From the Hellmouth He Shall Be Borne

Author: Anime Ronin <diabloslayer21[at]>

Rating: R (for demonic content, language, sexual allusions and gore)

Summary: An accident puts Xander's life on the line, and if he succeeds, he shall ascend to a new level, to a new calling, and he shall not only have all new abilities to draw from, but he shall also have all new dangers to face.

Disclaimer: Joss and the people at ME own Buffy, and whoever owns D&D owns D&D.

AN: This is a challenge from Twisting The Hellmouth, one that I am taking up but slightly modifying to fit with D&D-type spells and skills. Same concept, though, so there shouldn't be that much trouble. Also, this is set in S2 after Hell-o-ween, but before Christmas - Willow and Oz are together, Cordelia and Xander are not.

AN2: After reading through the D&D Cleric Class, I won't be using the spell level system (it'd be getting too involved in the game itself, not to mention distracting) or the Domain System in an overly selective style (choosing one and staying with it) - that's too restrictive, but as to make him not too powerful, I'll restrict which ones he does use. Also, his Skill points (ones he would get if this were the game) will be done accordingly, as will Feats - he will need to earn them all.

Cast of Other Characters: Archangel Michael - Evan Marriott (Joe Millionaire), Rufus - Chris Rock (Dogma), and more will be added as they come up.

Chapter 1

Buffy watched Willow sob into Oz's shoulder as both Giles and Jenny did what they could to make Xander comfortable, though she was sure that he didn't even know what was going on - he looked so pale, so lifeless, but just seconds before, when she had caught him, he had a pulse and if her ears were to be trusted, he did still have one. Willow had, in a fit of trying to help Xander out, as neither Giles nor she herself had ever tried to train him, a mistake that she now realized was far too big to have been allowed to happen, read out of a book and made a potion to help Xander at least get some rudimentary fighting skills that his Soldier possession had only just shown him, yet not left him with much behind to use. Xander had asked Willow if it was safe to drink, a reasonable question in Buffy's opinion as she remembered the cup of liquid bubbling and fizzing a green color, and Willow had told him that it would be completely harmless … and then said the magic words they all dreaded, 'What could possibly go wrong?' Xander gave Willow the Evil Eye and told the still-learning witch that if he died because of her, he'd haunt her for the rest of eternity - even as Giles gasped and tried to get him to stop, Xander drank the cup of something all in one gulp, swallowing it and grimacing at the taste … and then having his eyes roll up into the back of his head and him dropping to the ground, only to be caught by her.

Willow told him that it wasn't funny, even as Buffy held the unconscious Scooby, but after a few seconds Willow's face went white as Giles shook Xander in her arms and then sighed, telling them the news, "Congratulations, Willow, I do believe that you just killed Xander."

Giles interrupted her thoughts by coming over to where she stood, "You know, Giles, you could have handled that better - kind of cold telling Willow that, you know?"

Giles only sighed, "Buffy, I admit that it sounded harsh, but it is the truth - Xander may die because Willow did something magical without consulting either Jenny or myself, and if he does I am woeful to think that her powers may have to be bound."

Buffy felt her gut clench as Jenny came over, "So, just what did she give him? Hemlock tea?"

Jenny handed Giles a book, "It might as well have been - it is a poison, Buffy, but one that induces a state of being to where the person is given a test within their own mind by the Archangel Michael."

Buffy blinked at this, sending her mind back to Sunday school oh-so-many years ago, "Wow."

Giles snorted, "Yes, wow indeed, Buffy. If Xander does indeed pass this test, he shall be empowered by ancient magic and become a Knight Templar - think of them as a magic-wielding Knight who answers only to God and the Archangel Michael."

Buffy nodded, "So, what does it take for someone to pass this test? Verbal and Mathematics? Science and Nature? I hope it isn't, because if it is, Xander's screwed."

Giles glared at her, "Do not make light of this, Buffy - Xander's very soul is in danger here; if he does not pass this test, not only will he die, but his soul may very well be sent to a Hell Dimension for all of eternity." This shut Buffy up and made Willow sob even harder.

