a moment at the very cool hand. "Nice to meet you," Angel said with a smile, noticing Chris' look at his cool hand. "I'm a vampire, the only good one, the only one with a soul. I was cursed by gypsies."

"Oh, good to meet you too," Chris managed nervously, his self-doubt at Buffy's previous taste in a boyfriend rising. He looked at Buffy who fidgeted nervously, hoping her affair with basically a corpse wouldn't make her new boyfriend hate her and run away screaming. She had told him about Angel, but not /that/ aspect of him, having decided it was best to simply let him find out.

"Hi," an enthusiastic voice followed, almost violently pushing Angel aside. Cordelia bent down to be at eye-level, making Chris gulp at the suddenly very visible cleavage. Cordelia just continued grinning as she said, "I'm Cordelia Chase, the only one with any class in this sorry lot . . ."

"Hey!" Lorne and one girl Chris had yet to meet called out. Everyone else glared.

Cordelia threw Lorne a glare as she took Chris' hand to shake it, and finished, ". . . except for Lorne here . . ."

"Hey!" everyone else called out except for Buffy, Chris and Angel.

". . . and perhaps you," Cordelia finished, and smiled brightly at Chris.

"Oh, hi," Chris answered, stunned at looking into the face of another incredible looking girl. It was almost like he died and went to heaven. The scar on her cheek didn't really do anything to detract from her beauty. The tight clothes she was wearing made her look incredible.

Cordelia then continued, taking the guy in, "Although you could d- . . . Hey!"

Buffy had pushed Cordelia back, knowing of her inability to keep anything to herself, and the blonde told the brunette, "If you're the one with class, stop flashing your breasts at my boyfriend."

Chris blushed, more so as Cordelia folded her arms just under her chest, pushing her globes up just a bit, and said with an annoyed frown, "Even my flashing is classy."

Buffy glared at her for just a moment, while starting to push Chris onward. If Chris thought he had seen it all, he was now stunned in admiration. A girl was supporting an almost-fully-healed, but still banged-up guy came into view. The brunette girl had a thick layer of makeup on, bright red lips and colored eyes. Faith had decided to bring back her old, less classily beautiful, but much more lucius and suggestive look back for the concert. Knee-length boots, a tight, leather, black skirt - Cordelia's choice at the beginning of school year came in handy after all - and a white shirt - low cut, bare arms, just spaghetti straps - completed her look. Every curve - and Faith had plenty - was accentuated. Chris swallowed away a lump as Buffy introduced the girl as Faith and being a Slayer like her, and her boyfriend as Wesley the head of the company. The girl was not only absolutely gorgeous, but also sizzling hot. The way she smiled at him, made him feel like a piece of meat to be devoured, the good kind of devoured, and he wouldn't mind one bit to be so. Really, only a naked Buffy held a candle to the girl in front of him, and the brunette was still dressed.

"Well, well, you bagged Buffy, you /must/ be one /hell/ of a stud to pull that off," Faith said hotly shaking Chris' hand. Both he and Buffy blushed at the compliment . . . or was that insult? Or both? Faith suddenly leaned forward and placed a suggestive kiss on Chris' cheek, making him unable to return anything but blubbering.

"Cruel!" a voice commented from half behind her as Buffy glared at Faith and she just grinned at her blonde counter part.

Wesley reached out his hand and shook Chris's, as he said, "Welcome to this dysfunctional little family and friends." Once more Chris self-confidence took a hit at the guy's appearance. His British accent made him sound exotic, his looks were amazing, and the just tiny bit show of stubble on his chin gave him an air of rough, danger, and sophistication all at the same time.

"Hi," another guy said as he came around Wesley. It was the same voice who had commented 'cruel' a moment earlier. The teen smiled as he reached out a hand and said, "I'm Archie." Chris felt relief. Although the guy was a lot less than him, he was a little pudgy, although he could feel quite some strength in the grip. He had the distinct impression the guy had been a lot more pudgy along the way. More importantly, Chris finally was face to face with someone who wasn't super model material, on both genders.

Faith spoke, her voice sultry, taking over from Buffy for a moment, "This is my best male friend, Arch, and his girlfriend Natalie."

