Charmé Ane Singe

Author: Greywolf <greywolfb[at]>

I don't own them Joss does I'm just playing with them for a little bit.

charmed characters: Created by Constance M. Burge , the series is produced by Spelling Television, Inc., a Paramount/Viacom company. Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent

Spoilers: A/U season 7 of Buffy and A/U for Charmed



Feedback: always welcome!

Authors Notes: Special Thanks to Shadow_Quark for letting me bounce ideas off him.

Latest addition

Chapter 1

Spike is sitting in a chair, wrapped in a blanket while the others talk in an adjacent room. Buffy, Xander, Anya, Willow and Dawn are all there. Spike's listening to them.

"And you believe him?" Anya asks incredulously

"You didn't see him down there. He really didn't know what he'd done. It wasn't in his control." Buffy argues.

Xander angrily blurts, "Oh, an out of control serial killer. You're right, that is a great houseguest."

"Wait, is he-is he staying here?" Dawn nervously asks.

"I don't know. But I'm not letting him out of my sight, that's for sure."

"Buffy, he's been feeding... on human blood. That's got to do stuff." Willow states.

"I'm not keeping him around just to help him. I think there was something there, talking to him, making him do things. "

"Something like what was talking to us?" The reformed Wiccan asks.

"Maybe. But if it was, it's been screwing with Spike big time."

"So, you want him around because...?" Xander asks getting angrier by the moment.

"Look, there's something evil working us, and if we are ever gonna have a chance to fight it, we need to learn everything we can about it. This thing has been closer to Spike than any of us."

"And if you want to understand it...." Willow starts.

"I'm gonna have to get close to Spike."

"Nah, it's too dangerous." Xander argues while vigorously shaking his head.

"I don't have a choice. Whatever this thing is, from beneath us, it's bad, and it's only getting worse. "

"Sure you have a choice you stake that evil son of a bitch and ask the council for help! And another thing! You put him in my house? Without checking the chip? Didn't think about that did you no… Poor soul bearing Spike cant hurt a fly… Well now we know better!"

Xander's anger had reached a boiling point.

"And wasn't it just three weeks ago we were sitting in this same damn room and you were all hell bent on killing Anya? And I begged you not to? What your demon lovers get a reprieve from the all mighty slayer while the rest of ours just gets the sword? I'm suprised you let Oz live! Damn he could of killed Willow several times!" Xander yells while pacing about the living room.

"Xander that's enough!" Willow cries as she catches him by the arm.

"No its not Wills I'm sick and tired of Buffy standing up for that raping killer!"

"You begged Buffy not to kill me?" Anya asks from her corner.

"Not now Anya!" Xander spits back at her and turns back to Buffy.

"Well Buffy you want choices here's you a choice, either you stake that killer or I'm gone. Not just from this house but gone, as in gone from this town, this fight, your life!"

"Xander I can't, I need his help. Please don't make me choose between you and my duties." Buffy pleads with him.

"Well I guess you've made your choice." Xander sighs and grabs his coat and turns for the door.

"Xander no!" Dawn cries as she jumps up and hugs him to her.

"I'm sorry Dawnie but I can't do this any more. If I could take you with me I would just get you away from that murderer but I can't." Xander tells the crying teen. He bends and kisses her on the forehead and gently pushes her away.

"But who's going to make sure I get to school on time?" she sniffles.

"I don't know Dawn I just don't know. I'm sorry but I've got to go."

And with that Xander walks out the door and on to a new life.


Before leaving Sunnydale Xander had went to his boss and asked if he had any positions open in other towns he could transfer to and found out about a little home repair outfit the company owned in San Francisco that needed a new foreman / manager. Xander quickly jumped at the opportunity.


Xander walks into his office and sits behind his cluttered desk. His thoughts are on the friends he's left back in Sunnydale when his secretary walks into the room.

"Mr. Harris?" She quietly calls.

"Shelly I've been here two weeks now…how may times do I have to tell you it's Xander." He replies while giving her a patented Harris grin.

Shelly blushes and continues. "There's a call on line one I think it might be a job."

"Thanks Shelly." Xander replies as he picks up the phone.

"Quality Construction…. Xander Harris here how can I help you."

"Yes Mr. Harris my name is Piper Halliwell and I might have a job for you."

"Ok Miss Halliwell can I ask what type of construction we are talking about?" Xander asks into the phone.

"Well me and my sisters are looking for a reliable firm to do some restoration projects for our house and club. Would your company be interested?"

"Sure sounds good Miss Halliwell um… how much work are we talking about anyways full restorations or just touchup work?"

"How about you come by the house and you can take a look at what we've got and we'll go from there ok?"

"Sounds good how about noon today?"

"Great I'll see you then."

At noon Xander pulls up to the address Piper had given him and knocks on the door and Piper answers.

"Hi you must be Mr. Harris." She states as she ushers him in the door. Xander glances around the entry way and his shoulders sag as he sees scorch marks on the walls and dagger holes on the stairway.

"Well all we need now is blown out windows." He mumbles to himself as he plasters a Xander lopsided grin on his face.

"What was that?" Piper asks from in front of him as she leads him into the living room.

"Oh nothing." He replies as he sees the two other sisters sitting on a sofa.

"Phoebe, Paige this is Xander Harris. Mr. Harris my sisters Phoebe and Paige."

Xander shakes hands with the two beautiful witches and his eyes lock with Paige's and his grin gets a little bigger.

"Ladies it's a pleasure." He replies while never breaking eye contact with the red headed sister. He finally shakes himself clear and sits in the chair Piper shows him to as Phoebe giggles at his reaction to her sister.

"Well Mr. Harris…." Piper starts when Xander interrupts her.

"Please its Xander my dad is Mr. Harris."

"Well Xander tell us about your experience."

"Lets see I'm from a small town in southern California and have been doing repairs and full construction for about 3 years . I started as a grunt and worked my way up to foreman. About 3 weeks ago the company I worked for needed a foreman / manager here to rebuild the firm I now run. My specialties run in dry wall and earthquake damage repair." Xander looks carefully at each witch thinking about his next sentence and decides to go for it.

"Oh yeah I also specialize in demon induced damage. Now mind telling me why you've got demon scorches in the hall way?"

Phoebe jumps up and takes a defensive stance while glaring at him while Piper just stares.

"Um… Xander what do you know about demons?" Paige asks him studying his relaxed posture in the face of Phoebe's obvious marshal arts stance.

"Girls I've been in the demon business for far too long to be tactful, especially when I run into others that know what's really going on in the world. Now mind telling me what's going on?"

"Um… sorry Xander but I don't think your company will fit our needs." Piper tells Xander while trying to lead him out.

"Ok wait I need the work and for some reason I kinda trust you girls. Let me finish my story." Xander tells the charmed ones.

"The small town I'm from is Sunnydale does that mean any thing to you?" Xander asks.

"Sunnydale? As in vamp central Sunnydale?" Phoebe asks.

"That's the one and the person I've been helping has been fighting them and demons for seven years."

"You fought along side the Slayer…." Piper whispers.

"Yeah saved the world, foiled prophesies, killed the bad guys, you know the whole enchilada. Now what's your story." Xander asks the shocked witches.

"Xander? What do you know about witches?" Paige asks.

"Well quite a lot actually with my best friend being one and all."

Cole walks in from the kitchen. "Phoebe? We've got a prob… Oh sorry I didn't see you had company."

Xander glances at the new person in the room and does a double take. "Wait I know you but from where… Oh yeah you were at my wedding!"

"Cole you know Xander?" Phoebe asks.

"Not that I can remember." He replies

"Sure you do Cole or isn't it Balthezar?" Xander quips.

Cole and the witches stare at Xander waiting for an answer to their unspoken question.

"Cole here was invited to my wedding by my ex-fiancé Man how she went on about you. Her name is Anya or as old Cole here knows her, Anyaka, she's an ex-vengeance demon." Xander tells the group.

Cole starts laughing. "Oh yeah you're the idiot that left her at the alter! I'm suprised you're still alive. The Anya I knew would have had you eviscerated in half a heart beat in her glory days. Hell I'm surprised Hallie didn't do it for her. Those two were never far from each other."

"Yeah Hallie probably would have eventually if D'Hofryn hadn't killed her." Xander sighs. "I liked Hallie too."

"Excuse me ladies I've got something I've got to go do . D'Hofryn you say? Ok I'll be back later Phoebe." Cole says while flashing out of the room.

"Well that's one upper level demon we aren't going to have to worry about now." Paige says to Xander "I think that little bit of info pissed Cole off."

Xander turns back to the three witches. "Now that we know where Cole and I know each other from do you mind if I ask why you all are hanging with a demon? And who are you people? You know who and what I've been in the past now who are you three."

"Uh Xander we are the Charmed Ones." Paige tells him and can tell by his blank stare he hasn't got a clue what the charmed ones are.

Piper takes mercy on him and starts to explain. "Xander we're kinda like your Slayer the Elders have bestowed the powers and duty to protect innocents on us."

"Well its not that I don't trust you but with all that I've seen and done you wouldn't mind if I check on there actually being Charmed Ones?" Xander asks while taking out his cell phone and starts dialing.

Leo orbs in and yells to Piper to freeze Xander. After Xander is froze Leo starts. "That was close."

"Leo would you mind telling me why I just froze a friend of the Slayer… Wait he is a friend of the Slayer right?" Piper asks.

"Yes every thing he's told you is the truth. Man he has a great place reserved up there for when he gets there. The things he's done. You know he, single handedly, saved all humanity about eight months ago." Leo tells the witches.

"Then why freeze him?" Paige asks.

"He was calling the person who almost killed all humanity eight months ago. A witch who went all the way to the dark side. You all felt the shift in the balance of power between good and evil then. It was one witch bent on revenge that became the most powerful being ever."

"Where was her whitelighter Leo?" Paige asks.

"She never was assigned one. The Elders needed her to turn and come back. You know the story forged in the fires of hell and all that? Well Willow and her girlfriend never were assigned any."

