Terminal City

Author: Joyful <AuntMelba1[at]aol.com>

Summary: What if three worlds were forced to interact? This is totally AU. "Buffy" began in 2017-ish, as well as Roswell, after a big electromagnetic pulse forced the world to change. Sunnydale didn't change much, but it did a bit. Liz, Cordy & Xander are all X5s.

Notes: The prologue is in Xander's POV, but the rest is third person. Disclaimer: Buffy & co belong to Joss Whedon, Liz and all things Roswell belong to Melinda Metz, and All things Dark Angel belong to James Cameron & Co.. Please don't sue me, all you'll get is a bunch of sci-fi/fantasy tapes.


I don't think I'll ever forget the escape. I don't think any of us will. Sometimes I look back on it, and it's like a story; like one of those comic books Jesse got me hooked on when I showed up in Sunnydale. The seizures, losing Eva, the escape. Zack made us split up, but Cora, Liz and I found each other just outside Gillette and made it to California before we split up.

I wound up in Sunnydale less than a month after the escape. My hair was just starting to grow in, so you could still see my barcode, but nobody seemed to pay attention. A nine-year-old mini-soldier with a barcode tattooed on his neck would draw attention most places, but not in Sunnydale. I liked that town immediately. The Rosenbergs took me in for a few days before Child Services placed me with the Harrises-- not an ideal living situation, but it was heaven compared to Manticore.

Willow and Jesse had been best friends since diapers, but they were quick to accept this new odd-ball who didn't talk much, and was paranoid about everything. Pretty soon, I was acting just like Jesse. The soldier act was forgotten, and I started to learn to be a kid.

Cora showed up not long after the Pulse. It was probably because of the Hellmouth, but Sunnydale barely changed at all, which is why the Chases decided to adopt a child-- thought the publicity might do them some good. We met together, in secret, and then decided to act like we didn't know each other. As Lydecker taught us: deception is a weapon.

We met together in a tree house. We used to talk about Manticore, and about our brothers and sisters. We would wonder who got away, who got caught, if anybody had died. We hoped Max was okay-- she was the baby, everybody looked after her. Zack was the oldest, our CO, the boss, he turned up once or twice and told us it wasn't safe for us to be together, but we didn't want to leave. We had lives now, friends, family, and Sunnydale was safe. In the treehouse, we could be ourselves. I wasn't the geeky loser, and Cordy wasn't the ditzy bitch, we were just two X5s surviving together. She was my little sister, until Jesse clued me in that she was quite a beautiful girl.

Six years after the escape, Buffy showed up, with her mom and little sister; and I had a new objective: get close to that girl. She was strange, and very strong, ever stronger than Cora. As much as I loved Willow and Jesse, I was never as close as they were. They'd all had normal childhoods, and had known each other forever: Jesse, Willow, Jonathan, Tucker, Amy, Andrew, Warren. Even Harmony, Aura and Blu had known each other longer. Then Buffy showed up, and things started to change. Somebody else to fight the Nomlies with, except she called them "vampires" and "demons," and a father-figure who was kind and sweet. Giles was smart like Lydecker, but never cruel.

I remember when Willow figured it all out. She'd long ago seen my barcode, and not too long after she got wind of the seizures, the little cyber-genius she is figured out almost instantly. She was not happy, however, when she found out about Cora and I. I tried to explain to her that a soldier never compromises another soldier's cover, and she just gave me that "whatever" look.

Everything changed after high school ended. Cordelia decided she wanted to go to LA, and I went off to "see the world," as I told the others. In reality, I was going to look for the others. I found Tinga, with her husband and little boy in Portland. Jondy was in San Francisco, working nights in a bar. Liz had gotten adopted as well, by a nice family in Roswell, New Mexico. I met her boyfriend, and she introduced me as her cousin. Her boyfriend and his crew didn't smell right, so I got it out of her that they were aliens. After all I'd seen, nothing surprised me. Then Zack showed up and ordered me to disappear, so I went back to Sunnydale.

But sometimes, none of anything I've experienced seems real. There are times when I almost forget about Jack and Eva, and other nights I wake up sweating. Anya thinks she knows about killing, she used to talk about torturing and killing men all the time, but she didn't know squat. She might have been an ex-demon, but she was never a genetically-engineered killing machine.

We had to disappear for a little while last year. I caught the Eyes Only hack saying out positions had been compromised, and I skipped out on a Scooby meeting. When I came back, I made a million excuses, and got back to life, until the next bit of news a few months later.

Chapter 1

Alexander Lavelle Harris clicked off the T.V. with a sigh. The news had been showing footage of the siege in Seattle for a few days. He picked up the phone and dialed a number he knew by heart.



"Yeah. Been watching the news?"

"How could I miss it. Xander, Manticore is gone, and the transgenics have set up shop. What should we do, big brother?"

"Never abandon your unit. We have to go, Max needs us. I think I may have saw Ben on the newscast as well."

"I'll meet you there. I'll email Liz. Do the Scoobies know yet?"

"Just Willow. I suppose I should tell them."

"Little Miss Likes-to-fight won't care, she's an honorary X5 as it is, she and Max would get along great."

"All right, soldier. I'll see you there soon enough." he hung up, and turned around in a flash, where Buffy and Dawn were standing in the hall.

"Xander, who were you talking to?"

"Cordelia. Listen, we have all got to talk." Xander shepherded Buffy and Dawn over to Giles place, where he, Spike, and Anya were quibbling about something.

"Oh, I wish Cora was here," Xander said under his breath. Xander knew it was a dangerous time for them all, especially transgenic, but all life. Joyce had recently died, and Dawn had a crazed hellgod following her. Xander was wondering if his group could handle this news. Willow and Tara came in, and got settled on the couch with everyone else.

"I have an announcement to make," Xander said.

"Are you sure?" Willow asked.

"Yeah, Will, I'm ready. Okay, I want to show you something." He flipped the television on, where they were repeating the footage of Max and the others raising the red black and white flag.

"That's Max. Otherwise known as X5-452, known to me and Cordelia and several others as Baby Sister. They call me Zane, X5-773. Cordelia is actually Cora, or X5-606."

"What?" Anya asked, confused. Xander turned around and lifted his hair, revealing his barcode.

"It's a standard Manticore 12-digit barcode: 658320741773." Everybody looked at Xander like he was insane. With a sigh, he looked at Spike.

