Author: AlanP <alan.p[at]orcon.net.nz>

Summary: Oz's presence has... repercussions. S2 E27

Disclaimer: I own whatever OC's I create, and not much more.

Feedback: Unlike most sound setups, I like positive feedback. Like most amps, a little bit of negative feedback can help as well.

Pre-fic Comments:

For the record? I. Hate. Plotbunnies.

Once I've nailed this one down (and skinned it to make a rug or something), this fic'll be done with.

Chapter 1

"We've got a leak."

"Who, where, and how?"

"Daniel Osbourne, Sunnydale Calif, through his infant nephew."

"James Osbourne?"

"Yes. Daniel Osbourne has no idea what he is. Two Hunters that I know of have spotted him, one of which is the Slayer, reporting to a Watcher from the Watcher's Council."

"Damn. I'll send an operative to subdue him and remove him from the situation, before the shit really hits the fan."

"Make sure you tell this guy that we're sitting on a Hellmouth here."


Oz looked down the corridor, as Willow went down it to her next class. His world had just been turned upside down, changing him into a monster, but she was okay with that.

"Daniel Osbourne?," a voice asked. In a school of teenagers, it was surprisingly grown up.

He turned to look. A tall European looking man was standing in the shadows of a bank of lockers, looking straight at him.

"I'm him," Oz said, simply.

The man nodded. "Meet me here at eight tonight, cub. You're coming with me either out of your own will, or in your own body bag."

With that, the stranger fell into the pool of shadow as if it were a deep pool of water. Oz went over to where he had been standing, crouching to poke at the floor. Solid.

"Found something?," Xander asked from behind him.

"Could be," Oz said. "Some stranger, death threat, then he faded away like scotch mist."

"Weird," Xander said. "So, did you know him or was it more a first date come on?"

"Didn't know him," Oz said.

"Going to hang around here for the twinkies, or leave on a life of luxury and adventure?"

Privately, Oz thought he had enough adventure as it was in this town. He shook his head.

"It's no big. He knew I'm a werewolf, though."

"Really?," Xander asked. "Wow, we only just found that out ourselves. Now, I know for a fact that the G-man has a date with a stack of books bigger than him tonight, and that Buffy's still moping over a guy dead longer than she's been alive. How about we have a stakeout tonight?"

"Sure," Oz said. The younger boy had far more experience with strangers giving death threats, knowing the Slayer and all. "Trank?"

"Trank?," Xander asked, confused.

"Should we bring the tranquiliser gun?"

The White Knight grinned suddenly. "Sure. That thing is more fun than a weasel down your trousers, or being beaten up by a guy you've never met before."


"Remind me again why Willow isn't here?," Oz asked.

"Her parent's're on another study kick," Xander said. "They're into shrinkology. Uh, loaded the gun?"

Oz checked that the dart with the anaesthetic was loaded into the tranquiliser gun and ready to fire. "Check."

"And three," Xander counted, looking at his watch, "two, one, showtime!"

With the last word, the stranger from that afternoon melted upwards from the same shadow that he had disappeared into. Xander immediately jumped the somewhat disorientated man, doing his damndest to put the man into a hold of some sort.


The stranger, paranoid to a fault, panicked at the word 'dart'. He had no intentions of being caught and used as a guinea pig by men in white coats wanting to benefit mankind through his unique self. Claws grew from his fingertips, and his canines elongated as he started biting and scratching Xander. Blood started to flow from each as Xander managed to bloody the man's nose through some agency, finding reserves of strength from God alone knew where.

Then the teenage werewolf finally got a clear shot. He took it.

Xander panted as his enemy collapsed. Blood was freely flowing from his arms, torso and face. Scratches decorated him, and punctures from the ma--creature's fangs. The blood from the creature's bloodied nose had sprayed all over Xander's face, coating it in a mask of red.

"Oz, I'm not going hunting with you," Xander said. "Unless we're hunting twinkies or coke bottles."


Giles was having quite a delightful night sorting through a shipment of books he had just received. He had skimmed through 'Prophecies of the Blood', and was currently paging through 'Table's Guide To Liches And Their Creation'. He was enjoying this as much as a normal person would like watching a movie whilst having a two litre tub of hokey-pokey to themselves.

So he was quite put out when Oz and Xander interrupted him. His level of put-outed-ness escalated when he saw the copious amounts of blood decorating Xander and the man the two were dragging between them.

"Dear Lord, what on earth have you two miscr--"

"Chain, G-man, we need lots and lots of chain," Xander panted. "This guy was hard enough to keep busy, I don't wanna do it again."

Giles kept his questions to himself temporarily. He supplied the two youths with a length of stout chain, and a padlock. Once the stranger was firmly tied to the book cage's infrastructure, he got out the First Aid kit and a bottle of disinfectant, handing them and a pile of clean rags to Oz to clean up Xander.

"Why, might I ask, have you physically assaulted a complete stranger with intent of grievous bodily harm?," Giles asked, cleaning his glasses. He spotted a grey blur that Oz was holding. The Watcher put his glasses back on. "And with MY tranquiliser gun, I might add!"

"He was threatening to kill Oz!," Xander protested. "Check out his hands and his teeth! He's like Dracula reincarnated! We're taking B-movie horror here!"

"True," Oz agreed.

Giles carefully crouched to look at the figure's hands. True to the boy's report, they did have long claws on the end. After opening the unconscious man's mouth, he also confirmed Xander's report of fangs. To be honest, Giles was surprised that the man had avoided slicing his mouth wide open.

"What on Earth is going on here?," Giles asked in bewilderment. "I'm afraid I don't know of any agencies wanting to kill lycanthropes that were supernatural themselves."

"Maybe he's some demon whose best bud got killed by a werewolf, or something," Xander volunteered. He wasn't feeling too generous right now, considering that he was being patched up due to that guy.

"Well," Giles said, "the demon in question is waking up now. We can ask for ourselves."

Chapter 2

Owwww... his head felt like a thousand dogs were digging into his skull. Where the hell was he? Last he remembered was coming to fetch some cub who knew nothing, and he got jumped by the cub and some other kid...

He opened his eyes, absently changing the claws back to fingernails, and the fangs back to normal teeth. Okay, so he was chained up. He didn't see any guys in white coats with syringes, so that was cool. The cub, some kid who was being cleaned up by the cub, and...

Crap. A Watcher. Complete with the Watchers' uniform -- tweed suit, glasses, and a receding hairline. He was so screwed. Unless this one wasn't quite so Watchery.