"He'll survive, if for no other reason than to make my life even more of a living hell." Buffy felt her heart speed up as Angel walked out of the book stacks, his face drawn into a frown, "But it depends on just how devoted the change makes him - he may not let me survive long enough to regret it."

Buffy blurted out, "He won't kill you, Angel! He's your friend."

Angel gave her a disbelieving look and then snorted, "No, Buffy - he's your friend and to him I am someone who has been given a temporary stay of execution. Trust me, he'll kill me if told to."

"Then I'll stop him." Buffy didn't want to think about it, but she couldn't help it - could she really stop Xander from killing Angel? Sure, he was okay enough in a fight, even if his opponents were four times stronger and faster than him, but she knew that he would not be stopped from doing whatever it was he wanted to do, and she'd probably have to kill him to do that … and Slayers don't kill people. She shook her head slightly to clear the though, then looked at Giles, "So, how long does this test take?"

Giles only shrugged as Oz came over from where Jenny had gone to speak with Willow, "As long as it takes, Buffy."


It had been centuries since someone had invoked the ritual properly, let alone been brave enough to try it, and for such a thing Michael was somewhat impressed - the boy, barely out of his mid teens, was not only from the Hellmouth, but fought the dissidents of Hell night after night without any sort of training from the Champion of the Powers, The Slayer, and all that he did know came from a pair of possessions and a childhood filled with abuse from his adoptive father. That alone would have normally been enough for Michael to pass his tests and to make the boy into a true Knight Templar, but from within the boy he felt something else, something that he had not felt in centuries before the last true Templar had been made … a pure soul. By no means was the boy a Saint, nor was he to be an Angel, but everything he did, he did because he thought it was the right thing to do at the time.

"Well, it looks like you are going to have a busy day." Michael looked over at one of the few reasons that he could see why Lucifer betrayed Father to the darkness and wondered if he had made the right choice again.

"Rufus, what do you want?"

The 13th Apostle smirked a little and reached into his robe, "Well, Mike, I got some good news for you, and I've got some bad news for you - well, actually, it's all bad. Your guy, Harris? He's off limits, something about jurisdictional conflict between Fate and Free Will with him - we're having a bit pow wow over who gets him, but he's not going to be a Knight Templar."

Michael swore beneath his breath, "Why? He could have been one of the best!"

Rufus just shrugged, "Hey man, not my call - he's going to another Pantheon, even if he's doing His work."

Michael only sighed, his wings ruffling slightly, "Please tell me Ares isn't getting him."

Rufus shook his head, "Nah, he'd go to either Apollo, Artemis, Ra or Frey, probably, Pelor on the outside - boy's got a serious White Knight complex going, and they're all either Good or Neutral, and Ares is just a little too far gone to be either."

Michael sighed, "I can't win, can I. I mean, what's he going to do?"

Rufus smiled, "Well, the Powers are getting a little too big for their britches, so You Know Who is going to throw a big monkey wrench in their plans in the form of your boy, Harris, as, get this, a Cleric aligned with the Sun and Healing."

Having seen what the Powers had done, and not to mention what they had planned, Michael felt a grin spread across his face, "So, their pet vampire …"

"Oh, yeah." Rufus chuckled and Michael felt his wings ruffle a little - things on the Hellmouth were going to get interesting, to say the least.

Xander's Mind

He looked around at supposed room, absently fingering the knife that sat on his hip, and sighed - when Willow had said the magic, and hated, words, he should have known better than to drink that stuff, especially now that he had the taste of Tang in his mouth that wouldn't leave, too. Sure, it was nice that someone, FINALLY, was trying to at least help him out, but, as was often the case when it came to him and magic coming together, things didn't go exactly as planned, "Why does this shit keep happening to me?"

"Are you sure you want an answer to that?" Xander snapped his head around and saw nobody, but instead felt a warm presence in his mind even as a body of light began to form in front of him. Tall, generally male in proportions, but made out of solid light as it 'spoke' again, "Know that I am Pelor, Alexander, God of the Sun, and I have chosen you to do my work as a Cleric."