"Hit me." Spike looked skeptical. "Trust me, hit me." Spike stood up and slung a punch at Xander in the stomach. Xander barely grunted, and Spike had no pain from the chip. Spike went for a second punch, and Xander grabbed the vampire's fist, twisting his arm around his back, before dropping him on the floor, his foot pressing down hard on Spike's throat. "Any questions?" Xan asked, to quickly be barreled by them. Several hours later, everybody agreed that they did indeed need to get Dawn out of town, and Terminal City seemed as good a place as any to hide out.

Chapter 2

The Scooby meeting broke up long enough for everybody to pack a few things. Anya gasped as she saw Xander pull some carefully hidden weapons from around their apartment: a few grenades, two handguns, and a machine gun.

"Crap, I only have about 50 rounds. Hopefully I won't need it much." When the group met up again, Anya decided to "tattle" on her boyfriend.

"Xander has firearms! Grenades, and handguns, and a machine gun!" Buffy glared at him.

"Guns, Xander? You know they never do any good."

"I'm a soldier, I've been firing a gun on target since before I was 5." Before anybody had a chance to answer, Xander's cell-phone rang.


"Zane? It's Liz. I need your help."

"What's wrong, little sister?"

"The siege in Seattle is all over the news. People are paranoid about what they're calling mutants. They're onto me, and they think Max and his guys are ours as well. The crowds are crazy, Zane, I don't know what to do. I tried to get in touch with Zack, but the contact number's no good." Xander took a deep breath.

"Okay, Liz, calm down. Where are you?"

"We're in an abandoned warehouse outside Roswell. It's getting scary, big brother. There's military. Not Lydecker's people though, it's a faction I' ve never seen before."

"I'll call Cora, let her know we'll meet her in Seattle. The last I heard from Syl and Krit, they were on the way. I'll try to get them, and we'll pick you up."

"Okay, Zane. Please, hurry."

"I will, Lizzy, don't worry." They hung up, and Xander turned to the others.

"I need to get my sister and her friends out of a jam." Xander said, as he headed down towards to car lot, where he had every intention of jacking a vehicle of two.

"Xander, tell me, what's going on, and how can we help?" Xander thought it out for a moment. A good soldier always has a plan.

"Let me call Cordelia." He dialed her cell number.

"Cora? Xan. Liz is in trouble." He explained the situation, and they came to an agreement.

"All right. Giles and Anya need to take Dawn up to LA, and rendezvous with Cordelia. From there you'll head to Seattle. Whatever you do, avoid cameras at all costs. We don't want Glory looking for us."

"Xander, I understand that you're a big shot soldier, but you need to calm down, we can talk this out," Buffy said.

"No, Buffy. I'm done talking, done listening. I'm done hiding, and pretending to be meek little Xander who cracks jokes and doesn't understand the seriousness of life. This is my family we're talking about. My little sister." He cast a look at Dawn, and Buffy's eyes widened.

"All right, soldier-boy, tell me what to do." In a matter of moments, Xander had hot-wired a van. Spike was setting up a nice car to take to LA.

"Guard them with your life," Buffy demanded, grabbing Spike by the collar.

"Always, pet." Spike said, and Buffy kissed her sister, before settling her in the car with Giles and Anya. After a bit of debating, Tara went with Dawn, and Willow hung around with Xander and Buffy. As they started driving, Xander flipped open the phone.

"Syl? It's Zane."

"Zane? Where are you?"

"Between California and New Mexico. Liz is in trouble, your last email said you were in between, Krit still with you?"

"Baby brother always needs a hand. Yeah, you gonna grab us on your way?"

"Absolutely. After that, we're heading to help out Maxie, you been watching the news?"

"Yeah. Which is driving me crazy, 'cause Lydecker told us she was KIA."

"And you believe that scum?"

"I did at the time. Did I tell you 'bout Tinga?"

"No, what about her?"

"Some Manticore bitch murdered our sister. So we took down Manticore."

"Crazy. You gonna tell me all about it later?"

"Absolutely, little brother. And I want to hear all about you blowing up your high school."

"No problem big sister. We'll be there by dawn."

"Okay, we'll be ready." They hung up, and Xander drove off into the night, Willow and Buffy behind him.

Chapter 3

Max held his younger sister as the angry mob continued to rally outside. Liz was pacing back and forth angrily, and Maria was hyperventilating as Michael wrapped his arms around her.

"They're going to bust in here and kill us all. Well, you guys will probably escape, but me, the ordinary human is going to die." Her friends were trying to comfort her, when Liz's phone rang. She talked for a few minutes and then hung up.

"Zane picked up Syl and Krit, and they'll be here soon. Four of us together can get the rest of you out. We can't head back to Roswell, though, it's not safe." Max tried to argue with her, but he didn't get too far. A few moments later, Liz started to shake.

"Liz, I thought I healed the seizures."

"98 percent of them. But sometimes the seratonin levels drop when I get upset. Tryptophan, in my purse." Max grabbed the bottle of tryptophan, and Liz downed a few, calming down. Max pressed his hands to her temples.

"Tuned it up again. Tell me if you have any more." Liz nodded, and then cocked her head, holding up her hand to quiet everybody else. The police and the military were trying to talk to them, and they could all hear the protesters screaming. If everybody hadn't been aware that Liz and Michael were armed, the S.W.A.T. would have already come inside. As it was, they were setting up snipers, and preparing to break in and haul the group out. Liz's phone rang.

"All right, little sister, you've got three X5s, a Vampire Slayer, and a super-witch here to break you out. We've parked our van on the outskirts, but we' re probably going to have to make a break for it. Tell me, is there sewer access anywhere?"

"Negative. I already scoured the place. It was a miscalculation to come in here. I'm in here with three aliens and a human. Michael and I are armed, but I'm nearly out of ammo, what's your sitch?"

"Syl, Krit and I are strapped. There's a small S.W.A.T, some police-- mostly sector cops, and an unknown military detail. Krit says there's a government organization trying to eliminate all proof Manticore ever existed. I think that's who we've got."

"How long before they bust in after us?"

"Not long. I think they've given up on you getting you to surrender. Shit, smokers. All right soldier, here's what's going down. Get a wet rag and cover the human's face, and then all five of you get down. We're coming in after you, and then we'll all bust our way out."

