Dean looked at Xander, who was slightly dressed up.  Jeans and a better than usual shirt.  He grinned.  "We're mostly in t-shirts if you want to change."

"I look more like a girlfriend."

"Be yourself, Xander.  They'll know if you lie.  Plenty of us do it to save our own asses."  She sighed but changed into a loose t-shirt.  He got out and she got out, letting him lock the car and walk around to walk into the scary group of people beside him.  "Relax."

"I am.  Can't you tell?"

"Xander," Sam said, rushing over to give her a hug.  "Come on.  We've got our own table with Bobby."  He drug her behind him, taking her over there.  "Now, apologize to each other."

"Didn't mean to upset you, Xander."

"Not a problem.  I should've warned, not threatened."

Bobby grinned.  "Sit down.  You look a bit better."

"Dean nags like an old wife."  She sat down while Sam laughed and Dean rolled his eyes.

"Only when you and Sam need me to."  He waved at a few people, ignoring the curious looks for now.  "Lunch on yet?"

"We knew you'd only come to eat," Jim said from behind him, getting a hug from the boys and Xander.  "Good to see you, Xander."

"Sorry, Jim."

"It's not a problem, dear.  Next time, come talk to me.  After all, not like I don't know and don't try to understand."  Xander nodded.  "Good girl."  He patted her on the head.  "Grill's that way, Dean.  Go stuff your face."  He grinned and went to do that while Jim sat next to her, Sam protectively on the other side.  "Sam, go eat," he said.  Sam gave him a stubborn look.

Xander patted him on the wrist.  "He'd never hurt me."

"Fine."  He went to help Dean gather food for all them.  "Don't hog all the food."  A few of the guys laughed at that.  "He is!"

"If I did, you'd be shorter than me," Dean told him, strolling back to the table.  Bobby tried to wave him off but he sat down on Xander's free side anyway.  He shoved one plate at Xander, getting a look.  "Eat.  Don't make me nag."

"I ate thirty minutes ago."

"Good, eat again.  Not like you're worried about getting fat or something.  You get more exercise than we do."  Xander sighed but nibbled on a chip, making Jim laugh.  He looked at Bobby.  "Did you tell him how there's a new ghost in the circle?  I know he was supposed to come visit but he said he only got to your place before he got stuck.  Haven't talked to him since February."

"Hadn't yet."  He looked at the pastor.  "Somehow, during the invasion in Sunnydale, John's ghost got brought back."  Jim nodded that he'd seen him.

"And Xander chewed him a new one," Sam said, sitting next to Bobby.   "He's decided she's going to give him grandbabies."

"I told him about the nightmare I was having."  Sam gave her an odd look.  "Yes, that one."

Sam looked at his brother.  "It wasn't mine and she swears it's not a vision."

"That's good.  I'd hate to have that future."  He gave him a look.  "If necessary, go ahead.  Then at least I'd still get cuddles."  Xander pinched him and he yelped.  A few of the guys laughed at that.  "Quit!" he yelled.  "Before I sic the new ghost on you!"

"If he shows up, he'll talk to them," Xander said.  "They might yell at him too."

"Yeah, more than one of them probably will," Bobby agreed.  "So, how was Sunnydale?"  A few guys in hearing backed up and gave them worried looks.  "The slayer out there called for help.  There was a small invasion of demons."

"It lasted about ten minutes," Sam told them.  "The people working to close the portal got it done fairly quickly so we only had about two hundred demons surging through into an alleyway and a lot of swords in their way.  Did we know that there's a demon hunting group out of the UN?  It's highly classified but some of them joined us too."  One guy choked.  "Hey, Bob.  Any relation to Riley?"

"I'm going to kill my nephew," he said.

Xander turned to look at him.  "You're related to Riley?  Did he always have bad taste or was it when he decided to date Buffy?  Sam seemed a bit passive for his former tastes as we saw it."

"You're from Sunnydale?"

Xander grinned and nodded.  "Born and bred actually."

"Are you human?"

"Very.  I grew up not three blocks from the hellmouth.  Helped with graduation too.  We had an ascension."  Most everyone shuddered.  She grinned. "Then Dean adopted me when I got sent to Jim by the Powers That Be."

Jim nodded.  "She was.  She's been very helpful to the boys."

"We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her," Sam agreed, grinning at her.  "Did you have to play wailing, angsty, country music to wake us up when we had the concussion?  Couldn't you have punched us instead?"

"Sometimes I like country music," she defended, making Bobby laugh.  "What?  It's my sad music."

"Which is why we listened to classic rock all the way here," Dean said before eating a bite of burger.

Jim patted her on the back, watching her tense up.  "You know very well I'm not going to hurt you, Xander."  She made herself relax.  "We'll talk if you want."  She shook her head.  "No?"

"I'm still having some adjustment issues."

"That's fine.  You have my number if you need to talk to me."

"Sam and I have been talking and Xander agreed with us.  We're going to cut back to spending some time in a place that's not a motel every month.  They gave her that little cabin so we can spend some time there.  Or maybe drop in on Bobby more often?"  Bobby shrugged at that.  "That way we can slow down because I'm starting to ache and all the bangs to the head are making my ears ring for longer each time."

"I used to bang mine into gravestones so I'm more used to head injuries," Xander said.  "At first I thought all this was one."

Dean looked at her.  "I'm much more fun than a concussion."

"You definitely are but if I ever get sick like I do with concussions, you're in deep shit and you're going to be swim team bait."

Dean snickered. "Sure.  If I ever make you puke like that I'll let you chop me up and feed me to your town's former swim team, Xander."  He ate another bite, shaking his head.  Then he realized what she had said.  "Without planning it in advance?"

"Depends on the day," she said blandly.  Sam burst out cackling and even Jim had to laugh at that.  Bobby gave her a clueless look.  "The nightmare I keep having over and over again is Sam having to reincarnate Dean by having someone bear him.  Namely me."  Bobby burst out in high-pitched giggles.  "If he *ever* makes me puke like that, I'm going to gut him."

"Works for us.  Let us know first in case he runs, Xander," Bobby said.  He grinned.  "I could learn to like you."

"Maybe," she said with a coy grin, making him laugh again.  "But, hey, I'm not Buffy."

"No, you're definitely not the pampered princess turned slayer," Sam agreed.  "You don't do couture clothes or manicures."

"Thank god," Dean muttered.  Xander gave him a look.  "I'm sorry, I can't imagine you being one of those flighty little girls like Buffy was.  Down to earth is nice.  That's why we all like Tara and you.  You're realistic, you're down to earth.  You don't simper, beg, and coo unless you're being the bait.  It's nice."

"It is," Xander agreed.  "Plus, I'm not like Anya."

"No, you're not.  I'm very glad of that.  I'd never wake up if you were."  Sam giggled, turning to laugh on Bobby's shoulder.  Bobby looked confused.  "She used to date Anyanka, over Women Scorned, when she lost her powers."

"I stepped on her power center and broke it," Xander told him.  "So we went to the prom together."  Bobby whimpered. "She was decent.  Liked sex.  Made me pay the bills but that was fine.  It was okay enough.  She's very blunt and she's back to work again."

"Very blunt is an understatement, dear," Jim said dryly.  "I had to help a young man who ran afoul of her recently.  She was nagging him about his lack of sexual knowledge."

"Yeah, I got that too.  But hey, I made her quit talking about the ones she tortured."

"Good job," Jim praised.

"She kept trying to set Sammy and Anya up.  I nearly spanked her for it," Dean told him.

Someone poked Xander on the back then retreated from the glare Sam sent his way.  "How did you come to meet the boys?"

"The Powers That Be sent me to them to help them with a few recent problems."  She looked at him.  "They sent me to Jim who called them.  I shot out the back tire of the Impala so they wouldn't crash and have broken ribs."

"Don't remind me," Dean told her.

"I replaced it and helped you change it."

"You did.  That was very nice and it saved your life at that point," Dean assured her dryly.  He ate another bite, nodding at Sam to explain it somehow.

"They sent her because she knew of a way to get Dean free and to kill the demon that got our mom.  She had her own problem that we helped her train for.  The Watcher/Slayer team out in Sunnydale wasn't doing much training of their normal people."

"You went there?" he demanded.

Dean swallowed and nodded.  "Yeah.  Since their former mayor died it's slowed down some.  Now they've got both slayers working on the hellmouth to keep it calm.  Xander helped take down a whole vampire frat house while we were out there."

"How are there two?" he asked, looking suspicious.

Xander looked at him again.  "Buffy died and I gave her CPR.  It was long enough to call Kendra, who came out and they figured it out together.  When Kendra died, Faith was called.  She's back out of prison and changed back to a good slayer again.  They've even got Spike helping since the Initiative chipped him."  That got a whimper from someone.  She looked at Riley's uncle, grinning a bit.  "Yes, that one.  He's helping Buffy.  She needed another good fighter and he is one."

"Where is my nephew?"

"We saw him right before solstice and then he went home for the holidays or something, then they went back on assignment."

"Must've went to his woman's family then.  You got his number?"

"Giles does.  Buffy might."


"Rupert Giles, Watcher to the Slayer Buffy.  He runs a store called the Magic Box.  He has it; that's how we got hold of him for the invasion."

"How did John's ghost get called back?" someone demanded.

"One of the sorcerers closing the portal was Ethan Rayne.  It called for a white, a reformed, and a dark practitioner.  Ethan filled in for the dark spot.  It was his last move before he ran from Giles again."

"They couldn't use their own witch?" one demanded.

"Willow ended up with a small magic addiction.  Then she lost her soulmate."  They all shuddered.  "It caused a number of problems and they're helping her weed out her powers at the moment.  Fortunately we got Tara back so she's filling in."

"She's reborn?" one asked.

"No, Willow made the same sort of deal I did," Dean said honestly.  "Offering someone else's soul.  They've handled her, she's out of commission, she's being drained of all her magic.  She's safe, the town's safer.  Tara's a sweetheart and I want her to move closer so we can visit more often."

"They've got Sunnydale down to a ten percent homicide and disappearance rate this month," Xander told them.  "First time in nearly a hundred years, since normal people moved there."  That got some smiles.

"You helped," Dean reminded her.

"I know I did, but not this month."

"Good point."  He patted her on the head.  "Want the chips?"  She dug in, making him smile.  "So, what's been going on up your way, Jim?"

"Nothing much.  A boy who cheated on his pregnant girlfriend that I had to help save.  The usual spiritual crises.  Your father's dropped by a few times to complain about Xander and you boys hunting with her.  He thinks she should have stayed there and strung someone up.  Then he started to pout about lack of heirs.  Again."  Xander snickered, shaking her head.  "He told me you chewed him a new one."

"Of course I did.  He was being a dumbass."

"He could be," Bobby agreed.  "That's why I shot him the last time I saw him alive."

"Amused me to no end," Dean assured him, getting a laugh.  "Bobby, can you look at the new modification on her blazer later?  The guy who did it was a bit shady.  He picked her up in the bar."

"I can look.  What's wrong with it?"

"I'm not so sure he did it right.  It seems a bit weak to me."

"I'll look it over tonight.  You are coming for dinner tonight so he can pick up Sam?"  Xander nodded.  "Good."  He smiled.  "We've got a nice guest room.  You guys can figure that out however since I'm sure you've shard plenty of motel rooms."

"Yeah, but none of us have the hickeys anymore to show for it."  Sam groaned and put his head down.

Dean shook his and moaned.  "You did some of that too."

"Twice," she defended.

"Uh-huh.  That's still some."  He looked at Bobby.  "The last ten places have had six that only had a full size bed in the room and that was the only room left.  No couches in any of them.  Us nearly out of money."  Jim whimpered.  "So yes, they both suck in their sleep now and then.  She kicks.  Sam creeps.  It's been a bit strange this last nine months."

"Picked her up in a bar too?" one drunk guy sneered.

"No, she got sent to Jim for us to pick her up," Dean told him before eating a bite.

"I think she got sent to warp you two.  She's a demon whore," he said.  He took a swing at Xander but she caught his fist and calmly stood up, looking at him.  "You are, aren't you?"

"No.  Never have slept with a demon that I know of.  Anya was a former demon when I slept with her.  Cordy ascended long after we were over."  He gaped.  Xander stared at him.  "Your idea is very far fetched.  It probably goes with the fairies that make shoes and who milk your cows for you."  Sam spluttered.  "I'd like an apology."  He took another swing at her.  "Last warning, dear.  I'm not in the mood to fight but I'll kick your ass if you do it again."  He growled and took another swing so she knocked him down with a punch then stood in the middle of his chest, staring down at him.  "What was that?  Did I hear an apology?"

"Never gonna get it now," he sneered.

"Xander, let me," Dean ordered.

"No, I think I have this one.  If he thinks I am, let him prove the one I've slept with."

"You're too powerful to be a *girl*."

"That's because I'm a slayer, dipshit."  The man gaped and a few gasped.  "Yeah, Willow activated me for the invasion.  I'm still here too.  That's why I get to wander around.  Yay me."  She stared down at him, making him whimper.  "Now, you got any other problems?  I'm sure you can fix them.  Because if you *ever* take another swing at me again and I'm not possessed or something, I'm going to fuck up your life in a permanent fashion.  Got me here?"  He nodded quickly so she got off.  "Thank you."  She looked at the others.  "Yes, there's three of us thanks to Rosenburg.  Which is why she's under careful monitoring at the moment."  She looked at Dean.  "Keys?"

