The One Who Sees

Author: dhampyrx2 <princemoon_2000[at]>

Category: Crossover W/ X-Men: Evolution, X-Men comic elements

Timeframe: Post-Dirty Girls, S7 Pairings: I'm open to suggestions that don't involve Spike, unless he reverts to his old, evil self

Summary: Xander's loss of an eye at the hands of Caleb stirred up a hornet's nest of trouble. His family is angry, worried, and happens to include several Alpha Class mutants, who will descend on Sunnydale with a vengeance to find out what happened, and take their frustrations out on the Caleb and the First Evil's hides.

Standard Disclaimer: I own squat. Several very wealthy people own the rights to Buffy, X-men, and any other character I may throw in. I make no money off of this. Nobody else try to do it either.

Distribution: You want it, Just ask.


Beep, Beep, Beep.

The incessant sound of a heart monitor was Alexander's Harris' constant companion as he sat up in his bed in Sunnydale hospital. His hand idly stroked the mass of bandages wrapped around his head, protecting the now empty eye socket from infection. He looks to the chair at his right, and tries to grin at the sight of his oldest friend, Willow, sleeping there, a small line of drool falling down her chin. He fails at his attempt to smile. Instead he begins to brood over how he came to his current situation. Here he was a seven year veteran of the war against the things that go bump in the night, and he'd finally had his first serious injury. He and his friends had finally encountered something his mutations couldn't shield them from, at least partially.

Not that any of them but Willow knew he was a mutant. He wasn't ashamed of what he was, but he didn't advertise it either. It just never came up. Unlike most of his family, his REAL family, not the Harris', his gifts weren't obvious, even when he was using them to their fullest extent. So, he never bothered to bring them up. Besides, with parents that were famous heroes like his, announcing who he was would have been like painting a huge target on his back for every wannabe super villain out there from Mr. Sinister to his Uncle Graydon. He'd have lost the safety of the anonymity that the 'Dale provided, and would have had to trade it for the life of an X-man.

His ability to read, analyze, and exploit probabilities if he stopped to think about them really just made him seem occasionally insightful. So what if they bordered on a form of precognition? In the end, they just made him a tactical recourse, and if he mentioned them, he was certain Buffy and Giles would have tried to keep him out of the fight even more, to protect his 'insight'. Heh, the very gift they would have wanted to protect helped him deduce that. He'd have never convinced them that he was needed in every major fight they faced to actively enforce damage control, and try to nudge things toward the best case scenario, in a sort of slow, mundane version of his mother's probability affecting powers.

As for his other gift, well his immunity to most active powers saved his hide on more than one occasion, that was true, but it wasn't foolproof. Sure, his body specific nullifying field protected him from the magic power ups to Olaf's troll hammer and his increased strength, making it seem like a regular large human hit him; not to mention stopping Willow's stream of power when she went nuts. Those were all well and good. But he had limits. He could take a punch from the Juggernaut, and feel like plain old Cain Marco had hit him, but it Juggsy threw a car at him, instead of directly applying his power, Xander was as good as dead.

There was also his other limit. He had no power, either nullifying or precognition, over natural forces. So, if someone like Storm hit him with lightning, a natural force, you'd have Kentucky Fried Zeppo. That's why he didn't challenge Glory one on one. A goddess, even a hell goddess, was an embodiment of natural order. He was just a plain flatscan against someone like her. Although, Xander had to admit he was getting ready to try his luck testing that theory toward the end.

It was that same limit that led to the debacle the other night, as far as he was concerned. The First was a manifestation of a natural force, so Xander couldn't predict what it could do. At best, he could get a few minutes of insight into what Caleb was trying, if he was there to read the probability factors. Well, he could read the Bringers and Turok-Han easily enough, although those were mixed blessings. He told Willow he was totally blind against the First. How could he tell her he had willingly sacrificed his eye to save Kennedy? That he knew going in what would happen, and that if they didn't do that stupid attack, then in a couple of days, the Bringers and Turok-Han would storm the house to attempt to further demoralize them, and that the loss of life would be nearly triple what they had suffered?

Caleb had called him "The One Who Sees." A truly inspiring way to say, "the poor mutie stuck in a rock and a hard place. Bah, why did that stupid hick's empowerment by the First have to override his abilities? Even if it meant coming clean over who he was, Xander would have been glad to feed that stupid cornfed preacher his teeth in a fair fight. But, it did override him, and he had been at Caleb's mercy. Xander continued to brood, unwilling to do what he knew could turn the tide of the war, and yes, it was truly a war this time. He would not endanger his family by calling them to the Hellmouth. Not until he had exhausted every other option available to them.


The nurse on duty at Sunnydale General hung up the phone after what looked like a heated conversation. She had just informed Xander's biological parents of his condition, and all but insisted they get here to help him. She was clearly irate, but quickly schooled her features as she made her way toward the room of the patient in question. It was time to clean out his wound again, and she had done some creative scheduling to be the one to do it tonight. *After all, *, she thought wryly as her eyes flashed into a pupiless yellow for a moment, before returning to a common brown, *a Grandmother is supposed to help soothe her grandchild when he hurts himself. *

With that thought, Mystique had to suppress a grin, before she knocked on the door to Xander's room, looking forward to (in spite of both the situation, and herself) actually talking to the boy for the first time in years, instead of just periodically checking in on him from afar.

Chapter 1

The relatively polite knock jarred Xander out of his musings, and woke up Willow, who let out an unladylike snort and a mumbled "comein" as she tried to regain coherency. The mutant carpenter looked at the clock on the wall, which read 2:00am...time to clean his eye out...yay.

"Looks like it's socket detail time, Will," he said resignedly, as the nurse entered. He glanced at the woman and nearly startled at the sight of her. Not that she was particularly beautiful. She seemed made to blend into a crowd in fact. Her appearance was wholly plain. Still something about her caused a near-reaction in him.

Willow sensed Xander's surprise. She had known him since kindergarten, and could read him as easily as anyone. Once, when they were all younger and more innocent, Jesse, the long dead third in their childhood escapades, had jokingly said that reading Xander was Willow's special power to match their friend's mutant ones. The thought brought a small grin to her face for a second. She was no mutant, kick-ass Wicca powers aside, she was human. But a Willow knew her Xander. They were closer than siblings now, almost like twins in how they could read one another. Either would do anything to help the other without a second thought.

"Time to clean your eye, Mr. Harris," the nurse said, her voice full of the false cheer that seemed to be a requirement for the nursing profession.

The sound of the woman's voice caused Willow to frown as she recalled the cause of her trip down memory lane. Xander seemed to react strangely to this woman. Willow stood, and was about to say it was OK, and that she'd clean her oldest friend's eye out, when that friend chose to interrupt her before she had the chance.

"It's alright, Willow. I'm just a little jumpy. If she was here to cause trouble, I'm sure she'd do it without carrying eye-wash and sterile pads," Xander said wryly, appearing to be mildly amused at his friend's sudden jump to both his defense, and some conclusions. "In fact, I'd rather you not see me all missing eye-y right now, Will. Not a pretty sight, I'm sure. Why don't you check on the other girls we helped after that...pileup on the freeway that sent us all to the hospital and let the nice lady do her job," he added, remembering their cover story for the multitude of injuries he and the potentials sustained.

Willow nearly balked at his suggestion until she saw the look in his eye. He really didn't want to expose her to his wound. Xander was always sweet like that. She was about to say it was alright when the nurse chimed in again.

"Yes, my dear. Your brother is right. You stretch your legs and we'll take care of things, no problem."

Willow looked like she would still argue for a moment, before finally relenting. "Alright, I'll see how Rona and the others are. Faith could probably use some coffee right about now anyway. I'll be back to sit with you in a little while, Xander," she said, never even thinking to dispute the 'brother' comment. They gave off that kind of vibe around each other.

"You're the best, Will.", he answered, grinning at her as she left the room and closed the door behind her. Once he was sure she was gone, his demeanor changed, and he let out a resigned sigh as he said, "Hi, Nana Raven. Or would you prefer Mystique?"

The nurse jumped slightly, startled for a moment, before setting aside her supplies and reverting to her natural form. Mystique had returned to her roots, as far as clothing was concerned, once again donning the flowing white dress with golden skull accents she had worn before the long ago debacle at Asteroid M. She smiled wryly at her grandson, crossing her arms in annoyance as she looked him over.

"How did you know it was me?", she asked, unsure whether to be upset at her quick discovery, or proud of her eldest grandchild for ferreting her out so easily.

"Your wearing the same form you used to when you used to sneak in visits when I was little, your voice is the same, and...I used my precog to analyze who would show up first."

Raven Darkholme smiled proudly at the young man on the bed in front of her, idly stroking his hair as she said, "You always were brighter than you let on. Your father was like that in high school too, you know. And you can call me Nana, if you still really want to. Although I'll gut anyone but you or T.J. that makes one comment over it." Her voice was deadly serious at the end, reminding anyone who heard her that she was a dangerous assassin and terrorist, grandmotherly instincts aside.

Xander endured the doting gesture, knowing his often seemingly cold-hearted grandmother was truly concerned if she would let her guard down this much in a place she could potentially be seen. "I'd be insulted if I didn't know about how you used hack my grades then drop hints to dad and Auntie to get me a tutor, during fights with the X-men. At least I know you care.", he replied, taking her hand from his head and patting it gently.

Mystiques face split into what many would have called a sinister cousin of the 'Xander-grin' as she replied, "You know that was as much to annoy your mother and Logan, as it was to help you, boy."

Xander's own gentler grin answered hers. "Yeah, I know."

They shared the tender moment for a few seconds, before Mystique pulled her hand away, and began to remove Xander's bandages. People would get suspicious if they weren't changed, and she'd be damned if her grandchild would get sick from an infection because they spent all their time acting mushy. Her eyes grew hard as she saw the wound up close for the first time. She'd seen and done some nasty things in her life, but the way the eye was poked out had been exceptionally brutal. Someone like Sabretooth would have loved it.

"What the hell happened? And don't give me that pile-up nonsense.", she hissed, her voice stern with maternal authority.

