Convention in Miami.
Xander walked into the hotel in Miami, taking off his sunglasses. "Hi, I'm Alexian Harris."
The check-in girl smiled at him. "I take it you're an author, sir?"
"We had another author do the same thing."
"He's the one that taught it to me." He grinned.
"Yeah." He pointed at them.
"We do have a bellhop, sir."
"I can carry. I'm not that famous yet." He smiled and took his room key. "Thank you." He picked up his bags and walked off. Someone came jogging in and said something to him. "I thought I closed that." He followed them back out to get his other bag and close the trunk. "Sorry. I thought I had grabbed them all." He walked back inside and up to his room. He fell face first on his bed, groaning into it. Someone knocked. "I'm tired." They knocked again so he went to open it. "Hi, Paula."
"Xander, what's wrong?"
"You flew coach. You should go first class."
He stared at her. "I'm not that famous yet."
"Fine." She patted him on the cheek. "I have the galleys for the newest book. The CEO wanted to read it when he heard it was a bit sexy. I'm told he had to actually take off his tie, which was phenomenal, then he went to pounce his mistress and even slept with his wife." Xander grinned. "So we're a go and it's already looking wonderful. I only cut ten pages and it was her babbling in magic. I substituted that she babbled in magic basically so no one could try the rite."
"I can understand that." He took them to flip to those sections, taking her pen to correct something he hated. She took it back and nodded that made more sense. "Yes, it was in Summerian."
"That's fine." She smiled. "People want you on the supernatural panel today."
"Today?" he asked.
He sighed but nodded. "Okay. I can eat and perk up."
She smiled. "There's an author free read for the next one. I suggest chapter two. Rick is doing his more sultry parts of the newest novel too."
"So we'll have dueling smut?"
"How about the stalking scene?"
"I did like that one and it did make me sweat." She smiled. "Though that's a female character so .... It might still work." She patted him on the head. "Eat something to help the headache. Take a short nap and get up by six so you can shower, change, and get down there in time. You sign things tomorrow." Xander nodded. "Good boy." She left, taking the galleys to fax back to her assistant. She swore, if the higher ups touched a single thing she was going to start her own company and take Rick and Xander with her.
Fortunately her bosses were out. So the final proof was emailed later on with those few changes. She compared but had to change back a section. Her assistant said the bosses wanted it to be more subtle. She got Xander in to rewrite it more subtle. Of course, he didn't know what subtle was so it got racier yet less descriptive. No more naughty words. She sent it back as the FINAL edit, meaning it would not be changed. Her assistant said she understood and had sent it to the final proofreading and publishing step. Then she got to work on Xander's next one in DCIS. He was a full time job for her.
Rick smirked at the kid as he walked into the free reading session. "What're you putting out?" he asked.
"Stalking." He grinned. "Paula agreed."
"I liked that too. She let me do some of the proofreading." Xander sat next to him, smiling at the people around them. "Guys, have you met Alexian Harris yet?" Most of them waved. Xander grinned and waved back. "Who's going first?"
"You can," a female writer said. "He's new so he can end." They all nodded they agreed. Rick opened his book and started to read. A few looked very interested and one started to sweat. He finished up and got some mild clapping. The others read and got good claps.
Xander cleared his throat and found his section, smiling as he started to read. Everyone stared at him. He coughed and finished up. No one clapped. "I'm sorry if you didn't like it."
The female stared at him. "Was that a male character?"
"No. The lead is a female."
"Hmm. That makes more sense and makes it hotter than Rick's." They smirked as they walked out together.
Xander looked at Rick. "I didn't mean to make them warmer than you."
"That's an honor." He walked the kid out and gave him a nudge. "C'mon, we'll hit a classy club. Maybe you can pick up your next evil thing there."
"That might be nice." He went to change and came back down dressed differently. Rick stared. "What? Not appropriate for the local clubs?"
"Probably very appropriate. Don't get my daughter any pants that look like that, all right?"
"Of course not. She and Tara already bought a pair." They walked out together. Conventions were always fun. Xander walked past two working girls arguing with someone else and the guy ran off. He shrugged at them. "I wasn't even being threatening, sorry, ladies." He hurried on. Rick was snickering but that was usual.
Paula walked into the police station the next morning. "One of my authors is waiting here for me to beat his ass for dating?" she asked the desk sergeant.
"Drunk tank, ma'am?"
"He said a Detective Hagen had to save him?"
"I can have him paged, ma'am." He did that. Soon a tough guy looking detective came out scowling. "Her, sir."
She looked at him. "What did Xander date this time?"
"Apparently someone he hated. He actually started the fight."