"Sit.  Eat."

"No.  And no."  Dean pulled her down next to him.  "Dean...."

"Anyone have a problem with Sammy and me hooking up with Xander beyond our dad whining for grandkids?"  They all shook their heads or shrugged and went back to what they had been chatting about.  He grinned.  "See?  We're pretty easy going.  That one needs his brain cleaned."

"And waxed," Xander offered.

"Could help," Sam agreed.  He got up and walked around to look at him.  "She's like my sister, Dave.  You're treading on very thin ice."

"She's dangerous.  She reports to them."

"No I don't.  The Watchers Council can blow me.  Travers knows that," Xander assured him.  "We've already had this talk.  Rupert started to do some minimal training.  Wesley Wyndham-Pryce finished it for me, both of which are *former* Watchers.  Neither one report to the council about *anything*.  Wes and I have been making plans to blow up something if they come back over to bother us.  Travers and I have an agreement.  They're very sorry Willow did it to me.  I'm on reserve, and I may be the last slayer ever called so they're leaving me alone.  Permanently.  So no, I don't answer to the Council or a Watcher.  Dean's as close as I'm getting to one and he's got more style and class than most of them.  I'd never catch him in tweed either."  Bobby snickered and nodded that was right.  "Any other remarks?"

"You're not natural."

"Willow," she said slowly and clearly. "Plus born and bred on the hellmouth.  That's one of the Council's worst nightmares.  Until Wes drained off some of my natural energy I was drawing demons from thirty miles to come eat me.  Fortunately that's been solved."

"Thankfully," Dean agreed.  He looked at the guy on the ground.  "Dave, let me put it simply.  Mine.  Our hunting partner.  Even Dad got that point eventually.  Dad?" he called.  He faded in.  "A hunter's picnic and Dave wanted to make sure you knew we're still hunting with Xander."

"I like your plans, boys.  It's good to think about the future."  He looked at Xander.  "If that nightmare becomes a vision..."

"Then I'm going to scream, rant, and cry and Sam'll probably have to tie me down a few times."

"I can accept that."  He smiled.  "Son, you might want to watch your lies when you're checking into a motel.  You already goofed up in a common law state."  The others laughed.  "Just a head's up, son."

"He wasn't going to let us stay if we didn't.  The next one was over three hours away."

"Uh-huh.  Just be careful, son.  Look at those laws and make sure you're good with them."  He looked at Xander again. "Not that I mind."

"I'm *so* not ready to settle down yet, John.  Thanks anyway."

He laughed, floating over to Dave.  "She's a great young woman.  Stood up to me every single time so far."

"Someone had to.  Your ego is bigger than your boy parts as Tara would say."

Dean choked and spluttered.  "Damn it, Xander."

"Sorry, Dean."  The others laughed and relaxed again.  It was clear the boys loved her, John loved her, so she would be good enough for them too.  Even if she was a bit strange and forceful.


Bobby watched as Xander came out of the bathroom nearly fully dressed.  "I've seen naked women before, Xander.  Get comfy."

"No offense, but I only do that when I need gas money."  Bobby gaped.  "They can't touch!  I'll get used to them looking but no one gets to touch."

"But us," Dean countered from the couch.

"Except them. And Sam's kinda confused.  He thinks girls look like chia pets."  She went to the bedroom.  "Night, all."

"Night," Sam called.  He looked at Dean, then at Bobby.  "Want me to take the couch?"

"Not like I care, Sam.  Whatever makes you comfortable.  Just don't keep me up."

"Not that loud," Dean muttered, making Sammy nod.  "I am not."

"Yeah you are."

"No I'm not."

"Yes you are."

"No, bitch, I'm not."

"Jerk, yes you are."

"Boys," Bobby said.

Xander came out and smacked them both on the head.  "Shut up or you're both sleeping on the couch. Or in the pink room when we get back to the cabin."  She went back to bed, leaving Bobby laughing.

Dean shook his head.  "Xander's a fun person to travel with.  We've had a blast this last nine months."

"So what happened?"

Dean looked at him.  "Let me check.  This goes a bit deeper than you think."  He got up and went to check on Xander, smiling at her.  "Want me to tell him?"

"I don't want it spread around."

"He won't."  She shrugged.  "Can I?"


He kissed her.  "We'll be in soon.  Or you could sit up with us."

"I'm tired."

"Okay."  He looked t her.  "You're back on the patch, right?"  She nodded, giving him a patient look.  "Good, then no jeans in bed unless it's an emergency.  I'll molest you later."  She laughed so he left, closing the door behind him.  He nodded and Bobby followed him outside.  "What did Jim tell you?"

"That she was a bit strange but she'd been hunting before whatever problem sent her to you boys for protection and help."

Dean sighed.  "This is going to sound bad but it's a tale of, basically, two witches."  He looked at his friend seeing the horrified look.  "She's not one.  Being born and bred in Sunnydale she's storing some energy.  Wes drained some when he first got to us because she was drawing every demon within thirty miles due to that and bleeding issues."

"Well, she's a girl."

"Now."  Bobby looked confused.  "Xander ....  What have you heard about the Sunnydale crew?"

"Not much.  Slayer's a bit strange but a strong girl.  Lasted a while now.  Watcher's in disgrace.  Powerful witch, redheaded girl.  Had a werewolf friend that chained himself up."

"Oz," he said.  "Xander said that he's in Tibet getting control of the wolf somehow.  I never did get her to tell me what that meant."  He shifted and let out a small sigh.  "They had another helper, Bobby."

"Yeah, some normal boy who jumped in, got possessed, all that stuff."

"Which would be Xander."


"Xander jumped into Buffy, the slayer's, fight at sixteen or so.  Tenth grade."  Bobby nodded once, making go on motions.  "He brought with him the young woman who'd eventually turn out to be a very powerful witch, Willow."

"The redheaded one."

"Who was dating the werewolf during those years.  Anyway, Willow had to close the hellmouth.  She wasn't letting the Watcher teach her how to slowly build her magic so she went from floating things to closing hellmouths and sticking a soul back into a vampire when he lost it."

"Damn," Bobby said in awe.

Dean grimaced.  "Later on, Oz left for Tibet after something.  Willow found a young witch named Tara.  Loves her wholeheartedly.  Man, even we love Tara.  If she liked boys in the least I'd let her have Sammy and walk away so they could have their life together.  Xander loves Tara like her sister.  Then Tara got shot.  Tara died."  He looked at him.  "Willow was having a problem with a magic addiction.  She had found black magic.  She was funneling it for the power rush."  By Bobby's look his voice sounded a bit flat and cold.  "When Tara got shot, Willow lost what was basically her soulmate.  To say she freaked out was a big understatement."

Xander came out to give him a hug.  "Did you feel what was called a soul's shudder?" she asked quietly.  Bobby looked at her and nodded.  "Willow in her grief sucked up an extreme amount of black magic from some artifacts and books.  She went to skin the person who had shot Tara.  We found his body a few days later.  Then she went to raise this ancient shrine out there.  By raising it and calling on the Goddess it was to she was going to destroy the world so they all felt like she did.  I stopped her.  Giles was sending her for some healing time to England, to a coven over in Devon who agreed to help her.  Before he could finalize the arrangements, Willow got the bright idea to have her resurrected the same way Dean did.  Only she didn't offer *her* soul, she offered mine."

"Hell," Bobby moaned.

"When I protested and freaked out, she told me it'd be fine and I was good for this.  I would make the sacrifice so she could have Tara because no one had ever loved me that way and there was no way I could understand.  When I told Giles, Buffy stuck up for her about me not being able to understand the pain she'd been in.  You know, I'd only been staking the people I grew up with.  One of them being my best friend, even above Willow, who was my first one staked.  When I found out I could fight it from Giles, I started making plans on how to do that.  Buffy heard us.  She told Willow.  Willow decided to change me so I couldn't possibly fight effectively."

Dean gave her hand a squeeze.  "Tara protested, Bobby.  She protested the deal, she protested Willow changing him into a female so he couldn't fight.  All of it.  Tara is the victim in all this, so's Xander."

Xander let out a snort.  "But the great part was, when Willow changed me she screwed with the slayer spells by accident.  If I had been born female I would've been a potential slayer.  It cranked it so I'm the last slayer.  We know if I die before the month's leeway on the deal is up no more will ever be called.  She made it so the Powers talked to me because even they got pissed at Willow.  And the one really *great* thing is that no one can change me back.  I went to the highest of the high chaos sorcerers.  All he could do was bind it into me so it wasn't so screwed up.  So I got sent to them for my own protection.  A new, virgin slayer, one that's too old for the powers and too old to fight the way a young teenage girl can.  A high price on my soul that I might've paid if Willow had asked.  I had no idea what to do with my body.  The Powers sent me to the boys to help them with their problems, knowing that it'd give me a way to train myself for my fight.  We found out about the last slayer clause a few days before the invasion."  Dean pulled her around to give her a hug.

"So she's still pretty uneasy with anyone but us touching her and it took us a while.  Mostly through the training we were doing with her in that cabin.  Which is hers now.  They've got her on the reserve list."

"I'm not adjusting to not being myself very well," Xander admitted quietly.

"I'd have tried to off myself," Bobby admitted.

"Giles stopped me."  She looked at him.  "So that's why I don't want it to get around.  Actually, we didn't want it to get around that I'm a slayer.  Not that I won't help if someone needs it but I've been fighting for a long time and I'm screwed in my own head."

"Dean'll help you."

"He has, a lot."

Dean nodded.  "I do."

"How are you stripping?"

"I was using it to get used to people watching my body.  There wasn't any way for them to touch me without getting tossed out so it was safer than going to a club to do it.  The free drinks that were helping the thoughts calm down for a few hours."  Bobby nodded that was true.  "Plus really good gas money.  I make better money than he does hustling pool."

Bobby grinned.  "You take good care of those boys.  It's clear you love 'em."

"They're my new family, Bobby.  Buffy and I can barely stay in the same room for a few minutes.  Giles helped me.  Tara helped me.  They've got my undying support.  Willow's in a magically induced coma that's leeching her powers back into the hellmouth.  She might wake up some century."

"While we were there for the invasion she decided to try to invalidate the sacrifice by killing her," Dean said, giving her a squeeze.  "Kidnaped her, stabbed her, all that stuff.  Thankfully she had slayer healing and that deal protected her from dying until it was time."  He looked at her.  "Your vial of poison is still there."

"Yeah, I know."  She kissed him.  "You're a great man."  He grinned.  "But you're not getting sex from me tonight."  He laughed.  "Sorry, I'm still sore."

"That's fine, Xander.  Want a backrub?"

"You'll use it to get sex."

"I can be nice and hold off."  Xander grinned and nodded.  "Go lay down, I'll be right in."  She nodded, giving Bobby a pat on the arm before leaving.  Dean waited until she was inside.  "So now you know."

"No wonder she's carrying pain."

Dean nodded.  "We offered to burn Willow for her.  I *really* wanted to burn Willow for her.  I still really want to burn Willow for her.  The chaos sorcerer hid where he's got her in the coma so I can't burn her so Xander will feel better."  Bobby patted him on the shoulder.  "I'm hoping Tara decides to try boys and goes for Sam.  She's no featherweight as a witch but she's got a good soul.  She's got one of those pure souls that the dark won't taint."

"So's your girl."

Dean nodded.  "I know."  He grinned.  "I'm damn lucky.  We're still keeping it casual though because neither of us is ready to really settle down and do that sort of stuff."

"You're going to keep hunting?"

"Slowing down, not stopping yet.  I ache, Bobby.  The one we had to kill is gone."

"We all get to that point.  Go pamper your girl.  Anything I can do to help?"

"Now and then she backslides.  She'll drink a beer now and then with us but if she's hitting the heavy stuff there's a bad thing going on inside her head.  She dealt with it enough to get to the battle and through it.  Then she nearly collapsed from the strain of thinking."

"We'll watch out for her.  You know the network's like a family."

"I know.  What about Dave and his theory?"

"Jim took a good strip outta his hide when he woke up.  Nearly literally.  He thinks your girl's sweet."

"She is but she's a hellcat when you've pissed her off.  Night."  He went into the bedroom, finding Xander down to a t-shirt and a pair of his boxers.  "Mooch."

"I'll wash 'em."

"I know you will."  He took the t-shirt off her.  "Only Sammy's coming in and I think he's asleep on the couch."  He found some lotion and got to work on her shoulders, making her moan and go limp.  He smiled, working on all the aches and pains for her.  "Want to spar in the morning?"

"No thanks.  I kinda feel like the circus at the moment."

"Sure.  I get that."  He kissed the back of her head.  "Bobby's a good guy."

"I know.  If he wasn't he wouldn't let you two stay back here for so long."

"True."  He went back to what he was doing until she stiffened.  "What?"

"Demon dog."  She moaned and sat up, grabbing her pants once Dean got off her legs.  She took a kiss.  "Swords?"

"Same place they usually are."  She nodded, going to get one and find the stupid demon.  She found it sniffing around a car when he got out there with Bobby.  "What's up?"

"I think there's a body in this one."

"Just got it in today," Bobby admitted.  "I don't have the keys."

Xander used her sword to pry the trunk open then gagged and backed up.  The dog sat and howled.  "Oh, Gods, that's gross.   Even zombies are less gross."

