Cordelia Chase, who was in fact Charlene Davidson, walked along the halls aimlessly.  She wasn't sure where she should be.  She saw Willow ahead, or at least she thought it was Willow, it kind of looked like the former redhead witch, and followed her.  They had all been in the same grade.  She followed her right into the library, getting a few odd looks.  "What?" she snapped.

"Queen C, in for a visit," Xander, or actually Vinnie Van Wham, said smugly, leaning back in his chair.

"Yeah, to talk to you, hotshot.  Let's go."

"No can do during school hours," he pointed out dryly.

She walked over and grabbed him by the ear, dragging him off.  "He'll be back," she said sarcastically.  "Maybe."  She walked him off, finding an empty closet and pushing him into it.  "Do you know what's going on?" she demanded.

"I'm guessing here but this is my nightmare and I'm Xander.  While you're really kinda cute as a trendy cheerleader, sweetheart," he said with a grin.  He stole a kiss.  "We're dating at least."

"Yay.  That's wonderful, do you know why they broke up?"  He shook his head.  "She ended up getting stabbed through the stomach by Spike because Xander and Willow were kissing and he wanted Willow."  He winced then she winced and grabbed her stomach, bending down some.  "Sorry, kid."

Vinnie rested a hand on her stomach, grinning at the kicking going on.  "Hey, calm down in there," he whispered, moving closer so he could kneel and put his head on her stomach.  The baby kicked him harder.  "Hey, it's me.  You like me.  I'm the one who helped make you.  So calm down."  He kissed her on the stomach, and someone opened the door.  "Do you mind?" he asked the little man standing there.

"You're doing what on school property?" the principal sneered.

"Getting in touch with my furry and wild side," he said, using his tail to yank the door shut.  "What a tool," he said, shaking his head.  Then he groaned and shook it harder.  "That was definitely a Xander-ism."  She chuckled at that so he kissed her stomach again before bouncing back up.  "So, how do we get us out of here, sweetheart?"

"Well, Modo said that I'm here to be your exit key but I don't know how."  She stroked his face.  "So you've got to take me with you this time."

"Not if it's dangerous."

"You want to leave me trapped *here* for the rest of my life?"

He shuddered and clutched her.  "Never mind. It can't be more dangerous than being here."  He kissed her again then walked her out of the closet and back to the library.  "Sorry, had to have a talk."

"So I take it the smoochies were good?" Buffy teased, smirking at them.

"A real man never kisses and tells," he said smartly, earning a pinch from her. "Ow!  Watch the merch!"

"Oh, shut up."  She sat down, looking at Willow, then at Giles.  She looked at Willow again.  "What year is this?"

"Huh?" she asked.

"Year.  What year?  In school?"

"Um, senior?" she guessed.

"That's what I thought.  Have we figured out the bad guy for graduation yet?"

"Whoa, what's going on?" Buffy asked, holding up a hand.  "I don't know anything about graduation, besides the fact that I may not be there."

"You will be, so will a major ascension," Charley told her.  She looked at Willow.  "This isn't our reality."

"So you're not Cordelia?" she asked, looking confused.  "You look like her."  Vinnie walked over and whispered in her ear, making her shriek and hit him.  "I am not!"  He nodded, staring her down. "No I'm not!  I'm not going to go bad!  I'm not!"

He grabbed her chin and looked into her eyes.  "Willow, you're the strongest witch on this hellmouth," he reminded her.  "Things are going to happen soon.  By the way, where's Oz?"  She looked confused.  "Shouldn't he be here?"  She nodded.  "Then where is he?"

"Band class."

"Oh."  He shrugged.  "You know what a living nightmare curse is, right?"  She nodded.  "Charley and I are in one.  I'm being Xander.  I'm like Xander's big brother," he said smugly.  "In a few years actually I'll be his big brother by bond.  We need the exit."

"Now see here," Giles complained.

Vinnie pulled him closer by the front of his shirt.  "Shut up, Giles."  He stared him down.  "I know what you did to the boy."  He let him go and glared at him.  "By the way, you're very not like you are at home," he said, looking him over.  "Or perhaps you are.  How's Ethan?"  Giles blanched and backed away.  "Thought you'd be getting him instead?  Or maybe Throttle?  Not happenin'.  Xander started off the chain. I can feel him, he's still stuck."  He looked at Willow again.  "Help us.  Then this nightmare will be over and things'll be normal.  You'll be with your Xander."

She backed away, going to get something from the office, staring at him through it.  She dropped the monocle.  "You're a giant mouse," she said in awe. "You have a face plate and you're white and you're wearing weapons or something."

"He is?" Buffy asked, getting up to pick up the charmed device and looked at them.  "Whoa, you are," she said in awe.  "You look soft too."

"Don't pet my man," Charley said dryly.  "Only I get to do that."

Buffy backed off and nodded.  "Okay.  Nightmare curse?" she asked Willow, who was frowning.  "What can we do to help?  Where is our Xander?"

"I'm guessing, but since this is a nightmare out of his mind, I'm thinking he's still stuck.  We just displaced him," Vinnie admitted.

"Vinnie, I've been meaning to ask," Charley said dryly.  "Modo said you dabbled on Mars?"

"Um, yeah.  That's how I knew what Dawn's book was.  When I was a lot younger," he admitted.  "Like any teenager playing around."

"Uh-huh."  She glared at him.  "That's how you know so much about shielding?"  He nodded, smirking at her.  "And how you knew where to start in the book since we didn't start on the first one?"  He was smirking more now, nodding a bit stronger.  "How far are we going with this?"

"I swore I'd never take it back up again, not after I nearly destroyed a few houses," he admitted, shrugging a bit.  "That's not who I am."

"Okay.  So you're watching Dawn too?"

"Oh, yeah," Vinnie said, nodding.  "Very closely.  It's good that she wants to restore Mars to greenness.  I'm just not sure if the Key is that powerful.  She'd have to be on Mars too.  It'd be one hell of a struggle."  He shrugged and looked at Willow again.  "So, can you help us?"