Xander sighed, "Alright, fine - what'd I do wrong this time?"

"Wrong? You did nothing 'wrong', per se - truth to tell, you are being used as a way to keep certain brats who have a too-high opinion of themselves a bit more honest."

Xander growled and out of the deep shadows of the room, another growl, though far more animalistic in nature, was heard, "I am nobody's pawn, Pelor, God or not." From the other bank of shadows, he could hear the distinct sound of someone working the breech of an assault rifle, "But what, exactly, does it mean that I am going to be your Cleric?"

He could hear the smile in the voice as it went on, "At dawn you shall offer up an hour of meditation and of prayer, and for that, I shall grant you a certain number of spells, and before you say anything, I know of your history with magic, and it shall be a type that cannot fail due to your own self."

He nodded grudgingly, liking it already, "And what kind of spells would this be?"

"Basic Holy spells - when you meditate, you shall get a mental list of what is available, but know that you can only use them a few times a day. To balance this, though, as time goes on, you shall increase that number, and the number of spells you can use."

He narrowed his eyes, "And what's the catch?"

"You occasionally take up tasks that I give you, regardless of how you and your friends feel about them, and stay true to the light - that is all I ask."

Even within his own mind, Xander could not feel any deceit from the voice, so he nodded slowly, "Anything else?"

"Wake up." There was a flash of light, and then all he knew was pain.

Later - Library

"Are you SURE he said 'Pelor', Xander?" Giles watched the young man give him a glare that said, quite bluntly, 'yes, you stupid, sodding prat, he said Pelor', and Giles nodded, "Right, then I do believe that all is well."

"Well?" Willow, who was like a cancerous growth at Xander's side, spoke up at that point, "He almost DIED because of a stupid mistake of mine, and you say this is all well?"

"Quiet, Willow." Xander's voice, for all intents and purposes, had not changed in the hour or so since he had regained consciousness, nor did his expression change when Oz growled at him - he merely growled right back, with feeling, and went on as Oz shrank back in surprise and subjugation, "He told me that I'd have access to spells, Divine spells, and my own little magic FUBAR-ness wouldn't apply."

Giles frowned, "Fubar? I do not believe that is a word, Xander."

Xander sighed, "FUBAR - Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition, Giles." Willow and Buffy both blushed at this, Oz cocked an eyebrow and Jenny snickered a little even as Giles found himself cleaning his glasses, "Either way, I pray and meditate at dawn and then I get a whole 24 hours to use x number of spells if I so desire."

"Divine spells." Jenny leaned forwards, a smile on her face, "Might I be able to get a list of those, Xander? For research purposes, of course."

Xander smiled a little and leaned forwards too, "Only if you ask nicely, Ms. Calendar."

"Please." Jenny's voice was laden with honey and Giles found himself more than a little upset at the blatant flirting going on, "Call me Jenny ... outside of class."

"Ooh, do you get some super-cool weapon that you might be lending your bestest Slayer pal, Xander?" Giles sighed at the thought of Buffy getting her hands on a magical weapon of some kind, as she was often deadly enough with normal weaponry, but thankfully, Xander didn't let him down.

"Pelor prefers that his Clerics use clubs and maces, but I do get to use all martial weapons and wear all armor and use all shields … except tower shields."

Buffy wilted at this a little, "Is it at least a magic club?"

"Sorry - not yet." Xander stood up, Willow still firmly attached to him, and then removed said girl before walking around, stretching out, "Well, it's been real, it's been fun, and except for the poisoning, it's almost been real fun, but I gotta go back home - mom is supposed to be making her special spaghetti tonight."

Willow frowned, "I thought they closed Giovanni's lat month?"

Xander shrugged, "I never ask where it comes from, Willow - you should know that." With that, Xander left and Giles found himself sitting back in his chair.

"So, what real use is he going to be to us, Giles?" Buffy's perky attitude had vanished, as he had suspected it was all a farce from the beginning, "I mean, should we even allow him to do this?"