"We were fighting some asshole preacher with a yen to hurt women. He has an empowerment from an elemental force, which cancels my nullifying field, and a...friend of Willow's was going to die if I didn't do something.", he answered, his voice now nearly monotone.

Mystique fumed at the thought of someone hurting her family like this, and at the thought of Xander sacrificing himself to save his little friend's girlfriend, as she continued to clean out the injury. After a moment to think things over she asked, "What about your precog? Why couldn't you avoid this?", she asked, her voice low and frustrated. To think he was hurt over an out of control witch, her flatscan Slayer wannabe play toy, and the mismanagement of that blonde airhead he followed around all the time bothered the blue woman to no end.

Xander shrugged as he replied, "The First Evil, the elemental force I mentioned, is beyond my ability to read. Caleb's power comes from it, so I can't read him either. By the time I could get a read on any probabilities, my loosing an eye was the best case scenario. It was literally leading to world-ending scenarios if I looked out only for myself."

Mystique calmed her ire at her grandson's friends as he said that. She knew Alex always looked at the big picture. With his gifts, he couldn't help but look at the big picture. If he said it was needed, she knew she had to trust his judgment in that, whether she liked it or not. Hell, his ability to thwart prophecies and help avert Apocalypses on this god- forsaken Hellmouth is what kept his grandfather, Magneto, from harassing the boy to exploit his gifts for the 'good of mutant kind'. Erik knew that if the world ended, there was no 'mutant kind' anymore. So, he left Xander to his own devices. Still, she'd be glad when the rest of his family arrived help the boy through this.

Xander noticed the look in his Nana's pupiless yellow eyes as she finished cleaning his eye, and began to put on a new dressing to the wound. "You called them.", he said flatly.

"They deserved to know, and you need the help here. Potential Slayers are still just flatscans until that Faith girl dies. And then only one becomes remotely useful."

Her answer told Xander that she had been in town checking up on him for a while, and probably understood the situation as well as anyone. That didn't stop him from getting upset as he hissed, "I don't want them risking themselves here. Especially Talia. This is my area to deal with. I don't want them exposed to the things we face here. They have enough to deal with already. I want my family safe. Including YOU, Nana."

"That's our choice, Alex, not yours. Either way, they'll be here tomorrow morning. Get used to it.", she replied with another of her evil Xander- grins, as she finished bandaging him up and reassumed her 'generic nurse form'.

Xander would have argued further, had Faith not entered the room a moment after Raven had changed into her disguise again. The sultry Dark Slayer had a coffee in her hand as she walked past Mystique without a word and took Willow's former seat.

"Hey, Boytoy. Red looked way wiped so I convinced B to watch the kiddies for a while, and asked Kennedy to help Red get some rest. Anyway, that means we get to hang for a couple of hours and catch up. You feel up for it?", Faith asked, trying to remain cool and calm as she talked to someone she had tried to kill the last time she had seen him, well in her own body, anyway.

Xander smiled in a way that showed she had nothing to feel nervous about as he said, "Five-by-Five, Faith. I was just saying goodbye to nurse Darkholme here." He had used Mystique's real last name, knowing that only Willow would have ever recognized it, now that Jesse was gone, but that it would annoy Mystique regardless of the safety involved in using it.

Raven nodded curtly to the young man, knowing he was goading her. She settled on a final jab to try to embarrass the young mutant as she headed toward the door. "Yes, well goodbye then, Mr. Harris. Try not to...exert yourself with your pretty young girlfriend.", she said, smirking with her back tuned to them as she exited before her grandson could reply. It was all she could do to keep from laughing as she heard the Dark slayer begin to tease Xander about telling stories to inflate his own reputation, followed by some innuendo that would make most grandmothers blush crimson. Good thing for her Raven Darkholme wasn't most grandmothers.

*You know, I rather like that girl. And as a Slayer, at least she isn't totally useless.*, Raven thought to herself as she exited the hospital. She then checked for onlookers, before changing into a large raven, and perching in a tree that overlooked Xander's window, watching as the boy blushed deeply as he talked to Faith. She would stand guard over him in the shadows until the X-men arrived. After all, he was family.


The Xavier Institute in Bayville, New York, was in chaos as a result of Mystique's call. And while the more sarcastic members of the household, (i.e. Logan) would say that ANY contact with the shape shifter would inevitably lead to trouble and confusion, this was still considered a special case. Someone very dear to several of the X-men had been maimed, and it was Mystique who had called to inform them. Not only that, she had all but insisted they come to California to assist that person. This led to several factors that caused the elevated chaos throughout the mansion.

Logan, known as the Wolverine, snarled at anyone but those who were slotted for the mission, those close to Xander, and popped his adamantium claws with even less than usual provocation. Tabitha "Meltdown" Smith scared more than one Institute student with her unnaturally serious demeanor. Rogue just looked like a reincarnation of her normally angry teenaged self, as she muttered an occasional "You'd better watch him, Momma", under her breath as she got ready to leave.

Lights flickered on and off, and small appliances and trinkets spontaneously exploded as a frantic Wanda Maximoff-Wagner, also know as the Scarlet Witch, formerly of both the Brotherhood of evil mutants; and later on, with much greater accolades and world recognition, with the hero team the Avengers, ran around the house alerting her current team, the X-men, of Xander's condition. One would be hard pressed to ignore that the light flickering and explosions all seemed to coincide with her stopping to either fret frantically, or more often, mutter death threats and promises of retribution against anyone who hurt the young man.

Another contributing factor to the sense of disarray within the home of the famous X-Men was the growing cloud of smoke caused by Wanda's husband of sixteen years, Kurt Wagner, also known as Nightcrawler, former founder and leader of the European team Excalibur, before he returned to the States, and the X-Men, as he teleported seemingly endlessly. As he teleported, making arrangements for their impromptu trip, he muttered to himself in his native German, usually in a far more self-reproving tone than his wife. One who understood German, as many of the X-Men could, would be able to translate his mutterings into a combination of self-recriminations for not being there for Xander, prayers for the safety of both young Alex Harris, and Mystique, prayers that his often self-centered mother, the aforementioned Mystique, watched out for Xander, and calming words toward his wife when her Hex Powers began to grow serious enough that they might delay the couple from getting ready to leave.


From a corner in the hanger where the most recent incarnation of the Blackbird Class 'X-jet' was being prepared for flight, fifteen year-old Talia Josephine Wagner watched with thinly veiled concern as her parents went though yet another emotional mini-breakdown, before continuing their preparations. She was as worried over Xander as anyone, he was her older brother after all, but she was trying to keep her head about things. She suspected that a great deal of the emotional fallout happening now was a result of the tumultuous circumstances around Xander's birth, and the reasons he did not currently, nor had he ever, held a permanent residence with the X-men.

Talia still shuddered whenever she thought of the circumstances of her beloved sibling's conception and birth. About how her parents had dated secretly in high school, since they had been on opposing groups of the early Mutant Rights movements, with different views on how to deal with flatscan, or regular, humans. The Romeo and Juliet quality didn't bother the teenager, though. The fact that her parents had sex at that age, and that her mother gave birth to Alex at only seventeen is what gave T.J. the willies. Her mother had freaked out, as her youth and her powers had already left the Scarlet Witch emotionally unstable, and fled to California to have the baby in secret, giving him up for adoption soon after.

Kurt hadn't even known he was a father until the two had met again for the first time since the night she left. By then Wanda was an Avenger, Kurt was in Excalibur, and poor Xander was five years old. Talia's mother confessed what she had done in tears, sure that Kurt would never forgive her for giving their son away, a fact that still tore at her heart even today. Kurt, however, just asked where Xander was, and if they could see him. He would later confess, that while he had been upset, he was glad Xander had something approaching a normal childhood, and that he had never stopped loving Wanda. That love, rekindled as they tracked down her brother's trail through the foster care system in California, led to their eventual marriage, and Talia's own birth.

Xander had remained in California, in the small suburb of Sunnydale, at his own choice, and with the reluctant blessing of his parents even after they finally tracked him down. Talia had been a year old, which meant Xander was eight, by the time her family found him. The boy, already showing his gift of tactical precognition at that early age, something believed to be due to his status as a third generation mutant, had stated that he would be a target for very bad people should his famous family reclaim him full time. Not only that, but also his friends and his foster family would eventually be targeted and killed. Xander, even then suffering from a White Knight complex that many accused his father of contributing to the boy's DNA, could not let that happen.

Oh, they visited him often from the time he was located, since he didn't stay with them. He even discreetly visited the Institute on occasion over the summers, including his longest stay ever a couple of years ago, when he claimed he had been in Oxnard with car trouble for the whole trip(complete with an added cover story about working as a male stripper, that "Aunt" Tabby, the former Boom-Boom, now called Meltdown, had come up with for him behind their parents' backs). That was a fun time for the girl, who adored her older brother whole-heartedly.

She often envied him his life without the dangers of the X-mansion, and his ability to pass as normal in the human world, something she could never have. Talia had inherited her father's appearance, including elfin ears, three-fingered hands, digigrade legs, two toed feet, a prehensile tail, yellow eyes, and fangs. Her blue skin, while not furry like Kurt's, was a shade or two lighter than her grandmother's similarly blue skin, and marked her as a mutant as well. Her appearance, and the rather public courtship her parents endured as celebrities in adulthood, meant T.J. would never enjoy her brother's anonymity.

Another part of T.J., codenamed Nocturne, had just wanted Xander to say to heck with normalcy, and come live with her and their parents. Once, as Xander got older and started to attend High School, it looked like that might have happened, when something unforeseen reared its ugly head, the Hellmouth. The moment he knew what went on at night, and what was at stake, Xander Harris(who should change his name to Wagner in T.J.'s humble opinion), ever the White Knight, could not abandon his friends, his town, or the world.

And so it went, Xander fought his war against the night with the Slayer and her ilk, using his mutant gifts to quietly nudge things in the favor of the living, and the X-Men fought their own battles centered over rogue mutants, aliens, the FoH(stupid Uncle Graydon), and the like. Talia knew Xander would never join the X-men as long as Sunnydale needed him, and he was adamant about keeping them safe from the added dangers of his life, so she couldn't fight by his side there either.