Dean looked then nodded.  "Yeah."  He looked at the dog.  "STOP IT!"  It quit howling to stare at him. "Thanks for letting us know.  We'll send them to the right people.  You're not allowed here.  Go away."

Xander got down to look at the dog.  "You're very good at telling us about these things.  Go back to the master."  It nuzzled the car's bumper.  "Oh, that's your master.  Want sent home?"  It lapped her.  "Okay."  She took off her cross and put it onto his forehead, chanting quietly until the dog disappeared.  She put back on her cross.  "The person who summoned it.  Do we think their house is going to be filled with stuff that's got to be handled?"

"Probably," Dean agreed. "We'll deal with it after the cops do."

Xander looked at the body then at him.  "I'd be shocked if a demon didn't eat him."

"Me too.  Bobby?"

"Calling."  He found his cellphone and called the local cops.  "This is Bobby Singer.  Just popped a new car's trunk in the salvage yard and found a body.  No, chewed and mangled in the trunk, smells really gross.  Can't tell if it's a guy or not."

Xander looked then nodded.  "Guy's jeans, Bobby."

"We think it's a guy.  Sure, please.  We're back behind the barn."  He hung up and looked at it.  "That's just sick.  How're you gonna find out who?"

Xander stepped closer and reached in, making Dean gag.  "Quit."  She found a wallet and pulled it out to look at.  "Recognize him?"

Bobby looked then nodded.  "Yeah.  I know him.  He's one of the local ministers.  Pity.  Don't touch anything else. They might take fingerprints."

Xander nodded, backing away until the cop car got there.  "Hey," she said, walking over there.  "I didn't want to search the car for an ID but I did get his wallet out.  I'm the one who popped the trunk when the dog howled at it."  She handed it over.

"Did you touch anything else, ma'am?"

"Just his pocket, dude.  I'm good at that."  That got a nod so she led him back to the body, letting him wince and look away.

"Oh, that's sickening.  What's with the sword?"

"Couldn't find a pry bar and it worked," Xander said with a small grin.

"Oh, okay then."  He called it in.  "We need a wrecker at the salvage yard.  You can tell the state boys to meet us at the police garage.  No, not an issue.  Thanks."  He hung up.  "Touch anywhere else?  Or you, Bobby?"

"I think I touched the driver's side door to check it and the hood.  They drove it in.  I had 'em park too."

"Okay.  We'll need reference prints probably," he said.  Xander nodded that was fine.  "Let me get something for that."  He went back to his car to take them from her and Bobby, ignoring the hovering boyfriend sort watching him.  The wrecker got there with one of the state police criminalists.  "The girl popped the trunk and got his wallet out to see who it was," he said, handing that over.  "Bobby owns the salvage yard and might've touched here and there.  I got reference prints."

"Okay.  The sword?"

"Said she couldn't find a crowbar.  There was a howling dog that told 'em there was a body."

"Even better."  They walked over to look and she looked sickened.  "Eww."

"Very," Xander agreed.  The criminalist gave her a look.  "Bobby thought he looked familiar.  That's why I found his wallet.  I only touched him there."

"Fine.  Thank you.  Bobby, we'll be pulling her out of here."

"Please.  Let me go find the receipt book."  He went to do that, coming back with it.  "Here, what I gave him.  He signed it."

"That'll help too."  She let the wrecker crew hitch up the car once she had tape sealed the trunk.  She got back into the wrecker and they left with the officer.

Dean looked at Xander.  "You still look hot with the sword," he offered with a grin.

"If the shower makes me less sore," she sighed, heading that way.  Bobby was laughing but oh well.

Dean smirked at him.  "That's why we like her so much."  He strolled back inside to help her with the shower.

"Don't take all the hot water, kids," Bobby called, heading back to the back porch so he wouldn't have to hear them playing.  They weren't in there long so he was safe to go back inside.  Sam was asleep on the couch.  He covered him up and went to his own room.  Dean was making her groan but it wasn't sexual.  It was a backrub groan.  Then Dean groaned a few minutes later so she apparently reciprocated.  "Super strength must be handy for that."


Dean woke up to a wonderful feeling.  Someone was teasing his cock with their tongue.  He could smell coffee and the start of breakfast.  He moaned, reaching down to stroke over the person's head, running into short hair.  "Morning, Sam.  Creep again?"  Sam moaned.  Dean looked, he was still asleep.  "Dude, we have *got* to fix that on you."  Xander came in and shut the door quickly.  "Um...."

"John already gave me that lecture and if that's what you two do, then it's not my place to say anything, Dean.  Remember, I'm realistic.  I'm sure you've picked up other girls since we're casual."

"Once."  He smacked Sam on the back of the head, making him wake up and whimper. "So, how do I taste?"

"A bit warm and like your sweat," Xander told him, making Sam whimper again and hide.  She looked under the sheet at him.  "It's not my place to say anything, Sam, but I'm not telling you how to do things.   If you want sex advice, ask Faith."  She let the sheet fall.  "Bobby's up.  Your dad got him up at five to talk."  Both boys groaned at that.  "So there's food in about ten minutes."

"You're not bothered...." Sam started.

Xander looked at him.  "Normally yes, but sometimes people are that close, Sam.  Especially when they've been raised without a lot of others around.  It would've surprised me more but the way he saved you means that he has to feel something for you that way.  It's written into the spell that only those who feel deep love can make that sort of deal.  Plus John's been harping on it to keep you safe."

"Is that why I've been having those dreams?"

"He said no when I asked," Dean offered.  Sam slumped. "C'mere, dickhead."  Sam gave him a hug.  He kissed the side of his head.  "We'll figure it out, Sammy."  He let him go.  "Get cleaned up."  Sam fled.  Dean smirked at Xander.  "Wanna help me out here?"

Xander smiled and leaned down to kiss him.  "Am I  into kinky threesomes?"  Dean pouted.  She kissed him again, sliding down next to him.  "We're not your harem."

"Bet me."  He poked her. "Please?  Even a hand job?"  He knew he could talk her into not leaving him hanging or having to do it himself.

Xander snickered.  "You pout very well.  Thankfully you trained me to be easy for you."  He laughed until she went down to finish the blowjob, making him gasp and moan.  Sam came back to get clothes and blushed, closing the door with him inside the room.  "Sorry, want it back?"

"No.  Please don't.  In my sleep is one thing; I can't, not in the light."

Xander nodded.  "I kinda figured that, Sam.  Like I said, we'll work it out.  None of us are the most normal of sorts."  She went back down on him and Dean hissed, arching up.

Bobby knocked on the door.  "Breakfast, boys."

"In a minute," Dean called.  Followed by a soft groan.  Xander was very good at this after he had taught her how to not use her teeth.  She still scraped a bit but it was good with him.  He came and she swallowed, coming up to kiss him.  "I'll get you back later, for a nap?" he asked with a content voice and a happy grin.

"If you want."  She took another kiss then stood up, kissing Sam.  Sam moaned.  "We'll figure it out, Sam.  After all, you can both be my bitches."  She smirked and went to brush her teeth before she sat down to eat.  Bobby gave her an odd look.  She just stared back and he snickered.  "Sorry they're running a bit late.  Sam was still asleep when I went in there."

"That's fine, Xander.  I remember being that age and if I had someone I loved I'd try to get it now and then too," he assured her, handing over some bacon.  "You really told John off?"  She smirked and nodded.  "Good on you, girl."  She snickered.  "Pissed you off?"

"To no end.  Then he started to hint about heirs."  She shook her head, grabbing the coffee to pour Dean a cup, handing it over before sitting down and going back to her breakfast.  "Thanks, Bobby."

"Welcome.  We'll figure out what the guy did to your blazer later on."  She nodded.   Sam came out trudging.  "Coffee's on, Sam."

"Thanks, Bobby."  He got a cup and settled into an empty chair to eat.  "Sorry Dad got you up at five."

"I've woken up early to worse reasons than him hovering like a mama cat over you three.  Oh, Xander, he said that leather stuff, you'd better not end up looking like Faith. Whoever she is."

"Um, the second natural slayer," Xander told him.  That got a nod and a small smirk.  "She's and Buffy both occasionally have this leather pants thing going on."

"I still want to know how she went on patrol in a stripper-looking short skirt," Dean said.  Sam grunted and nodded at that.

"And chunky heels," Xander said dryly.

"The Watcher lets her do that?" Bobby asked.  "She's gonna break her neck."

"Giles tried that argument.  She managed to beat him sparring in a backless shirt and heels.  He had to let it go.  She only ended up shirtless that once and she was with Willow and Angel.  Willow summoned a new shirt for her while Angel tried very hard not to stare."

"Did you get creepy feelings from Angel?" Sam asked.

"Since the day he first showed up saying cryptic things to Buffy from the shadows in the Bronze.  Still took her a few months to realize he was a vampire too.  Apparently the warning cramps we get weren't reaching her that day."  She looked at him.  "That's one f- ed up love story, Sam."

"How bad is it?" Bobby asked.

"He's a vampire with a soul that has an out clause if he gets too happy.  She's a slayer.  They tried really hard to keep it professional but he broke her in for her birthday one year and lost his soul.  Ended up sending him to hell because I lied to Buffy about Willow trying the spell.  It took right before he got sucked through.  It was necessary because he'd been terrorizing people for months and tried to end the world twice.  We stopped him doing it the second time with the sending him to hell stuff.  Then he comes back, Buffy hides him and nurses him back to sanity.  They keep it at kissing and mild groping so he can't get that happy again.  He decides it's too painful to not have her so he heads to LA, where he ends up working with a half-demon seer and my ex, Cordelia.  She mopes, getting some from the boy who likes to break in the freshman girls at the college, and then Riley Finn, commando boy from the Initiative.  And she calls *my* love life screwed up."

"Hers didn't try to kill her," Sam reminded her.  "Except when Angel lost it and went stalker."

"Well, no," she admitted.

"None of hers were giant bugs that wanted her to fertilize their eggs," Sam said with a small smirk.  "Or a renewed mummy that was sucking energy.  Or Anya."

"Actually, I think they did get drunk and Anya did get her once.  Not real sure there's tape though."  Dean choked and spluttered.  "You met Anya."

"Yeah, I did.  Was Cordy that mean when you dated?"

"More.  She'd cut me down, we'd grope in closets, then she'd cut me down again."

"We like you and Dean," Bobby said.

"Hey, Buffy flirted with Dracula and nearly became one of his bitches."

Bobby moaned.  "Sunnydale should be destroyed."

"Don't tempt me," Dean and Xander said together.

Xander stuck her tongue out. "I can do that."

"I'm sure you can but we'd get to help."

"Sure, we can find you two the fantasy cheerleader outfits and pompoms this time."  Sam let out a whimper. "Don't worry, Sam, I won't make you shave.  You can look like a Nirvana cheerleader."  She patted him on the back.  "Both of you can.  After all, Dean has male cheerleader hair."

"I'm spanking you later," Dean promised.

"You keep saying that," she said dryly.  Bobby snickered and choked, shaking his head.  "He does.  You should've seen his face the night Anya and I got together to have some fun.  Long before we were able to share a motel room together."

"You were both naked on the bed," Dean complained.  "Of course I looked.  You're both very pretty women, Xander."  Xander stared at him.  "She is too.  With the way you were laying and the way her fingers were still in you, I had one hell of a good view."  She blushed at that.  "So yes, I looked.  I'm a nice, normal guy.  You would've looked."

"I still look," Xander agreed.  "Speaking of, did you want to hit that concert in San Fran this year to deal with the poltergeist?  I tried a few years back; it came to watch me.  I had a lot of fun though.  Peeves and I got a lot of girls who thought it was cool he was hanging out with me."

"Sure, we'll hit that," Dean agreed.  "You still need to use that last giftcard you got from Giles for Christmas anyway."

"I do."  She looked at Sam.  "So you can help me pick out clothes, right?"

He looked at her, shaking his head.  "No!  Take Dean.  You're sleeping with him!"

"She has that same look whenever anyone makes her go shopping," Dean told Bobby, who laughed.

"Hey!  I got dragged behind Buffy and Willow when they went.  They used me shamelessly as a pack mule and driving person.  Hell, they even took me bra shopping.  I know a lot more about bras than I ever wanted to.  There's a reason both Wes and I looked traumatized at the thought of shopping trips.  You haven't seen scary until you've seen Buffy try on every shoe in the mall, twice.  Or had to answer the question 'does this push me up' to her bikini top a few dozen times in an hour.  Though you couldn't stare, leer, or seem like the breasts interested you.  And let's not even *go* into the 'will this hide demon blood and make me look cute' real clothes shopping.  Faith was simple, she stole half of hers, it was all jeans or leather and t-shirts.  She never made me watch her try on bathing suits for *six hours* in one long mall trip and only give me a hot pretzel.  Even Giles won't help Buffy shop."

"Now I know the Watchers didn't raise that girl," Bobby said dryly.

"No, we met one that the Watchers did.  Kendra was a great girl.  She had *one* outfit.  She yelled because Angel tore her only shirt.  Buffy introduced her to shopping too.  Pissed her Watcher off to no end.  He sent Giles a ranting, screaming telegram from the Carribean.  Giles threatened to send Willow down to torment him."  Dean laughed.  "She would've."

"I'm sure she would've," Dean agreed, getting them both more coffee.   "You do need to do some replacing.  You should see if Wes wants to go again."