"Leo what are you not telling us." Phoebe asks.

"You really don't want to know this Phoebe."

"Leo…." Piper glares at her husband.

"Oh all right just don't look at me like that….Tara was the stability in Willow's life. The Elders allowed the couple to break up because of Willow's use of magic. That's not the bad part, Tara was killed by a stray bullet the morning after the couple got back together. "It was Tara's death that caused Willow to turn to black magic and seek vengeance. The sad thing? Willow was well on the way to redemption. She had cleaned up her magic usage and was better. She killed a human, Piper, now she'll never get a whitelighter."

"The Elders let this happen? They let a good witch die on purpose?" Paige asks.

"Yeah all of us whitelighters were strictly forbidden from interfering. The Elders said it was for a greater good."

"What greater good Leo? What could justify an innocents death at the hands of the Elders none the less?" Piper yells at the whitelighter.

"Killing the Source Piper, not just vanquishing it, but destroying it for ever. I'm sorry Phoebe but if it's in Cole when the time comes…. Well you know what will happen."

"Is she that powerful?" Paige asks.

"More so. That's why I don't want her to know of you three just yet. At least not until I check to make sure she's back on the side of light." Leo replies.

"Well what do we tell him." Paige asks glancing towards the still frozen Xander.

"Well how about the truth!" Phoebe states. "If he's so great like you say he is Leo then we tell him the truth that we know he's calling what's her name …oh yeah Willow and that we can't be exposed to her yet cause Leo has to make sure she's not evil any more."

"Oh yeah that will go over great." Paige groans.

Phoebe walks over to Paige and pops open another button on Paige's blouse exposing more cleavage. "There the way he was looking at you earlier that'll take his mind off calling Willow."

Chapter 2

When Xander un-freezes he instantly notices every one has moved except himself.

"Ok damn it who did the witch fu on me!" He complains.

"I'm so sorry Xander but I had to stop you from making that call." Piper tells the pissed off carpenter.

"It's my fault Xander but I couldn't let you expose The Charmed Ones to Willow just yet." Leo blurts out.

"And who the hell are you and… wait… how do you know about Willow." Xander says while facing off with Leo.

"I'm Piper's husband." Leo tells him

"All of it Leo I don't want any secrets. He needs to know what you are if there's ever to be any trust between the Slayer's group and us." Piper tells her husband.

"Piper you know that's against the rules! I don't have permission to tell him that."

"Well go and get it. If what you told us earlier is true then it shouldn't be a big problem should it." Phoebe argues as she moves to stand next to Piper.

"Actually Piper I'm no longer part of Buffy's group. I left it a month ago. We had issues." Xander tells the witch.

"Trust me Xander the way you just went all defensive at the mention of Willow's name, you're still apart of it." Leo tells him.

"Ok I still don't know you and I really don't like the fact that you know of my friends. Normally that means trouble for them and you don't want to be the one to do that. " Xander says while turning his attention back to Leo.

"Look Xander we're all on the same side and honestly I don't want to fight with you."

"Leo go get the permission you need and Xander you sit!" Paige tells the two as she steps in between them.

"This is getting out of hand all I wanted was a carpenter and now I've got a friend of the Slayer to deal with." Piper whispers to Phoebe.

"What are the odds of us meeting him out of all the carpenters in this city? I think someone set up this little meeting don't you?" Phoebe whispers back.

"Leo I want you to go to the Elders and ask them why we needed to meet Xander this way. Ok sweetie? I don't think the permission thingy is such a big issue right now. I think they set up this little gathering and I want to know why. I think Xander is on the right track in being nervous cause we didn't need a friend of the Slayer just to be our handy man. Something's up so go find out ok?" Piper tells her husband.

"Hey wait can I call someone other then Willow to find out about you guys?" Xander asks suddenly.

"Leo turns to him and asks, "Who did you have in mind? I don't think the Slayer would know of us."

"If you know of Willow then you know of Giles and if anyone would know of the Charmed Ones it would be him." Xander tells him.

Leo thinks for a moment. "Yeah good idea I don't see any problem with calling Mr. Giles just as long as you make sure he knows not to tell Willow about us just yet."

"Ok trust points just went up." Xander says while flipping open his cell phone and dials England.

"Who's this Giles guy?" Paige asks Leo.

"The Slayers old watcher." He tells her just before he orbs out.

"Crap I hate when he does that, what's a watcher?" She mumbles to herself.

"Shh", Phoebe hushes her while listening to Xander's conversation.

"Hey G-man!" Xander starts.

"Xander? Good lord it's eleven o'clock at night and I've told you not to call me that. Now what do I owe the pleasure of this call?" Giles calmly asks his dear friend.

"Uh Giles I need some information. What do you know about The Charmed Ones?"

"The Charmed Ones? Well let's see. There was this prophesy of three witches, sisters actually, that fight on the side of good. Why do you ask?"

"Well cause I'm standing here with three beautiful sisters that claim to be them. Giles they know all about Buffy and Willow."

"Well let me look in my books real quick. Oh yes here it is. Is there anyone else there with you?" Giles asks.

"There was a demon here I met at my wedding but he's gone, oh and Piper's husband who just vanished in a swirl of blue lights."

"Ok that's the one, he would be their whitelighter."

"Their what?" Xander asks.

"Whitelighter Xander or for a better turn of words their Guardian Angel." Giles replies.

"So they are on the up and up?"

"I don't know for sure Xander but it sounds like they are who they claim they are. You said they knew about Buffy and Willow?"

"They know about all of us at least Leo does, he's Piper's husband."

"Well that would seem to fit with his being their guardian angel. Just be careful Xander there's no telling who they might be if they are imposters."

"Thanks Giles you've been a great help. Oh yeah they said for you not to tell Willow about them just yet."

"Really now… that's odd ask them why will you?" Giles asks.

"Giles here wants to know why Willow can't know about you just yet." Xander asks the three witches.

"Tell him we want to be sure she's fully back on the side of light first." Phoebe replies.

Xander relays their answer to Giles.

"Well they are a cautious lot aren't they? Ok I wont tell Buffy or Willow of this but I want you to keep me informed. I'll also go to the coven here and ask about your witches. If they are not who they claim then their knowledge of us could be dangerous."

"Ok Giles thanks and I will keep you informed, bye." Xander says loud enough to be sure the witches heard him as he hangs up the phone.

"Well what did your friend say?" Piper asks Xander

"He said you sound real enough but for me to be careful."

"Smart man. Its always good to be cautious." Piper replies back.

Just then Leo orbs back in.

"Damn Leo that was the quickest meeting you've ever had with the guys upstairs, what happened?" Piper asks.

"Well you were right… They did set up this little meeting. It seems that The Source is making a new play." Leo explains to his wife

"Hold on there Leo what's The Source and what's it got to do with me? I'm just a carpenter now trying to get a little company straightened out." Xander exclaims to the whitelighter.

"Xander your way more then just a carpenter and you know it." Leo shoots back. "The Elders need your help to coordinate us with the Slayer and with the Seer's group down in L.A."

"The Seer's group? Who the heck is that." Paige asks.

"The Seer I thought she was the Source's confidant." Phoebe asks.

"Different seer. This one's on our side and Xander here knows her personally." Leo looks at Xander who now has a perplexed look on his face.

"Please Leo don't tell me I've got to deal with Cordy now. Oh and dead boy? Please tell me he's not a part of their plan too?"

"Xander does the phrase …From beneath you it devours… mean anything to you?" Leo asks.

"Uh… yeah that's the new Big Bad's calling card in Sunnydale. Why?"

"Well it seems the Source has teamed up with some un-known evil and its wreaking havoc in L.A. right now." Leo tells him.

"Is Cordy ok? Has Buffy been told yet…."Xander blurts out.

"That's why we need you Xander you're the link to all of us now. You know all the players on our side. The side of light." Leo tells him.

"You know, one of these days I'm gonna get my hands on one of the Powers that Be and strangle it. I'm so tired of being their butt monkey." Xander sighs.

Paige laughs at Xander's statement and asks "So I guess that means you'll help?"

"Yeah I'll help…like I had any choice in the matter. But I got to tell you Willow is gonna have to be involved. Let me get this straight with you all right now. I will not plot or go against Willow or any other of my friends. If you deem Willow evil or not good enough for you then I'm gone no questions asked and no explanations given, got it?" Xander tells the group.

"Wow… can I keep him Leo?" Paige asks. "'I've never seen loyalty like that before."

"Well you don't know my Willow either." Xander tells the impressed witch.

"There is an easy test to find out if Willow's good or evil guys." Phoebe says out of the blue.

"Yeah? And what's that?" Piper asks.

"Have her try to touch the Book of Shadows. If she's evil she won't be able to."

"And then we'll have a super witch on our hands to deal with if she can't." Piper replies.

"Not if Xander is with her when she tries. I don't think Willow could hurt him on her worst day. Right Xander?" Leo asks.

"Well not seriously I don't think." He replies while stroking the faded scars on his cheek. "And I think you all are worrying too much anyways. Willow's not evil anymore." Xander confidently states.

"Do you think you could get her here soon?" Piper asks.

"That I don't know. I left on kinda a bad note when I left Sunnydale."

"I know I stopped you from calling her just a few minutes ago but do you think you could call her and see if she's willing to come see you? Maybe see how you're doing after your move up here? You know some excuse other then we want her here to test to see how evil she might be?" Piper asks Xander.

"Yeah I can try later on tonight. I don't know if she'll leave Buffy with the new baddie in town but I'll try. Now let's get back to why I'm here in the first place you need a carpenter." Xander tells the witches and Paige takes his arm and proceeds to give him a tour of the mansion.

Chapter 3

Giles was already with the coven in Devon when he received the call from Xander. So instead of going back to bed he left his small room and wandered the compound. He came across a small clearing and found the coven's high priestess kneeling in front of a small alter performing some ritual. Giles stayed back in the shadows while Amanda completed her tasks.