"Well," the Watcher said, "the demon in question is waking up now. We can ask for ourselves."

Demon? He wasn't a demon!

"Good," the kid who had grappled with him said. "Now we can ask him why he's into kidnapping and death threats."

Death threats? Maybe Mum was right, and he shouldn't hand them out like candy.

"He's not normal," the cub observed. Duh, Einstein. "Books?"

The Watcher took his glasses off to clean them. The practiced motion spoke of a nervous habit. "Erm, while researching your... condition... I came across no references to any organisations of werewolves, nor references to other varieties of were-creatures. There were, however, numerous instances of demons with the ability of minor shapeshifting, claws, fangs, eye colour and so on."

He decided that this crap had gone on long enough. "'M notta demon."

Damn tranquiliser.

All three heads whipped around to look at him.

"That so," the kid said. "Given the party guests that usually come to town, you'll get it if we're not exactly certain that you're being honest with us."

Damn Hellmouths. Damn leaks. Damn paranoid normals.

"'M a were," he mumbled.

"Wolf?," the cub asked, crouching to his eye level.

"'Sno leopard," he tried again. Hopefully this tranquiliser stuff'd be neutralised in a few minutes.

"Did you get that, G-man?," the kid asked.

"Yes, Xander, and don't call me that," the Watcher said, obviously not fond of the nickname.

So. The kid was called Xander.

He decided to look around. He was in a small library... looked like the one to the school the cub was in. Lucky him. Musty old bookshelves, polished wood, ratty carpets, pile of bloody rags...

Bloody rags?

As his head stayed fixed, looking at the pile, Xander grinned morbidly.

"You're hard to beat, know that? Like trying to put a five year old on a sugar rush to bed."

Great. Just great. Another leak. The Boss was gonna have his head for this.

"Uh, i-if he is, as he claims, a were-snow-leopard, Xander, you could be in some danger," the Watcher said, putting two and two together with some extrapolation. He had hoped that that old man wouldn't figure that out... dammit!

"I'm gonna turn into a cat each full moon?," Xander asked. "Whoopee."

This thinking stuff officially sucked. After a long day, then a fight with a kid who would not stay down, then this tranquiliser bullcrap, he was bushed.


The next day found Willow and Buffy getting Very Mad at Xander.

"Why did you not tell me?," Buffy demanded. "You're the normal guy! You can't go taking down things!"

"Hey," Xander protested, manliness assaulted. "I didn't have to take him down! I only had to give Oz a clear shot at him!"

"And as for you, Mister," Willow said, shaking a finger at Oz, "you should know better, being in a higher grade! You should have told us as well, and we'd've helped, and Xander wouldn't be in trouble now!"

"Speaking of which, what did you find out from the guy last night?," Buffy asked.

"Not much," Xander shrugged. "He mumbled some stuff then nodded off to sleep like a baby."

"I've kinda got practice with Devon and the band," Oz said.

"Okay, you can go, but you'd better get to the Library afterwards," Willow commanded.

Xander started to quietly sneak off.

"Xander! You're coming with us!," Buffy snapped.

Chapter 3

Xander grumbled as Buffy dragged him to the Library after school. It didn't do him any good -- the Slayer had Righteous Self-Indignation on her side. She burst through the double doors and threw him down onto one of the wooden armchairs at the main table.

"Hey!," Xander complained. "Careful!"

Willow gave him a funny look. "Hey, Xander, did you start dying your hair?"

"No," Xander blinked. "Why would I? Oz might come after me for trademark infringement."

Buffy produced her makeup compact.

"Sorry, Buff, I'm more than good looking enough as it is," Xander grinned.

She wordlessly opened it, showing him his reflection in the mirror. While some of it had darkened to black, some of it had changed...


Willow reached out and smacked him across the back of the head. "No, mister, that must be from that fight you had last night. You know, with the were-snow-leopard guy? Here's a picture of a real snow leopard."

The redhead pushed an open book towards Xander. The cat in it had long, long grey hair, with black circles in it. On it's underbelly was white fur. It's tail was unusually long, and it had large paws with tufts of fur protruding between it's toes.

"Oh," Xander said intelligently. "Lives in the Himalayas. I thought the AC was just broken today."

Giles emerged from his office, cup of tea in hand like a religious zealot clutching his cross for mental comfort. "Ah, Xander. Good to see you. Er, were you aware of your hair?"

Xander looked up. "Yeah. Is your hair contagious?"

The Watcher looked horribly offended. "I don't have grey hair! Why, I'm only in my thirties! And if I do have grey hair, it's thanks to you ungrateful lot of whining little sods!"

"Touchy," Buffy whispered to Willow, who nodded.

Giles took a sip of tea and abruptly looked embarrassed. "Er, the chap from last night seems to have woken up, and demands that Oz and Xander meet with him in private. Willow, please go get Mr Osbourne before he leaves school?"

The hacker nodded, leaving the Library.

"There's gonna be no 'in private'," Buffy said immediately. "If I'm gonna have to deal with rabid cats as well as dogs, I'm learning about it now."

"'Cats', as you so crassly call us," the stranger said, leaving Giles office, "are always in control. It is merely the mutts of the world who lack the selfcontrol to not piddle on lampposts."

"Great," Buffy said, smiling brightly. "But if I find any bodies clawed to death, I'll know who to look at."

"Hey!," Xander and the stranger protested simultaneously, both feeling insulted.

"I believe we owe you an apology," Giles said, finishing his cup of tea and putting it down on the check outs desk. "For the tranquiliser, I mean."

The stranger waved it off. "It's my own fault. Mother always said that I shouldn't hand out so many death threats."

"See, the thing is," Xander said, "around here, people actually carry those out, ya know? I'm Xander, he's Giles, she's Buffy, and you are?"

The stranger winced. "Uh, Jens." He pronounced it halfway between 'gens' and 'yens'.

"Hey, guys," Willow said, returning with Oz in hand. "Did I miss anything?"

"Er, not really," Giles said. "Willow, Oz, this is Jens. Jens, Willow, Oz."

"Hi," Oz said simply.

"I believe he wants to speak with you and Xander in private, Oz," Giles continued. "You may use my office if you so wish."

The three wordlessly walked into the office, Xander snagging a box of donuts Giles had picked up in anticipation of researching the new type of were. Once the door closed, the two girls wordlessly moved steathily over to the door, listening at the keyhole.

Buffy and Willow looked up as they realised someone was standing over them.