"Maybe," Willow admitted.  She looked at Giles.  "Which books have that curse?"

"I don't have any with it in there," he told her.

"Fine, I'll go online."

"Willow, I doubt it'd be there."

"Bet me," she snorted.  "The Chaos site I found on yours will definitely have it."  She went to the computer and logged on, typing quickly.  She found the spell and smirked, printing it off.  "Here, bookmarked even."  She paused and looked at Giles.  "Why was it bookmarked?"

He shrugged.  "I have no idea.  Were you looking it over recently?"

"I don't know anything about this one, Giles, I've only heard of it," she told him, staring him down.  She looked at Vinnie, gathering the papers.  "They're blank.  I think you're out of ink."

"Undo whatever he was just muttering," Charley told her.

Willow uncursed the papers and brought them to the table.  "Buffy, he's being odd.  I'm not sure that's Giles," she told her.  She sat down to look them over, handing them to Charley.  She stopped, looking at Vinnie.  "Is he okay?"

"In our lives?"  She nodded.  He nodded, sitting down next to her.  "You're not there.  Buffy's in Cleveland.  You guys basically drove him off with lack of appreciation.  He came back to us and found a spot easily.  We love the guy, he's my sworn little brother. My whole clan will accept him as one of us."  She nodded, letting out a tired sigh.  "There's things that happen, Willow.  It wasn't just one thing."

"Sure.  I get that."  She went back to reading, then put down the papers.  "How did we drive him off?"

"Willow, where would Xander normally be right now?" Charley asked her bluntly.  "You guys have been treating him like a slave for years, even at this point in time.  It only got worse.  In the mice, he found a group of people who'd go through fire for him.  Who would have walked into the hellmouth with him to help him fight if they had known about it."  Buffy gasped and she looked at the doorway, seeing a Xander standing there.  "Hey.  In the wrong world?"

"Probably."  He flipped back his waist-length hair.  "Why am I back here?"  He looked around in awe.  "We destroyed this place totally."

"Yeah, I remember seeing that in your mind," Vinnie told him.  "We're in a nightmare curse."

"Then I'm definitely in the wrong spot."  He looked at Vinnie, then shook his head.  "It's not soon, man.  It's definitely not soon."  Then he disappeared after staring at the ground and muttering.

"What was that?" Buffy asked.

"Another version of Xander.  The hellmouth and this curse are tied together," Willow told her.  "This is the turning point of Xander's life.  So I'm not surprised.  We're basically on the astral plane at the moment."

"What about where he said it wasn't soon?" Charley asked.

"Then there's a chance we can send you ahead through time if you know what's going on," Willow admitted, looking at Vinnie.  "You told me you saw me do it in his head."  He nodded.  "Is it very clear for you?"

"They're like my own memories," he admitted.  "Xander's got a very strong mind.  He's still sucking in people too.  We've been working on that for years."

"How long have you known Xander?" Buffy asked.

"The first time?  Since Giles sent him to Chi-town to pick up something from some vampires," Charley told her.  "He moved back just about a year ago for good.  Right after finding a crashed mouse.  Well after you destroyed the town and everything in it."

"Speaking of, can you bind him and stick him somewhere he can't get access to stop that event?  It could seriously screw up the world again."

"Sure," she agreed, still looking confused.  "We destroyed the town?"

"Yeah, the final battle here was inside the Hellmouth," Vinnie told her.   "Something about a seal, the First Evil, and all that.  You went inside, it ended up sucking in the town."

"Should we be telling them this?" Charley asked quietly.

"If this is just a nightmare for you, it would be a dream for us," Willow assured her.  "I think I can send you where you need with a Rite of Chronos.  I'm not sure though."  She stared at him.  "They're dangerous.  You've got to know exactly when you need to be."

"If it's not soon," Charley told her.

"It's got to be during that last year," Vinnie told her, shaking her head.  "If not during the last battle."  Charley stared at him, looking horrified.  "Maybe not inside, but damn close," he told her.  "That's one of his biggest nightmares, that he didn't save the right people."   She groaned and put her head down.

"But by then, Cordy was dead," Willow told him.  "She had died in LA."  Vinnie looked stunned.  "Not too long before actually."  She frowned, considering it.  "I need someone to help me cast."

"Is Wesley here yet?" Vinnie asked.  She frowned at him and nodded.  "He can.  He's helping in Cleveland.  He got called back by the Powers That Be.  He and Fred."

"How did you know Cordelia was dead?" Buffy asked.

"Easy, this isn't the Willow from this time either," Vinnie told her.  "This is the spirit that's been guarding the hellmouth."  She nodded. "When is it?"

"About the time that I tried to destroy the world I think.  There was something disturbing the magic that day.  Dawn and I both felt it and shuddered in horror."  She looked at Charley.  "You'd have been barely comatose for a few weeks at that point."

"She stays with me."

"Not an issue since she's not Cordy for real," Willow agreed.  "She might morph into Anya though."  She looked at Giles, then passed Vinnie the papers.  "Memorize them."

He grinned.  "Thank you."

"You're welcome.  He needs you guys.  You're right, we were absolute shits to Xander while we had him.  You do better with him."  She glanced at Charley, then at him.  "By the way, yeah, he's a rebirth too.  That's why they gather around him.  He was one of you before."

"Are you taking the seal to Mars?" he asked in return.

She snickered.  "Already done that.  We're set up in a small spot in the wastelands.  The M'dreth were very understanding and put up a temple around it so *NO* one comes near it."  He smirked at that.  "Stoker's down by the way.  Tell Spike I said hi and to come play with me now and then.  Not Anya.  She's not her, but I miss Spike.  He's still a wanker."  She got up and went to do something in the office, coming out with a small bag.  She tossed it to Charley.  "Cover your stomach with both your hands.  It shouldn't hurt him."

"Him?" Vinnie asked, his ears perking up.  "Really?"

