Who Killed Buffy Summers?

Author: JMD_009 <jmd_009[at]yahoo.ca>

Disclaimer I don't own Buffy or Powers. If I did I wouldn't be so broke.

Notes I figured I'd take up my own Buffy / Powers challenge. Honestly not sure where this is going, so if anybody has any thoughts I would be happy to here them.

Summary: Homicide detective Xander Harris gets a surprise on his latest case. The victim is an old friend, Buffy Summers

Chapter 1

The Coffee Palace on the corner of Samson and 6th wasn't busy. The morning crowd was gone and the lunch hour rush was still twenty minutes away. In fact, there was only one customer in the place at all.

It was a dark haired man dressed simply in a white t-shirt and blue jeans. He sat in a darkened corner booth sipping on his coffee and reading the paper. The obituaries of all things.

The only sound was soft rock coming quietly from the overhead speakers. It was quite a peaceful scene really. So of course it had to be ruined.

Three men in ski masks burst through the door. They quickly scanned the room, missing the man in the darkened corner. The leader of the group, the one with the gun anyways, levels the weapon on the panic stricken cashier as one of his buddies tosses a bag on the counter.

"Put all the money in the bag bitch!"

"And a large coffee to go!" Chips in the rather large man taking up the back of the trio. Obviously not the brains of the operation as leader clips him on the back of the head.

"Idiot!" He yells frustrated before turning back to the cashier shakily emptying the till into the bag. "Hurry the fuck up!"

A rustling of paper catches the jumpy and obviously inexperienced robbers off guard as they whirl around, the smallest of the trio pulling his knife. Whatever they were expecting it wasn't a man getting up from the other side of the restaurant and calmly walking towards them.

"Stay where you are or I swear to god I'll put a bullet in ya!"

The only response he got was the man taking a sip from his coffee. Then again, he could have just been thirsty.

"I said stay the fuck where you are!" The man just ignored him as he continued forward, only stopping when he was a couple feet away from the trio.

"Of all the places you could have robbed you had to choose here?" He asked, though it seemed more to himself then anybody else.

For a moment they just stood there. The trio didn't know what to make of this nut. Then the moment is gone and the action starts. It's over in seconds really.

With a sudden motion that caught the robbers by surprise the man tossed his coffee into the leader's face. On reflex the leader brought his hands to his burned face even as his finger tightened around the trigger and fired a round. It didn't matter, nobody was there anymore.

Even as the coffee left the mug the man was on the move. Spinning out of the gun's path he broke the mug over big guy's head.

"It's supposed to be my day off!"

Small guy lashed out trying to stick his knife into the man's gut. Stepping into the inside he sent an elbow into small guy's face and took the weapon with his other hand. He landed in an unconscious heap.

"But no, you have to come in here like you're all that!"

The recovered big guy again shows he wasn't the brain of the bunch. In a blind rage he charges the man, tossing everything in his path aside. Of course the only thing in his path was the recovering leader, who still had a grip on the gun. The leader went sprawling over a table landing hard on the floor and finally loosing hold on the gun.

"And what kind of idiot robs a coffee place? In the middle of broad daylight no less!"

Big guy blindly lunged at the man. But really, how often does that tactic work? With practiced ease the man evaded him. Uses his own force against him, and adding some of his own, he sent the big guy head first into the stone wall. He wasn't getting up any time soon.

The leader was slowly coming back to his senses. Still on the ground he moved for his fallen weapon only to feel a sharp pain in his wrist. Might have something to do with the boot clad foot on it.

"Ah, Ah. See this?" The man asked pointing to the badge now in his hand. "It means I'm pissed and you're screwed."


Xander entered the station accompanied by a couple uniforms. And the robbers he'd just caught of course. Teenagers the whole lot of them. Sad thing really.

"Hey Harris." An officer called as he walked by. "Thought you had the day off?"

"Ya, ya, don't remind me." He muttered in reply.

In short order the kids were in lockup and Xander was heading up to his desk in homicide. After all he did need to do a report. It certainly wasn't that he was a workaholic and couldn't stay away. Nope. No siree, he had a life… Ah, who was he kidding, this was his life.

He wasn't even through the door when detectives Kutter and Dale saw him.

"Isn't it your day off Xand?" Kutter asked.

Xander didn't even stop as he walked by. "Ah shut up."

Dale just grinned and stuck his hand out. "Told ya he'd be here. Pay up."

After six more 'isn't it you day off's' Xander finally made it to his desk. Booting up his computer he went to work on the report that could have waited to tomorrow. Or at least he tried to.

"Harris!" The Captain yelled as he saw him. "What the hell are you doing here?"

"Well you know me sir. Work. Work. Work."

The slightly overweight man just shook his head and sighed. "Whatever. Since you're here there's someone you should meet."

With that the Captain led him to his office where a woman was waiting. She was quite attractive with short red hair and piercing green eyes. The woman stood as they came in.

"Alexander Harris meet Amanda Hail, your new partner. Go show her the ropes will ya?"

"It's a pleasure." Amanda said excitedly as she held her hand out in greeting. "I've heard so much about you and can't wait to get started!"

Xander stared blankly for a moment before turning to the captain, completely ignoring Amanda. "Partner?"

"Yes partner."

"Partner?" He asked again.

"Yes partner! It's not a hard concept to grasp!"

"That didn't work out too well last time." Xander pointed out.

"That was then this is now."

"But I don't want a partner."

"Tough shit."


The captain cut him off and glared at the detective. "This isn't open to discussion so just deal with it!"

Xander met the captain glare for glare with Amanda staring between the two men. Abruptly he turned and walked out of the office leaving a confused Amanda left standing there.

