Marked With An X

Author: Lone Templar <eric_prenovost[at]>

Disclaimer: We all know who really owns these characters.

Spoilers: Season Five

Pairings: W/X, G/J

Rating: R for naughty language and adult situations just to be safe

Feedback: Bring it on!

Summary: The battle between Gods

Notes: This is the fourth story in the X series.

Location of the rest of the stories:

Order of Stories:

1) The Letter X

2) Filed Under X

3) X Marks the Spot

4) Marked With An X

Chapter 1

Buffy was in trouble. Not only was she in trouble, but also she actually knew it for a change. She had no idea who this blonde woman was, but there was a new Big Bad in town with the strength and speed to out perform a slayer rather easily.

"I want my key, Slayer." The blonde hissed angrily, casually strolling over to the prone Slayer lying on the ground. "The monks told me that you have it and I want it back!"

Buffy shook her head rapidly trying to clear the fuzziness from her mind while kipping upwards to land on her feet. "I don't know what you're talking about." She protested loudly even as she launched a sidekick into the woman's face. To her utter dismay, the other woman shrugged off the kick easily and retaliated with a casual backhand that sent the Slayer flying for ten meters before she landed roughly on the ground.

"If you want to save your pathetic life, you'll tell me where my key is!" The blonde roared, her shrill voice causing Buffy to wince in pain as the noise threatened to pierce her delicate eardrums.

"Please." The Slayer groaned, rolling slowly over and climbing to her feet. "I don't know what you're talking about. I don't have any key thingy of yours."

The other blonde pursed her lips in thought for a moment before nodding her head. "I'll give you two days to find it for me… then I'll go after everything you hold dear." She paused for a second to stare at the beaten Slayer before continuing. "Do you understand me?" When Buffy nodded her surrender, the powerful woman snorted in disdain and left.

As soon as the other woman was gone, Buffy slumped down to her knees. Her heart was racing in her panic even as her tears of helplessness rolled down her face. "What am I going to do?" She whispered in both physical and emotional agony. Then, a slim hope appeared. "Giles. He'll know what to do." With renewed purpose, she rose to her feet and ran off into the night.


Rupert Giles was a happy man for the most part. He had more wealth than he could possibly spend. He had a house larger than he had ever dreamed of. His car cost more than most people spent on their own homes. A Goddess, ensuring that not only was he in style, but that he actually looked good when he wore them, handpicked his clothes. Not only that, but since the clothes just magically appeared in his closet, he didn't even have to go shopping. This fact filled him with more than a little relief and giddiness at his life. But the greatest item of all, greater than his immortality or his job as the Head High Priest to a higher being, was his wife.

Normally, he would have felt irritated at the blatant manipulation of his life by Willow, the Goddess of Love, but his heart was filled with too much happiness. His wife Jenny, with her dark looks and smoldering dark eyes, completed everything that was missing from his life.

Even now, as he gazed down at her nude form lying below him, her head twisting from side to side in her passion, he knew that he loved her more than anything else in the world. "Love… you." He gasped out as he snapped his hips one final time for the evening, spilling himself deep within her. Her answering scream and nails digging into his flesh only made his release that much more intense.

Relaxing his muscles, he gazed down at his wife with a soft smile on his lips. "Love you, Jenny." He whispered, brushing his lips over hers as he waited for her to return from the heights that he had taken her.

"Oh, Rupert." She groaned, slowly opening her sated eyes. She shot him a small smile as she finally lowered her twitching legs to the bed. She watched him as he withdrew from her body and sank down into the bed at her side.

"Roll over here, love." He whispered, staring up at the ceiling. He felt the bed shake several times before he looked over at her with a question in his eyes.

"I can't." She chuckled quietly. "You shagged me senseless, Rupert." His answering chuckle causing her to purr her pleasure at him as his arms gently guided her into his side. "I love you, too." She whispered, closing her eyes and nuzzling down onto his chest. She sighed in contentment as she felt his arm latch onto her, squeezing her body even tighter against him. With a small, sated smile, she lost herself into the darkness. Yes, she loved her life, too.


By the time the blonde Slayer made her way to the three-story Irish cottage that belonged to her ex-Watcher, the sun was finally coming out over the horizon. Stifling a yawn, she banged on the door, even as she shook her head at the gross inconsistencies of the property. A huge mansion shaped like a shack, a red Lamborghini Diablo for the man of the house sitting next to a black Ferrari F355 GTS for his wife, both sitting in front of the green Dutch door to the monstrous shack. The huge bushes that ran around the perimeter of the property offset the manicured lawn and rose lined driveway. All in all, it was a breathtaking sight. Fifteen acres of gardens, fountains, green grass, and various statues fairly screamed wealth and status in a way that made even the richest person sit up and drool with envy.

Buffy was jerked from her thoughts when the top half of the door opened to reveal Mrs. Giles clutching a white silk robe shut over her body. "Buffy? What are you doing here so early?" Jenny asked before she could take in the various bruises covering the younger woman. "What happened?"

"I need to speak with Giles." Buffy whispered, lowering her eyes. "We have a major problem in town and I need his help."

"Come in, dear." Jenny told her, opening the bottom half of the door wide and stepping to the side. "Go on in to the kitchen and make yourself at home. I'll just wake Rupert up and he'll be down in just a minute."

"Thanks, Jenny." Buffy told the older woman quietly. "I really appreciate this."

Mrs. Giles simply waved it off gracefully. "Don't be silly, Buffy. You know how much Rupert enjoys helping." At the younger woman's smile, Jenny ushered her on her way before going upstairs.


"Buffy?" Giles' voice interrupted the blonde's musing when he entered the kitchen. "What happened?"

"Giles… I… " Buffy started to say before loosing her train of thought. "This woman… she's really strong… said something about me having her key. I couldn't beat her, Giles." She looked away from his piercing eyes. "She just slapped me around like I was normal and there wasn't anything I could do about it."

"Tell me everything that happened, Buffy." He quietly ordered, sinking down in a chair across the table from the distraught Slayer. He listened quietly as he was told everything. When she was finished with the fight, the threats, and the disturbing implications of what this meant, he could only say one thing. "Oh, dear."


"Why can't you summon Willow to handle this?" Giles muttered to his wife as they entered the marble temple in downtown Sunnydale.

"Because it's your job." Jenny calmly told him, not letting her grip on his arm relax for a second. "I'm the priestess of the Goddess of Love, and I seriously doubt that love has anything to do with our current problem."

Rupert sputtered in indignation for a second, his mind grasping at straws. "But she could tell Xander and I wouldn't have to be involved at all!" He whispered harshly.

"Rupert." Jenny sighed. "You did accept the position."

"I didn't know that the twit would make me do things like this!" He muttered, waving a hand at the book that the Slayer was currently carrying for him. Not that he would be able to even lift it, he thought darkly, giving the book a glare to show his displeasure.

The book was normal in only two respects: it was thirteen inches long by eight and a half wide. That was as far as the normalcy would extend. Even with Buffy's greater strength, he could see the Slayer sweating profusely trying to carry the tome. At just over three feet thick, the bloody thing was extremely thick. The title, printed in a fancy script, was on both the cover and the spine and read 'An Ode to Greatness: Summoning the Super Wonderful Fantastic Extremely Handsome One.'

"Have you actually read the bloody thing?" Giles muttered, shooting his wife a glance that threatened the direst of circumstances if the laughter in her eyes actually broke free.

"Well, not all the way through." Jenny muttered back, the corners of her mouth twitching upwards. "But I did read the first couple of chapters." She admitted, her chin quivering with humor.

"Jenny, if you dare laugh, I'm going to take you home and tie you face down on the bed. Then I'm going to paddle your arse until it's bright red. And then I'm going to shag you until you beg for mercy." Rupert threatened in a harsh whisper, his eyes glaring into her own. He was unprepared to see her pupil's dilate and for her tongue to lick her lips as she stared back at him with… was that hunger?… in her eyes.

"Eww!" Buffy cried out, ruining the moment. "Slayer hearing, remember?" She glared at her old mentor for a second before muttering, "And THAT'S an image I don't want in my head!"

"Buffy, shut up." Rupert told the young blonde.


Willow arched her eyebrow upwards as she saw her husband tilt his head as if listening to something. When a huge grin broke out on his face, she just couldn't restrain herself from satisfying her curiosity. "What is it?" She asked, moving to sit up on the bed.

"I'm being summoned." Was his reply before he began to chuckle. "I wonder how much he's going to read before he gets frustrated?" He pondered out loud.

The redheaded Goddess used her power to tune in and recognized her husband's High Priest chanting poetry about how wonderful the newly created God was. Rolling her eyes, she reached over and thumped the man on the chest. "I can't believe you still do that!" She cried out loud.

"May I just say… ouch?" Xander muttered, loosing his expression of humor and turning an exasperated frown on his wife.

"Xander Harris, you have five seconds to climb out of this bed and make an appearance… " Her voice trailed off while she crossed her arms across her chest and glared at him with all her might.

"Or what?" He asked, sitting up and taking his position in front of her. Before she could say anything, he reached outwards and gently stroked the naked flesh of her chest. "I could just ignore him for a few hours while we had some… fun." He suggested in a smoky voice, bringing his mouth to her bare shoulder and lightly nipping the warm flesh that he found.

"Xander… " She gasped, her eyes automatically shutting as the sensation quickly overloaded her system. 'Wow! Does this effect ever go away?' She asked herself silently.

"No." The brunette answered, his fingers idly toying with one of her nipples. He watched in amusement as the flesh puckered almost instantly and her body drew in a gasp of air at the sensation.

"You… really… need… to… " She was panting heavily as she tried to force the words out, only to have her mind blank completely when his mouth enclosed the tip of her breast and force a groan of pleasure out of her mouth. With her last bit of conscious thought, she sent a quick message to her Priestess before surrendering to her husband's ministrations.


Jenny watched her husband read aloud from the massive book, trying in vain to keep the smile from her lips. A quick glance at the Slayer showed that she, too, was watching the proceedings with a touch of humor. Rolling her eyes, she had to wonder if Xander would ever grow up, and if it would be better or worse if he did.

Just as she was about to giggle at her diligent husband, who was beginning to frown heavily and quietly curse between stanzas extolling the virtues of his God, she felt a message from her own Goddess.

'*Jenny… oh, yeah… tell Giles… ooh, that's the spot… tell Giles… How does he do that with his tongue?… Xander will be… oh, wow! That feels sooo good!… he'll be there in a… yes! Yes! YES!… in a… Again? Is he trying to kill me?…. in a… oh, I can see stars!… shoot… what was I saying?… Oh, gosh, it feels so good*

"Um, Rupert?" His wife's voice cut him off and forced him to turn around to face her. His eyes widened at seeing her blushing face and the fact that she couldn't meet his eyes with her own.

"Yes, Jenny?" He asked hesitantly, not really sure that he wanted to know what was going on.

"Willow said that Xander would be here in a little bit." The dark-haired woman managed to stutter.

"He's not coming right now? It is rather urgent." Giles muttered darkly. He was surprised when his wife's blush deepened.

"They're a little… busy… right now." She muttered, her burning face now facing the floor in front of her.

"Busy? Doing what?" Buffy asked, turning her attention towards her former computer teacher. Noticing the blush, she proceeded to wear one also. "Oh, never mind." The blonde muttered, turning her attention away from the others to study the wall behind her.

"Oh, good grief." Giles muttered, crossing his arms and glaring down at the thick volume resting on the alter.


"Where the bloody hell is he?" The Watcher muttered, pacing rapidly back and forth in front of the alter.

"I'm sure he'll be along any minute now, Rupert." Jenny sighed, shifting to make herself more comfortable from her position on the floor leaning against the wall. A quick glance at Buffy revealed that she was fast asleep in the opposite corner.

"You said that two hours ago!" Giles snapped out, not stopping for a moment.

Any comment that the techno-pagan was about to utter was suddenly cut off by a quick blinding flash of white light. When the couple could see again, they saw Xander reclining in a large, comfortable chair. He was dressed in a pair of black suede loafers, gray slacks, and a white silk shirt that had the top three buttons undone to reveal his chest.