"Rupert you don't have to spy from the dark." Amanda calls out while never looking up from the alter. Giles walks into the clearing just as the priestess blows out the candles on the alter.

"Now what brings you out at this hour?" She asks while gathering up her supplies.

"I just received a call from one of my charges in California and it has me sort of perplexed." He replies to the older woman.

"I gather it wasn't from Willow or you would have named her right off so I figure it was from the Slayer?" Amanda asks.

"Neither really. It was from Xander." He tells her.

"Ah the boy… So what has you perplexed Rupert if you don't mind me asking?"

"Of course I don't mind Amanda. Actually I needed to talk to the coven about what he told me." It seems he has stumbled upon a group of witches claiming to be the Charmed Ones and he called me to verify their existence."

"Oh my." Amanda exclaims. "The Charmed Ones are not at the Hellmouth Rupert so he couldn't have met them there."

"Xander's not in Sunnydale any longer He had a falling out with Buffy about a month ago and he has since moved to San Francisco." Giles tells the priestess.

"Well that changes things then. The Charmed Ones do live in that fair city and it is quite probable for your young friend to have met them there." Suddenly Amanda gets a look of enlightenment about her and she stares Giles in the eye.

"Rupert walk with me… there's something I need to show you."

The two walk in restless silence for about an hour and suddenly come upon an ancient obelisk

"The ancient druids are known for never leaving a written trace as to their activities as you well know." Amanda quotes. "And for all but this monument that fact is true. Why they left it was always a mystery to me until now. Look at the symbols Rupert they tell a story."

Giles examines the weathered stone and for the life of him can't decipher the archaic runes. He turns to Amanda and she sighs. She points at the obelisk and chants "reveal".

The runes magically start to shift and form words and slowly Giles is able to read the tale the ancients left foretelling the rise of a normal human that unites the warriors of light in a battle against the First Evil and it's allies.

"You're not suggesting that Xander is…" Giles starts to say motioning towards the obelisk.

"You tell me Rupert. He is a normal man thrust in the middle of some extra ordinary people. First the Slayer and Willow and now the Charmed Ones. And I'm guessing there's more out there he's involved with or knows." Amanda explains to Giles.

Just then Leo decides to orb in. "Priestess Amanda it's a pleasure as always." He says as he bows towards the elderly woman.

"Leo it's about time you showed up I was starting to wonder if you got lost or something."

Giles looks on as he tries to digest the sparkly entrance the whitelighter just made.

"Leo this is Mr. Rupert Giles, watcher extraordinaire." Amanda grins as she introduces Giles.

"Mr. Giles it is a great honor." Leo states as he holds out his hand towards the startled watcher.

"No the honor is mine Leo, it's not every day you get to meet a guardian angel." Giles answers as he shakes the offered hand.

"Ahhh… so you've heard of me."

"Well Leo why don't you tell me how I have heard of you." The wary watcher asks.

Leo lets loose a heartfelt laugh. "Man you guys on the Slayer's team sure are suspicious. Ok I'll play… Xander's just left my house and I'll guess he told you about me." The whitelighter replies.

"So I'm to assume Xander's has met with The Charmed Ones." Giles asks Amanda.

"Yes Rupert. Leo is their whitelighter." She replies.

"Very good then. Oh and Leo it's not suspicion on our part. It's just that we are dealing with the oldest surviving Slayer and it's better to ere on the side of caution then to just jump in with both feet all of the time." Giles tells his companions.

"No harm there it's just you remind me of my wife Piper is all." Leo jokes.

"Well I can see how one would find that amusing." Giles curtly replies.

"That's quite enough Rupert. Quit being so stuffy. I thought living in California for five and a half years would have loosened you up some. I vouch for Leo here and if he says Xander is safe and they mean no harm to your precious Slayer then I believe him." Amanda tells Giles.

"Actually Amanda I'm not here to talk about my charges or the Slayer. What I need to know about is Willow. How is she and is she over the dark influences yet." Leo cringes as he asks.

"Well how about you give us a lift back to my cottage Leo and we can sit and discuss what ever it is you need. My old bones are not what they used to be and I don't feel like walking back for an hour." The priestess says to Leo.

"Take my hands." Leo offers the two and in a swirl of lights the trio disappears.


"And this is our club." Paige states as she and Xander are walking up the awning covered sidewalk at P3. Both are dressed in more fashionable clothes. A line of people had already started to gather when the two arrived so Paige led Xander straight to the bouncer at the door. "George this is Xander Harris. He gets special treatment whenever he's here ok." She tells the hulking bald man.

"As you wish Miss. Matthews. It's a pleasure Mr. Harris." The large man replies as he extends his hand to Xander." He shakes the offered hand and answers," Call me Xander please."

"Ah a working man." George smiles as he evaluates Xander's firm calloused grip.

"Are my sisters here yet?" Paige asks. Interrupting the male bonding ritual transpiring in front of her.

"Miss Phoebe is but I haven't seen Mrs. Piper yet." George replies while un-hooking the velvet rope for the couple.

"Thanks George, keep it safe out here ok?" She tells the bouncer as she leads Xander into the club.

"Nice man you got there Paige, where'd you find him?" Xander asks as they stand on the landing entering the club.

"Oh we just conjured him up one day no biggie." Paige casually replies.

Xander stands frozen in place staring slack jawed at the witch. "That's a joke Xander." Paige giggles at his stunned look

"Come on!" She happily squeals as she leads him on into the fray.

They slowly work their way to the bar and Paige yells out to the barmaid. "Sally this guys money isn't any good here tell your girls!" She links her arm through Xander's and asks, "Well Mr. Harris what's to drink?"

They order their drinks and make their way over to the sister's private booth and find Phoebe sitting there alone.

"Hi sis what's the what?" Paige exclaims as she flops down on the couch next to Phoebe. Her bra-less breast jiggling enticingly for Xander's enjoyment.

"And where have you two been all day?" Phoebe asks smiling back at her sister.

"Well I showed Xander the house and he took me to a couple of sites his crews are working on. They're good Phoebe."

"Yeah…you probably cost me half a days work from the crews and a week of bad jokes from the guys you know that don't you." Xander jokes as he nudges up against Paige.

"Really now… What did my saucy little sister do to cause you all this trouble?" Phoebe asks.

"You see Paige here failed to notice and I failed to tell her that her shirt was still un-buttoned the way it was this morning. That's really not the safest way to visit a construction site I hope you know." Xander replied.

Phoebe covers her mouth and tries to stifle her laughter. "So how many injuries are we talking about?" She giggles.

"Just one and I'm sure Mike wont even have a limp by next week. Sledge hammer accident wasn't pretty." Xander replies.

"Someone dropped a sledge hammer on their foot?" Phoebe asks while still giggling.

"Oh no silly girl." Xander chuckles. "Bill kinda missed his swing when your sister here bent over in front of him to adjust her shoe, caught Mike in the shin.. He was not amused."

"Hey at least nothing popped out!!" An indifferent Paige playfully pouts.

"I beg to differ with you my fine feathered witch but Bill's eyes did some major league popping." Xander laughs as he stands and turns to Phoebe.

"Well before your sister here turns me into a toad or something worse I would love to dance with at least one of the Halliwell sisters. Care to dance Phoebe?" Xander states while bowing slightly.

She takes his hand and they walk out onto the dance floor.

"So Xander how do you feel about my sister?" Phoebe asks as they sway to a slow song.

"I think Piper's great." He grins back.

She playfully slaps his arm. "That's not who I meant you goof."

Xander caches some weird movement out of the corner of his eye and turns to see a figure materialize off in the corner. In abject horror he watches as the man slowly raises a cross bow and points it in Paige's direction. "Shit!" Xander yells and he takes off running towards Paige. He grabs a serving tray out of the nearest waitresses hands spilling its contents on the floor. Xander leapt between the assassin and his new friend using the tray as a makeshift shield. The twang of the cross bow being fired echoes in Xander's ears as the arrow races across the room. With a deafening thud the bolt slams into the makeshift shield. Xander crashes into the floor and slides to a stop at Paige's feet. "Hi honey I'm home! Did ya miss me?" He jokes as he looks up into her frightened face. Xander rolls to his feet pulling his Browning automatic from its hiding place in the small of his back. He raises his gun and quickly un-loads the clip in the suprised assassin's chest. "Xander bullets wont kill it!" He hears Phoebe yell. "I Know but I bet it still hurts like hell." He yells back. Xander drops his now empty weapon and grabs the arrow and yanks it free of the tray. With determined steps he walks to his fallen adversary and stares him in the eye. "But I bet this will…" Xander whispers so only the assassin hears. He raises the arrow and plunges it deep into the darklighter's chest.

"Who are you?" The fallen darklighter asks as the poisoned arrow slams into his chest.

"It's been said that everyone will know death when it comes. And I'm your personal death you son of a bitch." Xander replies as he pushes the arrow in deeper piercing the assassin's heart. He grins evilly as he hears the ragged last breath leave the darklighter's lips and walks back over and picks up his prized gun. Paige catches a glimpse at Xander's eyes and gone is the funny carpenter she's spent the whole day with. Now in his place is a warrior general who's seen way to many deaths and one who hasn't stood down from this latest one.

"Leo help." She whispers quietly.


"So you both think Willow's well enough to be introduced to the Charmed Ones." Leo states as he takes a sip of his tea.

"Yes I'm quite sure Willow has her magic's under control." Giles replies.

"Ok so we will proceed with our plan and get Willow to come visit Xander up in Frisco." Leo says then he gets a faraway look and then stands. "Uh…oh trouble."

"Is it the Charmed Ones?" Giles asks.

"Yeah I've got to run…"

"I'm going with you Xander might also be in danger."

The two men grasp hands and vanish from the quaint little country cottage.