*Of course that's all changed now*, Talia Josephine muses in her head as she boards the X-Jet with the others that were going, among them Xander's and her godfather, Wolverine, their Aunt Rogue, "Aunt" Tabby, and their parents, of course. *Xander's been hurt bad, and respecting his insane need to protect us ended when Grandma(only Xander dared to call her Nana, even if T.J. was allowed to crack a few jokes about it here and there) called us from a hospital to let us know what was going on. We're helping him this time, whether he likes it or not.*, she thought to herself as she strapped in. Despite the fact that those in the now taxiing jet knew the blue assassin had a soft spot for her children and grandchildren, the fact that Mystique voluntarily called the X-Men for help, meant all bets were off.

Talia looked over to her fretting parents from her seat on the jet. Her mother was crying again, her face was wrought with old guilt, and new pain, and raw anger. The 'elfette' as some jokingly called her, until she caught them at it, that is, idly felt a stab of near-pity for whoever was stupid enough hurt her brother. There was going to be hell to pay over it.

"Hang tight, big brother, we're going to be there for you.", the girl whispered, her voice flinty and concerned all at once, as she spoke.

Logan, was the only one that heard the girl, and grunted his approval at the sentiment as he flew the Blackbird to Sunnydale.


As the Blackbird made its way across the nation a supersonic speeds, Rogue sat in morose silence. Long gone was sullen goth teen of her earlier years with the X-men. The southern belle, now clad in her red and black skintight uniform, had long ago learned to let herself be happy. That was a lesson mostly attributed to her family's help. Her brother, Kurt, her sister-in-law Wanda, her niece Talia, and even her cold hearted momma, Mystique, all helped crack the ice she had encased her heart in. But it was Xander, the did the most for her. Her eyes misted up as she remembered the day she finally got to meet her brother's eldest child.

[flashback ]

Rogue stood back and watched as the whole house came out to greet nine year old Alexander Harris as he visited the Xavier Institute for the first time. The brown haired boy was instantly inundated with over a dozen new 'aunts' and 'uncles' to fawn over him. The one woman with the most right to claim the title of 'aunt', however just stood there apart from the festivities.

*What's the point of making a fool of myself.* she thought angrily. *I'll just risk touchin' a kid with that much energy, and then I'll end up hurtin' him without meaning to.* She had been working for years to control her absorption mutation, and although breakthroughs had been made, particularly with Gambit's help, she was still far too erratic to be safe. Unless she concentrated to the point she could do nothing else, her power still kicked in. It was wholly depressing to the woman.

That depression forced her into a chair in the main living room, as she began to read one of her favorite books, and pretend that staying back from her newfound nephew did not hurt. It also distracted her, as her brother got that mischievous look in his eyes, and whispered something into young Xander's ear.

She was wholly unprepared, then, when a nine year old bundle of energy and cheer, leapt into her lap, knocking the wind out of her, grabbed her around the neck, and gave her a huge wet smacker right on her cheek, accompanied, by a "Hiya, Auntie Rogue! I'm Xander. Do you wanna play with me?", then followed with a huge hug.

Rogue was so flustered by the attention, she could only sputter incoherently for several seconds, before she realized, Xander was touching her, and recoiled back in shock, afraid of hurting him.

"Awww. Don't you want to play?" the boy asked with a devilish grin that matched his father's perfectly, minus the blue fur on Kurt's face, as he poked her in the nose comically.

"Huh? Wha? B..bu...but mah powers." she said dumbly, as she realized the child had yet to show a single sign of being drained.

"Of no use against him, mein schweister(sp?)." Kurt said with a matching grin from off to her right.

She looked over, still confused, as the boy in her lap bounced up and down trying to coax her to play, and saw her bother and sister-in-law locked in a soppy embrace as they watched Alex try to charm her into a game. "What do ya mean, fuzzball?" she asked in bewilderment.

"One of Alex's powers is a body specific nullifying field, Rogue. You powers will never affect him." Wanda said with a smile.

It took the Mississippi native a few seconds to process that, before her face broke out into a huge grin. She realized she never had to be afraid of her nephew getting hurt by her poisoned skin. She never had to feel the sting of seeing him recoil in fear from her and her powers. She could dote on, and play with, and spoil him just like she had always wanted to with each child born into the X-men, but never dared to try.

Young Xander's face wore a proud grin as he aunt set him down, and kissed his forehead, before she said, "Alraght, rug rat. What do you say we get some ice cream, and then we'll play whatevah' you want." as she smiled like crazy, with small tears in her eyes.

"What ever yo' say, Tante River Rat." Xander replied in a bad approximation of a Cajun accent.

"Rogue looked up sharply at that, a fire in her eyes not seen in a long time as she searched out the only possible source of such a comment befouling her nephew's lips. "Remy...when I get hold of your Swamp Rat hide..." she growled at Gambit.

"Promises, promises, chere." Remy said with that grin that made her weak in the knees.

[End Flashback ]

Rogue had to wipe a pair of tears out of her eyes at the bittersweet memory. Bittersweet because she had lost Remy to a horrible battle five years ago against the despicable Mr. Sinister.

Her face hardened as she thought of what lie ahead. She had lost Gambit, and nothing could change that. But There was going to be hell to pay for whomever tried to kill her nephew. She'd teach those bastards not to mess with the Rogue, or with the X-men.


Xander sighed as he looked out the window at the breaking dawn, then glanced at the still sleeping Willow, who had relieved Faith in staying by him an hour ago.

He had managed about two hours of sleep that night after a good conversation with Faith before he had dozed off, and they had cleared a bit of the air between them.

The young mutant sighed as he thought about just who would show up to help him now. He knew 'Aunt' Kitty and 'Uncle' Piotr were on assignment in Mongolia somewhere, but all the others he was close to would probably come.

*Damn it, Nana.* he thought angrily. *Why did you have to be so stubborn? I don't want them getting hurt, and I can't even read enough of the situation to protect them.*

His mental recriminations were cut, however, by the sound of a quiet {BAMF} to his right, and with it, the arrival of his father, mother, and sister. The women released Nightcrawler from where the clung to him to join in his teleport., and rushed to his side, followed only a second later by his blue, fuzzy dad.

He smiled in spite of himself at the sight, even as Willow awoke to the stench of sulfur and brimstone, only to let out a surprised "Oh." at the sight of the new arrivals.

"Guten Morgen, Frau Rosenberg." Kurt said with a smile, and a wave of his three fingered hand from Xander's bedside, even as his other hand brushed aside his injured son's messy black hair. "We're here!"

"Yeah hi, Willow!" TJ said with a similar wave, as Wanda just nodded her greeting, barely taking her eyes off of Xander.

The son of the Scarlet Witch and the Incredible Nightcrawler let out a long suffering sigh as he said, "Good to see you all. Although I'm surprised you didn't teleport everyone in at once, no matter how stressful, dad."

The German mutant shrugged as he affably replied, "You know Tabby. She complains the smell stays in her hair for weeks vhen I 'port her. And Your aunt und godfather had to find a good parking place for the plane. They'll be here as soon as fast as Logan and Rogue can drive from the landing site."

"Than I'm surprised they didn't beat you here." Xander joked in a deadpan tone.

From outside in the tree, Mystique smiled. The family reunion had begun.

Chapter 2

Willow squealed in delight, before she shot up to hug the Wagners, Xander's true family. "OHmyGODIhadnoideayouguyswerecomingXadernevertoldmeyouwereonyourwayitssogoodtoseeyouhowhaveyouallbeenandI'msorryIdidn'tcallyouimmediatelybutit'sbeensohecticandI'mjustsosorrybutyou'reherenowandthat'sGreat!" she babbled, as Kurt and Wada looked on bewildered between Willow and Xander, hoping for a translation, as neither could hope to speak, much less master, Willow-ese as he had done.

"Willow, slow down, bitte. My English is nowhere near that good." Kurt pleaded, his hands up in mock surrender.

Xander and TJ both laughed before the younger commented, "I don't think anyone but Xander could translate all of that, Daddy. I'm a native speaker, and I only got every third word or so."

Willow had the good grace to blush at the ribbing from the two blue Wagners, even as Wanda returned her attention to her son and frowned. "I did catch enough to hear Willow apologize for not calling us. That I can understand. What I'd like to know is how you could have something like this happen to you, Alex, and we have to hear about it from Mystique?"

"Wanda, liebe, we talked about this." Kurt admonished gently.

The lights in the room flickered as the Scarlet Witch glared at her husband and said, "I don't care, Kurt! He was maimed. Our son, our eldest child was horribly wounded, and the only reason I was informed was because my mother-in-law, who loathes the fact we're married felt we should know." her eyes brimming with tears.

"Mutti(Mom)." Xander whispered. "Mutti, bitte(please). I wanted to keep you away to protect you all. This's worse than any other before it. I wanted to keep quiet to keep you all safe."

Wanda broke down into a full crying jag at his words, as she exclaimed, "You're still our son, Alex. We deserved to know the second it happened, not when your grandmother decided to call to bitch at us. God, Xander, we worry about you so much to begin with...why did you shut us out like this?"

"Es tut mir wirklich Leid (I'm really sorry), Mutti, Vati(Dad). Please forgive me." he whispered, moving between German and English almost unconsciously.

"Now, now. None of that." Kurt said in a comforting tone, as he hugged his weeping wife, and patted his injured son's hand. "The important thing is that we're here and we're together."

TJ, who had faded back near Willow as the scene began to unfold, spoke up then. "So, where can we find the arschloch responsible for this?" she asked, her voice flinty.

"Talia!" Kurt exclaimed, displeased with her casual swear.

"Whoever did this hurt Xander, Daddy. I think I'm allowed to be upset at that." Nocturne snapped at her father, he tail lashing back and forth in agitation.

Kurt could only nod his head in acceptance for a moment, before a shout that sounded like "DEMON!", accompanied by a body lunging at him broke his concentration.