Willow looked a little affronted as she slapped Buffy on the arm, "Excuse me? 'Allow him'? Buffy, he's been this cleric thing for less than two hours - stop trying to control everything and everyone around you. Yeah, I messed up, and it turned out that we may get something good out of it, but don't go all defensive on us because he may be more powerful than you."

"Willow is quite right, Buffy," Giles interrupted before Buffy could retort to Willow. "Clerics have great power, supposedly, and can not only effect and destroy the undead and demonic entities of the Hellmouth, but they are reputed to be great healers, once they attain such power."

"He ISN'T more powerful than me, Willow." Giles had always suspected that Buffy had issues with power, but it had only recently come to light, after her possession by the noblewoman, that she could not deal with people who were more powerful than her - it was a byproduct of both that and the Slayer essence. "But that isn't the point here - should we let him do this? He could get hurt."

"We all could, Buffy," Jenny stated quietly. "Every night we do this, it could be our last - if you are so worried about him, why not make Willow and Oz stop as well?"

"Because you're teaching Willow how to do magic and Oz is a werewolf. Xander doesn't DO anything."

"Ah, so just because he has no power, then he is useless. I see." Jenny stood up and glared at the Slayer, a glare Giles was infinitely glad he wasn't on the receiving end of, "I have other things to do than to listen to someone who can't even admit to herself what she really feels about someone. Good day."

Giles watched Jenny's retreating/storming form and then turned to his Slayer, who looked a little confused, "Now see here, Buffy - if you wish to continue using your very apparent double standard, you had better learn how to deal with losing allies … POWERFUL allies. Xander's new gifts are potentially very useful, and if you cannot learn to deal with that, then you are doing nothing more than shortening your own lifespan. He is capable of, at the very least, healing magic, as well as abilities to harm the Undead; think about that as you go home. Good evening." He stood and walked to his office, ignoring her sputtering sentences as he sat in his chair and sighed before picking up the telephone and dialing a number from memory.

("Arcane Repository - How may I direct your call?")

"Quinton Travers, please - this is Rupert Giles."

Summers Residence

Buffy sat numbly on her bed, looking at a blank spot on her wall and hugged her stuffed pig, Mister Gordo, tightly to her chest as Jenny's and Giles' words rang back and forth in her head like some sort of demented game of ping pong; no, she did not think that Xander had any real reason to be in the same fight with her - he was normal, hence his being fray adjacent, but numerous times she had seen not only that he was as stubborn, if not more so, than herself, he also had an uncanny ability to see through all the gray area of a problem and make them see something they had missed. He'd done it before, with Angel - he had seen a very real threat of Angel turning on them, something that had not happened, yet, and had also told her, somewhere along the way, that just because somebody has a soul doesn't mean that they are good. She wasn't stupid, having seen the bruises, but she also knew that he had a will within him to do what nobody else would and could not - he'd been selected by the Hyena spirit as his pack's Alpha, it's leader, and Giles had told her what kind of person that would take, namely someone who was capable of killing anybody to protect his pack, his friends, and his family. These had all scared her more than she cared to admit to anybody but herself, her diary and Mister Gordo - if he ever had a reason to, Buffy was sure that Xander would be capable of killing her.

[You sound as if you're surprised, Buffy.] Great, that voice in her head, her conscience, was back, [Yes, I am - tell me, is that the only reason you don't want Xander in this fight? Because he might get hurt?]

\Isn't that reason enough? \

[No, not really - you and the others have just as much to lose as he does, Buffy, so why not forbid Willow and Oz to fight along side you?]

\Because they have powers and Xander doesn't. \

[Correction - Xander DOES have powers now, and a lot of them too; care to try again, bottle blonde?]

Briefly, Buffy wondered if it was a bad sign when you were being called names by and losing a battle of logic with a voice in your own head, then responded, \Fine, then tell me what I should do. Come on, you voice; tell me what I should do. \

[Admit to yourself your doubts about who it was who saved you from the Master's Lair, first - you and I both know that Angel would not have risked himself on such a foolhardy mission, but Xander would. In fact, I'd be very surprised if Angel wasn't at stake-point when he brought Xander along.]