"Sally? Double Black Jack and a Johnny Red chaser." Xander exclaims as he steps up to the bar and lays down his pistol. Sally, who's frightened out of her wits, doesn't move and Xander turns to Phoebe. "This isn't Sunnydale Phoebe I think these people need a little help not remembering what just happened."

Phoebe shakes herself out of her shock and then chants: "All who's normal out tonight Now forget this gruesome fight." The din from the club picks up and it appears like nothings happened.

"Hey cowboy it might help if you put away the noise maker." Xander hears from his left. He turns and is confronted by a tall African American.

Xander slams back his two drinks and motions to Sally to do it again. "I gather by you not forgetting what just happened that you're not a normal?" Xander growls while getting ready to do battle again.

Leo and Giles materialize at that moment and Leo turns to the new comer.

"Darrell if I were you I would back off nice and slow." Leo states.

"Xander let me see the Browning…" Giles quietly asks his charge.

"G-man? Wait my Giles knows better then to ask for my gun…. Who are you?"

"I assure you I am your Giles now give me the weapon. I gave you the damn thing myself for your twenty first birthday."

"Ok what did I ask you when you gave it to me?" Xander grins knowing it was Giles but now was just playing with him.

"You asked me what would a Brit be doing with a Browning and why didn't I get you a Walther PPK. And I responded I didn't want to hear you exclaim "My name is Bond… James Bond" every time you used the bloody thing."

Xander laughs and slides the gun down to Giles. "I knew it was you Giles when you showed up with Leo… I just wanted to here you say "My name is Bond… James Bond.""

"Xander I hope you never grow up." The usually staunch Brit laughs as he hugs Xander to him.

Xander turns to Darrell. "So you know Leo...which means either you're a good guy or a very lucky bad guy."

"I'm Inspector Darrell Morris SFPD."

Chapter 4

"Well Inspector if I'm under arrest its gonna have to wait. Sally what ever these guys want put it on my tab." Xander quips as he winks at the barmaid. He pushes away from the bar and walks back to Paige who's still sitting dazed in the private booth.


Leo turns to Phoebe. "What the hell happened. All I got was a whispered plea from Paige and where's Piper."

"Piper's not here yet and Paige was attacked by a darklighter." She responds.

"What? Is she all right? Maybe I should go check on her." Leo blurts out.

"She's fine Leo. Rambo over there made sure of that."

"What do you mean? What did Xander do if I may ask." Giles asks the quivering witch.

"Well we were dancing and having fun, then all of a sudden Xander takes off running and dives across the room. That's when I see the darklighter fire at Paige. The next thing I know Xander's up firing his gun yelling that he knows bullets wont do the job then he just walks up to the darklighter stabs him with the cross bow arrow. Leo the look in his eyes…he made the darklighter look him in the eyes while he killed him." Phoebe shivers then her eyes get real big. "Leo! Xander used his body as shield!! He could have died! Why did he do that?"

"Giles you want to field that one?" Leo asks while rapping his arms around his distraught sister-in-law.

"Well Xander is …Xander. He can be the most infuriating individual you know at one moment and then the most fiercely loyal the very next. If Xander thinks your sister is more important in the big picture then himself then he would gladly dive in front of a speeding truck to save her. And now according to what Leo told me earlier, I think Xander believes he has a duty to protect you and your sisters in order to fulfill his obligations to the Elders." Giles replies.


"Hey how's my flasher girl doing?" Xander asks as he kneels in front of the dazed witch.

Paige slowly raises her head and her eyes meet with Xander's. All she sees now in the dark brown pools is concern for her. She launches herself off the couch and raps her arms around Xander's neck and the two fall back onto the floor.

"Thank you"…kiss…"thank you" …kiss…"thank you!" Paige repeats over and over again. Xander chuckles and raps his arms around the grateful witches waist.

"I think I might have found a new full time job if this is the reward." Xander jokes as he pulls Paige down and then seriously kisses her.

Phoebe glances back at the booth and breaks out laughing. " Well you guys which one of those two do you think needs saving now."

"We better go break them up before I have to arrest them for indecent exposure." Darrell jokes.

"Oh, Inspector is Xander in any trouble for the display he put on earlier?" Giles asks.

"No of course not I just wanted him to put away the gun. He is licensed to carry that thing I hope." Darrell replies.

"Yes of course Inspector. He's licensed through a private investigator down in L.A." Giles answers.

The group makes their way over to the private booth and Giles exclaims. "Xander would you please behave yourself."

"What G-man I've got a grateful woman here. I thought I was behaving myself."

Paige playfully swats Xander on the chest.

"Ouch!… There's the smack. I knew something was missing." Xander chuckles.

Piper finally shows up at the club and walks in to find her sister straddling Xander on the floor. "Paige honey? Not that I don't find this amusing but why are you giving my new carpenter a lap dance to end all lap dances?"

Phoebe quickly grabs Piper and pulls her off to the side and tells her about the nights events.

"I think we should get up." Xander quietly tells Paige.

"Oh I'm quite comfortable right where I'm at." The redhead purrs as she places her hands on the floor on both sides of Xander's head and leans down and captures his lips again. Xander revels in the moment then breaks the kiss.

"Me too but I think we better stop before the cop and the watcher's heads explode." He whispers up to her. Paige throws her head back and laughs at the mental image Xander just gave her.

"Ok, spoil sport." Paige giggles as she climbs off Xander and helps him to his feet only to push him back onto the couch and then flops down next to him

Piper and Phoebe re-enter the booth. "Xander what's the idea of shooting up my club?" Piper sternly asks. Then her face softens and she leans over and kisses him on the cheek. "Oh and thank you for saving our sister." She grins at him. Phoebe leans over and kisses his other cheek. "Yes thanks Xander."

Giles takes his handkerchief out of his pocket and hands it to Xander. "I wish I had a camera right now Xander you've got three shades of lipstick on your face. That would make an excellent photo for the family album. I'm sure Dawn and Willow would get a kick out of it." Giles chuckles.

"What about Buffy?" Xander asks.

"Oh she'd probably would still be angry at you for foolishly jumping in harms way. Remember it took her almost a month to forgive you after the Toth demon incident." Giles replies.

Paige gets a funny look on her face and turns to Xander. "So that's what you meant when you said "there's the smack. I knew something was missing.""

"Yeah when ever I would do something heroic or stupid in their opinion I'd usually end up getting smacked by either Buffy or Willow and quite often by both." Xander laughs.

"Well…I wont hit you for being my hero." Paige whispers to him and kisses him once again.

"Well as much fun as this is," Giles states while looking at his watch, "I am still on London time. Xander you wouldn't happen to have a spare bed or a couch I could rest on now would you?"

"Oh wow I'm sorry Giles it must be like nine in the morning back there. And I bet you haven't gone to bed since I called you!" Xander exclaims. "Yeah sure G-man I've got a spare room you can use." Xander states while standing up.

Paige reaches up and takes Xander's hand. "Um… mind if I ride along?" She quietly asks and a huge goofy grin spreads across Xander's face.

The group works its way to the door and they all step out into the cool San Francisco night air.

"Uh Giles? You can bunk at our house if you want." Leo chuckles to the watcher "It'll probably be a lot quieter and there's plenty of room."

Giles looks over at Xander and shakes his head then turns to Leo. "You're sure it's alright I would hate for it to be an imposition."

"Sure it's no problem and in the morning you can tell us some interesting stories about Xander." Piper chimes in.

"Well G-man you ready?" Xander asks, while never taking his eyes off Paige."

"Actually Xander I think I'll go home with Leo and Piper if you don't mind."

"And me!" Phoebe exclaims.

"Xander grins mischievously, "Why Giles you old dog you. Might be a touch of the Old Ripper left in you after all."

"Oh good lord Xander!" The watcher sputters while Paige slaps Xander's arm.

"Hey I thought you said you weren't going to hit your hero!" Xander yelps.

"My hero no, but I'll smack ya for being crude!" Paige grins back at him.

"Keep him in line Paige." Phoebe laughs.

"And don't do anything we wouldn't do!" Piper finishes for her sister.

"Well that doesn't leave much Piper, your pregnant!" Paige shoots back.

"Well how about Buffy? Don't do anything Buffy wouldn't do?" Phoebe asks

Xander starts laughing uncontrollably.

"Oh dear god no Xander don't you dare!" Giles blurts out.

Xander leans over to Paige and whispers something in her ear. Paige jerks her head around and stares at him and he just nods.

"Paige starts laughing and yells out "Buffy slept with a vampire!" And the couple walks off laughing towards Xander's car.

Giles turns to Phoebe "Now he's about to get smacked again."

"How can you tell?" She asks.

"Just watch".

The group watch as Paige leans over and asks Xander something and he answers. Then he takes a couple of steps and says something to Paige who in turn slaps Xander on the arm.

"It never fails the boy will never learn." Giles chuckles.

"What did he say to her?' Phoebe asks.

Well I'm guessing she asked about Willow, who is in fact a lesbian. And I'll bet you he said some crude remark about how fun it would be to watch."


The shrill ringing of Xander's cell phone wakes Paige from the gentle sleep she had finally fallen into. She gingerly fishes the offending device out of the rumpled pile of clothes on floor.

"Hello?" she groggily answers the phone.

"Is Xander there? I need to speak to Xander. Please its an emergency!" A frantic voice says through the phone.

Paige gently shakes Xander who groans in distress "No more please… need sleep you wanton woman."

"Xander wake up your needed on the phone. It sounds important." Paige giggles at the sleeping Xander's antics.

"Tell Shelly to get a life. I'll be in to work later." Xander grumbles.

"Paige asks into the phone, "Is this Shelly?"

"No my name is Willow and I need Xander now!"

Paige is now fully awake and shakes Xander roughly. "Xander Get up it's Willow and she sounds scared!"

Xander's eyes fly open and he grabs for the phone. "Wills? I'm here. What's the matter."

"Xander turn on your TV, put it on CNN!"

He rolls over and grabs the remote off the night stand and does as Willow asks.

"…and now with a live report from London Christiane Amanpour."