"About bloody time!" Rupert growled, more than a little peeved that the only reaction he could get out of the youth was an amused look.

"Yes, yes." Xander waved a hand dismissively. "I had important business to finish before I could rush over here." He said with a bored look upon his face. He held out a hand and a goblet of wine appeared within. Calmly eyeing his High Priest, he took a sip and raised an eyebrow as he took in the man's rumpled appearance.

"I was unaware that shagging was considered important business." The Watcher snapped out. At the God's sudden choking fit, he couldn't hold back the evil grin that broke out. Jenny, along with a now awake Slayer, giggled at the young man's plight.

Xander shot the man a dark look and waved away the wine with a flick of his wrist. Climbing out of his recliner, he dismissed it also. "Okay. You got me on that one. So what's up?"

"Buffy ran into something on patrol that was faster and stronger than she was." Giles started to explain.

"She also threatened my mom and Dawn." Buffy cut in, now remembering the threat.

"Who's Dawn?" Jenny asked, shooting a puzzled look at her husband only to be met by a blank look of his own.

"Dawn? My sister?" Buffy explained slowly, wondering why everyone was acting so strange.

"Buff… you don't have a sister." Xander informed her.

"Yes, I do." The blonde insisted. "I even remember when mom and dad brought her home from the hospital back in L.A."

"Joyce never mentioned anything about having another daughter and I definitely don't remember ever seeing one." Giles muttered, staring at his Slayer with worry in his eyes.

"Well." Xander said, clapping his hands together and then rubbing them vigorously. "Sounds like we have a mystery on our hands. Shall we investigate?" He asked with a smile. Receiving three separate nods, he snapped his fingers.


Joyce Summers was not having a good day. Arriving home late from the gallery, finding out her oldest daughter had gone out slaying and not returned, and then finding out her youngest daughter had tried to make herself something to eat only to semi-destroy the kitchen was just too much. Worry and anger warred with each other as the dominant emotion as she considered Buffy and her actions. Anger and frustration were present when considering Dawn. And to top everything off and make her life just perfect, she was suffering from major headaches all the time.

After sending Dawn to bed, she started cleaning the kitchen up, afraid that Buffy wouldn't show up at all and fretting over what she would say to her late daughter if she did.

"Mom?" Her eldest daughter's voice called from the living room.

'Oh, thank God.' Joyce silently prayed, closing her eyes in relief. "Buffy? Are you alright?"

"I'm fine, mom." Was the standard answer. Walking calmly out of the kitchen and into the living room, the matriarch of the Summers family was momentarily taken aback upon seeing the Giles family and Xander sitting calmly on her couch.

"Hello, Rupert. Jenny." She said with a nod to them before turning her attention to the dark haired youth. "I'm sorry, but I don't remember your name. I'm sure that Buffy introduced us in the past, but…" She trailed off in embarrassment.

"Not to worry, pretty lady." Xander responded with a charming smile. Hopping to his feet, he grabbed her outstretched hand and pressed his lips to the back of it. "My name's Xander. Pleased to meet you."

"Xander? As is…?" She asked, pressing her free hand to her chest in shock.

"The one and only." He assured her while wiggling his eyebrows at her. Getting the required nervous giggle, he released her hand and stood up.

"So, what brings you to our home?" She asked, feeling her cheeks warm under his scrutiny.

"Xander! Quit flirting with my mom!" Buffy growled.

"Buffy! Where's your manners!" Joyce spun around to face her daughter, and expression of shock on her face.

"Perhaps we should get to the subject of our visit?" Giles interrupted, rising to his feet. "Could you bring your sister down here, Buffy?"

"What's going on?" Mrs. Summers asked nervously.

"Sure thing, Giles." The blonde Slayer responded, turning to sprint up the stairs.

"Just some idle curiosity." Xander replied, placing a calming hand on the older woman's shoulder and using his power to calm her fragile nerves.

Within moments, the Slayer had returned dragging what she remembered calling 'The Brat' behind her.

"Buffy, why did you drag a glowing green ball of energy down the stairs?" Jenny asked, the simple question leading to an argument of epic proportions.


"So what you're saying is that my daughter isn't my daughter?" Joyce asked, confusion and devastation in her voice.

"Hah! I knew it!" Dawn cried out, pumping her fist in the air.

"Dawnie?" Buffy asked.

"I knew that I couldn't be related to you!" Dawn laughed, pointing her finger at her so called sister.

"Dawn!" Joyce snapped out. "Don't tease your sister!"

"She's not my sister, mom." Dawn told her mother happily. A moment later, her happiness disappeared. "Of course, that also means that you're not my mother. That sucks."

"Well." Giles said at last, wishing that he still wore glasses so that he could do something with his hands. "Indeed."

"So what are we gonna do?" Buffy asked, glaring at the younger Summers girl.

"For all practical purposes, she IS your daughter, Joyce." Jenny said. "You have a complete set of memories that say so as well as legal documentation."

"Oh, I'm not giving her up." Joyce declared. "I just want to know how this happened."

"Magic." Xander responded. "I can see your altered memories. This wasn't done by some garden-variety magic user, that's for sure. Something this complete can only be done by a few groups in the world. I don't think that it'll take long to check with all of them."

"So, do you think that Dawn is this key thing that woman was looking for?" Buffy asked.

"Yep." Xander nodded. "That would be a pretty safe bet to make."

"If I might make a suggestion." Giles stated, coming to his feet. "I think that Dawn would be safer at the temple rather than staying here."

"Mom too." Buffy added. Noticing her mother about to say something, she quickly added, "At least until this whole thing is over with."

"Joyce? That okay with you?" Xander asked, turning to stare at the senior Summers woman. After a quick nod declaring her surrender to the situation, he clapped his hands together and rose from his seat. "Okay, we can do this. Don't bother to pack, ladies. I'm sure that the Goddess of Fashion will be more than happy to supply you with all your daily needs."

"Really?" Dawn squealed loudly. From under her shirt, the youth pulled out her holy symbol; a golden dollar sign studded with diamond and emerald chips. "This is like a dream come true! I'm finally going to meet the Goddess Cordelia."

"That is just… sooo wrong." Buffy muttered, closing her eyes and trying to shut out the memories of Cordelia and the Cordettes from before her ascension. Unbeknownst to her, she wasn't the only one in the room feeling the same way.


"This is so awesome!" Dawn squealed, causing her mother to wince in pain. "It's such an honor to meet you!" The youth declared, staring upwards into her Goddess's face.

"Thank you." Cordelia replied with a smile. "What's say that we take care of that clothing issue, hmm?"

"Really?" Dawn cried out. "You'll take me shopping? Oh my Goddess! This is sooo great! Shopping with the Goddess!"

"Oh, we're gonna do more than just shop, honey!" Cordelia smirked at the young woman. "We're going all the way to…" She paused for a second to let the youngster's excitement build even further. "Make-over!" She finished with a flourish. The young lady's squeal of joy was totally incoherent to anyone else, but all could tell that she was beside herself.

"Be back in time for dinner." Willow ordered, being sure to get a nod of acknowledgement from her fellow Goddess before dropping the wards and letting them out.

"I'm going to be warped for life." Buffy muttered, shaking her head at the bizarre turn of events that her life had taken over the last few years.

"I thought the hardest thing to accept about your life was the whole Slayer thing." Joyce added quietly. "But knowing you hang around with God's and Goddess's… it's just too much."

"I know, mom. Trust me, I know." Buffy agreed with her. "So, when are we going out and hunting down this… whatever it is?" The blonde asked.

"If I'm not mistaken, she should be here in a few minutes." Willow added thoughtfully.

"Wills?" Xander asked, turning his attention to his wife.

The redhead simply pointed out the window. Tracing her pointing finger, Xander could see a nice looking blonde in a tight red dress approaching the temple. "Why do you think that it's her?" He asked quietly, not taking his eyes away from the strange woman.

"I think the biggest clue would be the large group of demons that she's ordering around." Willow replied sarcastically, drawing a chuckle from his High Priest.

"Well, okay. That's a clue that I missed." The God admitted with a nod. "But I was a little distracted." He said while pointing a finger of his own at the strange woman. "Did you get a load of that aura?"

"Yep." Willow nodded. "And that would be the second reason that I think it's her."

"Oh." The brunette was at a loss for words. "So now what?" He finally asked.

"Shall we meet her?" The redhead asked with a grin.

"Shall we irritate her?" Xander replied with a question of his own.

"Let the games begin!" They both shouted with a laugh before disappearing in a flash of bright light.

"I'm going to need therapy for the next twenty years." Buffy muttered, throwing herself down into a recliner.

Her mother sat down more gently, but she couldn't help but agree with her daughter. "I'll take the couch right next to yours, honey." She said quietly, shooting the blonde a small smile.


"Hello? Little monkeys? Anyone home?" A cheerful voice broke the silence of the temple, causing Willow to grimace. Glancing over at her significant other, she was in time to watch him roll his eyes.

"Shall I do the honors?" Willow asked in a dry tone.

"Sure." Xander capitulated gracefully, turning his attention back to the glass of wine in his hand.

"Back here!" The redhead shouted before reclining into her seat. In only a moment the room was flooded with demons. Taking a closer look at them, Willow came to the obvious conclusion that these weren't that much of a threat. She raised an eyebrow at their activities before facing Xander. "Do you know why they're doing that?" She asked quietly.

The young man smirked at the demons for a second before beginning to whisper. "You don't know why they're rolling out a red carpet?" He asked.

"Well, this IS a temple dedicated to the Gods and Goddesses." She replied, sending a glare in his direction. "The questions I want answered are why are they rolling it out for anyone besides us and why do they carry around a red carpet anyway?"

"I have to admit that I'm puzzled about the carrying around part, Wills." He answered her. Anything else that he was going to say was abruptly cut off when the blonde woman entered the room. Both Xander and Willow were surprised when every single demon dropped to their knees and bowed towards the overly cheerful blonde. The woman herself walked in as if she owned the place. Glancing neither left or right, she casually strolled straight towards the couple.

Coming to a stop, she eyed them for a moment. "I want my key." She declared, buffing her nails on the front of her dress.

"Do you have her key, Wills?" Xander asked calmly, taking another sip of wine.

"Why, no. I don't believe I do. Do you have it, Xander?" She asked in wide-eyed innocence.

"Why, I don't believe that I do, Wills." Turning his attention back towards the strange woman, he told her, "Sorry, but neither one of us has your key."

"I know that my key is here!" Glory growled angrily. "Just give it to me and I won't kill the both of you."

"Well, I'm frightened, Wills. Are you frightened?" He asked, turning back towards the redhead.

"Why, yes. I am very frightened, Xander. Whatever shall we do?" She stated in a monotone, pressing the back of one of her hands to her forehead.

Quickly matching her tone, he replied, "I don't know, Wills. But I'm very frightened." He assured her.

"Yes, I know, Xander. I'm very frightened, too. Are you more frightened than I am?" She asked, taking a sip of wine for herself. Neither one of them were watching the blonde in front of them purpling in anger.

"Well, Wills, I am very frightened. I dare say that I might be more frightened than you." He said calmly, rubbing the top of his foot up and down the back of her calf.

"Ooh, I must be more frightened than you, Xander. I have tingles!" Willow exclaimed, her eyes sliding halfway shut at his attention.

"STOP IT!" Glory screamed, interrupting the couple before they could go any further. "I am a Goddess! You can't treat me this way!"

"Big deal." Xander stated calmly, still not turning his face towards the screaming woman.

"Yeah, go away and bother someone else." Willow agreed, catching her husband's eyes and licking her lips slowly. She almost smiled as she saw his eyes latch onto her mouth.

"Give me my key right now or I'm going to kill you where you're sitting!" The blonde growled, her hands balling up to form fists at her side.

"Lady, you're beginning to bore the hell out of me." Xander replied, trying his best to match a forgotten actor's voice. Willow recognized the line and burst out loud into a fit of giggles.

"That's the worst impression that I've ever heard." She giggled absently.

"I've heard worse." Xander pouted, reaching out to snag her hand and rubbing the back of it with his thumb.

"I doubt it." The redhead gasped, feeling electricity shoot upwards from where his thumb caressed her to settle in more interesting places on her body.