"You coming or not?" Xander called back.

Hurriedly she left the office and caught up with him. "What was that all about?"


"Sure seemed like something."

"Well it wasn't." Xander said with a note of finality to his voice.

They were saved an awkward silence that surely would have followed by an attractive blonde in a belly shirt and tight jeans.

"Cheating on me now Xan?" She asked flirtily.

Xander gave her a lopsided grin as she approached. "Now Deena, you know you're the only one. Those belly shirts you wear just do it for me."

"Alright then." Deena said returning the smile.

"I'm Amanda Hail." The red head broke in, offering her hand. "His new partner."

"New partner?" Deena said with a note of surprise as she shook the offered hand. "Well good luck then. Later Xan."

"Later Dee."

They walked in silence over to Xander's desk before Amanda spoke again. "Look, obviously you don't…"

Anything she was going to say was cut off by the ringing of the phone.

"Homicide 4th, Harris…. Ya… Alright… On my way." He hung up the phone and grabbed his coat off the back of his chair. "It's your lucky day. You get to jump right into it."


Xander calmly walked past the reporters and passer by's, showing his id to the officer as he crossed the tape. Amanda followed suite.

It didn't take them long to get to the back of the dead end ally.

After all his years fighting the supernatural and as a detective Xander thought that he was prepared for anything. That nothing could surprise him at his point in his life. He was wrong.

"Oh shit."

There in the back of the alley lay a blonde woman in a large pool of blood. Buffy Summers was dead.

Chapter 2

Xander stopped at the door and brought his finger to his lips to signal Amanda to be quiet. Stealthily he entered the room, moving until he was just behind the man working inside.

"So what can you tell me Max?"

The coroner looked up with a start letting out a yelp and bringing his hand to his chest. "Jesus Harris! How many times do I have to tell you not to do that?!"

"At least one more." Xander laughed.

After a moment Max's heart rate returned to normal and Xander's laughter died down. "I'll ask again, what can you tell me about the vic?"

"For crying out loud Harris!" The smaller man's glare was menacing, especially with the scalpel still in his hand. It didn't seem to faze Xander though. "I just got the body not long ago. Get out and let me get to work!"

"All right, all right." Xander said as he brought his hands up to gesture surrender and slowly began backing up. "Just call me when you have something."

"Will do." Was the distant reply. Max was already back to work.


"So this girl was one of those Slayers right?" Amanda asked as the pair made their way over to Xander's desk.

The existence of the supernatural had been common knowledge for ten years now. In all honesty they should have known that it was going to come out eventually. It was only a matter of time until someone had concrete proof.

The government had been able to explain the destruction of Sunnydale as a tragic natural disaster. A small army of demons rampaging through Los Angeles is a little harder to explain.

Oh there was mass panic and such at first, but you really don't see many extreme reactions towards it anymore. I guess a decade to get used to the idea will do that.

"Yah, Buffy Summers was the head of the Watchers Council." Xander said evenly as they walked. "I still think it was a dumb move for her to be in charge of an international power like that."

"You knew her?" Amanda asked her curiosity peaked.

For a moment she thought she saw something flash in his eyes, but as fast as it was there it was gone. "That… it seems like a lifetime ago."

"Is that why you work in the powers unit? Dealing with the tights wearing super heroes and the supernatural stuff is all old hat to you?"

"I suppose in a matter of speaking, ya."

"Hey Xand." A skinny dark haired man with a goatee greeted as he stepped in front of the pair. "This your new partner?"

It was obvious Xander was annoyed but he played nice and made the introductions. "Kutter, Hail. Hail Kutter."

Kutter's eyes roamed her body and Amanda felt a little violated just standing there. He met Xander's gaze before he spoke. "Careful Xand. This ones smaller that ya, I don't think all her parts will fit."

"Watch it Kutter." Xander growled.

"I'm just saying that she might not be as good a donor as…." He never saw the punch coming as it knocked him on his ass.

All movement in the office stopped as Xander stood there, fist trembling and rage clearly written on his face. Kutter pulled himself up, a weasely grin on his face as he almost dared Xander to strike again.

"C'mon? Don't you think she deserves to know what happened to your last partner huh? What happened to Danny?"

Xander started forward only to be stopped by a strong hand gripping his arm. Glancing over his shoulder he saw Detective Christian Walker restraining. "He's not worth it Harris."

The tall, broad shouldered man then turned to Kutter. "And you can piss off Kutter."

"Whatever." He shrugged before turning around. "Just thought she should know where that new eye of his came from."


Xander made his way to the rooftop after the encounter downstairs. There was almost always a slight breeze in this spot and the cool wind seemed to help calm him down.

He stood in silence, leaning against the railing. As the wind blew the hair from his eyes he brought his hand up to brush his left eye. It was a different shade of brown than the one he was born with.

In the back of his mind he noted the door opening and closing. He didn't need to turn around though. He already knew who it was.

"What was that all about down there?" Amanda asked.


"Don't give me that bullshit."

"He's blames me for Danny's death." Xander sighed and lowered his head. "So do I truth be told."

Amanda laid a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Want to talk about it."

"Not really."


Xander looked over at her with a raised eyebrow. "Ok?"


"You're going to let me off that easy?"

"You'll tell me when you're ready."

"Thanks." Xander said genuinely. They stood there enjoying the breeze for a few minutes before Xander spoke again. "C'mon, lets go back inside and give Max a call."

"I thought he said he was going to call you?" Amanda asked as they headed for the door.

Xander couldn't help but grin. "He did. I just like to annoy him. It's one of life's little pleasures."