"I haven't heard from Wes recently.  I left a message on his voicemail but I haven't heard back yet.  I'm guessing LA's about to break out into their quarterly apocalypse too.  But hey, we didn't lose Buffy during the invasion so no one would be raising her and we won't have to face the First Evil.  That means the Watcher's Council won't be blown up anytime soon unless Faith gets pissed at them again.  She's gotten very protective of Giles recently."

"That's probably a good idea," Bobby agreed.

Xander nodded.  "Probably."  She dug in again, stealing some of Dean's food.  He growled and smacked her hand, taking it back.  "Hey!"

"Get more, don't steal mine.  Steal Sam's.  He doesn't need that much food."

"Yes I do," Sam complained.  "You both eat more than your weight in food every day."  He looked at Bobby.  "Never take these two to an all-you-can-eat buffet.  We did that.  They finally kicked us out after five hours.  And then Dean looked at Xander and said 'ice cream' and she nodded so they went to get dessert."  Bobby cackled, slapping the table.  "At least it was cheap but still."

Dean looked at him.  "It was a good idea.  You should see the ones in Vegas."  He looked at Xander.  "We've got to get you a new ID."

"I know.  I need my birth certificate changed."

"We can get you a good fake one."

"Why?  Giles has," Xander said dryly.  "I have to pick it up and redo my license out there. I can do that on the trip to San Fran.  That way we can have Giles' spare room and dinner."

"Okay," he agreed, shrugging a bit.  "Sam?"

"Fine with me.  He was a good cook."  He grinned at Bobby.  "He basically adopted all the slayer crew as his kids."

"Travers is nagging Giles about kids again.  That's why Faith's so protective.  Travers threatened to knock him out and take a sperm sample."  Dean moaned.  "At least they're not suggesting he knock up Buffy or Faith anymore.  They started out on that one.  Buffy nearly flew to England to beat them.  Her mother was going to pay for airfare and everything."

Dean shook his head.  "That'd be some strange kids."

"Very," Xander agreed.  "Faith looked at Travers and told him Ethan was more his style and unless Ethan wanted to be a temporary or permanent girl they probably weren't getting any kids from him.  Giles walked off muttering 'dear lord' and cleaning his glasses again.  He was not a happy watcher.  Got really drunk that night according to her."

"Yeah, I'd do it too if those were my options," Dean said.  He shook his head.

"I want grandchildren some day," John's ghost called.

"You know, I know where we can get a capturing urn," Xander offered.  Sam snickered at that.

"Don't tempt me," Dean told her.  "Dad, lay off!  If Xander gets knocked up she'll kill me.  Give it a decade.  She's only twenty."

"One," Sam corrected.  "The day before her battle."

"And we didn't get to celebrate it because you were being a pain in the ass," Dean said, giving her a look.  "We should go have fun for your birthday."

Xander whimpered. "The sort of fun you're thinking about will land someone in jail."

"Not hardly."  He grinned.  "It'll be fine, Xander.  Heard anything else from out that way?"  He ate a bite of breakfast.

"I heard from Dru."  Dean choked.  She reached over to pat him on the back.  "She said to give you her greetings, she thinks you're cute, and her visions have shown her how cute we are together.  She ate my parents so they'd help take the bad, nasty man out of her head; the liquor helped but she can't stand to drink more than a glass of wine.  Eating drunks makes her drunk so it worked better.  She said thank you for giving Spike back her favorite velvet duster.  She said if I wanted to I could bring you two and you could be her kittens too.  She was *very* pleased with the mental visions she got of the three of us.  Oh, and she said that Spike was going to be a bad boy again.  He forwarded the letter to me."

Dean wheezed.  "Huh?"

"Dru, as in Spike's dark princess and vampire lover?" Sam asked.  Xander grinned and nodded.  "She wants you?"

"She used to want me badly.  Called me her kitten and kept trying to save me.  She did save me a few times.  She even told Angel he couldn't have me, I was hers.  The Stars had said so."

"She's sane?" Bobby asked.

"She was a latent seer until Angel broke her," Xander told him, shrugging a bit.  "He tortured her when he turned her until she broke and her powers came out.  She dumped Spike because he wanted Buffy and took up with a slime demon in Brazil.  No one even knew she was in town except maybe Spike.  He said he didn't but you can never tell with Spike."  She sipped her coffee.

Dean looked at her.  "If you should see her, point her out to me?  Please?"

"Spike would kill you if you staked Dru."

"Not if I don't tell him."

"She'll tell him.  She's linked to him somehow.  He'll know.  Angel will know.  Then we'd have to stake Angel when he complained and then have to deal with Buffy.  Which would make Giles and Tara sad."

"If she shows up, tell us anyway so we can protect each other."

"Sure.  Oh, she sent you maple syrup candy," Xander told Sam.  "It's back at the cabin."

"Forwarded through Spike?" Bobby asked, sounding hopeful.

"No, she ate a Watcher and he gave her the addy.  She hates the midwest, claims there's no one to eat around here.  It's all cows, ghosts and hellhounds."

Bobby sighed in relief.  "What's she look like?"

Xander frowned.  "Brunette, slim, long hair.  Wears Victorian clothes.  Hums and sings with her dolls.  She's pretty.  I'll look online to see if I can find a picture of her."

"Sure.  Thanks."  Xander nodded, getting up to get Sam's laptop and log on to go searching.  She came back with it to show him.  Bobby looked.  "That's Dave's new girl."  He rushed to the phone to call him and the ones around him.  "It's me.  That girl Dave's been dating, is her name Dru?"

"Druscilla," Xander supplied.

"Or Druscilla?"  He nodded.  "She's a vampire.  She's William the Bloody's mate.  No, she likes Xander, wants to keep her too.  Said she'd keep all three of 'em if they wanted.  Yeah, we're sure.  Well, check then."  He hung up on the complaining.  "Hopefully he'll be fine."

"Hopefully she won't find a way to take over his mind," Xander countered, giving him a look.  "She did it to Giles once."

He shuddered.  "You deal with some strange people."

"Yeah, but Spike has a chip in his head that keeps him from hunting or hurting humans.  Angel has a soul and is angst boy all the time.  He can lower the lights in a room by sitting and brooding.  Literally."  Sam snickered and nodded.  "I think Fred's stranger really."

"Not really.  I know there's been other humans that've been stolen and sent to a demon realm as a slave."

"Good point."  She shrugged.  "She's healing well.  She's not as clingy as she was.  She and Gunn are together according to the last email I got from her."  She finished her breakfast and leaned back.  "Thanks, Bobby."

"Welcome, Xander."  He smiled at her.  "She's a nice girl?"

"Very.  She's a physics brain too.  When they first got her back she was scribbling her diary on the walls of her room.  They called them cows there.  You know, that's where Lorne came from," Xander told Sam.

"Lorne's strange," Sam told him.  "Demon running a karaoke bar.  He can see into the future when you sing for him.  He holds a safe place with anti-violence charms so even we could go there.  That same realm doesn't have music so he emigrated."

"I heard his brother Numfar is kinda fun.  Can't speak so he dances everything.  Fred was telling us about Numfar and his dances of nearly everything."

Dean shook his head quickly.  "I don't want to think about the billions of demon realms out there, please?  Let that be a late night thought, not a breakfast one."  He stood up. "I'm going to look over her blazer.  Xander, come clean out the back so we can open the artillery compartment?"

"I don't think I put anything in it this time."  She shrugged and headed out with him, the boys following.  She grabbed the bag of books and her other bag out of the back, hauling them inside.  Sam brought in the gun case.  She got the sword case and they looked in the artillery compartment.  Xander frowned at the envelope in it.  "Who in the hell?"  She opened it and shook her head, handing the card to Dean.  "Like I said, Dru likes me."

Dean opened the happy birthday card, giving her the cash inside.  Then he snickered.  "Sure, we can do that for your birthday."  She looked over his arm and groaned at the suggestion they have good sex so she could have more happy mental pictures for her collection - put as the kitties should do more pouncing so the stars are happy and share some more.  The card got put into the glove box and Dean got in to pull up the new hidden area inside that one.  "See, weak."

"It's not sealed to the frame very well," Bobby said, getting underneath it to look.  "Yeah, only bolted in two spots.  Top and bottom."  He got out and looked at another area.  "Xander, what's on the other side?"

Xander checked then opened that compartment, frowning at it.  "I got it used," she said when she saw the box marked explosives.  "There was a terrorist training group that I knew through a contact and I got the truck off them."  She walked off shaking her head.  "They had a Feeb with them already."

Sam took out the box of explosives to look inside, blinking.  "Xander, it's not explosives!" he called.  She came back and they looked at the box of diamonds.  "Looks like it was their war fund."

"Oooh.  Cordy had a point about them being pretty."

"Very," Dean agreed.  He felt around the area, finding another small box.  It got brought out and another small bag.  The bag was looked in and handed to Bobby, the box he smirked at, holding up the six passports and fake ID's.  "I love these people."

Xander took one to look over.  "That's the old one for Cali.  It's been three years since it was changed."  She handed it back with a smirk.  "So within two that'll be no good."

"Think you could get us a new one?" Dean asked.

"I think I have to renew mine at the moment," she admitted.  "It ran out on my birthday."  That got an evil smirk.  "So you can have the old one when I get the new one."

"Sure."  He searched for any other hidden compartments, finding one with bibles and a few other books.  "Books of Gideon?"

"Aren't they the ones who leave the bibles in motels?" Xander asked, looking confused.  Sam was still stroking the box with the diamonds.

"Yeah.  They are."  Dean emptied it out.  "That could come in handy.  Still magically hidden?"  Xander nodded.  "Cool."  He got out and let Bobby get ramps for the back wheels and a creeper so they could work on it together.  "Put the fake IDs into my glove box, Xander."

"Yes, oh great master," she said dryly, heading that way.  "What if I need one?"

"You'll ask."  He looked at her.  "Besides, we've already changed your picture on Dru's old passport.  It's in there too."  Xander grinned at that.  "You have a new ID with that name too.  I made it an address in LA."  Xander gave him a hug then went to look at those while she put the other ones up.  Dean smirked at Sam.  "They your new pet?"

"Yup."  He grinned, going to put them in a safe spot inside.  "Did the FBI bust them?"

"Six weeks after I was there," Xander said happily.  "When they made the final plans to blow up parts of San Jose."  Bobby snickered at that.  "They were.  Hell, the agent even asked why I needed the specially hidden truck and a few new guns.  I said Sunnydale and he backed off."  She shrugged and came over to watch what they were doing.  Dean gave her a look.  "I can barely change the oil, Dean."

"You did pretty good when you shot out my tire."

"Keep harping on it, sleep with Sam tonight."

"We probably will be anyway."  He kissed her.  "You could replace the other three since they're going bald."

"Didn't I just boost the keys to an Impala for you?  That way you could use it for parts?"

Bobby looked at her.  "That was boosted?"

"She can pickpocket the vampires while she's fighting them.  She got the keys to it from one of the vampire frat brothers in Sunnydale.  I took them for three grand playing pool and then she got them when they attacked.  You know, one senator was very pissed that his son was missing."

"Yeah but he gave up after a week of pouting on the news, especially since the high death rate in Sunnydale was pointed out repeatedly in the news.  They decided he's one of the strange casualties.  They even sent a news crew out there.  Fortunately they got eaten.  Faith told me she giggled when the reporter tried to beat one with the microphone.  Her cameraman lasted a day and she wasn't going to make it either.  Wearing stiletto shoes and a designer business suit outside at midnight in Sunnydale for dramatic effect with vampires all around her.  She stopped a few to talk to them even."  Dean snickered at that.  "Faith got there as he attacked and couldn't save her but she did laugh."

"Faith's got a dark streak," Dean said, making Bobby less worried.  "She had a fairly bad mother.  She's from up near Boston but doesn't have the accent."

"She only spent her teen years in Boston.  They were somewhere else with her mother picking up random men while drunk before then," Xander told them.  "Then she accidentally staked someone that Buffy shoved at her during a fight.  The mayor used the killing to get her onto his side.  He was good, very skillful at getting her to come over to his side willingly.  She went into a coma, woke up, came after Buffy and Wes, then ended up turning herself in when she realized how bad it was.  Everyone used to push Buffy back in her face like Sam gets about not being you, Dean."

"That's enough to make anyone snap," Sam said from beside the blazer.  "When did she try to choke you?"

"After she staked someone the mayor was working on her, becoming a good daddy figure and all that.  I went to talk to her to help her and me get back with the group better.  She got me then.  Angel ended up saving my ass."

Dean looked at her, staring at her.  "She did what she did the first time?"

"Don't know, I was unconscious."

Dean shuddered.  "Angel?"

"Don't know, I was unconscious.  He delivered me back to them and didn't say more than I had been with Faith."

"Can I really not like Angel?"

"Yeah, I don't," Xander said with a small shrug.  "He's got a worse case of denial than I do.  Then he pushes his brooding off onto everyone. A soul doesn't make you not a killer.  There's plenty of them in prison who have one too.  He doesn't want to go past the 'I have a soul, I can't kill now, it's wrong' thought.  He got worse after he got back from Hell.  Which was partially my fault.  I did lie to Buffy about Willow trying the soul spell again but Buffy hadn't been able to beat him and he was going around killing people around the group.  He killed a teacher Giles was interested in and dating.  He was stalking the girls.  He was stalking me.  Buffy hadn't been able to but she finally got herself worked up to the point where she could.  If I hadn't, she probably would've died by taking it easy on him."