Buffy growled and then sighed, \Fine - I admit that. Now what? \

[Admit to yourself that your own feelings for Xander far exceed that of simple friendship.] She could swear she could hear the smug tone behind her consciousness' voice, but said nothing, so it went on, [You and I both know you like the possibility that if you and Angel don't pan out, Xander is there for you.]

\And how would you know that? \

[Because I AM you. DUH!]

Buffy also had to admit that - she and voice were the same person, \Fine, he's cute, but he's not boyfriend material, you - he's too much of a geek. \

[Just like you still act like a vapid airhead? Or a manipulative bitch? Or do you think that I've forgotten just how you used Xander to make a VAMPIRE jealous.] There was definite anger in the words … and a great deal of truth, but it didn't stop there, [Xander is one of the two people who made your first week in Sunnydale bearable, let alone possible as he saved your ungrateful ass, and he lost Jessie, his brother in all ways but blood! Did you ever ask him about it? No - you could have cared less about it and him.]

"Alright, damn it, that's enough!" She put Mister Gordo aside and went to her mirror, glaring at the person in the reflection, "Where in the hell do you get off telling me that I care less about people and Xander?"

"About the same place I get off telling you that you're crazy." Buffy spun around and saw her little sister, Dawn, standing there, AND HOLDING MISTER GORDO! "Buff, I'm not sure just who you think you're talking to, but trust me, at your age, having an imaginary friend outside of Mister Gordo, let alone holding an active conversation with them, is a bad sign."

"What do you want, brat? And give me Mister Gordo."

Dawn arched an eyebrow but held the stuffed pig out with reluctance, "I want to know what has you talking to yourself at nearly four in the morning - in case you haven't figured it out, our walls aren't exactly overly thick, and I can hear your rather impressive loss against somebody." Buffy blushed at this, but Dawn went on, "So, what's up with the thoughts on Xander? I figure they aren't of the hot and steamy variety, let alone how yummy he's starting to look."

Buffy threw Mister Gordo at her, "He is NOT yummy-looking, Dawn."

"To me he is." These words froze Buffy to the core even as Dawn went on, "Of course, it's not like you'd notice - you're into older guys who like jail bait."

"Leave Angel out of this." Her own protest, as weak as it sounded, was just that - a protest.

Dawn punched her hand into the air, "Once more with even less feeling, why don't we? Look, Buffy, let's face facts - Xander is way up there on the hot scale, even if he is a bit of a geek. So what? Nobody's perfect … except me, that is." Buffy glared at her sister, who smirked back, "So make a choice - Angel or Xander, because if you chose Angel, Xander's mine, especially now that Willow's going out with that guy Oz." That said, Dawn skipped out of the room … holding Mister Gordo.

"Brat!" Buffy sighed and sat back down on her bed and lay down - it was a good thing that it was now Saturday morning, or she'd be in for it at school with Snyder. A small smile played across her lips as she lie down to go to sleep, "I wonder if Xander can do anything about him?" With that possibility, Buffy went to the land of Nod.

Harris Household - 0645

Xander opened his eyes as his meditation ended and the power of the Cleric's spells, well, some of them, began to flow through his body for the first time; it was a bit of a rush, but that was tempered by the stark contrast as to what he had been beforehand - without it, he was sure that he'd feel sick and very drained, and if he lost it … it didn't bear thinking. It was also very apparent that, even with this new power, it would start off small - as it stood right then, he could cast a grand total of five spell that day and know that they would work, but one of those was from what Pelor, after downloading into his mind a few facts and definitions, called a Domain, or a very specified area of magic. He'd spoken with the god of the sun and had found that, with the interference of the Hellmouth, the normal rule of using only one Domain was pretty much useless, which opened up a lot of option … and even more peril when it came to the Evil Domain.

With that in mind, he went about getting showered and dressed, as Giles had called him to ask for his presence at the Library the next day - gone were the days of sleeping in on Saturday, let alone watching cartoons, now that he had power and, like the web head had once said, 'With great power comes great responsibility'. When he finished pulling on his shirt, though, he saw something sitting on his bed that had not been there when he put his clothes down - it was a disk, about two and a half inches in diameter, carved out of wood in the shape of an elaborate sun design, with a face on it, and it was made to be clipped on to a belt or a strap, which he instantly did. Instantly he felt more focused and realized that it was indeed that, a focus, for his spells to be worked through - either Pelor was looking out for him, or someone else was.

He made his way down to the first floor, he stopped and looked at a truly pitiful sight - his mother, on the ground, curled into a ball and cradling an empty bottle of Jack Daniels; he knew that short of beating the patriarch of his family to death and forcing his mother into rehab, she'd never change, so with another sigh, not to mention a grunt, he picked up Jessica and carried her not only upstairs, but put her into her empty bed, covered her up and, with a slightly intricate move of his hand, cast a spell for the first time. The spell itself was one that was called 'Cure Minor Wounds' and it only took care of the abrasions on her cheek and little stuff like that, but it also took some of the gray out of her skin and from the bags under her eyes - he briefly toyed with the idea of going to Tony and slitting his throat, but Pelor wouldn't be happy about that, so he began to make other plans in the back of his mind as he went out the door and made his way to the School.

Later - Library

Jenny watched as Xander tested not only the strength of the mace in his hand, but showed a competency with it that had never been there before, before her eyes were drawn back to the medallion on his belt - it radiated a power that she had never felt before, one that contrasted starkly with that of the Hellmouth, which lay not more than fifteen feet away from the young man. In truth, while he had not had the most extensive reservoir of magical power at his disposal, she had noticed on occasion that Xander stood out more so than others in the past, much like a torch among candles, while Willow stood out like a raging bonfire. It was at that point that she noticed something else, or rather, someone else - Buffy.

There was no love lost between her and the Slayer, that much was for sure, but with her behavior as of late and how she was currently doing her best to apparently seduce Xander, who was blatantly ignoring her in favor of testing the weaponry Rupert had removed from the book cage, it made Jenny simmer even more - sure, he was cute, and looked to have serious potential as to becoming an excellent lover, but to be honest, he was too young for her, and if anything, he reminded her of a younger brother that her parents had never graced her with, and as such, she felt somewhat protective of him. It was odd, considering how very little time they spent together, but she couldn't help it for some reason.

"Tell me, Xander," Buffy said, trying to do her best to flash her rather unimpressive cleavage at the young man, making Jenny's simmering anger turn up to a higher boil. "What are the limits of your magic?"

"About whatever I want them to be, Buff, and you can stop trying to go for the indecent exposure of the year award - Harmony has that wrapped up with her little performance the other day." Jenny smirked as Buffy jerked back, Xander's eyes having never left the mace as he finished looking it over, "Numerous domains of magic, ranging from good and evil to healing and death, chaos and destruction to the elements, flora and fauna, and many mental realms." He put the mace down and then picked up a small handheld crossbow, checking it over with a professional eye before loading the mini-bolts into a magazine that fit into the side and racking the slide to not only cock the weapon, but to get a feel for it, "It's all a balance, Buffy - yin, yang, good, evil, man and woman."

"Thank OH, so much, Master Harris," Buffy growled, mock-bowing as if she had received wisdom from on high, a thought that Jenny almost snorted at. "So, your new god has all of these, then?"

"Nope - Pelor deals with the Sun, Healing and Good realms, but all of the gods share these realms in one aspect or another. Twenty-two realms, shared by nineteen gods and goddesses." He turned, aimed the crossbow and fired off a bolt, hitting the target dummy in the chest, but just below the heart, "Good aim."

Jenny arched her eyebrow at him, "You missed him."

He looked in her direction, "Did I? Now we can search him, take any money or jewelry he has, and then dust him - I don't know about you, but I'm not doing this stuff for free." He racked the slide again and put another bolt into the dummy, this one into the heart, and did so three more times until the bolt magazine was empty - one of the bolts had hit the dummy in the throat, one in the right eye, and the final one had been fired directly into the groin area.

"So you get this weaponry proficiency with your fealty to Pelor, then? Interesting." Rupert had been working all morning to figure out just how to duplicate the effects of Xander's new skills, but had been able, at such time, to come up with absolutely nothing, "Is there anything else, Xander?"

"Not much until I get out into the field, G-man. Shooting a practice dummy is one thing, but I need combat conditions to see just how well this stuff stuck - Clerics aren't front-line fighters, we're healers, defensive and supportive magic users who CAN fight if we have to. That aside, I want to go to Willy's tonight to test something." Xander walked over to the dummy, retrieved the bolts and was grinning the entire time, "But I will be needing someone to come with me, someone that the vamps and demons aren't afraid to talk around."

"So I'm out, then." Buffy pouted and Jenny smirked.

"Ms. Calendar, do you think you can pull something absolutely stunning out of your closet for a quick jaunt into a true dive, this evening?" Jenny cocked an eyebrow at Xander as Rupert sputtered, "Something that will have the demons fawning over you and completely ignoring me?"

She smiled a little, "You're up to something, aren't you." It wasn't a question.

"More like I'm proving a theory of mine." He loaded the bolt magazine and re-inserted it into crossbow, "If it works, I'll be able to pick up more information in ten minutes by just sitting there at the bar while you get hit on by every cheesy pickup line in the Hellmouth, than Buffy could by an entire hour full of threats and beatings."

Even as Rupert continued to sputter and Buffy growled, Jenny sidled up to Xander and smiled her little smile, "As I told you last night, Xander - call me Jenny." This was going to be fun.

Later - Willy's Bar

This was pure hell, Xander surmised as he looked around the bar and then back at Jenny, doing his best not to let his jaw drop and his tounge roll out to the not-washed-since-Nixon-era floor; she had somehow melted herself to the waist and POURED herself into a pair of tight jeans, wore a pair of black biker boots, a black muscle t-shirt that was about a size too small, a matching denim jacket and was being currently propositioned by a Feryal demon for a few hours of 'blissful agony'. His theory was working - in his spell repertoire there was a spell that, for as long as he was undisturbed physically, he could read and understand all written and spoken languages, despite what they were, human or demonic, and it was working like a charm. Bits of conversations were floating into his ears about who was where, what was worth how much, who had bought it and why all of the so-and-so's were doing this and that - nothing too bad, but enough to keep his mind busy until Jenny sat back down next to him.

"Alexander, if we get out of here alive, we are going back to my apartment, I am getting into something descent and you are taking me out to dinner." He looked over at her and saw, in the depths of her dark brown eyes, a controlled rage that he almost flinched at, "I haven't been subjected to such cheesy pickup lines since I was in high school."

"Oh, so it's only been a year or two, then."

She arched an eyebrow at him, "Not bad, about a six point eight, but next time DO try a bit harder - I'd hate to think I squeezed into these pants for nothing."

Before he had the chance to think, he spoke, "Trust me, Jenny, when I say that it was well worth the effort to see you stop traffic on the way here, - literally."

She smiled at him a little more and chuckled as he began to blush, his last sentence finally registering with his brain, "Oh, much better - eight and a half, pushing nine. Keep this up and I may have to trade up Rupert for you."

It was his turn to arch an eyebrow, "Looks like G-man and I need to have a chat about robbing the cradle, then."

"I'm almost thirty, Xander."

He shrugged, "Yet you look not a day over twenty four - if all women were like you, Jenny, then all of our petty squabbles over land would cease. Helen of Troy had nothing on you."

Jenny openly laughed at this one, "Solid nine, definitely - now, let's leave before I am forcibly propositioned again."

He nodded and they left the bar, Xander knowing that every gaze in the place was on her. They were out the door and walking away when a thought occurred to him, "Jenny, why do you have a pair of motorcycle boots?"

She looked at him with a rather saucy smile and winked, "Play your cards correctly and you may just find out, Xander."

He arched an eyebrow - this was going to be an interesting dinner.