The stunning brunette reached behind and pulled a girl forward. She was obviously a little shy. The girl had raven-black hair, even more completely black then Faith who had hints of brown and lighter colors here and there. The girl had on bright red lipstick, making her lips sharply contrast with her dark hair. She was wearing heeled boots, a skirt reaching to her knees, and a strapless top. The girl's looks were a strange mixture of lovely curves but 'plain'. She was sexy though, and her shyness was further accentuated by Archie gently pushing her forward with a hand in the small of her back. She reached out a shy hand that Chris took, and she nervously spoke, "H-hi, I'm Natalie Deveraux, nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you too," Chris said with a smile. "You don't have to be nervous," he said, feeling less nervous himself now he got to meet some people who weren't specimens of physical perfection.

"That's what I keep telling her, but she just won't listen. She looks great, doesn't she?" Archie told Chris, smiling brightly at his girlfriend. There were times when he still couldn't believe his luck.

Archie wrapped a protective arm around Natalie's waist while she said, "I do not."

"She does," Chris answered with smile.

"See, now you hear it from another guy," Archie said with a smile as Natalie seemed to stand straighter.

Chris shrugged, as Buffy felt the need to lean sideways and plant a kiss on his cheek.

Faith continued, saying, "My best friend Zoey Lancaster, and her date and another friend Tiffany Mayfield."

Chris and Zoey shook hands - he considered her cute as a button. He would have considered himself blessed to have a girl like her on even one date; instead he got a goddess in Buffy. Life was strange. At the same time as they shook, another girl's voice said, "Hey! Just because neither of us got a date because you didn't get enough tickets, doesn't mean you have to call us Lesbians."

"And what's wrong with that?" two female voices sounded in unison.

Tiffany looked over at the lesbian couple of Willow and Tara, and she said deadpan, "We're not Lesbians. It's factually incorrect."

The girl reached Chris, as Zoey took a step back. The sixteen-year-old, perhaps seventeen, was hot. Blonde, lovely breasts judging from the stretched fabric of her top and the cleavage. Fantastic legs encased in suggestive white pantyhose, or stockings, and framed by a loose short skirt. "Hi," Tiffany greeted him, shaking his hand, and then bent down. She gave him a kiss on his right cheek, offering her right cheek which he failed to kiss. Faith and her other friends groaned, Buffy glared. Oblivious to, or not caring about the glare Tiffany then went over to his left and gave him a kiss there. Chris had just enough wits to place a light kiss on her left cheek this time. She returned to his right cheek and gave him a light kiss again, and so did he. She then pulled back, and at the Sunnydale crew's and Chris' confused expressions she explained with a grin, "I had to do a project on an interesting relative. My grandmother was an immigrant from Europe and I found out in middle, west Europe women greet and say goodbye to other women and men like that. It gives me an air of sophistication, /actual/ class . . ." Tiffany glared over to Cordelia who glared right back, and she finished, "sets apart, and I think it's fun."

Chris was stunned. He'd known girls like that in his highschool days. They were cruel, and if not, at the very least they would never take the chance of being seen friendly with somebody from the lower levels, let alone kiss one. "I guess," he said weakly.

Buffy pulled Chris along and reached Pike in his wheelchair with Fred standing behind him, holding the wheelchair's handles. "This is Winifred Burkle, Fred for short," Buffy introduced the petite girl. "She's really smart, math wise."

"Hi," Fred greeted friendly shaking his hand. A smile was on her face, one that was almost as bright as it would have been before Gunn was killed. "You're a lucky guy, I've been told. Cherish Buffy deeply."

"Hello, thanks, and I will," Chris answered while Buffy blushed, and silently denied her words; she was the one who was going to cherish him.

"And this is Pike, my first boyfriend, first guy I fell in love with, he came slamming back into my life a few months ago," Buffy explained nervously.

Chris looked at the wheel-chaired guy, who looked up at him. The guy was scruffy, a goatee and stubble around it. He somehow pulled it off though, because he looked good, even in a chair. Pike reached his right hand up, and said, "Congratulations, man. Do make sure you don't hurt her, 'cause if you do, I'll take this wheelchair and bash your head in with it."

"Pike!" Buffy called out with some anger.

"Sorry, Buff, but that's the way I feel," Pike told her cooly as Chris grabbed the guy's hand.

Once more self-conscious at the basic good-looking nature of /another/ of Buffy's boyfriends, he said nervously, "Don't worry, I won't be the one to hurt her. Is that . . . permanent?"

"The wheelchair?" Pike asked and Chris nodded. "Nah, I've already taken short walks, just can't do it for long periods of time yet. A good long period of training, practice, and exercise and I'll be up and about like before."

"Well, good," Chris said cheerily, feeling guilty about being disappointed, nervous that he was half expecting Buffy to run back to one good-looking ex-boyfriend, soon there'd be two of them walking around.

"And finally, already introduced, our singing alien Lorne," Buffy said with a smile. Chris shook his hand.


Xander watched with a sad smile as Jessica Mears danced and sang on the stage. He wondered briefly if she like some other singers playbacked. He found he really didn't care. It was a strange mixture of sadness and happiness when he watched her sing, and on occasion recognized Anya in her. On the one hand it reminded him once more of the fantastic woman and unborn child he lost, on the other, it was as if Anya wasn't quite dead yet. The fantasy of Anya actually being on that stage dancing and singing to her heart's content filled him with a pleasant warmth, accompanied by the sad pain.

He looked around. He saw Willow and Tara dance together. Faith seemed to be making a lap dance for Wesley despite the fact that he was standing. Dawn and Li-Huei were busy with a heavy make out session to the tunes of the music, and Natalie was giggling as Archie pulled her playfully off the ground.

The song came to an end, and Jessica, exclaimed, "Phew!" Her breathing could be heard through the microphone, while she was pulling her shirt back and forth like a fan. "Now that's tiring, I really need a breather," Jessica said and a stool was wheeled onto the stage, which had an aisle deep into the public, who cheered. She took the stool and wheeled it down the aisle saying, "I think you all like the next song, one that is better done gently sitting down." Once on the round island at the end of the aisle she pushed a handle down with her feet and the wheels moved up, the legs of the stool now standing solidly on the floor. She sat down upon the stool, named the song and the crowd went wild. The romantic music then started, and she started singing the romantic song.

Xander looked onward again, his gaze falling to his right on the final couple. Buffy and her new boyfriend Chris were clinging together. Chris seemed to gently sing along with the song, while Buffy planted a kiss in his neck and snuggled up close to him. Xander smiled sadly, feeling the lump in his throat forming, wishing Anya could still do that to him. On the other hand, Buffy and Chris seemed to fit together well, even though Dawn had complained to him about how they met. Xander shrugged, the way him and Anya started their relationship would have made many people think their relationship was doomed, but only death had torn them apart. Perhaps they would make it. Anyway, to him they seemed good for each other now.

Fred was taking care of Pike in his wheelchair. Both were having a good time, and so was Cordelia and Angel. The latter seemed to enjoy himself immensely, although obviously not enough to get one moment of true happiness. Xander remembered Angel's complaints about the horror's of modern 'drivel', so probably the sheer experience of being at a concert with a lot of other people, probably for the first time in his long life was what made him enjoy it. Night time concerts had its advantages for vampires. Xander frowned at that, but decided against searching for vamps in the crowd with his senses; there wasn't much he could do about it anyway without flying up, and he was here to enjoy himself. Vacation was necessary for everyone on occasion. Tiffany and Zoey were singing along loudly, swaying next to each other, and both having attracted a few guys who were watching them.

This song came to an end too, and Jessica put the wheels back under, then rode the stool back to the main stage, and said, "All right guys, I've got take a short few minutes break to change, and then I'm back." Indeed, in the two minutes she was gone some dancers and light show kept the people interested. Then Jessica's voice sounded once more as something raised out of the floor, "The next song I'd like to dedicate to two people who are in the audience at this moment, and you know who you are." By the time she finished talking, the elaborate set piece had risen up, and Jessica was sitting on part of it. She continued, "Last week my bodyguard was killed by some real nasty scum bags, and they tried to kill me too." The crowd grew silent at that announcement, and Jessica continued, "I still mourn his passing, and luckily for me, two heroes came around that defeated the killers and saved my life. This one's for you guys." The music started, and Jessica started a swinging dance, and somewhat rewritten version of 'thank you' originally from a very different artist.