"Really," she said with a grin. "Perfectly normal, but he'll be a lot like you anyway, hotshot.  Watch out for him and his Auntie Dawn's books, unless you want a male me?"  She winked and started to chant.  The air around them distorted and Vinnie got up and sat on the table, putting her into his lap so they could hold the bag and cover the baby together.

They landed standing up, still cuddled together, and Vinnie noticed the watch had a date function on it so he looked at it over her shoulder.  "We've got two days before the probable time," he said in her ear.  "Should we go and be Xander-like?"  He looked at her and grinned.  "Wow, you're an Anya."

She looked down at herself, then grimaced.  "Eww.  I don't want to be demonic!"  She wiggled.  "No wonder she was always jumping him, she's this perpetual horniness machine."  He chuckled and she shivered, looking up at him.  "Vinnie."

"I know."  He kissed her gently.  "We're not here for that."  He walked her off, taking the tour of the town he had known mentally for a few months now.  "That's the Magic Box," he said, pointing at it.  He glanced inside and then shook his head.  "That's Tara."  He drug her in there, smiling at the shocked looking blonde witch.  "Hi."

"Hi."  She glanced around, then got up and walked over to them.  "Who're you?"

"Vinnie and Charley.  We're in the middle of a nightmare curse."  She shuddered.  He stepped closer, resting a hand on her cheek.  "We love you in your new life, sweetheart.  You're very special to us."  She nodded, smiling slightly.  "Willow sent us forward, our exit is somewhen around here."

She nodded. "I've felt a few odd things.  You can come stay with me.  That way she won't realize it."  She looked around again.  "I'm going!" she called lightly.  "Be back soon!"  She hurried them out and up the street to her present apartment, letting them inside.  She locked the door, checking he hallways.  Then she rested against it.  "I'm hoping you two don't get chased by anything."

Vinnie smirked at her.  "Don't worry, Xander's been training us now for about a year.  He took on a possessed car the other day for Charley here."  She pinched him.  "He did."

"He did."  She looked at Tara.  "This is going to sound odd, but I pictured you being a bit...bigger.  More like Buffy maybe with the way Xander talks about you."  Tara blushed but she was grinning.  "Really."

Tara gave her a hug, then looked at Vinnie.  "What am I in your life now?"

"A kitty.  The mommy kitty actually.  You had Joyce and you had Andrew, and a few others."

"A kitty?" she asked with a bright grin.  "I always wanted to be a kitty.  Speaking of kitties.  Miss Kitty?"  She hopped up, nuzzling Vinnie's shoulder.  "Ooh, she already likes you."

"That's who we thought you were at first and yeah, she was always cuddled up to him," Charley assured her, giving her another hug.  "We won't be a bother."

"Not a problem.  We're used to the strange here," she said phlegmatically.  "It just is around here."  She looked at Vinnie.  "You practiced."

"Yeah, and then I nearly destroyed some houses so I panicked and swore it off while burning my books," he admitted sheepishly. "I was a teenager."

She nodded.  "I've seen others."  She kissed him on the cheek.  "You're very nice and soft.  You'll be a good daddy mouse."  She smiled and went into the small kitchen.  "I only have water, is that okay?"

"That's fine, Tara," Charley agreed, smiling at her back, then at Vinnie.  "No wonder she's the one Xander misses most."

"Why did he go to you?" Tara asked, bringing back some glasses.  "If it won't break a confidence."

"They treated him badly," Vinnie told her.  "All of them did."  She sighed and nodded, looking down.  "You weren't there, Tara."

"I know.  I had high hopes for Willow though."  She looked at her.  "Am I fixed?"

"After your third litter.  We didn't quite manage to catch you after your second one.  They figured out you were pregnant when they took you in to fix you," Charley told her.  "Dawn did.  You're technically all Dawn and Xander's cats."

"Except Andrew, who went to Buffy, and Harley, who's going home with Stoker and the kids this time," Vinnie added. He sat down, pulling his girls down beside him.  "If you were around in our time, you'd probably be the one keeping Dawn in check."

"Nope, even now that's a Xander job," she shared.  "I'm a good kinda-big-sister to her but Xander's like her parent.  Is she with you guys too?"  They nodded.  "She ran away?"

"Well, she ran to get away from a demon and then stayed," Charley admitted.  "She's getting ready to graduate high school and starts college this fall."

"Then I'm really proud of her.  I bet she's got a cute guy," she added with a slighter blush.  Vinnie pulled out his wallet and showed her their prom picture.  "Oooh, that's *such* a perfect dress for her," she agreed.  "What's his name?"

"Rimfire.  He's one of our friend's nephews.  She took to him right off, first moment," Charley shared with a grin.  "Do we look like them to you?"

Tara shook her head.  "Sunnydale's odd.  Here, you're like a set of ghosts.  I can see you and anyone you know could probably see you, but I didn't think you'd want to hang around and watch Giles self-destruct again."  They shook their heads.  "You tell Dawnie to brush me really well if she doesn't.  Hairballs probably hurt."

"You haven't had one yet," Vinnie told her.  "You've had it pretty easy.  The worst thing so far was labor and you keep hiding from Xander so he can't help."  She giggled, leaning against his arm.

"We're in this real world?" she asked.

"Half and half.  You're still standing on the astral plane but you're manifest," she offered, getting up to get a book she had taken off Willow to give to them.  "Here. It'll help."  She stood up and smoothed down her skirt.  "I should probably go."

The couple held hands for a moment, glancing at each other.  "It's not time yet," Vinnie told her.

She kissed him on the cheek. "Liar."  She felt his antenna brush her head and gasped, closing her eyes.  Then she smiled and kissed him, then her on the forehead.  "You two behave and hide here.  It'll be when she's trying to bring me back."  They shook their heads.  "I already knew," she said with a gentle smile. "You answered my last few questions.  I'll be fine.  It won't hurt."  She left them there, going to talk to Willow.  It was her destiny after all.

