Hand in Hand

Author: Boxerman <boxerman083[at]yahoo.com>

Pairings: One sided B/X, some B/A, and W/X

A/N: [One shot] A response to malastor's challenge 'Xander wasn't the one to get possessed by the Hyena' Not your usual W/X

A/N 2: God knows you can't write more unless you get reviews.

A/N 3: Sorry about the wait, too many plot bunnies running around my apartment. If you want more of Ecstasy of Gold or Who Wants to Live Forever, then review it, or annoy me. It's coming slowly but surely.

And if you're waiting on something else, ::cough:: Ordinary Men ::cough:: you might have a wait.

A/N4: Sorry about the lack of reviewing from my side lately, but work's been killer, I promise to get better later in the week.

Disclaimers: I don't own anything relating to Buffy.

Timeframe: S1 AU The Pack.

Dedicated to the few remaining W/X'ers out there, you know who you are.

Chapter 1

"But what if Mrs. Beakman decides to give us a pop quiz next week and, and I'm not prepared for it because they decided that we should go on a field trip, although the field trip is a school sanctioned event in which case they would excuse us from work, but if that's the case why did she seem so angry at me earlier..."

Xander shook his head and covered the redhead's mouth with his left hand, earning him a squeak in retaliation. "Whoa, slow down there cowgirl, we're here to check out the zebras, not have our heads explode."

Willow's face flushed red as the boy removed his hand. "Sorry, I was babbling again."

Xander smiled and pushed her along walkway. "Ah Wills, you know I couldn't live without my daily helping of Willow-babble. I makes me not feel as bad if the smartest kid in the school takes the occasional leap of insanity."

"Do you really think I'm the smartest? I mean I know that I have a 4.0 and everything but, does saying that out loud make me sound kind of 'haha I'm smarter that you' or does it make me sound stuck up or, or ..."

Xander rolled his eyes and grinned before interrupting her. "Wills, reign it in here. You don't have anything to worry about, you could pass anything Mrs. Beakman throws at you be it a test, a quiz, or some other kind of deadly weapon. And you're too modest for your own good. Now lets just stand here and watch the nice zebras."

Willow sighed before calming down. "Why are we going to see the zebras again?"

Xander raised both his eyebrows and smirked. The redhead stopped and looked at her best friend in confusion before turning to look at the zebras. "Oh..."


Buffy Summers looked at her opponent dead in the eye, there would be no backing now. Only one would walk away victorious. The monstrous gray behemoth bellowed as it broke its gaze and lowered its head to eat some hay. The slayer smirked triumphantly as the elephant slowly chewed its food. "Don't feel bad mister elephant, you're no match for the Slayer."

She leaned against the guardrail and sighed before a voice cackled from her left. "Oh, look. It's Buffy and all her friends."

Buffy rolled her eyes turned to see two girls and two boys standing together smirking. "My, that's a witty insult, I hope you say another one so I know my true place in the world."

A teenage boy with light brown hair turned to the other three and frowned playfully. "Do you ever wonder why nobody cool wants to hang out with you?"

"I think it has something to do with the fact that I could kick their ass into next week. I'm not sure."

The leader laughed and began to walk away. "Oooooh, we're just quivering in our boots."

The three others laughed and followed. Buffy growled and rolled her eyes before reading the plaque about elephants.

"Hey! Buffy!"

Xander and Willow ran up to her grinning broadly. The redhead stood next to her. "You missed it!"

Buffy cocked her head to the side. "Missed what?"

Xander rubbed his hands together and smirked. "We just saw the zebras mating!" He turned to Willow and took a bow. "Thank you. Thank you."

Willow smiled broadly. "It was like the Heimlich, but with stripes!"

Buffy held her hand to her chest in mock disappointment. "And I missed it. Yet somehow I'll find the courage to live on."

The three began to walk together in silence until Willow spoke up. "Where were you?"

Buffy shrugged her shoulders. "Uh, I was looking at the fishes."

The redhead smiled excitedly. "Was it cool?"

Buffy deadpanned. "I was looking at fishes."

Xander walked between the two girls and put his arms across their shoulders. "You know, I'm not feeling the field trip spirit here Buff." He turned his head to his left and asked Willow, "Wills, you're feelin it right?"

"Ooooh. Did you know that the average lifespan of a elephant is..."

Xander's face dropped as he turned back to the blond chosen one. "Never mind that, but still..."

Buffy sighed. "Well, it would... It's nothing, I... We used to do the same zoo trip at my old school every year. Same old, same old."

Xander gasped. "Buffy, this isn't just about looking at a bunch of animals. This is about not being in class!"

Buffy looked up and nodded her head with a small smile. "You know, you're right! Suddenly the animals look shiny and new."

Xander smiled and winked at Willow. "You shoulda seen the zebras then, right Wills?"

Willow smiled sheepishly. "Yep."

Buffy groaned as she looked over Xander's shoulder. Xander looked down at his clothes. "Hey, I'm not wearing the Hawaiian shirt, what else do you want?"

Willow turned to see the four teenagers from before push a boy into the Hyena Exhibit. "What are Kyle and his buds doing with Lance?"

Xander turned around to see the last one go into the entrance. "Oh, playing with him as a cat plays with a mouse."

Buffy sighed. "What is it with those guys?"

Willow groaned and looked back at the plaque. "They're obnoxious. Professionally."

Xander shrugged. "Well, every school has 'em. So, you start a new school, you got your desks, your teachers, some blackboards, and some mean kids."

Buffy sighed and took a step forward. "Yeah, well, I'd better extract Lance before..."

Xander put a hand on her shoulder and interrupted her. "I'll handle it. This job doesn't require actual slaying."

As Xander walked away, Buffy turned to her redheaded friend. "You don't think we should follow?"

Willow shrugged her shoulders. "Kyle and those guys are jerks, but they're all talk...mostly."

Buffy quickly turned back to face the Hyena Exhibit. "Why don't we..."

Willow nodded. "Yeah, why don't we?"

They started walking over to the entrance before a zookeeper walked out infront of them. "Oh, hold it, hold it, are you blind, or are you just illiterate?" the man pointed to a sign labeled 'Quarantine: Do Not Enter.'

Buffy looked around quickly for a way to escape. "Oh, w-we were just gonna take..."

The zookeeper raised an eyebrow. "We?"

Buffy quickly spun around to see that Willow had vanished. 'Good job Willow.' The man took a step forward and put his hand on her shoulder. "Hey I'm talking to you."

Buffy snapped out of her thoughts. "Yes me, as in only me, singular. Yes I just, uh, wanted to see the Hyenas. I mean they're so cool, you know."

The zookeeper shook his head and turned the girl around. "You're not going in there. Anyone that does is in a world of trouble."

Buffy looked up at him. "Why is it off-limits?"

The zookeeper pointed back to the sign. "It's a quarantine. These hyenas just came in from Africa, so keep out." The man leaned forward and whispered menacingly. "Even if they call your name."

The chosen one raised her eyebrow. "What are you talking about?"

The zookeeper sighed and walked alongside her back to the main walkway. "The Masai tribesmen told me that hyenas are capable of understanding human speech. The Alpha guards all of her pack furiously, especially her mate. And they follow humans around by day, learning their names. They pick upon the weak. At night, when the campfire dies, they call out to a person. Once they separate him, the pack..." The man snapped his fingers together. "...Devours them."

Buffy looked back towards the entrance as the zookeeper finished his tirade. "The Hyenas, they always have the last laugh."


Lance walked tentatively up to the guardrail and divisor separating the hyena exhibit. He turned around to face the group. "I don't see any hyenas."

A loud cackling laugh emanated from behind him. Lance screamed spun around, nearly tripping himself. "Okay! Now we've seen it."

The hyena growled and walked slowly towards them. One of the girls stepped forward and said, "Awww, he's so cute!"

Kyle and the other boy walked up on opposite sides of Lance. "I think it looks hungry. What do you think Tor?"

The other brunette nodded. "Yep, I think he needs a snack."

Both lunge at Lance and grab him by the arms and shoulders. Lance screamed. "NO!!!!"

Tor covered Lance's mouth from behind with one of his hands. "C'mon, Spot!"

Lance tried to fight back but was overpowered by the two larger teens.

One of the Girls smiled and shouted. "Its okay, Auntie Rhonda's got a little treat for the puppy!"

The two guys smirk and drag him up the steps. Tor held down his neck and covered his mouth while Kyle held down his arms. "Ow! Stop it! It's not funny!"

"Let him go assholes!" Xander ran in and shoved Kyle to the ground. Lance bit one of Tor's fingers, causing him to let go. "OW you little fuck, you BIT me!" Lance squirmed free and quickly ran away.


Willow slowly walked along the dimly lit passageway. "Come on Xander, where are you?"

She heard someone crying and saw Lance running towards her with blood dribbling down his chin. She ran infront of him. "Oh my God, are you okay?"

Lance's face was smeared with tears. "They, they tried to throw me to the Hyena's, but, but X-Xander he knocked them off, he's still back there."

Willow grabbed both of his shoulders and ordered him. "Go find Buffy, tell her where we are."