Faith looked over to Xander and gave him a grin. He grinned back, and continued to listen to the song. Halfway, all the ones of the group able to feel energy looked up in shock, which was almost all of them. Xander instantly jumped up out of the crowd. With a whirl of golden energy he transformed, gaining thicker muscles, black fur almost everywhere on his body visible wherever his clothes allowed it, long hair to below his shoulders, golden irises with normal pupils, and the rest of his eyes bloodshot. A moment later the tall back wall of the set was breached. There was debris flying everywhere from a basketball-sized hole. Xander landed in between Jessica and the ball that was coming right at her and he squatted the ball up into space.

The crowd went silent, so did the music and Jessica, who looked at her hero now protecting her again. A moment later there was a sparkling on the scaffolding of the tall back wall, and revealed a mostly purple-wearing, blue-skinned and white-haired guy, sitting casually on a metal beam. His eyes crackled with energy, and his power was huge. "So, you're the one who killed my Xiara, eh?" Stribog asked, taking in Xander's fourth super form.

"Your Xiara? You're somewhat out of touch, aren't you? I destroyed that bitch over a year ago," Xander said, with a fearful singer behind her.

"I was somewhat detained. I'm Stribog, I'm the god of wind and thunder, and I will kill you for killing my wife," he said, and then blurred forward. His punch was blocked, and an uppercut later sent him high up into the air.

A moment later Stribog fired a purple energy ball blindly down, completely missing Xander and going straight for several houses next to the stadium in which the concert was being held. Xander blinked away, moving in front of the energy ball and squatted it away. A moment later Xander fired his own energy ball which the god avoided.

The crowed suddenly went wild at the fight; apparently they thought it was part of the show. Jessica suddenly turned fearfully back around, looking at the people. Her hero she couldn't even see anymore; there was just two streaks of light, one golden, and another white-blue. "Get out of here!" Jessica suddenly screamed hysterically. "This isn't part of the show! This is real!!" When people only screamed encouragements to her she jumped up and down terrified, yelling, "This isn't fake, damn it! Go! Run!" Then she had enough of it, and ran off the stage herself. Behind the set she suddenly slowed down and wondered if running really helped any. Well, she'd be a moving target instead of standing still one.

In the crowd, Xander's friends looked up, feeling the raw power the two combatants were putting out. "Shit," Li-Huei said, and then looked at Dawn. "Even if you all combined your strength, you wouldn't even be able to scratch him, could you?"

"Not really, no," Dawn said and powered a bit, floating off the ground. Li-Huei followed her with some strain, the others lifted off in the air as well. Buffy carried Chris, while Angel took Pike and his wheelchair. Wesley took Chloe and Archie, while Tara pulled Tiffany along. Their power rose, Faith transformed. The power washed over the rest of the audience, and then they slowly started realizing this wasn't a show.

"I'm going to transform, because we might have to get going quickly," Buffy told Chris, holding him close. "Don't be frightened, it'll still be me." Chris nodded, utterly dumfounded at the whole happening. He knew about flying of course, and the energy balls, but transforming, and especially Xander's transformation and the immense speeds he and the evil being were going at . . . With a wash of energy his girlfriend's energy suddenly turned blue, and her hair crackled with electric energy. The energy that he felt pulsing through his body made him feel safe somehow, the whirling hair looked kind of odd. Buffy opened her eyes slowly and looked at Chris. He flinched for a moment at the pools of blackness her eyes had turned into, and then went closer looking into her nervousness-filled eyes. It was really quite easy to spot when he looked deeper into those eyes, behind the black holes it were still the beauty's eyes.

"You're amazing," he said in awe, and she smiled.

Meanwhile Xander and Stribog were going at it with even greater power. Xander avoided a blow and landed one of his own, hit him with an energy ball and then crashed a knee in the God's gut. The god doubled over and flew backward, firing several powerful energy balls down. Quickly to keep the balls from leveling the city, Xander swished from one ball to another, gathering them all and firing them back to the god. Stribog looked in astonished and barely avoided the ball. The two powerful warriors paused for a moment.

"You're very powerful, /and/ very skilled," Stribog said with some surprise. Xander didn't say or do anything, taking in the god, letting all his senses go over him. He wasn't even nearly as skilled as Xiara, as if he hadn't been around - detained - for a very long time. But he had power, enormous reservoirs, and he healed rapidly, /too/ rapidly. Whatever damage Xander had inflicted was already gone, this Stribog healed faster than Glory, faster than Ram. To inflict serious damage on this bastard, with the city below. Stribog continued his speech, saying, "But it isn't enough."

Stribog streaked down to Xander landed a devastating punch, sending Xander streaking down. He grimaced, and stopped himself before he crashed into anything and shot back upward. He landed a powerful punch in the god's gut, doubling him over. Xander opened his fist at the same time, and with a yell fired a powerful energy beam from his hand. Stribog yelled out with pain as he was shot upward. Xander then changed the chi in the beam, and it suddenly ignited in fire. The fire shot up the beam almost instantly and Stribog was set ablaze. With a roar of defiance, Stribog threw his arms wide, raising his energy. A moment later Xander's energy beam and fire was dissipated. He emerged with quite a deep wounds in his chest, and burn marks across his body. Xander watched as the wounds healed in no time, the god grinning. "You can't win," the god said.

"I've heard that before, from your wife in fact," Xander said coldly, getting fed up with this game. He shot forward landing a flurry of blows, that Stribog partially parried or avoided. The following Tanekakosa Stribog avoided and pushed aside, while down below the stadium started emptying rapidly.

The god then fired several massive blasts, that Xander took to his chest, dampening the explosions with his life force so the city wouldn't be destroyed. They hurt, Xander knew he was hurt, but he didn't really pay attention. He shot upward, grabbed one hand, and with a roar crashed an uppercut into the pit of Stribog's shoulder. Xander didn't let go, nor let he slow his hand. A moment later Stribog screamed in agony as Xander finished tearing off his arm. Xander shot back a bit, holding the god's arm. Stribog grimaced at Xander, growling, "You will pay for that."

Xander felt the arm in his arm dissolve, even as slowly the shoulder wound closed and a small arm started to grow. Xander looked down for a moment as the blue goo that had been Stribog's arm fell down, splashing on a roof of a flat building. Xander looked back up and watched the new arm grow steadily. "Damn it," Xander said and shot forward, firing multiple energy balls that Stribog had difficulty with bashing aside with only one arm, soon to be two once more. Xander crashed both fists into the god, one after another, into the stomach, and up across the god's cheeks. Xander then shot away, squatting aside his one energy ball that was going toward the city after Stribog had squatted it aside.

Xander returned to the god a moment later, watching as the arm finished regrowing. The god grinned, shaking his arm for a moment getting it all back in order. "You can't beat me, not without destroying the city?" Stribok mocked. "Even if you had the power, you will never beat me, you fool. You won't dare to hurt the people below." He laughed then.

Xander narrowed his eyes at him, tail dangerously flailing about. He looked down at the city for a moment, then turned back, and said, "I know, that's why I've been trying out ways to destroy you without hurting anyone below. I know now I can't, but if I didn't know I have to sacrifice some people before, thanks for the tip."

The god looked astonished, and then Xander sped forward smashing his arm across the god's stomach, grabbing a hold. With an oof the god doubled over and was then rapidly flown upward. "What?" he groaned not comprehending.

Once Xander was high enough for his liking he let go, sending the god onward, who stopped himself, looking stunned as Xander charged a massive ball of energy between his hands. He pulled them back then, charging it with more bluish energy, and he yelled, "*Tanekakosa Annihilation*!!"

A moment later the devastatingly powerful energy attack shot upward, straight at Stribog. The god's eyes widened in shock as he saw the attack widen rapidly, so he couldn't avoid it. He put his hands against the ball, and screamed at the pain and strain of trying to keep it from engulfing him. To no avail, for the ball continued, sizzling along his arms, hitting his body. A moment later there was a huge, massive, devastating explosion, shooting outward in all directions.