Vinnie stood up but Charley pulled him back down.  "We'll have to be there," he said miserably.

She shook her head.  "No we won't.  It'll come here.  She knew, Vinnie."  She cuddled him, looking at the book.  "What's that?"

"Stuff we're taking with us," he told her, clutching it to his chest.  He put an arm around her, giving her a squeeze, then got up to clean up after themselves so no one would know they were here or have to do it for her.  He came back and pulled her up, kissing her gently.  "It's time. I can feel it."  He handed her the book, and looked as the small silver portal formed.  "It needs to be a bit bigger," he said dryly.  It widened so they walked through, waking up.  Vinnie sat up and looked around.  "Charley?"  She groaned and he walked over, taking the book from her.  "Hey, babe," he said gently, kissing her.  He stroked her stomach.  "Hey, baby boy."  The baby kicked him and he grinned.  He looked over as Throttle came out, grinning at him.  "Hey."

"Hey."  He checked the display, then smiled. "Didn't hurt her at all according to this."

"Good!"  He grinned.  "Where's Xander?"

"Not out yet."

"Then we've got to go back in," he said simply.  Throttle nodded. "Where's Dawn?  We know who did it.  We were just in Sunnydale."  Throttle stared at him, just blinking.  "Oh, Willow wanted Spike to come play in the seal's new temple on Mars.  She said she misses the little wanker."

"There is no way my son is going to go play with something from the hellmouth," Stoker said firmly from the couch.   "How're you getting the mini-punk out?"

"Easy, there's one nightmare left," Charley said, looking at Throttle.  "Unless you had one?"

"No, I managed to skip mine.  Xander threw me clear."

"Good."  Vinnie sat down with the book and the papers he had gotten off Willow, smirking at Throttle when he looked confused.  "We went to Sunnydale.  I got to be Xander for a few hours."

Charley sat up, taking the soda and chocolate bar from Throttle's hands.  "We met Tara right before she died."  The Tara kitty meowed from the back of the couch, where she was lying on top of Spike's head.  "Are you comfy?" she asked with a grin.  The cat meowed again then seemed to grin before going back to her guarding.

"We talked with Willow while we were there in the first timezone," Vinnie told them.  "The M'dreth moved the seal to a safe spot and built a temple around it.  Apparently she's still got a fondness for Spike though."  He looked at Stoker and smirked.  "Don't worry, it won't be so bad.  They can't date."

"Not a chance," Stoker said firmly, his eyes narrowing.  "What happened?"

"We went in during his senior year.  Oh, Throttle, call Dawn and tell her it was Giles," Vinnie told him.  "I don't know why."  He nodded, heading for the phone to call Dawn's cellphone.  Vinnie found the part he needed and read it carefully.  "Okay.  To create a link into his mind, we're going to have to do a small thing."

"Since when do you do magic?" Throttle asked, looking confused.  "Am I having my nightmare?"

"Nope, not yet."

"He nearly destroyed a village and gave it up," Stoker told him.

Vinnie nodded. "I burned the books too."  Throttle just stared at him in shock, open mouthed shock.  "Oh, Willow said the baby would try for some of Dawn's books too.  We should probably watch for that.  He's not a rebirth, just a really great little guy."  He grinned at them then went back to his reading.  "We'll have to do this one ourselves.  If Dawn does it for us, she'll end up in there instead of us."

"Us?" Throttle asked.  "My man."

"Yeah, but it'll take more than one to pull him out and break the chain.  It'll require a whole new nightmare and someone to break him out of it, plus someone to break the curse."  He looked at him.  "You can't do that last part."

"You can't either.  Even if you did do...whatever, it's been ages."

"Magic takes practice, but you can come back to it after years, like riding a bike," Vinnie told him. "Tara and Willow both saw that I had dabbled."

"Modo told me," Charley told him.  "All of us?"

"You could get hurt," he chided.

"You'll still need more help."

Tara hopped off the couch and came over to lay on the book, meowing up at her.  "See, she agrees with me," Vinnie said smugly.

"You'd probably be there anyway," Stoker offered. "It's safer if you're here."  He heard bikes coming around the house.  "I think they're back."

Rimfire rode up the ramp and stopped, taking off his helmet.  "Hey, welcome back."

"Proof?" Dawn asked.

"He had the site bookmarked back in their senior year.  We were just in Sunnydale and Giles was not what he should be," Vinnie told her.  "He looked about sixty while in high school."

"He was at the far end of thirty," she told him.  "He looks about sixty now though."

"Then he was in there watching," Charley told her.  "Besides, he tried to prevent Willow from helping us."

"Okay, then I'll give the point," Dawn decided.  "Xander?"

"Still under.  We've got to go in there and create a new one, then break the curse from the inside," Throttle told her.  "You're guarding us."

"Um, I'd have to do the spell anyway," she said dryly.

"Then you'd end up in there and I can do it," Vinnie told her. "Tara gave me the book."  He picked her up to cuddle her, whispering in her ear.  She licked his cheek, then jumped down and went to sit on Charley's stomach.  "She'll be guarding the son."  He stood up and brought the book with him to the kitchen, to Dawn and Xander's special cabinet, pulling down the marked jars that he'd need.  Dawn came in and he swatted her.  "If you touch any of it, you could be drawn in.  I can't let that happen.  He's got some violent nightmares, Dawnie."

She turned him around, looking at him.  "Since when did you do magic?" she asked patiently, sounding a lot like her mother to her ears.  In fact, her mother meowed from the top of the refrigerator, sounding amused.  "Thanks, Mom, sorry to borrow the line."