"Xand?" Amanda stopped him when they reached the door. "Whatever happened to your old partner? It won't happen to be. You don't have to worry about that."

He nodded and she felt a little guilty for putting him back in a solemn mood.

"Let's just go in."

Chapter 3

"So?" Amanda asked as she leaned on Xander's desk. "Do we have any idea on who would want Summers hurt and/or dead?"

Xander looked up sharply from the report he was just finishing up reading. "You want a list?"

"Be helpful."

He just grinned as he turned away from her and opened the bottom desk drawer. Amanda looked on curiously before Xander suddenly turned and plopped an object into her hands. Her look became incredulous at what she saw. In her hands was a large list, typed and alphabetized. "This has to be twenty five pages!"

"Thirty eight actually."

"Thirty eight!" She exclaimed. After a moment her shock began to wear off and a thought occurred to her. "Why do you have a list of people who would want to hurt the Summers girl?"

Xander shrugged. "Seemed like it was only a matter of time. Figured I'd be prepared. Bottom drawer is filled with lists like that."

"That's kinda morbid."

"There's one on me in there too." He replied as he stood, gathering his coat and car keys.

"Do you think that makes it more or less disturbing?"

"Let's just go." Xander said trying to end the conversation. "You know, do the cop things."

Amanda followed him to the elevator, reading the list as she went. She didn't bother looking up at all or even appear to notice the people dodging out of her way. One thing could be heard as the elevator doors closed and Amanda turned to her partner. "Why's your name on here?"


He sat serenely in his office as the Mozart flowed from the small cd player in the corner. He didn't know what it was, there was just something about classical music that calmed him. It pushed all of his stress away and released the tension of a hectic workday. For a brief moment everything was peaceful.

"Boo!" Someone bellowed as they threw opened his office door. Coroner Maxwell Blood (an unfortunate name to be sure) nearly jumped right out of his seat as he clutched his chest.

"Damn it Harris! You're going to give me a heart attack one day!"

Xander just grinned. "If it happens I'll get you a doctor. Plenty around here."

"Your compassion moves me." Max replied blandly.

"So Max," Xander said as he and Amanda entered the office. "Got anything new for us?"

"I said I'd call didn't I?" At Xander's nod he sighed. "You're as bad as Walker you know that?"

"I'll take that as a compliment."

"It wasn't."

"Does that mean you don't have anything?" Amanda asked, trying to get to the point of the visit.

Max sighed again before opening a file on his desk. "Ms. Summers' time of death was approximately four twelve this morning. Her throat was slit, but here's the interesting part, it was done with an almost surgical precision. Does that help any?"

"Not as much as one might think." Xander said before motioning for him to continue.

"Well the only other thing of not was that she apparently had sex not long before she was murdered."

"Rape?" Amanda asked.

"I don't believe so no."

Xander thought for a second, organizing his thoughts before speaking. "She's in town for a reunion, same one I got an invite to. Boyfriend's probably with her. Could be him."

"Not unless he has an x chromosome."

"Alright, didn't see that one coming."


"Where are we going?" Amanda asked as she sat in the passenger seat of Xander's blue Honda Civic.


"The one the both of you had invites to?"

"That's the one. The bunch of us from the pre-council days get together once a year."

"I'm kinda surprised something like that is in New York." She said as she glanced over at him. "The main council offices are in London and Los Angeles."

"That's my fault." He admitted, reluctance in his voice. "I've missed the last seven saying I couldn't get away. Dawn, that's Buffy's sister, got fed up and moved it here this year. Even cleared a day off with the Captain. Told me now I had no excuses. I tried telling her I had cases, but she gave me 'The Look'."

Amanda burst out laughing as he finished causing Xander to look over at her strangely. "What?"

"I just realized it!" She said between laughs. "The big tough cop is actually a push over!"

"I am not." He said indignantly.

"A pretty face and doe eyes and he cracks with ease! I'll have to remember that!"

"Ya, ya." Xander grumbled. "Laugh it up. Not that funny."


They made it into the NY Council office with ease. Of course having an invitation helped too. Not that it would have mattered anyways. Xander may not be in the Council, but he was still well known here.

In short order they made it to the top floor lounge where people were gathered for the reunion.

The whole group was there, lost in there own little conversations. Willow, Dawn and Fred were over at the reception desk. Fred was excitingly showing them plans on… something that looked way too complicated for Xander to even try to understand.

Angel and Spike were trading jibes over at a large table in the centre of the room. Gunn and Faith sat nearby shaking their heads at the two.

A little ways away Giles, Wood and Wes stood talking quietly.

Nobody noticed his arrival until Xander cleared his throat. All eyes were on him.

"Xander! You're actually here!" Dawn squealed excitedly.

"My God Xander, your eye!" Was Willow's reaction.

"Damn, Droopy actually made it." Came from Spike.

Giles was the one who noticed the look on his face first. "Xander? What is it?"

"It's Buffy. She's dead."

Silence and shock spread through the room until it was broken by Spike. "Again?"

Chapter 4

"Xander!" Dawn cried into his shoulder as he held her trembling form. "She can't be gone! She just can't!"

For the briefest moment she didn't seem to Xander like the woman in her late twenties that she was. He flashed back to when Joyce died and again when Buffy died… the second time. She cried into his shoulder just like this.

And just like he did then, and many times since, he stroked her hair and whispered calming words into her ear. After long moments the trembling subsided but the tears remained.

"The last thing I said to her." Dawn croaked quietly. "The last thing that I said to her was 'I hate you'."

Xander remained quiet, knowing that she wasn't done yet. That she needed to say it. "I introduced her to my fiancee and she had a private talk with him. Scared him so much he ran right out of the house! He broke the engagement and wouldn't return my calls. That's when I told her."