"Are you sure about that?" He purred, letting his voice resonate in a frequency that would vibrate anything it touched.

"THAT'S IT!" The blonde screamed, launching a haymaker towards Xander that caught him under the chin. The blow picked him up and flung him across the room. Glory was surprised when the redhead simply eyed her calmly and took another sip of her wine.

"Do you mind? I was trying to seduce my wife." Xander stated calmly, standing up and brushing imaginary dust from his clothes.

"What are you?" Glory asked suspiciously, taking a step backwards. When her question went unanswered, she decided on a course of action. "Minions! Kill them!"

"Minions?" Xander asked rhetorically. "How come I don't have minions? I want some minions of my own."

"Xander." Willow began, only to be cut off as she disappeared in a flash of light to reappear at her husband's side. "Only bad guys have minions."

"Well, that sucks." He responded. "If they have minions then what do we have?" He asked, doing his disappear/reappear trick to wind up across the room.

Willow flashed over to his side before she answered his question. "Bad guys have minions, lackeys, and slaves. Good guys have side-kicks."

"I don't even have a side-kick." He responded, flashing into a vacant corner.

"You don't need one." Willow flashed over and patted him on the back.

"I know I don't NEED one, Wills." He said, flashing over to another corner. "But I don't have one yet. Do you think I should advertise or something? Maybe pick up a used one or something?"


Both Xander and Willow flashed over to appear directly in front of her. "Are you stupid or something?" Xander asked, narrowing his eyes to stare at the red-faced woman.

"That blonde hair is natural, isn't it?" Willow asked, her voice filled with compassion.

"Definitely not the brightest bulb in the box." The dark-haired youth muttered.

"It's okay." Willow told her, patting her shoulder gently. "I'm sure that we can find a nice home for you. Maybe in the phone book under moron or stupid."

Without warning, Glory snapped out another punch. This time, the results were much different. Only inches from his wife's face, Xander had calmly caught the woman's fist and held it firm in a grip of steel. The shock on her face was enough to encourage chuckles from the couple.

"What are you?" Glory asked again, for the first time in her life feeling inadequate to the task at hand.

"I'm a God." He replied happily. "My wife here is a Goddess. As such, you don't really impress me."

His hand tightened suddenly on her wrist sending an awful pain shooting through her arm. Glory struggled to free her hand, but she lacked the strength in her half-strength body. The boy's hand began to squeeze even harder, grinding the bones in her wrist together, drawing a loud scream of pain from her lips. Still, the hand bore down on her, forcing her to her knees.

Meanwhile, Willow had calmly stepped back and gathered up the demons in a group. A quick sweep of her hand sent every single one into a deep sleep. Turning her attention back to her husband, she wasn't surprised to see him on top of the situation.

Glory screamed again. The pain was absolutely unbearable. Everything she tried failed to free her aching wrist as the hand continued to increase the pressure it was exerting upon her wrist. Suddenly, a loud popping noise filled the room as the bones in her wrist were crushed in Xander's hand. The blonde's screams were cut off instantly as she lost consciousness.

Willow was surprised when the body of the woman morphed into a man that she didn't recognize. A quick scan of his mind revealed that he knew perfectly well what resided in his body and the benefits he gained from the experience. Shaking her head sadly, she sent the information to her partner.

Xander glanced at the redhead for a moment, letting his eyes communicate both his questions and his support. Receiving a nod from his wife, he turned his attention towards the human lying on the floor in front of him. Laying a hand on the man's head, the God drew out any sort of mystical power that he found. Collecting it into a ball, he let it grow and build as each bit of power he drew forth was added to the total.

Finally, several minutes later, he was finished. Nodding to the redhead, he watched as she flashed the entire entourage away in a blink of an eye. Taking his seat, he calmly regarded the energy that he had withdrawn.

"Did you get it all?" Willow asked quietly, taking a seat on his lap and carefully avoiding the snarling mass of energy.

"Yeah." He sighed, still watching the ball of energy. "I don't know what to do with it, though."

"Can't you just absorb it?" The former witch asked.

"No, I can't. The amount of energy required to turn it from something so chaotic to something usable would be more than what I would gain." He explained.