Xander had stopped firing the attack by then, and charged a shield in the shape of a bowl above him. A moment later the explosion crashed against his shield, which held. In this shape, Xander could capture a whole lot more of the explosion than if he had made a flat one, or one with the round edge pointing upward. He shot down, expanding the shield, capturing the energies before they hit the city below. But even the shield couldn't hold it all.

Some of the energy, a lot of them energy balls flew over the upper edge of the shield and then down below. Faith saw it happening, and called to Buffy, "Let's go, B."

Buffy nodded, handing Chris over to Willow and blasted off toward a different part of the city where energy balls was raining down from where Faith had gone. A few moments later the Super Slayers arrived at their chosen locations - residential areas - much too late to keep the first balls from impacting which had already destroyed several buildings. There they started deflecting energy balls, or blocking them from hitting the city.

Meanwhile Xander - still shooting downward - was slowing down, steadily getting more control of the cooling down shockwaves of energy, who were no longer blinding white. With a roar Xander stopped his downward momentum, and then flew upward, steadily increasing speed, pushing the energy of the explosion back up. Thus the shield and it's bowl edges went up as well, containing more energy, although the initial horizontal moving part of the shockwave was long gone and was rolling across the atmosphere, not doing much damage. Xander went higher and higher, faster and faster. Finally he brought the upper edges of the shield together, enclosing the energy in a ball. Once more he gathered his energy into his hands and then shot the ball into outer space. Several moments later the ball shrank as the energy dissipated harmlessly. Satisfied, Xander then shot down and started deflecting the excess energy away from the city.

After a short while they were done, and he, Buffy and Faith joined together, looking painfully at the about twenty burning buildings, and another ten collapsed ones. "Damn," Faith muttered as she took in the carnage.

Xander nodded, saying, "All the gods be damned."

Buffy looked over, and said gently, "Do you think this is the one behind killing Anya?"

"No, this guy seemed to have been imprisoned until recently," Xander said demure. He then looked down at his bloody chest, and murmured, "I'm going to need some time in the regeneration chamber soon."


The next day inside the hotel, Buffy was sitting in Chris' lap at the (late) breakfast table. She giggled lightly as she fed him a piece of bread, then kissed him on his cheek. Dawn rolled her eyes at the scene, stuffed her mouth with her sandwich and then left in disgust. Xander watched from his position leaning against the counter and smiled, happy for Buffy. She and her boyfriend seemed to be hitting it off really well. His chest was wrapped in some bandages.

Tara and Willow were eating as well, while most of the Angel team had had breakfast earlier and went about their work. Last night, all those able had been helping with getting out any survivors. Most of the fires and explosions were attributed to some mundane things, others to terrorists fucking up mixing explosions, one on a successful terrorist attack, and a few more on straying meteorites, although Xander guess most people, especially those at the concert knew better than the official story. Xander wondered how long authorities could keep spinning things around before people completely stopped believing them. Humanity was waking up, piece by piece, he knew.

"I'd like to return to Sunnydale," Xander suddenly said with a sad smile. Willow, Tara, and Buffy looked surprised at him.

"You sure? You won't be moping about all day, doing nothing?" Buffy asked bluntly.

Xander nodded, then smiled, saying, "I'll go looking for whoever was behind Anya's death, and he, she, or they will wish they were never borne."

Willow and Tara smiled sadly, and Tara said, nodding her head quirkily, "We'll help."

Buffy smiled, biting off a piece of bread, and put the remaining half into Chris' mouth, and she said, "See, I was right, spending some time here did make you feel better." Xander gave her a smile and nodded in acceptance.

So Xander went upstairs to pack.


An hour later the reunited Scooby Gang was standing outside the hotel, out on the pavement. They had said their goodbyes to most of the Angel Team, only now waiting for Cordelia and Wesley, who were due to return from the hospital picking up her test results. The Angel Team themselves - except Angel of course, due to crispy consequences - were also waiting with them. It didn't take very long before Cordelia cam bounding down the pavement, Wesley right behind her.

Xander smiled at her, then was surprised when the ex-cheerleader suddenly jumped and flew around his neck. He dropped his suitcases and wrapped his arms around her quickly. "No more decay! No more decay, Xan! I'm not getting my damaged brain cells back, but my mind is powerful enough to handle the visions! I haven't lost any unnatural amount of brain cells!" she yelled extremely happy. She then planted a huge kiss on his lips, pulling back and laughing. Everyone, including Xander himself, looked astonished at Cordelia for a while, then they smiled at her.