"As you can see Paula, there has been a confirmed bombing attack on the building that once stood proudly behind me. No one has claimed responsibility for this attack yet but we now believe it to be terrorist in nature. There have been confirmed reports of a high number of casualties. We do not know as of yet what was housed in the building but we can confirm that a large contingency of government agents have taken control of the area. This is Christiane Amanpour reporting live from London ."

Xander mutes the TV. "Ok Wills it's on, what am I looking at?" he asks into the phone.

"Xander that's the Watcher Council Headquarters! I recognize the buildings. Xander we can't find Giles. No ones heard from him. Buffy's tried all of his numbers and she can't find him! Xander what if Giles was in there? We cant loose him… we just cant!"

Xander lets out a sigh of relief. "Willow its all right you can stop worrying I know where Giles is."

"How Xander how can you know? No one can find him!" Willow cries into the phone.

"Giles is here with me Wills he's safe. Ok?" He reassures the frantic witch.

"Can I speak with him can you let me hear him please?"

"He's not right here Wills but I'll get him on the line. Are you on your cell phone or the home phone?" Xander asks while handing Paige his cordless home phone and motions her to call her house.

"On the home phone why?"

"Ok go grab your cell phone and Giles should call in just a minute."

Paige rapidly dials home and Piper answers right off.

"Piper is Mr. Giles up yet?" She quickly asks her sister.

"Well good morning to you too sunshine." Piper flippantly answers Paige.

"Piper this is an emergency! Is Mr. Giles up!" Paige yells into the phone.

"Yeah he's right here…" Piper hands Giles the phone.

"Yes Paige what is it?" He asks.

"Mr. Giles you need to call Willow right this minute on her cell phone. There's been some sort of disaster in London and Buffy and Willow have been trying to reach you. By the sound of Willow's voice I think they both are pretty scared right now.

Chapter 5

(Author's notes: A little character set up for those who don't know Paige or Paige's genealogy. She is half whitelighter on the show Charmed so I'm not taking liberties here with her character.)


"So Paige you've been in the demon game for …what…like a year now right?" Xander asks the redhead now curled up on his chest.

"Yeah so…?" She answers.

"So… what happens next after you get an urgent call first thing in the morning?" He grins down at her and she moans, "You have to get up because somebody will want talk about it."

Paige's cell phone rings and the two burst out laughing.

"Morning Phoebe." Paige answers still laughing, not waiting for the person on the other end to start .

"Huh? How did you…" Phoebe replies.

"Never mind that we'll be over there in about an hour. Bye." Paige tells her sister and breaks the connection.

"Ok wise guy get up and go take your shower while I hunt down your coffee pot." Paige states while she climbs out from under the sheets. Xander's eyes drink in the sight of her soft pale body as she strolls nude to the kitchen. He groans loudly and puts his feet on the floor. "This isn't the way I wanted to start the day you know that right!" He yells towards the kitchen. Soft laughter is the only response he gets. Xander gets up and heads to the bathroom to get ready for the day.

The two gather in Xander's living room when he's dressed and prepared to leave.

"So are ya ready Paige?" He asks while looking for his car keys.

"Yeah but let's go the quick way that way we'll have an excuse to leave together and come back here." She grins at him.

She pulls Xander in a hug and tells him to hold on and they disappear in a flash of lights.


Halliwell Mansion

"Glad to see your practicing your orbing." But you know it's not for personal use Paige." Leo teases as the couple materializes in the kitchen.

"Oh yeah right Leo like going on an un-sanctioned honeymoon in Hawaii qualifies as work related." She answers back.

"Well yeah I was protecting one of my charges and you know how un- safe airport security is so…" He grins.

She chuckles and turns to Xander and quickly kisses him. "I'm heading up-stairs to change. If there's anything important then wait for me to get back." She then walks out of the kitchen

"So Giles did you convince Willow you're all right?" Xander asks as he sits at the table.

"Yes Xander but the news she conveyed is rather troubling. I think I need to get back to London as quickly as possible to see what ramifications the Council's destruction will have on us." The watcher responds.

"And we still need to figure out how to get Willow to come visit, don't forget about that." Xander states as Piper sets a plate of pastries down on the table. "Oh! Bear claws!" he exclaims and quickly grabs one of the sticky goodies.

"You could invite Dawn to come visit for the weekend and have Willow act as a chaperone. I do know she misses you terribly."

"Will Buffy let Dawnie come up though that's the new question now isn't it?"

"I think she will. Contrary to what you think she doesn't hate you for your decision to leave."

"I think I'll call them and see. I miss little Dawnie too. I think you've got a good idea there G-man."

"Who's Dawn?" Paige asks as she re-enters the kitchen.

"Oh Buffy's little sister. We all took care of her after Buffy died. I think you'll like her." Xander explains.

"Sounds like fun. A little sister to show around town." Paige responds as she moves over to the table and sits next to Xander.

"You are going to come back to California aren't you Giles?" Xander asks.

"It all depends on what I find in London Xander, but if it's as bad as I think then yes. We will have to rebuild the Council and I think that should be at the Hellmouth." Giles says to the carpenter.

"Ok so we've got a plan well two actually when do you need to leave?"

"After breakfast actually. I need to get back to the coven and retrieve my belongings then head into London and see if any watchers survived the attack."

"I'll call Willow here in a little bit and try to make the arrangements for her and Dawnie to come up this weekend." Xander states.

The watcher hands Xander a credit card. "This is drawn off my Council account go ahead and use it as you need Xander. You can put down Willow and Dawn's airfare on it if needed just keep an expense report for me."

"Cool a watcher's credit card! Vegas anyone?" Xander grinned but then got serious. "Um Giles… Do you want Wesley contacted or should I not worry about the L.A gang just yet?" Xander asks his mentor.

"I didn't even think about Wesley. Yes I think he needs contacted and informed about the Council's destruction. I'm sure he had contacts there that he would like to check on."

"Ok after I get through with Willow I'll call Cordy and have her relay a message. If my information's correct he isn't working directly with Angel anymore."

Giles stands and turns to Leo. "Well Leo do you think you could give me a lift back to Amanda's?" He asks the whitelighter.

"Sure Giles whenever you're ready."

Giles turns to the witches gathered in the kitchen, "I know we just met last night but if there is anything and I mean anything you girls need don't hesitate to contact me ok?"

Each hug the usually stuffy Brit and he turns to Xander, "Xander please stay out of trouble. You're way to important to me to get hurt." He extends his hand and the young man shakes it vigorously.

"Oh Giles before I forget. Last night I met with the Elders and they agree with me that I put you on my charges list. So if you are ever in danger or need me just yell out and I'll get there as fast as possible." Leo tells the watcher. "So are we ready?"

The watcher and whitelighter orb out and Xander turns to Piper ."Thanks for breakfast those were great." He grins to her.

"Well next time I'll know to make a double batch." She laughs as she looks at the plate of crumbs left after Xander's attack.

"Well sweetie you ready to make some phone calls?" Paige asks.

"Yeah when ever you are." Xander responds and the two orb out.

Phoebe turns to Piper "So what do you think five minutes to make calls then they are back in bed?"

I'll bet its less then that." Piper laughs back


That Saturday morning Paige gently caresses Xander's chest while she watches the carpenter sleep peacefully in the new days early light. "Xander time to wake up." She whispers in his ear. He rolls over and enfolds the redheaded Charmed One in his strong arms and pulls her to him.

"Mmmm….morning he murmurs against her breast."

She giggles and hugs his head closer to her chest. "Now that's how your suppose to wake up, not all grumpy like you've done all week."

"Well I'm sorry for being all grumpy but its not every day you find out the Elder's have a hard-on for you to always help them. I guess I was just upset after I thought I left that life back in Sunnydale. Not that I'm complaining now because I wouldn't trade this last week with you for anything."

"As much as I want to stay in this bed with you all day and thank you for that complement, we still have to get up. Willow and Dawn's plane will be landing in a couple of hours and even though it's Saturday we still have traffic to deal with, so come on." Paige pulls Xander out of the bed and the couple head to the shower together.

Two hours later the happy couple is sitting at gate E61 waiting on the arrival of the flight.

"Your sure we're not late." Xander nervously ask.

"Calm down Xander and look out the window. See? Big plane from L.A is pulling up to the gate." Paige teases.

He hops up and paces around a little which Paige finds slightly disturbing. "Why is he so wound up all of a sudden?" She wonders to herself.

"Xander come sit down they still have to do all the de-boarding stuff ." Xander sits back down and stares at the closed door leading out to the tarmac. "What's wrong sweetie? I haven't seen you this keyed up before." She asks.

"The last time I waited for Wills to get off a plane she was uh...invisible. Her sub-conscience had kinda worked a spell on her when she thought we weren't ready to see her we didn't."

"Wow that's like…I don't know uh…wow." Was all Paige could respond.

Xander sees an attendant move to the door and open it. "Here they come." He tells Paige. They watch as the line of people walk through the doorway and Xander spots Dawn out of the crowd. He waves in her direction and she spots him and takes off in a full run straight at him.

"Oomph!" Xander exclaims as the wound up teen plows full tilt into his waiting arms.

"Oh god I missed you Xander!" Dawn cries as she attempts to squeeze the stuffing out of him.

"Air Dawnie I need air!" Xander laughs and the ecstatic girl backs up.

He pulls her back and hugs her some more. "I missed you too squirt."

"Squirt? I'm just as tall as you!" She squeals as she playfully slaps at him.

Willow walks up with several carry-on bags in her hands. "Dawnie it would of been nice of you to get your own things. " She drops the bags and opens her arms towards Xander. "Well do I get one of those or did you forget all about me up here."

Xander grabs her up and spins her around. "Damn I missed you Wills."

"Xander! Put me down!" Willow laughs.

He sets her back down and holds his hand out towards Paige. She takes it and Xander pulls her over to him "Guys I want you to meet someone. Willow, Dawn this is Paige Matthews she's my...?" He trails off looking at Paige.