"They're still giving longing looks to each other," Dean agreed.

"That's Buffy's one hope for an everlasting love.  Her first one.  They're suitable if you don't take into account the whole slayer/vampire issue and his soul's clause.  It's rare to find someone who understands the duty.  He helped her with it.  Though why he was jealous of me for a while I'm not really sure.  He said it was because I could play in the sun with her."  Dean kissed her.  She smiled.  "What's that one for?"

"Just because."  He went back to work on the hidden compartments, ignoring Bobby's look at him.  "Did you try to call Wes again?"

"Yeah, still no answer."

"Damn.  Think we should head that way?" Dean asked.

"No.  I think if Angel needed help he'd call.  Fred definitely would and so would Gunn.  Gunn would go behind Angel's back to call us and the Sunnydale crew if they needed that much help."  Bobby gave him a confused look.  "Gunn used to run a street gang that was fighting vampires in LA after some of them got taken.  It was a group of kids that got kicked out or ran away.  One of them runs a runaway shelter.  Gunn's little sister was taken but the whole gang is behind Angel if he needs it."

"Interesting."  He shook his head.  "I didn't think there were other networks."

"Oh, yeah.  Watchers are all over.  There's always been those who jumped in.  Just not jumped into the slayer's duty.  They were usually taken out by the Watcher if someone did.  Giles didn't like it but he let us help.  That's why Buffy's still around."

Dean nodded.  "She's a bit of a smartass too.  She quips as she slays, Bobby.  Smartass one-liners and all that."

"That's how we rolled," Xander quipped, grinning at him when she got a horrified look. "Buffy's walked into cemeteries going 'here vampy vampy vampy' until a fledge came and attacked her.  We had nightly patrols out there.  Even though she did skip a few of them for things like dates."  She let out a small squeal.  "Did you guys get to hear about the cheerleader witches?"

Dean gave her a horrified look, partially for that girlish squeal.  When had she gotten chocolate?  "Cheerleader witches?  Regular ones aren't enough?  You guys had to have the happiness patrol be witches too?"

"Yeah, Amy Madison and her mom.  Her mom was *the* top cheerleader in the state in her days.  Her daughter didn't want to do that so she switched their bodies.  Buffy wanted to go back to being a cheerleader.  Amy's mom didn't want the competition so she was doing things like blinding the other cheerleaders so she'd be on the squad.  She tried it on Buffy and Cordy both.  Got Cordy and blinded her.  Buffy ended up solving it and trapped Amy's mother in a statue.  I wonder if it released her when the statue blew up or not?" she said thoughtfully.  She shrugged.  "Later on, during the MOO incident, Amy turned herself into a rat and Willow never managed to change her back.  Tara's trying right now."

Dean shook his head quickly.  "Go make us some more coffee, Xander?"  She nodded, wiggling out to do that.  He looked at Bobby, who was giving him a horrified look.  "Sunnydale was odd.  You knew that."

He nodded.  "Putting it mildly, son."  He got back to work, shaking his head quickly.  "The slayer's a cheerleader?"

"Yup.  Perky too," Dean quipped.  "Blonde, fashionable, petite.  Likes to do all these fancy moves while she's fighting.  Anyone with a simple, straightforward rushing style would've gotten her down.  Burns a lot of energy doing all the fancy stuff instead of just getting in there and getting it done.  Faith does it the way we would.  She's a bit of a klepto when she needs stuff."

Bobby sighed.  "The world's going to go to hell soon."

"Nah, they manage to make sure it doesn't about every six months."  Bobby gave him a horrified look.  "Really.  The Initiative had a super soldier they were going to unleash.  The ascension was about six months before that.  This one was about eight months after they finished off the Initiative."

"They need more hunters."

"No one there pays any attention to it.  Riley's guys were creeping around town with open weapons.  The cops and residents smiled and waved and welcomed them to town with cookies.  Did the same thing to us.  Creeped me the hell out, Bobby.  It was like pod people with a blind spot."

Xander came back with two sealed mugs and straws.  "They've always been that way.  Even when we had a fifty percent homicide rate."  She snuggled back down to watch what they were doing.  "Still creeped out by the fudge nut cookies from my fifth grade teacher?"


Xander laughed.  "She was being nice.  Even when the town is going to hell they ignore things."  She patted him on the stomach.  "It could be much worse.  They could be real pod people.  I wouldn't put it past Sunnydale to be hiding aliens."

"Go do something, Xander," Bobby ordered.  "I don't need that thought."

"Fine."  She wiggled out and made Sam help her find something to do.

Bobby looked at Dean.  "We'll make sure you're sane anytime you have to go visiting out there."

"Thanks, man.  I think I'll need it."

"I heard that," Xander called.  "Want me to change your oil, Dean?"

"Do *NOT* touch the Impala, Xander.  That's my baby!" he yelled.

"Fine.  Meany."  She and Sam went to look at other things to do.

Bobby nudged him.  "If she makes you happy you can help her find sanity."

Dean gave him a look.  "Promise?"

"Your Ma did your Dad."

"Then there's hope yet."  He sipped his coffee, holding the box where Bobby needed it to go.  They both heard the squeal and groaned.  "I don't want to know," Dean decided.

"Me either," Bobby agreed.

"Bobby, did you know you have a mother cat and kittens?" Sam yelled.

"That's fine," Bobby agreed. "They stay outside, kids."

"Yes, Bobby."  He went back to helping Xander pet the kitties.  They'd have to find something for Xander to do before she drove everyone nuts.  "We need to do something."

"We do."

Sam looked at her.  "Nothing that'll get me in trouble, Xander.  Dean will yell if we get into trouble."

"I'm not going to get into trouble."

"Uh-huh."  He handed her a kitten with a smile.  "Here you go."

"Thanks."  She petted the small black cat, cooing at it.  "You're very pretty.  Too bad I can't travel with a cat."

"No, it's really hard to travel with an animal.  Most motels won't let animals stay."

"I know.  It sucks."  She put the kitten down, watching it wobble off.  "We need to figure out how to change out the diamonds."

"We need to see if they're real first."

"Good point."  She grimaced.  "An inheritance?  Found it in grandma's attic?  We came to see Bobby because he might have a clue what to do about it?"

"Could work," Sam agreed. "If we were somewhere like LA we could take them to a good jewelry store and tell them it was Grandma's investment fund."  That got a nod.  "How are you doing on money anyway?"

"Eeehhh.  I've got about three hundred at the moment."

"Hmm.  We've got less than that.  Sounds like it's a pool night in town."

Xander shrugged.  "Maybe."  She stood up and stretched.  "I didn't get to see the town.  Want to?"

Sammy shrugged.  He had to go inside to grab the Impala's keys from Dean's jacket pocket.  "We're going to look at the town and sightsee," Sam called as he slid into the driver's seat.  The door closed before Dean could yell.  Xander's too.  They were getting good at that.

Dean looked at Bobby.  "You have handcuffs, right?"

"Two or three sets.  Sedatives too."

"Thanks.  I might need them later."


Sam was laughing as he came back into the old house, grinning at the two staring people.  "What?"

"Xander?" Dean asked plainly.

"Behind me.  Bit tipsy."  He laughed, heading for the bedroom to crash.  "She drove, I'm too drunk."

"I can see that," Dean called after him.  He walked out onto the front porch, finding Xander counting money.  "That bored?"

Xander grinned at him.  "They're having an open pole competition for the regional finals.  I came in second.  Made two grand in tips too," she said proudly.  Dean gave her a look.  "What?"


"One beer!"

"One?" he asked, snorting a bit.  "You don't get tipsy on one beer, Xander."

"Well, might've had something in it.  Tasted a bit off."  She shrugged.  "I'm still straight.  I used the bar's breathalyzer on the way out.  No funny colors or anything.  I know not to scratch your baby."  Dean hauled her up and took the money, walking her back to the bedroom to put her down.  "Hey!"

"Sleep, Xander.  Now."  He walked out, going to put the money with the other stuff.

Xander took it from him.  "Mine.  If you're that broke, go hustle pool."  She went back to the bedroom, making Bobby laugh.  "He can.  Night.  Dean's getting pushy so I'm going to snuggle up with Sam and his sucking problem."  She wiggled her fingers, shutting the door and locking it.

"That won't keep me out," Dean reminded her.  He heard something be shoved under the doorknob and shook his head.  He sat down to go back to cards with Bobby.  "Why?" he asked him.

"Who we like isn't something we can control.  Your girl's fun.  You could use more fun, kiddo."

Dean looked at him.  "Most of the time it's okay.  It's when she gets into these manic fun moods that worries me."

Bobby nodded.  "Me too.  She'll settle down some year."  He put down a card and the rest of his hand.  "Gin."

"Crap."  He totaled their points.  "You're still losing."

Xander came out to look over his shoulder.  "I can't play gin."

"We can teach you if you put back on pants," Bobby offered, not looking at what had to be Dean's boxers.  She went to do that and came back out.  They taught her how to play.  Sam wobbled out and it turned into poker.  They found out Xander could count cards.  Dean stared at her in horror.

She grinned.  "Drunk parents, Dean.  Had to make money somehow when I was too young to work."

He sighed and shook his head.  "We're so going to Vegas sometime soon."

"If we do, you have to leave your dad somewhere else."

"Yeah, not a problem," Dean assured her.  "I don't want him hinting about wedding chapels either."  He dealt them another hand and Xander didn't win this time but she killed them on the next round.  The boys all shook their heads.  Yes, Xander was very fun when she was happy.


Xander blinked awake, looking at the man leaning over her.  "What?" she asked quietly.  They were back at the cabin, had been for a few days, and Dean was smirking a bit evilly.  "Too tired for sex."

"No you're not but not why I'm grinning."  He kissed her.  "Sammy and I just got a call.  One of the other hunters needs us.  Wanna head?"  She slowly shook her head.  "No?"

"No, sleep.  Sleeping nice."

"It is."  He kissed her again.  "It'll only be a week or so.  You sure?"

"Yeah.  Don't take all the money."

"Not a problem."  He stroked over her hair, getting nipped on the hand.  "Fine.  You sleep.  Want me to leave a note so you remember?

"Not that 'sleep," she said through a yawn.  He took a deeper kiss and she moaned.  "It's the middle of the night."

"I know.  Sorry.  We need to get there by tomorrow night and it's an eighteen hour drive."  He took one last kiss and straightened up.  "We'll see you in a week.  Call us if you go on a hunt?  That way we can meet up somewhere?"  She nodded.  "Okay.  See you then."  He left, heading out to the Impala.  He slid in to drive.  "She knows."  He backed down the driveway, heading for the interstate.  It had been a nice vacation but he was restless.

"Think she'll be okay while we're gone?"

"She's back to handling things again.  It'll be fine," Dean promised.  He grinned at his little brother.  "Did you remember to send Tara stuff from the local colleges?"

"Yup.  Here and Kansas."  That got a grin and Dean sped up once he hit the main road.  "Did we take all her cash?"

"I left her a few hundred.  She said she wasn't going to do anything."

"Okay."  He settled in to read while Dean drove.  It was their usual thing and it was comfortable after so long hunting together.


Xander got up the next morning, staring at her severely diminished stash.  Then she glared at the driveway.  "I'll spank later."  She went to find her hidden stash, one that Dean didn't know about.  It was another few hundred dollars.  She looked in the hideous bedroom, shuddering some.  Then she decided to hit town.  There had been a hardware store.  She got dressed and headed out, going to find it.  She saw a Fantastic Sam's ahead and smiled, parking there first and going inside.  "I need something done with this mop. It's *way* too long," she told the girl taking appointments.  "I don't care if they're blind and using a weed whacker."  She laughed, motioning one of the empty people over.  "Please do my hair?  Shorter, easy to upkeep but can be a bit more fun and flirty?  I do a lot of working out and traveling."

"Sure.  I'm Sue."

"Alex."  She let herself be led to a chair.  The cape was put around her and Sue ran her fingers through her hair.  "Sorry, just got up.  I'm tired of brushing."

"Hmm."  She got a book and brought it back.  "How about something like this, Alex?  It's shorter, easy to upkeep, but if you want you can use gel to spike it a bit."

She looked then at her.  "No mullets."  That got a nod and she changed it, finding something closer to a military-style haircut for women, only with a spikey top.  "I could like that."  She tapped the picture and Sue nodded, coming over to start the snipping.  She even gelled it for her.  Xander tipped her and paid, heading over to the hardware store since it was up the road.  She walked in and inhaled.  "I miss my construction job," she sighed.  The guy behind the counter smiled.  "I can't do it anymore.  I've got to redecorate.  The cabin Donny gave me has a *hideous* pink bedroom with a twin sized bed.  The girl who used to live there had a thing for Disney princesses."

"Sure.  We've got paint."  He led her to the paint area, letting her pick out a color.  "That's pretty dark."

"I like that blue/purple/gray color that you see at dawn, when the sun's just starting to come up."  He found it and showed her.  She nodded and pointed at the lighter sample.  "That one."

"How big's the room and what sort of surface?"

"There's wallboard on top of the studs."  That got a nod.  "A few stickers I'll steam off.  So I'll probably need gesso or something too."