"Out," Giles commanded. "Go to the Bronze, or whatever it is you do. Come back this evening, Buffy."


Xander spoke first, once the door had shut. "Okay, am I gonna turn into a rabid catguy during the full moon? Because that is so not cool. No offense, Oz."

Jens sneered. "Only the werewolves have that brand of insanity, kitten."

"Hey!," Xander protested.

"Every other type of were has a different curse," Jens continued. "Our curse is that of appearance -- our hair for instance -- and other types of were have different curses. You'll have a very hard time getting a were-rat to calm down, for instance."

"Is there any way for me to stay calm during the full moon?," Oz asked. That had to have been one of the longest sentences that Xander had ever heard him say.

"I don't know," Jens said simply. "I'm not a werewolf. I can get in touch with some, though."


"Okay," Xander said, "if I don't go nutso during the full moon, do I ever change?"

"Only if you want to," Jens said. "And you will want to."

Chapter 4

"What do you mean, I'll want to change shape?," Xander asked immediately.

The tall stranger smirked. "Wait, and you'll know."

"You startin' to think that this sounds like a bum deal?," Xander asked Oz.

The young wolf shrugged wordlessly.

"Instincts," Jens relented. "You'll get them soon. Your hair has already changed; your eyes will be next. Then the instincts, then the Change."

"I'm assuming you're not talking about bus tokens here," Xander joked.

Jens frowned. "No, I'm not. A complete physical change from human to snow leopard, right down to the teeth."

"What about me?," Oz asked.

Jens shrugged, leaning back in Giles' office chair. "You Change at the full moon, no other time."

"Bummer," the bassist said simply.

"Hey, you get the option of normal hair," Jens said, raising an eyebrow. He pointed at his grey, black, and white hair, then Xander's. "We get funny looking hair and slit pupils."

"Great," Oz said. "Wonderful, even."

"Look," Jens said, leaning forwards on the chair, "I only came here originally to get the werewolf, and bring him back with me. You, Mister Harris, screwed things up for me."

"Hey! You came in all 'come with me or get your own body bag'!," Xander protested. "I don't know how things in your little were-thingy society works, but around here we've got this little thing called 'looking out for your friends'!"

The older were-cat looked very upset at this. "It was a joke!"

"Making jokes like that on the Hellmouth is like making dead baby jokes in a Hospital nursery!," Xander snapped. "Back me up here, Oz!"

"True," the wolf nodded.

"Okay already, I apologise!," Jens snapped. "What more do you want, blood?"

"Do I look like Angel?"


"Angelus, Scourge of Europe, got himself a soul and went all brood-boy...," Xander trailed off. "Don't you guys talk to the Watcher's Council?"

Jens blinked. "You know Angelus?"

"More like a mutual dislike," Oz said.

"And you're still alive?," Jens asked, stunned.

"Please," Xander snorted. "He hides in his basement all day and all night. I had to force him at crosspoint to help out when the love of his unlife was gonna get it in the neck from the local Master. Although I could possibly have to be careful, now. Hehe, I've still got the launcher to scare him off with."

"Oh. Well, I've got to bring you two with me back to HQ, so we can teach Fido here about being a good little doggy, then once you've learn everything, kitten, you can do whatever you like. But not before," Jens said superciliously.

"Name's Oz," Oz said, eyebrows lowering slightly.

"While I would love for my dad to be someone other than who he is, you are not him," Xander said. "And you've got the wrong body to be my Mum."

"You don't get the picture," Jens said. A nasty scowl bloomed on his face. "You're coming with me whether you like it or not."

Xander immediately got up and left Giles' office.

"Hey, where are you going?," Jens demanded.

"G-man!," Xander called out.

"Don't call me that!," Giles said, emerging from a pair of shelves with a book in hand. "What seems to be the problem?"

"This guy wants to try and kidnap me!," Xander protested.

"I am not!," Jens countered. "He's coming with me so he can learn how not to hurt himself!"

"And I'm staying here at the Hellmouth where I am needed worse than you need a bath!," Xander retorted.

"YOU ARE--," Jens began.

"SILENCE!," Giles roared. He then looked quite embarrassed at his outburst. "Er, quiet, please. Now, you are not going to unlawfully abduct Xander. I'm sure we can reach a mutually profitable outcome if we discuss the matter."

"I'm not leaving here without the kitten and the cub," Jens said pugnaciously.

Giles wordlessly strode over to the book cage, and pulled out a loaded crossbow. The tip had a suspiciously light grey shimmer to it.

"I'll be back," Jens promised.

With that, the European were-snow-leopard vanished through the Library double doors at a light jog.

Half a second later, Buffy walked through the doors, licking an orange chocolate chip icecream.

"Hey, guys," she waved. "What'd I miss?"

"We seem to have contracted a rather powerful enemy," Giles said grimly, "in the form of this were-creature's commanders."

"Wow," the Slayer said. "How'd you piss 'em off?"


Buffy wasn't a happy camper.

"I have no records of a society of werecreatures," Buffy said in a deep voice, mimicking Giles' British accent. "Buffy, do find out what Willy knows."

She banged on the door to Willy's Alibi as a polite warning, then stormed to the bar.

"Look, I'll call you back," Willy said into the phone, hanging it up. He smiled at the Slayer nervously, baring his teeth in an attempt at friendlyness. All it did was exaggerate his buckteeth. "What can I do for you, Slayer?"

Mentally, the bartender added, And please don't hurt me.

"I wanna know what you know about some were-thingy society," Buffy demanded.

A thin sheen of sweat grew on Willy's face. "Uh, Willy doesn't know anything about any werewolves or anything like that, sorry."

Buffy reached across and grabbed him by his collar. She was NOT having a good life, what with Angel losing his soul, someone trying to kidnap Oz and Xander, and now a new enemy just to round things out. "I don't have time for twenty questions. Were-thingies, now."

"I can't tell you!," Willy squealed. "I'd get in BIG trouble!"

Buffy punched him in the nose. Blood began to flow from the broken cartilage as she pulled her crimson stained hand back, wiping it clean absently with a piece of rag she normally used later to pass muster if Joyce should catch her sneaking back to her room. Aw, man... some of the blood had gotten into a cut she'd gotten from helping her Mum with tea. She'd have to remember to check if she'd had her shots for rabies and the like.

"Bigger than if the Watcher's Council gets pissed at you?," Buffy demanded. A thought entered her mind. "What about the IRS?"

Willy whimpered in terror.

"I'll talk, I'll talk!," the rat-like bartended squealed.

