Author: Michael Dunbar <mutant190583[at]>

Summary: Everyone's got their take on a Xander with super powers; in fact I've got a few myself. Here's another one.

Disclaimer: I own nothing, Buffy is owned by Joss and UPN. Dark Angel is owned by somebody who is not me.


Date: 5th November 1981
Location: Unknown

A whisper echoed down the brightly lit hallways and it slowly got louder till almost painful levels. On a stainless steel table a woman laid convulsing in pain as physicians prodded her and inspected the many machines attached to her petite form.

The woman convulsed and the doctor's held her tightly to the table.

Scalpel's came next as they sliced into her skin, her eyes rolled back into her head and tried to block out the pain. It wasn't supposed to be this painful, of that she was sure, of that the doctors had reassured her.

One child for a good wealthy life.

It was a horrible thing to do, give her child away, but Sarah Foster had never been labelled a saint.

A whore yes, a saint never.

One day they had come and they had taken her away from her home in the city to a base in some mountain range, she was unsure of which ones. However she did see armed guards, so she was sure it was something to do with the government at least. She was given a small room to live in but she was assured that anything she wanted would be gotten for her, which alone made her stay.

Hundreds of tests were performed for hours on end on her, exhausting her completely inside and out. A month later and she was impregnated, with what she wasn't even sure because why would the government want to impregnate her with a child?


As the pregnancy developed things had gotten more complicated, things had become more painful for her.

When it came down to it the doctors had only cared for one thing, of that Sarah was sure.

The baby.

She knew that this baby, this pregnancy couldn't be normal. Sarah Foster knew that they'd done something to it, something awful and incomprehensible to the child that had grown within her.

But for now, at that very moment she didn't care.

She just wanted it out of her.

Moments away from freedom.

Her and the Child.

A cry was heard and then the bloody hair could be seen for a few seconds, the doctors quickly took control and removed her/him from the room. Those remaining patched her up and left quickly, leaving her on the bed in small amounts of discomfort and pain.

Sarah felt disgusted with herself, even in her drugged state, she didn't even know the gender of her baby.

She had hit a whole new low.

A week after she was sent on her way.

150,000 dollars in her bank account but without the smile on her face she was expecting.

Was it worth it?


Donald Lydecker stood looking out of the window of his large spacious office, a smile on his lips as he saw the gates open and close for the tenth time that day. They'd been successful, the in-vitro work was completed and the only thing left now was the training that they would undergo.

It would take years but he would be successful simply because he never failed, before the next 20 years is over he would have an army so completely perfect that the world would shiver as they marched. An army so completely in tune with each other that if one was stabbed another would bleed, an army bred for destruction.

So far it had all gone perfectly sound, all babies healthy and accounted for.

So far

So good


Date: 3rd October 1989
Location: Unknown

The world was spinning as his feet pounded the snow, never stopping or turning as he ran. His speed would have been awe inspiring to anyone that could witness it but there wasn't anybody around, no one except the children and the soldiers and the alarm in the distance.

The child spotted the gun instantly as it was pulled up, but he was quick as he launched a flurry of punches and a kick that knocked the grown man clear off his feet and into unconsciousness as he fell not 10 feet away. Without stopping he rushed forward at an even faster paced and jumped for all that he was worth, catching the top of the electric fence he sighed happily in the knowledge that it was no longer active as he simply pulled himself up and over.

Into the darkness he went, sweeping across the ground with little or no sound towards a world that wasn't ready for him.

That possibly never would be.


Date: 21st March 1991
Location: Sunnydale, California

He had lived with the Harris's for a year and half now, he found them to be a nice couple that would welcome a child and he meant to fill that spot for them.

It was his own idea to be taken into care, an idea thought up to hide himself from his would-be hunters. He had the mind of a tactical genius and this was the best plan that it could come up with. To hide in the very system that was hunting him would provide him with a certain amount of satisfaction while avoiding ever going back to that place. So he had just dropped into an office one day, crying to be taken in and homed someplace and it had taken them two weeks at best before he was sent to Sunnydale, California.

At first glance he had approved of his placing, the middle aged woman known as Sarah Harris was indeed a happy looking cheery woman that screamed out for a child to mother and her husband seemed as equally pleased to have a child in the house and thus he settled in

School wasn't far behind as he was enrolled in the nearest elementary school automatically. His place among the students was in question as he lost focus on his school work; it seemed to him to be rather pointless since he knew the answer to every question they would ask. Not only did he have the mind of a tactical genius but they also wanted soldiers with intelligence, unheard of he was sure.

So for a year he had attended that small school with a bunch of children the likes of which he could never seem to grasp. He knew it would take time but he would blend in, after all wasn't it a soldiers duty to blend into their surroundings.

He never remembered his name, they had just given him a number as part of the team he was in.

Never a name.

So to suit the purpose of his new life he had taken the name of Sarah's dad, from now on he should be called.

Alexander Lavelle Harris.


Date: 1st May 1992
Location: Sunnydale elementary school

Alex hated this; school to him was pointless in itself but play time was an even more waste of time. This world was a far different one to the life he was used to, the life he used to lead.

From across the playground he spotted the trouble before it had even begun, the way the children walked with a purpose and in a more predatory fashion. No one would ever notice without a trained eye but even children can give off an aura of predatory instincts, of been the alpha in a pack under certain circumstances.

It came from the very beings that we were, the very core.

He knew the child well that was the leader, one of the bullies of the school. Mark Balshaw his name was, he hadn't bothered Alex yet but he guessed it was only a matter of time before he did.

Mark was the kind of child that liked to push other's around, so much so that he even had his own little group of followers. From the direction he was walking in it seemed his victim of the day would be Jesse McCormick.

The blonde child known as Jesse sat their oblivious with his friend Willow, they were talking about cartoons and how much they hated teachers well Jesse hated the teachers Willow didn't mind them. It was the usual stuff to talk about at school in the playground. However the silence was broken and before Jesse knew what hit him his bag was snatched from his hands and thrown across the playground, he gulped and stared at the face of the kid he feared the most in the school.

"Hey… Mark, what's happening man..."

"You seemed to have dropped your bag" he laughed slightly and watched as Jesse went to pick the small bag up.

"Yea… Thanks…"

Before he knew what was happening his bag was emptied onto the ground and he gulped, knowing it wouldn't end well.

The red haired girl, Willow to her friends, was furious. She was usually quiet and timid and hardly ever got angry but she despised bullies more than anything especially ones that picked on her friends.

"Hey, stop throwing his bag… why do you have to be such a meany…"

"Who asked you ginger?" Mark smiled at her before kicking some of Jesse's things around on the floor.

"Hey man… Just leave my books alone…"

Jesse probably knew he should have never taken that tone of voice and was prepared for either the verbal or physical berating that would most likely come.

However Alexander while standing across the playground had finally had enough, he was fed up of standing on the side lines as these children threatened other children of his age. It was probably going against every thing he said he would do but he walked on over to intervene.

"Mark… I'd say it's probably best if you and your friends left"

Mark turned at the new voice and stared into the eyes of Alexander for a brief second and he understood in that second what could probably happen if he disobeyed. He was still a child and he wouldn't enjoy of explaining to his mother why his clothes were ruined in another fight.

He was still a child and yet he knew them eyes, knew what they could do.

Mark smirked but nodded his head "Fine… I'll leave you with your loser friends..."

They walked away and Alex watched them head towards the other side of the playground before he turned back to the other two.

"… Thanks "Jesse murmured "Alex… "

"Yea" Willow added then smiled, she felt the need to include him in their activities for some reason "i-iff you want you can come over to mine after school, we are going to watch cartoons. "

Alex was going to reject them, but he decided to accept. If he was ever going to blend in then he would need to socialise at least.


Date: 15th March 1997
Location: Sunnydale High school

"Scuse me, comin' through, pardon me, 'scuse me, whoa! 'Scuse me, not sure how to stop! Please move, whoa, 'scuse me..."

Alexander Harris deftly moved around the individuals littering the front of the school with an almost perfect balance despite his words that was until he saw something out of the corner of his eye.

Catching a flash of light against his eyes he almost rubbed them until he saw what it was. A blonde haired girl was walking up the stairs of the school.

(New Girl) Xander thought and smiled, she was a looker definitely.


Getting distracted wasn't always a good thing when you were trying your best on a wheeled device, he never saw the metal railings but as he hit it full on he span in mid-air and automatically adjusted himself to land on his feet.

Perfect balance, thanks to his DNA.


Xander heard Jesse's amazed statement and turned to see him standing with Willow they were looking at him with wide eyes. Despite that he smiled at them, his usual friendly smile.

"Beginners luck… "He assured them and smiled wider "Will you are so the person I wanted to see…."

"I am?" She smiled wide and took up beside him as they walked through the entrance of Sunnydale high.

"Definitely… I'm having trouble with the math…" He grinned.

"Which part?"

"The Math…" He replied as if it was obvious "Please be my study buddy…"

"I don't know why you need me; you always come up with the answers pretty quickly when I test you… All it requires is you to put some effort in"

Willow looked at him once then sighed deeply "fine… What's in it for me though?"

"A Shiny nickel"

"New Girl" Jesse cut in "Very much the hottie apparently"

"Seen her, very nice… So what's the what?" Xander asked, he flipped open his locker and slammed his bag inside before grabbing a pen.

"New Girl…"

As if that was an answer.

"Well you're a font of nothing…"

"By the way Xander, you should check Theories in Trig out if you want me to help you…." Willow looked at him as he stared blankly "From the library… where the books live?"

"Right… Gotcha. Ill do that… Now here we go, once more unto the fray my friends…"

It was chemistry first for them, to which Xander wasn't too pleased. The teacher, a Miss Shaw seemed to take great pleasure in making him answer a lot of the questions posed.

Something he never liked to do.

The trio took there respective seats in the class room and chatted idly about the weekend and what events were happening in the week, the usual stuff for teenagers to talk about.

Alexander Harris could finally say he'd found his niche, he was totally and utterly happy with his life in Sunnydale. He was aware that they were still looking for him but happy in the knowledge that strange occurrences seemed to be forgotten in this small town. He had his friends, his limitless knowledge of TV trivia and his smarts when he put them to good use.


"We have a new student it seems." The teacher flashed a smile to the door and in walked the new girl, Xander almost lost his breath "Buffy Summers… The Class"

The girl seemed nervous, she was looking around for a seat and he caught her eye with his wide smile in her direction. He looked like a happy guy to her and someone she wouldn't mind been around.

Jesse and Willow always sat together leaving an empty chair next to him and since Sunnydale lost more students than it gained that meant the seat next to him rarely got taken.

Buffy nervously took her seat next to Xander and waved slightly "umm Hi…. I'm..."

"Buffy… right?" He grinned at her and she blushed slightly "I'm Xander Harris, first names actually Alexander but I thought I needed a super-hero moniker and thus I was born…"

Buffy laughed slightly, already taking an interest to the boy at her side. The classroom was now merely a backdrop to their conversation and the teacher's words about Oxygen and Hydrogen instantly forgotten.

"Oh very super hero like... " she replied and placed her bag at her feet.

"I thought so" He leaned in to whisper "However my middle name is a no go area for anything resembling decency or Super heroism… If you stick around long enough I might tell you what it is..."

Buffy smiled at him and pushed a stray hair behind her ear, she could definitely get to like this Sunnydale.

Chemistry came and went in the blink of an eye, they tried to remain silent but a few choice words from the teacher sent Xander yet again to detention. He didn't mean to do any of the things that sent him there, but he wouldn't let a friend go when he could go in their place. It was a loyalty thing with him.

Still it was only one more hour at school, a pain but doable nonetheless.

The four musketeers walked out of the chemistry lab and Xander flanked Buffy at her side, while Jesse took her other side and then Willow.

"Buffy, Willow and Jesse…. Jesse and Willow…. Buffy" Xander smiled as they all shook hands "See I'm not the only one with a super-hero name… Buffy's superheroish… sounds like a killer Bunny with grenades…"

At that thought they all laughed and walked towards the machines at the end of the hallway. Free periods were the god send for every student in the entire world.

"Oh chocolatey goodness… come to me… come to me…."

Willow and Buffy stood to his side looking at him with an eyebrow raised.

"What… it's chocolate, it's for the good of all man kind…. I'm a man and if its kind enough to give me my snickers I wont break the fricking machine" He punched the side and the bar he was waiting for dropped down followed by 2 others he hadn't paid for "wow… Guess it's my lucky day…"

Xander felt the eyes on him before he'd even stood up and he handed a bar each over to the girls "Don't say I never give you nothing… "

Buffy and Willow smiled at each other as they all walked out to the quad and took a seat on a bench. They watched the guys playing football not far away, lobbing the ball too and fro as hard as they could.

"So Buffy… Where exactly do you come from? " Jesse asked curiously while he held his bag tightly on his lap

"LA… We moved here because my mom switched jobs…"

"Fate as drawn you here it would seem, to bring wonder and enchantment to our lives…"

All three of them eyes Xander.

"What…. Ok maybe I have been watching too many Fantasy films… "He grinned "Anyways, what I want to know is what makes Buffy 'the killer bunny' tick?"

"Tick…" She gulped.

"Yea, you know… Favourite TV show, Favourite Film, colour, song, turn offs and turn ons…" He openly leered at the end of the sentence causing Buffy to blush slightly.

"Not at all intrusive" Willow noted with a sarcastic grin.

"Well…. "

"There's a dead guy in the locker…."

Cordelia's words interrupted Buffy and she span around so quick she nearly got whiplash.

"Dead guy?"

"Like totally dead?"

"Not just a little dead then?" Xander commented dryly and slapped his own head at the terrible joke.

"You know if you need a shoulder to cry on…. Or to nibble on" Jesse didn't get to finish the statement as Cordelia turned on him with a nasty stare.

"Were there any marks?" Buffy asked before she realised what she'd said.

"Eww… Morbid much…"

Cordelia soon left after spreading the gossip that was after all what she was very good at. Buffy gulped nervously as her new friends started talking around her and she had to know, one way or the other.

"Ermm… I have to go…" She flashed past them "Ill see you all later…"

Buffy disappeared quickly out of sight and Xander eyed where she had gone with a cautiousness his friends never knew he possessed, something had wigged Buffy out a lot.

"Guys, I gotta book too… Get the books actually, library right wills?" He grinned at her before heading off, but just as he took a step he noticed on the floor a very small piece of sharpened wood. Eyeing it he slipped it in his pocket before looking after where Buffy had gone with an eyebrow raised.

(Curiouser and Curiouser)

Chapter 1

The hallways were mostly empty, a few stray students found themselves in the halls but in general students either tended to be in class or out in the quad. It was as close a student could get to getting out of school without actually leaving. Xander walked towards the locker rooms, deducing that Buffy after her initial reaction to the dead body would be headed in that direction.

He turned a corner; the one situated right near the locker rooms and stepped back behind the corner almost instantly. Buffy was there, looking around trying to see if anyone was watching her. Xander wouldn't normally spy on a would-be friend but he made an exception for one whose reaction had unnerved him. He soon realised that was probably a good idea of his as she simply pulled down on the locked door handle and shoved it open with ease.

The door had squeaked under pressure but gave way to greater strength, namely one Buffy Summers. She must have stood Five foot four tall and weigh about a hundred pounds and yet she had exerted amazing pressure on a locked door that would have given a bodybuilder cause for worry.

That alone gave him cause for concern, his first instinct and tactical training telling him that she was one of him but his intellect overriding that particular idea in an instant.

If Lydecker knew where he was he wouldn't send an assassin, he was worth more alive than dead and if he ever did want him dead then he would send more than just one and he wouldn't bother on infiltration first. If Lydecker knew where he was he would have a full battalion of soldiers up his ass before he could even speak, that was how he knew she wasn't from Lydecker.

She could be another run-away…

Xander admitted that she very well could have been, he hadn't known how many had escaped that night and realised that it wasn't just his own group that had escaped. Many others had escaped also from that compound. However he couldn't believe that theory too.

Why would she show her strength in such a display to simply look at a dead body?