"That usually means they were dangerous to him." Hagen blinked and she wrote down a number. "The one that arrests most of his other dates. For some reason only the most evil or dark are drawn to him."
He led her back to his desk to call that detective. He walked off talking quietly to her. Apparently she thought the same thing. He came back, then walked her to look at the young guy. "So, her being a drug dealer....."
"Her trying to drug me was why I beat her ass," Xander said dryly. "I told the responding cop that. He snorted and said I was a whiny gay man for some reason."
"I'll kick his ass myself. She wants to press charges."
"And I have a really good self defense case. Especially since that same officer took the needle out of the fold of my shirt."
Hagen went to check on that, finding it logged in as was proper. He took it to the lab. "Figure out what this is for me. Some guy has to beat the woman sticking him with it." He walked off. "We'll have the lab run it."
Xander nodded. "I'm supposed to sign things in a few hours so I have time if they can get it done in that amount of time. What did the DA say?"
"Good for you. If she presses charges, we can ask her what she does for a living and arrest her."
Xander smirked. "I can do one better. I can ask the snitch on her crew to talk to you." Paula glared. "He's got one of Graham's commandos in there for some reason."
"Name?" Hagen asked. Xander wrote down the description. He went to have that guy found. They'd have to see why he was involved.
Xander looked at Paula, shrugging some. "I was happy on the floor, wasn't trying to attract anyone, and she started to dance with me. She tried to stab me with a needle so I rearranged her badly done plastic surgery button nose."
"I agree, you should protect yourself."
Xander shrugged. "What did you want me to do?"
"This." She smiled. "With your history they'll have to ask her what she does."
Hagen came back, looking at him. "How do you draw them?"
"If I knew I'd break it so I could date someone nice. Because I'm kinda tired of the skanky ho society that's really not that great in bed. Why can't I get a slightly evil girl who's good in bed?"
"I don't know," Hagen said. "She's dropped the charges." Xander grinned at him. "So you're free to go. How long are you in town for?"
"Monday. I leave at eleven."
"Thanks, kid." Xander shook his hand and got up, helping Paula up and escorting her out. He shook his head, going to see if that chemistry report was finished yet. It was first thing in the morning and the desks had looked clear. It was handed over as it came out of the machine. "He has good instincts." He went to finish arresting her. Having that much heroin was still illegal.
All across Miami, demons were hearing that the 'one who was made to tell' was in town. Most of them weren't scared of him, they were in awe of him still being alive and so strong as to stand up to the Highers or the Slayer. None of them would've survived and they had all bet that the human wouldn't either. They found out where he was staying and went to check on the convention. It figured he was still writing. The newest one was being talked about and the demons hiding there listened in.
That demon went to report to the highers in the city. "The Seer is releasing things in fiction so no one will cause problems for him," he reported. "The newest book in the hunters series is said to be about seers and magic, it includes a very dark prophecy."
The head demon of Miami considered it. "When is it coming out?"
"That may be too long. Is there a chance we can get an advanced copy?"
"That one is a Knight. He would not put out things that were too late to help," the lower demon said.
The higher one nodded. "Still I would like to see this prophecy. See if anyone there has a copy you can look over and recite that part at the least. The story may hold more keys but the prophecy is important to hear now."
The demon nodded. "As you wish, sire." He left, going back to the hotel. He followed the female with the boy. She wasn't dating him, she was acting parental so she had to work with him somehow. Clearly not a hunter in her outfit and shoes, but perhaps she had something to do with his books? He watched her go into her room and then come back out, sneaking in there. He found the copy of the novel and copied it quickly onto the hotel stationery that was conveniently placed in each room. He took that copy with him after putting the original back. He hurried back to his overlord, handing it to him. "Straight from the proof copy."
He read it and went pale. "That is a bad thing." He looked up. "Call the council together." The pages went to do that for him. He smiled at the lower demon. "That was good work. How thick was the new book?"
"About as thick as his last in DCIS."
"So not overly descriptive but now and then he doesn't write battles out fully." He nodded. "We will see if we can get someone in the publisher's office."
"The woman who had the copies is at the convention this weekend. She was treating him like a mother would. It is said she even went to talk to the police after he had to beat one of those sort that like him last night."
"Excellent. The boy could use it. Do you know which publisher?"
"It's easy enough to find out from the prior books. Most of them are in New York."
"Hmm. New York is always full of snotty higher ups who decide they speak for everyone and don't. The same as LA is. Do we have some of ours up there?" The lower one nodded. "Let me contact them then. Thank you for your service." He bowed and left. The counselors came in a few minutes later. "The White Knight Seer has put out a new prophecy in the form of an upcoming book."
"That would get him around the restrictions some of the community have given him for being forced to expose us," one said. "Is it bad?" He handed it over and the whole council shuddered. "What are we doing?"