Buffy made her way into the hospital quietly as she came to check over the injured. She still felt like hell following the failed raid on the Vineyard the night before, and she looked the part, too. She was in the same clothes she had wore the night before, only wrinklier, and her hair was a mess just barely better than bed head.

Still she had to check on the SiT's, and on Xander especially. Not only was she the leader of the group, which made her responsible for those girls, but one of her Oldest and dearest friends had been wounded terribly pulling several of them out of hams way due to her plan. The fact he had just finished giving those self same girls a pep talk about following her earlier that evening only made her guilt worse.

Her ponderings were cut short as her enhanced hearing picked up a squeal that was definitely Willow's. Judging by the sound, she was either terrified beyond reason, or extremely excited. Buffy knew that circumstances wouldn't lend themselves to excitement, so she logically assumed that danger was involved, and broke out into a dead run up to Xander's hospital room on the third floor.

Her hunch seemed to prove true as she discovered what appeared to be two blue demons, along with Willow, Xander, and another older woman in his room. the fact that the younger demon was next to Willow, its tail swinging menacingly, as the older, bigger one, held Xander won was all the info the Slayer needed. With a cry of "DEMON" to attract their attention, she lunged at the larger one with Mr. Pointy extended to destroy the threat.


As Buffy attacked, several things happened all at once. Xander and Willow both cried out, "Buffy, no wait!" simultaneously, as Kurt leapt straight up, adhering to the ceiling with his toes to avoid the attacking girl. TJ just sneered as she readied one of her hex bolts, only to stop short as he mother beat her to it.

Wanda Maximoff-Wagner's hands glowed an eerie blue, as she waved them at the attacking Buffy Summers. As a result, Buffy chanced direction mid-aid, and flew back out the open door, landing on an orderlies cart in a heap, with a (thankfully empty) bedpan falling and landing on the top of her head like a funny hat.

The Slayer, confused by the sudden change in momentum, but determined to protect her friends, stood up ready and rearing for round two.

She stopped short, however, when a strange sound emitted from behind her.


"I don't know what yer problem is, kid. But if you try to hurt the Elf, the Witch, or those kids again, yer getting a nasty taste of adamantium fer yer troubles." Logan sneered, claws out and ready for mayhem.

As Buffy tried to process the newest threat, a small energy bomb rolled beneath her and exploded, knocking her back into the cart, with another bed pan now adorning her skull. "You try to touch Blue, or Wanda, or TJ again and you're in for it, bottle blonde." Meltdown spat, with a baseball sized charge in her hand just begging to be tossed into the Slayer.

"An' the best you can hope for is that they finish you before Ah do." Rogue added from where she had taken up a position in front of Xander's room to guard it.

The four in the hall stood there in tense anticipation for the ensuing brawl, until a voice cut though the mounting tension with a thunderous roar. "ENOUGH!" Xander shouted from where he had hobbled up behind his Aunt Rogue.

"Buffy, back off. They're not demons, they're my family. They came to visit when they heard I was hurt." Xander said to the Slayer, as he rested a hand on Rogue's shoulder to keep her calm. She might decide to lunge at Buffy while she had the chance, otherwise. Rogue got quite snippy and protective of Kurt when someone attacked him, or called him 'demon'.

"Everyone, that's Buffy. She's on our side. She just jumped to some pretty easy conclusions when you live on a Hellmouth. Try not to hurt her. Please." the White Knight then said to the rest of them, as he stepped in to defuse the situation.

Once things looked like they had calmed enough to avoid violence, mostly illustrated by Wolverine retracting his claws, Xander sighed in relief. He looked back to his parents in his hospital room, and smiled wanly as he asked, "You still wondering why I didn't want Nana Raven to call you?"


Once the situation in the hall had been mostly sorted out, Xander coaxed Buffy to enter his room so he could finish explaining it all. Well, he would have preferred to stay standing and get a little exercise, but his mother and Aunt Rogue all but forced him back to bed, and told him he'd stay there for everything but bathroom breaks until the doctors told him otherwise, forcing him to restrain himself from rolling his remaining eye at them.

The fact that TJ and Tabitha were both laughing at his predicament did not aid him in that struggle in the least.

"Okay, were all making nice now. Could someone PLEASE tell me what the hell is going on?" Buffy exclaimed, as she stood with her back to the far corner of the room, with her arms folded up under her breasts in a clearly defensive position.

Xander shrugged apologetically as he replied, "Like I told you, Buff, this is my family. Allow me to introduce my dad, Kurt Wagner, my mother Wanda Maximoff-Wagner, and my baby sister Talia Josephine Wagner." he said, as he gestured to each with his right hand. It should be noted that of the three of them, only Kurt bothered with smile and a friendly wave as he was introduced. The women of the family just scowled dangerously at her.

Xander sighed a little at their reactions as he continued, "If you watch the news, you might also recognize them as the X-Men known as Nightcrawler, the Scarlet Witch, and Nocturne." He then gestured to the others in the now overcrowded room and added, "As for the ones that nearly turned you into paste in the hall, that's mine and TJ's godfather, Logan aka Wolverine, my Auntie Tabitha, aka Meltdown, and my Aunt Rogue."

He then looked at the others and said, "Everyone, this is Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer." He waited for a few tense seconds, amusing himself by watching Buffy gape like a fish as she tried to process everything that was going on, before he innocently asked, "Any questions?"

Buffy stared at her oldest male friend for several moments before she asked, "Xander, since when did you have family that were part of the X-Men? I mean, I've met your dad, and he'd qualify more as a disgusting drunk, than as anything remotely resembling a mutant superhero. And I know these people weren't at your almost wedding." Her voice carried a hint of oncoming hysteria as she spoke, revealing just how overwhelmed she felt.

Xander looked sadly at her for a few seconds before he replied, "Buff, you know my foster parents. The Wagners are my real family."

"Then why were you living here with the Harris'?" she queried in confusion.

"For protection." Talia spat at her from where she stood next to her brother's bed.

Buffy mulled that over for a few seconds before she seemed to understand. "Oh! You mean because he's a normal powerless human, and you're all like super-mutants? I guess that makes sense."

Most of the room, minus Xander and Willow, who were worried about how Buffy would react, and Kurt who was too polite, snorted in derision at the Slayer's words.

"Uh, Buff? I kind of a mutant." Xander replied weakly.

"What? Since when, Xander? You've never shown any kind of powers I've seen, and I've known you for seven years." Buffy replied incredulously. "I mean what kind of powers could you have?"

Xander shrugged non-commitally as he answered, "They're subtle."

Surprisingly, it was Logan who explained beyond that, as he lit a cigar in blatant disregard for the 'NO SMOKING' sign posted behind him. "Napoleon there puts out skin tight field that cancels most powers minus natural stuff, like lightnin', plus he as somethin' Chuck classified as 'tactical precognition'." the Canadian said gruffly.

"Huh? Napoleon? What the?" Buffy said confused, as all of the assembled X-men, and Willow, smiled fondly, while Xander groaned.

"Uncle Logan, I'm taller than you now. Do you still have to call me that?" the White Knight whined.

Tabby chuckled as she responded, "Oh, you know old Badger there never lets nicknames go, kiddo. You're always going to be the Little General to him. Just like Kitty's going to be 'Half-pint' for here until eternity and Roguey will always be 'Stripes'."

Buffy, who still looked totally lost, was rescued by Willow as she explained, "Xander's active power is the ability to see and analyze almost everything around him to the point he can figure out what will happen for every possibility within a few seconds, Buffy. It's actually advanced enough that for most stuff, he can work things out to the point it's like precognition. That means he can plan really well, so Mr. Logan calls him 'Napoleon', since he was plotting stuff and ordering people around to get things done even when he like ten years old."

Buffy mulled that over for a while before she asked, in a mildly perturbed voice, "Why didn't either of you ever tell me?"

Xander shrugged as he replied, "You and Giles would have tried to keep me out of things to protect my insight. But, without me in the action to read probability factors, my power would have been useless. Besides, it's not fool proof. I couldn't read what Glory was doing, for example. I can't read squat from the First, either. Hell I barely can get a few minutes a head of Caleb when I'm right on top of him..." The mutant carpenter trailed off, eyes wide, as he realized what he had just let slip in front of Willow.

To her credit, it only took the Wicca about ten seconds to pick up the implications of what Xander had just said. "You knew." she whispered. "You knew you were going to lose your eye before Caleb gouged it out." she continued, her face and tone awash with mounting horror. "Xander, you told me you couldn't read Caleb at all. Why? Why did you let that happen?"

Xander looked away, shame-faced from her broken hearted words, as he replied, "Because Kennedy, Vi, and Chao-Ahn would have died if I had played it any other way. And that was the best case scenario."

The whole room was silent as the implications of the boy's sacrifice hit them full force. Willow, Buffy, Wanda, Tabitha, and TJ's eyes filled with mounting tears, as Kurt, Logan, and Rogue looked on with the kind of saddened respect one gives to a warrior willing to sacrifice everything, even his own life, to protect his comrades.

"Oh Xander." Willow whimpered hollowly, as she rushed forward and hugged him, weeping into his chest with misplaced guilt for what he did to save a girl she felt a growing attraction toward.

"It wasn't your fault, Wills. I knew what I was doing going in. I have no regrets about it." Xander soothed, as he held her. His eyes met Buffy's as he tried to convey similar comfort to the obviously devastated Slayer.

Buffy watched the scene before her with equal amounts of shock at what Xander did, guilt for leading Xander to it, sorrow for her friend's loss, and respect that he would face it so bravely. Heaven knew she did not react so unselfishly within a few minutes of learning her prophesized fate at the hands of the Master so long ago.

Kurt looked on with a haunted look as his eldest child held onto Willow and comforted her. He placed his hand gently on his son's shoulder, gaining Xander's attention, and whispered, "I am so proud of you, son."

"Danke, Vati." Xander whispered back to his father with a sad grin.

The emotional scene was finally cut short, as Faith stepped into the room, looked around, and said, "Quite a crowd you got here, Boytoy. What's going on?"

Chapter 3

Xander grinned cheekily, a look every member of the X-men had seen on Kurt's face at one time or another. In fact, Tabitha and Wanda both had had it directed at them personally in the past, although only his wife still received it.