He gave her a hug.  "When I was a young and stupid kid, I had a book just like yours," he shared. "I did small stuff, like grow a few flowers for my mother now and then.  One day, I decided I wanted to break the dry spell we were having.  Everyone said that we needed rain desperately if the crops were going to come in.  So I went to help."  He gave her a dry, bland look.  "It nearly caused a lot of houses to blow up.  I hurried and burned the books as soon as I got home."  She shuddered.  "The rain came after the books were burned and it nearly drowned the fields, but I'm not sure if that was me or not."  She gave him a hug.  "I'm not taking it back up.  I scared the piss out of myself when I did that."  He grinned.  "But it was kinda fun holding that energy in my hand.  A huge thrill."  He kissed her on the forehead.  "Is this the stuff I need?" he asked, holding up a jar.  "Xander's handwriting was bad on that day.  Looks like he was writing with his tail."

She looked at the spell, then pointed at a jar of little green things. "That."  He put that one back and pulled the new one down, letting her check the list.  She had him substitute another one as well, then he went into the study to do this.  "You could do this in the new addition."

"Nope, no roof," Vinnie complained.  "It's supposed to rain tonight."  He pulled Throttle in and shut the door, locking it.  "There, now they can't help."  He sat down, then got up and sat Throttle in front of him.  "Just sit there for now.  Watch me work, bask in the brilliance of my skills, and then we'll go."

"You're scary, are you sure I'm not having my nightmare already?"

Vinnie huffed and nodded.  "Very.  Me doing magic isn't your nightmare, Throttle.  You didn't know I could, so therefore it couldn't have been."

"Okay."  He watched as Vinnie did something in the small copper dish, mystified.  Then again, he wasn't sure what Dawn was doing when she was doing this stuff either.  It was like a communicative or storytelling dance in another species' language for him. All he knew was that he was confused and had already lost the thread of the story so he was watching for interesting moves and special effects.  Like the pretty smoke that came up without any fire or matches.  And then there was a bright light.


Xander woke up from his nap, seeing the mirrors that had been telling him stories were now blank.  "So I'm not Sleeping Beauty anymore?" he complained, sitting up.  He yawned and stretched, then heard stuff from upstairs.  He got out of bed, checking the halls before walking out to the ramp.  It was silent in the lair except for those noises.  He came up to the point where he could see in the lounge area and stopped, staring at the threesome in the middle of the floor.  Charley was between Vinnie and Throttle, she was moaning in pleasure as they stroked her and teased her.  He could tell they were all naked under the sheet over them.  He wanted to pout.  "I thought that was supposed to be a foursome?" he complained as he came the rest of the way up.

"Xander," she moaned, holding out a hand.  "We were only waiting for you."  He grinned and kissed her, then slid in behind his mate.  Throttle stroked her stomach and she arched into his hands, feeling Vinnie taking her below.  "Oh, guys!" she moaned.

Xander looked under the sheet, then moved so he could lick his mate.  Since they were all joining in and all.  Throttle pushed into his mouth, letting him have what he wanted, stroking slowly as he swallowed him as deep as he could go.

"He's got good style," Vinnie said, watching him.  He moved the sheet, moving Charley onto her knees to take her again.  This way he could get a bit more energetic.  He felt a furry finger come around to help him and smiled at Throttle, who was grinning back.  "You should feel this, she's great, bro."

"He's great too," Throttle agreed, working a bit faster.  "Hurry up, Vinnie.  It's my turn."

Xander pulled back, looking up at him.  "We're officially starting as a foursome?"

"For now," he promised, kissing him.  He pulled Xander closer so he could tease him.  Though Vinnie's tail got his hole first, working it ever so slowly open by pushing in farther and farther.  Xander was clutching his arms, mouth open, toes flexed and his tail swinging wildly.  Charley caught it and teased the tail tip by nibbling on it, making him gasp and get off.  "See, not so bad," Throttle purred in his ear.

"I thought these were nightmares!" he panted, moving with the tail.  "Oh, please, guys!"

"Well, this is my nightmare but I'd rather enjoy it since it's so mild," Throttle told him, stroking his cock.  "You don't want them, right?"

"No, not like that.  Please, Throttle?" he pleaded.  Vinnie's tail popped out and Throttle slowly pushed his way in, making Xander tense up and push back.  "Please, more!" he panted.  "Lube?"

"Coming," Throttle promised, picking some up to spread on the head of his cock.  Xander whimpered and groaned, letting him have everything.  Throttle smirked at him.  "This is the most pleasant nightmare I've ever had."

"Me too!  No guns, no monsters!  Shit, more!" he yelped, moving with the slow, hard thrusts.  "Please, more!"

"Charley, grab his wrists," Throttle demanded, letting her hold him down for him.  He sped up, making his mate howl and yowl in pleasure, making him wiggle and try to get more.  Unfortunately this was all he was getting for now.  "Break the curse."

Vinnie looked over the nude body, finding the marks on his balls.  "Sure."  He picked up the other tube, sliding some onto his fingers so he could draw over the marks on Xander's body.  More marks popped up so he drew over those too, making Xander insane.  He smirked at him.  "This isn't so bad."

"If you ever think about doing this in real life, I'm going to have to skin you for a rug," Throttle warned.

"If I did, it'd have to be all of us anyway," Vinnie reminded him smugly, working on a new figure.  "Since you went this way, bro, you're going to have to go off at the *same* time."

"That's nearly impossible."

"Yeah, but you're good," he reminded him.  "Then we can all jump ship."

"How are all three of us going off at the same time?" Xander panted.  "Why?"

"To get you free of the nightmares," Throttle said, giving him a kiss. "Slow down, I'm not ready yet."

"Can't.  Can't, can't, can't, can'tcan'tcan't!" he whimpered, trying harder.  He was so close. "PLEASE!"

"Nope, can't happen, we've all got to go together," Vinnie told him.  "So either we've got to time you for you or you've got to slow down."  He finished drawing and pulled out of Charley's body, watching as she disappeared.  "She was a figment anyway, I wasn't going to let her come."  He teased himself and Xander whimpered.  "Throttle?"

"Hell, plug him from that end.  It'll only help.  Just be ready, he's good at that."

"Sure."  He grinned and got to his knees, letting Xander have him to lick on.  Instead of licking, Xander dove down.  "Oh, momma," he moaned.  "You weren't kidding!  I'm nearly this good, but man!"