Lance nodded and ran out of the passageway. She turned and bolted down the corridor. "XANDER!"


Kyle smirked as Tor and the girls joined him by his side. He turned back to Xander. "What, you think you wanna play hero?"

Xander tensed and took a step back. "Nah, I just say friend don't let friends be picked on by a bunch of assholes."

Tor took a step forward and smiled. "Why you so scared chump?"


The brunette turned to where the voice came from. "Willo-OMPH."

Willow ran into the room to see Xander get blindsided by the ringleader, Kyle, and fall to the floor unconscious. Her anger surged forward as she shouted. "STOP!"

The hyenas cackled loudly, nearly screaming. The occupants of the room suddenly felt their skin tingle with electricity. A circle painted on the ground started pulsating green and yellow, filling the room with light.


Buffy ran over to the Hyena Exhibit to see Willow helping Xander walk out. "Did you catch the number of the bus that hit me?"

Willow smiled and shifted more of his weight to her. "Sorry Xander, I didn't think buses were a part of the zoo tour."

"Oh my God, what happened to you Xander?"

Xander raised his head and smiled. "Buffster, nothing to worry about, just got into a little manly competition that's all."

Buffy walked over and took Xander's other side to support more of his weight. Xander chuckled and pushed the girls off of him to take a step forward. "Its okay ladies, I think I can handle myse-"

The rest of Xander's sentence was cut short by the ground jumping up and hitting him. Willow reached down to help him up only to be cut off by Buffy. "Its okay Willow, I can support his weight better."

Willow glared daggers at her female friend. Xander chuckled. "Are you trying to say I'm fat Buffy?"

Buffy rolled her eyes as she helped him up. "Nah, you just need to lay off the Twinkies."

Xander groaned and called over his shoulder. "Willow, come on!"

Willow snarled as she bore holes into the back of the blond slayer. "Don't worry Xander," Her eyes flashed bright green as she started walking after them.

"I'm coming."

Chapter 2

Buffy looked down at the coke that she had been nursing for the past half hour. Patrol was a bust, even though she got to see Angel. A smile graced her face as she remembered the touch of his lips on her skin and snuggled back into the black leather jacket. It still smelled like him. She opened her eyes to see the empty table before her. They were supposed to meet her outside the Bronze forty minutes ago. She sighed and checked her watch again.

"Sorry Buff..."

Buffy turned to see Xander wearing a loose green t-shirt with a black jacket and blue jeans. He quickly pulled up a chair and sat down. "I couldn't get out until twenty minutes ago."

Buffy smiled and took a sip of her coke. "Its okay, you're not the only one that's been slightly absent."

Xander furrowed his brow and looked around the club. "Willow's not here? I thought she was in the bathroom or something."

Buffy shook her head. "Nope, its just been little old me."

Xander smiled. "Hey now, you're only one of those two things."

Buffy frowned. "I do not know which one I'd hurt you more for."

Xander gave her a lopsided grin. "So..." He put his hands on the table. "What's going on in the world of Buffy?"

The blond slayer groaned and propped her head up with her hands. "Nada, zip, zero. Just having the patrols, the training and the school, I'm just a big fat loser with no friends."

Xander leaned over and smiled reassuringly. "That's not true. You got Wills and me."

Buffy sat back into her seat and raised both eyebrows and glared at Xander. "So I'm just a big fat loser now?"

Xander held up his hands in surrender. "No, no, nononononono. God no. You are anything but those three things."

Buffy smirked condescendingly. "So just one of those two things from earlier, right?"

Xander cocked his head to the side before finding a way to change the subject. "Hey is that a new jacket?"

Buffy's face paled as she unconsciously felt the black leather jacket with her left hand. "What this old thing?...no, no I've had this forever."

Xander raised an eyebrow. "Really, cuz it looks like something Deadboy'd wear. You know black, leather, ugly and..." Buffy glared at Xander, "I'll shut up now."

"We just happened to meet while patrolling and he thought I might be cold."

Xander muttered under his breath. "He'd know what its like, being without a pulse."

Buffy crossed her arms and raised her eyebrows. Xander got the hint. "Damn slayer hearing."

"You're not helping your case, besides..." She pulled the collar tighter around her neck. "It goes with my shoes."

Xander sighed and looked down at his watch. "It's not like Wills to be this late."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "You mean like you?"

Xander faked hurt before looking around the club again. "Did she seem upset at all on the bus back from the zoo?"

Buffy cocked her head to the side. "About what?"

Xander shrugged. "I dunno. She was quiet. Usually we spend the whole bus talking about stuff."

Buffy pouted and talked like a baby. "Aww is Xander missing his Willow?"

Xander groaned. "I'm just worried okay, she just seemed, I dunno, different."

Buffy looked down and nodded. "Yeah I kn..."

Xander cocked his head to the side. "Buffy?"

"Oh my God."


Willow smiled as she felt the eyes pour over her walking into the Bronze. Her usual clothes seemed so...unappealing after she arrived home. As she walked by one of the slightly older, she could feel the heat come off his tongue as he licked his lips. The dark red shirt clung to her skin, seemingly melting into her every pore. The tight black jeans snugly curved against her calves and lined against her waist. Her long red air draped across her shoulders and down her back. The smells and heat of the club made her skin tingle with excitement. She noticed Xander sitting at a table and grinned evilly. "Hmmmm...tasty."


The redhead smiled and nonchalantly stroked Xander's bicep. "Sorry I'm late, I... just forgot that we were gonna be here."

Xander raised an eyebrow before shaking his head to clear his thoughts. "So Wills, I still need help with the math, you still wanna meet up after school tomorrow? "

Willow smiled and took a swig of Buffy's cola. The blond slayer narrowed her eyes at the loss of her caffeine. "Well I guess you and I could..." She smiled as her face got closer to his head. She sniffed the air and pursed her lips. "Mmmnnn. You took a bath."

Xander cocked his head to the side and furrowed his eyebrows. "Yeah, all the cools kids are doing now with the soap and everything. Are you okay Wills?"

Willow smiled appreciatively, "Yeah I'm just a little..." She turned and saw the Twinkie lying on the table. "Hungry!"

Xander grinned and turned to Buffy as the girl tore off half of the cream-filled treat. "See, no one can resist the sugary goodness."

Willow's face dropped as she spit out the Twinkie and cleaned her tongue with a napkin "God, what is this crap? Birds live on this!"

Xander frowned and protectively pulled back the other half of the Twinkie. "Hey, that's no way to talk to the sugary goodness."

Buffy smiled and grabbed onto Willow's arm. "Excuse us for a second, will you?"


Willow groaned as she was pulled into the girl's bathroom. She turned and saw the blond slayer, arms crossed in full glare mode. She smirked and reciprocated the gesture. "What?"

Buffy put her hands on her hips. "What's up with you Wills?"

Willow mirrored her action. "What's wrong with you Buffs?"

"Is something wrong? Did I do something?"

"Is something wrong. Did you do something wrong?"

Buffy raised her right hand. Willow raised her left hand and giggled. Buffy growled and took a step to the left. Willow moved infront of her and chuckled. The blond slayer was getting irritated as her friend copied all of her actions. "Willow, what are you doing?"

The redhead cackled, startling the slayer, and crossed her arms. "God, you are so easy!"

Buffy sighed and chuckled, putting her head in her hands and bent over. "Aggghhh. What the hell was that about?"

Willow's eyes danced as her smiled twisted into a feral grin before walking out of the . "You need to have more fun, girl."

Buffy sighed before following. "Well that was surreal."


Xander watched as his two female friends walked back to the table. His eyes dancing appreciatively back from one to the other. He was not used to his Willow being...not Willow. As they sat back down on the table, he noticed the red flush on his blond friends face. "Hey Buffs, you okay?"

Buffy shook her head and laughed breathlessly. "Yep. Our little Willow here decided that I needed to 'loosen up' a little."

Willow's features darkened before Xander turned to face her. "Wills, you evil little minx you. Picking on poor Buffy like that...good job."

The redhead smiled seductively and slowly and purposefully sipped some of her soda from a straw. Her eyes lowered as she spoke. "What can I say, the poor girl is just soo easy...to mess with."

Buffy was taken aback by the pause. "Wills, are you sure that you're okay?"

Willow smiled seductively as the first strings of "Reluctant Man" by Sprung Monkey came on.

*Oh, Reluctant Man*

The redhead looked to her side and stood up. "Yeah, I'm just... restless." She talked over to Xander and leaned over his shoulder, making slight contact.

*Who's afraid to touch the world Why are you hiding? What is the base of all your fears?*

Xander felt her warm breath caress his ear as she whispered slowly. "Wanna dance?"

*Do you find yourself in a cold cruel world*

Xander's brain had currently melted out his ears and simply nodded allowing his childhood friend to lead him out to the dance floor. "Oookaaayyy."

*Dark and desperate, scared and lonely?*

Buffy sat in astonishment as she watched the redhead lead the teenager through the mob of people at the club.

Willow and Xander walked to the center of the dance floor. Xander regained some of his verbal functions and began to speak. "Wills...not that I'm complaining, but whats with the sudden change?"