"Nothing much, Faith. My family just came to visit. These are my 'rents, my baby sister, my godfather, my aunt, and my auntie." he commented breezily.

Faith looked to the assembled group around her with a casual air, not even batting an eye at Kurt and TJ's physical differences, before she replied, "Cool. They here to check you out of this dump?"

"Nah, just visiting so far. the docs haven't cleared me to leave yet." Xander responded.

It was almost surreal for the assembled group as they looked at Faith. She didn't seem to care at all about their presence beyond Xander's introduction. "Well, I'm heading to the cafeteria. Anyone want stuff?" she asked lazily, her thumb hooked into the pockets of her black leather pants.

"If I know Dad, he'll take whatever they have that's full of calories, and a pastry. Ignore anything they claim has meat, though. In this town there's no grantee where it came from." Xander replied.

As the rest of the room spoke up about what they might want, it was decided that Tabby and Wolverine would go to help carry things for the dark Slayer. Well, it was after TJ and Xander both ganged up on Wolvie with their best 'pity me' looks in tandem.


Once the food run crew left the room, TJ smiled wickedly as she said, "So, that was Faith, huh big brother? And she calls you boytoy?"

"That sounds mighty steamy there, rug rat." Rogue added with a wink.

Xander was blushing like mad under the uncomfortable attention, even as Wanda, who was acting just a bit smothering right now, piped up, "So is there something I should know here, Alex?"

Buffy and Willow, who were both trying to hold back their amused grins at Xander's discomfort under his mom's gaze (they were failing at it too) decided to come to his defense then.

"Oh, it's nothing like that, Mrs. Wagner. Faith just gives people names, kind of like Wolverine. Xander's 'Boytoy, I'm 'Red', and Buffy's 'B', as far as she's concerned. There's nothing relationshippy going on between them." Willow explained perkily.

Unfortunately, Buffy interjected her own two cents without thinking. "Yeah, they only slept together that one time, and that was like...years ago." she said. Although, in her defense, the current revelations had left her a bit sluggish upstairs.

Xander and Willow both looked at Buffy wide eyed, unable to believe she had just said that, even as Kurt and Rogue broke out into blushes, TJ laughed uproariously, and Wanda seemed to be caught between choking on her own tongue, and giving Xander her sternest look.

"Alexander Stephen Wagner!" Wanda exclaimed, scandalized, and unconsciously using Xander's given birth name. (OOC: Bonus points to whomever can tell why Xander's new middle name would have special meaning to Kurt)

Xander cringed slightly, knowing this could get ugly. His mother tended to over compensate with the parenting because of the issues she had about giving him up to begin with, on top of having to live away from him due to his precog predictions. The fact he was in constant danger on the Hellmouth, and had just suffered his first serious and permanent injury didn't help ease her off. He'd really have to thank Buffy for opening this can of worms in private later.

"Ja, Mutti?" he asked timidly, switching to German in a habit he had picked up from being around his father. Both of his parents were fluent in the German, as well as Romani since they were both raised by gypsy foster parents in Europe, although his mother and Uncle Pietro had emigrated to America with his grandpa Eric when they were still young. As a result, Xander had studied the languages on his own from the time he was eight, and used them when he wanted to soothe either of his parents. German was usually used in public; Romani was only for discussions between the immediate family when alone.

"Don't you give me that, young man." Wanda said sternly, knowing his tricks.

"It was four years ago, it was a one night stand, and it was a mistake. Can we please just leave it at that? I'm still trying to repress the part where she left me outside in my underwear after she was done with me." he replied, wilting under Wanda's glare.

"Oh, I don't know, Boytoy. It was still a pretty fond memory for me. I don't know if I'm ready to just forget it yet." the freshly returned Faith said, Tabby and Logan in tow, carrying a huge amount of the things closest to being edible from the cafeteria.


As Faith made her way to the hospital cafeteria with the blonde woman and scruffy looking man, she decided to try to make nice and talk to them. She knew Xander's family was supposed to be shitty, but these two didn't give off a bad vibe, even if the scruffy guy...his godfather Logan if she remembered properly, smelled faintly of beer and whiskey, on top of the smell of many a stogie before the one he was puffing now, to her sensitive Slayer senses.

"So, you're all X's family, huh?" she asked the pair walking with her.

"Sorta," Tabby replied, as she took out a piece of gum and began to chew it. "Logan's his godfather, and everyone else you didn't know in the room was full on family photo type relative. I'm just his aunt by way of being an old friend of Blue's that's close to his family. That's why he calls me 'auntie', while Rogue gets the full on aunt."

"Five by five." Faith responded with a nod. "So, you guys mutants or something? Cause X's old man and baby sis looked strange, but they sure weren't setting off any of the 'warning demon' vibes I get around supernatural stuff." Faith queried.

"Yeah, we're all muties. Xander too." the blonde replied with a shrug, as she blew a bubble.

"You got a problem with mutants, kid?" Wolverine growled from next to them, not wanting another bigot on his case if he could help it.

"Nah. With the whole Slayer deal going on, you learn different ain't bad real easy. I just never knew Xan was a mutant, was all. Actually I knew a guy's back in Boston that were real cool that were mutants. It don't bother me." Faith answered easily.

"Good." Wolverine growled, although the slightly lighter tone to it was clear for people who knew him.

"Yeah, Allie doesn't broadcast his mutation. He's not ashamed or anything, he just figures it's is business and nobody else's." Tabby explained, as they reached the cafeteria and began to pick up everyone orders.

Once they had collected there food, and began the trek back, Meltdown asked, "So why all the interest in my favorite sorta nephew? You interested in him or something?"

Wolverine rolled his eyes at Boom-Boom's question. Now things would devolve into girly shit, and he couldn't be elsewhere because those damned kids of the Elf and his Witch had conned him into going along. TJ was definitely getting an extra level tacked on to her next Danger Room session when they got home.

Faith shrugged non-commitally as she replied, "I was just wonderin' is all. Boytoy never talks much about his family or nothin'. Not that I've talked to him all that much. Other then last night, the last time we hung around together for any amount of time worth mentioning was years ago."

"Well, that doesn't mean you can't put a little spark into now, right?" Tabby asked, as she formed a small energy bomb on the tip of her right index finger at the word 'spark', and flicked it into the rear of an orderly as they passed him, hitting him in the butt, and making him jump up in confusion.

Faith smirked at the older woman, who despite being close to forty still looked to be in her late twenties, just as Rogue and Wanda did, and replied, "Well, I try not to backtrack, normally." Her wicked little grin faded a bit as she added, "I got alot of shit to make up for to begin with, anyway. Some of it to Xander. I don't have time to be thinkin' about getting laid." she added her tone more subdued.

Tabitha, sensing she was on the verge of a touchy subject backed off as she said, "Okay. Just don't count him out, kiddo. He's talked about you before, and I don't think he feels like you have anything to prove. Try to keep that in mind." Her voice showed that she had a good indication of Faith's past offenses, and that she wasn't about to pass judgment aver them.

Faith nodded in reply, almost automatically, as they neared the room. Once they were to the still open door, her ears picked up what sounded like a lecture for Xander from Wanda. She clearly heard him say...

{"It was four years ago, it was a one night stand, and it was a mistake. Can we please just leave it at that? I'm still trying to repress the part where she left me outside in my underwear after she was done with me."}

"Oh, I don't know, Boytoy. It was still a pretty fond memory for me. I don't know if I'm ready to just forget it yet." Faith said, trying to break the tension, or at least redirect it toward her.


The look Wanda gave the dark Slayer as she spoke was such that it took all of Faith's considerable courage not to turn tail and run. "Uh, herbal tea, right?" she asked, holding up Wanda's requested beverage in front of her and between them like a cross being used to ward off a hungry vampire.

Tabitha, however, was unaffected by the tension Wanda's mood had wrought, as she shouldered past Faith, and began handing out/tossing everyone their food. Once her burden was relieved, she stepped up next to TJ, and asked what was going on in a stage whisper. Her eyes grew wide for a second as she processed what she had learned, before she walked up to the still glaring Scarlet Witch, and slapped her on the shoulder in a friendly gesture of camaraderie.

"Oh, lighten up Wendy." Tabby said cheerfully, using her preferred 'messed up' name for Wanda. In this case, Wendy was a reference to the red-clad young witch on the old 'Casper: the Friendly Ghost' cartoons. "You and Blue were knocking boots enough at that age to produce my favorite Allie Gator, if I remember my ancient history right. Quit getting your panties bunched up and let go. Bitching over four year old stuff is just silly."

TJ groaned in disgust as she commented, "Aunt Tabby, we've had the talk about never mentioning my parents' sex life, like ever, before. Please don't go down this road."

"Amen to that." Xander agreed, even a Wanda and Kurt both began to blush at their newly opened conversation.

Meltdown blew a huge pink bubble before she replied, "Yeah, yeah. No speaking of Blue and Wendy the teenage horndogs. I remember. It's not like I'm describing what I caught them at two weeks ago in the Danger Room when..."

"TABITHA!" Kurt exclaimed with wide eyes horror, as he and Wanda blushed more furiously than before.

"Wow, Xander. And here I thought it was all Anya's imagination that kept you on your pace before. Now I find you come by it honestly." Buffy added with a badly hidden grin.

"BUFFY!" Xander screamed in an eerily similar tone to Kurt's.

Talia just his her face in her hands, and mumbled, "Now those images are stuck in my head. Sometimes I hate my life."

Chapter 4

After Tabitha's best attempts to mortally embarrass Kurt and Wanda, as well as make Talia and Xander wish they were deaf, blind, and psychically shielded all the time, the tension in the room seemed to ease. Although that admittedly might have had more to do with the departure of several people at the hands of the nursing staff (who surprisingly paid no attention to Kurt and TJ's appearance either), than with any increase in comfort being near one another.

Buffy and Faith both left to check on the potentials, with promises that they would return that afternoon when the doctors cleared Xander to leave under his parents' custody. Tabitha and TJ, meanwhile, were headed to Xander's apartment to get him some fresh clothes, with Talia insisting on picking something out for him that "had style for a change." Logan was hustled outside to finish his cigar, no matter how much feral growling he protested with.

That left only Kurt, Wanda, Rogue, and Willow behind to keep Xander company in his room.

"I understand you've become quite the talented Wicca now, Willow." Wanda said, now much calmer after Faith and Tabitha's departures.

"Oh, yeah. We had a bit of a problem with it last year, but Xander talked me down before it went too far." Willow replied nervously.

Rogue snorted then as she cut in and said, "You ain't the first good guy to go a little nuts, Willow. It feels like we rate one every couple of months in the X-men. It was just Jeannie's turn six month ago in fact."

"Rogue." Kurt said in a tone that was half warning, and half plea.

"Yeah, yeah, I know, Kurt. It's not like I never lost it either. That time I touched mama when we were Willow's age and attacked you all as Sabretooth an' Juggernaut comes to mind. Or how Mesmero brainwashed me and had momma lead me tah steal all our powers for ol' Porklips. Got to say I was glad tah learn she only did that 'cause Irene had been zapped by Mesmero too, an she thought she was protectin' us." the southern belle responded.

"Yeah, Nana might not be nice, but she isn't into hurting her family, that's for sure." Xander added, as he grabbed his aunt's hand and comforted her through her hard memories.

"Agreed. Mozher has her problems, but she does care about us." Kurt commented.

And so the Xander's family continued to reminisce, making Willow feel that much better with each story to show that even heroes of their caliber aren't perfect.


Wolverine smoked his cigar leisurely as he stood up against the tree next to Xander's room. He sniffed the air experimentally for danger, and looked above him, noticing a large raven roosted in the tree.

"Raven." he said conversationally, appearing to any passers-by that he was just identifying the animal.

He was unsurprised though, when the bird flew down and morphed into a striking blue skinned woman with red hair. "Logan." Mystique responded in an equally even tone.

Neither commented on his ability to identify her. She had not bothered to change her scent along with her form, and he would have ferreted her out easily as a result.

"Got to admit, I'm surprised you're still here. I figured you'd cut out once you knew we were watching the kid." Wolverine said, his posture relaxed as he enjoyed his cigar.

"You know better than that." Mystique spat as she gave him a dirty look. He knew good and well she wouldn't leave until the ones who had hurt her grandchild were dealt with.

"Yeah. I guess I do." Logan replied. "You gonna say 'hi' to the Stripes an' the Elves?" he asked after a pause to take a drag of his stogie.

Raven calmed down as she shifted to a more normal looking version of her regular form (think Principal Darkholme without the glasses). "Not yet. I want to wait until Magneto's daughter is done smothering Alex first." she replied coldly.

Logan rolled his eyes as he replied, "Magneto gave up the mutant supremacy shit and was helping Charles when she joined the Avengers, Raven. Can't you let it go and quit acting like she abandoned the cause or something? She was already a white hat when he changed his tune back again."

"You forget her time working for Fury, and forget that she abandoned my grandson without even telling Kurt he was a father?" Mystique asked contemptuously.

"Or like you abandoned the Elf? Or how you always left Stripes with Irene while you ran errands for old Bucket Head? You ain't no angel as a parent, Raven." Logan replied coolly.

"They were better off where I left them, Logan. Alexander wasn't. And I never gave Kurt up, I dropped him running from Magneto, you know that. Once I knew he was alive, he was safe from that...asshole." Raven spat back coolly. "It still doesn't excuse her actions no matter what I did. Or the fact she actually volunteered to work for SHEILD's lapdogs.

"Like neither of us ever did jobs for SHEILD." Logan replied tiredly.

"Not by choice. You were on loan from Weapon X. And I..." she trailed off then, not wanting to discuss any more ancient history with Wolverine.

"Yeah." Logan said, not really wanting to dredge up that part of his past any more than she did. As with most things related to Weapon X, it was better left forgotten.

"You do realize that this Caleb person has to die?" Raven asked, changing the subject to more immediate concerns.

Logan just nodded. That was a problem some of the X-men like Scott had with Xander's fights and methods. You tended to have to deal with demons and their minions more permanently that the Professor's dreams envisioned. Even with Chuck gone off to live in outer space with the Princess Lillandra of the Shi'ar empire, Scooter kept the anal retentive aspect of the X-men's dreams alive. "Sometimes it's good to get back to basics. Besides, if Delphi can't read him, he ain't human enough to lose sleep over, anyway." Logan answered finally.

"Delphi? That's a new one for you to call him. It's quite a bit smarter than you're usual nicknames." Mystique replied with a bit of humor in her voice.

Logan snorted at her snotty teasing as he responded, "It's the kid's codename, if he wants it."

"You know he won't leave the Hellmouth to become an X-man." Raven replied as she rolled her eyes.

"Maybe, maybe not. Either way the name, and the position, is his for the taking. And I'm putting him in some proper uniform body armor the second he checks out of this dump." Logan countered.

"It's about time." Raven replied in exasperation. Then after a pause, she started to stroll off, and called out over her shoulder, "I'll see you later, Wolverine. Watch out for my family."

"Always do, Raven." Logan replied, as he dropped the butt of his finished cigar to the ground and stomped it out.


As all this took place, Caleb was receiving his orders from the First as he tried to get the Slayer Scythe from its stony prison.

"How are things progressing?" the First, currently in the shape of Buffy, asked.

"All is going according to plan. Soon, we'll find a way to get it loose, and then its power shall be mine to serve you in your final glory." Caleb replied.

The First was strangely silent for a while, before it commented, "You need to tread lightly. There are new forces converging here because of the raid by Buffy and her little army."

"With you at my side, I am ready for all opposition." Caleb replied in rapture.

"We'll see. Just tread lightly. When powerful forces collide, something has to give." the First responded.

"I'll be prepared." Caleb assured.

"Then go. Our little patsy will be at the school soon, and you need to be there to greet her." the First urged. The noncorporeal being watched the preacher smile and nod congenially to it, before hurrying back up the stairs to the Vineyard, and then out into the town to hand Buffy her ass in yet another battle.

Once it was sure he was gone, the First's eyes started to glow blue, and its' voice grew deeper as it said, "Yes, go my pawn. I have given you power to face the arriving X-men. Now we shall see if you are truly strong enough to serve me, Caleb."

The evil figure laughed, as it morphed into another form. This one had bluish-gray skin, blue body armor, blue lips, and evil red eyes and almost Egyptian features. It stood over seven feet tall and was clearly muscled beneath the armor, now with various tubes sticking out of it as it completed its transformation. "After all, only the strong shall survive." Apocalypse added, before he started to chuckle darkly again, his face never even breaking into a grin.

Chapter 5

Buffy found herself at Sunnydale High School after she had checked in on the Potentials. The school itself was empty, now that most of Sunnydale had begun a mass exodus out of town, only the most emergency of services, like the hospital, were still running. And even then, truly critical cases were being transferred as fast as they could be taken in by nearby hospitals in other towns. Buffy imagined that once Xander and the SiT's were released, the medical professionals would leave as well.

The elder Slayer sighed as she wandered the halls, trying to get her head around recent circumstances. The arrival of Xander's rather famous family had thrown her for yet another loop. To think that her Xander-shaped friend was the son of the famous Nightcrawler, founder of the team Excalibur, based on Muir Island in Scotland, and that his mother was the Scarlet Witch, of New York's Avengers, was quite a head trip for the blonde.

Her cheeks colored slightly in embarrassment as she recalled attacking Mr. Wagner like she had. She should have recognized him, even as worn down as she was. Between his distinctive looks, the media attention he'd received internationally over the years, and the fact he clearly lacked any demonic aura to her senses, she should have held back from attacking first. It obviously didn't throw Faith off to see him.

Buffy sighed again as she contemplated things. She would never admit it to him, but it hurt that Xander had concealed his mutations from her. Even if she rationally knew better, and his reasons for hiding made sense (she had to admit she and Giles would have jumped at a chance to protect any kind of advanced warnings they could get), it still felt as if he hid it because he thought she would persecute or mock him. It felt like Xander expected her to act like the spoiled brat she was in LA, despite the fact he had never encountered her in her pre-slay days.

Her eyes watered, as she wondered if her best male friend secretly thought her a racist monster, until she was stopped short by a voice she loathed with unbridled passion from behind her.

"Now now, Child. Dry those eyes. I haven't had a chance to give a filthy whore like you reasons to weep, yet." Caleb mocked with a pleased grin, as he casually strolled toward his prey.

Buffy glared at the fallen preacher as she spat, "We'll see. Maybe I'll weep for joy after I tear your head off."

Caleb's response was to rush in with a punch to her face, that knocked the Slayer back a good ten feet.


"Well, Mr. Harris, with your family here to help tend to you, I think we can get the paperwork signed off and processed so you can leave in a couple of hours. You eye seems to be progressing well, and I don't see any signs of infection. As long as you follow your cleaning directions, and take you prescriptions, you'll do fine." Xander's trauma specialist, Dr. Essex (no relation, Mystique had checked quite thoroughly, and relayed that to Wanda when she called), commented, as he rewrapped the wound.

Unlike Willow, who was willing to give Xander space if he asked for it to protect her from the sight of his missing eye, Wanda, Kurt, and Rogue refused to leave.

As a result, lights were flickering wildly at odd intervals, as Nightcrawler muttered something that sounded suspiciously like 'I'll kill him' over and over again in Romani. Rogue just scowled, agreeing wholeheartedly with her brother's assessment of the situation.

"Thanks, Doc." Xander replied non-chalantly.

"Yes, thank you, Doctor." Wanda agreed with a tight lipped smile.

At the rater Wanda's temper was going, Xander was sure things would start floating around the room wildly in ways he had only heard about before through his Uncle Pietro's stories about what happened when his mother was upset during her time with the BoM.

"Yes, well, I'll send the nurse to notify you once the paperwork is finished." the Doctor said with a slightly nervous look, before he left the room as quickly as he could while keeping his dignity.

"Mutti. Bitte." Xander said, taking his mothers hand gently to calm her as the doctor beat his retreat.

Wanda's ire burned out quickly at her son's plea, as she broke down into tears and held onto his hand tightly. "Oh, Alex." she whispered as she wept.

Logan, who had returned after he had finished his cigar, and watched from out in the hall as the doctor worked, remained silent. He neither growled, nor popped his claws in anger. If Sabretooth been there, and had seen Logan's reaction, he would have soiled himself on the spot. A Wolverine that had gone so deadly cold was one of the most frightening things on the planet.


Buffy coughed out a small cloud of drywall dust from the wall she had just been tossed through. "Man, Xander's going to upset over all these repairs." she muttered groggily as she tried struggle back to her feet.

Caleb laughed at the sight before him, as he crowed, "Look at you. You're so weak and pathetic. Just another dirty whore to squash beneath my boot in her name. Where is the power that the darkness is supposed to fear? Where is the passion that makes demon's flee? Maybe I have to do something else to get you motivated? So what will it take? Oh, I know. I'll head down to your friends, and finish blinding the One Who Sees. I think he'll make a nice Bringer when I poke out the other eye. Don't you?"

Buffy wanted to let out an inarticulate scream, charge at Caleb, and rip him to bloody bits for his threats. Too bad, she never got the chance, as someone beat her to it.

"How about I just beat you to death instead?" Mystique sneered from behind Caleb, her voice more frigid than anything Bobby Drake could ever hope to conjure.

Caleb didn't know what to make of the blue skinned redhead that suddenly charged him. All he knew, was that he was suddenly on the defensive against an opponent far more skilled in the employ of lethal and crippling strikes against a human. The grey skinned demon-like form she often morphed into when it was advantageous (known universally by the Brotherhood as 'The Thing with the Teeth') was an unpleasant addition to the fight as well.

It was when plasma bolts from a futuristic sidearm Mystique carried were flying at his head, bolts he was only dodging thanks to enhanced speed and reflexes his master had granted, though, that he decided to cut his losses and run.

"Another time, harlots!" the hick shouted, a he turned and ran for his life.

"I look forward to it." Mystique seethed as she watched him go. The only reason she didn't pursue was that she looked forward to letting Logan and her children get their pound of flesh from the man as well. Watching Wolverine go into a berserker frenzy on someone you hate was always a wonderful form of therapy, in Raven's opinion.

"Uh, thanks for the save." Buffy said, her voice uncertain, as she walked to a point ten feet behind Mystique. She could guess that the blue woman was related to Xander in some way. The similarities between her features and those shared by Kurt and TJ were unmistakable. The creepy version of Xander's trademark grin the woman sported each time she made Caleb bleed was a good clue as well.

"It was about hurting that idiot. Saving you was a side effect. Don't think I'll do it again." Mystique sneered, not bothering to turn around.

Buffy was taken a bit back by the cold response from the strange mutant woman as she replied, "Uh I take it you're here because of what happened to Xander?"

Raven snorted as she responded, "Aren't you just the little detective? The animal hurt my grandson. He'll pay for that." That was the last thing Mystique said before she transformed into a bird, and flew off out of a broken window.

"Whoa, she looks really good for her age if she's Xand's grandma." was Buffy's stunned reply as she watched the terrorist go.


"So what would look good on Allie, kiddo?" Tabby asked as she and TJ went through Xander's closet.

"Hmmmm." TJ replied as she mused on that very inquiry. "How about the black dress slacks, and the shirt you got him for Christmas?" she suggested.

"I think that might work." Meltdown agreed as the took down the appropriate clothes.

"So, what do you think of Alex's friends so far?" Nocturne asked as they collected his shaving gear, and a clean pair of both socks and underwear for him.

"That Buffy girl was a little quick to go after Blue, but she settled into everything quick. Faith seemed cool from the get go." Tabby replied without much thought.

"Yeah, Faith might be fun to get to know." TJ agreed. "So, are we going to try to set them up?" she asked after a pause.

"Maybe. We'll let nature try to take its course first, of course." Meltdown responded.

"Of course." TJ agreed. "So, about a week before we stick out noses in?" she asked.

"Half that. At best." Tabby replied as they left the apartment, closing and locking the door behind them.

"Sounds fun." Nocturne said with a wicked gleam in her eye that most at the institute shivered at when it graced her father's handsome features. Usually it was the precursor to a prank war with Iceman. Sometimes, it was an attempt at matchmaking. Other times, it was a part of a plan to get Logan andor Scott andor Warren to lighten up. One thing was certain, though, it always meant trouble.

Chapter 6

"You smell like you took a rumble, kid." Wolverine stated conversationally as Buffy returned to Xander's room an hour after her confrontation with Caleb.

"Um, yeah. Caleb attacked me at the high school. Then some blue lady that said she was Xander's grandma came in and started wailing on him until he took off and ran for his life." Buffy replied absently to the room.

The reaction to her statement was varied as Xander, Rogue, and Kurt all smiled, Wanda glared, and Willow looked a bit frightened. Logan didn't seem to care one way or another, as if he was expecting her presence.

"So Mystique is still here then?" Wanda commented rhetorically.

"Oh, come on, mom. Did you really think Nana Raven would leave without giving Caleb a piece of her mind after she saw my eye?" Xander asked derisively.

"When did she see your eye, rug rat?" Rogue asked curiously.

Xander mentally cursed his big fat mouth, knowing Mystique would be upset over his slip later, as he replied, "She kind of posed as a nurse last night to get some time to talk to me, then convinced Wills to leave for a while. Since she was supposed to be the nurse changing my bandages, she uh, well did. Change them. She wasn't too pleased after she saw the damage."

"That's why you seemed to react so strangely to her!" Willow exclaimed in realization.

"Yeah, Wills. Just my Nana. No biggie." Xander replied with a sick chuckle.

"As long as you're the only one that calls Grandma Raven 'Nana', you mean." Talia piped up as she and Tabby entered the room, having overheard part of the conversation. "I think she's still promising to gut anyone else that tries it."

"That's what she said. But she did make an exception for you making comments over it, pixie." Xander responded with a grin. That grin widened as TJ flushed in embarrassment at his little nickname for her.

"I thought we had an understanding about calling me that in public, big brother." she stated flatly.

"It must be the pain meds. All these embarrassing childhood stories are just begging to come to the surface. Along with a few pranks I promised to get even with you over in the last decade or so." Xander commented with a toothy grin.

"Eeep! Don't you dare! It's bad enough the people at the mansion know about the stuff you talk about. You can't reveal anything in front of new people!" TJ exclaimed.

"Ah, relax, Teej. If he was serious, he'd threaten you with that copy of your baby pictures Blue and Wanda sent him." Tabby interjected playfully.

"The WHAT?" TJ asked in horror.

Both Xander and his auntie held their cool for all of five seconds, before they broke down laughing. "God you're easy to get to sometimes, TJ." Xander wheezed in between guffaws.

Talia Josephine Wagner huffed indignantly at the teasing she had received, as Wolverine took a surreptitious sniff near Buffy to get Caleb's scent, before he asked. "So this guy was at the high school?"

Buffy, who had been engrossed in the sibling word war in the room, smiling as it made her think of Dawn, let out a distracted "Huh?" As the thought over Logan's question, she replied. "Yeah, I went there to think and try to clear my head. All of a sudden, he's behind me making with the evil guy overlord speeches. Then he attacked me, and taunted me and stuff. It was kind of weird though." she recounted.

"What was weird" Kurt prodded, his ears perking up as he listened to the Slayer's retelling of events.

"Caleb. It was like he was more into taunting me than he was into the actual fighting. But the way he did it...he wasn't trying to make me mad to make me sloppy of anything. I mean, I've done that with vampires and demons for as long as I've been the Slayer, so I can recognize it. It was like...he wanted to fire me up more. Like he was building toward something. I mean, he had me on the ground and out of it after he threw me through a wall, and instead of attacking me and finishing it, he was all like 'nyah, nyah, ny-nyah nyaaahhhhh!' 'Where's your fire at? Maybe I should go hurt Xander to get you to fight back properly' and stuff." Buffy mused as she recalled the fight more clearly.

"He was threatening Alex?" Wanda prodded icily, making more than one person in the room shiver. "How? What did that monster soy about my boy?" she demanded in a low voice.

Buffy, unwilling to defy any mother that angry, much less one as powerful as the Scarlet Witch, replied meekly, "Um...he kind of said that maybe he should hunt down Xander and poke out his other eye. And that he'd make a nice Bringer."

Xander grew pale at the threat, and Buffy and Willow both jumped slightly as the roomed echoed with a for too quiet whisper in the ensuing silence.


That foreboding sound that accompanied the release of adamantium claws went nicely with the fiery anger in the eyes of every one of the X-men present. Buffy had little doubt that her retelling of the evil preacher's words had just signed his death sentence.

"When I get my hands on that piece of shi..." TJ began to growl.

"Talia!" Kurt snapped at his daughter.

"Ja, Vati. No swearing. I know." she replied petulantly, rolling her eyes at her father's old fashioned ways.

That tense silence went on for several moments, before Wanda turned to Wolverine and commented, "You didn't seem surprised to hear about Mystique little romp, Logan."

The Canadian shrugged as he replied, "I ran into her while I was out smokin'. I figured she was in this for the long haul from how she acted."

Wanda just nodded in reply to that. She knew better than to ask just why the shape shifter hadn't revealed herself to the group. The animosity between Wanda and her former leader ran very deep, and was connected to three of the four people Mystique cared most for in the world. Kurt, Xander, and TJ were the center of the universe in the eyes of both women, although Mystique added Rogue to that list with equal fervor. As a result, the arguments the two shared over the fates of their shared family ties had created wounds that would never heal.

"Um, this may sound stupid and stuff...but why is Xander's grandma saving me such a big issue?" Buffy asked uncertainly.

"Mother has a habit of breeding tension among us, Frauline Summers. She leads a shady lifestyle, and she and my wife have had words over certain issues between them. Many words." Kurt answered tactfully.

TJ decided to elaborate on her father's statement to make it something useful, as she amended, "She's a terrorist and an assassin. She abandoned daddy with Oma and Opa Wagner after she had dropped him in a river running from Opa Erik to save him from some freaky experiments when he was a baby. Once she knew he was safe, she left him there. A lot of the arguments are over her reasoning."

"Momma has issues stayin' in one place. The fact that she was still workin' for ol' Maggers, who Wanda has her own issues with doesn't help." Rogue supplied.

"Oh." Buffy responded hollowly, surprised at the heavy issues that were brought to the surface by her question.

"That doesn't matter now." Wanda said coolly. "If she's hunting the person that hurt Alex, I'm actually grateful to her for once."

"Yeah, she's no prize as a person, but Mysti' is a real bear if you hurt her family." Tabby agreed.


As Buffy tried to wade through the tension that was the primary sensation on Xander's hospital room, Faith was filling in Dawn and the rest at Casa del Summers about the current situation.

"So Xander's a mutant? And his family are mutants, too?" Dawn asked in confusion. She, Faith, Giles, Andrew, Anya, and Robin were seated at the dining room table.

"Yeah. They seem pretty cool. I think they're just waiting for X to get his papers in order so he can check out of SunnyD's people chop shop." the Bostonian Slayer replied.

"Well, this is certainly a surprise. I suppose it makes some sense, though." Giles commented thoughtfully.

"What do you mean, Rupert?" Robin asked curiously.

"Well, Xander's always had a knack for surviving things he had no night to walk away from. For example, the time he was hit with the a troll hammer and was basically undamaged comes to mind. That should have severely hurt him, most likely killed him, in point of fact. Xander just shrugged it off and kept fighting the troll to save Willow and Anya." Giles explained.

"I wonder if his extreme prowess at giving me several orgasms is a part of his powers?" Anya mused aloud. This resulted in more than one blush at the table, as Giles looked about ready to swallow his tongue.

Faith smirked as she replied, "I don't know about that one. But, word of advise? Don't talk about sex stuff in front of his mom. She seems to really be big on the protecting her baby boy's virtue thing. B let it slip about he and I humping back in the day just before I came back from the cafeteria, and let me tell you, that is NOT a look I want coming my way again."

"It's not going to be my fault if Xander's mother is some sexually repressed shrew that can't handle an adult conversation." Anya sniffed back indignantly.

"Um, Ahn? There's a difference between adult conversation, and X-rated conversation. I don't think any mother wants to hear about her son's sex life any more than a child wants to hear about her parents." Dawn supplied helpfully.

"Little D said it. Besides, from what his auntie was teasing his 'rents over, I don't think I'd call 'em repressed." Faith added with a smirk.

"Yes, and now, in a attempt to salvage this conversation from the sudden plethora of disturbing sex talk, do you happen to know what exactly Xander's powers are?" Giles enquired.

"B said something about a skin tight energy field that cancels out a lot of active powers, and some mumbo jumbo about reading what can happen around him to the point he can tell the future, or something. Truthfully, she sounded a bit confused over it, and told me to ask Red or Boytoy if I wanted better details. She only knew a little more than I did, and she was kind of overwhelmed with everything." Faith replied.

"I do suppose that would be the most sensible approach." Giles conceded.

"Well, if that's all done with, we have something else to bring up." Dawn said, gaining the attention of the whole room. "What are we doing for our resident Mr. Fixit's Welcome Home party? Because potentials have been bugging me over it practically from the moment they knew he was going to be anywhere near OK."

Faith glanced over at the clock, before she stood and said, "Well, as much fun as all this is shaping up to be, I need to jet. I promised X I'd be there when they checked him out of his little slice of Hellmouth in sterile white sheets and steel bed rails. I kind of don't want to welsh on a promise if I can help it."

From there it was simple round of goodbyes, and an occasional good luck with Xander's mom, before she headed out the door.


Faith got back to the hospital just in back of the nurse bringing in the paperwork Xander had to sign to get checked out.

"Glad you could make it back, Faith." Xander said with a comforting grin as he signed the forms necessary to gain his freedom.

The dark Slayer shrugged as she replied, "Said I would, X. Got no reason to back out on you."

Tabitha and TJ exchanged a look as Xander signed the last signature needed to get himself out of there.

"You know, Allie, Wanda and Roguey were pretty insistent about you being careful." Meltdown commented.

"Yeah, and since you have such problems with you pain medication," TJ added, as she picked up on Tabby's lead, "maybe you'll need some help for a few days, until you can get back up to speed."

Xander paled a bit, even as he eyed the pair suspiciously. He knew the tones they were taking as certainly as he knew the look in TJ's eye. He didn't need his tactical precog to know they were up to something. "Lucky I have my family and friends here to help then, huh?" he asked carefully, watching them both warily from his remaining eye.

"Yeah, it's good to have...friends." TJ replied with an odd lilt to her voice.

The others in the room were content to stand back and watch the little drama unfolding in front of them play out. Kurt and Wanda smiled nostalgically, as Rogue and Logan smirked, and Buffy and Willow tried to hold back their snickers. Everyone knew Xander was being set up for something, even Xander himself, it was just a matter of waiting for them to pull the trigger.

"Still, with you being all groggy and stuff, it might not be safe for you to be unattended much. And we'll be helping your group track down this Caleb jerk and put him in a hurt locker." Tabby mentioned casually.

"I suppose." Xander agreed warily.

"So I guess we'll have to make up a schedule with someone to help you for a few days that you can depend on." TJ added with an impish grin.

"I guess so." Xander replied, with clear understanding that no good would come of this little conversation.

"Of course there's also the issue that Sunnydale is so dangerous. What with all the kinds of demons and other nasties bumping around. I mean, you've always wanted us to keep our distance so that we would be safe." Tabby commented.

At that, Xander nodded in firm agreement. "I'd still like you all safe from this, auntie Boom-Boom." Xander responded firmly.

"Well, then I guess there's only one option for you. We'll have to have someone that's used to fighting demons and stuff near you to help you recover when we're not around." TJ said, her grin getting bigger.

By now, Xander's gifts were screaming at him about what they were doing, but for the life of him he couldn't seem to find a safe way out of it. Talia and Tabby had set this up well, and did it quietly so that he wouldn't peek into what was going on until it was too late. He really should have known better than to leave the pair alone together to get his clothes.

"TJ..." he said in a warning tone.

"Yes big brother?" the blue girl asked innocently.

Tabby smothered a small laugh as she continued their little off the cuff plot. In the end, true improvisation like this was the only sure fire way to set up Xander. You had to implement your next move the second you thought of it, so that he wouldn't divine and counter it. His auntie and sister had learned that after years of careful study in the art of pranking Xander.

"It's obvious that Buffy, Willow, and Faith, being the powerful demon fighters that they are, have to be the ones to help you." Tabby concluded proudly.

"Of course Buffy, as the senor Slayer, and overall leader, will need to stay near us to help us keep a handle on what Caleb is doing." TJ said.

"'Specially since this ass seems to be focusing on attackin' and tauntin' Shorty here." Wolverine cut in, ignoring the byplay in favor of the actual security concerns.

"Shorty?" Buffy questioned indignantly, as she glared at the man that was only a couple of inches taller than Oz had been.

Wolverine, as he had when anyone cried out in indignation toward his name for them, ignored her.

"Good point, Uncle Wolvie." TJ complimented with a childishly happy grin, which elicited a snort from the surly, self-proclaimed 'Canucklehead'.

"And we can't ask Willow to watch you all the time, since her magic is both a potent weapon, and the best detection method we have to track our enemies down. Besides, that whole Fluke thing might become an issue in such close quarters." Tabby added with saucy grin, before she blew a big bubble with her pink bubble gum.

"You told them?" Willow squawked incredulously.

"They're my family! And they live in a house with telepaths that I was visiting at the time! It just slipped out." Xander protested in a panic.

"Xander!" Willow cried out in admonition.

"Relax Willow, we were fishing for it anyway to find out who won the pool on when it would happen. Iceman was gloating for weeks over the five grand he ended up clearing over it." TJ responded to her exclamations.

Willow blushed crimson to the roots of her hair at the reply, and the memories of her Fluking with Xander, and the emotions associated with that time in her life.

"ANYway." Tabby cut in, regaining the attention of the room. "I think the choice here is clear. Faith will have to watch over you." Meltdown concluded proudly.

"Yeah." TJ interjected with an enthusiastic nod. "After all, like you all said, there's nothing 'relationshippy' going on between you two. So it's just the safest available option."

Wanda, who had to hold in her own occasional indignant squawks over the course of the conversation finally put in her opinion. "I hate to admit it, but they do bring up valid points, Alex. And you know Logan wasn't in on their games when he agreed." she said tiredly.

"Ja. They do make some points. Although I think meine daughter is being influenced by the time she spends around her auntie a bit too much." Kurt said with his own wicked grin. Let it never be said the Incredible Nightcrawler, undisputed king of mischief in both the Munich Szardos' Circus, and the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters (although Bobby 'Iceman' Drake would raise some dispute to his title at the Institute) was above helping his daughter with some harmless matchmaking.

"Vati." Xander pleaded, knowing his chances of escape, however slim they were, were dead and gone if his father sided with the wicked women that had plotted his doom.

"So, Frauline, would you be willing to help care for our poor injured child in his hour of need?" Kurt asked charmingly, as he wrapped his arm around Wanda's shoulders, and his tail around her waist.

"Uh, yeah. I guess it's no problem. If X is cool with it, I mean." Faith responded uncertainly, taken aback by the surreal interaction around her.

"So what do say, big brother?" TJ inquired in a for too innocent tone. "Are you alright with Faith helping you out?"

"Even if I try to protest, you're going to make me look like an ungentlemanly ass, and still get your way, aren't you?" he asked, annoyed at how easily he was set up.

"Yep." TJ responded with certainty.

"Well then, Faith, I'd be honored to have you help me in my recovery." Xander said graciously to the Dark Slayer.

"Sure thing, Boytoy. It'll be fun." Faith responded almost unconsciously.

Unfortunately, that comment left an opening for Tabby to make a joke involving sponge bathes and changing clothes that set the cheeks of both young adults uncharacteristically aflame.