"That's great, Cordelia!" Xander said with a huge smile, twisting the girl around happily. "But about those brain cells not coming back, we'll have to see, we won't let up on your training." Cordelia happily nodded her head.

Willow said with confusion, "I thought Human brain cells /can't/ divide, or heal."

"That's true now," Xander said with a smile.

Cordelia laughed and said, "I won't die anytime soon! Yes! Yes! Yes!"

Wesley, his faced covered in lipstick, grinned at the scene. Faith came over, and mock-jealously said, "Cordelia, you kissed my boyfriend! You skank!" Smiling, Wesley wrapped Faith in a hug, and she melted in his arms.

Cordelia grinned, and said, "Sorry, but I couldn't help myself!" She got off Xander and jumped Lorne next, hugging him happily, kissing him too. The brunette then moved on to Buffy, hugging the startled Slayer deeply, continuing on to her boyfriend, not really noticing who she was hugging and yelling her happiness at. When she had hugged all of them, leaving a flustered Chris and Tara, Xander grinned, picked up his suitcases and walked onto the street after checking for cars.

"Okay," Xander said, looking up, about ready to fly away. His eyes, and all the other's suddenly widened in shock and fear. Seemingly out of nowhere a huge boulder, about the size of a good, five-story house appeared above Xander and came crashing down. In reflex he dropped the bags, powered up fully and placed his hands under the boulder. It was much too heavy and he sank to his knees, smaller and smaller, straining with all he had against the huge rock. His muscles and ligaments threatened to tear and be destroyed, and he couldn't transform. The strain on his body just keeping from being crushed was too much, he didn't have anything left to initiate a transformation to any of the Super Saiyan levels.

He suddenly stopped grimacing, the pressure was gone, just like that. His widened and he looked shocked around, seeing the others looking shocked back at him, except Cordelia. Her hands were holding her head, blood oozed from one nose hole, and her face was grimacing in pain. "HURRY! TRANSFORM! CAN'T HOLD LONGER!" she screamed out suddenly, staggering back.

Xander's eyes widened further, and roared, his golden energy swirling around him. A moment later Xander in his fourth level, even as he stood up, yelled, "I got it, Cordelia! Let go!"

Cordelia relaxed, and then dropped bonelessly down. "Cordy!" Lorne yelled, lunging for Cordelia, as did Faith. A moment later both of them held the telepath and eased her slowly down to the ground.

"*WHY WON'T YOU DIE*!?" a hysterical voice screamed out, and Hera teleported in, floating in the air. She had already charged a ball of energy, with both hands above her head. Her face was twisted in hysterics, panic, terror, possibly all the way into insanity. Her glowing green eyes looked fearful, and she fired the ball of energy. A moment later it crashed against Xander and exploded. Xander had had just enough time to raise his shield, but staggered on the combined force of the energy ball and the weight and bad leverage of the rock he was holding. With extreme difficulty he kept from letting the rock go, possibly crushing his friends, but rolling over the other way if he managed and crushing innocents. Hera raised her hands again, powering a bigger energy ball. As thunder clouds gathered above her, she screamed, "*Witches! Asteroids! Poison! Demons! WHATEVER I DO YOU WON'T DIE!! NOW DIEEEEE!!*"

Everyone looked in shock at the spectacle, except Willow and Tara. In reflex they had grabbed each other hands the moment the goddess had started charging her second attack. They didn't even fully grasp what they did, completely in sync they just brabbled an improvised spell together, gathering their energy, and fired off an oddly pink, orange, golden, and purple ball of energy just before the goddess fired her own. About a meter from her, the two energy balls collided, and instantly several bolts of energy shot away from the collision point. A moment later there was a powerful sound as the two energy attacks reacted together. All the good guys could see was swirl of energy with a rounded edge, the energy pulsing around the edge and seeming as if there was a way down into nothingness.