"Girlfriend." She replies looking back at him with love in her eyes.

"Paige this is Willow Rosenberg and Dawn Summers, two of my closest friends in the world." Xander finishes with a goofy grin on his face.

The Sunnydale girls look on the newcomer and take in her absolute beauty. Dawn is well Dawn she doesn't like that someone new has taken her Xander's heart, and Willow looks on the redhead with a curious eye as she senses the power radiating off Xander's new friend.

"I hope you've been treating our Xander right. "Willow responds, extending her hand out to the Charmed One.

"It's a definite toss up on who's treating who the best Willow. After he saved my life I haven't been able to let him out of my sight." Paige responds.

"Hi I'm Dawn." the younger Summers interjects and thrust her hand out to Paige.

"Hi Dawn. Xander has told me all about you." Paige responds while she takes the girls hand.

"Well he didn't tell us anything about you." Dawn thought to herself.

Xander sees the pout about to start on Dawnie's face and he takes charge of the situation. "Let's go get your luggage and what do you two say to shakes and mochas." Dawn and Willow perk up at the suggestion and they head off to the luggage claim carousel.


After everyone was sufficiently full of coffee and chocolate Xander drives the lot of them back to his apartment. "Ok here's the spare bedroom." He explains as he shows Dawn and Willow around the apartment. "You can double up in here or one of you can have the couch if you want."

"This is nice Xander how can you afford something like this in Frisco?" Willow asks while surveying the place.

"Well without having to replace Buffy's windows every other week I seem to have a lot more money then I used to." Xander jokes. "No seriously it belongs to the company I work for its part of my contract with them."

"She really misses you, you know that don't you?" Willow asks

"Let's not get into that right now Wills ok? I want to have fun with two of my favorite girls before we get all serious about Buffy and her problems." Xander responds. "Now if you two want to rest up some, you can. I know you were up way earlier then you're used to, or we can head on out do something else. It's your choice."

Willow looks over at Dawn who's bouncing around full of youthful energy and turns back to Xander. "Were we ever that wound up when we was her age?" She jokingly asks.

"Only after we devoured a full box of Twinkies." Xander laughed back.

"Hey squirt! What about you? Want to stay here for awhile and rest up? Or head out on the town and see what trouble we can get into?" Xander asks Dawn.

"What do you have in mind Xander? Dawn replies.

"Well there is a surprise I've got in store for you if you're willing."

"Surprise? I like surprises!" Dawn squeals.

Willow rolls her eyes, "I think you got your answer Xander." She glances over at Paige who's standing by the bar separating out the kitchen. "You didn't ask Paige what she wanted to do."

"Oh he knows what I want to do Willow but I don't think that right now is the time for that." Paige answers back for Xander.

Willow crinkles her nose at the remark and Dawn exclaims, "Oh god not another Anya please anything but that!"

Xander bursts out laughing and tells Paige, "See I told you one off color remark and Bam instant anti-Anya sentiment. Now pay up." Paige walks over to Xander and hugs him to her and severely depletes his oxygen intake with a soul searing kiss. "Wow." Is all he can respond when she finally lets him free. Willow and Dawn stare slack jawed at the display and Xander turns to them and states, "Hey it wasn't my fault. You're the ones who mentioned Anya."

"Has the blood flow returned to your brain yet sweetie? Or should I drive?" Paige demurely asks Xander.

Xander laughs. "I can drive. We have a plan, so are we ready? "

The Sunnydale girls bound for the door and Paige and Xander take up the rear.

"Let's get this over with its giving me the Wiggins." Xander whispers in Paige's ear.

"Me too, but I got a feeling it's going to be ok." She responds and kisses him on the cheek.


Outside Halliwell Mansion

"Ok we're here!" Xander exclaims as they pull into the driveway.

Willow and Dawn take in the expensive mansion and asks why are they there.

"This is Paige's house guys we're here to meet some people. I think you'll like this surprise." Xander responds.

The quartet get out of the car and enter the home.

"Piper we're here." Paige call out when they've entered the house.

Piper walks out of the living room to greet their guests, and Paige makes the introductions.

"where's Phoebe?" Paige asks her sister

"She's in the kitchen." Piper responds

"So how was the trip up?" Piper asks as she leads the group into the living room.

'It was fine all except the airport security detail going through all our stuff." Willow responds.

"Yeah I hate the airport." Piper states

"Is Leo back yet?" Xander asks Piper when they've all settled into the living room.

"Yeah he and our surprise are getting some refreshments as we speak." She answers with a grin.

"I better go help." He responds with a wink. Xander walks back to the kitchen and tells the people there that the girls are in the living room and takes the tray from the non-resident. "I better take that. If you get the reception I got at the airport then this would end up on the floor and I don't think Piper would appreciate that too much ."Xander laughs.

Xander and the other guest walk back into the living room and Xander states, "Wills? Dawnie? Ready for a surprise?" The girls turn to him and jump up and rush the new-comer.

"Giles!" Dawn happily squeals and attaches herself to his chest in a gigantic hug.

"Now I see why you took the tray from me Xander" Giles chuckles as he hugs the young girl.

He releases Dawn and motions Willow over to him. "How are you doing Willow?" He asks with concern in his voice.

"I'm fine Giles oh I'm glad to see you." She answers and hugs the watcher.

Phoebe walks out of the kitchen and joins the group in the living room.

"Hi I'm Phoebe you must be Dawn." She states as she shakes hands with Dawn.

Willow backs away from her mentor and turns to the new person in the room. "Hi I'm Willow." She says as she extends her hand. Phoebe takes it and her breath catches as a premonition over takes her. Scene after scene inundates her mind as she re-lives all of Willow's pain from Tara's death forward. She see Tara's lifeless body fall into her hands and Osirus's denial to bring Tara back . She feels willow's anger at seeing Buffy loaded in to the Ambulance and sees Willow's hunt and slaying of Warren. Phoebe sees it all. Willow's pain at how she almost killed her friends, sees willow's despair up on Kingman's Bluff but what will haunt Phoebe for the rest of her life is she feels the pain of humanity that Willow felt when she decided to end the world.

Phoebe jerks her hand back and screams, "Leo get your ass in here right this second!" Leo comes running in from the kitchen and asks what's the problem. "I've got a message for your bosses. This is the last time we do anything for them you got it? When this is over we are done!" Phoebe's sisters were watching in shock. Piper had seen her mad before but this was way over the top. "What happened Phoebe?" Piper asks quickly. "I saw it all Piper I saw what those assholes put this child thru." Phoebe replies as she raps her arms around Willow and gently hugs the wiccan to her. "How did you stop?" She asks in awe of the little redhead in her arms.

"Guess you didn't see it all." Willow states and looks at Xander with all of the love she's felt over the years.

"Friendship and lots and lots of love Phoebe that's what stopped her." Xander reverently states as he moves over and takes Willow into his arms.

"I understand now what you meant Leo. Phoebe remarks looking over to her brother-in-law. "But what I said still holds true I'm not going to work for the Elders any longer then this last mission."

"Willow looks up at Xander and asks, "Xand what is she talking about who's the Elders?"

"The Powers Wills they've had a hand in all our lives. They've had a special interest in you and now me it seems."

"I don't understand." She murmurs against his chest.

"Wills I need you to do something for me ok?" Xander asks quietly.

"Ok any thing Xander you know that."

Xander motions to Paige for the book of shadows and she orbs it to her .

He walks her over to where Paige is standing, "Now Willow this is The Book Of Shadows ok? Now I just want you to lay your finger on the cover no big deal right?" Xander tell his oldest friend.

"Ok Xander but can I ask why?" she responds

"This is your final test Willow this comes straight from the Coven." Giles answers for the distraught younger man

Willow looks at Giles and shrugs then extends her hand towards the book and traces the triskelion on the cover.

"Ok now what?' Willow asks curiously.

A collective sigh could be heard through out the room as Willow touches the book

"What?" Willow ask curiously.

"That was the test Willow if you were still evil you wouldn't have been able to touch that book with out being burned." Paige answers

"Oh. Wait…Xander… Why is Giles here now and why am I being tested? And now that I think of it why are these people involved in whether or not I'm still evil?"

Giles intercedes once again. "Willow you've read all of my books. Do you remember coming across a section on a group of witches called the Charmed Ones?"

"Giles I don't need your books to know of the Charmed Ones I've been part of several wiccan groups and involved with Tara who knew way more then you will realize. Plus six months with your coven ok? I've heard of the Charmed Ones before." Willow exclaims.

"Well Willow you're standing among them." Xander tells her.

"Yeah right Xander you just happened along and stumbled onto the strongest three witches known in prophesy. Don't give me that."

"Hey back off Willow!… He didn't find us he was led here by the Elders! And if you wont recognize what he is we sure as hell will!" Paige angrily states as she defends Xander.

"What do you mean not know what Xander is How dare you presume we don't know Xander!" Willow yells.

"Dawnie? Now would be a good time." Xander calls over to the young teen.

"Willow? Um …me and Buffy knew this was going on… … please don't be mad… we didn't mean for you to get hurt...ok?"

"You're in this too Dawn? Damn it what do I have to do to prove I'm not going all veiny again?"

"Willow it wasn't you you've got to understand that. There are things that went on that you had no control over." Leo starts.

"Are you going to tell her it all Leo or just skirt the issue." Xander states while getting more then a little frustrated himself.

Leo looks a Xander with an exasperated expression. "Xander if we tell her it all then it might let the genie out of the bottle."

"Well let the damn genie out Leo I'm tired of all this clandestine shit the Elders put us through!" Phoebe yells.

"Watch your language Phoebe!" A new voice says while an elderly women appears in a swirl of golden lights.

"Grams?" Phoebe exclaims.

"Yes child, all your yelling is disturbing my rest."

"Um… Grams not that we're not happy to see you but we have some pressing matters going on right now." Piper tells her grandmother.