"That's fine.  We've got some basecoat."  He let her pick out what she needed while he mixed her three gallons of the paint color she wanted.  "If you need more, bring in a lid so we can get it exact," he told her.  She smiled and nodded, letting him help her carry stuff out to the blazer.  "That's a nice, old car."

She grinned.  "I got it from some acquaintances in LA.  Changed from my sedan because it wasn't always practical."

"Not with our winters," he agreed.  He grinned.  "So, you a new Watcher?"

"I'm actually the spare slayer.  Why, is there a problem?" she asked quietly.  He shook his head.  "Well, if there is, I'm in and out up there, off handling things.  Let me know?"  He nodded.  She wrote down her phone number.  "That's me and it'll hit me wherever."  He grinned.  "Have a good day.  Furniture stuff?"

"Next town over has a Value City furniture.  Thrift shop too."

She beamed. "Killer, thanks."  She got into the blazer and drove off. A few light groceries to go with the staples they had stocked the last time they were in, and she went to steam the stickers off so she could paint over the hideous pink paint.


Dean came in a few days later, watching Xander drink on the porch.  "Bad day?"  He sat beside her, taking the bottle to take a drink, then handing it back.  "Xander?" he asked when she didn't answer.

"Wes died."  She took another drink, handing it to Sam when he walked up to them.  "Wes died in the last battle in LA.  About two weeks ago.  Everyone thought Giles had told us."

"Damn," Sam said, shaking his head.  "They okay?"

"They're in a series of battles.  Cordy came to tell me and hinted that she might be seeing Fred soon on her side too.  I asked, I'm not allowed to go help.  It'll make their fight last longer."  Sam took a drink and handed the bottle back, sitting on her other side.

"Funeral?" Sam asked.

"Nope.  Cremated and spread."  She took another drink, looking at Dean, who was staring at his feet.  She nudged him with her shoulder, handing over the bottle.  "He's probably nagging Giles too.  Or researching in the really big library they have in heaven."  Dean grinned at that.  "I figured a few drinks in his honor wouldn't be a problem."

"No, not one," he agreed.  He took a drink and handed it to Sam behind her back, giving her a hug.  "You okay?"

"Yeah, this is body ten thousand or so for me."  She looked at him.  "I'm tired of losing people."

"Even normal people lose their friends and family," Sam said.  She nodded, putting her head on Dean's shoulder.  He smiled.  "I'll let you two talk."  He got up and headed inside, smelling the new paint smell.  He checked the spare room and grinned.  "Hey, Dean, the pink bedroom's fixed.  It's a sunset."

"Cool.  Sleep in there.  I'm tired of you drooling on me."  Sam laughed, heading to get their stuff and put his in there.  He looked at her.  "You okay?" he asked quietly.

"Yeah, she said I had to go deal with his lawyers over the will.  They won't release his book collection to Angel until I do.  So I'm taking off in the morning."

"We, Xander, we," Dean reminded her.  "Or Sam can stay here and do some more painting if you want."  She looked at him.  "Are you or are you not my bitch?" he teased.  "That means I can go with you."  She kissed him and he kept it gentle, stroking over her hair.  He looked at it.  "You chopped it off."

"Hell yes.  It was bothering me."

"Looks okay," he said, kissing her quickly.  "Want dinner with our remembrance drinking?"

"Probably should."  He went into the kitchen and she followed, smiling when he found the stew she had started.  "Thrift shop had a crock pot and a *real* coffeemaker."  She pointed at the deluxe coffeemaker in the corner of the counter.  Dean gave it a look then her.  "What?"

"I didn't know you drank Buffy coffee."

"I grew up in southern California in the nineties, Dean.  I was raised on Starbucks."  He giggled, nodding that was probably true.  "Plus it'll make good whipped cream for Sam's cocoa habit."  She kissed Sam when he came in.  "See, real coffee maker and toaster so we don't have to use the broiler anymore."

"So I saw."  He gave her a hug.  "The spare room's great, Xander."  She beamed.  "All thrift store stuff?"  She nodded, grinning at him.  "Good job."   He found bowls for them, handing Dean the biggest one.  They dished up the stew and took it back outside to eat on the porch.  The sunset was beautiful out here, even if there was a demon lumbering up the driveway.  "Is that harmless or not?  I can't tell?" he asked.

She looked then shrugged. "It'll tell us."  She ate another bite, waving when it showed up. "Hey."

"Slayer," it said in its language, bowing to her.  "We wish to breed here."

"Are you going to eat the people?" she asked in English.  It shook its head.  "Are you going to cause me problems or them problems?"  It shook its head again.  "Then why would I care?"  The demon grinned.  "Just make sure you don't hurt the people around here.  I only go after the hunters."

"What sort of demon are you?" Dean asked.

"We live in trash mounds and nest in them," he said, letting Xander translate.  "Your kind make us many nests these days."

"Do you help the recycling process?" Sam asked.  It shrugged.  "Then I don't care either.  Dean?"

"Fine with me.  Just don't hurt the people around here in any way or else we'll have to step in."  It nodded and walked off.  He looked at Xander.  "You speak demon languages?"  She nodded.  "Since you were called or before?"

"We had to help research.  I learned a bit of a lot of them actually."  She shrugged and finished her dinner, putting the bowl behind her.  "Why?"

"Wondering if you were smarter than Sammy."  Sam hit him on the arm.  "Stop it, Sammy."  He grinned at his woman.  "Well?"

"Matter of opinion.  I test sucky."  She stood up.  "I'm going to swim in the pond."  They followed once their bowls were inside and the door was closed.  No one cared they were going to skinnydip.  No one could see.  The nearest neighbor was over seven miles away.  "We need to find out how far the land for the cabin goes."

"It's on the deed," Sam told her.  "We can look at it."  She dove in but he didn't watch.  Dean smirked at him.  "What?"

"Woose."  He dove in too, swimming out to splash Xander.  "So, swim team?"  She smirked and nodded.  "Any good?"

"Some."  She took off.  "Race you to the left and then to the right edge."  He took off after her.  It was good to play with him.  This was an environment the slayer strength wouldn't help with.  They almost tied, Dean had longer arms so he barely hit the bank before she did.

Dean laughed.  "Beat you."

"Yeah, well, you have chimp arms," she teased, taking a kiss before swimming off again.  He followed.  "I can go...."

He dunked her.  "Shut up, Xander.  We're going with you.  Sam, did you want to hit LA with us or not?"

"I'll go say hi to Fred then visit Tara to check on her," he called.  "Are there fish in here?  Something nibbling on my kneecap."

Xander dove down, coming up with the plant.  "It's probably not carnivorous."  That got a smirk and he dunked her then swam off.  She dove under the water and pulled him under when she got close to him, making him splutter when he came up.  She smirked.  "You need better breath control."  She swam off, hiding behind Dean.

He looked at her.  "Don't put me in the middle of this one."  He got out of the way when Sam splashed them.  "See?"  He swam off, letting them handle it.  She would make sure Sam didn't drown.  It felt good to play.


"I can't believe you wanted me to flirt with the cop so you could get out of a warning ticket because the demon broke the taillight," Sam complained as they walked into the Hyperion hotel.  Angel gave them a weak smile.  "Dean's slightly warped today, sorry."

Xander looked at Angel then smacked him on the side of the head.  "Call me yourself, Angel.  That's why I have a cellphone!"

"Sorry, Xander.  I didn't even think about it," he said quietly, glancing at the boys.  "You might want to sit."

She sighed, slumping some.  "Cordy said that Fred might be joining her soon."

"No....  Fred?"  Xander nodded.  "I'll see if Lorne can figure that out later.  No, Wes left you some stuff."

"I figured there was something if I had to meet with the lawyers."  She stared at him.  "Everyone else okay?"  Angel nodded.  "Even the Sunnydale crew?"

"Yeah, they're fine," he assured him.  Sam smiled.  "Fred's in the kitchen, Sam."  He went that way while he pulled Xander back to the office.  Dean followed even when he got a dirty look.  He shut the door.  "Wes technically left you most everything.  Including his books.  He left me some of them."


"I don't know.  The lawyer wouldn't say more than that."  He called the number.  "It's Angel."  He put them on speaker.  "Xander's here."

"Good evening, Miss Harris.  When would be a good time to meet about Wesley's estate?"

"I'm in town now so pick sometime tomorrow, early evening?"

"I can do that.  Say five, Angel?  There?"

"That's fine," Angel agreed.  "Thanks."  He hung up.  He looked at Xander.  "I wanted to ask about keeping the books."

Xander shrugged.  "Depends on what's in there.  If they're work related I only need a few I don't have."  Angel smiled at that.  "Not like Dean's a Watcher and we can call."

"Good point."  He smiled at Dean.  He should probably get to like the guy with how much of Xander's scent was on him.  "Are you two....."

"Casual," Dean said.  That got another nod.  "Neither of us are ready to settle down yet."

"I can understand that," Angel agreed.  He looked at Xander.  "You're going to end up dealing with his father."

"Then I'll kick his ass."  She shrugged.  "I don't like his dad.  His dad's an idiot with control issues.  I was going to kick his ass for Wes's birthday."  Angel laughed.  "What am I walking into?"

"Not much.  I know there was a statement in there that he didn't want to look in on you and find you stripping again."

Xander shrugged. "It makes good gas money, Angel."

"Fine.  Go find a room and settle in."  They nodded, going to do that.  He walked out, going to talk to Fred.  Then he remembered to call Lorne and see if he could tell what was going to be coming after their geeky female friend.

Dean looked at the room they found empty.  "Did Cordelia decorate?  It's fancy."

"It was a grand hotel during the Art Deco era," Xander said.  "She's a grand old lady, Dean.  It's probably original."  She ran a hand over the wall.  "It's a shame Cordy's ghost couldn't come here after she died.  Dennis must be bored at the apartment."  Dean gave him a horrified look.  "Dennis' mother killed him and hid him in the walls.  Then she killed herself.  Cordy and the guys here banished the mother but Dennis stayed around to help her.  He couldn't physically manifest much but if she wanted tea a cup would float out.  He loved her.  He's got to be lonely there by himself."

"I'm sure if he likes the new renter he'll help them too," Dean said.  "Want a hug?"

"No, I'm good."  She smiled.  "A bit emo but I'll be fine."

"You sure?"

"Yeah, I'm fine.  I'll be fine.  Are we going hunting tonight?"

Dean shrugged.  "We can if you want.  Sam's not heading to see Tara until tomorrow."  She nodded at that.  "Then get some rest and shower.  We'll go hunting."  She smiled, laying down to do that.  He went back downstairs, running into Gunn.  "Hey."

"Hey.  Heard you guys came in."  He shook his hand.  "How's Xander?"

"Resting.   She suggested we go hunt tonight."

"It's dangerous right now.  Wolfram and Hart are real active."

"So we'll stick to vampires."

"They've got them covered too," Gunn warned.  "They've even been reaching into Sunnydale.  Giles sent Faith to make them stop or else it was going to be both slayers.  Faith destroyed the one guy's office and got the point across.  They're back to trying to be subtle up that way."

"There's that demon swap meet tonight," Angel said.  "Should be safe if Xander needs to blow off steam."

"Sure.  I think she's fidgeting," Dean told him.

"You know, you and your brother would make good Watchers."

"Yeah but I can't be that big of an asshole," he said dryly, cracking Gunn up.  "They are!  We had to fix the kitchen when we got back after Christmas so it was all at adult height.  Whoever it belonged to before expected the slayer he was training to do it."

"They're like that," Gunn agreed.  "You should meet Wes's father.  Pure asshole."

"Xander said she was going to kick his ass for Wes's birthday," Sam said as he came out of the library reading.  "Angel, when's this going to happen?" he asked, letting him see.  "The time code's screwy."

He looked.  "Xander's tenth grade year."  He looked at him.  "That was the Harvest to raise the Master.  When Buffy died the first time."

"Oh.  So nothing we need to worry about?"

"No, she turned his bones into ashes," Xander said as she came down the stairs.  "So, who wants to go blow Wolfram and Hart?"

"Xander," Angel sighed.

"The Powers just called."  Angel stiffened, staring at him.  Xander stared back.  "They're going to try to raise Darla, Angel.  Cordelia's going to descend and things will get *very* bad when the sun stops coming up if we don't stop them.  She's the key to let it into the world.  Like raising Buffy would've let the First Evil in."

"Hell," Gunn said.  "We can't just barge in."

"So we'll sneak in," Sam said with a small shrug.  "Even if they're demons, how hard would it be?"

Xander smirked at Dean, who gave her a worried look.  She stared into his eyes and he laughed, shaking his head.  "Oh, come on!"

"Fine.  It'll have to be one of us.  They know all them."

"Sure.  We can do that."  She looked at Angel, then at Fred. "Get me something so they can get in when I get in there."  She nodded, going to find her what she needed.  "I need to raid the files anyway.  There's a Master who's going up and down the area we're hunting in taking out strippers and college girls."  Sam growled at that.  "He is!"

"Yay!" Sam complained.  "You can't track him without going back."

"And?  If that's how you get him, that's how you get him.  Unless you guys want to just visit.  That's an expensive hobby.  He's constantly traveling."  She came off the bottom stair, looking at Angel.  "Heard of Merres?"   He shuddered but nodded.  "Can I get intel?"

"He's the same age Lothos is.  He's his line, brother basically.  Lothos was the one who killed Buffy's first Watcher, Xander.  They're very strong."