"Told ya so," Throttle said smugly.  "Xander, you've got to go off with us or we're all stuck here," he reminded him.

"There's a way," Vinnie panted.  "Mental.  I'm not great at it, but you two have it."

"Hell, I'll lead," Throttle promised, initiating contact with his mate.  Vinnie bent down and connected, and it was awkward, but they could do this.  They pressed on Xander's mind until he calmed down and then worked themselves faster and harder to meet up with him.  Throttle gave him a nudge as he started to go over, and Xander let go, letting Vinnie nudge him into the perfect timing.  Throttle nudged Vinnie over too, making them all come at about the same moment, Vinnie just a second behind.

Vinnie woke up and moaned, rubbing the back of his neck.  "Ow.  Bad position.  If there's a next time, we've got to find a better one."

"Sure, bro," Throttle agreed, leaning over to give him a hug.  "You okay?"

"Yeah, fine," he said with a small grin.  "Xander!"  Xander mumbled something and the door opened for him, letting him in.  "You okay?  Shut it."  He shut the door.

"Was I in there anyway?" Charley called.

"Yeah, kinda, but you're very cute like that," Throttle called, grinning at Vinnie.  He pulled his mate into his lap to cuddle. "You're okay."

"I'm fine."  He stole a kiss, then a longer kiss.  "That was mean, making me promises."

"If it happens some day, you'll know what I like," Vinnie told him, working on cleaning up the mess.  Everything went onto the table and he curled up on the floor with his head on Throttle's thigh.  "Can I cuddle?"

"Sure."  He stroked the soft white fur, grinning at his mate.  "You okay?"

"A bit sore."  He wiggled a bit.  "Plus, I need more."

"Soon, Xander," Throttle promised, kissing him again.  He heard a snap unbutton and looked down, Vinnie was undoing his pants for him, then got Xander's.  "Thanks.  Helping?"

"Least I can do since I'm too tired to move," he complained.  "Magic is painful."

"Only when you overuse yourself," Xander said gently, frowning at him.  "Better than what it had been?"  Vinnie nodded, grinning at him.  "You know I saw all of it, right?  So I can tease you because I didn't get to blow up a village."

"Then I can tease you about being a reborn black mouse," Vinnie taunted back.

Xander shrugged and nodded.  "Fine, if you want."  He stole a kiss from him, then from his mate.  "Thank you."

"Like I said, if I'm alive, I'm coming after you," he said gently, kissing him as best he could in their present position.  He reached back and opened the door.  "Charley girl, come help Vinnie into a more comfortable position."  She walked in and he slammed the door before anyone else could come help, then glared at the baby crawling in.  "Hi, Anya.  No."  He used his tail to pick her up, then reopened the door and dropped her outside, closing the door again.  His tail fit nicely under the door.  He shifted Xander around, kissing him again.

"Guys, don't do that in front of us," Charley complained.  She looked at Vinnie, who was looking very smug.  "What happened?" she asked.

"One of Throttle's less violent nightmares is the thought of a foursome," he reminded her, pulling her down to kiss her.  "I only really touched you but he got to taste."

"I don't want to know these things," Stoker yelled through the door.

"Then don't eavesdrop," Dawn complained from next to him.  "Some of us want details!"

"Fat chance, daughter," Throttle said firmly.  "We need that muting spell on this door too.  That way we don't have to hear it when certain girls go after their porn in the office."

"I usually mute it," Dawn complained.  "What happened?"

"Dawn!" Xander snapped.  He heard a quiet meow and all noise stopped. "Thanks, Tara."  He kissed his mate again, starving for him now.  "You'd better be lubed or I'd better be lubed," he warned.  "That's all that's going to save one of us from friction burns."  He pushed Throttle onto his back, attacking his body with his lips and hands.

"Guys!" Charley complained again, but Vinnie kissed her. "Oh, no," she warned.  "Not a foursome."

"Nope, just appreciating you," he promised her, pulling her down on top of him.  "We didn't get to while we were in there so we should now."  He kissed her again, using his tail to undo her shirt and jeans while his hands got the more complicated bra and underwear off.  She eeped into his mouth when she felt his tail enter her.  "Love you."  He flipped them over, going to lick her until she was too distracted to realize the other couple were doing the same thing.  "Bro, shields," he complained, taking another long lick of her body.  He could feel Throttle's blowjob deep in his throat.  Not that it bothered him but he didn't want to know if one of them could taste what he was tasting.  He dove in, getting deeper and more intense, how she liked it.  She was wiggling and reaching for his ears or antenna but he captured her hands and held them down with his tail, using his fingers on her now while he sucked on her clit.  "Want more, sweetheart?' he teased.

"Yes, more," she pleaded.  He moved up and slid into her, making her groan and push up.  "Thank you."

"Always happy to serve you," he said with a wink.  He moaned as he felt his body be invaded, having to look back to make sure no one was actually doing that.  "Guys, I can feel that," he complained.

"Me too," Charley moaned, arching up into him.  "So that's what it feels like."

"Yeah, that's what it feels like," he admitted with a grin. "Anytime you want that, I'm there."  He sped up, leaning down to kiss her again, letting the dual sensations make this the best yet.  He felt a tongue touch his tail and looked back, that was Xander.  He moved his tail and captured Throttle's to hand him instead.  Xander whimpered but sucked on it, going down on it like he did his mate.  He was pounding her by now, still able to feel it all.  He was apparently stuck in Throttle's head since he was taking it this time and that's what he could feel. He winced as Xander pushed in deeper, fighting the urge to clamp down on the invader.  It wouldn't do him any good since it wasn't in him, but Xander eased up on Throttle so he relaxed, going back to pleasuring his woman.  She was panting and gasping, clutching at his arms.  "Just a bit more," he promised, moving faster again.  He was in time with the thrusts going on in the other pair's bodies.