Chapter 5

"Who was that gumball you sent to subdue Osbourne?"

"Jens Weatherby. He reported that Osbourne was hostile."

"Okay. Jens? He's an idiot. The Slayer just came stomping in here, after Jens cracked jokes to Osbourne about coming with him alive or in a body bag. This is the Hellmouth, sweetheart, it ain't Disneyland. They took him seriously."


"Gumball decided it was all or nothing, and refused to compromise. Either Osbourne and Harris came with him, or they were dead meat."

"Osbourne and Harris didn't come with him and are still alive."

"See, that's one of the delightful things about this Hellmouth. We've got a Slayer, here. And I'll give you two guesses as to who she knows."

"Jens did not tell us this."

"Great. Look, the Slayer and her little gang are convinced that commando werewolves are gonna break in their windows and pump their guts fulla lead, know what I'm saying?"


"God, do I have to do all the thinking? I'm just the freaking spy! I'll put this in words of one syllable. Who does Slay girl work for? Starts with a W."


Giles took off his glasses as Buffy made her report, and began cleaning them with a handkerchief. "This is most unsettling."

"What? A Council who thinks they run the world?," Xander asked. "Nooooo."

"Not that," Giles said dismissively. "The fact that they escaped the eye of the Watchers' Council. I must make a phone call immediately."

"Boy, is Snyder gonna love you when he gets your phone bill," Xander called out. Giles shut his door irritably.

"Okay," Buffy said, in a 'take charge' way. "Oz, Xander, since you're obviously gonna have these creepazoids after you, you'd better take some weapons with you. Here're a couple silvered knifes I found in Giles' stash in the book cage."

"Knives?," Oz asked, eyebrow raised.

"Ah, I know this one," Xander said brightly. "This is so we can't shoot ourselves in the foot, right?"

Willow put her hands over her mouth, hiding a laugh.

"Ha, ha," the Slayer said flatly. "Let's all make fun of Buffy. No, it's because were-thingies can't stand silver."

Xander pressed his finger against the silver inlay in the knife that Buffy had handed him. A thin plume of smoke began to rise from his abused fingertip.

"Ow!," Xander muttered, putting the scorched flesh in his mouth to cool it down.

"Hot stuff," Oz smiled. "I've got band practice, see you later."

"Well," Giles announced, emerging from his office, "I have some good news, and some bad news."

"Yeah?," Xander asked. "They've got a cure for my grey-hair-itis? I'll share with you."

That got the Xan-man a black look from the librarian. "No. Good news. We have just confirmed several long running suspicions that the Council has had. Bad news. They wished to attempt to unlawfully abduct Mr Osbourne and Xander."

"They can't do that!," Willow exclaimed. "Even if he does have the bad taste to go out with Cordelia!"

"Hey!," Xander protested. "I like her!"

"Fortunately," Giles interrupted, "I dissuaded them, pointing out that a private entity kidnapping an American citizen would probably not go down very well with the American government."

"Our tax dollars at work," Xander remarked. "Saving us from the Councils."

"The Watchers' Council will be instating several new security checks, including a silver skin test to find any morphologically challenged spies," Giles continued. "And yes, they have been informed about your Slayer-friendly stance, Xander."

"Whew," Xander said, pantomiming wiping sweat off his brow. "If I ever go all the way to Britain, which is so unlikely it isn't funny, I don't have to worry about a gang of old men beating me to death with their walking sticks."

"Might I remind you that I, too, am a Watcher?," Giles asked. Despite being unarmed, he suddenly gave off an air of fatal menace.

"Gotcha," Xander muttered. "Stupid British no-funny-gene."

Giles decided to ignore that. "Now, Buffy, uh, since Angel... turned, I've been reading, um, on his earlier activities. You know, uh, feeding patterns and the like."

"And?," Buffy asked brusquely.

"Around Valentine's Day, he, he, he's rather prone to, uh... well, um, brutal displays of, uh... He would think of it as affection, I suppose," Giles hedged.

"Like what?," Buffy demanded, wanting detail.

"No, no, uh," Giles began, "no need to go into details."

"That bad?," Buffy asked, pulling a face.

Giles turned to face his Slayer. "Suffice it to say I, I think it would be best if you stayed off the streets for a few nights. I'll, um... I'll patrol and keep an eye on things. Better safe than sorry."

"I'll help ya!," Xander volunteered. "It'll be fun, we can go firebombing some vamp lairs!"

"NO!," Giles said firmly. "There will be no arson committed!"

Chapter 6

Xander looked around the Bronze, fiddling with a small velvet box. He'd wanted to go help Giles patrol, but the Watcher had given him the brushoff in no uncertain terms. He spotted Cordelia, sitting alone at a table. She was staring disconsolately towards a door, so he decided to cheer her up.

"Hey," he said, nearing her. Suave, Harris, very suave.

"Your clothes... you look so good," Cordelia said, looking him up and down. Her gaze remained on his hair. "But... what did you do to your hair?"

"Oh, I let Buffy dress me. Not physically," he hastened to add, spotting a confused look on Cordelia's face. "The hair happened on it's own, though. It's kinda a long story, wanna hear it?"

"Perfect," Queen C said, only getting more upset. "You had to make this harder, didn't you?"

"Okay, clearly the fact that I please you visually has gotten us off on the wrong foot," Xander frowned. "Is it the hair?"

"Xander," the socialite began. Xander cut her off.

"Let me finish. I've been thinking a lot about us lately... the why and the wherefore. You know, once, twice, a kissy here, a kissy there," Xander explained. He really had been thinking lately. Willow had even teased him about smoke rising from his ears. "And you can chalk it all up to hormones. A-and maybe that's all we have here. Tawdry teen lust. But maybe not. Maybe something in you sees something special inside me. And vice versa. I mean, I think I do. See something. So..."

He handed her the small box, looking hopeful. He wanted more from a relationship than pure physical love -- he had seen the results of that all his life, and wanted more.

"Xander, thank you," Cordelia said wistfully, examining the necklace and pendant in the box. She held it up to the light. "It's beautiful... I wanna break up."

"Okay," Xander said, disbelief liberally splashed across his face. "Not quite the reaction I was hoping for."

A small, cynical corner of his heart curled it's lip at her cold, mercenary reaction, admiring the blingbling while scorning the giver.

"I know. I'm sorry," Cordelia said, shaking her head. "It's just... Who are we kidding? Even if parts of us do see specialness, we don't fit."

"Yeah! Okay...," Xander scowled. His face crinkled into an expression normally foreign to it. "Do you know what's a good day to break up with somebody? Any day besides Valentine's Day! I mean, what, were you running low on dramatic irony?"

"I know. I didn't mean to do it this way. I," Cordelia tried desperately to explain.

Xander didn't believe this. Didn't mean to do it this way? She could have had a private word with him at school, asked to talk to him outside, anything rather than in the middle of the Bronze, surrounded by everyone. Discretion was probably a dirty word to her.

"Well, you did," Xander interrupted.

The cheerleader and the teenage male stared at each other for a long moment.

Xander turned, intent on getting out before any more of his life went downhill.


He slunk quietly along the stone ledge, claws retracted so as to minimize sound that might spook his quarry. His ears pricked up as he heard the sound of hooves stop, and crouched low to the ground. As the hooves started moving again, nearing his position, he waited... waited...

The sound of hooves passed directly underneath. He couldn't hope for a better place.

He chuffed slightly as he leapt down from his ledge, all claws drawn as he landed twenty feet down on the back of a mountain goat. The rest of the small herd scattered, panicking, as he stayed agilely on the back of the frenzied animal. Blood ran from where his claws dug into the skin of the goat as he reached around it's neck, jaws firmly grasping it's throat and closing. He didn't break the neck of the goat. He closed it's air passage, so it slowly choked to death. He lacked the raw power to break it's neck so easily.

Eventually, the throes of the animal ceased, and he started dragging the corpse back to his lair through the grey twilight for consumption over the next few days.


Xander gasped as he woke up, eyes flicking wide open. That had to be one of the most vivid dreams he had ever had. He could still taste the tang of the blood from the throat of the ungulate, and was surprised when his fingers were not bloody from the scratches drawn with his claws.

He got out of bed, pulling on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt as he made his way to the door, and picked up the phone, dialling a number.

"Hey, G-man."

"I dunno. I just had a really, really, really freaky dream. I'm talking stranger and realler than after an Evil Dead marathon."

"Can I come around? That might be quicker."

He hung up, staring at his hand. Where had the blood gone?

Brown eyes with round pupils flashed a slitted grey as he pulled on his sneakers.

Chapter 7

"Hey, Giles," Xander said as the Englishman opened his door. Ignoring the lack of invitation, he strolled through quickly. "I've been thinking about that dream on the way here."

"What, might I ask, was so urgent that you felt the need to wake me up?," Giles asked irritably.

"That dream, I'm a cat, but it feels totally natural, and I'm stalking along a ledge on a cliff face, and there's a herd of goats below me. So I'm quietly waiting, waiting, waiting... and suddenly it's like there's this animal just below me, and I just know. Up until now I've had all my claws retracted, and I jump down onto the back of this goat thing, all claws out, and twenty odd little rivers of blood start flowing --and I'm not freaked by this at all, it's perfectly natural, right? Anyway, I reach around the neck of the goat, and my jaws start choking it to death, and it dies, right beneath me, and I'm happy about it. God! I'm actually happy that I killed something! Giles, what's wrong with me? I mean, I hold up my hand in the air like this, and I'm thinking why in God's name can I not see the blood that should be staining my fingertips? The worst part is, I'm not feeling guilty about this at all!"

Xander had been pacing the Watcher's lounge all the way through his monologue. His voice rose and fell in a pattern that Giles could see was leading up to a panic attack, hysteria given flesh. Giles got up from where he had slowly sat down on his favourite chair, and took Xander's hands firmly in his own, forcing the teenager to stop pacing nervously.

"Xander," Giles began. "Xander!"

"I'm here, I'm okay," Xander said, clearing his throat a few times. "Sorry, G-man. It's just... it was so real. What's wrong with me?"

Giles let the nickname slide this once. It would do neither of them any good if he reprimanded Xander for such a small thing.

"Nothing is wrong," Giles said, forcing Xander to look him in the eye. "Would it be okay if a wolf, raised in the wild, was a vegetarian?"

"Willow's mum would probably say yes," Xander said impishly. "But no, it wouldn't be natural."

"Big cats are carnivores, Xander," Giles said, sighing. "Whether you like it or not, you're becoming part cat, and that part of you expects to have to hunt down your meals, and kill them. I'm not saying that murdering people is okay, just explaining why you're not feeling any remorse. I'm also not saying that you should kill with no regrets."

"Okay," Xander said, shaking slightly. "Deep breaths here, calming down."

"W-Would you like a hot cup of tea?," Giles offered. "I bought some milo also, in the event that younger people might perhaps go crazy and visit me."

"I thought you just said I wasn't crazy," Xander teased.

Giles smiled. If Xander was back to making jokes, he was probably going to be okay. He would make sure to observe him to ensure this, however.

"Everyone is at least slightly crazy," Giles riposted. He filled his electric jug with some water, turning it on.

"Ain't it the truth," Xander said, shaking his head. "Sorry to bother you with my problems."

"It's no bother," Giles said, getting two mugs and a teapot. A teaspoon of Earl Grey tealeaves went in the pot, and Giles paused while opening the hot chocolate tin. "Er, how on earth do you make this infernal stuff?"

"Here, it's easy," Xander said, taking the tin from Giles. "You put in about four teaspoons of milo, and another four of sugar -- hey, where do you keep that? Okay... add the hot water -- stop there, need room for the milk, right?"

"Is all that really needed?," Giles asked, eyebrows raised.

"Uh... sure!," Xander grinned. "Not buying it?"

"I am buying it, which is why I was hoping it would stretch further," Giles said.

"Oh, very punny," Xander retorted. "Now, stir vigorously, and add milk!"

"Alright," Giles said, passing Xander a two litre container of milk. He carefully got his tea strainer and poured himself a cup of Earl Grey tea. "Put it back in the fridge once you're done, please?"

"Sure thing," Xander said, putting the milk back after filling the remainder of his cup and stirring it again.

"I've done a bit of research," Giles said. "Confirming those suspicions of were-creatures also confirmed the validity of several resources of information, so we've come across something of a windfall."

"Cool," Xander shrugged. "So. We talking huge killer cats once a month, or was that guy telling the truth?"

"I take it that Mr Osbourne hasn't said anything about his dreams to confirm anything?," Giles asked. "Given your mutual situation, I would think that the two of you would compare stories."

"Hey, if he dreamt about the Apocalypse, he'd just ask for an aspirin when he woke up," Xander complained.

"Well," Giles cleared his throat. "It would seem that you are indeed free of lunar madness, and can indeed change at will rather than under duress, so to speak."

"Cool! A get out of classes free card!," Xander grinned.

"If you do do that," Giles threatened, "you will be in on Buffy's training sessions. And you will not be munching popcorn from the sidelines either."

"Ouch," Xander shuddered. "A fate more painful than death."

Chapter 8

Xander's face was morose as he made his way to class. Ever since he'd gotten near school that morning, people had been pretending to feel sorry for him.

"Dude," a boy said, patting him on the shoulder. "Way to get dumped."

He spotted Buffy coming down the hall. Yay! Someone to complain to who would probably want him to feel better!

"Ooo, Buffy my bud," he began, "you will not believe..."

He paused as Buffy looked at him.

"Can't talk right now," she said tersely. "Angel."

Figures, Xander thought to himself. Dead Boy gets more screentime than me.

"Do you need help?," he asked.

"It's alright," Buffy said absently, resuming her trek to the Library.

Man, he was not having a good day. Dumped last night, freaky dreams which didn't freak him out, social pariah once more... nope, today was of the slow crawl through hell variety.

"Gee, Xander, maybe you should learn a second language so that even more girls can dump you," Harmony jeered. "You can't even bleach your hair right. What a spaz!"

Stupid grey, black and white hair, Xander muttered to himself. Stupid were-asshole. I wish I could get back at Cordelia for this, make her know what it... feels... like...

His train of thought gathered speed as he saw Amy near the stairwell. Amy the witch. Amy the witch he had the dirt on. Amy the witch he could convince to work the mojo for him. Xander rushed over, grabbing her by the upper left arm and dragging her into a corner.

"What are you doing?," Amy asked.

"Amy, good to see you," Xander smiled amiably. "You're a witch."

"No, I'm not," Amy said quickly. "That was my mum, remember?"

"Yeah, I'm thinking it runs in the family. I saw you working that mojo on Ms. Beakman," Xander said, as if discussing the weather. "Maybe I should go tell somebody about..."

"That's not even...," Amy began, then gathered her wits and glared angrily at the teenage male. "That is so mean!"

"Blackmail is such an ugly word," Xander snarled, glaring back at her.

"I didn't say blackmail," Amy blinked, taken aback.

"Yeah, but I'm about to blackmail you, so I thought I'd bring it up," Xander shrugged.

Amy folded her arms, and stared at him confrontationally. "What do you want?"

"What do I want?," Xander laughed. He turned his head around, staring at Cordelia who was talking to her fellow cheerleaders. "I want some respect around here. I want, for once, to come out ahead. I want the Hellmouth to be working for me. You and me, Amy... we're gonna cast a little spell."

Amy looked past him at Cordelia as well, then turned her eyes up at him. Cordelia had given her hell over her mum's attempt to become a cheerleader, and had put extra effort into putting Amy into her 'place', socially.

"Let's talk," Amy said. In the end, she had control. She doubted Xander could tell whether she was casting a 'keep away' or just about any other type. "There's an empty classroom near here."

"Okay," Xander grinned. He opened the door for her. "I want you to cast a love spell on Cordelia."

"A love spell?" Amy was surprised. She had thought Xander wanted revenge, but it looked like he was just wanting his girl back.

"Yeah," Xander agreed. "You know, just the basic can't eat, can't sleep, can't breathe anything but little old moi."

"Well, that kind of thing is the hardest!," Amy complained. "I mean, to make someone love you for all eternity?"

"Whoa! Whoa, back up," Xander protested. "Who said anything about eternity? A man can only talk self-tanning lotion for so long before his head explodes."

He had had to sit through many years of Cordelia talking to her friends in class. He didn't want to go through any more years of that than he had to, and didn't want to be any closer when she was talking about shoes.

"Well, then I don't get it," Amy frowned. "If you don't wanna be with her forever, then what's the point?"

She would have gone for public humiliation. Perhaps turning her clothes invisible during a cheer at the next football game.

"The point is I want her to want me," Xander explained. "Desperately. So I can break up with her and subject her to the same hell she's been puttin' me through."

"Oh, I don't know, Xander," the young witch frowned thoughtfully. It wasn't that she didn't want to cast the spell, there were just a few technical problems. "Intent has to be pure with love spells."

"Right. I intend revenge. Pure as the driven snow," Xander asserted. "Now, are you gonna play, or do we need to have another chat about invisible homework?"

"I'll need something of hers," Amy said, stepping closer to Xander. Even if Cordelia had dumped him, she'd still score points for picking him up as a boyfriend. And he was easy on the eyes. "A personal object."

"Alright," Xander smiled.

Cordelia wouldn't even know it was him, and he could try out that shapeshifting werecat thing in the process.

Chapter 9

Xander paused as he stepped out into the hallway. Perhaps he wouldn't have to try the shapeshifting thing -- freaky dreams were enough freak for him. Cordelia, spotting him, turned around and began briskly walking the other way. Xander walked faster, overtaking her and forcing her to pay attention to him.

"Oh, come on, don't flatter yourself," Xander frowned, spotting Cordelia's lips begin to move. "I'm not gonna make a big scene. I just want the necklace back."

"What? I thought it was a gift," Cordelia said in disbelief. And she thought he could sink no lower...

"No. Last night it was a gift. Today it's scrap metal," Xander said callously. "Figure I can melt it down and sell it for fillings or something."

"You're pathetic!," Cordelia spat. "My God, you can't even pick your clothes with the lights on, what made you think you could dye your hair?"

"Methinks the lady doth protest overmuch," Xander quoted quietly, spotting the Cordettes beginning to gather. He wondered how on earth he remembered that, before mentally shrugging.

"Let me guess, you actually want to eat this week so you need to get a refund on your tacky piece of tin?," Michelle, another Cordette, sniped.

"Ha, ha, ha," Xander said slowly. His brown eyes flashed grey for a moment, and all the girls went back a pace before Sunnydale Denial kicked in.

He spun around, stalking off.

At the other end of the corridor, Amy tapped him on the shoulder. "Did you get it?"

Xander's face collapsed into a smile. "Nope, guess we have to go to plan B."

"Plan B?," Amy asked. "We make her clothes invisible at the next big game?"

Xander paused. "Definite potential, but no."

"Hmmm," Amy hmmm'ed. A silly grin grew on her face abruptly. "I dunno, Brain, where are we gonna get rubber pants at this time of night?"


Xander slouched into the Library, and wandered over to the table. As he had suspected, half a dozen books on were-creatures were lying open across the varnished finish.

Heh. Giles the Watcher was so predictable.

"Hey, G-man," he called out in blatant disregard for the normal silence allowed to a library. "Can I flick through these books here?"

Giles absently poked his head out his office door. "Don't call me that, Alex. And yes, you may."

"My name isn't," Xander began, before trailing to a halt. "Darn. It is."

Giles smirked as he ducked back into his office.

"Right, let's see," Xander muttered, grabbing the nearest book. "How to, how to, how to..."


Half an hour later, he banged his head on the table. "Stupid books!"

"Xander!," Giles said sharply, emerging from his inner sanctum. "Treat them with respect, thank you."

"I'm trying to figure out how I can turn into a cat, and these books don't mention that anywhere in the index," the teenager complained.

Giles smiled. "Planning untoward adventures on the school skylights, are we? No, I know what it's like to be young. What have you found so far?"

"Only a bunch of stuff about immanentizing the eschaton, or metamorphosomething," Xander frowned. Academic effort didn't come easily to him.

"Imma--," Giles began, before sighing deeply. "Here, that book is /The Eye In The Pyramid, and that one is Ovid's Metamorphoses/. Both are fictional."

"Oh," Xander blinked. "Why are they out here, then? I thought you'd have books on were-whatevers open out here."

"Oh, no," Giles said. "Why, if you'd asked, I would have directed you to the right book. Here, this is what you're looking for."

"Can I borrow it?"

"As long as you return it in the condition you borrowed it in."

"Thanks!," Xander grinned, throwing the book in his bag and running out the door.

"Oh, you're perfectly welcome," Giles said to the empty air.


The cat slunk into the backyard. The small area was unnatural to it's eyes, composed of short grass and uniform hedges. A snuffling sound announced the presence of a dog.

The cat mentally rolled it's eyes. A dog. Hopefully the mutt would not dribble on the cat's coat -- stupidity could well be infectious, at that level of depravity.

The cat blinked, surprised, as it turned a corner and came face to face with the dog. It appeared surprisingly small to the cat, and the cat hissed as it swiped the dog across the nose, claws only partly out.

The canine got the hint, and yelped quietly as it ran to it's doghouse.

The cat, silent predator, lifted it's prey from the porch, taking the main part in it's mouth. It then legged it for the hedge.

Not that the dog was willing to take any chances, fleeing cat or no fleeing cat. That cat had been bigger than it!


Xander changed back, and looked at what he'd stolen. A small plastic framework with pegs dangling from it. In turn, feminine underwear dangled from the pegs. He carefully took one that had been meticulously labelled 'C CHASE' and stuffed it in his pocket.

The umbrella-peg thingy went back over the hedge. The dog yelped again as it got beaned on the head by it.

Okay, time to get to school. Amy was waiting for him, then she'd do the ritual.

Chapter 10

Xander felt worried, for some reason.

Part of it was undoubtedly due to the circumstances. He was sitting, shirtless in his jeans, inside a red symbol painted on the science lab floor holding a burning candle. What he had come to call his inner animal was restless, and if he wasn't set on the spell he'd have been pacing the floor.

Power was here.

Three stripes of red were painted across his bare chest. He could easily smell the acrid tang of blood rising from the drying liquid, as well as a spice that he couldn't identify.

Power was dancing across his skin.

Amy stood at the bench next to the symbol on the floor, stirring a beakerful of a witch's brew that Xander couldn't identify for love or money. It stung his nose, even as the blood beckoned, and his inner cat wanted to get away from this. The bunsen burner and the candle were the only sources of illumination in the darkened laboratory.

This power was strange. Strange is not good for one's nerves.

"Diana... goddess of love and the hunt... I pray to thee," Amy said, in a slightly wavering voice. "Let my cries bind the heart of Xander's beloved."

The taste of the power sharpened as she started lowering a piece of the panties that Xander had stolen into the beaker. It tasted gritty, in a not altogether displeasing fashion.

"May she neither rest nor sleep," Amy continued, "until she submits to his will only."

Resonating in an otherworldly fashion, the flames of the bunsen burner leapt up as the spell built, weaving the power. Fumes from the beaker rose, solidifying in the air into a brilliant construct of energy that wrapped around Amy's gesticulating hands.

Diana, bring about this love and bless it," Amy said.

The swirls of power, spellcraft, and will began to fall to the beaker, dissipating.

"Blow out the candle now!," Amy commanded.

Xander obeyed her, blowing out his lit candle.


The next day, Xander paused as he looked into the school lounge.

Cordelia was there, looking around like someone who had lost something dear to them.

He smiled. The prey had no clue. The Cat felt like playing.

"Xander!," Cordelia yelled as he walked through the doors to the lounge, spotting him. "Where were you? I was missing you, bigtime!"

"About," Xander said, a corner of his mouth drawn up in a smirk. "I thought you didn't want me anymore? I seem to recall a big dumping scene, right on Valentines day, kinda reminiscent of month old socks, you and cheap perfume..."

"I can't believe I was so stupid," Cordelia said. "How about a consolation date tonight? The Bronze?"

"Seven?," Xander asked. "Sounds good to me."

"Want a seat?," Cordelia asked. "Harmony was just saying she had to go talk to Larry."

Harmony looked up, dismayed. "I was, sure, but--"

"I won't stand in the way of twue wuve," Xander smiled. "Go on, scoot."

He felt like letting the prey believe it was in no danger, before he acted. Or didn't, rather.

Harmony frowned as she reluctantly got up, and left. She wanted to find out what the deal was with Harris and Cordelia!


Xander smiled as he entered the Library. "Hey, guys."

"Hi, Xander," Buffy said.

"Look, here's another," Giles said eagerly, like a little boy presenting a crayon drawing. "Here. Um, 'Valentine's Day.' Yes, uh... 'Angel nails a puppy to the...' Oh, hello Xander."

"Skip it," Buffy commanded.

"Uh, but it...," Giles stuttered.

"I don't wanna know. I don't have a puppy. Skip it," Buffy frowned. That, and she dealt with enough sick stuff nightly without Giles adding to it.

"Right you are," Giles sighed, getting up. "I'll get another batch."

"Things are looking up," Xander said, approaching the table as Giles left it.

"Yeah," Buffy nodded. "I heard about you and Cordy. That's her loss."

"Ah, but did you hear the new hear?," Xander grinned.

"New news?," Buffy asked, blank.

"We're back together," Xander explained. "Date, tonight at seven."

"That is so sweet!," Buffy gushed. "I can't wait until I let Willow know!"

"Know what?," Giles asked, returning with more Watchers' Diaries in hand.

"Xander and Cordy are back together," Buffy relayed.

"Ah, congratulations," Giles said, flicking through the pages of the first diary to come to hand. "Really, we must develop a better index of these things... ah, here's another one. 'Angel drowns...'"

Buffy silenced him with a raised hand. "Is this gonna give me nightmares?"

"Uh, maybe," Giles said cagily.

"Here's an idea," Xander said. "Why don't we dust fangface?"

"No!," Buffy said. "There... there might be a chance that he could get his soul back."

"Every night, Buffy, Angelus is killing people," Giles said, taking his glasses off and cleaning them. "We must consider destroying him. Remember, you're not looking at Angel anymore, just the beast that killed him."

"Uh," Xander raised a hand questioningly. "Can we not throw around the term 'beast' like that?"

"Er, quite right, sorry," Giles apologised.

"What if he goes for Joyce?," Xander asked. Who he meant was quite clear. "G-man, those diaries say anything about that?"

"Er," Giles looked down at the diary in his hand, hurriedly donning his glasses. "'Angelus drowns Drusilla's mother, suspect fixation on girl. Darla kills three, and--'"

"Okay, okay!," Buffy blew up. "I get the idea! Xander, don't you have a date to get ready for?!"

Xander held up his hands defensively. A snarl curled his lips. "Okay, I know when I'm not wanted."

Chapter 11

A shriek resonated through the Summers household, and Joyce ran to the scene of agony, to find her only daughter standing before the bathroom mirror in wide-eyed terror.

"Mum, something majorly wrong has happened to my teeth! Look at them!," Buffy said, panicking.

"It's nothing to worry about," Joyce soothed.

"Cordelia and all the other sheep at school are going to point at me and call me 'Bucktooth Buffy'!," the Slayer complained.

"Buffy!," Joyce reprimanded. "Don't call other people sheep! I'll make an appointment for you at the dentist, how about that?"

Buffy considered this, frowning nervously. "But... what about school?"

Joyce sighed. "You'll be fine, honey."


The short blonde scanned the large, dimly lit club, looking for Xander's now distinctive hair. She spotted it fairly quickly, and moved over to the group, who had moved all the couches in the club to under the stairs.

"Buffster!," Xander grinned, from where he had an arm around Cordelia. "Nice to see you made it!"

Buffy smiled back. "I guess. Hey, have you seen Willow at all?"

"Rosenberg is trying to dance," Harmony said dismissively. "With the emphasis on trying."

"Don't worry, Harmony, I'm sure that one day you'll be able to dance half as well," Xander smirked.

The Cat felt playful.

Buffy paced behind one of the couches. "I was thinking about that guy we were talking about earlier, Xander..."

"Angelus?," Xander asked.

"Yeah," Buffy nodded, continuing to pace. "I think I might go talk to him."

"You want to sit down at all?," Cordelia asked. "You look like you've got ants in your pants."

Buffy felt nervous, on edge. She had been ever since she'd entered the Bronze, for some reason. "No, I'm good. I'll get going."

"I'll go with you, make sure everything goes okay," Xander said, rising. "Cordy, you stay here."

"Do I have to?," Cordelia frowned. "I wanna go with you."

"I want you to stay here."

"Okay," Cordelia shrugged, relaxing into a posture that proclaimed her ownership of the entire building.

"He's staying at Spike and Dru's old mansion of a warehouse, isn't he?," Xander asked, as they left the club. "Mansion as in haunted house, I mean."

"Yeah, Giles thinks so," Buffy nodded. "God, I just feel so nervous about him... what if he does go after my mum?"

"Swing by your place to pick up some sharp edged goodness?," Xander asked.

"Sure," Buffy nodded. "You got some stakes?"

"I even got the bottle of holy water you get after purchasing ten stakes," Xander said proudly. "I'll get the free cross soon, with my twentieth stake."

Buffy had to laugh at that. "Want some knives as well? I'll even throw in that special cross, if you want one."

"Thanks," Xander said gratefully. "Say, what happened to your teeth? One of the uglies get in a lucky shot?"

"Oh my God!," Buffy exclaimed, covering her mouth. The rest of her words were muffled. "You're going to start calling me 'Bucktooth Buffy' soon, aren't you?!"

"It's no biggie," Xander shrugged. "Willow had braces once, you know."

"She did?," Buffy asked cautiously, mouth still covered.


"You're not allowed to tell anyone!," Buffy commanded imperiously.

"Do I look like Cordelia," Xander smirked.

"I thought you were back with her," Buffy asked, puzzled.

"She seems so... shallow, you know?," Xander said. "I guess she isn't who I thought she was."


"Hang on," Xander said, slowing to a halt a block away from the warehouse. "I'll go scout things out."

"How are you...," Buffy started to ask, trailing off as Xander... changed.

His limbs altered as fur grew from his skin. Buffy blinked, missing most of the transformation. She laughed as the cat tried to get out of the jeans and the Hawaiian shirt.

"Oh, hold on while I help," she laughed.

Xander-cat gave her a dirty look. He'd done that on purpose, so he wouldn't have to strip in front of her.

"There," Buffy said, rolling his stuff into a ball and putting the heap o' stuff into his backpack, which was then slung next to her own. "Go get 'em, tiger."

Xander-cat rolled his eyes at this. Snow leopard, not tiger. Yeesh.

He clawed his way up the wall, and then started easily loping across the tin roof, wincing as some of his pads came down on a hot patch near a badly made tin chimney.


"Oh!," Drusilla laughed, clapping her hands together. "Kitten's come! Here, kitty, kitty, kitty, Mummy's got a surprise for you!"

"Who's the cat?," Spike asked, rolling his wheelchair around the long table plonked in the middle of the warehouse.

"Come on, Mummy won't hurt you," Drusilla crooned, gesturing downwards at one of the windows mounted high up on the roof.

"Dru, pet, who is this blasted cat?," Spike asked, getting ticked off.

Drusilla gestured at one of the nearby minions. She had an ample amount to choose from. "Get my cat down from that tree, good sir!"

"There!," Angelus laughed, pointing at the open window. A pair of cat's eyes reflected back in that eerie manner that cats eyes do. "There's your cat, Spike! Go hug the puddy tat!"

"Shaddup," Spike grumbled, as the owner of the eyes disappeared from the window. "All that fuss over a bloody moggy."