"Like Master strong?"

"Merres is about five hundred.  He's also *very* skilled with weapons.  You'll have to use subterfuge to get near him and he's got special senses about slayers."

Xander concentrated and the shield Wesley had put on her came down.  "Can you tell?"  He shook his head, frowning a bit.  "Wes did it when he trained me, linked it into the Sunnydale taint I carry.  All you can feel is 'has some power bred into her line and medium', right?"  He nodded faster.  "Then...."

"Merres isn't one for power like that but you might intrigue him.  He has in the past."

Xander nodded.  "Then I've got to stop on the way home to pick up the blazer since we brought the Impala and the guys are heading to Michigan after we get home."

"Which is natural anyway.  We'll hit the cabin, do laundry, repack, and head," Dean agreed.  Sam nodded at that.  Xander nodded too.  "Thanks for the washer by the way."

"Welcome.  I needed it."  She looked at Fred when she came back.  "How do I use it?"

"It's a smoke grenade.  Best we can do, Xander."

She smiled and kissed her on the cheek.  "I love toys."  She went to change, coming down wearing that black velvet dress without the collar.  The grenade was on a long velvet cord around her neck.  "Come on, guys."  Dean hurried to change, coming down looking like he was a club bouncer.  "Give us thirty, Angel.  Watch for the smoke."  They headed out, Sam could stay or go with them.  They drove over there, Xander going over the probable reasons in her mind.  She kissed Dean before getting out.  "Don't die."

"Don't plan on it," he assured her.  They walked into the lobby.  "Someone called for an escort?"


"Her bodyguard.  They wanted someone with some potential."  Xander let a bit of the Sunnydale taint out and the receptionist moaned, nodding, calling upstairs to the head office.  It was probably them.  A guard came over to look at them, staring at the necklace.  Xander cooed and teased him to take his mind off it.  He let them into the elevator.  Dean looked at her, lounging against the wall.  "You good?"  She nodded, giving him a small smirk back.  "You sure?"

"Very."  They got off and she strolled off on his arm, walking into the office with the door open.  "You called for me?"

"No but I think we can use you, young lady."  He looked her over.  She was pretty, tallish for a woman.  She was clearly tainted.  He got up to walk around her, sniffing some, her bodyguard moving a few steps away at his look.  "Sunnydale?"

"I was born there," she said with a grin.  "I even went to school there until I couldn't take it anymore."  She blinked at him.  "So, what was the game we wanted to play tonight?"  She moved closer to him, sniffing.  "Hmm. Unique cologne."  She smiled at him.  "What did you want tonight, sir?"

"I was thinking bloodplay."  He pulled a knife and moved it so she could see it.  She didn't flinch.  "That wouldn't bother you."

"That depends on how you play."  He brought it closer so she could examine it.  Then she looked at him.  "It's very sharp.  Sanitized?"

"Of course," he lied.  Dean left them alone. "You can send him back to the office."

"No, he'll escort me back.  We've heard things about you guys and your desires."  She stared into his eyes.  Then she took the knife to look at again, licking it.  Nothing on it.  She stabbed him in the heart, making him die.  "Stupid to keep a knife with what you're allergic to in reach."  She got into his computer, putting the thing Sam had given her onto it so they could download the whole system.  She started it running then walked out, handing Dean the knife.  "Happy birthday."

He looked at it. "Thanks.  Silver."  He grinned.  "You give great presents."

"I try."  They headed down to the level where the rites were done.  She felt around, finding the most demons in one area.  She checked it, a meeting area.  They walked past it and headed to another room.  There was a higher demon there.  Xander set off the smoke grenade in front of the meeting area and they headed in when the demon ran out to check on the alarms.  She looked at the sarcophagus, running a hand over it.  "Shame to destroy it."

"It is."  He opened it and looked inside at the body partially formed.  He pulled out the vial of salt and poured it over the body, watching it deflate.  "Xander?"

She poured in holy water.  Then they lit it and got out of there.  She looked then came back and kicked an edge, breaking off one of the symbols on it.  She carried the piece off.  "That way the spell's incomplete."  That got a nod and they snuck back out.  She ran into Angel in the subbasement, holding up the chunk.  "Past their meeting room, in a marble vault."  He nodded, heading that way.  She looked at Dean and they skipped out.  The others met them outside.  She leaned against the Impala's hood, looking back at Sam.  "We get anything good?"

"We're getting everything good.  Fred had a larger harddrive so I'm storing on it.  I'll do a search and download what we need later on from their copy."  He finished the copying, letting Fred lean over to type in passwords until it broke another encryption.  It asked if they were doing a backup and she typed yes, then the download started to go backward.  He flipped a switch and did something else, and it started to draw again.  They got it finished.  He isolated the harddrive immediately.  "We're heading to do this," Sam said.

"Decent.  We're going to go clubbing since she's all dressed up," Dean said.  Sam nodded, letting Fred help him back to the convertible Angel drove.  He watched Sam go back to helping Fred hack things and looked at her.  "If you want that is?"

"Sure, I could use some stress relief."  He grinned and they got into the Impala, heading off.

Angel came out last, looking around.  "Xander and Dean?" he asked Sam.

"Clubbing," he said without looking up.  "She's going to tease him by teasing vampires with some booty shaking dancing.  It'll make Dean growl and pounce later."

"Whatever," Angel said.  "More than I needed to know. "   He got in to drive.  "Do we have their information, Fred?"

"Yes but they might try to download a virus as part of it.  It didn't like us saying we were doing a backup.  We'll find out in a few hours.  If not, we can start it again.  Dean broke into another office and put another one on a different computer for us while Xander was distracting him.  We really could use a hacker though."

"Oz is back in Sunnydale," Sam said as he typed.  "Tara said he showed up to see what happened to Willow when a rumor of her going into a meltdown hit him in Tibet.  She said they talked and made peace with each other."  He looked up.  "He's a hacker, or so she said."

"He is," Angel agreed.  "Gunn?"

"I'll call Giles."  He did that.  "Giles, Gunn.  Can we borrow Oz?  We just managed to tap into W&H's database."  He grinned.  "Thanks.  No, she's out with Dean at the moment blowing off steam.  Clubbing.  Yeah, that's what Sam said.  He'll be up tomorrow, Giles.  Thanks."  He hung up.  "Giles said hello and stop in for tea, Sam."

"I can do that."  He grinned at Fred.  "My father's been nagging Buffy about her clothes for months."  She giggled, leaning on his arm.  He grinned back and got back to work.  He wouldn't even wonder what Dean and Xander were getting into, not unless one of them called for bail money.  Xander loved to make Dean pounce.  "Did we get the sarcophagus?"

"Xander broke some of the mystical writing on it," Angel said.  "They set the body on fire.  Is your brother a pyro?"

"It's how we roll," Sam quipped.  "Salt and burn."

Gunn shook his head.  "You two are insane."

"But Xander loves us," he shot back with a grin.

"Yeah, says a lot about her too," Gunn joked.

Sam shrugged.  "It's all love."  He finished up and let her have his laptop.  "Please don't break it."

"I won't."  They got back to the hotel and Oz got there an hour later - apparently he had been close by.  She and Sam sat down with him to go over what they had and the second download.  He simply nodded and dug in to type and hack.

Xander came in giggling, leaning on Dean's shoulder.  "Oh, that's so bad."

"I know but it was funny how he pouted at me when I said I wasn't for sale."  He looked at the new guy.  "Hey."

"Dean, this is Oz," Sam said.

"Oz," Xander squealed, hugging him.

Oz looked at her.  "Xander?"  She smirked and nodded.  "Huh."  He gave her a pinch on the arm.  "From Faith.  How's things?"

"Going good."  She looked over his shoulder, whispering something.  "Try that.  One of their people was at the club we went to and it was in his pocket."   He typed it in and it was an admin level passcode.  She grinned at him.  "Welcome.  Talk tomorrow?"

"Sure."  He watched her go, nodding when Dean followed then Sam.  "Interesting."  He got back to work, looking at Angel.  "Story?"

"Long one, ask him, her," Angel said, shaking his head.  "Sometimes it's hard to see her as a girl."

"Not really," Gunn said.  "When I first saw her I realized I had seen her stripping for gas money and liquor to make it all better.  She's *all* girl."  Fred pinched him, making him yelp.  "It was my boy's bachelor party!" he defended.

She scowled.  "I don't like that profession."

"Fine.  Whatever.  She said she makes good gas money."  He shrugged but got out of pinching range.  "Anything we can use?"

"You mean like the corporate flowchart?" Oz asked, handing it over once he had printed it.  It had the names of all the people in the company and what sort of being they were.  He opened up another window and typed something in, sending it to a friend online.  "I know people who want to know."  He got back to work, making sure everything was open and there were no hidden viruses.  Around dawn he was done.  He looked up and found Angel still sitting nearby.  "Done."  Angel came over to browse the files.  "Room?"

"Pick one, Oz.  We've got plenty."  The younger man nodded and went to crash on a bed.  He went back to reading.  That way he could sleep when Xander and Oz got together to talk.


Xander smiled at the lawyer, shaking her hand.  "Hi."

"Xander?"  She nodded.  "Wesley wasn't sure if you'd change anything since the last time he saw you."

"Only my hair.  I got tired of having long hair."  She sat down and watched her pull out folders and pencils.  "So, I figured he left me a letter or something?  Angel said he thinks books."

"Most everything actually."  She opened a folder.  "This is what he owned when he made his last will.  There's a few things that aren't on there and one book that's mysteriously disappeared, probably into Angel's custody.  By the way, I do know.  He told me."  Xander nodded.  "I handle the stuff for another Watcher as well."  That got another nod from her.  "Do you know these two mentioned?"  She underlined names.

"Sam!  You and Dean are needed!" she yelled.  They came in.  "Wes left you guys something."

"He left them a few things actually.  Mostly archaic weapons."  She smiled at them.  "I do know, boys.  I handle another Watcher as well."  She got back to letting Xander see things.  "He said you're not local very often."

"No, I'm living in South Dakota."

"Interesting.  Is that a small cabin?"  Xander nodded.  "That's what he said but he wasn't sure if you were going to stay there."

"On and off, when I'm not hunting."

"That's fine then."  She handed over something.  "That's his bank account's remains.  His books were worth a good bit if you wanted to sell them to Angel."

"I only probably need a few of them."  She looked at the book list, starring some.  She found one last one she hesitated over then starred it too.  "It'll be nice to have."  She handed it back.  "I don't want to bankrupt Angel."

"I'm sure you don't."  She put that aside.  "All right, that leaves his motorcycle, which he left to Charles Gunn.  The things he left to your friends, and what he left to Winifred and Angel."  She looked at her.  "Someone will want a birth certificate for you, most likely the judge.  Just to make sure you're real."  Xander tossed over her passport.  She looked then nodded, making note of that and photocopies.  That took a birth certificate to get.  It was handed back and they went over the paperwork.  Xander outright refused to sign one and she knew why so that was fine with her.  "His father," she said quietly.

"I was going to kick his ass for Wes's amusement," Xander told her.

"He's in town."

"I can handle that minor issue then."  She smiled.  "Anything else?"  She shook her head. "Then let me go talk to Wes's father.  I'm sure traditionally the Watchers took back their people's stuff."  She got up.  "Anything else?"

"You might want to look at the check.  He did have some investments and the like."  She looked.

Dean looked over her shoulder.  "Sweet.  Lots and lots of gas money."  Xander pinched him and he grinned. "Want help?"

"No."  She smiled and handed him the check.  "Put it up for me?"

"Sure.  I won't even think about cashing it."  He walked off happier.

The lawyer looked at Sam.  "Angel can take you boys over tonight to get what he left you."  She handed him a list.  "I had it broken down by person."

"Thanks."  He took the book list too, kissing Xander on the cheek.  "You sure?"

"Oh, yeah."  She strolled out, taking a cab to the hotel the Watchers usually stayed at when they were in town.  She smiled at the guard who gave her an odd look.  "I need to see Mr. Wyndham-Pryce.  He called for me."  She pushed the button.  The lawyer had the address on one of the forms.  She got off on the right floor and walked down the quiet hall to the suite, tapping gently, arms crossing over her chest when it was answered. "Morning."  She pushed past the enforcer, looking at Travers.  "I thought the dickhead sperm donor was going to be here."

"I sent him home with his tail between his legs, Xander."  The head of the Watchers Council looked her over.  "You're looking more healthy."

"I'm starting to be forced to accept the changes.  Why call the meeting through the lawyer?"

"I thought we should talk."  He pointed at a chair.  "Soda?"

"Travers, I know very well you tried to wet works me my senior year," she said bluntly.  He coughed but shrugged.  "So no, I'm not going to trust you.  What do you want?"

"There's some things that Wesley left in my possession, Xander.  He apparently decided you could be like a daughter to him."

"I liked Wes.  He was a good man once he got the Watchery broomstick pulled out."  She checked the chair before sitting down.  "You're not going to try that crucitaneum stuff, right?"

"No, Xander.  You're too old."  He looked at her.  "That last slayer business is solved?"

"I have no clue.  I left that research up to Giles."

"He said he thinks it's solved."

"The only way to know for sure is if Faith dies."  That got a nod.  "I know he was doing something to transfer the gift back to Faith so she'd be The Slayer instead of a slayer."  That got another nod.  "Did it work?"