"Tail me," she begged.  He gladly slipped his tail into her and she screamed, tensing around him.  He was working her harder and harder, making her claw his arms now.  He came with a whimper, leaning down to kiss her again.  He could feel it when Xander let go and came, like it was splashing his insides.  He went down to clean her up, then laid down beside her, holding her tightly against his body.  "Guys," she said quietly.  "You two okay?"

"Mortally embarrassed," Throttle admitted.  He pushed Vinnie out of his head, then looked at him.  "Good for you, bro?"

"Excellent for me. You?"

"Wonderful."  He looked at Xander.  "You?"

Xander just gave him a goofy grin and nipped him on the nipple, making Vinnie yelp.

"Can't you block him out?" Charley asked him.

"I'm feeling Throttle, sweetheart, and I'm trying."

"I don't think I can take how often they go at it," she said dryly.  "I'd never get anything done if you jump me as often as they do each other."  Throttle leaned down and kissed Xander and she could feel it against her lips, letting out a small moan.  "Never mind.  Guys, shielding exercises?"

"It may be too late," Vinnie told her, giving her a kiss from him too.  "It may be way too late, babe."

"Vinnie, a foursome is a bit kinky for me.  I'll lick your tail for you but not theirs."

"Not askin' ya to, sweetheart," he said with a grin.  "We'll work on it.  Hopefully by Monday."

"It's Saturday?" Xander complained.  Throttle nodded, grinning at him.  "Did I remember to call off work yesterday?"

"Probably not," he admitted.  "I'll call your boss if Dawn hasn't."  He kissed him again then moved over to kiss those two.  "Sorry."

"Not an issue.  Just try to block us out, okay?" Charley asked.  "You two get more than anyone I know and I couldn't stand being that wet all the time.  I'd never get rid of him then."

"Don't worry, if he gets that annoying, we'll strap him to the bed for you," Xander quipped, grinning at her.  "Sorry, Charley."

"It's okay, Xander," she sighed.  "It's not what I expected.  Right now, I'm wondering why I'm not scared of this."

"Because I'm a great lover?" Xander suggested smugly.

"I knew you'd get the Van Wham family ego," she said dryly.

"Like all great family fortunes, it grows with interest as it's passed down through the generations," Vinnie agreed happily.

"Thankfully your son won't be white," Xander teased.

"Yeah, thankfully," Throttle agreed.  "Three of you would drive everyone insane."  He stroked Xander's side, watching as Charley shivered.  "We'd never force it on you, Charley girl.  We're sorry in advance if we annoy you."

"It's okay.  Maybe some distance will help.  Vinnie, we'll be sleeping back at the garage tonight."

"Hmm, more opportunities to make noise," he cooed, kissing her again.  He realized his tail was still held in the silken prison and wiggled it, making her and Throttle gasp.  "What?  I feel you but you feel her?" he asked his bro.  Throttle shivered and nodded, kissing Xander desperately.  "Interesting."

"There will be no sex between the couples," Charley said.  "Right?"

"Not an issue," Throttle assured her.

"Yeah, you're mine.  Xander might ruin you for my more subtle style," Vinnie agreed.

"Big bro and I can still cuddle and play though, right?" Xander asked.  "He's very good at giving cuddles."

"Sure, you two look cute together," Charley offered with a grin for him.  "Just no blatant teasing because I've still got to work."

"That's fine," Xander agreed happily.  "We can start working on the shielding stuff too.  That way we don't have to feel the birth."  He looked at his lover. "How's Dawn doing? I saw Modo say she was going into miscarriage."

"She did," he sighed.  "She's fine.  Enamel went to the ER with them and she's fine."  He kissed him.

"You saw it?" Vinnie asked.

"Yeah, it was like a mirror telling me a bedtime story.  By the way, you looked cute in my hawaiian shirt, bro."

"Thanks," Vinnie said with a small chuckle and a grin for Charley.  "You looked good in that outfit too."

"Yes and now I know why Anya was always jumping him."  She kissed him gently, then grinned.  "The baby's not kicking."

"Even a Van Wham child has to sleep *sometime*," he said dryly, smirking at her.  "Once a week or so at the most probably but sometime."

"He'd better sleep more often than that," Charley said grimly.  "Otherwise we'll never get anything done in the garage."  She winced as she got kicked.  "Okay, I'll be nicer to your father.  Geez, kid."

Vinnie went down to lick her and talk into her body through the convenient opening. It would make the sound easier for his son to hear.

Throttle shook his head.  "He's a nut," he told Xander, stroking his stomach.  "If you ever want another of those, we'll talk about adopting."

Xander shook his head.  "Dawn was more than enough for me," he said seriously.  "I don't like diapers, I don't want to talk someone into giving up the baby they pushed out.  That's okay."

"It's not that bad," Vinnie told him.

"Bet me.  Switch said it's like pushing a bowling ball out your nose."

"She'd know," Charley said dryly, stroking Vinnie's antenna, making him moan.  "No more talking to the baby that way, Vinnie."  He put his head on her chest, letting her play however she wanted.  She winked at the others and gently teased one antenna with a small nibble.

Xander snorted.  "No, Charley, go down on it like you're giving him a good blow.  It's better when you stimulate all of it," Xander told her, showing her on Throttle's antennas.  Throttle went limp against him and started to hump his leg with a small groan.  He winked at Charley, who mimicked him and Vinnie tensed up, trying hard not to pounce her.  He could tell it.  He used his tail to tease Throttle's open hole, making Vinnie shiver and shake and then he sucked really hard up one antenna.  Vinnie came with a shout and Throttle let go, moaning into his stomach.  "See?"

"I do.  Thank you."

Xander beamed.  "I like being oral. It makes me happy."

"Babe, don't share," Throttle complained. "Unless you want to go over there to help them, concentrate on me."

"I was just teasing," he said, frowning at him.  "Sorry."

"Love you anyway, studly."  He got a long, slow kiss, and the tail teasing him slid inside him.  "Not yet, Xander.  I'm tired."

"But, babe."

"Soon," he promised, looking at the hardness resting against Xander's stomach.  He went down to lick it for him, making it go off fairly quickly.  "There, now it's time for a nap."  He put his head on Xander's stomach and closed his eyes.  His tail swished a few times until it was caught by another tail, and he didn't care whose it was.  It was a soothing stroke, not sexual.  "Thanks."  He yawned and fell asleep.

"You know, since Stoker's here, I can start getting lessons from the playbook," Xander offered.

"The other condition still applies," Vinnie reminded him.  "You need your own bike."

"I can take the car."

"You can't get the car into the tower," Charley reminded him.  "I'll let you use mine for practice until they can find you your own," she promised, grinning at him.  "When is Dawn's coming?"

"We were supposed to pick it up today," Vinnie said sheepishly.  "Modo, it's Saturday, right?"  He knew that Dawn's usual spell allowed you to call out for a specific person.

"Yeah, why, bro?" he called back, opening the door by breaking the knob.  He stuck his head in and blushed.  "Why?"

"Dawn's present?"

"Oh, that."  He grinned.  "Rimfire and I can go down and pick it up."  He winked.  "You four okay?"  Charley and Vinnie nodded.  Xander was yawning.  "Stoker said you guys probably won't be able to shield from each other ever again.  He doesn't think it's possible."

"It is," Xander told him.  "We can customize our shields.  It'll just take a few days work," he said with another yawn.  "Did anyone call me off work yesterday?"

"No, but Dawn called your boss once she got back to tell him what had happened and how we were all trapped and under attack.  He said he'd be up tonight."  He winked and closed the door, not letting either kid in there.  "You two don't need ta see that."  He picked them up and carried them back to the couch, sitting down with them.  "They're resting," he told Dawn.

"Present?" she asked, looking around.  "I heard present mentioned and it'll keep my mind off killing Giles," she said sweetly.  "And can I have lessons from the mouse playbook too?"

Stoker looked at her.  "You're going to be joining the Freedom Fighters?"

"Some day, this one'll want to move home," she said, nodding at Rimfire.  "I'll have to go with him."

"If and when that happens, I'll let Throttle teach you," he told her.  "I'm going to have my hands full teaching Xander the playbook once he gets his own bike."

"Any luck on finding him one?" Modo asked. "He's forever borrowing ours.  Lil' Hoss took him and didn't even ask me the last time.  Vinnie's is the same way."

"The plant was bombed three years ago, Modo," he said gently.  "We haven't been able to rebuild it yet."

"So there's a shortage?" Rimfire asked as he came up the ramp.  "Are we heading, uncle?"  Modo nodded, handing the kids back to their father.  "How bad is the shortage?"

"Fairly bad. This generation should be mostly taken care of," he offered.  "Other than that, I'm not sure, kid."  He looked at Rimfire.  "If and when Dawn comes to Mars and joins the Freedom Fighters, you can teach her the playbook."  Rimfire snorted.  "Not before."

"No, because it won't come in handy before then," he said dryly, smirking at him.  "Too late."  He looked at his uncle. "Come on."  He nodded, getting up and getting on the back of his nephew's bike.  "Dawn, sit down and be good or else you can't have it for another week," he ordered with a smug look.  "Grandmomma said so."  He turned around and headed off to the dealership.

She sat down with a sigh.  "That is so unfair," she complained to him.  "I do go on assaults down here, Stoker.  I'm working with Micah.  Have you asked him about getting stuff to build a new factory?"

"Food comes first, Dawn."

She got up and went to get that textbook, coming back to hand it to him.  "Here.  Filtering nasty, heavy, dirty water into useable food production and only useable food production."  He looked stunned, looking in it.  "We've got some deserts too."  She flopped down again.  "Xander will need one.  I can see me not needing one because I'm not a mouse, but he is," she reminded him gently.  "It'll break his heart if he can't help the bros."

Stoker nodded.  "I know.  I'm looking," he promised.  "He may have to come up there himself.  I'm not sure yet. It's going to be a long wait though."  She nodded, letting out a little sigh.  "You okay, kid?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine," she said, giving him a weak smile. "It's for the best that I miscarried.  Hopefully we'll be able to figure out something before I'm able to have sex again.  I want more than cuddles with him."

He gave her a short hug, then a punch on the arm. "I understand.  Switch is the same way," he assured her.

"So, how far along is she?" she asked with a slightly brighter grin.

He groaned and shook his head. "She's not."

"Bet me," she snorted. "She's glowing, Stoker.  Why does she always have to come down here to announce it?"

"It's a great place for announcements," Xander said from the study.  "Shh!"

"Sorry, Xan."  She grinned at the old guy.  "Please?"

"We'll see.  There's a lot to learn, Dawn.  The playbook is really thick."

"I've got another four years of being in town at the least," she reminded him. "College degrees are like that."

"Where's Rimfire going to be?"

"Studying languages, computer stuff, and agricultural stuff beside me," she told him.  "Micah said so."

"You can study farming?"

"Yeah, that's the textbook from an advanced Ag class," she told him, nodding at the book.  "It's got all sorts of neat stuff.  I've been working on magical terraforming and stuff and he's been doing the practical version."

"Interesting.  I'll bring it back with me."  He looked toward the study.  "You twerps know you got me seated on Council, right?" he called.  Throttle laughed, it was his heavier, breathy tone of laugh.  "That hint that no one had to agree to sit got my tail stuck."

"You'll be great at it, Stoker.  Think of it like running a really big base," Vinnie called.  "Now hush, my baby's napping and so's the son."

"Cheese, he's insufferable," Stoker complained.

"Guys, can't you wait to do that until we're next door?" Charley complained, sounding like she was panting.  "It's not like I needed to know that much about how male mice have sex."

"And his little brother's not much better," Stoker sighed, shaking his head, but going back to reading.

The End of the Nightmares.

To Part 30

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