"Got it." Liz said, and stuffed her phone in her pocket. She got a towel and soaked it in the sink before pulling it over Maria's face. Almost immediately, the smoke grenades whizzed through the windows. Buffy looked confused as Xander, Syl and Krit communicated silently through hand signals. Willow did her best to immobilize the crowds, and Syl looked surprised as Willow's eyes changed colors. The Manticore soldiers made a break for it, immobilizing the S.W.A.T. team in seconds. Buffy rolled her eyes at the X5s waving their guns around, and jumped over the 15-foot fence, almost shocked when Xander and his siblings followed her. Dashing into the warehouse, Xander and Buffy silently led the others to the back of the factory, and then one by one, each person made it to the van.

"Anybody hit?" Xander asked.

"It just grazed me," Krit said, as Syl bandaged her brother's shoulder.

"Let me help," Max said, and he pressed his pal against Krit's shoulder, healing the wound.

"Okay, introductions all around," Xander commanded, pulling Liz into his lap and kissing her temple.

"I'm Willow, the resident Wiccan and getaway wheelman," the redhead piped up from the driver's seat.

"I'm Buffy, the Vampire Slayer."

"Syl, X5," the blonde said. "And where's my hug, Zane?" Xander reached out and wrapped one arm around his older sister.

"I'm Krit, also X5."

"Zane, or Xander, either is fine by me, and I'm quite obviously a Manticore grunt," He said, laughing.

"Not that obvious, Mr. "I'm gonna stay undercover for five years and not tell one of my best friends who's got supernatural powers and would totally accept me"!" Buffy said, pouting, and everybody laughed.

"Wait wait wait, little brother," Syl said, "So you lusted after the girl, and helped her save the world, and you never told her what you were?!" Xander nodded sheepishly, and she smacked him upside the head.

"What about those four?" Krit asked Liz.

"Well, Maria's human, and the rest of us are the Roswell aliens." Maria giggled, and looked at Michael.

"Now?" he asked.

"Well, they're gonna find out eventually, and since we're on the run, I might as well tell them now. I'm pregnant, with the world's first half alien/half human baby." Willow giggled.

"Should we call the National Enquirer?"

"Do you guys have names?" Krit asked the aliens.

"I'm Max, this is my sister Isabel, and that's Michael."

"All right, little brother," Syl said, reloading the weapons in the back seat, "it's getting light. Do you have a safe rendezvous point?"

"We're meeting Cora and her crew in between LA and Seattle. Then we'll take the sewer access into Terminal City. Buffy's little sister has one nasty bitch after her, and we all have reasons to hide."

"They're not transgenics, though. Not Manticore."

"But they're different. And there are people out there who want to lock them up and take them apart, same as us," Xander argued with his sister. Pulling over, Krit and Willow swapped places, so that she could get on her computer and figure things out.

"Okay, the spell I cast confused them pretty well. They have no clue whop we are, or that we drove off in front of them, so, let's just drive, get to Cordy and Giles, and then figure things out from there."

"So, Xander, who is Cordy hanging with back in LA?" Buffy asked tentatively. Xander put his hand on her shoulder.

"Angel and Wesley, some guy named Gunn, and Oz. Oz only recently showed up, he was chased into LA by werewolf hunters, and DeadBoy managed to chase them off. I think it involved a lot of screaming and bleeding." Willow's eyes widened.

"But Tara's going to meet them. The last time Oz and Tara were in the same room, he wolfed out and tried to eat her."

"It'll be okay, Will. He's almost completely in control now. He and I keep in touch."


"So, Syl. I didn't have time to react earlier. Who murdered Tinga?" Xander asked, and Liz gasped.

"A few months ago Zack calls us, and tells us Max was captured by Lydecker. Lydecker turned on Manticore, and told us that the new director, some blonde bitch, turned Brin against us, and murdered Tinga. So, he got us in, and we blew up the DNA lab."

"So, no more copies of us?" Xander asked, tying to process the information, and holding Liz tight in his lap.

"Nope," Krit piped up. "But Lydecker lied about something. He told us Zack was captured, and Max was KIA, but I saw her on TV, and they referred to her as 452."

"What's KIA mean?" Buffy asked, confused by the army talk.

"Killed In Action." The smaller man spit out.

"So, Zane, what's been going on in your life? It seems. . . Bizarre."

"You guys want the whole story? I showed up in Sunnydale before the Pulse. Cora showed up a little after the Pulse. Sunnydale didn't change much at all, but that's probably because the town sits on a Hellmouth. A mystical convergence, with an entrance to alternate dimensions underneath our high school library." His siblings looked at him like he was crazy.

"He's not even kidding," Buffy said. "I'm the "Chosen One." One girl in all the world with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires, blahdy blahdy blah."

"Anyway," Xander said, "we need to talk less and sleep more. We don't know what's going to happen when we get to Seattle. This could turn out to be a kamikaze mission, but we take care of our own." Everybody agreed, though the feeling in the van was very tense. Curled up around each other, they tried to sleep, and the guys took turns driving.

Chapter 4

Cordelia Chase led her friends into another van, after Gunn decided to stay behind with Wesley. The relationship between the street urchin and the upper-class British man was quite unexpected, but quickly accepted by Cordelia, and eventually by Angel. Giles seemed almost shocked to see Cordy as a warrior, although, as a Watcher, he had noticed her power as she was growing up. The black catsuit seemed to suit her as she jumped on top of the van to keep watch.

"Oz? Spike, Angel, do you sense anybody?" she asked, her voice down to a whisper. The last few weeks had been crazy, as paranoia over transgenic was rising everywhere, especially in the city. Angel Investigations had lost all their clients, due to fear of anybody who was different. Oz took a bit sniff.

"I think we lost them," Oz said, as Spike carried Dawn into the van. The girl was wiped out, asleep in the vampire's lap. She'd had a rough few months, and with Glory on her tail, it was a good thing to finally get her out of town.

Anya slunk into the van, still upset over Xander lying to her for two years. And Cordelia! Genetically engineered super soldiers should not be able to call vengeance on their 'siblings' Anya decided in a huff. Giles grinned at the idea of Wesley and Gunn together, as he slipped into the van with Tara. The witch was very apprehensive of the werewolf.

"Don't worry, Tara, it took me a year, but I've gotten over it. I'm also almost fully in control. Most of the time I can even control my wolf form-- with a lot of meditation and prayer."

"Um, C-C-Cordelia?" Tara interjected.


"Um, did your eyes just randomly dilate?"

"Yeah. It allows us to 'zoom in' on things far away."

"Very cool. And thank you, Oz, for not trying to eat me again."

"No problem." Everybody tried to sleep, and after a long journey, the two vans met up.

"Okay," Willow said, "I hacked into a Chinese satellite and zoomed into Terminal City, which is a 20-block area in Sector 7. The perimeter is completely secured, but I found an abandoned sewer tunnel nearby, and we can enter through there," the redhead cyber-witch explained, as Cordy, Liz, and Syl hugged each other, and Xander and Krit looked on with smirks on their faces. As the group set off toward the tunnel access, Syl told Cordy about Brin and Tinga. Co rdelia had quite an angry look on her face as the five X5s, the Slayer, the Key, three aliens, a pregnant human, an ex-demon, a werewolf, two witches, a Watcher and two vampires headed into the sewers.

"We have about three clicks to go," Xander said as he took point. Spike carried Dawn, and Michael carried Maria. The singer was pregnant, and had lost her sandals running for the van earlier. She rested her head on her boyfriend' s shoulder. They had made it about a kilometer when they heard shouting.

"Freeze!" Seattle PD screamed as they came in, attacking. Syl, Krit and Xander opened fire, shooting to wound, not to kill.

"We are not the enemy!" Cordelia yelled as kicked a cop in the face. Willow and Tara held hands, chanting until the cops fell asleep.

"Let's move people," Xander ordered, and everybody ran through the tunnels as fast as they could. Xander saw transgenics at the bottom of the sewer entrance, and used a small flashlight to send a message in morse code. When the group made it there, Mole and Joshua as well as a few others helped them up inside.

"Welcome to Terminal City," a small, bald mutant said to them.

"We're here to see Max," Xander said.

"Did somebody say my. . . Name?" Max said, as she barreled towards the X5s. Xander swept Max up and spun her around.

"Hey Baby Sister, we've been looking for you."

"Zane!" Max said through her grin. "Krit!" she cried, hugging him.

"Oh my god, Cora? Liz? Syl!" the sisters had another hugfest.

"This seems like quite the family reunion," Alec said.

"Ben?" Xander asked, Alec shook his head.

"My designation's 494. They twinned us. My unit was twinned from your unit. We were designed to be your backup, until you all disappeared."

"Oh. Sorry."

"Don't want your pity. You can call me Alec."

"I'm Zane, or Xander. 773."

"Nice to meet you. Big group you've come in."

"Yeah. Not all transgenics, but well, it'll be explained." Logan showed up, and pressed a gloved hand into Max's.

"So, Max, you gonna introduce your friends?"

"Yeah. You know Syl and Krit, right?" Logan nodded, and they all said their hellos.

"This is my brother Zane, and my sisters Cora and Liz. I don't know who the others are."

"Can we trust everyone, Xander?" Buffy asked, nervous. She saw people who looked like demons, but she didn't sense evil.

"Yeah Buff, it's okay. This is Buffy, she's a Vampire Slayer. A human with supernatural powers-- fast healing, super strength, basically a mystical X5. This is her sister Dawn. She needs protection. A hellgod named Glory is hunting her. The bleached-blonde is a vampire named Spike. A 'covert' government agency put a behavioral modification chip in his head, so he can't hurt humans. Tall dark and broody over there is Angel, a vampire with a soul. This is Willow- her family took me in after the escape. She and Tara," he said, pointing, "are witches. That's Giles, he's a Watcher, and also a chaos mage. Anya was a Vengeance Demon for 1100 years until recently when she became human. That's Oz, he's a werewolf." Oz nodded.


"Those three are the Roswell aliens, and that's Maria. I'm pretty sure she' s human." Maria nodded tiredly.

"Okay," Maxie said. "Joshua, you take the humans, get them set up with transfusions." The newcomers looked confused. "This placed was cordoned off as a biohazard. Unless you have Manticore blood, nice and full of antibodies, you 're at risk for the biotoxins."

"Um, I might as well get this out there," Max said. "My name's Max, and I can heal." He pressed his hand to the bullet hole on Alec's arm. Almost instantaneously it disappeared.

"Well, Max," Mole said around his cigar, "considering we're at war, you might come in handy. Just hope it's not too confusing. Max and Max," the lizard man pointed out.

"We'll just have to go with Maxwell and Maxie," Liz said. "Anybody else from the unit arrive?"

"Brin's here, but she's not the same. After they caught her, she went through reindoctrination."

"Jondy's on her way," Liz said. "We email. She's coming up from Texas. I haven't heard from Zack or Ben though, not in a long time." Max sighed.

"Ben's dead, and Zack, well, I don't know if he'll ever remember who he is."

"I know Len got out with us in '09. I bumped into him in LA, but I don't know where he is now."

"Add Tinga, and that makes 12. Everybody else got caught or killed in the process." Max said, sighing. "I bumped into Jace last year. She was pregnant, and Logan helped me get her to Mexico. I'm certain she's had the baby by now." Maxie looked around. "Let's do this later. You're here now, we have a long time to figure it out, and you all look like you could use some rest.

"Yeah, Baby Sister. Unlike you, some of us actually sleep." The group followed Max and Logan to where barracks had been set up, and the group bunked down. Joshua set it up for the humans to get a bit of Manticore blood into their systems, after which most everyone turned in for the night.

Chapter 5

Xander woke up a few hours after arriving, while most of Terminal City was still asleep. He walked up to the roof and saw Max sitting under the transgenic flag.

"Hey little sister," the tall man said, sitting down next to her. He wrapped his arms around his younger sister, who laid her head on his chest.

"Hey. So, how is my eldest brother?"

"I'm good. That's an arguable point, remember. Zack would say he was born first."

"Nah. Zack was the CO, but you're the oldest. Lydecker let it slip once."

"Max. . . what happened with Zack?" the girl let out a deep sigh.

"We took on Manticore, blew up the DNA lab, me, Zack, Syl and Krit. We were almost out, but I went back for Brin, I just couldn't let her get blown up. So I chained her to the wall, and went back out, only to be shot by an X7 version of me. My heart collapsed, so Zack shot himself in the head. They gave me his heart. They gave his liver and kidneys away, and replaced them all with synthetic organs. Then they put some-- chip in head to replace his memory cells. But Manticore did a bunch of stuff to him, making him think I was his girlfriend, and Logan was the enemy. He tried to take Logan out, and when I stopped him, it wiped the chip in his head. The doctor said if we made him remember, he might turn on Logan again. So I let him go. That was a couple months ago. Last I heard he was working at a ranch a couple hours from here, under the name Adam Thompson. I want to get him, Zane, I want us all together, but I 'm scared. I mean, what if he turns on Logan again? He almost killed me in the process." Xander took a deep breath.

"Max, you did the right thing. But with all the news coverage we're getting, somebody's going to have to go talk to him eventually, before he remembers on his own and goes crazy about it. We'll sleep on it, and in a couple of days, Krit and I will go check on him, see what's happening. You've always been Zack's weak spot, Max, but maybe a visit from his brothers can help."

"Okay," she said, just relaxing in his arms. "You're up early."

"Well, I don't require a lot of sleep, but I do sleep. Not like you and Jondy, you girls must have shark DNA in you." Max smiled.

"That's what I said to Zack. So, tell me what you've been up to these last eleven years."

"Almost twelve," Xander pointed out.

"Yeah yeah yeah. So, I hear you and Cora had real lives, with families and everything?"

"We were both put into foster care, and adopted by families in the same town. The town is on a mystical convergence, which is why we were able to hide for so long without anybody noticing us. People in Sunnydale have a habit of ignoring things that are different or unusual. That's what happens when you have vampires and demons roaming the streets at night. Anyways, the family I got stuck with wasn't the best, but it was a dry, safe place and it wasn't Manticore."

"I hear that."

"Cora and I pretended we didn't know each other. She became Cordelia Chase, and I became Alexander Harris., otherwise known as Xander, or Xan. Close enough for me." Max chuckled at the name.

"So a lot of you seem to have kept in touch all these years, did you just feel the need to keep me out of the loop?"

"Liz and Cora and I found each other in downtown Gillette in the middle of the night. We made it to California before we finally followed Zack's directions and split up. And then, after we blew up the high school, I went looking for everyone, and I found Tinga, Jondy and Len, but not Ben or Brin or Zack or you. Syl and Krit have been traveling together for, like, five years or so. I tried to find you, Maxie, so did Cora, but I think Seattle's had the hardest time recovering from the Pulse." Max nodded, and tensed when she felt Xander' s body start to shake.

"Zane, do you have any Tryptophan on you?"

"It's back at my bunk," Xander choked out.

"I'll go get you some," she said, kissing his forehead, and darting off to get some Tryptophan.

"You, Max, right?" Buffy said. "Do you know where Xander is?" Max held up her hand, as she grabbed Mole.

"Mole, can you grab some T?"

"Yeah, who needs it?"

"Zane." Max looked over at the Slayer. "Buffy, right? I'm not so sure he wants you to see him like that," Max tried to tell the Slayer, but it was too late, Buffy was gone, darting up towards the roof.

"Xander?" Buffy asked, confused and somewhat scared.

"Buff?" Xander asked through the shaking. "Now you know my secret."

"Well, you've known mine since 10th grade. It's only fair. Does this happen a lot?"

"It used to happen to all the X5s," Max said, as she came up behind. She gave Xander a few capsules, and he popped them in his mouth. "But then Manticore figured out how to fix it, in everyone we left behind. Then, when we were recaptured, they fixed me and Zack and Brin."

"So it's just the rest of us with the wonky brain chemistry now," Xander said with a sad little smirk. His body started to calm down. "Liz doesn't get them anymore either. Her alien friends altered her brain cells."

"Maybe they can do that for you," Buffy suggested. It scared her to see Xander, her solid rock, in pain.

"Maybe," Xander said tiredly, dismissing the idea. "So, what's on the agenda for today?"

"Willow had an idea she wanted to talk to Max and Logan about."

"Well, Logan's still sleeping, so we'll get to that soon enough," Max said.

"Well, I'm going to check on Dawn," Buffy said, "So I'll talk to you later Xan." The Slayer kissed her friend on the cheek before going to check on her little sister. The teenager hadn't been sleeping well since her mother died, and now with Glory on their tail, the sleep she did get was tainted with nightmares. Everybody knew that it might only be days before Glory found out who the Key was, and when that happened, she'd be coming for them. Buffy sat next to her sister's bed, stroking Dawn's hair as the girl slept.


Xander smiled at the people he cared about, all so close, for the first time in twelve years. He wandered over to Oz, and plopped down next to the guitarist.

"Hey Wolfman, what do you think of my family?"

"Well," Oz said, pausing, "Joshua and I growled at each other for about a half hour, until he conceded me as Alpha. But the smells here. . . Are pretty intense." Xander nodded.

"Manticore had a thing for feline DNA in the X-series. Well, some feline, some canine, and other mammals as well. It's the main reason we can jump fifteen feet of razor wire and take out a football team without breaking a sweat. But that's not what I came over here to talk about," Xander said with a smirk on his face.

"Oh?" Oz said, in his typical stone-faced manner.

"Yeah," Xander said, his eyes flashing over to Krit. "Oz, this is me. I've known you since Devon first introduced me and Jesse to the wonders of cannabis in the seventh grade. You're looking at my baby brother with the same look you used to give Devon in the back of your van when you were really stoned-- pre-Willow of course. Of course, it also resembles the looks Larry used to send me." Oz flushed slightly.

"Your brother is secreting some serious pheromones, Xander. Or course, if you're about to tell me to stay away from him, I will. I get the territorial thing," Oz said blandly.

"No, I don't think it should be a problem. Just know that if you hurt Krit, I will tear you apart."

"I understand."

"Cool. If things settle down at all over the next few days, Krit and I are going to go check on Zack. If we can make it back to your van, you can drive." Oz cringed.

"I just hope Stella hasn't been taken to a chop shop yet. She's my girl."

"It's just a van, Oz."

"Stella is not just a van, she's an extension of my soul, if there is such a thing."

"Thank you!" Max said, as she inserted herself in the conversation. "I've been telling my crew the exact same thing about my bike, but they just don't get it."

"I get you," Oz said, as he and Max knocked their fists together.

"I'm going to check on my girls," Xander said, as he went to see how Buffy, Dawn, Anya and Willow were doing. Oz attempted to catch Krit's gaze for a split second, before finding a secluded corner to pluck his guitar strings.

Chapter 6

Dawn Aurora Summers was throwing a teenaged snit. The fourteen-year-old was at her wit's end. Her whole life, as she understood it, was changing faster and faster each day. So she plugged in her Discman and retreated to a corner, sulking.

"What's that?" A blonde boy asked Dawn.

"Hilary Duff. The music was so much better before the Pulse," Dawn said.

"I don't really know music. Who showed you music?"

"I don't know. My memories aren't real, some people put them in my head, to make me think I was Buffy's sister. I'm Dawn, by the way."

"Dalton, X6. I was wondering who you were, because you look about my age, but you're not in my unit."