Willow thought about it for a few seconds before getting an idea. "An amount of energy like that found in a certain key?" She asked brightly.

Xander considered it carefully for several moments. Finally, he smiled at his wife. "But what are we going to make her?" He asked, turning his brown eyes to meet her green ones.

"I have an idea." Willow stated calmly.


"You wanted to see me?" Dawn asked nervously, not wanting to approach Xander or Willow too close, but not wanting to be rude and stand too far away.

"I have a question for you, Dawnie." Xander said cheerfully.

"Yeah?" The teenager asked cautiously.

"I've already talked it over with the others and they all approve." He started. "How would you like to be a Goddess?"


"I think you broke her." Willow said with a grin.

"Uh, Dawn? You still there, Dawnie?" Xander asked.


"I don't think that she can hear you." Willow snorted.

"Quiet, you." He shushed the redhead before turning his attention back towards the overly excited teenager. "DAWN!" He shouted, hoping the change in volume would be enough to cut through her excitement.

"YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!" The girl shouted in response, throwing her arms around Xander and hugging him for all she was worth.

"Well, that's interesting." Willow laughed, casually reaching over into a bowl and plucking a grape before inserting it into her mouth.

"Dawn?" Xander squeaked.

"THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!" Dawn screamed into his ear.

"CALM DOWN!" Xander screeched back, causing his wife to develop belly-cramping laughter.

"You… you… you…" Willow was trying to say, only to be cut off by more laughter.

"What?" Xander replied, retaking his seat.

"You screeched like a girl!" Willow shrieked before exploding into laughter once again.

"No, I didn't! It was a manly yell!" Xander replied, hopping to his feet and waving his arms around to accentuate his point.

"No, you screeched." Dawn calmly assured him, not bothering to keep the smile off of her face.

"It was a manly command issued in a manly way in a manly manner." The God muttered, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring at the two giggling lunatics.


"You ready?" Xander asked quietly, studying the new Goddess in front of him.

"Yep." Dawn nodded eagerly, anxious to test out her new powers.

"Okay, as the Goddess of Healing and Healers, it's your job to do the healing thing." Xander calmly explained. "If you complete your first assignment correctly, then you're free to wander around to your heart's content, but I would rather you leave the majority of the healing to the professionals. You don't want to bankrupt an entire industry. Your main job is to watch and help out the healers of the world. Give them advice, help them network, whatever it takes to make them better healers."

"Yeah, yeah. I got that already." Dawn insisted. "Willow explained everything to me."

"Another thing, I don't want you to appoint any champions, priests, or whatever until you're at least twenty, okay?" He asked her calmly.

"Why not?" Dawn asked, a pout already starting to form on her lips.

"Because you need to establish yourself within the pantheon on your own merits before you start anything else." The young man carefully explained.

"Ah, okay. So what's my first case?" She asked eagerly.

"Close your eyes and put on this blindfold." Xander told her, handing her a black handkerchief. When she had placed the cloth over her eyes, he grabbed her shoulders and flashed them to the targets location. "The woman you're about to see has a brain tumor. If nothings done, then she won't last out the year. I want you to heal her and keep a close eye on her for the rest of her life. She's going to be your pet project, Dawn. Whenever she wants to talk to you, you're either going to flash to her or flash her to you. You're going to make sure that the rest of her life is a happy one. She's a wonderful woman, Dawn. People take her for granted and expect her to drop everything to help them out. She's extremely unselfish, but she doesn't like liars. Do you understand?" He whispered in her ear. At her nod, Xander reached up, grabbed the blindfold, and flashed back to the temple.


Joyce was sitting in her living room watching television. Well, the television was on, but she wasn't paying attention to it. Instead, she was going over her life and wondering why she felt so lonely. 'The baby I gave birth to is going to die early.' She told herself bitterly. 'And the one that was given to me isn't real.' She felt like crying.

"Mom?" A sudden voice interrupted her self-pity party.

Turning around, Joyce could see her daughter staring at her in shock. "Dawn, what's wrong?"


Of course, there are many, many more adventures of the beings known as the X. This has been just one of them.

The End