She would be hiding it more secretly and another thing was that if he was interested in a murdered suspect he wouldn't risk the chance of been caught. He would find some other high tech alternative, maybe hacking the hospital records on the dead body and if it did come down to low tech he would have waited till the body was sent to the morgue and then find the pathology reports in the hospital.

She couldn't be one of them.

However he couldn't hide the fact that she had amazing strength for one so small and petite. No human her size could have done what she had done, hell no human could have done it that particular way anyway. It would have taken a heavy man a shoulder barge to break that door, he knew that for certain.

Who was this Buffy Summers?

She'd been in a while; he decided to take a slight chance and slowly crept to the door making sure not to make a sound. When a person such as him doesn't want to make a sound, then they wouldn't be heard. It was as simply as that.

Buffy's voice could be heard from inside, she was muttering in anger. He listened intently trying to pick whatever she was saying up.

"Great… Wonderful.. Come to Sunnydale, you'll make loads of friends…. I knew we should have moved to Cleveland"

Nothing could be heard for a few minutes, Xander sure that she was thinking of something. He heard footsteps and as quick as he could he disappeared back to the safe spot past the corner. Buffy flew out of the room and vanished down the opposite way, whatever she had thought of had made her disappear quickly. No one was around; he snuck back to the door and crept into the room.

On a silver table in the middle of the room was laid a body bag, inside obviously was the body of the person who had died. Xander opened the bag without hesitation and stared into some hazel eyes, a person who had died well before their time. The boy looked about Xander's age maybe a bit older; he had no abrasions on his body that Xander could see except two little holes in the side of his neck at the left side.

Obviously the cause of his death was some kind of blood loss, the simple sight of the pale coloured body told Xander that bit of information. However the strange thing was that Xander couldn't see a single drop around the body or the whole locker room in fact.

Where could so much noticeable blood vanish to?

Too many thoughts and not enough answers. He shook his head free of the puzzles of the hour and decided to head to the library to check out the book that Willow had told him to get.

The puzzles could wait till later, maybe he would ask Buffy about it. -Classes were soon to start; the bell would ring shortly ending his freedom that he cherished so much. Xander made short time as he appeared at the double doors to the library, about to walk in he noticed the girl of his deliberation in a heated conversation with the new librarian.

Things were getting even more interesting.

Instead of interrupting them he decided to take a form of action that wasn't out of the norm for him today and decided to spy instead. Stepping shortly to the side of the window on the door he placed his foot and pressed in gently, allowing a slight gap to appear between the doors and the sounds inside to come out clearly.

"He's got two little, little holes in his neck, and all his bloods been drained. Isn't that bizarre? Aren't you just going ooooo?"

"I was afraid of this"

"Well, I wasn't. It's my first day! I was afraid that I was gonna be behind in all my classes, that I wouldn't make any friends, that I would have last month's hair. I didn't think there'd be vampires on campus. And I don't care."

The librarian replied abruptly "Then why are you here?"

Silence reigned for a second as she pondered " To tell you that... I don't care which... I don't, and... Have now told you, so... bye. "

The librarian managed to reply before she had walked an inch "Is he…. Will he rise again?"


"The.. The boy"

"No. He's just dead"

"Can you be sure?"

"To make you a vampire they have to suck your blood. And then you have to suck their blood. It's like a whole big sucking thing. Mostly they're just gonna kill you. Why am I still talking to you?

Buffy walked down the stairs while the librarian moved to the railing.

"You really have no idea what's going on, do you? You think its coincidence, your being here? That boy was just the beginning."

"Oh, why can't you people just leave me alone?" Buffy announced exasperatedly.

"Because you are the Slayer."

He followed her down the stairs " Into each generation a Slayer is born, one girl in all the world, a Chosen One, one born with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires..."

Buffy interrupted him suddenly in a monotonous tone "With the strength and skill to hunt the vampires, to stop the spread of their evil blah, blah, blah... I've heard it, okay?"

"I really don't understand this attitude. You, you've accepted your duty, you, you've slain vampires before..." The uptight Englishman replied clearly.

"Yeah, and I've both been there and done that, and I'm moving on."

"What do you know about this town?"

Xander heard his footsteps get quieter; surmising that he must have went into his office for some particular reason.

"It's two hours on the freeway from Neiman Marcus?" Buffy replied jokingly.

The librarian came out of his office "Dig a bit in the history of this place. You'll find a, a steady stream of fairly odd occurrences. Now, I believe this whole area is a center of mystical energy, that things gravitate towards it that, that, that you might not find elsewhere."

"Like vampires?" Buffy stated obviously.

"Like zombies, werewolves, incubi, succubi, everything you've ever dreaded was under your bed, but told yourself couldn't be by the light of day. They're all real!"

The librarian seemed to get excited by the prospect.

"What? You, like, sent away for the Time-Life series?"

"ah… yes"

"Did you get the free phone?" Buffy asked changing the subject slightly.

"Um, the calendar." He replied

"Cool… first of all I'm a vampire slayer, hence the vampire word. And secondly I am retired. Hey I know… why don't you kill them?

The uptight English man didn't seem to like that idea as he stuttered out an answer "I-I'm a watcher… I-I haven't the skill…."

"Oh come on, a stake through the heart…. Little sunlight, its like falling off a log."

"A slayer slays.. A watcher…"

"Watches?" Buffy retorted, her anger obviously getting the better of her as she turned on the man.

"Yes.. no.. He, he trains her… he prepares her…"

"Prepares me for what?" Buffy yelled " For getting kicked out of school, for losing all my friends. For having to spend all of my time fighting for my life and never getting to tell anyone because I might endanger them? Never getting to socialize or live a normal life?"

She stormed towards the door "GO AHEAD, PREPARE ME"

Xander quickly realized she was headed his way and stepped to side; she stormed out and vanished down the hallway without even noticing him. He looked after her thoughtfully, obviously having internal arguments that seemed to centre on the stupidity of the conversation he had just heard or the likeliness that both parties were in fact insane.

However soon after he did realize maybe he was a bit harsh in his assumptions and could not ignore the possibility that the upset Buffy had been through a tremendous ordeal. That kind of thing cannot be hidden under duress; her tone of voice told him all he needed to know.

Then he thought of Sunnydale and the possibility of a world he never knew about. The stretch from his own life to that of Buffy's wasn't the distance he had hoped to see, she hadn't chosen her destiny just like he hadn't chosen his. They had more in common than he cared to admit. But to admit that likelihood of the supernatural was to admit a world that he had possibly ignored under the pretense of been more self involved than anything else.

He was born of something he couldn't control for a government he never knew and was bread to notice things and act upon them accordingly according to his heightened genetics. That was something he knew to be certain and yet he had never even heard of this new world, never had an inkling of it ever existing and yet here it was.

Sunnydale was strange, people disappeared, far too many for Xander to remember and far too many than to his liking. Yet he never even expected any foul play up until this moment, he was as ignorant as the whole town and the whole nation.

Worlds beyond your own don't seem to matter until your own world is blown out of proportion. The realities of existing in the modern world come to life once again in an unexpected fashion.

Xander couldn't help but feel slightly disgusted at his own ignorance; he could have possibly saved many people over the years that needed not to die. He could have saved that boy whose eyes he had stared into earlier, the one who had died before his time.

He could have saved him.

The bell interrupted anymore of his thoughts and he ignored the entire reason he had come to the library in the first place as he walked towards Mathematics, his thoughts were on anything but equations and algebra.


The first thing Xander noticed when he walked into class was that she was sat in the seat next to his again. She obviously didn't want to go through the whole process of meeting another person and getting to know them either that or she just wanted to get to know him better. However he knew he wouldn't be the ideal company at this particular time.

Too many questions and thoughts were in his head for him to focus on anything but the predicament he had found himself in.

What action could he take now that he knew the possibility of that world existing?

Should he talk to the librarian and Buffy?

So many questions and no answers.

Xander found himself in a kind of trance for most of the entire day, his friends noticed and tried to get him to talk but he was unsure of what to say to them. He just assured them that he would be okay, that he was thinking about something important and would be fine.

Willow was okay with that, she knew nothing could keep Alexander Harris down in the dumps for long. She had witnessed it first hand.

The end class came and went and they headed down the bustling corridor, they needed to split off to separate destinations. Xander's own destination been detention for an hour but he had chirped up slightly by now, finally realising the action and only action that could be taken.

"The bronze.. We should go tonight" Xander said out of the blue and looked at his friends with a smile

Buffy looked at him with a question on her lips.

"Local youth hangout, dance, drink… even some loud obnoxious live band if that's your thing. We should go tonight…"

"Defo man.." Jesse slapped him on the shoulder "I got to book, mom wants me home pronto but I'll see you there definitely, I'll be their at the usual time right Wills?"

Willow nodded assuredly as he vanished out of the building. They always walked there together, their homes been on the same street made it simpler.

"I got to go as well Xan… About maths, can we leave it a night?" She asked looking at her history homework with slight displeasure.

Xander grinned and hugged her sideways "Thought you were reading my mind"

She walked down the stairs and disappeared down the street and out of sight leaving Buffy stood with Xander.

"Buffy" he asked hopefully.

Buffy seemed to ponder for a second then smiled "Sure… where exactly is this club?"

"Don't worry about it… I can meet you at yours and we'll walk together."

Maybe then he could tell her what he knew and just hoped she would consider his help if anything.

Buffy seemed reassured and even smiled shyly "1630 Revello drive"

"Ok.. I know the place, I'll see you at seven?" he asked and grinned.

"Definitely" Buffy whispered as he walked towards detention.

While detention to Xander was pretty much a regular occurrence it always seemed to last decades rather that one little hour. It was quite possibility the most boring experience in the world, counting down the seconds on the clock hanging over the teachers head.

This only fuelled his need for a good night out with his friends and his new friend, the one that had been on his mind most of the day and not in a nasty way. Despite his own reasoning's and the ever increasing likelihood of a new world out there waiting to be found some small part of him held true to the idea that it was all a lie and that there could quite possibly be another reasoning behind the corpse and the discussion that he had yet to learn.

He supposed that some small part of him would be unsure until he saw the night with his own two eyes and could finally see that the myths hold true to form. It was only human after all.

Xander couldn't help but sympathise with Buffy, something was taken from her that should never have been.

Her free will

Buffy did not choose to be a slayer. All she ever wanted was to be a girl, and then a woman and even perhaps a mother. But all that had been thrown into doubt by some higher power with no consideration involved. He knew she should run from her problems, it was the age old solution to any problem after all. Maybe she had done in the past. But something in her eyes had told Xander that she wasn't that kind of person at her core, that she was the kind of person that stood for what she believed in to the end. Her strength of character had inspired his decision to take part in the night life. He knew he was a good judge of character; it was in his DNA after all.

Xander's inner thoughts were disturbed by the time as he vanished from school as quickly as he could. Deciding to leave before a rule was changed by the school board to make it so that all Alexander's had to stay at school till eight at night. A bit paranoid perhaps, but is it paranoia when the system is truly out to get you?


His home wasn't far from the school; it was one of the luxuries of living in such a small town. Xander barged through the door with an audible groan and dropped his bag almost instantly, then his shoes and he was about to head upstairs when he heard someone clearing their throat.

The disapproving look on his step-mothers face made him pick up his shoes and bag with a sheepish look on his face before he headed to his room.

"Sorry… "

Sarah smiled warmly at her would-be child as he vanished up the stairs, he wasn't perfect but he came pretty darn close to her. Even now she could hear him drop his stuff on the floor in his bedroom but she knew that before the weekend came he would have it cleaned up; it was the way he was.

She knew him that well, he couldn't stand clutter.

It was strange for a child, but nice for a mother.

Meanwhile upstairs Xander quickly rid himself of his stuffy clothing. He was going to wear one of his more appealing outfits tonight. Solid colours instead of the usual stripy pattern he liked so much. A pair of black Levi's and one of his new shirts and he was good to go, via the use of washing facilities of course.

He wasn't doing it to just impress Buffy, well not entirely. The use of the dark shirt and jeans could come in handy if anything that the librarian had spoken of earlier decided to rear its ugly head.

Surprise was something Xander always took advantage of if he could.

His school books had been dumped unceremoniously in the corner where it would most likely stay till the night before it was due in. It had never been important to him, despite what his parents thought. Xander looked himself over in the large mirror by his bed then smiled at Pamela Anderson on the wall.

"Pammy, I look good enough to eat"

Heading down stairs he briefed his mom on where he was headed and what time he would be home, which he argued with her about of course when she altered the time he had originally given her. Arguing with a mother about curfew was never a good thing to do, he learnt the hard way when he left having to be in by ten pm when he could have swooped eleven if he'd had stayed calm and cool about it. Leaving the house he headed towards Revello drive, he knew the location well it was only four blocks from his own house.


Date: 15th March 1997
Location: Buffy Summers House, 1630 Revello Drive

"Hi I'm a big slut"

"Want a copy of the watch tower?"

Buffy eyed herself in the mirror as she placed outfit after outfit in front of her. She used to be so good at this before the fire, before she lost her friends. She had been queen of her old school and now what was she?

A slayer?

A Loser?

Despite losing her friends and her social standing she had discovered that not everything revolved around make-up, dresses or the cute boy working at Taco-bell that was four years her senior. Something's been far more serious than that and despite losing her friends it had probably been for the best; they had never really known each other. It was all a façade by the cool and popular kids, who put the best front up. No one actually got to know each other; they just knew the face you hid behind.

Then she came here after the fire and there were nice people, actual people that wanted to know her for her and not for her clothes.

Willow looked nice enough, not someone the old Buffy would have hanged around with but somebody the new Buffy could see very well depending on in the future.

Jesse was nice enough when he wasn't saying sexist remarks, his continuous annoyance of Willow was something to behold even to an outsider like she currently was.

Then came Xander Harris, what could she say about him?

He was handsome definitely and very funny, but there was just something about him that she had instantly attached to. Something beneath them brown eyes that told secrets that no one could grasp, she saw a sort of kinship there like he could understand her like no other.

Buffy liked him beyond a shadow of a doubt the moment she saw him.

At that moment Joyce Summers peeked her head around the door frame and smiled at her one and only daughter "hi hon"

"Hey" Buffy replied putting her dresses back in the closet.

"Are you uh going out tonight?"

"To a club…"

"Will there be boys there?"

"No it's a nun club mom"

"Well.. Just be careful"

"I will"

Her mother could never possibly know the stress she had been under in her short life and what was worse was that the entire LA fiasco had made her look like the soul person responsible. All the other people that were involved were now finding their way around the air vents in dust form. Buffy loved her mother but sometimes she could also be very trying.

"Oh, you're a good girl, Buffy, you just fell in with the wrong crowd. But that is all behind us now."

The door bell interrupted the conversation and Buffy looked at the clock in panic.


"Oh.. God he's early… go stall him mom… I've got to get changed…"

"Him?" her mother asked questioningly with an eyebrow raised.

"Xander Harris….. He's just a friend, please mom?"


Xander admired the house from the outside, it looked large and homey. Kind of like his own home but with a larger garden. He pressed the bell again in nervous anticipation, it wasn't even a date and he was as nervous as hell. Willow and Jesse would no doubt be at the bronze at their usual time of half seven. They were consistent to say the least but it at least meant he knew of there whereabouts at most times.

He saw someone beyond the glass of the door and it opened to reveal a woman in her early forties, late thirties who had a genuine smile on her face.

"Is Buffy in? Your Mrs Summers right? Pleased to meet you, I'm Xander Harris"

First impressions are important if a relationship wants to get off to a good start and as Mrs Summers ushered him into the house pretty quickly he was sure that he had made a good one. He walked into the living room and looked around admiringly before taking a seat.

"Nice House…"

"Thanks Xander" Mrs Summers replied "would you care for a drink? I believe my daughter will be a while yet."

He nodded his head "sure… whatever's on offer yea…"

Joyce vanished into the kitchen and he heard water and various other things been implemented while he just looked around casually. It looked very nice, very homey to him.

"Here…" Xander was brought out of his reverie as Mrs Summers offered him a glass with fruit juice in it and he smiled in thanks. She took a seat opposite him and looked at him for a moment before she spoke.

"So… Xander, how exactly did you get to know Buffy?"

Questions unnerved him and he clenched the cup in his hand tighter before replying.

"Well.. She sat next to me in Chemistry, I introduced her to my friends,,, one big happy friend family now… yep yessiree…"

He always babbled when nervous, it was a trait he had picked up over the years, a very unwelcome one.

"Tell me about the bronze?"

Such a blunt question, if he was to take this examination under scrutiny he would definitely find it more in tune to a date kind of occurrence than anything else resembling his and Buffy's current relationship.

"Well.. It's a converted warehouse, very big and spacious. No alcohol is served there which you will be happy to know" he smiled at her "there's a 2 dollar entrance fee and it houses live entertainment a lot, that isn't to say its good live entertainment buts its entertainment nonetheless"

Xander fingered the glass and looked towards the stairs in hope that Buffy would break this tit a tat with her mother.

"So.. Xander that's an unusual name…"

He couldn't help but wonder at the audacity of the person calling his name weird when she had called her own daughter Buffy. Not the most traditional of names for children to say the least. Still his name had come as some kind of nick name and it beat the number he had before that.

"It's short for Alexander" he answered "Willow, my best friend decided one day that it wasn't a good enough name for me, hence the Xander…"

Joyce smiled at him and before she could ask another question Buffy walked down the stairs with a smile on her face. A beautiful black dress hung off her like nothing Xander had ever seen and he couldn't help but ogle her, he was after all a teenager despite his other traits.

"Hi" Buffy seemed to stammer a bit "I hope my mom wasn't bothering you too much…"

"Buffy" Joyce reprimanded her but in jest "Well that's my cue to leave and do the dishes. You young lady be in before 11 or there will be hell to pay. Nice meeting you… Xander"

"Yea, same here" Xander replied and watched her disappear into the kitchen before visibly relaxing.

"Sorry about my mom, she means well"

"Yea" He looked her up and down then smiled "You look beautiful"

Buffy blushed "Thank you, you don't look half bad yourself…"

"What!.. This old thing?"

Her laughter followed them out of the door; they headed towards the bronze engaging in conversation as they went. Every time Buffy said something Xander would reply with something that made her laugh, she hadn't laughed in a while.

It felt good.

She could hear the footsteps behind her immediately; her stake was stuck snugly in her purse. Just because she didn't want to be the slayer didn't mean she was stupid either.

Always be prepared.

A sentence to live and die by.

Xander for his part remained emotionless despite the footsteps; he had wanted to broach the conversation that had been bugging him the entire day and now something was going to interrupt that. He wasn't sure who the intruder was but something in Buffy's eyes told him to be very wary.

The bronze wasn't far from there current location, before they could reach there however Buffy grabbed Xander's hand and led him down an alley. He didn't react and just followed suit, he was pushed behind a dumpster and told to remain still and to trust in her.

If he was anybody else he would have been very worried.

Buffy vaulted up and grabbed a hold of a pipe and swung herself right around until she was resting vertically above it in wait.

Xander saw him first as he entered the alley behind them. A tall man with spiky hair and a face that he doubted even knew how to crack a smile. Dark leather was obviously the man's clothes of choice as he was donned from head to foot and he looked around cautiously. However It all did him no good as Buffy swung right around and kicked him flat on in the chest, sending him flying to the floor. She dropped down, her hair hanging before her eyes and a wicked glint in her eyes.

"Is there a problem ma'am?"

"Yea, there's a problem. Why are you following us?"

Deciding that hiding behind a dumpster was already denting his reputation, despite what it is already Xander came to stand beside her and looked down at the man on the floor.

"Who's he?"

"I'm Angel" The man said.

"Pretty name" Xander replied

"I know what you're thinking… Don't worry, I don't bite…"

Buffy's head was spinning, not only did she have to contend with this guy but her new friend had no doubt witnessed her Olympic style gymnastics and would no doubt require an explanation. It could come later after dealing with this stalker.

"I thought you'd be taller, more muscles… Your pretty spry though" Angel admitted and rubbed his neck.

"What do you want? "Xander asked curiously before Buffy could ask the same question.

"The same thing as she does…" He looked at Buffy and smiled "to kill them all"

"No!!" Buffy pushed him with her foot as he tried to get up "What I want is to be left alone!!"

"Do you think that's an option anymore, you're standing at the mouth of hell and it's about to open… Don't turn your back on this" Angel reached into his pocket as he was allowed to stand and threw her a box but Xander intercepted it and grabbed it in his hand.

Angel faltered slightly as he walked from the alley but turned and looked straight at Buffy "You're the only chance this planet has, don't throw it away. The harvest is coming and he will rise… the world needs a hero right now"

With that the mysterious guy left and Xander fingered the box in his hand before opening it, a silver cross rested in the soft velvet. He handed it to Buffy and she looked into the box.

"I have enough crosses" Buffy said and handed it back. She looked at Xander about to explain but decided it wasn't the place "We'll talk… later okay?"

He knew it would be coming eventually anyway so he nodded and they walked the rest of the way to the bronze in silence, the cross in Xander's pocket burning to be used. Once they had paid the entrance fee they bustled through the many teenagers stood idly by the door and Buffy managed to get her first glimpse of the infamous Bronze.

The only place to be in Sunnydale.

It wasn't magnificent, she'd seen better clubs in LA of course but it had a rudimentary charm to it and the atmosphere seemed to be magnetic to the clubbers as they danced wildly about anywhere they could. Dodging flailing arms and legs they immediately made there way to a table occupied by Willow and Jesse. The latter obviously ogling Cordelia who stood across the room while the former looked incredible bored.

However her face brightened as she saw the two new arrivals.

"God… I thought you were never going to get here, Cordelia this… Cordelia that… I was thinking of running away with the barman but my shyness held me back"

Xander laughed as he took a seat, Buffy taking the one next to him and opposite Willow. She looked between the two obviously feeling something going on and couldn't help but ask, it was her nature to be nosy.

"What's up with you two?"

"Nothing" they both replied at the same time, an obvious amount of shame was definitely present whenever two people said the same thing at the same time. It was Law, however the tension did break as they both broke out in a grin and even sniggered.

"So Jess.. Going to try your luck once again for the indomitable Cordelia Chase?"

Jesse grinned widely and slapped him on the shoulder "You know me so well, just call me Jesse "Glutton for punishment" McCormick… She's alone… its time for my well thought out, brilliant plan"

He almost vanished in thin air like you see on cartoons early morning, just leaving a dust cloud in his wake. Buffy, Willow and Xander all laughed at his dispense as he almost tripped up on his way towards her, trying to swagger wasn't his forte.

"So… what's his well thought out, brilliant plan?" Buffy asked still watching him.

"He'll go over, same some randomly male chauvinistic comment and she'll either slap him or berate him vocally after which he'll hang around her for like ten minutes in hope that she'll change her mind. After that he'll head back on over with a grin on his face despite his set back and say she'll come around…" Xander smiled, he knew his friend so well.


He looked over at Willow and she was nodding towards her empty glass with a smile, the male always gets the drinks or that was what she had told him from when he was eight and him been a manticore reject believed her. He knew better now but he still accepted it, besides she could never get served.

"Buffy.. A drink?"

She smiled up at him as he stood "Yea Coke.. diet"

"Right… Coke diet and orangeade for Miss Bossy britches…"

Willow stuck her tongue out at him as he vanished from sight headed towards the bar.

"So…" Willow started, aware that they were alone "your interested in Xander?"

Where did that come from?

Buffy just looked at her dumbly and was sure she saw some signs of jealousy on the auburn haired girl's face but she hid it well. She was suddenly aware that she could be standing on somebody's feet by been interested in him and she had to ask.

"Why?.. Are you and he?"

Willow grinned and brushed hair behind her ear "No… we were once… but he stole my Barbie, I had to dump him then…"

The slayer let out a slight breath she didn't know she was holding and Willow noticed and couldn't help a slight smirk appearing on her face but then she turned her head down.

"I..I don't really date much… Any boy but Xander and Jesse and I-I find it difficult to say anything resembling coherent sentences…"

Buffy looked at the girl, despite some of her clothes choices she was very pretty and decided to dish out some small advice in hope that it would alleviate her problems.

"Do you want to know my philosophy?"

"Yes" Willow answered immediately.

"Life is short"

"Life is short" Willow echoed.

"Not original, I'll grant you, but it's true. You know? Why waste time being all shy and worrying about some guy, and if he's gonna laugh at you. Seize the moment, 'cause tomorrow you might be dead."

"Oh that's nice" Willow piped up in sincerity.

Buffy turned her head and spotted the librarian, the watcher, Giles on the top deck of the small club and she excused herself from Willow.

"Seize the moment" Willow muttered to herself.


Xander was muttering as he returned to the table about the barman stealing his change and how would he like the cash register shoved somewhere painful when he noticed it was empty.

"Oh… I see, I go off to get drinks and they desert me… "

After he had placed the tray down he grabbed his coke and took a sip before turning to peruse the dance floor. He immediately noticed his red headed friend dancing with a guy and he smiled happy that she had found somebody. Xander also spotted Jesse dancing with a girl that wasn't Cordelia, a blonde that seemed to be good looking from the view he could get of her and he gave his friend the thumbs up. That left one; he looked up and noticed her immediately talking to the librarian. Maybe it was time to get some answers.

Making light work of the stairs he appeared behind Buffy and Giles to catch the last bits of a sentence.

"... Besides, I knew you were likely to show up, and I have to make you understand..."

"That the harvest is coming… I know your friend told me"

"What did you say…"

Xander decided to introduce himself, maybe inopportune but better now than never he surmised. He cleared his throat and Giles turned and looked at him, not knowing what to say.

"She said the harvest was coming… A weird guy in leather and fixation for spiked hair told us…"

Giles automatically turned on the slayer "HE KNOWS!!!"

"Hey cool it gramps, it wasn't like she had a choice the guy was following us." Xander stated half annoyed and Buffy even gave him a grateful look "All I know is what I overheard in the library earlier, now I'm open minded but even I thought what the hell when I heard that conversation…"

He walked up and leaned over the railing looking down at the crowd of teenagers below "So.. According to what I heard is that vampires exist right? Your saying that they could be anyone here… that they have been here before? All these people… how many times have I been here and put my life on the line without even knowing it"

Buffy patted him on the back gently "some people cope with it differently, like you some few want to know but most just want to ignore it… ignorance is bliss."

Giles decided to intervene; he wasn't pleased about the way things were turning out "now see here, you aren't supposed to know about this so I suggest you go home and forget you heard anything…The slayer is supposed to fight this fight, not you…."

Xander almost laughed out loud "You think I could do that now? Just leave people to the slaughter, even if it isn't with your help I.. I couldn't walk away now.."

"You'll have to Xander" Buffy said and looked at him sternly "This isn't a game, people die when ever a mistake is made and you have to live with that… I should know"

Giles looked at Buffy with sad eyes; he understood what she meant too truly for him to ignore it. He also knew that someone her age shouldn't have to deal with things pertaining to such guilt or complex emotions, but he also knew that this girl, this young girl before him was possibly the only hope the world had. That scared him more than he cared to vocalize.

"I..I always thought that something was wrong in Sunnydale but something like this never really crossed my mind, people went missing a lot. Even a few people I myself knew… I guess I stuck my head in the ground just like everybody else.. Ignorance is bliss, or stupidity risks lives…. Neither matters, I can't walk away Buff… I'm not the kind of person that could…"

Buffy sighed and patted his hand, give him a week and he wouldn't be able to cope and then she would be on her own.


"Buffy, as I was saying… I'm not aware of this harvest, I-I'll have to research it… "

"Yea, you do that" She stared idly over the railing and noticed Willow smiling as she danced with a brunette and Buffy smiled in response.

It soon disappeared.

"Giles… Vampire.."

The librarian stuttered "A-Are you sure.."

"Look at his jacket.. Sleeves rolled up.."

"It's dated?" the watcher asked curiously as he saw her and Xander head to the stairs.

"Carbon" was her reply as she vanished from his sight.

They pushed their way through the crowd of teenagers and looked around nervously, Xander saw Jesse walking towards the same door with a blonde and he got a sudden sinking feeling.

"Is that one?" He asked, already dreading the answer.

Buffy saw the blonde; she suddenly got a nauseous feeling and just nodded.

They pushed through and out of the door to find nobody in the alley beside the bronze; Buffy was just getting more infuriated by the minute.

"Where did they go?" Xander asked to nobody and followed Buffy from the alley.

"What's around here?" Buffy wondered and looked at him.

"Ice cream parlor, few shops, a graveyard but that's a given in Sunnydale"

Another reason to think about the likelihood of the supernatural in the town.

"The graveyard… Which way?"

"At the end of the street on the corner"

Buffy nodded setting off in a sprint towards the graveyard at her fastest possible pace, within a few minutes she was looking around the graveyard noticeably and saw footprints upon the dirt headed off in a northern direction.

"Where'd they go?"

Buffy got a start and turned to see Xander standing there looking around like she just did, he wasn't panting, he wasn't out of breath remotely but at the moment it didn't matter. She nodded towards the direction and they headed there at pace Buffy with a determined look on her face.

A scream broke through the night.

Xander recognised the voice anywhere, it was his friends.


Chapter 2
The Harvest Part 1

The brain of Xander Harris ran faster than most, especially when under stressful conditions. It was one of the many elements implemented through the DNA manipulations of him when he was nothing more than a fetus. Upon entering a building his immediate thoughts ran through several various scenarios that could play out, his secondary thoughts went to vantage points, exits and any blind spots within the building that could not be seen from the doors.

He was the embodiment of a man prepared for any eventuality.

However upon hearing Willow scream his instincts were almost forgotten for the briefest of moments as he dove through the doors of the mausoleum without a second thought. He immediately saw the blonde vampire leaning over Jesse and that the other vampire was holding Willow against the wall. His first scan of the room showed that Jesse was losing blood from his neck very quickly and also seemed to be slipping in and out of consciousness. The vampire leaning over him seemed to take great satisfaction in the blood tricking down his neck, as she dipped a finger in it and brought it to her mouth.

That alone was enough for Xander, he shoulder barged the vampire as hard and as fast as he could. She was thrown clear into another wall with a sickening thud and without even looking Xander pulled the cross from its imprisonment within his pocket and slammed it into the cheek of the other vampire. Not knowing the effect the holy icon would have upon the vampire he was surprised when the creature fell to the floor clutching its cheek, the smell of crisply burnt skin hung in the air as the vampire backpedaled in something almost akin to shock. That however was the creature's downfall as he reversed into the slayers legs, she immediately dispatched of him with a stake to the heart.

To Xander the vampire's body seemed to go limp for the smallest of moments before flames over rode the creature skin and it disappeared into dust that scattered across the floor of the mausoleum. He couldn't hide the gasp even if he had tried, it was amazing to witness.

The blonde vampire had managed to erect herself and had pulled her shoulder that had been dislodged back into place with the swiftest of movements. She looked on worried. She was Darla, one of the masters very own children and here stood two humans opposing her. This wasn't the way it was supposed to happen anymore, they were supposed to be oblivious to their surroundings and not fight back. They owned this town and who did these humans think they were to interrupt that?

Her first reaction was to of course to fight, it was her demon telling her so but she wasn't an inexperienced vampire and didn't always allow her primal urges to take control of her. She was quite the thinker when the moment was upon her and she immediately took the blonde girl for a vampire slayer. The way she held herself in pure confidence as she stared down at the vampire she had just dusted and the way that she moved gracefully about. It told Darla all she needed to know.

However the mystery was the boy. On the outside he was perspiring, he even looked nervous to look upon and yet she could not smell the fear that she was so used to coming from humans. It came from his friends in almost palatable waves and yet he wasn't perturbed or scared of these events. His heart did not race and his breath was not irregular. Something very unusual for a human to have was complete control under these sorts of circumstances.

Since she didn't know what or who this boy was she wasn't willing to risk the lives of anymore vampires, even if they were expendable. Luke could sort this slayer out no problem but later, at the harvest. For now her thoughts should be more focused on a plan of escape. .

The secret door to the lair was slightly ajar; it wasn't a very worrying fact simply because very few humans would dare to venture into the catacombs beneath the small town. If the slayer knew what was good for her she wouldn't either, and that's what Darla counted on when she dove through the door as quickly as she could. She vanished into the darkness.

The time would come again, of that she was sure.

"Wimp…" Buffy muttered then turned to Xander "I hate it when they run"

Willow was in shock, her mind unable to comprehend all that had happened in such a small time. She was shaking back and forth clutching at her pant leg with a far away look in her eyes. It was the way the mind protected itself, shutting itself off from all outside stimuli so it could process the events to a certain degree. Buffy had seen it plenty of times before, it was the way a human reacted to finding their little world had just gotten a whole lot larger.

She gently grabbed Willow's hand and smiled reassuringly at the redhead; pulling her up to standing she hugged her slightly to comfort her. Xander had already picked Jesse up from the floor into his arms and looked worriedly at Buffy.

"His pulse isn't very strong Buff…"

The slayer looked at her new friends pained face as they walked from the mausoleum without saying another word. The hospital luckily wasn't far away from the graveyard but the trip seemed to stretch on forever as the quietness of the night almost deafened them somewhat. Not one of them knew what to say to any of the others, the night had brought far too many worries for experienced and inexperienced alike However while they were quiet each was thinking of what had transpired, realizing that their lives would probably be never the same again.

Buffy looked at Xander as he looked through the darkness with an intense gaze, his friend held into him and his fingers always on the pulse of his arm. He had impressed her tonight, more so than any other human upon first contact with vampires. It took a lot of loyalty and courage to do what he had done and Buffy didn't know if that comforted or worried her. The fact that he would risk his life so willingly for his friends was both endearing and scary. Buffy also realized that her first judgments of him were incorrect and if what was true about him tonight was true all the time then he would no doubt keep his word to her and Giles.

Xander's mind was more focused on the supernatural parts of the night; he had witnessed something he thought would never and could never be possible. Yet there it was in his minds eye. The evil feral yellow eyes and the ridged forehead and the smell of sizzling skin, it was all true. He looked at Willow worriedly, she was usually quiet but for her this was an extreme. However he also knew shock when he saw it and hoped that she would come out of this night unscathed, unlike their friend Jesse.

He hated vampires, he was going to take a stand and say they're not good.

The hospital was quiet at this time of night but that didn't belay the promptness at which they tended to Jesse and rushed him down for a transfusion. Something told Xander and Buffy they were far more used to this than they should be. They were pushed into the friends and family waiting area as the hospital went through the boy's records and went to call his parents.

Willow sat down quietly and brought her knee up to rest her head on it as she looked around. The waiting area was empty apart from the three friends. Buffy sat to her left and Xander took a seat to his right, his eyes never left the doors for a second.

"What… What were them things…." A slight whisper from the middle.

Xander looked at his friend and sighed knowing that the explanation could cause more problems than solve. Humans don't react well to knowing they are in danger, it's a survival trait.

"What were they?" Willow asked with more conviction, her shakes had all but gone.

"Vampires" Buffy replied in an almost whisper.

Willow's face was stone, unknowing what to think or even say. A month ago she would have laughed it off as a joke. That was before this night, before she had seen her friend bit and before she had seen the yellow eyes that would haunt her dreams for the months to come. She couldn't laugh it off now; it was a reality she would have to come to terms with.

"Who…Who are you, how do you know about them…?"

Secrets be damned, Buffy thought, she wasn't going to keep anything from her friends anymore and the watcher would have to accept it. It was hard enough fighting for her life every night without having to make up damned stories for her friends to accept.

"I'm the chosen one… The vampire slayer" Buffy replied, realizing how stupid that sounded not for the first time "Giles can tell you more…"


"The new librarian, he's my watcher…" Buffy looked at her and sighed "He trains me, tells me what is on the horizon, that sort of thing"

Willow nodded, her mind trying to find the punch line to the joke for the night but failing miserably and she looked at Xander wondering why he wasn't shocked about any of this. Why he wasn't a shocked ball of emotions like her but his eyes told her all she needed to know, it wasn't the first time he had heard of vampires or the things that go bump in Sunnydales nights.

"You knew…" An accusation, with a bit of an angered undertone.

"Only today… believe me, only today.." He assured her, not wanting to deal with the repercussions of lying to a friend. Willow took trust as the main support upon which a friendship is found. She would be supremely hurt if he had known something and not told her.

That alone was a realization in itself to Xander and why he could never divulge his own past to her and the demons that lived their. She couldn't understand the dangers that knowledge of his past could bring.

Willow seemed to scrutinize him for a second but relented, tonight had brought far too many pains without adding to it. She looked at them both not really knowing how to continue and silently thanked god when the doctor interrupted them.

"You are the people that came in with Jesse McCormick… right?"

Xander stood up and shook the doctor's hand in greeting, he didn't know what to expect unfortunately.

"Yea Doc…I'm Xander, this is Buffy and Willow. We are his friends"

The doctor nodded "Well I'm glad to say although he lost a lot of blood that we are well stocked in that area and were able to stabilize him, he probably won't be well enough to leave for at least the rest of the week."

"Ok… Can we see him?"

"He isn't awake, he needs his rest. Come tomorrow and see him, he should be awake and in a better condition to talk to you by then…"

Xander just nodded as the doctor left, Jesse was going to be fine which was a good thing and they could see him tomorrow. Tomorrow seemed a whole lot farther away than it did two hours ago.

"So… I guess we leave.. Right?" Willow asked unknowingly. She might be quiet but she's also naïve sometimes, when it suits her at least anyway.

"Right" Xander replied.

They all filed out of the hospital and walked through Sunnydale's streets, the night had fully taken its toll on all three of them as they walked tiredly on the pavement.

"I guess I should tell you the weaknesses right… of vampires… I mean" Buffy said unsure of herself, the first time Xander had seen her like this.

"Stakes right… holy water.. garlic?" Willow asked quizzically, hoping it would be as easy as she had seen on the bad horror movies her and Xander had watched over the duration of their lives.

"Well Garlic doesn't work I don't think, I think they just don't like the smell or something, Crosses, stake to the heart, holy water burns them. Moving water doesn't do a whole lot" Buffy announced then turned to each of them "Also make sure your weary of who you invite into your home after dark, a vampire can't enter unless invited."

Xander seemed to let out a light breath, small mercy's after all "So no pulse no pass sorta deal."

"Exactly" Buffy said smiling for the first time in what seemed an eternity.

Willow just nodded her head, still reeling slightly from the news. It was a whole lot to take in for just one night.

They stopped outside Willow's house and she shook her head free of any stray thoughts and walked to her front door

"Cya.. at school tomorrow" came quietly to their ears.

She disappeared into her house as quick as she could, almost like the night itself was after her. In Sunnydale that could be a true fact.

"I guess this is the part where I walk you home.. Right?"

Buffy smiled slightly then shook her head "I walk you home… "

Xander nearly objected but had to concede to the knowledge she had of him, and also to the knowledge that he now possessed of her abilities. She could definitely take care of herself.

He nodded at her smile "Fine… But don't expect to get lucky" Buffy's laughter alleviated some of the stress of the night as they walked "I wouldn't presume to think you were easy… I know all men are easy"

"You know know… or pretend to know?" Xander asked with a wink in her direction, some harmless banter never hurt anyone.

The slayer blushed in response "Pretend… believe me its only pretend."

Quietness struck again, new friends trying to find the words but failing miserably.

"You… You impressed me tonight" Buffy said out of the blue and looked into Xander's eyes "Its not often I'm impressed."

"Guys got to do what a guys got to do"

Buffy looked at him with a raised eyebrow then smiled slightly. It always made him happy if he could make a friend laugh or smile, even if it was at his own expense.