"Hush up Piper I know of all that's going on that's why I'm here." Grams walks over to Willow and takes her hands. "Sweet child I need you to sit down ok? There's someone who wants to talk to you but you need to stay calm."

Willow sits and furrows her brow. "Ok? Who wants to talk to me now?"

A swirl of golden lights form to the side of Grams and Tara materializes.

"Tara?" Willow squeaks.

"Yes baby it's me." Tara responds as she walks closer to Willow.

"No! You're the First you cant be Tara!" Willow exclaims while shrinking back into her chair.

"Willow remember the main rule of the First, It can't take solid form. So come hug me. Please?" Tara responds to Willow's outburst.

Willow shakily gets to her feet and moves over to the love of her life and gingerly takes the statuesque blonde in her arms.

"Oh goddess Tara!" Willow gasps as she feels the warmth from the blondes body caress her own. "I'm so sorry! I didn't know what I was doing. I never meant to hurt you baby! If it wasn't for me you would still be alive! Please forgive me!" Willow cries with huge tears rolling down her cheeks.

"Shh… It's ok Willow don't cry. You know I cant stand it when you cry. You didn't pull the trigger that shot me it's not your fault Willow . Warren shot me not you." Tara comforts the smaller redhead.

"B…B…but if I hadn't chased you away with my damn magic abuse we wouldn't have just been getting up that day. We would of been somewhere other then in our room, in front of that window Tara! You probably would have been making Dawnie some funny shaped pancakes instead of being with me!"

"Oh Willow you've built a whole alternate world around that day haven't you. You know Dawnie was in school when I got shot.' Tara whispers to her. I need to tell you something, sweetie, there wasn't anything you could have done to stop it. I was destined to die. I'm ok with that, what I'm not ok with is why I had to die." Tara gives Leo a dark look. "I had to die for you to become what you are now Willow do you understand that? The Elders needed you to be more then what you were and to do that they had to hurt you in the worst way and I'm sorry you had to go through that on my account. "

Willow looks at Tara with a *does not compute look* on her face. "What do you mean more then I was? I don't understand Tara. I mean I'm nobody."

"Oh no Willow you're a lot more then you realize. You're possibly the strongest individual witch in the history of magic. And the Elders needed to push you into the dark arts for you to reach your full potential. Remember me telling you that you're strong like an Amazon? Well it wasn't a lie. If any other witch, present company included, went through what you did sweetie they would have been consumed by the evil but you weren't. You embraced it and now you control it Willow and I am so proud of you."

"Tara I'm so scared. I don't want to hurt anybody again. Look what happened when I embraced the evil, I killed a person, almost killed my friends and started to end the world! Why would the Elder's want me to do that? I don't understand!" Willow cried.

"Because sweetie you wouldn't have ever gone across the threshold to evil like you did any other way. Oh you slipped your toe over it a couple of times like when you fought Glory, but you wouldn't have crossed over and absorbed the darkness any other way. It had to be a drastic reason and unfortunately it was my death that did it." Tara responds

"Willow the way I understand it," Giles interjects, "You are to play a crucial role in the upcoming fight against The First. You need to be prepared and I believe you will be able to handle what ever it throws at you. You see this test today proves you're not evil but that you control the evil within you."

"Giles I didn't finish my training with the coven how can you be so certain I wont go all black haired wicked Willow again?"

"Because we believe in you Willow and with what I've learned from our friends here you were destined to do what you did, and I was supposed to stop you it's all one big mess." Xander tells Willow.

"I still don't understand why you had to die Tara." She states when she turns back to her love.


"Willow there is no way to put this other then I was supposed to die. I know it's hard for you to realize that but it's the truth. Now I don't want to argue with you because my time is limited here. It takes a lot of energy to come back to the mortal plane and I needed to let you know that I'm all right and you have to move on with your life. My death was not your fault so quit beating yourself up over it ok? I love you too much to let you hurt yourself for something that you had no control over." Tara tells the confused wiccan.

"I love you too Tara but its so hard not having you here with me." Willow cries.

"I know sweetie but you will get better. I did after my mom died and so will you but you have to let me go. "

"Now Dawnie why don't you come give me a hug." She calls over to the disbelieving teen. Dawn walks over and carefully embraces her.

"Oh I missed you. You know pancakes just aren't the same without you and your maple-chocolate syrup." Tara sighs.

"Why cant you stay Tara we miss you so much! I need you. I don't have anyone to go get shakes with and watch movies with me. Nobody tells me to eat green things anymore or asks about my day. Buffy's so busy with the new Big Bad that she doesn't have time for me!" Dawn cries against the blondes shoulder.

"Shh… Dawnie I know it's tough on you right now but I do know that everyone loves you very deeply. Now I need to you remember that I will always love you and that I'm watching over you. And Dawnie? If you feel a little warm fuzzy feeling late at night, don't worry it's just me tucking you in." The buxom blonde finishes and kisses the teen on the cheek.

"Ok, I love you too Tara." The budding brunette sniffles as she steps back away from her.

"And you!" Tara turns towards Xander. "I trusted you to keep an eye on these two. What was the deal, storming out in the middle of the night?" Tara puts her hands on her hips and glares at him.

"Uh… I… uh… um… huh?" Xander stammers.

Tara laughs. "Your right Grams that is fun. Come here you silly person and give me a hug." Xander moves over into her open arms and hugs her lovingly.

Piper eyes her grandmother curiously then motions for her to follow her out of the room. The other Halliwell sisters notice this and follow them to the kitchen.

"Ok, spill Grams. Nobody and I mean nobody calls you Grams except us. You made that perfectly clear to me and Phoebe the whole time we were growing up. Now you mind explaining why your ghostly friend out there just called you Grams and you just smiled at her?"

"Well dear this is a story I hoped I would never have to tell. So brace yourselves because it's a big one." The Charmed Ones take a seat at the table and Grams continues. "Before I met your grandfather I was in love with another man. We were happy and he and I got married. Well I had a little girl by him and I named her Penelope. She was such a beautiful child and I was so happy with the two of them. Well that happiness didn't last that long girls. After about two years of bliss a warlock decided he wanted to take my powers and kill me. My dear Charles got caught in the cross fire and died a horrible death at the hands of this warlock. I had that evil bastard almost defeated when he did the most horrendous thing he could to me. He grabbed Penelope out of her crib and flashed out of the house. I never saw her or that damned warlock alive again. Well four years ago I got my Penelope back. She's with me and your mother now and sweet Tara is her daughter who joined us just last year. So yes she calls me Grams because she has just as much a right to call me that as you three."

The three sister's sit in shock as yet another family secret had been revealed to them. Phoebe was the first to react and her question was what the elder Halliwell had expected.

"So you're telling us that Tara is our cousin and the Elders had her killed?" Phoebe gasps in horror.

"Yes dear that is exactly what I'm telling you now. But please don't go ballistic in front of Willow she has enough to worry about right now then to add feeling guilty for being the cause of harming the Halliwell line to her problems. Remember girls Willow is a very powerful witch. The heavens themselves trembled when she went to the dark side and she is still very fragile when it comes to Tara's death." Grams responds to the anger building in the three witch's sitting with her.

"Ok your right as usually Grams. Come on let's not make our guest wonder where we ran off to." Piper exclaims and the four of them go back into the living room.

"Tara? You're looking pretty drained child I think it's time to call this little reunion to a halt and get you back home to rest." Grams states lovingly to the blonde.

"Grams I don't want to go I just got here and I miss them so much." Tara tearfully responds.

"I know dear but the sooner you get home the sooner you can visit again. And I promise we'll work on your energy reserves so the next time you can stay longer."

"Tara? If there is an emergency or if these guys just miss you too much and start to nag us to death, we'll summon you. We live over a convergence point and we can get you here ok?" Paige tells her and Tara shyly nods in response.

Every one hugs their fallen loved one and the two ghostly witch's leave in a swirl of golden lights.


Chapter 6

The rest of the weekend went by in a flash. Xander and "his" girls from Sunnydale had a fun yet un-eventful visit and the two redheaded witches actually became fast friends. Dawn was a little harder for Paige to win over but by late Saturday night the young teen gave in and actually warmed up to the new girl in Xander's life. Late Sunday afternoon Willow and Dawn gave Xander tearful hugs good-bye as he escorted them to the gate where their return flight to Sunnydale waited for them. The Sunnydale girls extracted a promise from him and Paige to come to the hellmouth and spend some time with "family" while the Charmed couple left them with an open ended invitation to come back whenever they felt like it.

Xander and Paige stood at the large picture window overlooking the tarmac and watched as a part of Xander's heart left in a large plane and headed south for a home he once called his own.


After the re-union with his "Daughters" Giles had Leo orb him back to his London flat. In his search for surviving watchers he had found only five. These he scattered to the four corners of the earth and had them set up in safe houses in the event they were ever to be needed in the future. All of the council's hierarchy were gone and as the Keeper of the active Slayer he became the most senior watcher. In the week prior to Willow's test, most of his time in London had been spent going from one secret government agency to the next establishing his role as acting council leader and having all assets and authority assigned to him. Unbeknownst to him his old enemy had already aided him along in his tasks. Quentin Travers had made it known that he expected and authorized Rupert Giles to be his replacement in the event something catastrophic happened to the council and many of the agencies were expecting him when he arrived. Soon his tasks were finished and the governments of the world knew he was to be in charge all matters dealing with the Slayer.

Giles resumed his search for other junior members of the council and found either they were deep in hiding or wiped out just as effectively as the members of the inner circle. It was on his final day of searching he found himself out side the broken door of an old acquaintance from his days in training.

"Oh, dear God! Robson, are you here? Robson!" He cries out as he kicks the door in. Giles finds a young girl laying in a fresh pool of blood and rushes to her side. He finds a weak pulse on the girl's neck and resumes his search for his friend. He finds him in next room and rushes to the man's side.

"You too?" Giles starts and is startled when Robson's eyes pop open.

"Gather them. It's started." Robson mutter's as he struggles with each breath he takes.