"That's why I called you. If possible I want one of ours in the publishing office."
"There's already a few demons in there, but I think they're from New York."
"See if we can get even a janitor into there. The ones in New York and LA are unreasonable in their punishment. He was made to tell. It was not his fault that the higher ups pushed him that way. I would have fought back too." He considered things. "The book is due out in six months."
"With that prophecy, will it be too late?"
"The date code speaks of decades of change," one said. "We are in one, we must see if it's this century or not."
"We can ask him. He would answer for us if we asked," one said. "He might give us funny looks for deeming to talk to him but he would tell us."
"Go. Someone ask him." They nodded and sent one of the harmless looking, more human looking, ones to talk to the human. This could be very bad.
Xander looked up from signing, smiling at the clear demon in front of him. "Hi. What name should I sign it to?"
"Like in Ghostbusters?" he asked with a teasing grin.
"Yes, my mother thought him exciting." He leaned down. "Seer, is that one soon?" he asked quietly.
"Are there others?"
Xander smirked. "Someone always has a plan." He handed it over with a wink. "There's others recorded the same way."
"Thank you. Many of us outside the stuck up ones do not blame you." He walked off clutching his book to his chest. He had wanted it anyway.
Xander smiled at the next one in line. "Who should I make it out to?"
"Mrs. Harris?" she asked shyly.
"Nah, none of those yet. Unfortunately none of the women I've dated so far have been worthy of that." She giggled and he signed it for her, making her squeal and hug him, then take a picture of their heads together before bouncing off. Xander grinned at the next one and her dagger. "That's pretty. Where did you find that?"
"Downtown at one of the goth shops. Is this like the one in the one DCIS story with the altar?"
He took it to look like. "Close. I always pictured it with silver carvings down the blade and the end stone is smaller." He handed it back carefully. "Very pretty." She grinned at him. He signed her book and handed it over with a grin. She bounced off. Hotel security asked her to put it in a sheathe but that was usual. He went back to signing things for people. It was nice the other communities didn't hate him as hard as his.
The demon walked into the Council chambers, bowing to them. "He said it won't happen for a few years." They all smiled at that. "When I asked if there were more in that series, he said someone always has a plan."
"Then we will get someone hired on in their company or find a way to hear about such things first."
"We cannot release what we know of the book. It would get us sued," the lesser demon said.
"True, but we can release news of the prophecies." That got a group nod. "Which one is that?"
The lesser one smiled. "The newest in the hunter series." He let him see it. "He was very sweet."
"He seemed it." He handed it back. "I'd like to read it after you're done."
"Yes, sir." He bounced off to go read. He had to turn it over soon to the Overlord, but hopefully he'd get it back to put with his favorite things.
"Ah, the young, always so bouncy," one of the counselors sighed, shaking his head. The overlord smiled at him for it. "My own eggs do the same." He walked off shaking his head.
Xander stopped Paula that night. "One of the local demons got a forward copy of the prophecy in the new one," he said in her ear.
"I thought someone had moved it and used the scratch pad."
"Apparently so. They shouldn't leak it."
"That's good," she said with a grin. "Why are you worried?"
"They made sure it wasn't something happening soon."
"Even better." She walked off happier. She'd let small hints escape to generate more interest in the new part. That would work on their behalf this time.
In Montana, Sam got an email from an underground demon contact in LA. "Huh. We need to get Xander's newest in the hunting series because he's now putting out some prophecies in them."
Dean looked over at him. "You're joking," he said flatly.
"That way he can tell without having to deal with any of us," John said. He looked at his boys. "Bad?"
"Yeah but he told one who asked it wasn't soon."
"That's even better. When is it coming out?" Dean asked.
"Six months. Did any of the others have one?" he asked his brother.
"You ask like I read them all," he said dryly. "You're the bigger book nerd, Sammy."
John called Ellen. "That hunter Bobby went after that got him put in jail... yes, him. He's still a seer, Ellen. No, he's decided to write them into the hunter series. Have there been others put out that way?" He listened to her ask Ash, who had read them all. He made a note. "Thanks. Sammy, where is he this weekend?"
"Miami and he won't talk to us."
"Not even you two?"
"I don't know about us," Dean admitted. "We weren't on Bobby's side and since Bobby pulled his shit, it got Sammy tortured. He's sorry about that but he didn't have a choice."
"No, he didn't. I admire the kid's strength for that." Ellen said something. "Ellen, if they had went after you that way, and you had fought back, I'd say the same damn thing." He hung up. "Fucking idiot," he muttered. Dean and Sam both snickered. "Her and Bobby."
"When is he getting out?" Dean asked.
"Six more weeks we think." He shrugged. "We'll see. They never did raid his house."
"I heard Ellen sent people to lock up the weapons and books."
"Even better." Someone knocked on the door and John got up to answer it. "Yes, Officer?" he asked.
"Sir, I remember seeing you at that invasion," the officer said bluntly. John nodded. "Are you here about the furry thing that ate a few people in the next town? Because I think we know where it is if you are."
"We aren't. We're here about the poltergiest at the funeral home, but we can take care of it for you," John assured him. He grabbed his weapons and so did the boys. They followed the officer to the lair, him and Dean spreading out to figure out what it was. Dean texted it back to Sam, who needed to use the internet on the hunter's sites.
Sam found it and went jogging out. "It's supposed to be harmless unless it's in heat."
John nodded. "How do we kill it?"
"Silver." John loaded his shotgun, sending Dean the same message. They moved in and killed it, plus the two young. Then all hell broke loose. Sam looked around, staring. "It's not an elemental spirit."
"No, it's not," a voice called. "But it is a protected species."
"Then it shouldn't have eaten people," Dean called. "If it attacks humans we have to deal with it."
The spirits in the forest came out to stare at them. "Hunters are not good to our kind," one sneered.
John stepped forward, in front of his sons. "Leave my boys alone. The thing was hunting humans. It had to be taken out for that."
"What is the life of a few measly humans when their line is ancient and protected by all spirits?" the speaker asked. "They have been here longer than you have and you have no right to end that."
Sam walked around them. "We were asked to handle it because it ate humans."
"Sammy, no," John ordered.
"Shut up, Dad." He stared at them. "We did not come for it specifically. We were asked to handle it because of the deaths."
The speaker stared at him. "Seer, did you see problems?"
Tara appeared in a flash of light, then sighed and resurrected the two young ones, hading them over. "Take them and protect them somewhere humans aren't."
"They are hunters, Earth Mother."
"I know that. They stuck up for Xander when everyone else attacked him. We owe them for that."
"None can nourish them like their mother."
She looked then at them. "That's the father. Find the mother and take them to safety. It is not safe here. You know not to come around humans. They overreact and freak out."
The spirit stared at her, nodding. "That is true."
"We only came because we were asked to," John told him.
The forest spirits nodded and found the mother hiding, taking her and the cubs with them.
Tara pushed back her hair, smiling at Sam. "Are you all right?"
"Why wouldn't I be?"
"Cordelia said you probably got the same horrible vision she did earlier."
"No, I haven't yet today." She moved closer. "How bad?"
"Very. I'm so sorry." She brushed a hand over his hair. "That'll protect you some, let you sleep afterwards, Sam. Because no one, not even Xander, should see those." He nodded, smiling at her.
"These new prophecies, any soon?" Dean asked her.
"They're coming out in the order they should happen. The first book has the older one he had."
"That's good to know," John agreed. "I talked to Cordelia, she said something about sea otters?"
"She was messed up on migraine medicine," Tara said with a small shrug. "It made it more symbolic. Willow translated it from Sunnydale to normal english." She smiled. "It's really bad."
"Yes. The Council is going to start off something really horrible if they're not stopped." Sam groaned and held his head. She helped him sit down, soothing him as best she could. "Dean, he'll want to puke," she said quietly. He got her a bottle of water. Sam did puke, hitting John's boots, but they were used to the heavy reactions from the tougher visions. She helped him fall asleep.
"That bad?" John asked.
"They're going to call forth the God of the Seal from what Cordelia said. All the slayer line is going to be killed. The Council will be destroyed. The First will walk the earth because it takes seven slayers to stop her."
"Did Xander have it yet?" Dean asked.
She nodded. "In the interest of fairness he did have me fax it to Cordelia. Who had her own in response. Wes is really worried. Angel is saying it can't happen, it takes a resurrection gone bad, all that."
John nodded. "So we'll see?"
"No, we hopefully won't see. If we see it's gone too far. The slayers will have to fight and it will take seven active slayers to defeat her." John shuddered. "We'll have to activate more than the two we have."
"Not if we can stop it?" John asked.
"I don't know how to stop it."
"Stop the assholes calling her up," Sam moaned, holding his head. Tara helped him sip the water, earning a smile. "Thank you, Tara. We need to speak to Giles and Wesley. They're calling her, not the resurrection."
"Go to LA. They're both there. Xander's in Miami this weekend." He nodded and she disappeared.
Dean helped Sam up, handing him the half-empty bottle. "Bad?"
"Depends, do you like seeing everyone dead?"
"Bad," Dean decided, nodding some. "C'mon, we can hit LA."
They walked back to the vehicles and headed to LA while John dealt with the poltergeist. Something had to be done to stop the Council.
"Jesus fucking Christ in a Hyundai," Xander muttered as he walked up the street. "Idiot fucking watchers." He found the door he needed, pounding on it until a young girl answered. "Good, you're still alive. Where's your watcher?"
He stared at her. "A hunter. Where's your watcher? Some of his brethren are doing something really fucking dumb." She ran off to the study. He followed.
"Oh, shit, Harris!" he yelped, getting away from him.
Xander stared at him. "Seven members of the Council are going to call on the First Evil tonight," he said bluntly. "I've had the vision, Sam's had it now, Cordelia's had it now. Wes and Giles apparently still have their heads up their asses and someone needs to stop them. With force if necessary."
The man nodded slowly. "Why come to me?"
"I thought the rest of the Council might like to stop their people before they're fucking blown to bits by a minion of the First. Who will be killing all the potentials they can along the way." Xander stared at him until he got the point.
"Yes, I can tell others. Who?" Xander handed over the tape of the vision. Paula had found him and questioned him about what he was seeing. "Thank you, Harris."
"Not like I care but I'd like Faith to live." He looked at the young girl. "When it's your turn, remember that friends helping is what made Buffy last so damn long. Otherwise she would've died with the Master. I'm the one that saved her." She nodded at that. He looked at the watcher again. "Fix it before it's too late. Which is by midnight."
"I'll do what I can." Xander nodded and left. He sat down to run the tape, groaning at what he heard. He rewound it as he called someone. "Norma, get me Osbourne. We have a bad situation. I just had Harris force his way in here with a vision that says some of us are evil. The other two had it as well." She got the person he needed and he let him hear the tape. "He said it'll happen tonight. By midnight."
He listened. "No, he said he wanted Faith to live on, advised my girl to get helpers to live longer, and then left when I said I'd pass it on. No, he was clear. We'd all die when they blew up the Council. The potentials will be dying as well." She shuddered and sat down beside him, listening to him. "Go warm up and we'll spar. Nothing will touch you here," he told her. She nodded and went to do that for him. "Please. Someone must." He hung up and went to make sure she could defend herself.
Xander walked into the demon bar later that night. "Is Travers dead yet?" he asked. Everyone stared at him. "If he isn't dead by just before midnight, he and his buddies have called up the First Evil. They're starting about eleven or so on the final step of the rite."
One of them nodded. "Have you told them?"
"I told the local one. I'm sure he told others. I'm guessing they have inertia going on." That got a few nods. "So someone has to solve it and I'm not conveniently in England."
"We know ones who do not want her back, it will stop their own plans," one said. "We will tell them, Harris."
"Thank you. Cordelia and Sam have both had it as well."
"Will you tell us of future ones?"
Xander smirked. "My publisher loves the new series in the hunter universe." They all smirked at him. "You have a few years on that one." They all laughed. "Thank you." He left, going back to the hotel with a stop for a soft pretzel. He was worried but they'd handle it if he had to. Even if he did have to work with the spoiled bitch patrol in LA.
The demons got busy calling all their contacts. No one wanted the First Evil out. It would mean more slayers being called sooner. They could get around Buffy and Faith. The next ones might be like all the other hunters.
In England, a demon popped into the room where the seven were meeting, shooting them all with poison darts. Travers gasped, staring at him. "Do not summon that which will kill all of you and us. Even the highest of Hell do not like this plan your demented and diseased minds have created." He destroyed the summoning circle then disappeared. Other watchers were running in to stop them. They would find them dead. The demon reported his work to his boss, who was pleased and gave him a human slave toy to play with for a while.
Giles hung up with his contact back in England. "A demon stopped them," he told the people watching. "As the team was busting in to get them, the demon took them out with poisoned spikes."
"How did the demons know?" Buffy asked. "This was inner council stuff, right?"
"I had a vision, Sam had a vision, Xander had a vision," Cordelia said bluntly. "I freaked out and told our local demon council to get their help. Sam was probably in the open when he had his. He had his last. Xander was in Miami when he had his. Their council probably has someone in the hotel watching to see what's going to happen."
Buffy snorted. "Xander's out of the life."
"Something like this, boytoy would tell," Faith said simply. "Like he did the invasion."
Cordelia smirked. "Better, he's adding a new line to the hunter series that includes some prophecies." Faith cackled, nodding some. "That way anyone who wants to can read it and figure out how to help."
"That's exposing more people," Buffy complained.
"Shut up," Cordelia ordered, shocking her. "I'm tired of the whiny bitch sentiments and the spoiled bitch moments. How your mother hasn't beaten you recently I don't know but I can correct it if I have to." Buffy stomped off. She looked at Faith. "Yeah, Xander told the ones in Miami, and the watcher, according to the phone call I got earlier."
"Decent of him," Faith said. She smirked. "I'm going to go back to Boston."
"Go to New York. They only have Xander and Tara, both mostly retired," Wesley said quietly. "The community is mostly peaceful but Xander has had to handle some things hurting the younger demons. Even after they shunned him they demanded he handle it."
She nodded. "I can do that. Can we arrange things so I don't have to bum a couch?"
"Definitely," Wesley assured her with a smirk. "I'll talk with the new regional person to make sure of it." She grinned. He called him and walked off talking to make plans. That one respected Tara for her power and Xander for his strength. He would respect Faith because Giles had helped his training.
Faith looked at Cordelia, then at Angel. "Let me know if it's a huge thing." She went to pack. Buffy had upped her wardrobe a lot. Which made Faith roll her eyes. B needed to find other pleasures than shopping. She hoped one of Xander's ex's decided to take her in hand and pussy sometime soon.
Cordelia watched the twinkle around Angel. "Did you just lose your soul?"
"You twinkled. Are you one of those vampires in that story?"
He walked off shaking his head. "I don't sparkle."
"Thank God," Spike called from where he was sitting. "I'd hate to have to stake you in case it was contagious."
Cordelia snickered. "Me too. I might have to find a real job." Spike and she shared a smirk. They had come to a peace agreement easily enough. Angel was groaning about it but that was King Brood for you.
Tara looked up a few days later at a gasp from the library patrons. "Faith," she said quietly, staring at her. She didn't have the best history with Faith but maybe she was rehabed now?
Faith smirked. "I'm posted here."
Tara grinned. "Thank you for saving Xander."
"Not a big." She leaned on the counter. "So, can we have a confab?"
"Xander's at home."
"There's major idiots with cameras there."
"Oh, them again," she said with a grimace. "I'm about to move in with my girlfriend to get away from them." Faith nodded she understood that. "But then Xander would starve."
"The kitties would keep him," Paula said as she walked up to them. "Friend of the boy's?"
She smirked. "Faith Lehane." She held out a hand.
"Paula, his publisher." She shook it. "Tara, I don't know what's going on but his computer sent me gobbledygook."
Tara frowned. "How did he get a translation program for that?"
Faith laughed. "They say Apple has an app for everything."
"I think it's more his new computer is screwing up, dear."
"I'll let him know."
"Call him sooner? He only answers your calls these days."
"Oh!" She nodded, dialing it and handing it over. "There, he should answer."
Paula put it next to her ear. "Hello, cat. Get the human please?"
Tara took the phone. "Get daddy." She handed it back.
Paula stared at her. "You trained the cat to drag the phone to him?"
"No, I trained the cat to pounce him at that command." She smiled. "That way I can wake him up when he's sleeping naked."
"I suppose that's handy," she decided, walking off talking to Xander about his computer issues. They really had to fix that for him. Even if she had to hire him an IT tech for a few hours. She offered that and he begged so she promised to find him one. She hung up and walked back, handing Tara back her phone. She looked at the lounging brunette. "Are you going to create more work for him or more stress for him?"
"Only in case of emergencies?" she shot back.
"Good! Xander needs time to recuperate." She walked off.
Faith looked at Tara and pointed. "His publisher."
"Okay, well, I'm told I have a hole in the wall here," she said, sliding over the address. "I have no idea where it is."
Tara looked then got a copy of the subway map for her. She also got her a library card application, earning a smirk. "That way you can research in our wonderful restricted section."
Faith snickered. "We do?"
"Oh, yes, we do." Faith nodded, filling that out and handing it back. Tara pointed so she knew where she needed to be. She also got her a tourist's guide to check out. That way she could learn the area a bit easier. Tara earned a smirk and a wink. Faith took the stuff back to her new place. Tara texted the address to Xander so he'd know too. Maybe he could quit being so frustrated and go visit to help her set up her weapons.
Faith opened her door that night, finding a demented, smiling delivery guy. "What? I needed fed?"
"The muses are driving me nuts." Xander walked in around her. "Because all my computers are presently down and I can't write so they're humming disney songs." He handed the food. Then he pulled out something and enlarged it. "Where do you want your weapons cabinet?"
She pointed. "There's good. The rest are hanging up."
Xander nodded, putting it there and helping her load things in.
She sniffed the bag. "Chinese?"
"Thai. Very good, not real spicy but filling."
She smirked. "Thanks, X."
"Welcome." He grinned. "So, maps." He pulled those out of his pocket, laying them on her counter. It was an efficiency apartment so it had little of everything. "Your new territory."
"Is that the patrol map for here?"
"Yeah, the one Tara and I worked out. I copied ours onto here." He looked at her. "I'm still shunned."
"I heard and it sucked what they did." He grinned and calmed down some. "I'm not B."
"Thankfully or I'd let you die." She gaped. He nodded. "She helped. She wanted me to just give up and give in."
"Bitch," she said bluntly.
"Yup, she was. Oh, your walls are going to be thin here."
"I noticed." They shared a smirk. "Boston's about the same, only more Irish."
"Cool." He let her see it. "Purple are the poker circuit games the last I knew. This purple dot and this one, ringed by red, are actually supply stores where they hold games in the back." He looked at her. "The red dots are Wicca, demon, and other supply places."
"I see T's library marked."
"They actually have a donated occult section. We call it the restricted section." He grinned. She smirked back. "Plus Tara's a great resource. Most of them still like her."
"That's cool." She looked over things. "This?"
"Living areas are in blue and major points are circled in black. The local demon schools, the major worship temples, the three places we're not allowed no matter what." He pointed them out. She nodded. "Now, this is just Manhattan. The city has five boroughs." She groaned. "Fortunately all available by subway and bridges."
He smirked and pulled out the other maps for her. She hung up that first one then came back. "I've also got maps for the surrounding areas where we like to hang out in. Commuter distance and Vegas's east coast poorer brother, Atlantic City." He pulled them out. "In case you ever need them."
"Thanks, X." She went over them with him. He knew the local areas well enough to show her where the bad parts of town were. It'd help her a lot once she got oriented. She couldn't exactly carry around a map. But she could walk the areas in the daylight. She had learned a lot watching the earlier Scooby Gang. She could be the slayer for New York. He handed over a few photocopied business cards. "Who?"
"These two know and deal with New York's self defense armory." He smiled as he tapped them. "They made me turn over some of mine to them and then they got stolen for the invasion."
"Cool. Plus I'll probably run into one of them on the job since that's homicide and the lab." Xander nodded. "Okay. The other three?"
"Beckett and her minions. They tend to arrest whoever I'm dating for me." He grinned. "She's in major crimes. She's cool but tough, but more girly than you are. The guys are hellishly cool. One even distracted me after the trial by making me drink but kept me from drinking myself to death."
"Good people to know then. Thanks."
He kissed her on the cheek. "You can call me if you need me. No matter what. Even if I'm writing. If I am, you might have to call back."
She gave him a light shove and a smirk. "I heard."
"I'm doing great at it." She nodded she knew that. "Cool. Let me head back to the whining muses who want my computer to work." He left, leaving her to go over things.
She grabbed her jacket and headed out to find the detectives. She needed to scope out their buildings anyway. She ran into one at his desk looking frustrated. She sat down next to him. He stared at her. "Hey."
"Hi. Here to report a crime?"
"X sent me to talk to you."
She smirked. "I'm posted here now."
"You're not Buffy."
"No, I'm Faith." She smirked harder. "The other one."
"That's cool." He found something on his desk, handing it to her. "I think that was yours."
She looked and nodded. "Yup but they're usually peaceful. Poker thing?"
"We think so. Can't get in at any of the games."
"He took Beckett to one but he's shunned at the moment. Though they still want him to do things from what I've heard."
"I can get her to bring me."
Faith smiled writing down a number. "It's prepaid." She slid it over.
"I'll be easy on it. Should I worry about you hoarding artillery too?"
"No, that's a disease specific to X." She stood up. "Let me know?"
"Definitely. I'll also tell the others in the know that you're here."
"Thanks, Flackie." She winked and strolled off.
One of the other detectives watched her walk then looked at Flack. "Relative?"
"Nah, a friend of a contact so I know she's here and I can go to her." He called someone. "Beckett, Flack. I need to talk to a poker circuit person and I'm told you know where they are?" He grinned. "Please." He hung up and took the number with him. On the way he put it into his phone during the red lights. She looked up as he walked up to her desk. "A young brunette girl named Faith came to see me."
She stared. "The other slayer."
"Yup. She's stationed here." He handed over her number. "She said it's prepaid."
"I can respect that. Why do we need the poker circuit?" He handed over the file, sitting down. "Ah, one of them. Xander said they're usually peaceful."
"So did she."
She nodded. "They look human enough too." She gathered things. "Guys, going to the poker hall to talk to someone for him."
"Sure," they agreed, gathering things.
Flack smiled. "I can back her up, guys. I know you guys probably have cases too." They nodded. "It's cool. Don't stress." He grinned as he walked her off. "They're very protective."
"They are. That's why Xander calls them minions."
He laughed and nodded. "I'm sure he introduced your number to her too."
"He said he would earlier when he left me a voicemail. I only got that he was giving my number to a friend, he was on the subway." They got on the elevator. "Your car or mine?"
"I drove so mine?" he offered.
"Fine. As long as you don't drive like a maniac."
"Well I am native but not that bad," he teased with a grin. She smirked back. They walked out talking about the case.
"Gee, first the pretty robbery detective and now the prettyboy of Homicide," the desk sergeant muttered. "What next, showboys?"
They got there and found Faith waiting. Flack smiled. "Detective Beckett, this is Faith."
She shook her hand. "You're not like Buffy, right?"
"You don't hoard artillery like Xander?"
"No, that's a boytoy specific issue like his dating is."
"Good. I would've arrested her within days and I'm about to paddle him because I heard he had more."
"I doubt you heard about all of it up front," Faith quipped.
"Maybe." They walked in together. Everyone stared and one whimpered 'slayer'.
Faith looked at him. "What? You owe X kittens?" she asked dryly.
"Did he send you to collect?" one asked with a slick smile.
"No. I'm stationed here to handle the stuff that X would've until you guys got pissy over the hunters attacking him." A few groaned. "Since that hunter was possessed by one of the highest.... I'm not as nice."
"Are you still evil?" one asked.
"No. My ass got straightened out." They all smiled and relaxed some. "Now, the hotty detective needs to ask a few people some things. Because someone came to human notice." She led Beckett to a table and sat down to play a hand. The dealer gave her a nervous look so she put a knife on the table for ante.
"It's good they didn't send Buffy," the dealer said. "Was the First Evil calling stopped?"
"Yeah. Demon got them just before their team did."
"Thank God. A world full of slayers would have driven us nuts."
"Me too," Faith quipped. "I'd be the mommy." They all laughed but it was good to have a slayer in to take over for Xander. Especially this one since she saw the difference between the light and the dark. Faith heard the small bet starting and looked over. "Ask, don't speculate."
"Ask what?" Beckett asked.
"That table over there was starting a betting pool on you dating the hotty one."
Beckett glared at them. "He's a colleague."
"Like your minions?"
"Something like that only he works in a different precinct. We're not dating."
"She's pretty enough for me but I heard she's taken," Flack quipped from his seat questioning someone.
"See," Faith demanded. They muttered and changed it to when they'd go out together. Faith shook her head. Beckett smirked. "Don't ask."
"I figured it out already." She tossed down her cards. "I'm out."
Faith smirked and won her knife back plus some cash. "Thanks, guys. Xander got me Thai food for dinner, I needed breakfast money."
Someone older walked in and over to her. "Slayer Faith, we have problems we cannot solve. Will you?" she asked.
"If I can and it's the right thing to do." The old woman smiled and handed over the papers she was carrying. Faith looked through them. "So, two human hunters who're after something and keep hitting the peaceful ones and it looks like another one attempting that same ritual thing that nearly got X that one time."
"He's not demonic," she said.
"No, Xander's known to suck in spirits," Faith said. She looked at her. "Twice that I know of. Could've been more."
"Oh, dear, no wonder the higher ones like him. If he took no harm he would be the perfect vessel."
She nodded. "He only kept memories. Helped us shitloads when we needed him to get something huge for the Judge. Plus the battles."
She nodded. "It was wrong what they did but he did expose us."
Faith shrugged. "Plenty already knew thanks to the Initiative and the shutdown of Sunnydale."
"That is true. We had forgotten about that. We will talk among the elders."
"Thanks. Sometimes I need backup."
"Agreed." She went to tell the other elders that. They hadn't known that he was a vessel. That put a whole new spin on why he was so tough, it was to protect himself.
Beckett smiled. "Thank you," she said quietly. "Anything we can help with?"
"The two hunters." She let her have them. "Though you'll need me to push my status around." That got a nod and they left with Flack. Faith had plenty of grocery money now. The new head of the Council had agreed with her posting to New York and had set things up for her. She had said she didn't want a watcher and he had decided to let her hang if she wanted to. He had totally discounted Tara and Xander too. But that was fine, she didn't like the Council.
Flack smirked at Beckett. "They still betting on when I ask you out?"
"No, when she pounces you for a date," Faith quipped, winking at him. "Not that I'd mind but you're too uptight for my type. I need unwound not wound tighter. You look like a tease." She strolled off. " Laters."
"Thank you," Beckett called. She looked at Flack. "They bet on some of the strangest things."
"They're bored too probably." He opened the door and walked around to get in and drive them off. He put her back at her station then went back to his own. He could arrest his perp in the morning. No one was going to warn him. He was getting human attention so he'd be shunned.
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