Xander suddenly noticed the quiet. It had always been quiet in Sunnydale but for some reason the quiet now seemed so much more silent than he could ever remember it been. He knew that his entire world had just been skewed, that he would never look at night the same way again. He could never walk through the park at midnight just because he lived in a small town and was sure nothing would happen to him. The only sounds were their footsteps on the gentle brickwork of his street as they walked to his gate and stopped.

"Tomorrow… at school" Buffy suddenly said and looked at him, her blue eyes meeting his brown ones.

"Right… Will you call me when you get home" Her eyes went slightly wide and he smiled "Just to make sure…"

He wrote down his number on the back of a receipt he found in his pants pocket and handed it to her. Buffy smiled and nodded then set off slowly down the road, occasionally looking back towards him.

Xander watched her for a small while till she disappeared out of sight then walked into his house. His mother smiled as he walked in, totally unaware of the nights events just like most of Sunnydale. But he smiled back, no need to take her innocence as well as his own.

His room was the way he had left it but for some reason it looked different to him now, less like home, less comfortable to just sit in. He didn't have much chance to deliberate over the psychology of it all before his phone rang. He picked it up from its cradled and placed it gently to his ear.


"Hi it's me, just to put your mind at rest" Buffy's voice was clear and concise down the line. "Well you did, thank you"

"Your welcome, I'll see you tomorrow right?"

To Xander her voice sounded almost like a plea for help, like she was unsure if he would want to be friends with somebody whose life was so dangerous. His life was his own, his dangers were many. What were a few more to add to them?

"Definitely, I'll come by yours before school… We can walk together, maybe catch Wills too…"

"I'd like that…" If he pictured her now he was sure she would be smiling.

The phone was set back down and he fell backwards onto his bed so his head rested on one of his pillows and slightly on the duvet, a bit lopsided. The day had been long, emotional, tiring, painful and revealing.

He couldn't help but wonder what tomorrow would bring.


Time: 7:30 AM




Xander's alarm was loud and obnoxious, just the way he liked to be waked up. His hand slammed down hard on it, the clock croaked then stopped almost instantly as he sat bolt up right. He was wearing the same clothes as he had done yesterday, a few droplets of Jesse's blood still lingered on the bottom of his shirt. A reminder of all the things Willow was probably trying to forget. Sleep had claimed him faster than he thought it would, the emotional effects far greater than the physical.

Cleaning took little effort. After a shower he pulled on fresh smelling clothes, one of his wild T-shirts and some cargo pants and grabbed his bag before tackling the stairs and entering the living room. His moms cooking could always make him smile, even at times like these.

"Hiya hon" She smiled at him softly and ruffled his hair "sleep well?"

"Yea… yea" He replied and grabbed a piece of toast "I don't feel like a full breakfast today mom, I can't face it."

She looked at her son with slight worry; if he didn't want breakfast then something was definitely wrong with the world. However she could read her son well, so well that she knew that the thing bothering him was something he didn't and wouldn't share. He could be stubborn as a mule when the mood took him.

"Okay darling… "

Xander looked at his tweety bird watch then muffled a goodbye to his mother before heading out of the door. The streets were quiet on the morning, a few cars buzzed passed him but didn't warrant attention, the world still turned while his own private world had almost come to a stand still just ten hours ago. He stopped in his tracks and looked back at the mailbox he had just passed.


He couldn't help the small grin from playing on his lips before he backpedaled and walked to the front door. Xander rapped his knuckles softly on the dark wood of the door and it opened almost instantly.


Such a simple greeting he surmised then smiled at Buffy. Her hair was in a ponytail with a few stray hairs framing her beautiful face, her back pack on and ready to rock the school.

They walked in silence for a few houses, neither one knowing what to say to the other. Xander cast a glance at her, she was looking down worried a frown upon her brow. He could almost see the thoughts passing through her head; she was worried that they wouldn't want to be her friends anymore. That last nights realizations would forever damn her to be alone in the world.

The same worries occupied his thoughts in relation to his own secrets, that some day everyone would abandon him because he was a freak of nature and nothing more. An abomination created by man to destroy man. But he knew the worries were unfounded, that his friends wouldn't desert him over anything and neither would he them.

It was the way they were.

So he felt the need to alleviate a few of her fears; he didn't want her to believe that anything was her fault. Life was the way it was, whether they knew or not they'd still be her friends.

"It's not your fault you know. "

Buffy looked up with sad eyes and nodded her head, not like she was agreeing with him more like she was humoring him.

"I'm serious, whether we know or don't know that doesn't change the fact that you are mine, Willow and Jesse's friend. New friend, old friend… It doesn't matter, what it comes down to is the fact that we are loyal to each other and now we will be loyal to you too"

She didn't know what to say really. All of her worst fears in the world came down to rejection from others, friends, boyfriends and even her family and yet Xander had almost alleviated all her worries in one simple sentence.

Buffy could only say "Thank you"

Xander nodded and grinned "We get to see Jess today, that's a good thing… right?"

She nodded in reply and found the smile infectious.

Willow was standing at her mailbox and even gave them a small smile as she stepped into formation at their side. A night's sleep and a lot of thinking can do a whole lot for a person.


"Wills, sleep well?"

"Yes, after some thinking"

Buffy and Xander nodded, understanding all too well.

"So.. Buffy… do we get to meet your watcher today? The librarian"

The slayer winced as the reminder ticked in her brain, it wasn't going to be a pretty thing. "Yea, I'll need to smooth things over with him first though. He's all stuffy and too into the rules"

Willow nodded, not really understanding but just going along for the ride anyway.

The school loomed up ahead, a lot of people stood on the grass out the front discussing what was new, what was hot, who slept with who. These were the things that made life normal. Buffy envied normal so much these days. They walked into the large halls and looked around, Xander and Willow half expecting it to have changed overnight but realizing it was just them that had changed.

*Never be the same again* Willow mused.

"I've got to check in with Giles… He'll be worried, or something more Britishy." Buffy smiled and waved before heading in the direction of the library.

"So… You like her huh?" Willow asked with a slight smile, she had seen the way he had watched her leave and it only provided a well earned distraction from her own thoughts.


"Watcher guy… Giles… LIBRARIAN"

Buffy heard a small mutter and some small thuds accompanying it as the man in question popped up from behind the counter, a glare on his face. She couldn't help but snicker at him before she walked to the table and sat down, her back pack placed in her lap.

"How did last night go, seen as you didn't take the time to come back to that dreadful club and fill me in?"

Buffy pictured the old man sat at one of the booths with a coke in his hand, a funny image accompaniment to the actual night she had endured.

"Sorry… "

"Well sorry doesn't get me not worried, you must be more punctual Buffy if you are to slay.. "

She decided to cut him off their, fearing a watcher lecture. One she could vastly do without "I never said I was going to slay, you came to that conclusion after last night and the reason I didn't have the time to check in with you was because I had to take one of my new friends to the hospital for blood loss…"

Giles face went slightly pale and he stammered out his next words "Oh.. Well.. I'm sorry… Will he be okay?"

"Yes, the doctor said so" Buffy replied, undecided on how to broach the subject with him about informing Willow of her chosen status.

"Small mercy's" he said and grabbed one of the books from the counter, starting to leaf through it as he walked towards Buffy.

"I believe I have found this harvest thing… Our friend… told you about. 'For they will gather and be gathered. From the Vessel pours life. On the night of the crescent moon, the first past the solstice it will come...'" Giles looked up to see the less than enthusiastic expression the slayer's face then smiled some what "It's tonight…"

"Tonight? " Buffy said disbelievingly "As in the night at the end of today? Don't these things ever give me a break?"

Giles was about to say something but didn't get the chance.

"They are inconsiderate, that's their problem. They have no respect for my sleeping pattern. "

"Well that aside I believe that we should be prepared, some light training after the school day is out should suffice. Hopefully I will have more on this harvest before then and we will be better informed."

"Right.. So after school." Buffy got up, slightly chickening out at having to tell him "I'll invite Willow and Xander because they know about my abilities, maybe they can help in some way.."

"Yes invite this Xander if you must…" He turned around then looked up slightly "Who's this Willow?"

Buffy had already vanished from the library, the doors swaying at her quick exit and an un-British like response came from Giles.