"It's all right. I understand. I'll take care of it…" Giles answers and stops when he hears the floor boards squeak behind him. Giles dodges to the side as a battle axe swings for his neck and instead of be-heading the watcher it cuts deep into the man's shoulder. Robson raises a pistol he had hidden in his grasp and fires a single shot, killing the Bringer as the slug hits between it's sewn shut eyes.

"Giles old man how bad…" Robson gasps and Giles waves him off .

"Leo! I don't know how this works but I need you now!" Giles yells.

"You figured it out just fine." Leo announces as he makes his arrival known.

"Help Robson, I'll manage just fine for a minute." Giles groans holding his hand over the gaping wound on his upper arm.

Leo holds his hand over the deep knife wound in the man's stomach and a golden glow permeates the air between Leo's hand and the gash. The wound quickly closes and Robson is soon completely healed. Leo then moves over to Giles and repeats the healing and he is also fine within moments.

"In the next room Leo go check on the girl." Giles commands and Robson jumps to his feet. "Violet! The man loudly exclaims and he and Leo run into the room where the Whitelighter heals her in the same manner.

Giles walks into the room to find his old friend crying softly while cradling the young girl in his arms. Chuckling softly he remarks to himself, " No fatherly feelings there. I wonder how Quentin would have viewed this situation."

"Robby I'm fine, see? No more wounds or anything." The young girl comforts her watcher.

"Violet I'm so sorry I couldn't protect you, I almost lost you." The man whispers to her.

"Oh stop it Robby. You did all you could, and if you don't stop calling me Violet I'm going to take you to the work out room and give you a proper thrashing. You know I hate that name!"

The older gentleman chuckles and squeezes the girl in a hug. "Ok, no more Violet. From now on it will only be Vi."

The watcher and his charge stand and turn toward Giles and Leo.

"Rupert introduce us to your friend so we can properly thank him for saving us." Robson states.

"Well Robby," Giles says with a smirk, "This is Leo Wyatt, The Charmed Ones whitelighter."

"Well technically I'm your whitelighter too Giles." Leo grins back at the senior watcher.

Robson stares at his friend and finally sputters, "Rupert? You have a guardian angel… the same guardian angel as the Charmed Ones? How did that come to pass old friend?"

"Well Robson it is a rather long tale and I believe now is not the time to tell it. I need you and your charge to gather what you need so we can get the two of you to a safe location. I'm sure those… things," Giles motions at the dead bringer in the next room," will be back to finish what they started so hurry up so we can get you out of here."


"Buffy we're home!" Dawn yells as she and Willow enter the Summer's house.

Buffy walks out of the kitchen drying her hands on a small towel. "So how was your trip guys?" The slayer timidly asks not knowing if she was in deep trouble with her best friend or not.

"It was great Buffy! We got to see and talk to Tara!" Dawn squeals and grabs her sister up in a hug.

"What?" the shocked slayer gasps.

"Tara was there Buff she was really there." Willow's smiles as she remembers hugging her long lost girlfriend.

"How? I mean it's wonderful and all, but how? Are you sure it was her with the First doing it's thing and all?"

"It was Tara Buffy she hugged us! She was solid so it couldn't have been the Big Bad." Dawn happily giggled

"Wills you ok? I mean it had to be pretty shocking." Buffy carefully asks her redheaded friend.

"I'm way better then ok. I know she's in a better place now and I don't have to worry anymore. She doesn't blame me Buff she told me it wasn't my fault." A happy tear streaks down Willow's cheek.

Dawn breaks her hold on her sister and motions the blonde over to Willow. Buffy moves over and take the witch in her arms and hugs her tightly to her. "You wanna talk about it Wills?" she whispers into her red hair.

Willow shakes her head no and squeezes the slayer tightly. "No I'm good Buff really, I'm just so happy I got to see her is all."

"So your not mad at me for keeping secrets about your real reason for your trip?" The slayer shyly asks.

Dawn giggles, "Oh she was getting there fast Buffy. I was afraid she was gonna really go off on Xander's girlfriend there for a moment. That's when Tara showed up. She kinda sucked all the fight out her."

"Well tell me about our Xander shaped friend is he still mad at me?" Buffy asks as she maneuvers herself and Willow to the couch.

"I don't really know Buff. He was kinda quiet about what happened here but I think it wasn't all his doing. The leaving and all. They were talking about the Elders…The Powers that Be… having something to do with his going to San Francisco."

"The PTB's? That cant be good Wills. Not with what hell they put me through. Why are they interested in him now?" Buffy shudders to think of what they might have in store for one of her best friends.

"I don't know we never got around to discussing it all that much. All I know is they've been pushing all of us in certain directions for years." Willow looks down at the floor. "They're the ones who made me go evil Buffy. That's what Tara was there to tell me. They're the ones who sent Xander to stop me up on Kingman's Bluff."

"Ok enough of this you two! We can go into the whole what happened in the past and why later. Right now we just got home and I wanna talk about Xander, not all the gloomy crap you two always talk about!" Dawn sternly states and folds her arms across her chest.

"You're right Dawnie no gloomy crap. So other then Xander not talking about what happened here, how was he?" Buffy asks, thankful her little sister changed the subject.

"He's got a GORGOUS new girl friend." Willow states playfully.

"Yeah she was kinda hard to look at Buffy, way prettier then you." Dawn teases.

"Hey!" The blonde pouts.

"Sorry sis, just calling it like I see it." Dawn giggles back.

"Yeah Xander is dating a Charmed One Buff. Major league power there, and Dawnie's right she was hard to look at she was so pretty." Willow giggles.

"So he's happy?" Buffy quietly asks.

"Yeah I think he is, if that goofy grin he had all the time was any indicator." The redhead answers.

"Well," Buffy starts as she stands and walks towards the kitchen, "you two come on and tell me all about her." The three girls walk out of the room and the swinging door closes behind them.


"you're being awfully quiet sweetie, you missing them already?" Paige asks snuggling up on Xander's chest.

"Yeah a little but that's not it. I'm gonna have to go back there aren't I? "Xander responds knowing the answer before he ever asked the question.

"More then likely Xander. You probably knew the answer to that question when you told Leo you were going to help."

"What if I don't want to, what then do I just forget about it all? No don't answer that Paige. I know I cant do that."

"Its a lot isn't it?" The redhead asks.

"Hmm? What is a lot?"

"The stress you got going on in that head of yours. I can see it Xander you've got a lot going on in there don't you."

"I just don't know what they want from me. I don't know what to do." Before I always had Giles or Buffy to tell me what needed done. This me in charge of what I do in the fight is really nerve wracking Paige. And my job I finally have a job where I'm respected and I've got to quit it so I can be the great coordinator that the PTB'S want me to be. I can't be running up and down the coast and still be out hammering nails can I? I'm sure G-man will hire me on as some sort of something with the new council and all that, but what about my life I've started away from the fight? I have to give it up. Paige I've been in this war since I was sixteen. I honestly thought my tour of duty was up. Then I find out that it wont ever be up. I don't know if I can do it. I guess I need to talk to Leo, see what his bosses want me to do." Xander finishes with a sigh.

"Baby? Have you ever talked about it with anybody? The way you feel about what's going on?" Paige softly asks.

"I'm sorry I'm being so depressing. I guess seeing Willow again just brought it all to the surface. Hey I know lets do something together. How about you and I go to Los Angeles for the next day or so? Can you orb that far? If not we can do the flying thing if ya want."

"Um sweetie? You were just saying you were tired of this stuff now you're talking about heading straight into it guns a-blazing. "

"Huh? I was saying lets get away for a day or two what are you talking about?" Xander responds with fake confusion.

"Oh no you don't mister. I know who's in LA. You're trying to get me to change the subject and I know full well if we go there your going for the Elder's business!"

Xander grins mischievously at her "Well if you don't want to go, I guess I can talk to my ex-cheerleader girlfriend by myself."

"WHAT?" Paige exclaims.

Xander nods his head vigorously, "Yup the Seer is my ex-girlfriend still don't wanna go?"

"LEO!!! Get over here now!" Paige yells at the ceiling.


Outside the Hyperion Hotel

"Hey that's getting pretty fun Paige. I don't feel the least bit car sick this time." Xander chuckles and kisses her cheek.

`Yeah yeah Xander get the bags. I don't like this neighborhood it gives me the creeps." Paige responds scanning the immediate area around then.

Xander lets out short laugh. "Paige honey this is probably the safest spot on this side of town. Come on lets go in."

The couple walk through the door and enter the large open reception area.

"Does someone have to have reservations to get a room here? Or is it just first come first serve." Xander asks the shapely brunette who has her back to the desk.

"I'm sorry sir we don't rent…" Cordielia starts then her face lights up when she turns and recognizes who was speaking to her. "Xander? Xander!" the ex-cheerleader squeals and runs out from behind the counter and hugs him tightly.

"Uh sweetie I sure hope she's your ex cause I don't think you'll survive many more hugs like that one." Paige nervously states from behind him.

"Huh? Oh I'm sorry I didn't see you standing there." Cordy exclaims while backing away from the carpenter. "Xander introduce me to your friend." The prom queen huffs.

"Cordy I'd like you to meet Paige Mathews. She works for the same people as you do and I'm not talking Dead-boy either. Paige this is Cordielia Chase the PTB's Seer."

Paige extends her hand to Cordy, "He forgot to mention I'm his current girlfriend Cordielia."

The brunette accepts the hand shake and states, "Oh please if his head wasn't attached he'd forget that somewhere too." Both girls laugh at his expression.

"Xander why don't you take your bags up to room 207. Its right up the stairs and on the left even you couldn't miss that." The brunette directs her old flame.

Xander picks up the cases and mutters under his breath, "I'm such a dead man, I think they like each other."

"I heard that!" Cordy yells at his retreating back.

"What did he say?" Paige asks curiously.

"I have no clue but knowing him I'm sure he said something!" Cordy giggles.