Slowly he leaned back slightly and cupped her face in his hands. He made sure she was looking at him. "I won't defend what she did Dawn, you know that. But we both know that she loved you and you loved her. She knew. I swear to you she knew."


"I know it's difficult to talk about this now Giles, but anything you or the others could tell us during these interviews could help."

Giles looked at Xander glassy eyed, doing his best not to cry. "I understand. Anything I can do to help. Do you have any idea what type of demon it was?"

"There's nothing to indicate demonic involvement, Mr. Giles." Amanda told the man. "From the looks of things it was a human… or someone trying to appear that way at least."

"My lord."

"Giles." Xander said to regain the older man's attention. "When was the last time you saw Buffy?"

"I… I don't know for sure. We haven't spoken much since I retired as Council head almost two years ago. Perhaps the last reunion?"


"Spoke to her on the phone a couple days ago." Angel said, still trying to reconcile the image of the teenager he first met in Sunnydale with the cop in his early thirties before him.

"What did you talk about?"

"The usual." He told them. "You know that ever since I rebuilt Wolfram and Hart that we've been like a sister organization to the Watchers Council. Buffy and I have been having weekly phone conferences to help keep coordinated."

"Anything unusual going on." Xander asked?

"Nothing worth mentioning. Just the run-of-the-mill stuff. Few demonic rituals going on and cults acting up. Not even any apocalypses in sight."


"Can you think of anyone who would want to see her hurt?"

"Who wouldn't!?" Fred growled.

It actually cased Amanda to take a step back in shock at the sudden change in the woman before her. Turning to Xander she whispered. "She was so timid a second ago."

"It's an Illyria thing. She has Buffy issues. I'll explain later." He whispered back.

Nodding she turned back to the fuming girl. "Where were you around four this morning?"

Suddenly the timid girl was back as Fred's face went beat red. "I… we… I was with Wesley."


"I was otherwise engaged." Wes told the duo.

Xander just looked at him with a knowing grin. "I'm sure you were."


"Where was 'I'?" Gunn asked a little stunned at the question. "I had to finish up some last minute work on a case. I don't exactly get in the thick of the fighting these days."

He tapped his cane on the table to emphasize the point. "Not since the LA thing ten years ago anyways. The legal stuff is pretty much all I got. Ran so late I had to catch a later flight. Didn't get here until just before nine."


"Hey, I resent the insinuation lady!" Faith said glaring Amanda. "And that's rehabilitate, federally pardoned murder to you!

"B and I may not always have agreed on how she was handling things but I would never go back to that place. Besides… if I wanted to kill B there would have been a lot more violence involved. I'm more a direct approach kind of girl."

"She's got a point Hail."


"What about her boyfriend?"

"Boyfriend?" Wood said bewildered. "She hasn't seen anyone since she took over the Council. Just put everything into the work. Not healthy if you ask me."


"Hey Wills." Xander said as he sat down next to her and put a comforting arm around her shoulder. "How you holding up?"

"Not so good." The tear-streaked face would have made it obvious even if she hadn't said it. "If I still had my magic I could…"

"No!" Xander said forcibly. "Dark side of things remember. Don't want to go there. Your powers were bound after your relapse and they're going to stay that way. The temptation would be too much."

"I know. It's just… it's hard to know how to help and not be able to."

"I understand what you mean, but that didn't work too well last time remember. She was in heaven. Happy. All we can do is hope and believe that is where she went this time too."

The two old friends sat in a companionable silence, Xander's arm around Willows shoulders. "She was sorry about what she did to you."

Xander didn't even look at her when he replied. "No she wasn't."


"Alright!!!" Spike yelled. "I did it and I'm glad I did! Making me run around without my shirt all the time! Taking me from bad ass to wuss! I just wanted my dignity back! Was that too much to ask?!"

Xander blink once, twice, he just stared in awe at the souled vampire before him. "That's all well and good, but I asked about Buffy."

Spike calmed down a little and shook his head. "Oh… right… don't know a thing about that one."

"You do realise you just admitted to a murder to a police officer and with the new laws vampires can be arrested."


Chapter 5

"So now what?" Amanda asked her partner, now back at his desk.

Xander simply pointed to the clock. "Go home get some sleep and start again tomorrow."

With that said he gathered his stuff and some case files he wanted to go through later, and started walking towards the elevator. "'Night Hail. See ya tomorrow."

Amanda watched him go for a second before coming to a decision. Quickly grabbing her stuff from her new desk next to Xander's she rushed to catch up to him. She just made it in time to get her hand in the elevator door and squeeze inside.

"Wait up! Do you want to go and grab some dinner or something?"

Xander looked at her with an expression that combined 'why' with 'are you nuts'. "Not really. I'll grab something at home."

"C'mon. We've barely been partners a day. We should get to know each other a little bit."

"You don't need to know each other to work together." He told her simply.

"You do if you want to work well." She shot back.

He grunted as a response.

Amanda could tell she was still losing. Thinking back to in the car earlier she put to practice the little piece of information she learned. She gave him the best 'wounded puppy look' she had. He caved in under a minute.


"… So my entire family works for the government." Amanda explained as she told Xander about her life over beer and chicken wings at a nearby sports bar. "Dad's in the army, brother in the air force, sister over at the CIA and I'm a cop."

"So who'd you piss off to be in the powers homicide unit?" Xander asked casually as he took a gulp of his beer.

"Are you kidding? I requested it! I've always had this fascination with the hero types. Retro Girl, Diamond, Triphammer, they're all so amazing." She exclaimed excitedly. "And I used to have the biggest crush on Olympia!"