*Selfish Man Who never gave to no one else What are you holding? / Is it worth the price you pay?*

Willow smiled and turned around to spoon in against Xander, pulling his arms around her waist. She ground her hips and shoulders against him. She reached up with her hand and stroked his face, once again, causing Xander to lose his ability to talk. She turned back to face him and tilted her head up to his, close enough to kiss.

*'Cause your eyes they see just what you want to see*

The redhead let her arms slowly roam up the brunette's sides. She bit the tip of her lip before looking into his deep brown eyes. "Nothing..."

*And I hope they're not staring blindly at me*

She looked over his shoulder to see Buffy alone, back at the table, looking slightly confused. "...Just wanted to get you to myself for a minute."


"That's our table."

Buffy groaned and rolled her eyes. "Listen, I..." She turned around to see Kyle, Rhonda, Tor, and Heidi staring and grinning at her. She sighed. "Oh, great. It's the winged monkeys."

Kyle and company cackled loudly before surrounding her. Kyle leaned over next to her face and opened his mouth to speak before looking up into the crowd. Buffy smirked and leaned back into her seat. "Cat got your tongue?"

Kyle stood up and motioned for the others to sit down somewhere else. Buffy quickly looked back at the crowd to see Willow smiling mischievously at them over Xander's shoulder. She looked back at Kyle, who smiled sarcastically at the blond slayer before following them to another table where a slightly overweight teenager was sitting alone. Kyle winked at Buffy before leaning over and grinning evilly at the boy. "Y'know, I don't understand why you're sitting at our table."

One of the girls, Rhonda, sat on the table and smiled sweetly at the boy. "Yeah, shouldn't you be hovering over the football stadium with 'Goodyear' written on you?"


Across the dance floor Xander looked down at his dance partner who was laughing up a storm. "Something wrong Wills?"

Willow gave a slight huff and smiled evilly at Xander. "Nah, just had a funny thought."

Chapter 3

"So she didn't seem any different to you?"

Xander shook his head as they walked through the school doors. "I dunno. I mean she was all, 'hey' with the dancing and the touching. But we've both been pushing her to be more outgoing lately, so I don't know, maybe she just got fed up with..."

"Look out! It's gotten loose!"

Xander felt something pink and hairy rub up against his leg and looked down to see a small pig wearing a Sunnydale High Razorbacks Helmet with foam tusks and a green serrated foam tied to its back. He elbowed Buffy in the ribs and pointed down. "I think it likes me."

Buffy squealed in excitement and quickly bent down to pick him up. "Awww, its adorable!"

The principle of Sunnydale high quickly rounded panting. "Lordy, Herbert! Gave Mr. Flutie quite a scare, didn't he?" Flutie turned around to face the mass of students that had gathered. "Students, I'd like you all to met Herbert, our new mascot for the Sunnydale High Razorbacks!"

Several students, shrugged and clapped, the remainder simply ignored the middle-aged man. Buffy gently squeezed the pig in her embrace, earning a "lucky pig" from Xander, which she promptly ignored. She turned to Mr. Flutie and smiled. "He's so cute!"

Mr. Flutie shook his head quickly and walked over to take the pig off her hands. "He's not cute. No! He's a fierce Razorback!"

Xander raised an eyebrow. "He doesn't look that fierce, Mr. Flutie, maybe with a little A1 sauce..."

Mr. Flutie frowned. "He's mean, he's ready for action! See?" He tugged on one of the foam tusks attached to the helmet. "Here are the tusks..." Then he gently petted the green foam on the pig's back. "...of the mighty scary Razorback!"

Buffy smiled and nodded at Mr. Flutie. "You're right. He's a fine mascot and will engender school spirit."

Mr. Flutie groaned. "Uh, he better. Costs a fortune to feed him." The pig oinked in its defense. Flutie ran a hand through his short black hair. "Alright, let's get you back into your cage."

Buffy pouted and held Herbert up to her face. "Its okay sweetie, Auntie Buffy will see you later."

The pig snorted and whimpered as the blond slayer reluctantly handed the potbelly pig over to the principle. Mr. Flutie grinned happily and held the pig up to his face before scolding him. "Now listen here Herbert, you've got to behave from now on, and the Sunnydale Ridgeback has to listen to his principle."

Herbert wiggled and got free again. "Oink."

Mr. Flutie ran after the chaos-inflicting mammal. "HERBERT! COME BACK!"

After several seconds of slack-jawed silence, Buffy turned to Xander. "I'm gonna..."

"By all means."

Buffy quickly ran after Mr. Flutie in an effort to save the potbelly pig, while Xander turned and walked out to the commons area.


Herbert snorted as Buffy carried him alongside Mr. Flutie. "See, the problem is you kids today have no school spirit. Hold on, let me get his outfit off." Buffy pouted as Herbert's uniform was forcibly removed. "Today it's all gangs and drugs and those movies on Showtime with the nudity."

Buffy raised and eyebrow and was about to speak when Flutie held up his hand and continued. "I don't have cable, I only heard. When I was your age we cared about the school's reputation and the football team's record, all that stuff! Of course, when I was your age I was surrounded by old guys telling me how much better things were when they were my age."

Buffy rolled her eyes and held Herbert back up to her face. She started babbling in baby talk, much to the amusement of the piglet. "Oohhh its okay Herbie, oh yeesh, oh yesh it is!"

The pig snorted happily before suddenly he suddenly squealed and jumped out of her arms. The slightly overweight principle spun back around and gave chase. "NO HERBERT! COME BACK!"

Buffy turned back around to see Willow leaning against the row of lockers staring intently at her with an almost snarl across her face. She looked back down the hall to see Mr. Flutie running after the screaming animal. She quickly turned back only to see a whiff of red hair turn a corner. Her face scrunched up in confusion before turning back around to catch Herbert.


"Okay, so the bisector of a vertex is the line that divides the angle at that vertex into two equal parts."

Xander looked up from his math book and paper to look around the courtyard. Several groups of students were laughing and reading, some eating or simply talking. The brunette simply sighed and stared uneasily at the book infront of him. He clicked his pen and continued to write.

"All triangles can be divided into two separate triangles, but only Isosceles and Equilateral...crap."

Xander slammed the book shut and rubbed his eyes. Math was not his friend. Neither was history, science, or much else for that matter, but still. "Dammit Wills."


Xander lowered his arms and opened his eyes to see Willow standing two feet infront of him. The redhead had on a short black skirt with dark stockings. She had taken to wearing tight dark green tops to compliment her bright red hair and bring it down a little while accentuating her more...womanly curves. In her black red heels, he was able to keep her waist directly at Xander's eyelevel. With a smirk, she put her hands on her hips and leaned to the side. "Cat got your tongue?"

Xander's mouth opened a little as he looked quickly left and right. "Wha-Where did you come from?"

Willow smirked and sauntered over next to him and slowly sat down to his left, 'accidentally' making contact in her descent. "Well when a boy and a girl reeally like each other..."

Xander unconsciously shifted to his right. "Haha, anyway, here were you? Without you, all of these numbers and angles get too much. You know that saying 'its all Greek to me?' well it's like that except I know some Greek and this aint Greek...except maybe for the names and things."

Willow smiled and started stroking his shoulder in a slow up and down motion. "Why are you doing this to yourself Xander?"

Xander suddenly became aware of the fact that his best friend since kindergarten was pressing up next to him and stood up. "You remember, I fail math, I flunk out of school, I end up being the guy at the pizza place that sweeps the floor and says, 'Hey, kids, where's the cool parties this weekend?' We've been through this Wills, I need your help."

The redhead smiled mischievously and pawed her hands on the bench like a kitten. "Well, what are you going to do for me?"

"A shiny nickel?"

Willow smiled and stood up. "Nooo, I was thinking of something..." She walked behind him and slowly leaned into his back, whispering across his neck. "...else."

Xander stumbled forward, barely able to keep his balance. He turned around and stammered. "Hey now, Wills. Okay. I was a little concerned about w-with the, uhh, dancing and the laughing. But I thought hey..." Willow smirked and walked closer to him. "...if my bestest bud wants to..." he motioned quickly towards her clothes "...dress different and everything that's cool too."

The redhead smiled at the boy's ramblings. "What exactly are you saying?"

"I'm not sure exactly, can I get back to you on that?"



"Shut up."


Willow slowly leaned into his body and reached her hands around his back, one hand slowly gliding up his spine to rest against the back of his skull, the other just barely hovering over his waistline. Xander looked down into her dark green eyes. "Wills, I..." Willow smirked and pulled his head down into a passionate kiss while the other hand grabbed his backside roughly, resulting a small grunt of surprise from Xander and catcalls from the students in the area.

"Whoo yeah!"

"About damn time Harris!"

"Get a room."

"Oh my god, like I coulda sworn the little nerd was a lesbo or something."

Xander could feel the growl rise in Willow's throat as she broke off the kiss and turned to see Harmony smiling evilly with her hands upon her hips. The blonde cheerleader flipped her hair to the side and pouted.