"I'm not Manticore, I was made by a bunch of monks, using magic."

"Oh. So you grew up outside?"

"Not technically, but I remember it as if I did, if that makes any sense."

"It does to me," the blonde said with a smile at the pretty brunette.

"So, they didn't let you listen to music at Manticore?"

"Just what the bugle corps played."

"Then do I have some stuff to show you," Dawn said, grinning at him, as she leafed through the open cd book on her lap. The two then spent quite some time, just listening to music and talking.

"Would you look at that," Spike said quietly, gesturing towards a laughing Dawn.

"What are we looking at?" Maxie asked.

"Dawn and that boy. Buffy, look." The Slayer looked up and quietly gasped, a grin spreading to her face. Dawn was so busy laughing with Dalton that she didn't notice her family watching her.

"She's laughing, and smiling, and talking. She's barely talked at all since Mom died, and she hasn't smiled or laughed in weeks. Maybe leaving Sunnydale was a good idea after all."

"Well, looked at all that's been accomplished so far," Cordelia said. "Tara and Oz are not trying to kill each other, and neither are Spike and Angel. We're having a bug family reunion, and nobody's been murdered yet, and considering the parties involved, that's a pretty good thing. Also, Willow being the complete genius that she is, has figured out how to get Eyes Only up and running again. But this place, if we plan to make this Transgenic City, it's going to need a major makeover." Everybody agreed with her.

Dawn and Dalton headed up to the roof to get a good view of the city. Dalton pointed out to her where everything was, and what a hoverdrone was, and all defendable points of entry. He, as a soldier, was explaining everything from a military point of view, while Dawn pointed up at the sky.

"Do you see that?" she asked.

"It's a cloud," Dalton replied, perplexed.

"Yeah, technically, but if you tilt your head to the right, and squint your eyes, it looks like a bird. You see? There's a bird, that's a hat, and over there is a motorcycle." Dalton laughed slightly.

"I've never looked at clouds like that before." And so Dawn introduced the young prototype to the wonderful game of Cloud Spotting. The sound of the protesters outside faded away as they enjoyed each other's company, as fourteen-year-olds should.

"It's starting to rain," Dalton pointed out, "We should head inside."

"I'm betting you've never danced in the rain, am I right?"

"Yeah," Dalton said. "It doesn't make tactical sense."

"Not everything in life has to make sense, or be logical. Here," Dawn said, as she took his hands in hers, and led him to dance in the rain.

"Look! A rainbow! We don't get them in Sunnydale very often, I've only seen a few before, but I guess this is the first on I've ever really seen," Dawn said, pointing at the rainbow.

"I've never seen one before," Dalton said.

"There's a song, by a famous puppet named Kermit the Frog, when I was little, Buffy used to sing it to me during lightening storms," Dawn said, before her face darkened. "Well, at least it's a memory I have. Anyway, let's see if I can remember it.

Why are there so many songs about rainbows? And what's on the other side? Rainbows are visions, but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide. So we've been told, and some choose to believe it, but I know they're wrong, wait and see. Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection: the lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered, when wished on the morning star? Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it, and look what it's done so far. What's so amazing, that keeps us star-gazing? And what do we think we might see? Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection: the lovers, the dreamers, and me.

All of us under it's spell. WE know that it's probably magic. Have you been half asleep? And have you heard voices? Yes I've heard them calling my name. Is this the sweet sound, that calls the young sailor? The voice might be one in the same.

I've heard it too many times to ignore it, it's something that I'm s'posed to be. Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection: the lovers, the dreamers, and me. La de da de de da da, la de da la de da dooooo." Dawn cracked a grin, as Dalton tentatively wrapped his arm around her.

"You have a beautiful voice," Dalton said, as they both blushed.

"I'm alright. Tara has a pretty voice. Buffy, though, she's awful. Xander reckons she could slay demons with just her voice," Dawn confessed, and they both chuckled. Suddenly, Dalton's whole demeanor changed; he shoved Dawn onto the cement roof. The sounds of gunfire and of Dawn shrieking happened almost simultaneously. Downstairs, Angel and Spike reacted almost instantly as Oz 's hair stood up on end. Spike cursed the daylight that kept him from rescuing Dawn as Buffy sprinted toward her sister, lifting up the crying teenager, while Max grabbed Dalton.

"Shit, snipers. Is anybody hit?" Max asked, as she and Buffy brought Dalton and Dawn downstairs, where a crowd was quickly forming.

"I'm hit, but it's just grazed the surface. Is Dawn okay?" Dalton asked, worried. He thought he'd pushed her down in time, but these shooters were obviously very good at what they did.

Buffy looked at her sister, whose face was turning shock white as her blood drained from her slight body. The Slayer looked down, and saw her own arms splattered with her sister's blood. Max called over a mutant with X-ray vision, to take a look at Dawn.

"The bullet ruptured her right kidney, and is lodged in her spine," Eagle said. The other Max, Max Evans, came rushing over, to press his hand to Dawn's side. Concentrating, he dissolved the bullet and knit her insides together, healing her up so that the only evidence that anything was wrong was a silver handprint on her side.

"White's men," Joshua growled, as Max punched a hole in the wall.

"Fuck Ames White and his goddamn breeding cult! Shooting Cece, killing Annie, and so many others. God! I want to shred him to pieces!" Alec grabbed Max 's shoulders, to steady her. She beat him with her fists as he stood there and let her beat out her frustrations.

"Breeding cult?" Giles asked, his interest piqued. "Do they use that symbol?" the British man asked, pointing to Joshua's medallion.

"Yeah," Maxie said. "Do you know something about them?"

"Well, we'll talk about it in a bit. First, lets get Dawn to bed, so she can rest for a while." The Watcher said, as Buffy carried Dawn to an empty cot and tucked her in.

"I'm gonna sit with her for a while, Giles, if that's alright. But I need to kill something tonight, seriously. Does Seattle have vampires?"

"I'm sure we can find some, Buffy," Giles said, hugging his Slayer, before following Max over to where Logan was swearing at a computer.

"Language, mister!" Willow chided from where she was kneeling on the floor, checking a network cable.

"Tara, Willow, come here for a minute," Giles said. "Do you girls recognize this symbol?"

"Yeah," Willow said, "I read about it in one of the books at the shop; It' s an ancient Egyptian cult whose purpose is to immunize themselves against an Apocalypse of their doing, so that they're the only ones remaining, and they have control of the world. They revere snakes, and consider themselves direct descendants of Ra."

"That's what I remembered," Giles said. "Actually, the serpentine demon-god they worship is closely related to Eyphgon. Tell me," the Watcher asked, rolling up his sleeve, "Have any of you ever seen anyone bearing this mark?"

"Mage," Joshua said. "Ethan." Giles was visibly shaken.

"Was that recently," Xander asked. Joshua nodded. "I'm not surprised. The Initiative was an offshoot of Manticore." Everybody expected Xander to elaborate, but instead he stormed off angrily. Max left the bookworms to talk about cults and runes and ancient traditions; chasing after Xander.

"Zane? What's wrong?"

"Do you remember a blonde woman in a lab coat, taking notes on a clipboard while some lab techs gassed us, and hit us with tasers, and all the rest?" Max thought back.

"Yeah. I think so."

"She set up shop in Sunnydale last year, doing experiments on demons and soldiers and cyber enhancement. She was trying to create super soldiers from living humans and demons and others. I knew what was going on, but instead of trying to stop her and the Initiative, I sat back and let it happen. All I knew was that I couldn't get involved."

"I understand perfectly. Zack would have told you to leave town, but I get why you stayed, too." Max hugged her brother.

"Now, Mr. Big-shot, you get to choose, you want sentry-duty, or weapons detail?"

"I'll take watch, see if I can spot that assholes that tried to kill Dawnie." He kissed Max's cheek and grabbed an M-16 before heading out to the perimeter.

Chapter 7

Krit and Zane walked into the makeshift barracks. They looked at the situation in front of them, looked at each other, shook their heads and walked out.

"Alec, you gotta save us. They're having a slumber party." He looked into the room and saw Liz braiding Brin's hair, Cordelia painting Jondy's toenails, and the rest of the females, X-series and otherwise, all sitting around, gossiping, eating junk-food, and otherwise chilling out.

"Oz, my main man," The taller Sunnydale alum said, smacking him five. "I think I'm going to die of estrogen poisoning."

"Xander, you've known them forever, aren't you used to it by now?"

"I'm just glad their not painting my toenails and braiding my hair."

"Again." Oz said, which made Xander blush and the rest of the guys heckle him.

"Zane, I think you'd better watch out. It looks like Original Cindy's putting the moves on your girl," Alec said, pointing to where the black lesbian was styling Anya's hair.

"Anya and I are no longer an item," Xander said, as the group of guys tried to rush through the makeshift maternity ward as fast as possible.

"I am certainly glad we got out before Renfro took over," Krit said with a shudder. "Breeding partners? Meep."

"Hey Mole, that van come through yet?" Alec asked.

"Yep. Dealer shortchanged us, though. Unassembled part mostly. We think we can salvage them, we could use some help, though."

The male posse was growing as they headed down to where they were assembling their arms. Dalton and a few of the X6s were teaching the civilians about weaponry.

"I don't know," Max Evans said as Zero pressed the Beretta into his hand. "I mean, we don't really do guns. The only reason Michael knows anything about them is because Liz kept quite the collection; in secret. I heal people, it's what I do."

"Chill out, Max-a-million," Michael said, as Bullet showed him how turn a handgun into a semi-automatic. "I've got a baby coming into this god-forsaken world, and as long as I'm stuck on it, I'm going to be able to protect my mate and child in every conceivable way."

"I get it, I just don't necessarily like it."

"So," Oz said, "I have a question. When I walked by the barracks, I could smell an increase in pheromones. It's been getting stronger and stronger, almost as if--"

"As if they were going into Heat?" Alec supplied.

"Yeah. It's not possible, right?"

"Oh, not only is it possible, but it happens a every few months. You know how when a bunch of girls live together their cycles start to match up?" Oz nodded.

"Well, with our girls, it's the same thing."

"Not all of the girls have feline DNA, though," an X5 named James pointed out.

"But most of them have some sort of animal DNA, and the majority of transgenic females go into heat at regular intervals."

"Hey Zane, Krit, this belong to you?" Mole asked, pointing to a tall redheaded man.

"Len?" both X5s asked.

"That'd be me," he answered, and was instantly tackled by his brothers.

"We're all accounted for now." Krit said, smiling.

"We missed you, little brother. Where have you been all these years?" Xander asked Len.

"New York, Florida, Pennsylvania. I made it to the East Coast a few months after the escape, and have been there ever since. We're all accounted for? Tell me, please. I didn't know what had happened to anybody until I saw the first Eyes Only broadcast saying our covers were blown. And then, when I heard about everybody gathering here, I had to find out, I had to know."

"Max, Jondy, Brin, Liz, Syl and Cora are all here. Zack's working as a ranch-hand a couple hours away, and we don't know if he remembers anything about us."

"And the others?"

"Ben and Tinga are gone. That makes the 12 of us that escaped."

"Shit!" Len exclaimed, punching the wall. The three brothers walked over to the other end of the room to talk. About an hour later, Len had heard everything that had been happening, and looked like his mind was going into overload.

"I've gotta see the girls before I explode," Len said. Xander and Krit lead him through Terminal City while the other guys sat back with the firearms, watching the brothers carefully.

"So, what exactly is going on between them all," Michael asked.

"Well," Alec said, choosing his words carefully. "Of all of us at Manticore, their unit was the closest, and the most self-sufficient. They gave themselves names, and they talked about the outside. They were the least happy with our lives. They wanted to know why things happened, not just that they did. We were their clones, but they were designed to be more independent than we were."

"They were Alpha," Oz commented. "Your Pack was Beta to theirs. Backup." Alec looked surprised at the description, but nodded.

"Basically. Also, they escaped, and we were 'reprogrammed.' We were taught that they were traitors for abandoning their unit. But the thing is, they didn't." Alec shook the thoughts from his head and got up quickly, heading up to the roof for a break. His Rachel used to like to look at the stars.


Anya sat there, watching curiously as Original Cindy painted her nails.

"You don't like the color of your fingertips?"

"You're not a student of the girlie arts? It's just something I like to do, makes me feel more feminine."

"I haven't been human very long, there's still a lot for me to learn."

"Want I show you?" Original Cindy offered, and Anya allowed the girl to paint her fingernails and toenails.

"I think OC's trying to move in on Zane's shorty," Max said, grinning as Cordelia played with her hair.

"Xander and Anya aren't exactly together anymore. They are, but they aren't. Xander's, well, he's into looking after his girls," Buffy said. "Even if he does lust after us all one by one." Cordelia giggled at the memory.

"Yes Cora, something you want to share with the class?"

"Zane and I dated, in high school. For a little while. It's weird, I mean, we think of ourselves as siblings, but we aren't really, we don't have any of the same DNA. The first time I went into Heat, I didn't know what was going on with my body, practically jumped Jesse, who never let me forget it, even though I pretended to ignore him. God, poor Xander," Cordelia laughed, blushing slightly.

"So, Jondy, how's the bartending life for ya?"

"Oh, I'm Miss Coyote Ugly 2020," she answered. "Sisters of the world unite. It feels so right, all of us together in the barracks again."

"Does this bring back memories for you?" Buffy asked.

"Oh yeah," Max said. "We had regular sleepovers every night. With all the seizing and the shooting and the training. Little Barbie-doll slumber parties."

"Max, back off," Cordelia said. "Buffy and Willow are good people. Maybe they didn't have the hellish childhood we did, but they aren't trying to steal our brother." Max blushed.

"All right, all right. I'm just not used to being Beta to anybody, and Zane cares about you, a lot, I can tell."

"It's all right," Buffy said. "In fact, I felt the same way when Faith showed up, you know what made it go away slightly?"

"What?" Buffy grabbed Max's hand and pulled her over to an open spot of the room, and then swung at her. Max blocked the punch and they both jumped back into fighting stance.

"Come on, let's duke it out," Buffy offered, and Max took her up on the opportunity. They sparred for a while, and everybody watched. It was like a dance, the two of them, they were a matched pair. Eventually they called a draw with a hug.

"You're right, B, I do feel better." The smile faded off Buffy's face at the nickname.

"Please, don't call me that," Buffy said. Max saw the look on her face and realized she'd screwed up.

"No problem, Buffy. You're a good fighter, for a human."

"I've got superpowers, it's fun."

"Groovy." The girls high-fived, and Buffy glanced over at Dawn, as any over-protective big sister would. Dawn was sitting with a few of the female X6s, gossiping about Dalton.

"He likes you, you know," Kim said, and Dawn blushed, smiling happily.

"He does? How do you know?"

"We're in the same unit. We've been together since we were two. He was always the most, well, most sensitive of all my brothers. Lydecker always tried to beat it out of him, giving him solitary a lot. But he's a great guy. Do you like him?"

"I think so. Emotions are confusing enough when you're life ISN'T screwed up. Which makes it even harder for us."

"Point. But if he asks you out, go with him."

"Where would we go? The roof? We already tried that, I got shot. It's not like we can just go out to the movies or something."

"Actually, you can. Turtle rigged up a movie theatre about two blocks behind us. He's downloaded some good stuff, too."

"Now that's an idea. You have to admit, he is kind of cute." Kim wrinkled her nose.

"He's like a brother to me. Ick."

"I get it. Okay, you're done," Dawn said to Kim, who looked in the mirror.

"I've never worn my hair like that before, that's cool."

"Glad you like it. Buffy puts them in my hair sometimes," Dawn said, gesturing to the little bits of hair twisted into curls.

"What's this for?" Sherri, another X6 asked, holing up a tube of lipstick.

"You put it on your mouth. It's supposed to make boys want to kiss you, I guess. Mom always said to only wear natural tones, not bright ones. But Faith used to wear blood red, and dark purples, and sometimes even black."

"Who's Faith?" Kim asked.

"She's the other Vampire Slayer, but she's not as nice as my sister. She used to be nice to me, but then she decided to work for the bad guys as an assassin, and Buffy says we don't kill humans."

"But she's friends with Xander and Cora, right?" Sherri asked, and Dawn nodded.

"Well, they've probably killed. Maybe even a lot, when they were even younger than us. We were trained to be soldiers, Dawn, and the X5s were programmed to be assassins."

"It's not like you had a choice, though. I do get what you're saying. Maybe everybody treated Faith the wrong way, I mean, the first one was an accident, but then she started to like it, I think." Kim shuddered.

"I don't know how people could LIKE hurting other people." She looked at the scar on Dawn's wrist. "Did somebody try to hurt you?" Dawn looked down at the floor.

"No, I did that. I kind of freaked out when I found out I wasn't human. Seriously not good."

"I get that," Sherri said, as she played with Dawn's hair. Kris, another X6 laid her head in her sister's lap, and Kim stroked her hair.

"What was it like, Dawn, growing up in a real family? Going to school and the movies instead of training?"

"Well, I think that's a hard question to answer. It's kind of like asking someone who's never walked what it's like to be in a wheelchair. You don't really have anything to compare it to. But I can say that I've changed recently. I used to whine and complain all the time, but I don't see a point in it anymore. I always used to try and talk my mom out of things, but now I wish I spent more time with her, just listening, and not been so disagreeable." the other girls seemed shocked.

"You questioned authority?"

"Yeah, it's something we do out here. If you don't thin you're being commanded fairly, you challenge the person in charge." The other girls looked at each other in complete disbelief. They might like this world after all.

"This is fun," Max said. "I've only ever been to one sleepover before, about a week before the Pulse, but I wound up sitting in the corner the whole time."

"I used to have them all the time, with Harmony, Aura, Blu and Aphrodesia."

"The Cordettes," Willow said. "They were like the Russian KBG, if only they cared more about shoes." Cordelia poked Willow in the side.

"We weren't that bad."

"Cordy, you used to make me cry on a regular basis." Cora looked down at her lap.

"Yeah. It was just supposed to be a cover. Manticore taught us never to break our cover, and that deception is a weapon. I was hiding, I never really meant it, Willow, I swear."

"I know, Cordy, I know." The two Sunnydale alums hugged briefly.

"Now get back to your love bunny," Cordelia ordered Willow, pointing to Tara. The redhead went back and snuggled up against her girlfriend.

Everybody looked up when Xander knocked on the door.

"Knock knock, girls, males entering the premises, feel free to continue any naked pillow fights that may be happening."

"XANDER!" Cordelia, Willow, and Buffy all exclaimed in unison, making the other girls laugh.

"Okay okay, but look what the cat dragged in," Xander said as he and Krit stepped aside to reveal Len. Almost instantly Cordy, Max, Syl, Jondy Brin and Liz launched themselves at the red-haired X5. They all hugged insanely.

"If only Zack were here, we'd be complete," Jondy said with a sigh. The girls dragged their brother into the room and sat down in a circle, so that everybody could catch up. Everybody was having a great night, as they embraced the calm before the storm.