Her face went beat red as she realized what she said. "I don't suppose you could forget about that last part?"

"Forget about what?"


"No clue what you're talking about."

She smiled her thanks as she spoke again. "So what about you? From what I hear you're pretty big in the supernatural side of things. How'd you get into that?"

"Oh, well I guess you could say that." He said playing his past down casually. "Let's see, I grew up on a Hellmouth. Discovered the truth about the supernatural when I was sixteen. That's when I met Buffy, back when she was the one and only slayer. Fought with her for nine years.

"About a year after the LA attack I left the Council and joined the LAPD. I was there official go to guy for all this supernatural related. They even overlooked the eye thing since they need someone with experienced in that area."

He visibly winced when he mentioned his formerly lost eye. For a moment Amanda thought he was going to stop but he surprised her and continued. "Anyways, a couple of captains named Riggs and Murtaugh took me under their wings so to speak. Eventually I transferred out to New York."

"Wow, wow, wow. Hold up a minute." She stopped him. "Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh?"


"I've heard of them. They've apparently caused more property damage than half the cops in California State put together!"

"That's them alright. I learned a lot from them. The ins and outs of detective work. Fighting, mainly from Riggs." A grin formed on his face before he continued. "The most effective ways to drive a station psychiatrist to a nervous breakdown."

Amanda put her face in her hands. "Oh God! I can tell working with you is going to be interesting!"


It was late by the time Xander made it back to his hole… er… apartment. It was small, but it suited his needs. One bedroom, barely able to fit a bed let alone anything else, a bathroom and a tiny kitchenette. He spent most of his time there in the main room since it was the largest. Barely.

The size wasn't his main concern as he got to the door though. It wasn't locked and as hectic as the day was he specifically remembered locking it this morning.

Drawing his gun he silently opened the door. His eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness and he immediately put his gun away. Dawn lay sprawled on his couch fast asleep.

Carefully he draped a blanket over her prone, lightly snoring form. As he moved to his bedroom he closed the door so not to disturb the sleeping girl as he pulled out a cell phone and dialled a familiar number. After several rings somebody answered.


"Yes I know what time it is."


"It's Xander dumbass. I need a favour."


"Yes I know the phone companies screw you but…"








"I need you to get me all the dirt on the Watcher's Council and Wolfram and Hart that you can find. And I do mean all of it."


"Well they'll screw anybody."








"The info."



As Xander hung up the phone he muttered a favourite phrase of the man he just spoke to. "Whatever you need, Leo gets."

Chapter 6

Xander awoke in the morning to an intoxicating aroma. Something completely out of place in this apartment. Somebody was making breakfast. If it tasted half as good as it smelled than Xander had no intention of missing out.

Practically jumping out of his bed Xander grabbed the nearest pair of sweats and a t-shirt and manoeuvred himself towards the door. He was hopping along on one foot trying to get his pants on as he moved.

To some people being this excited over a breakfast would be odd, but to Xander it was a real treat. He hadn't had a home cooked meal in… well he can't even remember how long.

Opening his door he made his way to the kitchenette and finally saw the source of the aroma. Dawn stood there with a couple grocery bags scattered about, putting the finishing touches on some bacon and a variety of omelette he couldn't quite identify.

"You realize you have like nothing edible in the apartment?" Dawn asked him as he took a seat on a stool at the small counter that separates the kitchen from the rest of the room. "I had to go and buy some groceries just to make some breakfast!

"How can you live like that?" She questioned as she placed a plate in front of him.

"Iuhntoww." Was the muffled reply she got as Xander had barely given her enough time to but the plate down before digging in. Dawn had to laugh slightly as she translated what he said as 'I don't know'.

"I hope you don't mind me stay here last night. I still have the key you gave me when you moved in. I just… I just couldn't go back to the hotel last night."

This time he swallowed before responding and offered a reassuring smile. "Think nothing of it Dawn Patrol. You're always welcome here."

The old nickname did exactly what Xander had intended. It distracted her from her pain. As evident by the rather scary scowl she was sending his way right now. "Xander! I'm twenty-seven years old! Do you have to keep using that pet name?"

"Yep. I'm like Faith in that way. When I give someone a name it sticks for life." He grinned as she rolled her eyes and held out his plate. "Can I have some more please? Dawn Patrol."


Almost all eyes were on him as Xander walked into homicide that morning. Did he have something on his face? No. Toilet paper dragging behind his shoe? No. Perhaps someone had played a prank and his hair was neon pink? Again, the answer was no.

He's late. Xander was never late. So obviously as he made his way to his desk he overheard the office gossip already beginning to spread. There were the typical speculations, that he finally cracked and was recovering from a binge or had a hot date the night before. As well as the not so typical ones like he was really dead and this was a shapeshifter or a clone. Gotta love the powers unit. It's enough to drive anybody paranoid.

As he sat down at his desk he noticed Amanda was already at hers working. "Morning."

"Good morning Xander." She greeted as she looked up from the file she was going through. "Oh, before I forget, somebody called for you a couple minutes ago."


"Some guy named Leo. Either he just wanted to let you know that everyone and everything fucks him over or he wants you to call him back… I'm not entirely sure which."

Xander couldn't help but laugh and shake his head. "That's Leo alright. Thanks."

He was just picking up the phone when a voice came from the other end of the office.

"Harris, Hail, get your asses in here!" The captain yelled.

They turned as one and looked at the captain as he retreated back to his office. Blankly staring for a moment they turned back to each other. As one they spoke. "What did you do?"


As they entered the office the captain motioned for them to close the door. A man sat in one of the chairs facing the captain's desk so his back was to them. It didn't matter, Xander still recognized him. Inwardly he cringed.

"I believe Detective Harris is already acquainted with our guest, but for Hail's sake I'll make introductions." The captain spoke as the man rose. "Detective Alexander Harris, Detective Amanda Hail this is Colonel Riley Finn, government liaison to the Watcher's Council."

Riley shook Amanda's hand in greeting and gave her a friendly smile. A smile that immediately dropped when he looked over at Xander. Neither man offered any sort of greeting.

The captain continued. "He'll be assisting in the investigation."

"Captain! We don't need any help. The case is coming along fine." Xander protested.

Riley gave him a cold look. "And yet you still have a dead body on your hands."

Xander returned the look with equal fever. "That's generally how things work in a homicide department."

"Enough!" The captain roared. "He's here. Decisions made. Live with it. Now get out and get to work!"

Xander was about to protest further when Amanda grabbed his arm and all but dragged him out of the office. When they were gone Riley turned to the captain.

"I want Harris removed from this case."

"Shut the fuck up!" The captain spat at the colonel. "I know the facts as well as anybody! Danny's death wasn't his fault! Deal with personal shit on your own time!"

"Despite what happened to my brother Xander's past relationship with the Summer's girl is a liability to the case!"

"Harris," The captain said with an angry glare on his face. "Is one of the best detectives I've got. Right up there with Walker… And if you ever repeat that to either of them I'll pull some strings to make sure you end up assigned to the deepest, darkest, shittiest, forgotten hole of a post that exist!

"He stays on the case. Now get the hell out of my office!"

Chapter 7

"What was that all about?" Amanda asked letting go of Xander's arm once they were clear of the office. "I could have sworn I felt the air cool a few degrees in there."

"Not here." Xander grunted out as he kept walking.

Amanda followed. "We're going to have to work with this guy, Xan. I need to know if that's going to be a problem for you."

He turned giving her a look of quiet anger, stopping her dead in her tracks. "Not! Here!"

Taking in her shocked look Xander's expression soften. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Sorry. I'm not angry with you. Just… frustrated in general."

"It's alright. I shouldn't have pushed it. Not yet anyways."

"C'mon." Xander told her as he took her arm and led her out of homicide. He led her outside, onto the roof. They stood in silence for a few minutes before Xander finally spoke. "You really want to know what's going on?"

"If you want to tell me." Was her response.

"I should at any rate." Sighing again he leaned against the railing at the edge of the roof. "My old partner, the one who died, his name was Daniel Finn. Riley's younger brother."

"Let me guess, he blames you?" Xander nodded.

"You ever hear of The Doctor?"

"That was a big serial killer case awhile back right? Was in all the papers."

"That's the one. Danny and I worked it. Our last case together." Xander said with a slight catch in his voice. "Turns out The Doctor was a real one. Dr. Adam Jeremy Craft. Well liked by his neighbours and colleagues, pioneer in his field and considered a miracle worker in transplant surgery.

"In his entire career not one of his patients rejected their donor. Nothing's perfect, especially in the medical world. Law of average would be that at least one would have had some sort of complication, even if it was inevitably treatable.

"Turns out Dr. Craft had a power he had hidden from everyone. It had something to do with regeneration and being able to fix and manipulate the damaged tissue on a cellular level. Or some such thing. He was able to alter the donor parts to be perfect matches for patient and fix 'em up like new at any rate. I'm won't pretend to understand the specifics of it, but the people that do were impressed to say the least.

"So here's this guy, right? This super powered guy using his power to help other people. He was saving lives. You'd think that would be a good thing right? It wasn't enough for Dr. Craft.

"He could perform any operation and with his power it would be a complete success. No other doctor has that guarantee. So he started experimenting on his own. On homeless people. He'd perform operation after operation with out his powers to see if it would work and to develop new treatments. He'd amputate limbs with different methods just to study and compare how the wounds would heal."

Xander visibly looked like he was going to be sick. "I've seen a lot of bodies. First with my time with the slayer and then as a cop. The things this guy would do, they take the cake.

"And you want to know how we find out about this guy?" He laughed bitterly. "Of all things, it was because his house was burglarized! The thief found the guy's lab and a few of the bodies in the basement and called the cops!"

After a minute to collect himself Xander went on. "The Doctor went underground and Danny and I got assigned to the case. He didn't stop though. We kept finding his bodies. Everything seemed normal enough at first, then his m.o. changed. He started gouging the left eyes out of the bodies. And mailed them to me. He was taunting me.

"Finally after six months we got a break, an anonymous tip. Danny and I tracked him to a warehouse. We were supposed to call for backup, but Danny rushed in. He was always impatient like that. I had a bad feeling about it, but I still rushed in right after him. How much trouble could an out of shape middle aged man really be right? God was I stupid. Danny didn't have a lot of experience under his belt, I didn't have that excuse.

"So we went through the place and it didn't seem like he was there. Then we found it. His lab. Craft wasn't there. It was the corner over by his desk that caught our attention. The entire wall was covered with me. Newspaper clippings, photographs, guy even had a copy of my old report cards. 'Course we weren't as alone as we thought.

"The only door to the room slammed shut and we could here it bolt closed. It was heavy metal and the walls were concrete, we weren't breaking through any time soon. I just thought it was an insurance thing so he could make his getaway. That theory was out the window when the room started filling up with gas. We struggled, but in the end we both went under.

"When I woke up Danny and I were shackled to two of the tables. The whole thing was a trap. He gave us the anonymous tip that brought us there. Seems over that last six months he'd grown a rather disturbing fascination with me.

"Kept calling me his friend. I told him we weren't friends and that when I got out of the shackles I was going to kick his ass to prove it. He just smiled at me, going on and on about how we were friends and how he was going to give me a great gift. Something only he could give me.

"I didn't understand at first. Then he started cutting Danny's face. The screams, God I'll never forget the screams!" Tears he had been fighting since starting his story were now freely flowing down his face. "The bastard didn't believe in anaesthetic. He just hummed away as he cut out Danny's eye and put it in me! He hummed!

"It took almost a week before anyone found us. Danny was long dead by then."

Amanda stared in shock at the broken down man in front of her, so far from the picture of strength and confidence she had quickly gotten used to. Of all the things she had suspected about the eye and his partner, this wasn't even on the list. She did the only thing she could think of doing. She held him as he let out the pain he had been bottling up. Probably since Danny's death.

Neither noticed the rain as it began to fall on them. Amanda just held him muttering soothing, and ultimately useless, comforts while Xander cried for the first time in years.

Chapter 8

By the time the two detectives returned they found Riley already seated going through the files on the investigation. He was seated at Xander's desk and looked quite comfortable. It was an obvious attempt to get under Xander's skin, even if it was only with little things. Xander might have taken the bait too… five years ago.

"Were the hell you two been?"

"Just taking care of some stuff." Amanda told the colonel with a look that brooked no argument.

Riley just shook his head and muttered. "Let's just get to work and look over the suspects."

"I think that Fred girl should be pretty high on the list. She did get kinda wacko when we mentioned Buffy."

For the first time since they arrived Riley inclined his head and looked at Xander. "An Illyria thing?"

Xander nodded as a pained look past between the two men.

"Alright! Why do people keep talking in code?" Amanda exclaimed. "Care to let me in on it."

"Illyria was a powerful pureblood parasitic demon." Riley started only to be interrupted by Xander.

"Goddess would be closer to the truth… or maybe demon goddess. Something around those lines anyway."

"As I was saying before I was cut off. Illyria was a powerful 'being'." The emphasis on the word was lost on nobody. "That bound itself to Fred, consuming her soul and taking her body for its own."

"I'm confused. If it killed her then who was I talking to?"

"Well shortly after the LA thing the old gang got together with Angel's crew for a brief bit. We came across a medallion that could take Illyria out of Fred's body and bring her soul back. For whatever reason she was willing to go along with it." Xander told her with a grin before his face turned grim.

"Unfortunately Buffy found out. She has a thing with power and Illyria had a great deal more than any Slayer. Buffy wanted to keep her around as a weapon. During the ceremony she burst in and destroyed the medallion, but it didn't stop the process so she slapped a strange looking band on Illyria's wrist and that stopped it.

"Turns out it was one of the few surviving relics from the Old Watcher's Council called The Band of Anu. Anu was the Babylonian ruler of the gods. Apparently he used it to keep some of the more… disgruntle gods in line. It bound the wearing to the commands of the one who places it on them. Buffy effectively had complete control of a living weapon.

"But it gets worse. The process had been partially success in that it had returned Fred's soul. Only now she and Illyria were suck in the same body. Illyria was in control most of the time, but sometimes you would see Fred peek through. I can't imagine what that must have been like for her. A prisoner in her own body."

"No wonder she was so pissed." Amanda commented.

"So were a lot of other people."

"So what happened?" She asked leaning forward in her chair, staring at the two expectantly. "Did they just switch and now Fred's the dominant one?"

Riley shook his head. "Not exactly. You know what happened with the First in Sunnydale and the Senior Partners in LA right?"

"Well ya, it's kinda common knowledge these days."

"What you wouldn't know is that the First 'was' a Senior Partner." Xander told her. "The destruction of Sunnydale, the activation of all the Slayers, and the demon siege in Los Angeles. They were all part of the same plan. The First used then to create a large imbalance. One so big it could open a gate so its physical form could travel to this plane.

"It happened about a year later. We knew when and where the portal would open over a week before hand, but Buffy refused to even consider that there might be a way to sabotage it. A way to keep the portal from opening or maybe even irradiating the area or something. Not even the First could be immune to everything right? At the very least we could have informed the military installations we were supposedly allied with but nothing was done.

"Buffy's plan was send as many Slayers at it as possible in the vain hope that somebody gets lucky. I thought that plan sucked so I called Riley here as plan C." Xander jerked his thumb towards Riley.

"I had a couple dozen nukes ready just in case."

Amanda's eyes widened at the mere thought of the weapons being used before she realized something. "You said 'plan C'. What was plan B? Wait… it was Illyria right?"

"Got it in one. I cut her hand off, taking the band with it. She was enveloped in a bright light as the process that had been… paused, for lack of a better word, by the band completed itself. When the light faded Fred stood there, hand and all.

"Illyria, though, could survive without a body. For a limited time anyways. And she was back at full power to boot. She… it… she… whatever… just kind of floated there all energy like before enveloping the First. The First screamed in agony and we… felt… Illyria's pain. Then they were gone.

"We don't know exactly what happened, but Illyria had this whole time thing going on so we think it was something temporal. Like banishing the First outside of time. We think she did some other stuff too, something to do with Wes, but we cant' be sure. A small part of her is still with Fred today." A look of utter pain crossed Xander's face before he spoke again. "But over two hundred Slayers still died that day."

"Wow... That's just… I don't even know what to say." The trio remain silent for a few minutes. For the two men it was more out of respect for the dead. For Amanda some pieces began to fall into place. "That's the fallout! That's when you and Buffy had the falling out everyone keeps hinting at. You took matters into your own hands and saved the day when her plan was only getting people killed!"

"It was… more complicated than that, but that was a big part of it. I was supposed to be the 'normal' one. Whatever that is. I definitely wasn't supposed to have a better plan let alone go behind her back to implement it."

"In any event." Riley cut in, quickly getting bored of focusing on the past. "Yes, Fred is definitely near the top of the suspect list."

Amanda just sent him a look like he was an idiot. "Well duh!"

"But I think we can safely add someone else there. I have a witness that saw Buffy leaving the hotel suite of one Willow Rosenberg not fifteen minutes before her murder."

"Guess we know where that DNA came from now." Xander commented.

"So we thinking lovers quarrel?"

Xander was about to answer Amanda when his phone rang.

"Homicide 4th, Harris."


"Oh shit, Leo! Sorry man, I forgot about you!"


"I said I was sorry pal."


"Nobody's fucking you over."








"The info."


"Thanks man, I owe you."


"Not that much. See ya around."

Hanging up the phone Xander turned to Riley with a grin. "I'll see your lesbian affair and raise you a souled vampire, an army of lawyers and a hostile takeover."

Chapter 9

"I don't get you Harris." Riley said from the passenger sear of Xander's car.

Xander took his eyes off the road for the briefest of moments to give him a questioning look. "Alright, I'll bite, what don't you get?"

"I know you pretty well. You may not think so but I do. And one of the first things I realized about you was that when you love it's for life. Yet you don't seem at all bothered by Buffy's murder. Even after all these years I would have thought you'd feel something." Riley turned his head towards Xander, trying to gauge his reaction. "Makes me wonder if you ever cared really."

"Fuck you Finn. I loved her. I didn't like. Not for a long time now at least. But I still loved her." Xander's face darkened. "And when we catch whoever did this all I ask for is five minutes alone with the cameras turned off."

Nothing more was said for the rest of the trip. Amanda continued to observed the to men from her forgotten place in the back seat as she put another piece in the puzzle that is Xander Harris.


It wasn't long until the trio made their way to the hotel. Room 325 to be exact. More importantly, Willow's room. Xander knocked and a muffled 'coming' came from the other side. Moments later a puffy eyed Willow opened the door.

"Xander!" Willow exclaimed pulling him into a hug. It took her a minute to realize he wasn't alone. "And Riley. And… um… Amanda?"

Xander nodded. "We need to talk Wills? Can we come in?"

Confused she stepped aside in a wordless invitation that had become habit so many years ago. Closing the door gently she joined them in the room and sat on the edge of the bed. Riley was standing nearby almost at attention, a stark contrast to Amanda who leaned almost casually against a wall. It was Xander who spoke next while he knelt down in front of her.

"You left something out yesterday Wills. Didn't you?"

"I don't… I don't know… What do you mean?"

"What he means is that you and Buffy were lovers." Riley stated before anyone else had a chance to speak. "We know that she had sex shortly before she was killed. How much you want to bet that the DNA we found on the body is a perfect match for your?"

Willow looked up at him in shock and started to stutter an answer. "She… I… We… It wasn't…"

"Here's what I think happened." Riley told her, ignoring the glare he was getting from Xander. "Buffy was ending your little affair. You didn't take that well. When she left you followed her, waited for her guard to be down and slit her throat!"

"NO! No! That's not what happened!" Willow cried out with tears on her face. "I loved her!"

Xander took one of her hands in his and spoke gently. "Then what did happen?"

"We'd… We've been seeing each other for almost two years now." She told them shakily. "Buffy didn't want anybody to know about our relationship. At first I agreed. If it didn't go anywhere then why mention it right?"

"But after two years…" Xander said filling in some of the blanks in his head.

"We had an argument about it. I thought it was time to tell people, she didn't. I yelled, she yelled, and finally she stormed out. We'd argued before and we would always go our own ways to cool off and then talk things through later." Her voice caught and fresh tears streamed down her face.

"If I hadn't of said anything she never would have been outside! She would still be alive!"


A resounding thud could be heard through the halls of the hotel after the three had left Willow's room. Xander held Riley against the wall with an iron grip, his face contorted in anger.

"What the hell did you think you were doing in there?!"

"Interrogating a suspect." Riley replied calmly making no move to escape.

"That's not what we agreed upon. We agreed I was going to do the talking!"

"You were coddling her. What information were we going to get like that?"

"I don't give a fuck what you think!" Xander spat. "I don't like you. You don't like me. Fine. But we do have to work as a team. When we make a plan we stick to the god damn plan!"

"Geez guys, why don't you just whip 'em out and have a pissing contest right here." Both men turned to see a rather annoyed looking Amanda glaring at them. "No? Well now that I have you attention we do have a case to run."

"Fine." Both replied as Xander let go of Riley.

"Good. Now who do you think we should talk to next, Fred or Angel? Fred? My thoughts exactly. Let's go!" With that she turned and started walking off not bothering to make sure they followed.

Riley and Xander spared a glance at each other before they moved.

"I think you do have a power Xander. Attracting scary women."


It didn't take them long to get to Fred's hotel. The entire Wolfram and Hart crew were staying in the same hotel only a couple of blocks from where Willow and the rest were staying. It was a little nicer a place though. A four star as opposed to the three they just came from.

They found the room they were looking for rather quickly. Riley stepped aside and waved Xander to the door mockingly. For his part Xander ignored him and gently tapped on the door only for it to push open.

The three looked at each other in silent communication before bring their sidearms to the ready. Cautiously they made their way in only to be stopped by the sight that greeted them. The bodies of Winifred Burkle and Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.

"I guess we can rule them out as suspects." Amanda commented.