"Awww, the poor baby thinks that she can wear grown up clothes now. Well don't worry, I'm sure that Wal-mart can give you a refund."

Xander moved to intercept the ditz. "Oh I'm sorry Harmony, I can't understand what you're saying. I guess that giving the whole football team blowjobs must make it hard to form complete sentences, not that you had that ability in the first place."

Harmony merely rolled her eyes before looking back at the redhead. "Isn't that sweet. You finally got the loser to notice you. It must've been hard to know that he didn't want you for so long. But I guess if you fuck him, you can keep him away from Summers."

Willow's eyes burned a fierce amber as she ran up and smashed her fist into the blonde's jaw. "Xander's mine bitch, and don't you fucking forget it."


"So she broke her jaw?"

"Yeah, I mean Go Wills for standing up for herself. But it's almost too much to take in with the clothes..."

"And the laugh."

"And the kiss."

"And the k..."

Buffy's eyes widened and she looked at her best male friend in complete and utter shock. "WHAT?"

Xander quickly started looking around to see if something was going to attack him. "What? Where?"

The blonde slayer grabbed hid head with both hands and pulled his face to meet her gaze. "She kissed you?"

Xander wiggled himself out of her grip and straitened his shirt. "Yes, and hard as that may be for you to conceive, an actual woman finds me attractive. I realize its no mystery guy handing out leather jackets, and while we're on the subject, what kind of a girlie name is 'Angel' anyway?"

Buffy groaned and smacked the back of his head, earning a retaliatory glare from Xander. "What happened?"

Xander rubbed the back of his head with one hand and continued walking. "I dunno. I mean she was late for our math study session, then she shows up looking very..."

"Very what?"

Xander sheepishly grinned. "...Un-Willow like, and she doesn't let me study and just kisses me. I can't really tell you more, its like one big blur almost."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "Yeah, that's what every girl wants to hear. Be sure to tell her when she gets out of detention."

Xander chuckled as they walked into fifth period with Mrs. Beakman. "No no no, don't get me wrong. It was...incredible..."

"Now that you should tell her."

"But something was off..."

Buffy glanced at the empty desk where Willow usually sat before turning back to Xander. "What do you mean?"

Xander shook his head. "I'm not sure. Its just when she went after Harmony. She...she's my Willow. She doesn't do that."

Buffy sighed. "Maybe she just decided that she was going to stand up for herself."

Xander nodded before staring off into space. "Yeah maybe."


Kyle impatiently sighed as he waited with Tor, Heidi and Rhonda. "Why do we have to wait?"

"Because I told you to."

The four members of the gang turned to see Willow smiling evilly walking down the hall towards them. Kyle straitened his posture. "You're late."

Willow rolled her eyes and walked past them, not even bothering to meet their gazes. "I had detention, gotta keep up appearances."

Kyle ran up next to her and growled. "Appearing weak is no way to..."


Willow's arm shot out and grabbed him by the neck, slamming him into the row of lockers, his feet dangling inches above the floor. "You ignorant little fool. You have to look weak so that they are not prepared. It's called 'tactics' or 'strategy' you idiot and that's why I am in control."

Tor, Heidi, and Rhonda cackled hysterically as they watched Kyle's face turn purple. Willow smiled and dropped Kyle to the ground. "Now come on, I've got a special treat for everyone."


Herbert the pig sat peacefully in his cage. After running around for half the day and feasting on some pellets, the four-pound animal decided to get some much-deserved rest. He snorted contently as he drifted off to sleep. After several seconds, a small scraping noise woke him up to see five sets of glowing yellow eyes staring down at him. The little pig's hairs stood on end, as it knew what the eyes wanted. Herbert crawled into the farthest corner of his cage and squealed as a soft feminine voice called out.

"Pork, it's the other white meat."

Chapter 4

Giles walked around the library placing books back onto shelves and picking up the ones that were lying around. "I don't see what you are talking about?"

Buffy groaned as she walked behind him, relaying the day's events. "What do you mean? You're supposed to be mister watcher guy with the knowledge."

Giles nodded as he put a few more books onto their proper places in the shelves. "Yes, knowledge of Demons and Vampires and supernatural threats, not of the inner workings of a sixteen year old girl."

Buffy groaned. "Are you telling me that at Watcher U they don't teach you how to deal with teenage girls?"

"Oh of course, it's right before we do each others makeup and braid our hair. Seriously now Buffy. I understand that you are worried for Willow, but she is a big girl and can grow up on her own. I for one am glad that she stood up for herself. And that she finally took the first step with Xander. Lord knows the boy is about as thick as a brick wall."

Buffy sighed. "I know, I know, it's just this whole Willow not being Willow thing has got my Slay-dar on full alert."

Giles looked back to her abruptly. "Slay-dar?"

Buffy nodded eagerly. "Yep, you know my slayer radar that tells me if there's any supernatural boogiemen out there."

Giles stopped in his tracks and thought aloud. "And yet the world has not been plunged into eternal darkness. Hmmmm fancy that."

"Giles you're not helping me."

The British librarian put his books down on the table and sighed. "Listen Buffy, maybe you're just not used to Willow being this way. Many people like to categorize others into little boxes or labels and if they change, it's not so easy for some to accept. Besides..." he talked over and got another stack of books, "I thought you wanted Willow to be more outgoing."

"She punched Harmony."

Giles stopped again and sputtered. "W-what?"

Buffy took a step forward and gestured wildly with her hands. "She was kissing Xander..."

Giles groaned. "Yes, that is a disturbing mental image."

"...And Harmony said something. So Willow punched her."

Giles walked towards the table in the middle of the library and placed the books on the end corner. "Good for her, never liked that one."

"Giles, I'm serious."

The librarian sat down and took off his glasses to clean them. "So am I. You know how introverted she is. She needs to grow up a little and become more aggressive. And if she crosses a certain boundary or becomes somewhat of a..."


Giles rolled his eyes at the obvious teen drama. "I was going to say nuisance, then simply talk to her. You and Xander are obviously the closest people she has to her."

Buffy became exasperated and sat down across from him. "I cannot believe that you, of all people, are trying to Scully me. There is something supernatural at work here. Get your books! Look stuff up!"

Giles groaned and grabbed a book. "Look under what?"

"I don't know that's more your department."

"The evidence that you've presented me with is sketchy at best."

Buffy sat up quickly. "She scared the pig!"

Giles raised an eyebrow.

"Well, she did..."

"Buffy, Animals are easily frightened. As for Harmony, Willow probably was tired of the teasing and for once wanted to retaliate and have the last laugh."

Buffy cocked her head to the side. "What did you just say?"

Giles finished cleaning his glasses and put them back on his face. "Animals are easily frightened?"

Buffy stood up and started pacing around the room. "The last laugh, I've heard that somewhere before."

Giles shrugged. "Well it is a rather common saying."

Buffy shook her head. "No, no. Willow has been acting totally wiggy ever since we went to the zoo. Xander and Willow followed Kyle and his gang into the Hyena exhibit to try and save Lance. Xander was knocked unconscious, but ever since then... Oh, God, that laugh..."

"You're saying that, uh, Willow is becoming a hyena."

"I don't know. Or been possessed by one? Not just her, all of them."

"Well, I-I-I've cer-certainly never heard of, uh..."

They stopped talking as they heard the library doors swing open and Xander ran into the room almost out of breath. "Herbert! They found him."

Buffy's eyes widened. "Herbert? What happened to my piggy?"

Xander hunched over and tried to breathe. "Dead. And also eaten. Principal Flutie's freaking out."

Buffy turned to her watcher. "Giles, I pray to God that it wasn't who I think it was."

Giles nodded and went into his office to look for books. Xander coughed and looked at Buffy. "Who?"

Buffy sighed. "Willow."

"Willow!? What are you talking about?"

"I think she's been possessed by a Hyena."

Xander stopped for a second to process her words. "You know, the more that you talk, the less sense that you make."

Buffy grabbed a book and slammed another one opposite her on the table. "That's the only explanation that makes any sense! I mean, the sudden change in personality, the eating, and the clothes. That wasn't Willow!"

Xander raised his voice and stood up. "Are we overlooking the idea that she may be very attracted to me?"

Xander felt Buffy's silence confirm his self-doubt. "She's possessed."

Buffy shook her head. "No it's not that. She just has no handle on self-control. Or maybe it's not even really her, I don't know."

Xander shook his head and turned around to leave. "I don't have to listen to this."

Buffy stood up and called out after him. "You know that there's something wrong with her..."

Xander spun around and shouted back. "Yeah! She'd have to be really fucked up to even kiss me or anything else. I might not be as mysterious or as exciting as Angel. But I aint just a fucking throw rug either."

"You know what I mean, there's something different...darker about her. Or maybe it's just me. Maybe I am seeing things. But even if there's the slightest chance if I'm right..."

Xander stood in silence for several seconds before nodding his head and walking over. "Where do you want to start?"

Buffy smiled and pointed to the small pile of books already lying on the table. The brunette groaned before randomly picking a book and opening it.

"I still don't think Willow could've have eaten Herbert."

"Why not?"

"She's Jewish!"


"He wasn't Kosher!"

"She's possessed by a hyena, Xander I don't think that it really mattered."


Kyle watched in mild annoyance as Heidi and Tor mercilessly began teasing a freshman. This kiddie stuff was below him. The 'hiding' was driving him crazy. There they were, little lambs ready for the slaughter. He could feel the blood pumping through their red veins, begging to be tasted. The flesh beneath his nails surged with anticipation and he began flicking his canine teeth with the tip of his tongue.

"What's wrong Kylie?"

Kyle groaned and turned to see Rhonda smiling at him seductively. "Is there anything I can do?"

The brunette girl accentuated 'do' with her tongue snaking out and licking her lips eagerly. Kyle snorted and looked away. "We have to 'keep up appearances,' huh such bullshit. Why is she doing this to us?"

Rhonda purred as she placed her hands upon his chest. "Ohhh, not happy with the current leadership are we?"

Kyle smirked as he grasped her wrists. "Well let's just say that I don't appreciate being ordered around by a little girl. I want real MEAT not some pig. I need..."

Mr. Flutie ran around the corner, his face red with anger. "YOU FOUR!"

Tor released the freshman and acted suspiciously innocent. "What?"

Mr. Flutie stormed over to them. "Oh, don't think I don't know. Three kids saw you outside Herbert's room. You're busted! Yeah! You're goin' down."

Rhonda smirked and leaned against Kyle. "How is Herbert?"

Heidi wrapped her arms around Tor protectively and grinned. "Crunchy!"

The middle-aged principle's face burst with anger. "That's it! My office, right now."

The four teenagers started cackling maniacally, causing Mr. Flutie to take a step back. He shook his head and shouted. "Now!"

Kyle turned to the other three and motioned for them to stop laughing and follow him. He smirked as the principle started walking down the hall without looking back to see if they were following. "You're gonna have so much detention, your grandchildren'll be staying after school."


"Wow! Apparently Noah rejected the hyenas from the Ark because he thought they were an evil impure mixture of dogs and cats."

Xander nodded and closed the book he was reading. "Yeah I'm getting that Hyenas aren't exactly well liked."

Buffy groaned and leaned back into her seat. "They do seem to be the schmoes of the animal kingdom. Why couldn't she be possessed by a kitten, or possibly a sloth?"

Xander grabbed another book from the pile and started reading. "Speaking of which, are we talking 'Exorcist pea soup' possession or 'Children of the Corn' or what?"

Giles walked out of his office carrying a rather large tome. "Actually neither. The Masai of the Serengeti have spoken of animal possession for, for generations. I... I should have remembered that."

Xander pushed the book he was reading away and looked expectantly up at the watcher. "So how does it work?"

The Brit placed the book on the table for all to see and pointed to the opened page. "Well, apparently there's a, a sect of animal worshipers known as Primals. They believe that humanity, uh, consciousness, uh, the soul, is a, is a perversion, a dilution of spirit. Uh, to them the animal state is holy. They are able, through trans-possession, to, to, um, draw the spirit of certain animals into themselves."

Buffy frowned. "Why a Hyena then, everything we've read basically says hyena bad."

Giles nodded and turned a couple of pages to show off his findings. "Well, only the most predatory of animals are, are of interest to the Primals, so, uh, yes, yes, that would fit, yes."

Xander grew worried. "So, what happens to the person once the spirit's in them?"

The watcher sighed and pushed the book towards the teenage boy. "If it goes unchecked..."

Xander took one look at the open page before standing up and grabbing his backpack. "I gotta find her."

Buffy shot out of her seat and grabbed hold of his arm. "Wait, what are you talking about?"

Xander shook her hand off and turned to face her. "Listen, you might be the Slayer, but she's my Wills."

Buffy stood with her mouth hanging open as she watched Xander fly out of the library. She turned and looked to Giles. "What is going..."

The librarian sighed and handed her the open book. The opened page was filled with drawing of animalistic savages tearing off limbs and eating flesh, torture and murder. He slammed the book shut and offered only two words. "Follow him."


Xander quietly knocked on the faculty lounge door before looking into the dark room. "Hello? Anyone in here?"

After several seconds without a reply he slowly stepped into the room and turned the lights on. "Oh my God."

In the center of the room Herbert's cage lay in a twisted bloody mess. The front door was ripped off and blood was still wet and sticky on the floor. He exhaled and shook his head. "Wills, what did you do?"

"Nothing really."

He spun around to find Willow blocking the entrance, wearing the same clothes from earlier that day. He held one hand over his chest to keep his heart from popping out. "God Wills, don't do that. You almost gave me a heart attack."

The hacker turned Hyena giggled a little. "Poor poor Xander." Quickly her giggle turned into a full hyena cackle as her eyes glowed yellow and she took a step forward.

Xander cautiously took a step backward. "Buffy said that you're sick."

Willow interrupted him with a low growl. "Oh, yeah. Buffy and her all-purpose solution: punch 'em out 'n' knock 'em down. I'd love to see what she'd do to somebody who was really sick."

"That's not fair Wills. Buffy saved both of our lives."

The redhead snarled. "And before her, did we ever need saving, no all we needed was each other."

Xander took a step backward and held out his hands. "Willow, this is ridiculous. We need to talk."

She pouted and shook her head before slowly backing him into a corner. Xander suddenly realized that his routes of escape were being cut off. "Wills, seriously talk to me."

The redhead merely snarled and knocked him down with her on top holding down his arms. "You know what?"

She roughly licked the side of his face and grinned. "Talking's overrated."

Chapter 5

Mr. Flutie was incensed as the four teenagers walked into his office. "I have seen some sick things in my life! Believe me! But this is beyond the pale! What is it with you people?"

The pack started to whine and circled him. The two males flanked either side of him while the two girls stood back towards the door to bar the exit. Kyle and Tor grinned as they neared the fat principle.

Mr. Flutie was starting to eye the four teenagers warily as they became closer. "Is it drugs? How could you? A poor defenseless pig?"

Kyle sniffed the air and yipped in excitement. Mr. Flutie cocked his head to the side. "It is drugs, isn't it?"

Tor licked his lips. Causing the principle to back up a little more. "Umm, what are you doing?"


Willow growled hungrily as she watched Xander squirm in her vice- like grip. "Willow this isn't you. Please..."

The redhead cackled and slowly moved her face closer to his. "Oh, like you've been paying a lot of attention to me lately."

Xander's eyes narrowed as his best friend's face came within millimeters of his. He felt her warm breath roll off her tongue and across his skin as she spoke. "No, all you can think about is 'Buffy this' and 'Buffy that.' What ever happened to the days when it was just you and I huh? Before that blonde slut came her and stole you away from me."

Xander struggled to get his arms free. "Willow, you know that's not true."

"Oh is it? Then how come you're only on time when she's there. You only call me to talk about her. You only dance with me when you cant get her to. You lousy little fuck, you don't care about me."

Xander screamed as Willow started squeezing his arms tighter. "WILLOW, PLEASE YOU'RE HURTING ME!"

Willow released some of her grip but made sure that he couldn't get away. "Oh poor Xander. Don't worry, I don't want to hurt you."

The brunette cautiously looked up into his friend's glowing yellow eyes. Willow purred and kissed his ear before whispering. "I want to make you feel things you never knew existed."

"Get off of me."

Willow sat back up, still holding his arms down, looking shocked. "Is that what you really want?"

"Willow, please..."

"We both know what you really want. You want a strong woman. Someone who can take care of herself. Someone who isn't afraid or better than you, don't cha? You like your girls strong."

"You're in trouble, Wills. You are infected with some hyena thing, it's like a demonic possession!"

Willow smiled and leaned forward again, letting her long red hair fall gently onto Xander's face. "Strong with a bit of danger, right? Like Buffy. Your Dream Girl. The one you fantasize about? Well, guess who just got dangerous."


Mr. Flutie felt himself back into the wall as the four teenagers were nearing him. "Now, stop that! You're only going to make things worse for yourselves. I tell you how this is gonna work. I am gonna call your parents, and they are gonna take you all home."

He reached for his phone, but Tor got his hands on it first and tried to stare him down. Mr. Flutie's face narrowed and then gestured to be given the phone. Tor looked over at Kyle who nodded before giving Flutie the phone.

"Thank you."

Flutie started to dial but noticed there was no dial tone. He looked up to see one of the girls holding one end of the phone cable. Rhonda giggled and shrugged her shoulders. "I'm sorry..."

The principle's face exploded with anger. "That is it!"

He turned to Kyle and shouted. "You better move mister or else!"

Kyle grinned and looked at the other members of his pack. "Or else what?"


Willow gently kissed Xander's nose and worked her way back towards his earlobe. "Do you know how long... I've waited... until you'd stop pretending that we aren't attracted..."

Xander kept on struggling and squirming, but it was futile. The possessed Willow was too strong. "Wills, I..."

Willow smiled and looked into his scared brown eyes. "What Xander?"

Xander felt his composure weaken. "Willow, I-I"

The redhead flipped her hair to one side and forcefully kissed him on the lips. "What?"

"I don't wanna hurt you..."

Willow raised both her eyebrows. "Oh really?" She dug her nails into his flesh and reveled as his screamed echoed throughout the room. When she was done she looked back into his watery brown eyes. "Now do you wanna hurt me?"

Xander felt his face burn red with anger and pain. His best friend since childhood grinned and massaged his arms. "Come on, Xan. I like it when you're angry."

Xander struggled and put as much strength as he could into fighting her off. Willow sniffed the air and grinned. "The angrier you are the better you smell. I always loved how forceful and protective you could be."

She moved in and kissed him roughly on the neck. "That's why I chose you to be my mate."

Xander watched in horror as Willow hungrily began to rip off his clothes.

"The man said no."

The redhead looked to the left to be blindsided by a large wooden desk. Xander could only lie there as Buffy walked over to his side and pulled him up. "And no means no."


Tor laughed and pushed Mr. Flutie into his black leather chair. "You're about this close to expulsion, people!" He pushed the chair back and stood up. "I'm willing to talk to the school counselor, and we can discuss options..."

The principle made a move for the exit but the girls laughed and stopped him. He turned back around to see Tor climb onto his desk and growl at him. Mr. Flutie shouted angrily. "Get down from there this instant!"

He turned back around to be startled by Rhonda standing mere inches from his face. The girl smiled and scratched his cheek with her nails, causing him to fall back onto the floor in shock with his hand covering his face. He took his hand away and saw the blood running from the scratch. He looked back up to see the four teenagers laugh maniacally and circle him. Mr. Flutie then realized the situation that he was in. "Oh God no..."

Kyle grinned and nodded his head. "Mmmnnn Meat."


Giles was busy researching in his office when he heard the library doors open. He grabbed his book and quickly ran out to see Buffy and Xander dragging an unconscious Willow into the weapons cage. Buffy grunted as the lowered her onto the floor. "Hurry up. We gotta get her locked up somehow before she comes to."

Giles grabbed his keys and ran over. "Oh, my God! What happened?"

Buffy sighed and sat down at the table. "I hit her."

Giles saw the nasty bruise forming on the girl's forehead. "With what?"

Xander sighed and kept looking at his unconscious friend. "A desk."

Buffy groaned and rested her head on the table's wooden surface. "She tried her hand at felony sexual assault."

Giles looked terrified. "Oh lord, Xander, the hyena in her didn't..."

Xander's face fell and shook his head, but kept his gaze. "No. No, but it's safe to say that in her animal state Wills idea of wooing doesn't involve a dinner and a movie. But right now, I want to know how to get my old Willow back."

Buffy nodded. "Yeah, but I'm a little more worried about what the rest of the pack are up to."

Giles suddenly looked slightly disturbed. "The rest of the pack were spotted outside Herbert the mascot's cage. They were sent to the principal's office."

Xander sat at the table and smiled. "Good! That'll show 'em. Right Giles?"

After not receiving a response, Xander became a little concerned and face the watcher. "Uh, did it show 'em?"

Giles exhaled but remained silent, searching for what to say. Buff stood up and walked over to him. "They didn't hurt him, did they?"

Giles shrugged, still not exactly sure of what to say. "They, uh... ate him."

Buffy had to sit back down. Xander shook his head, still not believing what the librarian had said. "They ate Principal Flutie?"

Giles nodded and began to clean his glasses "The, uh, official theory is that wild dogs got into his office somehow. There was no one at the scene."

Buffy looked slightly happier as she remembered something. "But Willow didn't." She turned Xander. "She, she was with you."

Giles put his glasses back on and took a small breath. "Uh, well, that's a small mercy."

Xander nodded and looked back at the librarian. "Giles, how do we stop this? How do you un-possess someone?"

Giles stuttered and began looking around for a book. "I-I'm afraid I still don't have all the pieces. Um, the accounts of the Primals and their methods are a bit thin on the ground. There is some talk of a- a-a predatory act, but the exact ritual is, is, um..." He saw the book in the stack on the table and pulled it out. "The Malleus Maleficarum deals in particulars of demonic possession, which... may apply..." He started looking through a few pages. "Yes, one, one should be able to transfer the spirits to another human."

Buffy sighed and leaned back in her seat. "Oh, that's great. Any volunteers?"

Giles looked slightly crestfallen. "Oh. Yes. Good point."

Xander shook his head. "What we need to do is put the hyena back in the hyena."

Giles grabbed another book and began to look through it. "B-but until we know more, uh..."

Buffy stood up. "Betcha that zookeeper could tell us. Maybe he didn't quarantine those hyenas because they were sick."

Giles nodded. "We should talk to him."

The three of them look back at Willow lying unconscious in the cage. "Okay. But somebody's gotta watch Will..."

Xander interrupted her. "I will."

Buffy shook her head. "No Xander, I mean after what she did..."

Xander shook his head. "Nothing happened, you got there in time, besides, we need to have a talk. And this might be the only time I can bore her with the long version."

Giles put his hand on the young boy's shoulder. "Xander, are you sure? If she wakes up..."

Xander held out his hand for the keys. "I'll be alright. Go."

After a moment's hesitation Giles gave Xander the keys to the cage. He put his hand on the boy's shoulder as they left, now remember the tranquilizer gun is locked up in the cabinet in my office."

Xander nodded and palmed the keys into his jeans pocket. Buffy gave him one last smile before Giles drug her out of the library.

Buffy quietly whispered to Giles as they walked out the library doors. "Was that a good idea?"

Giles looked over his shoulder to see Xander watching the cage intently. He turned back to face Buffy and shook his head. "Probably not, but it's probably what he needs."


Willow groaned as she regained consciousness. "Ugghhh. Blonde bitch."

"Glad to see you're still you."

The redhead turned to see Xander standing just out of reach outside the cage. He sat down and watched as Willow started to move around. "How are you feeling?"

Willow rolled her eyes. "Like somebody hit me with a desk." She took a second to look around. "What am I doin' here?"

Xander sighed. "You're... I dunno...waking up?"

Willow stood up and placed her hands on the cage, testing out its strength. "You guys got me locked up now."

Xander nodded. "Yeah. It was probably a good idea, what with the attempted rape and such."

Willow smirked and swayed her hips back and forth while arching her back, leaning forward into the cage door. "Don't kid me now Xander, its not rape if you want it. And trust me. I could tell that you wanted it. You cant hide something that big while I'm lying on top of you."

Xander shook his head. "I'm sorry Wills."

The redhead laughed. "Why? I'm not. I can stand up for myself. I actually got you interested in me and if it wasn't for the bitch I woulda had it a long time ago."

"I want my old Willow back. The one the broke the yellow crayon in kindergarten but was too scared to admit it. I want to one that cried when she found out that the Easter Bunny wasn't real."

"You want the fucking doormat for your emotions. You want the little bitch that took shit and didn't say a word back."

"Wills. I actually thought you were interested in me, not some horny hyena slut. I wanted the good Willow."

"Well guess what? I like being this way. I like the power. I like the strength." The redhead ginned and massaged her wrists. "I can see why you're so attracted to Buffy. It's all about the power. People want people with power."

Willow cocked her head to the side. "Why did she leave you here alone? You weren't good enough to tag along?"

Xander gave a halfhearted smile. "Because I told her to."


Xander sighed and walked parallel to the cage. "I just wanted to say that I don't blame you for what happened. You can't control it Wills. And I'm sorry that it was you and not me."

Will's frown inexplicably turned into an odd smile as she looked off into space. "That's okay Xander, we can still be together."


The zookeeper looked at the two people infront of him incredulously as he loaded his truck with animal feed. "The students have been possessed by the hyenas?"

Giles nodded. "Yes."

The zookeeper sighed and walked back towards the shed. "Are you sure?"

Buffy sighed and followed him. "Yes, we're really, really sure."

Giles cocked his head to the side and appraised the man infront of him. "Y-you don't seem enormously surprised by this."

The zookeeper shrugged and grabbed some more feed from the shed for his truck. "The zoo imported those hyenas from Africa. There was something strange about them from day one. I did some homework... That particular breed is very rare. Totally vicious. Historically they were worshipped by these guys..."

Giles interrupted him. "Primals."

The zookeeper nodded. "Yeah! Creepy guys! Now, they had rituals for taking the hyena spirits, but I-I don't see how that coulda happened to your kids."

Giles shrugged and looked back at Buffy before continuing. "Uh, we don't know exactly how the ritual works. We know that it involves a, um, um... predatory act and some kind of symbol."

The zookeeper raised an eyebrow. "Predatory act? Of course. That makes sense. Where did you read that?"

"Do you have Sherman Jeffries' work on, on cults and on..."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "Boys? More important things?"

Giles raised his hand slightly. "Sorry."

The zookeeper nodded and walked back to his truck with the animal feed. "Look. I think we may have enough information so that together we could pull off a reverse trans-possession."

Buffy shrugged. "What do we do?"

The zookeeper threw the feed into the back of the truck and sighed. "We've gotta get those possessed students over to the hyena cage right away. I'll meet you there. We can begin the rituals."

Giles nodded. "W-well, we can guarantee one of them, but there are four more, and we have no idea where they are."

The zookeeper chuckled. "No, I wouldn't worry about that. After hyenas feed and rest they will track the missing member of their pack until they find him. They should come right to you."

Chapter 6

"Wills. I love you, you know that, but still not you in there."

"Then why are you talking to me?"

Xander shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. I guess I just think that you might be scared Wills. You don't have control of what's going on. And I don't want you to think I blame you."

Willow smiled. "But I am in control. More in control than I've ever been in my life. You wont believe how freeing it is Xander. The strength to do what you want. To feel every essence of life. You wont believe it until you've had it."

Xander started to get a little suspicious. "Willow what are you talking about?"

Several loud cackling laughs echoed throughout the library. Xander's face paled as he realized what was happening. Willow smirked as she felt her pack come closer. "I cant wait for you to join me Xander. It'll be like old times again."

Xander edged closer to the office where he knew Giles had a tranquilizer gun. "Willow..."

Kyle and Heidi kicked in the windows. Tor and Rhonda burst through the library doors and screamed for blood. Xander dove into Giles' office and locked the door.

Willow smiled as her pack gathered around the office. "Hmmm. It's about time you showed up. I was getting antsy."


Xander opened the cabinet in the back of the office and was relieved to see the tranquilizer gun propped up against the back of the wooden furniture and two darts. The boy groaned as he quickly loaded one of the darts into the rifle. "Dammit. Even I know that's not enough."


Kyle grinned and turned around to face the redhead trapped in the weapons cage. The rest of the pack cackled loudly as Kyle leaned closer to their captive leader. "How is it that the mighty have fallen."

Willow smiled seductively and pressed herself up against the cage. Her hands slowly roamed down her sides as she spoke. "Well, I guess I couldn't help myself. Being like this has certain... advantages."

Kyle grinned evilly and leaned in closer to the cage. "Like what?"

The girl pouted innocently. "Oh you know..." As Kyle came within reach, Willow's arms snaked out and grabbed him by the throat, causing the pack to laugh wildly. Willow smiled as she began to squeeze harder. "Like being able to control the idiots under you." She stopped smiling and turned to Tor. "Would you open the door for me Tor? The keys should be on the table."

Tor took one look at the second in command before walking over to the table and throwing off all of the books. He frowned and turned back to his leader. "They are not here mistress."

Willow frowned and looked down upon Kyle, who was quickly turning blue in the face from asphyxiation. "If I let you go will you be a good little doggie for mommy and help get my keys from my Xander?"

Kyle's eyes rolled into the back of his head as he clawed against her arms. Willow took that as a 'yes.'



The ancient Citroen charged down the street, cutting off several other vehicles. The elder librarian cursed under his breath before addressing his charge. "We are going as fast as we can Buffy."

"But they could be there already."

Giles honked the horn as he cut off another SUV. "Yes I know, but I doubt that you can outrun the Citroen so I suggest that you be quiet."

Buffy groaned. "That's a matter of opinion."


Xander palmed the keys to the weapons locker in his hand and cautiously released the safety on the tranquilizer gun. He didn't hear any sounds coming from outside the office, which, he hoped, meant that they left already.

A soft tapping on the window did little to confirm his hopes. He mentally chided himself for backing himself into a corner. "Dammit Buffy, Giles, I need you."

The window on the door shattered revealing a slightly annoyed looking Kyle. He poked his head in and laughed. "Heeeerreee's Johnny!"

Xander aimed the tranq gun and fired. The dart barely missed the pack member's face, causing him to turn to his left and stare at the dart lodged into the wall. Kyle looked back at Xander and screamed in laughter. The slayerette fumbled with the second dart, trying to load it into the gun. Kyle walked closer grinning. "You have something that doesn't belong to you." He growled and lunged at the boy.

Xander sighed in relief as the dart clicked into place and the gun was ready to fire. He took aim at the charging teenager.

Their eyes met as the gun fired.


Willow stared at the broken office door as her heightened senses heard the soft discharge of the tranquilizer gun. After several seconds of silence, she turned to the rest of her pack. "Go see what's taking so long."

Tor and the two girls grinned eagerly and began walking towards the open door. As they got closer, they started to whimper and back off. Willow's face burned red with anger. "WHAT IS GOING O-"

A sinister laugh permeated the library walls. The pack stared in astonishment as Xander walked out of the library holding up the limp body of Kyle and proclaiming. "See what happens when you send a boy to do a man's job."

The girls, Heidi and Rhonda backed down acknowledging Xander as more powerful. Tor growled and took a step forward. "What did you do to Kyle?"

Xander grinned and dropped Kyle's unconscious form onto the floor. "Oh nothing, he's just off in his own little world right now. The little dipshit thought he could take me on." He stepped closer to the other male and growled under his breath. "Challenge me and I will grind your bones to dust and throw you into the wind."

Willow smirked and clapped her hands together. "Bravo Xander, Bravo."

Xander's eyes glowed yellow as he slowly walked over to the weapons cage. "Willow, I have to admit, I didn't believe you when you told me how..." he inhaled deeply. "incredible this was."

Willow smiled and leaned against the cage door. "Well Xan, If you wanted, you could open up this cage and I'll show you how...incredible it really can be."

Xander took the keys out of his pocket and twirled them around his finger. "Hmmm. You could be...useful."

Willow groaned in pleasure as she sensed his scent oozing into her pores. "What kind of 'uses' did you have in mind?"

The teenager sniffed her scent through the cage and smirked. "Plenty."

Willow squirmed as she heard the mate in Xander calling out to her. "Oh God Xander. If you don't let me out of this cage right now, and I mean RIGHT FUCKING NOW, I swear to almighty God you will live to regret it."

Xander grinned and unlocked the door. "Before we get to the... festivities, there is something else we should probably take care of..."


Giles and Buffy burst through the library doors holding a sword and a club. Buffy saw the office windows broken with Kyle on the floor. Giles noticed the open cage door and sighed. "We're too late."

Buffy knelt down next to Kyle and saw the tranquilizer dart sticking out of his shoulder. "Giles, look."

The librarian knelt opposite her and looked down upon his body. "He's only unconscious. That must be Xander's work. Place him in the cage and I'll go get some smelling salts to wake him up to see what he knows."

"Uh Giles?"

The watcher looked back over his shoulder as he walked into his office. "Yes Buffy?"

The blond slayer shook her head and looked back down at the unconscious teenager. "If they came back for Willow, then why did they leave Kyle here? And where is Xander?"

Giles sighed and grabbed the tranquilizer gun from off the floor where Xander had dropped it. "If they left Kyle, that means that he is no longer part of their 'pack.' And as for Xander..."

Buffy abruptly stood up and walked into the weapons locker. She grabbed a large club and another box of tranq darts. She threw them to Giles, who barely managed to catch them. The British librarian shouldered the gun and loaded a dart. "We must lead them back to the zoo if we're going to stop this."

Buffy nodded and followed him out to the car. "And before their next meal. Guess that's my job."

Giles shook his head and turned the safety on. "No, if they were hungry, they would have...fed."

"On Kyle?"

Giles stammered as they walked out the frond doors. "W-well, yes. But since they did not, um...feed, they might be after something else. A way to...consolidate their power. And if the spirit had indeed gone into Xander, then they might know their weakness."

Buffy sighed. "Okay, so what do we do?"

"Well, individually they're almost as strong as you. As a group they're..."

"They're tough, but if we can take them out with the tranq gun or re- de-transpossess them or whatever at the exhibit, we might manage it. But how are we going to get there before them?"

Giles smirked and looked towards Principle Flutie's red 1969 Ford Mustang. "I think I have an idea."


Willow snarled hungrily as she followed Xander through the back streets and alleyways of Sunnydale. Several vampires had come across their path only to be dispatched easily by the pack. She reveled in the sight of Xander standing over their dust smirking evilly before growling his pleasure. He was hers. A member of her pack. She didn't really enjoy his thinking that he could rival her in power or stature, but first things first. There was a threat to the pack. And there was one thing they could all agree upon.

There are no threats to the pack.


Buffy groaned looked around wildly. "The pathway to the Hyena House. Where's the zookeeper?"

Giles panted and held himself up with his hands on his knees. "Uh, he must be inside. I-I'll go in and help prepare things. You just warn, try and stall them for a few minutes before uh, before you come down."


Giles looked around the empty room as he walked in. "Doctor? Uh... Zookeeper?"

He heard a door close and turned around to see the zookeeper standing inches from his face in a tribal outfit with black and white makeup covering his skin holding a large staff. "Oh! Oh, of course, the, uh, Masai ceremonial garb. Yes... very good. Are you, uh, otherwise prepared for the trans-possession?"

The zookeeper nodded. "Almost."

Giles walked around and noticed the markings on the floor. "Oh, right! The, uh, sacred circle. Yes, you'd need that to, um... This would be here when... when the children first came. Why would you..." Giles sighed and turned back to face the zookeeper. "How terribly frustrating for you, that a bunch of school children could accomplish what you could not."

The zookeeper grinned and took a step forward. "It bothered me. But the power will be mine."

Giles fake left and tried to escape, but the zookeeper snapped out his staff and tripped the librarian. The zookeeper smirked and held the staff above his head before knocking Giles unconscious. Thanks for the help though."


Buffy readied her club and tensed as she heard the yipping and cackling approach her. The five members of the pack walked into sight. Willow and Xander walked infront of the other three and approached the slayer. Willow smirked. "Aww, is Buffy upset that she doesn't have Xander following her around like a wittle puppy?"

Buffy tensed and took a step forward. "Wills, what are you talking about?"

Xander cackled loudly. "What? Didn't you know Slayer?"

Buffy held the club infront of her in a defensive stance. "I'm really sorry, Xander. I didn't know they were gonna come after Willow."

Xander grinned and hungrily licked his lips. "Its okay Slayer. I'd have to say that it worked out for the best."

Buffy noticed the other three moving to the sides, getting ready to flank her position. She tried to keep the distracted as long as she could before falling back into the exhibit. "So, how'd it happen Xander? What was your 'predatory act,' stalking a lone twinkie?"

Tor, Heidi, and Rhonda giggled loudly until Xander held up his hand, causing them to stifle their laughter. "Something like that."

Willow couldn't take it anymore and growled. "What are you waiting for?"

Buffy cocked her head to the side as the other three members of the pack were moving into position. Xander turned to face Willow and smiled. "Oh nothing Wills. I just wanted them in position to take care of a thorn in my side."

Willow smirked and turned back to Buffy. "Then do it already!"

Xander nodded his head and smiled deviously. "Okay, you heard the lady."

Buffy tensed and prepared for the attack only to see Heidi tackle Willow, Tor ran up behind her and grabbed her arms and twisted them behind her back. Rhonda cackled loudly before joining in the melee.

Xander turned back to Buffy. "Well, now that that's taken care of. You and I have a date with a hyena."

Buffy stared at him incredulously. "What are you talking about?"

Xander grinned as her heard the sound of struggle behind him. "Willow's nice and all that, but she needs to stop deluding herself. The Alpha needs a mate who is strong, fierce, and...well...what can I say, I have a thing for blonds. And if I can get you down there I'm sure there's a lucky little Hyena that wants a slayer as a friend."

Buffy decided that she had waited long enough and made a mad dash for the Hyena exhibit with Xander hot on her trail.


Willow's rage burned into an inferno as the three 'lesser' members of her pack were holding her at bay. With all of the anger and strength she had in her body, she tore Heidi and Rhonda off her body and twisted her arm around to throw Tor off her body. She screamed in anger and ran off towards the Hyena exhibit. "XANDER!!!!!!"

The rest of the pack laughed and followed her.


Buffy slammed the door behind her and locked it. She could hear Xander's shouts and him slamming on the door. She turned around and began looking for Giles. "They're almost here! Giles! Giles!" The zookeeper ran past he getting things ready for when the pack arrived. "Where are the hyenas for the trans-possession?"

The zookeeper and grabbed his staff. "They're right here in the feeding area. We have to get ready."

Buffy nodded and ran over to see the hyenas, but the zookeeper held out his arm and stopped her. "Stay back! They haven't been fed."

Buffy looked around. "Where's Giles?"

The zookeeper kept his grin at bay. "He's... laying in wait."

Buffy looked back towards the exhibit door. "Its not gonna last much longer."

The zookeeper nodded and pulled out a knife. "Don't worry, this won't take long."

Buffy snapped out her arm and grabbed hold of his wrist. "What is this?"

The zookeeper acted annoyed. "A predatory act, remember?"

Buffy nodded, not really sure whether or not to believe his story. "Uh, right. You'll pretend to slash my throat and, and put the evil in the hyenas?"

The zookeeper nodded and looked back towards the door. "Something like that."

Buffy flinched as the door was thrown from its hinges. Xander growled loudly and ran into the room. "COME ON BUFFY. I PROMISE I WONT BITE."

The hyena possessed Xander turned and faced Buffy and the zookeeper and grinned. "Well, not a lot."

Before the zookeeper could perform the ritual Xander charged the pair, knocking the zookeeper down and landing on top of Buffy. He grinned and licked her face. "I love the scent of fear."

Willow ran into the exhibit followed closely by the rest of the pack. She saw Xander on top of Buffy and screamed before charging.

The zookeeper looked up and saw his chance. "YU BA YA SA NA!"

At once all of the pack froze and looked up at him. The circle on the ground pulsated a pale green and yellow light. The hyenas in the exhibit screamed in laughter as one by one the pack's eyes flashed yellow. The zookeeper grinned as he felt all of spirits possessing the students flowing into him. His eyes glowed a feral yellow as he felt the hunger consume him. He turned to face the closest living thing next to him and growled. Xander shook his head and saw the zookeeper lunge at Willow.

Xander yelled and pounced the zookeeper, knocking him over. The zookeeper quickly recovered and grinned. His arm hand out and grabbed Xander by the throat. He uttered only a single word. "Meat."

Willow looked up and grabbed onto Xander, trying to pull him down. The possessed zookeeper grinned and kicked the redhead away. He looked back at the boy in his grip to see Xander holding the ceremonial knife. Xander grinned and looked at the zookeeper's exposed forearm. "You dropped this."

Xander sliced open the man's forearm, causing him to loose grip on the boy. Buffy ran up and tackled the zookeeper, knocking him off balance and causing him to fall into the hyena pit. As he fell, the zookeeper felt the presence of the Hyena's waiting in the pit, hungrily yipping for their snack.

Buffy leaned over the rail to see the zookeeper's lifeless body being torn apart by the pack of hyenas. She sighed and looked back to see that Kyle, Tor, Heidi, and Rhonda had left during the fight. She turned back to Willow and Xander. "You two okay?"

Xander groaned and rubbed his face. "Yeah...sure."

Willow only looked down at her shoes.

A loud thud echoed through out the room causing the three friends to jump. Giles staggered out of the storeroom. And placed his broken glasses on his face. "Uh, did I miss anything?"


Buffy walked in-between Xander and Willow as they walked up the stairs to school. The usually chipper and talkative boy was keeping quiet and looking down at the pavement, mirroring his childhood friend. "...And I heard the vice-principal's taking over till they can find a replacement."

Xander shrugged and continued looking down as they walked. "It shouldn't be too hard to find a new principal. Unless they ask what happened to the last one."

Willow suddenly looked up. "I had nothing to do with that, right?"

Xander shook his head. "Nope."

Buffy nodded. "You only ate the pig."

Willow squeaked and held her hands to her face. "I ate a pig? W-w- was it kosher?"

"Well, I guess that nothing short of the apocalypse shall close this horrible imitation of a place of learning."

The three friends looked up to see Giles standing infront of them holding a large book. "Now don't worry. I was just making sure to check up on all of you. The others seem to have...dismissed and 'forgotten' what has happened to them. Although I've been reading up on my, uh, animal possession, and I cannot find anything anywhere about memory loss afterwards."

Xander gave a slow nod. "Yeah, gotta love that Sunnydale repression thing. " He added under his breath. "Wish I had some of that right now."

Giles looked down at his book and motioned to his slayer. "Buffy, before class starts, I wanted to check a couple things by you in regards to your patrol."

Buffy frowned and tried to give the hint that she did not want to leave her friends alone. "But Giles..."

Giles slammed the book shut and glowered at the girl. "No 'but's Buffy, we need to discuss this."

Willow put her hand on Buffy's shoulder. "Its okay Buffy. If Giles needs you, you should go."

Buffy turned around to face Willow and Xander. "You sure?"

Xander nodded and sighed. "Yeah, go have lots of fun with the watcher man. We'll be okay."

Buffy stared at the two of them for a minute before giving in. She turned back to her watcher and groaned. "As long as I get home by two and I don't want to get any of my shoes dirty."

Giles sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose as they walked off. "Yes Buffy, God forbid that in the effort to rid the world of Evil, your Nike's should gather dirt."

Buffy's face paled. "They are NOT Nikes! They are leather Pravda designer shoes!"

"Then I suggest that you wear Nikes so that you get them dirty."

Xander groaned as he watched the watcher and slayer verbally barrage each other until they disappeared around the hall. He sighed and looked over at Willow, who quickly stopped looking at him and looked at her feet. They stood silently for several seconds before the first bell rang. Xander sighed and took a step towards the front doors, leaving Willow standing by herself. The redhead immediately started to whimper, letting several tears flow down her face.

"Hey Wills..."

Willow looked up to see Xander looking back at her. She forced back several more of her tears. "What?"

Xander gave her a comforting grin and held out his hand. "You coming or what?"

Willow chuckled, not exactly sure of what to do before she nodded and walked over. "Are you sure? I-I mean..."

Xander shook his head and sighed. "Wills, just take my hand okay?"

Willow looked into his deep brown eyes and got lost for a split second. She rubbed the tears off of her face and took his hand. "I love you Xander."

Xander sighed and nodded. "Love ya too Wills."

Hand in hand, Alexander Lavelle Harris and Willow Rosenburg walked into Sunnydale High School.

They were three minutes late to class.

The End