Hera though could see straight into the energy vortex, a small wormhole. Massive gravitational forces sucked at Hera who was immediately pulled down. "*NO! NOOOO*!!!" Hera screamed in utter terror, struggling away from the vortex, but she was too close. Some energy jumped upward and latched onto her, as if she was too close to an electrically charged object. With a scream of such terror and pain it sent chills down everyone's spine Hera disappeared into the vortex, and then it collapsed and disappeared.

Everyone looked at the empty air astonished, the thunderclouds above calmed down some, but lightning still flashed. A moment later Xander tossed the boulder up just a little, went up himself, circled backward and kicked hard. Part of the boulder cracked and shattered, sending some debris raining down, the rest of the boulder though flew upward. A Tanekakosa later the boulder was no more. Xander twisted to Willow and Tara, and exclaimed, "What did you do!?"

The witches looked at each other for a moment, and Willow answered, "We don't know, it was reflex, we just mumbled something about deflecting and banishing, and fired."

Xander blinked and looked down at Cordelia, and asked Faith or Lorne, "How is she?"

Faith started to answer, but Cordelia groaned and weakly sat up. "Okay, although I've got a splitting headache - ouch, aargh - and I think I want to spend a few days on bed. Ow." She wiped away the blood above her lip and looked at it for a moment.

Wesley spoke up, "We better get you to the hospital and have you checked out again, just in case."

"What happened?" Xander then asked of Willow and Tara.

The witches looked at each other again, and Tara replied, "We're not certain. Some kind of interaction between the magic and her attack. I've got the distinct impression of something temporal though."

"Can you get us too follow wherever she went?" Xander asked hastily, his anger boiling.

"Basically," Willow answered embarrassed.

"Basically?" Xander prompted impatiently.

Tara explained, "I can sense still enough energy to magically follow, but we don't have the power to breach the space time continuum again like that. That was her and our power combined."

"You don't have to!" Xander said with sparkling, bloodthirsty eyes. "The interdimensional drive can do that, you just make sure the ship follows her! She's the bitch that had my Anya killed, I'm going to return the favor. Come on!"

Xander grabbed Willow and Tara, pulling them up, making them yelp in surprise. He looked at Wesley, Lorne and the weakened Cordy for a moment, and the men nodded, telling him they'd take care of the seer. "We're coming with!" Faith and Buffy blurted out together. Everyone looked at them, and they at each other. They smiled, and Buffy added, "There's no way we're staying behind, we help avenge Anya's death."

"Me too!" Dawn exclaimed already lifting in the air.

"No!" Xander exclaimed. "Not you, Dawn, you stay behind. You two come on then."

"But . . . !" Dawn was about to protest, but Xander blasted off already, as did Faith and Buffy, and Dawn slumped, knowing she couldn't keep up.

Xander called back, "You gotta stay here, hold the fort, Dawn! After Spike you're the strongest!"

Li-Huei grabbed Dawn and rubbed her shoulders. She turned to look at him in disappointment.


Some time later, the five of them were in Xander's ship. It shot up into the atmosphere, and out of it. He looked back, seeing Willow and Tara sitting across from each other on the ground. Faith and Buffy were on either side of Xander, looking confused at the many blinking lights. "Ready? Then I'll get this going," Xander said.

The candles the witches were using burned brighter and they nodded. Xander pushed the ignition button, and then the interdimensional field started twisting around the ship. A moment later it started glowing purple, as Willow's and Tara's magic fused with it, then the ship disappeared from view.

It appeared once more in space. Xander looked through the windows, as did the Slayers next to him. Willow and Tara got up a little woozily and joined them. Earth hung there, but none of them saw any familiar cities, just the continents.

"Uhm," Willow muttered, closing her eyes, as did Tara.

The blonde opened her eyes sooner, surprised, and said, "If I'm right, we're about ten thousand years in the past." Willow nodded in agreement.

Xander frowned, and then resolutely steered the ship for re-entry into the atmosphere. When it did, it glowed brightly, the air super heated around it. Thus piercing the heavens the space and interdimensional ship rocketed toward what would much later be China. There was hardly a living soul and other beings in that hemisphere that didn't see the piercing light as Xander's ship streaked toward ground, where, close to the coast, on a rock outcropping, it landed.