"He reported it did.  Which does put us at an odd place."

"I'm still hunting, Travers.  I've slowed down but I'm about to go after Merres since he's in my territory."

"Which is a good thing," he agreed.  "What about children?"

She gave him an odd look. "Travers, do you know how much my period fucked with my head?" she said bluntly.

"Wesley said you got drunk."

"Very.  I would've kept getting drunk without Dean stealing the bottle and Wes putting me on medicine that ended it."

"That's fine.  Some day?"

"I only tell the future when the Powers send me something," she reminded him.

"That's fine then."  He stared at her.  "You're not like the other girls."

"No, the three of us presently called aren't.  Then again, I'm pretty sure I figured out more of the bad things you've done in the past than Buffy has.  Faith knows you're all bad.  I know why you're bad."  She stared him down.  "And it won't work on me."

"That's fine.  You're content to do some minor hunting and live in the cabin the rest of the time?"  She nodded.  "Not exposing us?  Nothing like that?"

"The other hunters in the Winchester's network know I'm a slayer."

"They do the same work, Xander.  I'm talking about going on a talk show."

"Why would I want to do that?"

"Gas money," he said bluntly.

"No, I make gas money when I need it.  Wes left me some money too because he didn't like how I was making gas money.  Did me pickpocketing the vamps I stake bother someone else?"

"No, the stripping did."  Xander shrugged.  "Isn't that a bit of a mixed signal?"

"No.  It allows me to get used to people staring at my body without being able to touch.  I've still got a real bad problem with people touching me.  I broke a cop's wrist for trying to grope."

"I hadn't heard about that."

"He decided I had maliciously attacked the man at the bar who tried to grope because I was a lesbian.  I warned him.  I did it again when I freaked out because he tried it with his partner in the room and a camera on.  They let me go."

"Good."  He stared at her.  "What about these boys of yours?"

"They've helped me accept a lot of stuff.  You touch them and it'd be like you touching Tara.  We'll have a midnight talk and only one of us will be walking at the end."

"I'm not going to harm them, Xander.  Do you think they'd take a position as your official Watcher?"

"You'd have to ask them but they know what assholes some Watchers are.  The cabin was set up so the slayer in training could do all the work."

"Some of us are assholes," he agreed bluntly.

"Wes said he enjoyed shooting them."

"So do the rest of us.  I'm not like that."  Xander gave him a look.  "I do what's necessary for the cause, the same as you do, Xander."

"I know that but your methods make others have nightmares.  Including me."  She stood up.  "Anything else of importance?"

"Can we talk to them?"

"They're at the Hyperion.  They came in to talk to Tara and Fred."

"Oh.  Not with you?"

"We're buddies, Travers.  Yes, they're the only men I can stand to have touch me..."  The guard touched her shoulder so she turned and broke his arm next to his shoulder and kicked him in the ribs.  "That wasn't an invitation."  She took a calming breath and looked at him again.  "Not cute."

"His idea, Xander.  I know what sort of problems you've been having.  The drinking was reported to us by a few of us who saw you."

"Sorry, but hey, a lot to adjust to."

"I know.  Sit.  Please."  Xander sat again.  "We're going to put you on stipend.  Buffy and Faith are doing good and so are you.  Theirs is going to Giles.  Buffy convinced us to hire him back."  That got a nod.  "That would solve your gas dilemma?"

"Probably most of the time.  In return you want what?"

"I want you to consider having a child some year.  I want you to continue working when you can.  We don't have a Watcher where you are right now and no one in that network to tell us when something's going on.  I don't expect you to tell us everything but if there's a major uprising, something like that.  Anything you'd need to call Rupert for backup for basically."  That got a nod.  "We want you to continue to work, Xander.  You got a very raw deal out of this thing with Willow.  The fact you helped defeat two higher demons and one mid-level one within two months was very good to us."

"I'm not going to run into them very often."

"We know that.  Your generation has had more than their fair share.  It's been too much for even an exceptional slayer, which Buffy is.  She would've died without you."  Xander nodded, she knew that.  "She and Faith are working well for the moment.  If not, I'm going to have Faith moved here to help the champion, even though we do not trust him.  Do you?"

"Angel and I have our history, Travers.  We tolerate each other for the most part.  We respect each other.  I also know if he loses his soul again, Faith and I will draw straws."  That got a nod.  "Any other demands?"

"No, just those.  We would like to talk to the boys about taking over the official duties for you.  They seem to do it anyway and it would give them a small paycheck as well."  Xander stared at him and he knew he had slipped up.  "I know I'm being generous."


"There's a prophecy that something terrible is going to be raised in the next two years.  We need all the help we can get.  A lot of the potentials have had slayer dreams.  Have you?"

"Not really.  A few of that creeping in the dark thing.  I thought we mitigated the big, bad evil when Buffy didn't die."

"We thought so too but there was another one mentioned.  We're not sure why it was pushed back or if it was pushed back.  If it wasn't this millennium for some reason.  We know that there's another person who's going to try to ascend in another year and a half. Frankly, we're down on recruiting and the girls aren't being born as often since some of them have lived so long.  A lot of that credit belongs to you."  She smiled a bit at that, tipping her head barely to say he was welcome.  "We hope it's a trend that continues after  you three pass on."

"We hope they get to live their own lives and have friends who jump in if they want to too," Xander agreed.  "That's what made Buffy so special."

"Good point."  He stared at her.  "Would you consider taking up magical studies?"

"Enough to shield me, do protections, and those things.  Nothing further.  I have those books coming from Wes's stash.  Sam's separating them out and negotiating with Angel for the others."

"That's fine then.  Do you think they'd talk to me?"

"You'd have to ask them."

"Fine.   Do you have any questions?"

"What do slayers do when we get arthritis?"

"No one's ever lived that long, Xander.  Are you?"

"Sore knees now and then.  Even if I retire I'm still going to be handling the odd thing now and then.  That probably won't be until I'm at least late twenties."

"That's reasonable.  Thank you for not blowing us up."

"Don't give me a reason."  She stood up.  "What did Wes leave with you?"

"A few things.  Including his trust fund."  He handed over an envelope.  "That's yours.  It'll come to the local bank, where we've set up an account in your name, every month.  In there's the card that goes to it.  It's in a money market fund so it'll earn interest for you.  If you need help I'm sure Anya could help you."

"Probably."  She grinned.  "Anything else, like letters?"

"His journals were in his apartment but I believe he left those to Angel.  He didn't have much since his father disowned him."

"For you guys sending him into a situation he was too young and inexperienced to handle, Travers. Wes's father is one of those you should enjoy shooting."

"His father does know that his son thought he was an asshole.  Wesley made sure of it recently.  He's one of the few who knows how to use the computer system.  That's why we keep him around."

"Then recruit from colleges."

"We've started doing that.  It's going to take some time."  He stood up and shook her hand.  "Good hunting, Xander.  Do what you can and remember you're still mortal."

Xander nodded.  "I will.  Thank you."  She walked over the guard and out of the hotel, going back to the Hyperion.  She found Sam walking and reading.  "Hey.  Travers wants to talk to you and Dean."

"Dean just left to talk to him," he said absently.  "I know he can tell him to screw himself for me."   He grinned at her.  "What did he want?"

"They're down Watchers and wanted you two to take over the official duties for me.  Including a paycheck."  Sam blinked at that, opening his mouth.  She held up a hand.  "In the next two years we have another possible ascension somewhere else, a possible world endage prophecy, and a few other things.  They don't want you to spy on your friends, only tell them when things are so bad we're all whining at Angel or Giles for backup.  To be blunt they've started to recruit from colleges so it'll take a few years.  They've lost too many who tried to think for themselves."

"Oh."  He shook his head quickly.  "It depends on what he offers.  Dean'll tell me."  He grinned.  "What did Wes's father have?"

"A kick in the ass from Travers.  Travers was waiting on me, he sent his father home hobbling from the foot up the ass."

"Good."  He smirked.  "Anything else?"

"Apparently there was a trust fund, it'll come with my stipend to the bank back at home, and I've got the card on me."  She smiled and headed to hide it with the other check.  While up there she decided to lay down for a while.  Dean woke her up when he slammed the door.  "Saw the note.  Only pimps get fifty percent and if you think you are, I'm going to kick your ass," she said, still half asleep.

Dean smirked at her.  "I didn't want half but you can buy breakfast now and then.  Did you know what he was going to ask?"

"He told me."  She sat up, blinking at him.  "Pissed you off?"

"A bit.  Dad thought it was a good idea.  I told him Sammy and I would talk."  He kissed her.  "That would mean I'd get to nag."

"Don't you already have nagging rights?"

"Well,  yeah."  He kissed her again.  "We'll see."

"Means less hustling pool."

"I know."  He laid down next to her, getting comfortable when she curled up in front of him.  "Sam's coming in."

"Like I care."  She yawned and he kissed her again.  "Hmm."  She smiled.  "Tired?"

"Not really.  Wound up."  She shifted, reaching in to play with his cock, making him moan.  "You always know when I need it."

"It's a need like your stomach, Dean, always waiting to be filled."  She grinned.  "You horny slut you."

"Only for some people," he teased back.  He got up and stripped down to his boxers.  "Did you steal another pair?"  She grinned and nodded.  "I'm going to spank."

"You keep saying that," she teased, pulling him back down to tease him some more before Sam could interrupt them.  He came with a groan, getting another kiss.  "Better?"

"Much."  He let her cuddle, leaving the mess there.  He'd clean it up later, when he wasn't tired.  Sam knocked then came in.  "They're being honest and they're behind in recruitment."

"That's what she said."  He sniffed then shook his head.  "At least I missed the sex."  He laid down behind Dean, cuddling up to him.  "And?"

"Paycheck.  Nagging rights when she slacks off.  Little oversight.  You keep a journal anyway so that's that requirement out of the way."  He yawned.  "We don't have to nark on the network unless it's something that'll require backup from the army."

"The downside?"

"If there's an emergency you can be drafted to help," Xander told him.  "The same as I can."  That got a nod.  "There's at least two possible problems in the next two years and a lot of the potentials have been having slayer dreams about another one.  Did you get those books?"

"I did.  Why did you want magic books?"

"I can do enough to do protection spells and ward a room without turning into Willow."

"True," Dean agreed.  "Could help us too."  She nodded at that.  "Nothing further?"

"Nope.  Banishing, warding, protection stuff.  Maybe lock spells?"  He shrugged and so did Sam.  "Plus it'll help with my shielding issues."

"That's fine with us," Sam agreed, giving Dean a squeeze.  "Any other downsides, Dean?"

"Travers is someone who does what's necessary in his view," Xander said.  "Including having some older slayers removed from the lineage.  He said he's not going to do it with me.  They've had a downswing in the amount of girls born in the last decade due to Buffy and Faith lasting so long."  That got a single nod from Dean.  "But if he feels it's necessary, he tried to wet works Faith when she woke up.  He tried to stop me from jumping in.  He's got a very narrow viewpoint of the right way to do things."

"But we'll have very little oversight.  He said he was going to consider us outside contractors hired for a specific job, which is Xander."  That got a nod from both of them.  "But it's a paycheck and it's not a hard job.  We'd still do what we're doing before."

"I got the feeling that Travers saw us being together that way as his own version of romantic," Xander said quietly a moment later.  "Like the knight that rescues his damsel and they fall in love.  I think that was his version of sweet and nice."  Both boys snickered.  "It was!"  She looked at Sam.  "He did want me to consider pushing out a kid sometime in the far future.  We think the last slayer curse got put onto Faith but it'll be fine because Giles said he had countered it already with her.  We did that already.  He wants me to stay in our area because no one but you guys are there.  Besides, they're behind on recruiting."

Dean considered it.  "I asked if we had to wear uptight clothes.  He said that's why he was going to be considering us subcontractors.  That way he didn't have to see us or help us unless we called for it, but we could handle all the things we wanted to and he'd send us information when we needed it.  Plus paychecks for gas.  Apparently you stripping really freaked him out, Xander."

"Yeah, I guess so," Xander said dryly.  She took a kiss.  "Wes too."  He grinned at that.  "Did the guard at least medical attention by then?"

"Yeah, his bodyguard was switching out so the one on the floor could quit crying."

"He wouldn't cry in front of me.  I told him not to touch me."  He smirked at her for that.  "He did it even after I said I had a bad problem with it."  She shrugged.  "Pity."  She teased his chest.  "So, up to you guys.  I still get my stipend and Wes left me a small trust.  It's in a money market account according to him."

"We'll talk tomorrow," Dean said.  "Even though Dad said it was a good deal I'm not so sure there's not hidden strings."

"That would depend on who came after Travers and what they wanted," Xander pointed out dryly.

"Good point," Sam agreed, yawning into his brother's hair.  "Sorry.  Tired."

"Sleep, Sam.  We'll talk tomorrow," Xander said, reaching over to stroke over his hair. He smiled as he fell asleep, letting her tease Dean again.  "Think you could sleep too?"

"Hmm.  Yeah, probably."  She smiled and snuggled in.  "Want some reciprocation?" he asked gently.

"Tomorrow.  Then before we split up again.  Unless you feel the need to pounce me again," she offered with a cheeky grin.

He snickered.  "You teased me.  Of course I pounced.  That little boy at the club was not going to have you."  He took a kiss and let her snuggle into his shoulder.  It was nice to be this warm again.


to next part: