Family Trees of Destruction.

Xander decided he had to do something heroically stupid to help with graduation.  He knew what he needed to do.  He knew who he needed to see.  His uncle, probably not looking forward to this talk.  This uncle was his favorite one but he had no idea what he was doing after hours in Sunnydale.  Though, he was Special Forces so clearly he could handle something going *really* wrong.  But hey, the club they were taking 'down time' in wasn't too bad.  He slipped into the back - he was underage and not tough enough to get in the front door - and snuck out to where everyone was.  He walked out and sat down across from his uncle and a few 'uncles'.

"You have balls, nephew," Clay said with an evil smirk.  "You're too young to be in a bar."

"I'm graduating this Saturday and wanted to know if you wanted to come and bring weapons."

"Why would a high school graduation need weapons?" he asked.

Xander sighed and looked at him.  "What does your brother do?"

"Strange things that give me a headache."  He took a drink.  "If you're doing the same thing, I'm going to kill you."

Xander snorted.  "Should've told me that years ago."  He pulled out the folded papers in his back pocket, handing them over.  "I did the best I could with the plans."

"Are we attacking your graduation?"

"No."  He smirked.  "Our mayor is."  He saw someone come in and winced.  "Fucking idiots," he muttered.  He coughed and pointed, getting one of them to look.  "He is one of the dirtiest cops known to mankind and Sunnydale.  Last month he helped sacrifice some kids."

His Uncle Clay stared at him.  "Excuse me?"  Xander pointed at the paperwork so he read them over.  He looked up at the kid.  "Does your other uncle know?  Or your father?"

"The waste of cheap liquor is on the couch, like usual."

"Respect," he growled.

"He never earned it.  Why should I?"  He stared him down.

"You have balls."

"Nearly lost them a few times," he quipped with an evil smirk back.  "For some reason, I'm unnaturally able to date evil things that're female every single time.  And Cordelia.  Remember meeting her that once?"


"We dated.  I ended up breaking with Willow once so she's went even worse towards me.  By the way, the snark from her got worse."

Clay stared at him.  "Explain that."

Xander pulled out his wallet to show off pictures and explain his last few dates.

The idiot cop came over.  "I know you're not old enough to be in here, Harris," he sneered.

Xander looked at him then stabbed him.  "Yay."  He looked down at his groaning body.  "I'm going to tell Buffy that you tried to climb in her window the other day."  The officer got up and stomped off.  Xander stared at his back, then growled something.  He looked around.  "Be right back."  He headed over to talk to the vampire.  "Hey."

"Harris!" he said, yelping and spilling his beer to get away from him.

"Not here for you.  There's a Sunnydale cop here.  Just tried to hit on me in front of my uncle."  He pointed at the cop.

The vampire moaned.  "Oh, I so want.  Since I'm not going back for the battle, the Mayor won't know."

Xander smirked.  "You know that's *my* grad and *Buffy's* grad?"

The vampire finished his beer.  "I'm not stupid, that's why I'm not going back until well after it's settled down.  Thanks for the snack."  Xander strolled off, another guy following him looking worried.  "Awww, someone not deadly wants him."  He got up and went to get a drink and the cop.  He was easily gotten and smelled very nice.  Yeah, he'd make a good food.

Xander slid back into his seat with a grin.  "That way he can't nark I was here."

"He's...."  He watched.  The vampire bit him at the bar.  "Oh."  He looked at his nephew.  "What the hell are you doing?"

"That," he said with a point.  "Every night on patrol.  Even if the girls think I'm worthless and normal."

"Have you talked to your Uncle John, kid?"

"No.  I tried once to get patrol tips and he swore at me.  Apparently it was a bad night and Cousin Sam was being an ass."

"Yeah, he and Sam have had some issues.  So, why bring weapons?"  Xander handed over another set of papers.  Then the kid got up and left.  He read it over, texting his brother to see if he had heard anything about this.  "Apparently my nephew is taking after the other side of the family," he complained.  He put them in his pocket.

"We can go," Roque offered.

"No, that's stuff like my brother handles, guys.  If you come, you have to take precautions and stay out of sight after dark.  I never knew why his town was so bad before."  John sent back a message saying he'd never heard of anything like that but that the town was well known among the hunters as a problem area that was overrun.  He grimaced.  "I may have to be at his graduation after all."  He looked around.  "So I'll be back Sunday."

"If it's that bad, we can go," another guy said from the seat behind him.

Clay looked back then shrugged.  "If you want.  His battle plan wasn't *horrible* but a bit complicated.  I can fix that on him."  He frowned and finished his drink then went to find some contacts to ask more pertinent questions to.  His guys went back to their rooms to gather stuff.


Clay looked up as someone knocked on his motel room door, opening it for his nephew.  "Are you insane?  It's after dark."

"I'm on patrol.  I'm checking in," he said with a grin.  "Then I've got to hit two cemeteries."  He handed something over.  "Invitations?"

"Thank you."

"Wear something comfortable, half the town will be in jeans.  Watch out for the ones coming in to help corral the food."  He slipped out and headed off into the dark.

Clay looked at his sniper.  "Did you miss the mayor, Cougar?"

"No," he said quietly.  He looked at him.  "I'm still wondering why his head put itself back together again."  Clay groaned, shaking his head.  "Can we get your brother here?"

"He's in Louisiana and he hates flying."

"Damn."  He looked up.  "Any idea how bad it's going to get so we can make some plans?"

"The kid's plans show that they're going to be clearing the civilians then fixing it in other ways.  You might want to head over there Friday night to check his construction method."

"I can do that."  He looked at his hands then at him.  "Did John give you any tips?"

"Aim for the heart for most things but things without a head are often dead too.  I used one of his weapons contacts to get some blessed stuff in case it helps."

"There's forty-three churches in town.  I can get mine done."  He grabbed a few things and went to talk to a priest.  He could tell the guy he was going into one of the war zones.

Clay called his brother to ask about some options.  If the kid was right, he might want something bigger than a automatic rifle.  Then he went to shadow his idiot nephew on his 'patrol'.  The kids weren't *bad* but his nephew could be better.  The girls could quit babbling before his head started to hurt too, but apparently that was wishful thinking.  His nephew owed him majorly for this bit of help.


Xander dove at someone to knock them out of the way, wincing when he got a scratch from one of the scales on the demon Mayor.   But neither of them got eaten.  He checked and looked at his uncle.  "Clear the section behind you," he called, going to back up his front line.  The Mayor started to move away and Buffy ran toward the school.  "Shit," Xander said.  "Now!"  The troops pulled back and he helped by shoving a few.  Behind them, the school went up.  Xander grinned.  "I'm good," he muttered, helping his people out of the way of the external force of vampires and demons.  They managed to get them out and the cops were starting to show up.  He took one of his uncle's people's arm and nodded.  "Head.  Now.  They're dirty as hell."  He ran off in another direction.

Clay gathered his people to check over, then went to find his nephew.  He found the group together watching the clean up.  "Xander."  He flinched.  "Next time, ask for artillery."

Xander looked up at him.  "I didn't think ahead and steal more than one from the local base," he quipped.

Clay nodded, he'd ask about that incident later.  "Call, kid."

"Gladly."  He got up to give him a hug.  "Thanks, Uncle Clay.  Are you going to stop in and gloat at your half-brother?  If so, I'm going to be at the Bronze before I head on my road trip."

Clay smirked.  "It's fun but annoying.  Later, kid."  Xander nodded, smiling at him.  "Write normal letters and talk to your Uncle John.  He said so.  Today."

"Yes, sir."

"Thank you."  He walked off, grabbing his gear so he could leave.  He wanted out of this town before he forgot he had been elsewhere.

Xander sat down, looking at the girls.  "My dad's half-brother," he said at the odd looks.  "He's military trained."

"You should've stolen more," Buffy quipped.

"If I had known...." he shot back, giving her a dirty look.  "Bronze?"  They nodded and got up to go there to celebrate making it through there.  Xander would call his uncle later.  Much later.  Uncle John was a grump and a bastard some days.  So maybe he'd just send him tape of a patrol or something.


Xander looked up from his next-to-last night at the roadtrip job from hell, as he so lovingly called it, and spotted someone he knew.  "Beer?" he suggested.

"What the hell are you doing?" he demanded.  "Your uncle's going to shit."

"The car broke down, Jensen.  No fast food jobs here," he said with a smirk.  "Buy me a drink?"

"Gladly.  I need one to get this image out of my head."  He got them both a drink and sat down.  "Idiot."

"It's getting the car fixed.  I get to leave tomorrow."

"You could have called."

"He changed the number and Uncle John's an ass.   Though you can tell him I saw Cousin Sam and he agreed, Uncle John's an ass.  Who kicked Sam out for wanting to go to college."

"That does suck, kid."  He sipped his drink.  "Are you all right?"

"It's a job, there's a shitload of evil things here....."  He shrugged.  "I don't let anyone grope."

"Good."  He sipped.  "You still need rhythm."

"Not like I'm doing it for fun."

"Nighthawk," a woman called, smirking at him.  "Can't I buy you a drink?"

"No.  I'm with a friend of the family.  Later, baby."  He winked and grinned.  She smirked back and took one of the dancer with her's fingers to nibble on.  He looked at his defacto uncle.  "If she touches me, I'm going to have a problem.  It'll be an unhappy me who has to turn her in for her thirty kills of boy strippers."  He took a drink, looking at his uncle.

"Is that a plea?" he teased with an evil smirk.

"It's her or the other two in here.  Take your pick.  Which one do you think Uncle Clay would like me to keep?  She's a serial.  One's a serial, usually with Mexicans.  She's making an exception for me.  The other's into drugs."

The guy shook his head quickly.  "I'm so walking you out of here."

Xander grinned.  "I don't get off for hours."


"I need the paycheck for gas."  He saw the owner scowling and rolled his eyes but walked over.  "He works with my uncle.  He's checking up on me."

"You need the paycheck," he sneered.  "You should be in the back."

"I told you I'm not going back there.  I'm not that desperate."  He walked off again.  "Tell him I'm not the boyslut I could be since the boss ordered."

"I'm going to."  He finished his text message.  He got one back and winced.  "He's not pleased."

"He can yell at Rory for selling me the POS car," Xander offered with a drink.  Someone strolled up and tried to haul him up and stab him.  Xander promptly kicked her ass and looked down at her.  "I'm not that kinky, ma'am.  I don't like bloody play.  It's icky.  If you want blood play, ask for Rickey.  He's into that and bondage."  She purred and went to find that one through the owner.  Xander sat down and finished his beer.  He got pointed to get ready.  "Fuck.  I'll be back in a bit.  Don't watch, you'll be horrified."  He went to change clothes so he could dance again.

The mercenary stared, texting blindly then taking video for the kid's uncle.  His boss, not real happy to see that.  The growl came through very clearly in the 'snatch him and get him out of there' order.  He got the kid once he got off the stage and made him leave with him.  The owner smirked at him but paid him.  Xander went to get his gear and walked out.  "Your uncle is freaking out."

"Sorry but hey, not hooking to get the car fixed.  No matter how much the mechanic suggested he'd knock off the labor costs."

"I've been there," he admitted.   "It sucks.  It's sometimes necessary, but ...."  They got stopped by someone who wanted to own the boy.  Xander got her down.  They walked out to his car.  The last one was worse.  "How in the hell!" he demanded once he had gotten the girl, who wasn't a pushover by any means, out and they were in the car.

"Like I know why I draw them," Xander complained.  "Uncle John claims I'm unholy for some reason."  He grinned.  "It could be worse.  It could be my prom date."

"She came to introduce herself."  Xander cackled.  "He's still pissed you did that."

"I didn't.  Buffy did.  That way he could meet my girlfriend since he seemed to be a decent relative.  She thought she was being helpful and friendish."

"He nearly ripped her head off," he said, backing out of the parking lot to head to the motel.  "I think he's going to talk to John for you."

"You think Uncle John can figure out how to let me quit sucking up dead people?  Because, damn, I'm almost in awe of Uncle Clay after a chaos guy made us be possessed by our halloween costumes a few years back."

"You were trick-or-treating at your age?"

"No, the principal made us escorts because he thought we were assholes and evil.  I went as a soldier in Uncle Clay's old BDU's.  You can tell him I liked the redhead back in Panama.  He should've kept her."

"You two can have that talk.  I'm not getting in between you two," the guy said with a smirk.  "We'll get popcorn."  He pulled in and Xander pointed before getting out and heading up to his room.  He texted that to the kid's uncle and got a literal growl this time.  He got ordered to guard the kid for the night so that was his job.


Xander ran into his other uncle on purpose.  "It's amusing when Uncle Clay sends one of his guys with an actual order," he said, startling his uncle and cousin.  "Hi, Dean."

"Xander," he said with a nod.  "What's wrong?  You probably shouldn't be here."

Xander looked at the demon then shrugged.   "I played poker with one of those last week.  They're crap at bluffing."  John glared at him.  He stared back.  "Uncle Clay demanded that you teach me how to quit sucking up dead people, Uncle John.  I horrified him when I told him about the High Priest of Janus that turned us into our costumes since I went in Uncle Clay's BDU's.

"Also if you can figure out why every single evil thing in the universe wants to be my girlfriend he'd be very happy."  The demon burbled and Xander glared.  "This is my family, you fucking moron.  I'm not into incest."  The demon babbled.  "No, I'm Xander.  Buffy's Xander."  The demon fled squealing in fear.  "Good idea!" he called after him.  He looked at Dean.  "By the way, killed with lead."  He looked at his uncle again, getting smacked upside the head.  "Ow!  It's not my fault you left me with the sperm donor in Sunnydale!"

John glared.  "I saw tape of your graduation."

Xander grinned.  "I did a damn good job on the battle plan considering I only had D&D and Uncle Clay's memories to work with.  It could've been a shitload worse."

John nodded.  "Yes it could have."  He stared at him.  "Are you sane?  Possessed right now?"

"Happy I got the car fixed so I'm not having to strip to pay for it anymore," he said dryly.

John glared.  "You were what?" he demanded.

"The car blew up," he said dryly, staring back.  "Something had to fix it.  No other jobs in the town of Oxnard.  Did you want me to prostitute myself instead?  The mechanic offered."  John growled.  Xander smirked.  "I do that now and then thanks to the hyena."

John pulled out holy water.  "Dean, go get that thing."

Xander shrugged.  "If he's smart, he's committing suicide."  He walked off.  "C'mon, Dean.  We'll make sure of it so Uncle John can bitch at the Goddess.  Then maybe he'll teach me how to shield things."  They found the demon and Xander shot it.  They went back to where John was throwing a fit.  "Did you call my father?"

"YES!" he shouted.  "Does he know...."

"The price of whiskey?  Yes he does."  He gave him a look.  "Can you teach me how to not beat girls while we're teaching me to shield?  That way if they start on their 'you're normal, go do something else' ranting I can walk away?"

"They're doing what?" John demanded.

Xander stared back.  "Buffy.  Willow.  Powered now.  Xander, human.  They see that as a lesser state.  I've been told to get donuts a lot."

John stared at him.  "You could leave."

"Then my slayer is alllll alone with Willow."

"Ah.  Slayer?"  Xander nodded.  "You're working with a slayer?"

"Didn't you see her during the grad situation?"  John was starting to look pissed again.  "Tiny, blonde, fashionable?"

"I did," he said, trying to stay calm.  "What are you involved in, boy?"

"Fuck if I know at the moment," he admitted.  "There's been days I considered staying a stripper instead of going back because I didn't want to hear 'you're normal, go get us snacks instead, it's safer'," he mimicked.

John snorted.  "No."

"So can you teach me how to block out the dead people?"

"Definitely.  And exorcize the last one."

"It's been years, Uncle John.  Three years this fall."  John gaped.  Xander shrugged.  "They tried."

"I'm better than most people.  Dean....."

"I'll drive his car."  He hurried off.  Xander was going to cause a bigger fit than Sammy ever had.  He wanted to be out of harm's way this time.  By the time he got back, Xander was inside a devil's trap and John was working on an exorcism.  Dean watched as the second round started.  Nothing.  "Can we call Bobby?" Dean suggested.

"No.  I don't want to warp him by introducing him to Xander."

Xander glared at him.  "Bite me."

"That's clearly one of them coming up."

"No, that was all me, Uncle John.  I've had more than enough of bitchy girls."  He stared him down.  "But, I told you so."  He stood up.  "You want to try another round of it?"  John swatted him again.  Xander just stared while John started again.  Dean tried his own.  Nothing.  Xander huffed.  "See?"

"That's probably why you're drawn to date evil things," Dean told him.

"No, the praying mantis shape changer and Ampata was kinda before then."

"Ampata," John said.  "I saw that name somewhere."

"An Incan Mummy?"  He grinned.  "We didn't know until one of her guardians showed up to put her back.  She didn't have a choice in the matter, they killed her and turned her into one.  She had to suck people dry to live."

John's mouth fell open.  "Excuse me?"

"She got chosen as some mystically sacrificed princess," he said firmly.  "It wasn't her choice.  She didn't want to be one of them.  They made her."

"I see."  He stared at the boy.  "It's still wrong."

"Someone broke her seal.  She was trying to be normal and do normal teenage girl things, but she had to.  We stopped her from doing it and put her back."

John nodded.  "She's not fully gone?"

"How do you kill a mummy?" he asked dryly.  "Especially since she was probably the nicest girl around me."

Dean whimpered, sitting down on a bed.  "How?  So I can make sure I can't have it happen to me?"

"It's either something in Sunnydale or being in this family," Xander told him.  "Or didn't you date a ghost or something?"

John got him again.  "Yes he did.  He regretted it.  You can too."

"Hey, my last one was de-demoned."

"Huh?" Dean asked.

"She got fired thanks to us breaking her power center."

Dean hopped up.  "Excuse me?  Dude, you dated a fired demon?"

"Yeah, Anya.  I took her to the prom."

John stared at him.  "Dean, go make more holy water."  Dean nodded, going to do that.  "I'll make sure this is fixed, kid.  Just stay calm."

Xander gave him a dirty look.  "It's not like that, thank you.  She no longer has her job in vengeance.  She's not bad in bed.  I learned a lot from her about her job, how they do things, the background behind vengeance demons, all that."

John stared at him, head tipped slightly to the side.  "It's good you were pumping her for information, kid."

Xander stared at him.  "I'm not that young."

"You're cocky," he said.

"Yeah, I've survived three years of working with Buffy on the hellmouth.  I earned some ego, no matter how much they try to tear it apart."

"Is that what's wrong with your town?" John demanded.

"Yeah.   It's under the former high school library."

John nodded, then knocked the kid out.  They had to do a lot of work on the kid.  Then they'd teach him how to keep the dead out of him.


Xander stared at his uncle and cousin later that night.  "So," he said.  "Got any advice for staking easier or anything?"

John looked at him.  "Shotgun."

"Buffy refused to let us.  Besides, vampires.  Stake in the heart.  Anything on them disappears."

John and Dean looked at each other then at him.  "Sanity," John ordered.  "Leave and go to college."

"Didn't even apply," Xander admitted.  "I hated school.  I doubt UC Hellmouth is going to be any better."  He shifted and put his feet out, crossing them at the ankle so he could lean back on his wrists and hands.  "We're doing nightly patrols, staking in the Bronze, that stuff."

"Club hunting can be good," Dean admitted.  "But we're told you have no rhythm.  Somehow Uncle Clay heard you stripped?"

"Jensen showed up.  He caught me at work, bought me a drink, got me out of there and away from the three serial killers who wanted to claim me."  He shrugged.

John sipped his current beer.  "Go become a priest?" he offered.

Xander snorted.  "I like sex, Uncle John, and God has nothing for me.  Because if there was an honest God, kids like me would've been taken and the Mayor would've been stopped years before we did at graduation.  Maybe one of the Old Ones since I get what they were going after better but they don't really have a live-in priesthood anymore."

"You're insane," Dean told him.  "That's all I can think, Xander."

Xander shrugged.  "It was help or get used.  I saw what I'd be like if I was turned."  He sipped his own beer.

"When?" John asked.

"Cordy made a wishverse.  I was turned there.  Favorite child of the Master.  Torturing Angel, all that.  I was more badass than Uncle Clay was."

"I doubt that," Dean said dryly.  "Dad's badass but Uncle Clay makes Badass hot."

John glared at his son.  "Shut up."  He looked at his nephew.  "I don't know what to tell you, kid.  You don't have to go back."

"If I don't then she's without help."

"If she won't accept it," John started.

Xander held up a hand.  "No.  She's still got it.  Even when I have to patrol on my own."

"It's not safe," John said.

"Neither is me being outside of town.  That's why I've had to beat off a few other psychos."  He took another drink then tossed his empty bottle into the bag.  "I should head back tonight."

"You don't have to," John reminded him.  "You can roam."

Xander looked at him.  "It'd eat me," he admitted quietly.  "I hate it, and the stuff that goes along with being in Sunnydale, but I know I'm helping.  I'm tired of having to stake people I know.  But if I'm not there, Willow could probably die because she can float a branch but yay.  Buffy's an airhead half the time."  He snorted.  "It's a bad choice either way."  He sat up again.  "Which is better?"

"Neither," John agreed.  "Which is why you could quit."

Xander looked at him.  "Will you?"  John shook his head.  "They took Jesse," he said quietly.  John patted him on the back.  "I staked him.  My first."  He grimaced.  "And ten percent of the rest of my high school went the same way."

"Shit," John muttered.  "I didn't think it was that bad, Xander."  He finished his beer.

"It was worse before Buffy got there but I was too young to realize how bad it was.  Now that I know....  It's not like I can forget.  Even if Willow did once tell me she knew which book had the memory spells."

"She does, I'm killing her," John said.

"That would be over the line of good," Dean agreed.  "By miles."

Xander sighed.  "I'm not sure where she'd go.  Expedience and all that since we're in a battlefield."

John nodded.  "If she goes bad without it going toward a battle, you call."

"Yes, sir."

"Good."  He looked at the boy.  "What is your father doing about all this?"

"Liquor.  Same as always.  Mom too.  When I go back I'll probably be renting the basement until I can find a good job and get a place."

John nodded.  "Do you think you're going to snap and go after people?"

Xander looked at him.  "You didn't ask me that when I was fourteen.  Why ask now, Uncle John?"

John stared at him.  "If I had known," he said quietly.

"You would've kicked his ass and left me there while he healed," Xander said dryly.

"I might've handed you to Willow's parents," he offered.

"Yeah, because you could've found them?  She hasn't seen her parents since they tried to burn her at the stake thanks to the Hansel and Gretel demon.  She hasn't turned Amy back into a human yet either."

John looked at him.  "She's going to end up on a burning pole," he said bluntly.  "I won't as long as she's helping the team out there."

"She won't be on a stripper pole at least," he said dryly.

"A man does what he has to do so he survives," Dean said.

"No, I was all-but ordered to go slut myself but I refused," Xander told him.

John shook his head.  "Good.  I'd hate to have drowned you in the holy water."

"You nearly did anyway."

"Whine," Dean said dryly.  "You needed it."

"Didn't seem to help any."

"I'm surprised you don't have more in you with how high the local death rate is in your town," John admitted.  "That hyena is still not a good idea."  He rubbed the bandage on his wrist.  "The next time she bites me, you're going to need dentures."

"Not my fault.  She's very protective.  If you had petted me like Dean did she might've decided you were pack."

John gave him a dirty look.  "Unless you're traveling with us, I can't be part of her pack."

Xander shrugged.  "She hates Buffy.  Tried to rape her."

"Pack behavior.  She's another alpha," Dean pointed out.

"I know.  She still says I tried to rape her.  Even after hearing that from the science teacher.  Buffy's thing is it's her way or no way."

"She's spoiled," John said.

"She ran away once."

John looked at him.  "Yes, her calling is important.  Most of the former slayers would've killed to have a loyal person backing them up.  Faith would, right?"

"If she wasn't in a coma after going bad and her fight with Buffy.  Maybe.  Though I'm still having flashbacks to the night she tried to strangle me."

John looked at him.  "You need better girls."

"Have you seen my town?" he asked dryly.

"I drove through there a few times since our last visit but your mother said that you weren't home."

Xander snorted.  "I heard one of those but I was trying to keep Dad out of my bedroom to beat my ass for snoring too loud."

John patted him again.  "I'm going to kill him."

"Me first."

"Sure, invite someone in," Dean joked.

Xander looked at him.  "Don't tempt me."

John grunted, nodding.  "I know he's my half-brother but the man has ruined himself and tried damn hard to ruin you too, kid."

Xander looked at him.  "Don't even mention him," Dean ordered when Xander opened his mouth.  "He made his choice."

"To do something good for people."  They both glared at him.  "He's going into pre-law."

"I didn't know that," John admitted.  "How did you?"

"Saw him in Oxnard."

"Ah."  He sighed.  "He still made his choice by turning his back on the family."

Xander snorted.  "Have you seen hunters that didn't belong in the field, Uncle John?  Sam doesn't understand the same way they don't.  He doesn't remember Aunt Mary.  To him, it's a duty, not a calling."

"I get that," Dean admitted.  "Still an ass."

"Yeah, well, it seems to be a family trait," Xander said dryly.  "We all have plenty of it in us."

"Amen," Dean sighed.  "I have got to fix you up with someone, Xander."

Xander looked at him then at John.  "Is he dating deadly things too?"

"He'd better never date like you, nephew," John said, looking unamused.

"Dean, I'll let you introduce me but if she's deadly I get to ride your ass for years about it."

"As long as it's not literally, Xander."  He finished his beer and tossed it into the bag.

"I'm not sure what I think about gay sex," Xander admitted.

"Go gay, Xander.  It might help," John said with a small smirk.  He sighed.  "Or just become celibate.  The priesthood would be good for you."

"I'd have inappropriate thoughts every day."  He shifted to cure his numb butt.  "I'd have to become one of those self-flagellating priests.  Which probably wouldn't turn out good for anyone."

John shook his head with a moan.  "I can talk to Pastor Jim.  Maybe he'll have an idea of which one you can join and work on that problem."

"The first time I had to hear confession of some wife beater, he'd be a sorry bastard," Xander pointed out.  "I'd go through that little screen and rip his face off."

"Me too," John agreed.  "Temper, another family trait."  Dean cackled at that, nodding.

Xander looked at him.  "I made that sound," he said with a grin.  Dean kept going.

John looked at him.  "Don't wind him up too much.  He'll pounce some poor waitress and make her back hurt too much to hit work the next day."

Xander snickered.

Later, when Xander had left for home, John called his brother.  "If we thought about it, do you think we could find a good recruiter and get Xander into the service?  That way he's still doing good for humanity but it's more sane?"  His brother quipped something sarcastic.  "Yeah, I tried to get those out of him.  No luck.  Got bitten by the hyena.  Talked to the soldier a bit.  It's like Xander was your son, Clay."  He listened to him complain.

"Can't do it.  It's been too long and with his skills, it won't happen.  He's going back tonight.  We'll be hearing bad things from there soon enough."  He opened another beer.  "Well, I tried to convince him to be a priest.  I'm sure you've heard his mind going bad places before."  He took a drink.  "I think it'd be a good idea.  Though I think we'd have a funeral soon.  He was going to solve me going to kick his ass."  He took another drink and put it down.

"What was your take on his friends?  Because I wanted to beat their ass for thinking he was a normal."  He listened, nodding.  "Yeah, that's what he said.  But said it was too important to let them kill themselves by being so overconfident.  Anyway you can talk someone into moving out there to back them up?  I don't know any hunters that insane."  He smirked at that idea.

"Really?  Does he know?  You might want to warn him.  No, Xander's stuck with a few friends who don't appreciate him and a future of bad, evil women who want to use him apparently."  He snickered at the suggestion.  "That's why I suggested the priesthood.  He said he'd kill anyone who confessed something like wife beating and he'd have too many bad thoughts."

Dean walked in and leaned over.  "Hey, Uncle Clay.  Keep an ear out for Xander to get brainwashed by his next evil chick."  He went to the bathroom.

"The next one might really be demonic so I'll be fixing that," John admitted.  "So...."  He listened.  "We'll see, Clay.  Thanks.  Yeah, if you can talk him into it.  I think it'd do him good to take what's basically an imprinted memory and turn it into true training. They don't use guns on patrol?"  He listened to what he had seen when he had followed the kid on patrol.  "She's spoiled and going to get him killed.  I'm not sure if she realizes that."  He took another drink.

"Yeah, long talk after I holy water'd him nearly to death and got bandaged from the bites. No, one was a hyena."  He took another drink and swallowed so he could smile.  "Exactly.  Wrist, one on my leg, through my jeans no less, and he went for my side but Dean stepped in to pet him and calm him down again."  He smirked at the suggestion.  "If you can, please do.  No telling what's going to happen next."  He snickered quietly.  "Yup."  He laughed.  "Definitely going to get Dean fixed.  He has a fixation on waitresses.  I'm hoping I won't be a grandfather soon."

Dean leaned out.  "I'm a firm believer in condoms, Dad.  If there's kids, I'm going to yell, scream, and kill God."  He closed the door again.

"Yes, that was the smartass.  Let me know if you hear he can use some help.  Who knows with that town.  At least the Mayor is dead.  That may ease it some.  Yeah, let me know if you hear about it.  I'll see what I can do to help."

Dean leaned out.  "What's going on out there now?"

"Clay heard something about a covert group out there.  No idea yet.  He's out of the country.  Be safe, Clay.  I don't want to see more funerals than Tony's."  He hung up because Clay's team was saying they were ready to go.  He looked at his son.  "The priesthood could use you too, Dean."

"Well, I look hot in the collar," he said dryly.  "But no thanks.  I'd miss sex."  He went to get something for dinner.  His father was clearly in a bad mental state.


Clay hung up and called another number.  "Tony, Clay.  Yes, your brother Clay."  He smirked at the complaining.  "Because I'm giving you fair warning that I'm going to be checking my nephew soon and if you haven't straightened up, I'm going to kill your ass.  No, I saw him this summer, Tony.  His car was clearly sabotaged.  He's already going down my path. I'd rather Xander be a good, safe, sane boy.  Which apparently you disagree with.  Therefore, I'll be checking.  John too because I've told him."  He hung up.  "Let's go, you losers."  They walked out together.


Xander sat down at the poker table in LA.  It was his weekend off and he had heard he wanted to be here this weekend.  He put down money and got dealt in.  A bit harder than kitten poker but the guys weren't bluffing all that well.

"You are clearly not the normal man," one of the people at the table said.  "We don't get many new people."

Xander looked at him.  "One of my contacts in Sunnydale told me I should try this game this weekend."

"You got a name?" the dealer asked.

"Xander."  He chin-nodded his way with a grin.  "Why?"

The dealer stared at him.  "Do you know anyone who's military?"

"I don't answer questions about any family I may or may not have.  With what I do, that's dangerous."  He looked at his cards again then smirked at the dealer.  "By the way, caught the card slip.  Thanks for the help."  The dealer gasped.  Xander smirked while staring at his cards.  "I play with Carlos and his clan."

"I heard.  He's the one that sent you," the dealer said.  Xander looked up and nodded, adjusting his cards in his hand.  "Your town is said to have something that's underground."

"Beyond the supposedly secret government program?"

"Yes.  Something that many people would love to hold and own to make themselves powerful.  I got told that there's those who'd like to learn what it is.  They're willing to pay."

Xander shrugged.  "Even if I felt like talking about all that shit, there's very few that can access it.  Beyond that, most people who come for it end up dead."  He stared at him.  "Because some of them, well we do have protectors in town.  Most of the time we get them instead of the crooked local cops."

"Interesting to know.  I can pass that on.  You know this protector?"

Xander grinned.  "You could say that.  Who wanted to know anyway?  Because... we're picky up that way.  Small towns are *very* nosy you know."

"I know," he agreed, grimacing some and scratching over a new scar.  "So what is it?"

"An energy source.  Powers and warps a good bit of the town."

"Hmm."  He made that note into his phone and sent it.  "The interested party wants to talk to you about it."

"No.  If he wants it that much, he's got to have the balls to claim it.  Then we'll see who wins."  He stared at the men, then grinned.  "We're not easy up there.  Even if half the protectors are female."  They snickered at that.  "They're kinda deadly when they need to be.  The same as I am."

"You look familiar," the other guy at the table said.  "You sure you don't have any relatives?"

"I do have relatives.  I don't talk about them in case things that I do get turned back on them.  They do the same thing for us."

"Hmm," the dealer said.  "He can be generous."

Xander snickered.  "Is he an evil chick?"  They snorted but shook their heads.  "Gladys?" he called.  She came in and cooed, cuddling up to his side.  "Clyde said hi."

"He said he was sending you down, Xander."  She teased his chest and kissed him on the cheek.  "He's right, you are adorable and just right for my sort."

"I'd rather not be eaten.  These nice guys have a friend who wants to know about the energy source in Sunnydale."

She smirked evilly at them.  "You'd never get it.  Their mayor tried most of his life to get it and he died when he attacked Xander's graduation to claim it."  Xander grinned at them and nodded.  The men gaped.  "Xander's *very* special, no matter what the others think.  All of us who like the darker side *love* Xander and would love to claim him."

Xander patted her on the knee.  "If they try to get mean, can you have them eaten for me?" he asked with a grin.

"Hmmmm.  Maybe.  What're you doing when you get home?"


She gasped, staring at him.  "She came back!"

"Yeah, she came back and decided I'm hers.  She's like a stray kitty at times.  Who always wants in my wallet."  She purred, kissing him.  He looked at her after it was done.  "Watch my back and I'll tell Clyde you were a good girl."

"That could get me back with my clan," she said, beaming at him.  "You got it, Xander."  She got up and sashayed off to tell the others he was there.  Since no one could talk about the slayer, they all put it under Xander's reputation.  The slayer knew and was pissed off but she knew she didn't need her identity spread around so let them come at Xander.  He'd turn them over.  She had agreed when that had gotten back to her, then explained in tiny words so she understood.

Xander smirked at them, taking a drink of his bottle of beer.  "You're not tougher than she is, guys.  I've seen her people, and her, break bones and coo at them.  My girlfriend?  She's tougher than all of you because she *loves* to torture.  It's her favorite and most missed thing in the world since I won't let her do it while we're together.  Some petty person who wants Sunnydale info?  No.  They prove themselves by showing up to get it."  He went back to his cards.  He tossed down a few.  "Three please."

"They say he knows something about the program up there," the dealer said. "The government one."

Xander snorted.  "Figures.  The commandos remind me of cartoons.  Their scientists are like tweakers."

The dealer snorted.  "They're not that bad."

"Yeah, they are.  Even my girlfriend said that their supposedly scientific torture is disgusting.  That says something since she likes to make people able to eat their own intestines and things."  They shuddered. "Exactly.  So, no.  If he's involved in that, he's pathetic."  He went back to his cards.  "Did I get those three?"  The dealer gave them over.  "Thank you."  He upped his bet.  It wasn't a bad hand.  "So am I going to be seeing him soon in person?"

"His people maybe, no one sees him," the dealer said.

Xander nodded.  "They can come to try to claim it.  If we don't like him or find him unworthy it'll be solved."

"I'll tell him that," the dealer promised.  Xander grinned and they let him win that hand.  They tried better the next one but the kid was good.  The kid finally left and they sent the tape from the table to their boss.  He'd be unhappy with what they found out.  Pity for the kid.


A few months later Xander found the information he needed to forward on to John to warn him about the putz patrol in the Initiative.  That way he was warned if some broke off later on, after they got them solved.  They were going to deal with ADAM that night.  Though things were bad with the girls.  They might stay bad with the girls.  He grabbed what he needed and headed out.  One of the guys looked awfully familiar when they got in there so he glared at him and nodded back at the entry.  The guy winked and went back to his job... not being with the Initiative.  It would make things easier on the kids.

Xander got what needed to be done ready and they went back to it.  He'd ignore any additional help beyond thanking him later.  And his uncle for sending them.  When the spell was done and they had to deal with the demons, they found the cells suspiciously not working and the demons escaping.  Yeah, he'd thank them.  His uncle deserved some nice gifts for that.


Ten months later, Clay got a message and read it, then closed it.  "Has anyone seen my future niece-in-law?"

"She's a nympho, she talks about sex a *lot*," Roque said.  "She's loud, bossy, opinionated, loves money, and I feel really sorry for the guy."

Clay smirked at him.  "Has she tried to kill him yet?"

"No.  He told someone she was the first that hadn't."  He smirked back.  "Need plane tickets?"


"Was that an invitation?" Pooch asked.

"Not if I can help it."  He called his nephew.  Then he hung up and called John.  Got an out of service message so he called Dean.  "Nephew."  He heard the loud music.  "I'm in South America but I got an invitation from your cousin for his marriage.  What's her name?" he asked.


"His prom date?" he demanded at the same time as Dean.  "What do you know about her?"  He listened and moaned, rubbing his forehead.  "Go stop him.  It'll take me days to get done and go beat his ass.  Next month by the invitation he scanned and emailed.  Thank you, nephew.  Kick him once in the ass for me."  He hung up, going to get a drink.  His nephew made him drink more than any one else on that planet.  Terrorists made him drink less than his nephew.  It was a disturbing trend.  He called him once he had a drink.

"Nephew."  He listened to the excited babble.  "Dean's coming, you can get his help," he offered, gulping it and signaling for another from the bartender.  "She's a *what*?" he demanded.  He sighed, shaking his head.  "Want me to have you recruited into the service, kid?  It'd do you good and you can meet nicer psychotic women."  He paid for it and downed half of it.  "You're ... excuse me?  Dean's on his way out to kick your ass for me.  No, you need someone decent.  Not her.  I don't care."

He put her on the phone.  "Tell him I'm going to beat him the next time I see him, Anya."  He took a drink.  "His uncle."  He listened to her babble about his nephew, including how good he was in bed and to her.  "I think it's great but the family has to approve of anyone he dates.  Expect his cousin Dean soon to do that for me and my brother.  No, we're ignoring Tony and Jessica."  He finished that drink.

"Tough.  Yes, it has to.  Yes, like the mafia only we're nicer and military, Anya.  Good girl.  Yup, make him take video or something for John.  He'll understand and to call his other uncle soon about that problem you guys are going over."  He hung up and got another, larger, drink to get her babbling about his nephew out of his head.  He did not need to know about how good his nephew was in bed.  He went back upstairs.  "Any of you guys want to go gay and date my nephew to keep him out of trouble?  His fiancee just told me how he was in bed."

"No," they all said pretty much in unison.

"Xander's too wild for some of us," Jensen quipped with a grin.  "There's no way I could keep up with him."

"I think that's her fault."  He sat down, then decided to lay down.  His head hurt and he could not get the babble to quit going through his head.  He wanted to shoot the thoughts out but he decided that would hurt too much. Someone handed him something and he took it without looking.  He trusted them.  They'd only poison him a little bit if they did.


Dean walked into Xander's apartment, looking around.  "Better than the basement," he said, looking at Xander, who shrugged.  "Dad and Uncle Clay are going to kill you, Xander."

"No they won't."

"Yeah they will.  I'm under strict orders to not let you get married without her winning them both over and Uncle Clay told Dad that he wanted to kill himself to make her voice telling him about how you are in bed stop going through his head."  Xander cackled, shaking his head.  "No.  Just say no."  He looked around.  "Job?"

"Construction.  Tomorrow."

"Can you call off?"

"Not if I want a honeymoon."

"Never happen," he assured him, walking him out and down to the car.  His dad was hitting LA that night.  He would talk some sense into Xander.  Anya bounced up to him and he held up a hand.  "Dad will be meeting with you tomorrow, Anya.  Today he wants to talk to my cousin."

"Poo, that means I can't have sex.  What am I going to do without his tongue and the orgasms," she pouted.

He looked at her.  "Take a bubble bath and read.  Girls like to do that stuff."  He pushed Xander into the car.  "We'll come get you tomorrow."

"He can't call off work.  He doesn't have any time left thanks to the attacks by Glory and our honeymoon," she pouted.

He stared at her.  "Anya, in case he didn't tell you, I'm Dean Winchester."  She winced.  "Dad'll be making sure you're worthy of my cousin tomorrow.  He'll drive Xander back even.  Then we'll see if we can help with Glory."  He walked around to get in and drive off.  "Dude," he said once he had passed the town's limits.  "You need help."

"Not often anymore.  My stamina's *way* up."

"Don't make me knock you out."

"Fine.  We still have to deal with Glory's minions soon."

"Dad and I are both local; we'll see if we can help."  He turned on the radio.  Xander was pouty but oh well!  Dad and Uncle Clay's word was law.  "Did your parents meet her?"

"Yeah.  Mom ran from her the last time."

"Huh."  He rolled down the window slightly.  The car smelled sweaty.

Xander did the same and he grinned at him, getting one back.  "You grow to love Anya."

"If you're sure Dad will."  Dean wasn't.  Not with her former job and lifestyle.


Xander was finally released by Dean after John and Anya had talked for two hours.  John had come out of the shop looking really rough.  Like wanted to drink until it killed him rough.  Xander was bouncy and nervous.  Dean was giving his father a worried look.

John looked at the boy.  "She and I talked about what *real* relationships were made of," he said quietly.

"I know she's been married before but it was back in Norse times," he started to babble.

John held up a hand.  "She's basing it more on soap operas."  He squeezed his eyes shut, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"She does grow on you," Xander said quietly.

John looked at him.  "I know she's your first *real* relationship, Xander, so I think we need to talk about your expectations the same way she and I talked about hers.  Because she had some very wrong ideas thanks to how she learned about modern life.  You've done good helping her," he said with a slight smile.  "She's probably a lot more settled.  I can see why you're drawn to her.  She's a nice girl underneath her demands and things."  He swallowed.  "I think you and I need to talk about what a marriage actually means because she thought marriage was mostly just living together with paperwork.  I have the feeling you think the same but that license changes everything.  So, let me catch a nap, and then we'll talk?"

"You can use our apartment," Xander said, handing him the keys.

"Thank you.  Then we'll talk to your friends later to see how we can help with the other problem."

Xander looked around then at him.  "She's blonde, she'll suck your sanity out through your temples and her fingers. Literally."

"Got it," he promised.  "Dean and I will go together."

"She's a lot stronger than Buffy," Xander warned.

"I realize that.  Let me go rest, we'll have dinner later?"  Xander nodded, grinning some.  "Good.  Then we'll talk about the wedding stuff."  He left, Dean driving him there.

Anya looked over as Xander walked in.  "Your uncle is mean," she told him.

"He's usually more practical, Anya."

"He said I don't know what marriage is like.  I was married.  I made him go get things whenever we needed them.  He provided very well for us."

Xander sighed, leaning on the counter in front of her.  "These days, both sides of the couple provide for the relationship."  She pouted.  "Did you have things you needed to talk about?"

"No," she pouted.

"Okay, if you want to, I'm going to see him for dinner.  He needed a nap because we were talking really late last night."

"That's fine.  Are they are our place?"  He nodded.  "Fine."  She took a kiss.  "If they're staying tonight, I'll have quiet orgasms instead of the usual ones."  She walked off.

Xander smiled but shook his head.  "She's definitely unique," he said quietly, going to check on the others.  Buffy was in the back.  "My uncle will be back later."

"Is he the one that was at graduation?"

"No, that was Uncle Clay.  This is Uncle John.  My dad's their half-brother.  Uncle John hunts demons with his older son.  His younger one's at Stanford."

"Wow.  Brain school."  She blinked a few times.  "Why did he show up?"

"Because I proposed.  They wanted to make sure it was a good thing for me.  Uncle John said Anya was very nice and sweet."  He grinned.  "We'll be talking for dinner though."

"That's fine.  Maybe he has an idea of how to get her."

"Maybe.  The roaming hunters do more demons that possess you than cheat at kitten poker."

"Ah."  She nodded.  "That one with you?"

"My cousin Dean.  He's a hunter too.  A few years older than us.  He's a smartass but he's damn good.  They're saying he's one of the better hunters today."

"Wow.  Introduce me?"

"Gladly.  I'd love to see you date someone *decent*."  She snorted.  "Riley wasn't."

"No, he wasn't," she agreed.  "You're always against whoever I date, Xander.  I thought you got over that."

"Has it occurred to you that you could've died?"  She gave him a dirty look.  "Riley's people could've killed you.  So could Angel.  He's still a vampire, Buffy.  Even if he's got a soul.  Plenty of people with souls kill.  There's thousands of them in prisons."

"I know, but he won't.  Moot point anyway."

"Which makes us mostly happy," he assured her with a small grin.  "You deserve and need someone decent.  Someone who can back you up, someone who knows the calling and isn't scared of it.  Someone who doesn't have to macho you too much to feel manly because you can bench press them."  She giggled.  "Seriously!"

"Yeah, Riley did that sometimes."  She smirked.  "Are they going to complain?"

"I don't think it'll be more than a mild one.  Uncle John said they talked a lot about what marriages were."

"They did.  I was stranded in here listening to it.  He's very ...tough."  Xander nodded.  "Your other uncle, what does he do?"

"Secret military things no one can talk about," he said dryly.

"Ah.  Gotcha.  Not involved in this?"

"No, but I did see one of his crew there and I'm fairly certain he's the one that released the prisoners."  She huffed.  He grinned.  "They were helping us."

"That was handy."  She put away what she was working on.  "Anything else?"

"I've given him what we know about *her* so we'll be talking about it later, with you.  After dinner."

"Good.  We can do that," she agreed with a smile.  She walked out, heading up to the coffee shop.  She needed a drink.

Xander went to help straighten up around the shop.

"Xander," Giles said as he came in.  "I need some help unloading a shipment of books tomorrow."

"I have to work tomorrow."  Giles gave him a horrified look.  "You know that jobby thing that pays for my rent?  If it can wait until after I'm done, I can help then.  But I'm on until six tomorrow."

"Oh.  Well that may be okay."  He walked off looking confused.

Xander shook his head.  Willow walked in scowling.  He stared back.  "What now?"

"Someone's at your apartment."

"Yeah, my Uncle John and his son.  They came in to meet Anya."  She huffed.  "Not like I'm not allowed to have family around, Willow."

"It's dangerous here," she said firmly.

"Yeah and Uncle John hunts too."  She gave him a horrified look.  "He's hunted for about as long as I've been alive thanks to a demon that took out his wife over his younger son's crib."  She went pale, backing up.  "I'm fairly certain they can handle a few vampires since last month they were handling higher level demons that were trying to take over a convent."

"They did?" Giles asked, coming out of the office.  "I heard about that situation from the Watcher who was helping."

"Yeah, Uncle John said the guy totally put him down for being a hunter instead of a Watcher and tried to pull ego shit so John solved it while he whined then shoved him in a closet.  The nuns applauded."  Giles moaned, shaking his head.  "They're fine.  John's one of the best at exorcisms there is."

"Has he heard about yours?" Willow asked.

"Yeah and he tried to fix it too, and couldn't.  So he taught me how to shield myself from those things.  It was a nice change."

"I didn't think you'd have that problem," Giles said.

Xander looked at him.  "Why?  Because it only happened twice?"

"Then it seemed to stop."

"We haven't run into any.  The shielding I have made sure I didn't stay stuck with Native Americans as well."  Giles went pale at that.  "Yeah.  So...."  He smirked.  "It was very nice of him to teach me when my other uncle asked.  He tried to get me to join the priesthood too.  That way I don't have problems."  He went back to doing what needed to be done to the shelves.

"Where is Anya, that's her job," Willow snorted.

"She's downstairs thinking about what John told her about how real marriages work."

"Oh."  She grimaced at his back.  "I don't like him, he sounds pushy."

Xander looked at her.  "That's funny, you hung off him a few times when we were younger."  She blushed.  "Same uncle, yeah.  And little did I know that he handled something that was hunting the three of us that last trip."  She shuddered and stomped off.  He sighed, going back to it.

"Xander, let Anya do that.  I pay her for it," he complained.

Xander looked at him.  "Fine, I'll go work off nervous energy some other way.  I have some guns to clean."

"We don't use guns," Giles said.

"No, you don't use guns.  I know how to use guns very well.  Very efficiently.  As a matter of fact, I can also use a blowgun and did to save Buffy's ass the other night."

"I think your nerves are making you a bit mean," he complained.

"I think it's the complaining I'm getting," Xander shot back, staring at him.  Giles glared.  Xander just stared.  "I don't know why you're putting down my relatives.  I don't fully care at the moment."  Giles backed off at that.  Dean walked in.  "Cool, let's go clean some guns."

"Sure, I like gun cleaning time," Dean agreed.  "Dad said to get a pizza if we can."

"I know who's having the better deals tonight," Xander agreed, following him out the door.


John walked up to Buffy and Willow later that night.  "Miss Summers, would you like some help with the Glory situation?  You and I can talk about it tomorrow if you're off classes."

"I could like that.  I called a few people and they said you're a very good hunter."

He smiled.  "For many years now."  He looked at Willow.  "I remember when you were five and I ended up paddling your ass because you tried to hurt Xander and Jesse on purpose."  She winced and blushed, ducking her head.  "I will do it again if you *ever* try to cast another spell, especially a memory spell, at Xander, myself, or any of the family, Willow Renee Rosenburg.  The fact that you're helping your friend Buffy means that most hunters will ignore it until you start acting oddly.  You've started."  She stepped behind Buffy.  "Am I clear?"

She nodded quickly.  "Yes, Mr. Winchester," she said quietly.

"Good."  He looked at Buffy.  "Ground her," he said bluntly.  "Dean woke up forgetting his own name."  Buffy moaned, glaring at Willow.  "If she's helping, we're all for it, Buffy.  If not, there's hunters who hate witches.  A lot of us.  I'm not fond of most of the ones I've run into because of their misdeeds."

"I get that," she said.  "We've been worried about her."  She walked him off by hauling on his arm.  "What do we do to keep her centered?"

He smiled.  "Magic is for emergencies, for working special things.  From what I've heard today, she did her hair the other night."  Buffy winced at that.  "Like a drink now and then is different than Xander's parents' drinking."

"I can agree with that," she said.  "Is there something like AA for magic?"

"A very strong coven could help.  Does she have one?"

"No, there's none here.  Would Giles know?"

"Probably.  There's some very strong white witch covens.  Even hunters who don't like witches won't touch them with the way they help fight."  He smiled.  "There's a good one in Lancaster County in Pennsylvania.  There's a few up the coast.  The strongest one in the US is in Maine I think.  There's an even stronger one in Canada.  That one I know has a website."  Buffy beamed at that.  "They've taken in injured hunters in the past.  They're very good, very firm women who would love to mentor you as well if you'd let them.  That way you have someone to talk to when the fighting gets to you."  She nodded at that.

"Because we've all been there, Buffy."  He patted her on the arm.  "You're doing a good job.  Xander said you're the strongest and longest lived slayer ever now.  That means you're doing great things.  I've never heard anything bad said about you, even by the highest ones who loathe hunters."

"Really?" she asked.

"Really.  They've sworn about you a few times but that's an honor you earn."  She beamed at that, nodding some.  "Dean's got an email if you ever need to talk to him as well.  He doesn't really know about girlish things but he's my son and a hunter too.  You two could make good friends if you wanted.  I'll introduce you tomorrow."  She nodded, smiling at that.  "Now, let's talk about a few other things.  Anya?"

"She grows on you."

"Clearly.  It seems I'm mellowed on her too.  She's not as bad as we thought she could be and she does seem to care about Xander.  I like that about the girl.  Someone needs to care about my nephew."


"Before you say a word, my brother told me about the 'normal' thing.  He heard it by following you guys on patrol before graduation."  She winced.  "Normal guys who hunt are called hunters.  You have gifts so you're special that way but a hunter is just as special and rare."  He gave her a pointed look.  "Training is what keeps hunters safer and alive longer.  I've been helping the boy with that this afternoon.  It's not fair to rag on the boy about that stuff.  You girls hurt him a lot and he nearly didn't come back.  I tried everything to get him to go hunt in other ways because I saw how badly you two hurt him."

"I've tried to be better as a friend.  My mom pointed that out too."

"Good.  Sounds like your mother has sense."  She nodded quickly.  "You guys are close enough to be family.  Families fight but sometimes you have to stand beside them too.  The same as they stand beside you."

"I understand."

"Good girl."  He patted her arm again.  "It'll be fine, Buffy.  You're a good slayer, you're good at what you do, even if you can't figure out how to take a full load of classes."

She huffed.  "It's not my fault slaying gets in the way."

"Then do some online stuff," he offered.  "That way you can do it when you have the time and energy and some if it you can do while sharpening weapons."

"Xander does that for me."

"You should learn on your own," he told her.

"I know but I can't.  Xander was offering a gun the other day to cure something but I had to set that straight."

"No, he was right," he told her.  She gave him a horrified look.  "Most hunters use guns.  We use rock salt for spirits.  We use thermal rounds for things that burn.  Blessed bullets for some creatures.  Silver, lead."  She slumped.  "It keeps them from beating you if you can shoot them from farther away.  It may not work on vampires but it can work on things like rampaging beasts and those sort of things.  I've been working on Xander's training long-distance because he needs more than my brother's memories."

"That's good then."  She looked at him.  "Thank you for not chewing on me about that stuff."

"As long as you're working on it.  Because Xander is the sort to snap back when you hurt him.   Then you'd cry and things would attack you or him."

She nodded.  "They did the last time.  Told him he was being mean so I had to save him.  Again."

He snorted.  "Buffy, I got that on tape.  I have a few spies around here watching over him for me."  She winced at that.  "Yeah, so ...  Less treating him that way," he said quietly.  She nodded at that, looking up at him.  "Now, I have a few different books on that hell bitch's powers and things.  I asked one of the best researchers our sort of hunters have to see if there was something simple.  The books all said she has a host body."

"We can't find it."

"Find her hunting and track her," he told her.  "We can help."  She beamed at that.  "But her host has to go."

"We're working on it."

"I can help Xander plan," he promised.  "I'm a retired Marine."  She nodded, still looking happy.  "Good.  Now, which way is patrol going tonight?"

"We're dead unless we run into vamps.  No one's coming up."

"Excellent work," he praised.  She beamed and nearly bounced.  "When are you free tomorrow?"

"Um... ten AM class but after that I'm good all day since I dropped science again."

"I can come see you about noon then.  That's not a problem.  Where do you want to meet?"

"The Magic Box so Giles can help?"

"Gladly.  How do you feel about them marrying?"

"I think they might make it.  It's dangerous and you have to take what happiness you can get."

"That's a good outlook.  Though I'm sure his father might say something."

"Yeah," she snorted.  "They're not invited."  He smirked at her.  She smirked back.  "Are you going to kick his butt?"

"Yup.  My half-brother needs a swift kick."  He patted her on the arm again.  "Go do whatever you need to do.  I'm going back to Xander's with that pitstop."  She nodded and jogged off.  He went back there.  He had to pass the Rosenburg house.  It was dark.  The mail was piled up.  It looked like a house where someone had died inside it but no one realized yet.  He found the right house and knocked on the door.  He smirked at the woman.  "Jessica, long time no see."

"John?" she squeaked.

"Yup."  He walked in and kicked the door shut.  "Where's the idiot?"

"In the living room."  She ran that way.

John walked in and stared at him.  "Didn't Clay warn you?"  Xander's father Tony flinched and tried to back away.  "I have contacts out here, Tony.  I know *exactly* how you tried to have his boss hand over the boy's paycheck."  He stared him down.  "Leave your boy alone.  He's managed to turn into a hell of a man without your input.  I'm shocked he managed it by himself and he's not some sort of serial killer or worse."  Tony yelled and rushed at him.  John put him onto his back and stared down at him.  "Sober up, Tony.  The liquor makes you weak.  My boy Sammy can beat you and he's a nerd."  He moved back, staring at Jessica.  "It could do you good too, sister-in-law.  There's still time before you lose your son for good."  He looked down again.  "Though I'm not sure you'll ever get him back.  His mother might."  He smirked. "Beyond that, don't try to extort money from him again, Tony.  It's pathetic and our father would be killing your ass within seconds if he heard."

"How dare you," he slurred, standing up.  "He's my boy!  I raised him!  I can treat him however I want!"

"If I had known then what I know now, he'd have been my boy or Clay's boy a long damn time ago."  Tony took another swing.  John hit him back.  "I feel shamed at having to hit you because you're not a man but clearly you need it."  He kicked his ass and then looked at him.  "Straighten the hell up.  Father's ashamed of you I'm sure."  He left, going back to the boy's house.  Xander saw him and held out an ice pack.  "He wasn't that hard," he said, taking it to ice his knuckles. "Thank you though."

"Welcome."  He smiled.  "Mom called."

"I told them both they were worthless drunks and sobering up might change that.  If they listen, I might be amazed," he admitted.  "Sorry, kid.  If I had known...."

"I know.  And I would've snuck Jesse into the trunk."  John snickered, going to sit on the couch with Dean and Anya.  "How is Uncle Clay?"

"On a job."  Xander brought out his snack and sat on Anya's other side.  Dean was in the chair.   "So, you're still certain about this wedding?" he asked finally.

"He's my pookie," Anya said.  "I'd miss him and the orgasms."

John looked at her.  "Don't tell me about your sex life, Anya.  It's disgusting to hear about my son or my nephew's sex life.  That's supposed to be private."  She pouted but nodded, leaning her head on Xander's shoulder.  He smiled.  "Good girl.  You'll get used to the family.  Clay's a bit harder than I am to get to know but it'll be fine."

Xander smiled.  "When he called after getting the invite, I put them on the phone together."

"Xander, quit being mean to the family," Dean complained.  "I'm sure Uncle Clay wasn't ready for a girly girl like Anya.  He likes tough chicks, like ones he could work with."

"Yeah but they need to get to know each other."  Someone pounded on the door.  "Huh, Sunnydale PD out after hours."  He got up to answer it, still nibbling on the popcorn.  "Hey, Officer Stan.  Problems?"

"Harris, your father reported someone here with you assaulted him."

Xander snickered.  "I've been here for hours.  My uncle and cousin are in to meet Anya and I doubt Uncle John did more than tell him that their shared father would be disappointed and kick his ass.  Maybe Grandpa came back for that.  Who knows."  He ate another bite.  "How drunk was he?" he asked while he chewed.

"More than enough," he complained.  "I couldn't find any injuries but your parents were adamant that it happened."

"They probably tried to have sex again and got hurt," he said with a small shrug.  "Last time he tried to have her in the oven."  The officer shuddered.  "She probably hit him for trying to get frisky and being unable to perform due to his drinking.  I'm sorry they bothered you."

"Fine.  If I hear you're not telling me the truth...."

Xander grinned and ate another bite.  "You'll beg me to fix your porch without pay before your other son nearly dies from it?"

"Point," he muttered, stomping off.

Xander shut the door and went back to sit down.

John smirked at him.  "The oven?"

"It fortunately wasn't on.  She didn't fit on the racks and putting her on the door meant that it caved in.  She got cut all to hell.  I almost wanted to do stitches for her but I got an ambulance."  He grinned.  "She was not happy with her fifty new stitches in her back and he was unhappy that he wasted his last erection four years ago."

"That's pathetic," Dean told him.

"Yes it is," Anya agreed.  "They make medicine for that.  Someone really should have the little blue pill talk with him like that senator does on tv."

"You can't drink when you take that," Xander told her.

"Pity.  I guess she'll be dying without anything good then.  It must be what's rotting her from the inside.  Orgasms do clean out your body fluids and gives your skin and organs new vitality," she said when Dean gave her an odd look.  "Sex is the best natural medicine to many ailments and she might drink less if she was getting more orgasms because it can take the place of drug highs too.  That's why I always want at least six a night."

John looked at her.  "Not while we're here please, Anya."  She pouted, nearly sniffling like she was going to cry.  "Hearing you two would make me miss my own wife," he covered.  Even though he'd probably be praying that Mary deafen him.  She gave him a hug and he patted her on the shoulder.  "It's all right."

"You should remarry.  Men weren't meant to be single.  Or to get people like me called on them like Dean will some day."  She went back to cuddling Xander, stealing some of his popcorn.

"Maybe some year if I find someone that special," he said, knowing he probably wouldn't.  She smiled at that.  "Why don't you two go talk and snuggle.  Weddings require a lot more planning than battles."  Xander nodded, taking her to the bedroom to cuddle for now.  Dean waited until the door was shut to shudder.  John smirked.  "Someday you'll find someone special too."

"Not yet I'm not.  I'm not looking to be buying a ring and start raising little hunters, Dad."

John snickered.  "Anya's not sure she wants kids."

Dean looked up and mouthed a silent prayer.  Then he went back to watching the movie.  John got comfortable and watched it too.  The couple were a bit giggly but she got loud and he glared at the door.  Then she was suddenly silenced so he was happier.


Xander found someone new in the town the night his relatives left.  It was an odd man.  One glove.  Dressed in a suit.  The guy reminded him of the former mayor.  He and his current bodyguards were talking.  He was saying homicidal things while smiling.  Thankfully, Xander knew what one of the bodyguards was and got him from a distance.  The demon went to ash with a gout of flame and a scream.

"That's interesting," the man said, staring at the former being's spot.  "What happened to you?  Biological weapon?"

Xander walked out.  "Application of blessed lead," he said dryly.  "Why are you in my town?"

"Your town?" he laughed.

"Yes, my town.  As in I helped make the mess you're presently standing in the middle of."  The man looked around the former area by the school then at the kid, smirking at him.  Xander reloaded the crossbow, pointing it at him.  The bodyguard type started to go for his gun.  "Willow.   Bad guy."

She looked then sneered.  "You're not shit."  She melted his gun, making him yelp and back away.  She looked at the other one.  "Look, it's the Mayor lite!"

"Basically," he agreed dryly.  "I heard someone wanted to know about the power source here in town."  She snickered at that.  "Blank 'em?"

"I can do that," she agreed, knocking them both out and floating them to the car nearby.  Xander got the keys, drove them out of town, and dropped them on the beach.  He left the car doors open.  If they got eaten it was their own fault.  He went back on patrol.  He'd worry about him after the wedding.  He had too much to worry about.  Uncle Clay still had to meet Anya and get to like her at the very least.  That might be a harder sell than Uncle John had been.


John met Clay a few days after leaving Sunnydale, clapping him on the arm.  "She does grow on you.  She's got some naive grace about her.  She's very loud.  She likes to talk about sex and we had to talk about how relatives don't want to know that stuff.  He knows you'll show up sometime to vet her."

Clay gave him a look.  "You couldn't talk them out of it?"

"I went over what a real marriage was.  They both had some ideas and hers were based on her last life, back when being a Viking was acceptable."

"Oh, damn.  She was one?"

"Yup."  He sat down.  "She told me a lot of stories about her former job.  Xander's done a good job helping her acclimate but she's still got some things going on."

"Like talking about sex," he said.  He played with his lighter.

"Yeah.  He told me he put you two on the phone together."

"I needed most of a fifth and a sleeping pill to make it quit going through my head," Clay shot back.

"She's quieted down some."  He smirked.  "Had a talk with Tony too."

"Good!  Save some for me?"

"Maybe.  Depends on how soon he heals."

"Better."  His phone rang.  "What?"  He listened.  "Crap.  Do I have three weeks?"  John shook his head.  "It's that soon?  Is she pregnant?"

"No.  They're not doing anything fancy."


"He'll understand."

"I'll call him later.  I've got to leave tonight."  He hung up and called.  "I was going to be up tomorrow," he said in greeting.  "Work's calling though."  He listened.  "I will when I get back.  Should be three weeks.  Then I'll get to know your loud, sexually frustrated new wife, Xander."  He smirked.  "Good.  I'll see you soon, kid."  He hung up.  "Are they registered and begging for things?"

"No.  Buffy did ask me what an appropriate gift was.  I told her a gun cleaning kit."  Clay laughed at that.  "Had a talk with her about the friendship stuff, and about their current issues."  Clay moaned.  "Worse than graduation."

"He need help?"

"They don't think so.  I gave Buffy what I could.  Told her how to get us in case she needed more."  That got a nod and a small grin.  "So it'll be fine.  Go work and we'll talk when you get back."  He left, going back to his truck to leave California for Oregon and a job up there.  Dean was already headed for Colorado.  They'd come back for the wedding if they could.  Though he almost wished that someone could show them some reality about what that marriage would be like.  Xander wasn't ready to be a husband and father and Anya needed to finish getting used to being human again.


Two years later, Xander called a number he had memorized long ago.  "Hey, Marcia, it's Xander.  Clay's nephew.  Can I leave a message for him with you?"

//He's told me about you.  Is it an emergency?//

"Not that critical but I'm about to get messed up with something really bad here.  I'm on the local protection patrol and the town's getting ready for something major.  People have been fleeing the town without being warned of anything so we know it's soon."

//Oh, sure, that's got to be bad, Xander.  What did you need to tell him?//

"I'm electronically faxing a few pages to you right now.  Hand that to Uncle Clay please.  Tell him that my will is still in his safety deposit box in case it's needed.  Tell him *not* to come if he's local.  That we'll probably be in LA after it happens.  We think it'll be in the next few days and if he's in LA to check the Hyperion for survivors.  Then let him know that I love the asshole and I'll call you within a day of that going on to tell you that I survived."

//I got the faxes.  They're in Latin?//


//Okay, I made that note for him.  I know his email is down again.  Wherever they are, it's blocked somehow.  Be safe since it sounds really bad.//

"Hey, if you can find us a few platoons of Marines, we'd be *really* happy right now," he offered.

//No, not that I'm aware of, Xander.  Weapons maybe.//

"Probably won't help with this.  We're going old school."  He grinned.  "Thanks, Marcia, and have a better day."  He hung up and went back to preparing the young slayers for their first battle.  This was going to suck ass.  Greatly suck ass.  Worse than the last date wanted to suck his ass for him and not nearly as much fun.


Clay got the phone call, grunting into it.  "What?" he demanded.  He listened to it be repeated.  "Send me those.  No, nowhere near there.  Or I'd go kick his ass."  One of the computers beeped.  "Thank you.  Yeah, let me know when he calls.  Thanks, Marcia."  He hung up and took the computer to read.  What he saw, made him swear.  He sent it to Dean, who sent back that he and Sammy were in New York.  "Fuck."  He called his idiot nephew.  "You had better come out alive," he said bluntly.  "Call me immediately when you're done."  He listened to what was going to happen, grimacing.  "If I was closer....  No, that's dumb.  I could.... whatever.  Call."  He hung up, going to kick a wall for a bit in private.

The one with the computer shut that down carefully.  He was glad it hadn't been thrown.  "Xander got into something," he said at the curious looks.  "I'm not sure what.  It's in Latin."  They all nodded.  They liked the kid but he did get into the worst trouble sometimes.


Xander was staring in the hole when the idiot Max showed back up.  His earlier trip, he had been amused.  Then the guy had went after his family.  He had even heard rumors that he had called his uncle up to note he had a nephew, meaning him.  Well, Xander wasn't the easy sort.  He was here, staring at the hole that had been Sunnydale.  He walked down to the hole, staring at the belly button of the suckage.  It was still glowing faintly.

"Young man," Max said, smiling.  "Did you live here?"

"Yeah, I did."  He didn't look up.

"Would you know what happened?"

"Yup, was there when it did."  The idiot moved closer.  "Why?"

"I was wondering if you could enlighten me so I might understand better."

Xander stared at him for a minute, weighing ethics and the possibility of him being sent back like Angel had.  "It started there," he said, pointing at the hole.  "It's still showing the effects."

Max walked over to look inside the hole.  "It's glowing.  It's warm," he said, holding his ungloved hand over it.  "What caused that?"

Xander chanted quietly and a tentacle reached out to grab him.  "That."  He shot him in the head, not in an immediately fatal spot but within a minute he would be.  "That's for pissing off my Uncle.  Shithead."  Max gasped as the tentacle dragged him through the tiny hole.  Which didn't widen so he was a bit broken when it finally got in there.  Then the hole snapped shut.  Xander waved.  "Fucker."  He walked off, going to talk to some of their contacts.  They were mostly in LA.  On the way he had to decide if he was going to ask Riley Finn's group for a favor or someone who actually owed him.  He considered it the whole three hour drive and decided to start with Riley.  He found where his team was on downtime, recovering.   He knocked and Riley's wife gasped when she saw him standing there.  "I'm even here for a decent reason."  He walked in.  "I just got rid of a major terrorist supporter by letting the kraken eat him after I shot him."

Riley looked up from his situps, staring at him.  "You did *what*?" he demanded.

Xander took Sam's laptop off the desk and logged onto the net, going to where he knew an information highway was.  He held it out to Riley with an evil smirk.  "He wanted to know if he could have the name of the scientist that did that to Sunnydale."

Riley read it over, growling.  "He's dangerous, Xander."

"Duh, Riley, and now he's dead."  He stared at him.  "But I also know, thanks to some poker contacts, that he's compromised a lot of agents and operatives.  Including some of yours.  He's the one that was behind that ambush that nearly got Learin and Tyler."  The poker circuit who had figured out that Uncle Clay and Uncle John had been related, and that knew Xander and Dean were related somehow, had let it slip that Max had went after his uncle.  Which had pissed him off worse than even Glory had during her time on the earth.  Riley growled.  "So, can you get his info files, hand them over to clear some people, or should I go to some poker debts?"

Sam took it to read over, nodding.  "We know he's CIA."

"Yeah, I figured that part out," Xander said dryly.  "He's gotten a lot of people in trouble and killed.  People need to know that so others can clear their name.  Even if it is very A-Team."

Riley and Sam looked at each other then nodded.  "I know someone who can do that," Sam agreed.  "Any idea where his files are?"

"Not yet," Xander admitted.

"Let us, save the debts," Riley told him.  "Anyone in particular we need to look at since you've got that 'someone pissed off the family' look her father wears?"

"He got one of my uncles."

"Which?" Riley asked.

"His whole team goes by the Losers."

"Heard of them," Sam sighed.  "You're related to them?"  Xander stared at her.  "I don't want to know.  Probably the geek."  She wrote an email to someone.  "I'll ask my contacts.  If we can't, I'll let you know.  Are you going to Cleveland?"

"No.  I'm going to hunt down the ones that managed to hide.  I need time to grieve."  He adjusted the eye patch.  "Plus maybe finish my road trip."

"Good hunting," Riley said quietly.  Xander nodded and left.  "Sam...."

"Shut up, Riley.  He's right, they deserve cleared."  She sat down to help with the hunt on this idiot's former empire.  It was huge and he had clearly been doing the wrong thing while employed by the CIA.


Xander called Marcia when he was sure it was done.  "Marcia, Xander."

//Are you going to make Clay swear at me again?// she asked.

"Probably not."  He grinned, nibbling on his fries.  "Tell my uncle to look in the usual places.  He's fallen off the radar and the list.  Thank you."  He hung up and finished up his last real meal in the US.  He'd be leaving for Africa in six hours.  It was time to get some things settled and he really wasn't sure any desert country could make good fries or burgers since potatoes didn't grow in the desert and food was scarce from what he had heard on tv.

Jensen answered the phone.  "He's asleep," he hissed, walking off.  "Slight head injury.  Why, Marcia?"  He listened then went to his laptop.  "You're sure?"  He listened to the recording she had made of the message.  "Huh.  Yeah, I'll look.  Tell him to call his uncle.  He's still fussy over that."

"What's going on?" Clay called.

"Xander left a message.  Tossing it over," he warned her then tossed the phone.

Clay caught it and sat up.  "My nephew said what?"  He listened to the recording.  "Where is he?"  He groaned at her information that he was booked on a flight later that night.  "Why is he going to Cairo?"  He rubbed his head.  "Thank you.  Yeah, we'll look.  Thanks, Marcia."  He hung up and got up with a small moan.  "What's going on?"

Jensen finally got into the right system and stared.  "Someone capped Max on us."

Clay stared over his shoulder then patted him on the head.  "Couldn't happen to a nicer asshole.  What about us?"

Jensen switched screens to show him that one.  "We're cleared."  He looked up with a smile.  "Totally cleared, Clay.  It said someone handed over the files."

"I'll call someone in a bit," he said, taking the bottle of aspirin from Pooch as he walked in with Cougar.  "Someone got Max on us."

Jensen handed over the laptop so they could see.  "It looks like we're good."  He grinned.  "I'd like to thank whoever did that."

"I'll see if we can find out, see if they're taking over," Clay told him.

"It's easier to behead a new snake than an old one," Cougar said dryly.  "Pooch, call that bundle of fussing of yours."  He did that, happy that things were getting back to normal.

Clay sat down with his phone to call around.  He wasn't sure if this was someone else the ass had tried to screw or not.  He was disappointed it wasn't them but not that it was solved.  He wanted to buy someone a drink for solving it.  Then he'd have to deal with Aisha and that situation.


Four months later, Clay found his target in an unexpected spot.  Guarding a village in Africa.  "What the hell are you doing over here?" he demanded.

Xander kept himself from shooting them.  "Training.  Work I'm guessing?"

"Yes," he said impatiently, puling him closer.  "Infection in the eye?"

"No, evil preacher popped it."

Clay growled, staring at him.  "What?" he asked coldly.  "When did this happen?"

"A few weeks before we went into the hole formerly known as Sunnydale."  He stared at him, then said something to the girl watching them.  "This is Inana.  She's the slayer I'm presently training, Uncle Clay."

Clay nodded at her then glared at his nephew.  "Why didn't you tell us you were that injured, Xander?"

"Because I kept hearing 'you can't do that'," he mimicked in a female voice.  "One of the reasons I'm over here training, and grieving.  Anya fell during the battle," he said more quietly.  Clay sighed and gave his shoulders a squeeze.  "Easy, I have claw marks.  Again."

Clay looked him over then grabbed the gun to hand off to the slayer so he could strip the shirt off the boy, even if he didn't like it.  His team was clearly trying to blatantly ignore this whole discussion by looking around and ignoring them.  "Damn it!"  He smacked him on the head.  "Idiot!"

"It was trying to eat a little kid!" he shot back, glaring now, hands on his hips.  "I wasn't about to let a toddler be killed that way when I had a knife."

"Gun?" he asked impatiently.

"In bed?"

"You..."  He huffed, glaring at him.  "If John was still alive," he complained.

"Yeah, well, you did hear Dad refused to leave?"

"Yup.  Your mom too.  You good with that?"  The boy snorted, giving him a dirty look.  "We have some first aid supplies."

"You'll probably need them more.  I have a kit."  He smirked.  "I can even do stitches."

"Uh-huh."  He stared his nephew down.  "How long is your tour?"

"Whenever I feel I'm ready to hit Cleveland."

Clay nodded once at that.  "I'll be calling, Xander.  Frequently."

"It's easier to get email from the missionaries."

"Fine.  I can do that instead.  You will give me a full briefing so I don't have to kick your ass."

Xander sighed but nodded, taking his shirt back.  Clay took it back and marched him over to the holder of their first aid kit so he could clean the dirty cuts.  "Lion, toddler," he said at the horrified looks.  "I had been asleep with a knife under my pillow for snakes.  I cleaned them but I need a bath."

"Duh," Jensen said, looking him over.  "What happened to your eye?"

"Popped," Clay growled.

"He died, Spike got him," Xander told him.

"I'd thank him if I ran into him," he said dryly.  "Do I have to hold you down to clean those?"  Xander sighed but shook his head.  "Good boy."  Xander barked and gave him a dirty look.  Clay smirked back.  "Nice one."  He got him cleaned up and gave him back his shirt.  "Any others?"

"I gave up underwear," he said dryly.  "It's too hard to get clean laundry often enough to keep them clean."  He put back on his shirt and adjusted his eye patch again.  "Thank you, Uncle Clay."  He gave him a hug and a smile.  "Be safe.  I'm not going to be the last one in this family."

"Dean needs that advice more."

"I heard.  I'm going to pull something spectacular."  He smirked.  "So, come meet my slayer or are you guys on a time table?"

"We can rest for the night."  They walked back there and Xander introduced them.  The tribe was very pleased to see them.


Xander appeared in a flash of light, throwing a blessed spear at the demon's spawn.  "Fuck the hell off," he said.  "They're my cousins and I refuse to be the last one."  He walked over to Sam, pulling the spear out with a sickening squish.  "Sammy."


"Duh."  He stared at him.  "And you're the smart one."

"What are you...."  He waved a hand around.  "Here?"

"Duh, Sam.  Really."  Sam glared.  Xander stared back.  Then Xander turned and got the thing coming his way.  She wasn't as good as she thought.  Even with whatever special skills.  He caved her skull in then looked around again.  "I'd flee in terror," he called.  "That demon is going to die and it's going to be messy."  The few survivors fled.  Xander looked at Sam again, tossing him something.  "Dean's panicking."  He smirked.  "And I'm not real happy that this putz did this either."  He turned when he felt the demon staring at him.  "What?  Didn't see a hellmouth baby before?" he quipped.

"Who are you to thwart me?" he sneered.

"Sam's cousin Xander."

"I know nothing of you."

"Maybe you know him by his other name, bitch," Dean said when he appeared.  "The White Knight of Sunnydale."  The demon hissed at that.  "He's a bit pissed."

"Ya think?" he asked dryly.  "Sam, shoo."


"Sam, have visions myself now.  If you die here, the world is fucked.  Go to the car."  Sam stomped off.  "Don't let anyone behind you!" he called after him.  The demon lunged but Xander was in a bad mood.  He hadn't had caffeine recently or chocolate or twinkies.  Or American food.  He was getting used to tribal food but still.  Xander went after the demon.  The demon wasn't looking pleased.

"You won't win."

"No, he won't.  I will," Dean said, shooting him.  "Xander."

"Fuck off."  He stabbed him and chanted while holding onto the spear.  It lit up with a white hot glow.  The demon burned.  Slowly from the hole out.  It died with a last scream.  Xander plucked his spear out of the ashes and blew it off.  "There.  Better."  He looked at Dean, who was gaping in horror.  "A Shaman taught me."  He grinned, coming closer.  "You good?"

"What happened to your eye?"


"Huh?" Dean demanded.

"Evil preacher."

"What the fucking hell!" Dean shouted.

"Before Sunnydale fell in.  Now, I should be getting back to my slayer in training."  He grinned and gave him a hug.  "Send emails.  I can get them about once a month."

"Where are you?" he demanded.


Dean licked his lips then hauled off and punched him.  Xander ducked and gave him a hug.  "Idiot."

"Uncle Clay nearly had a hissy over my eye too," he assured him. He spotted Sam.  "Want a hug too, Sammy?"

"No.  You're grungy, dude."

"Water's scarce this time of year."  He let Dean go with a grin.  "I've got to get back.  I am not going to be the last of the family so therefore don't die."  He handed over something.  "The vision I had about all this shit."  He handed over the spear too.  "You need that instead of the Colt."  He walked over and gave Sam a hug too.  "Missed you."  He grinned.  "I'm having to tutor in basic stuff for my slayer I'm training."  He let go and disappeared.

Sam and Dean shared a look.  "Are you freaked out?" Sam asked.

"Nearly as badly as the first time Dad heard he had been possessed and kept a taint.  We tried for over a day to get them out of him."

"Ah."  Sam nodded, walking closer.  "What's the vision say, Dean?"  Dean unfolded it so they could read it together.  Sam nodded at that, mentally swearing.

Dean swore out loud.  "Ain't no way," he decided finally.

"Definitely," Sam agreed.  "No need either."  They nodded and walked off.  They'd take care of that gateway then go visit their parents' graves.  That way they knew it was done too.


Dean ran into the first slayer on the outskirts of the devils trap around the hellgate.  "What are you doing out here, miss?" he asked.

She smiled.  "Buffy sent me, Mr. Winchester.  I'm one of the slayers here to help you guys.  Xander sent up a head's up that made her quit fussing at her new boyfriend."  She beamed and bounced a bit.  "So we can help.  Buffy's studying the gateway to destroy it with your help."  She pointed.  "The rest of us are going to be handling any other demons coming to stop you guys.  Just like LA," she finished in a perky tone of voice.

Sam stared at her.  "Uh-huh."

"We can...."

"Buffy said you can't," she said cheerfully.  "She's expecting you guys and your...spear?"

"Xander," Sam told her dryly.

"Well, he is really strange and kinda creepy without that eye."  She beamed and pointed.  "You go ahead."  They walked off shaking their heads.  She whistled. "They're here and they're *normal*, unlike their cousin!"  The girls all got happy with that thought and ran off to destroy demons.  It was the most fun they'd had in a long time.

Buffy looked at the confused looking guys, smiling.  "They're young and not tired."

"I think I remember being that way," Sam admitted.

Buffy snickered.  "You can come home with us if you want, guys.  We wanted to offer you guys a job helping us anyway."  She waved a hand.  "This is the trouble."

Dean looked then nodded.  "We can break it as long as it doesn't release the magic."

Sam looked at the spear then stuck it in the hole.  It glowed, got hot in his hand, burned his palm, and then the headstone exploded.  Buffy gave him a strange look.  "Xander gave it to us."

"Figures," she sighed, shaking her head.  Demons came running and they attacked.  It was almost normal for them now.


Clay got the call he had been waiting over two years for, going to pick his nephew up at the airport.  He found him looking very tired, and scruffy.  He was waiting when Xander got out of customs.  "Nephew."

"Uncle Clay," he said quietly, staring at him.  "Can I have a nap before you bitch at me?  It was a really long flight."

"I'm not going to yell.  I haven't seen you in a while."  He walked him off.  "Got us a hotel room to catch up in."  Xander relaxed, nodding.  "You okay?"

"Hell no."  Clay looked at him.  "Sudan was my last stop.  Four months in Sudan.  Including child soldiers I had to deal with to protect the camp and things."  Clay gave him a squeeze and they got into a cab.  He looked at the driver.  "Moonlighting?" he guessed.

"Being careful, kid," Pooch said.

"That's cool."

Clay looked at him.  "You really are exhausted."

"Flew business class from the middle of Africa this morning," he admitted with a small yawn.  "Not that many screaming kids though.  A lot of college aged kids.  Some Peace Corps. volunteers.  A dog behind me that kept trying to nibble on my hair."

"You need a trim.  It probably thought you were a wild animal."

"I'm only in for a Council meeting."

"You still need a trim, kid."

"I know.  I don't usually care what it looks like.  Until last night it was braided."  Clay nodded, looking calm.  "It's cool.  They need me."

"You could go hunt with Dean and Sam," he offered quietly.  "They're freelancers for the Council."

"I heard.  They'll be at the meeting too."

"Good.  Then we can all catch up."  He looked him over.  "You're too thin."

"The last group lived on what me and the few men left could hunt, Uncle Clay.  I'm not going to starve a little kid so I can eat more."

"I get that.  We'll get something subtle for dinner."  Xander nodded at that, shifting some.  He leaned closer, silently asking for some comfort.  Clay let him rest against his arm. "You've done a hell of a job, kid.  I'm proud," he said quietly.


"John would be amazed."


Clay smiled as the boy fell asleep against his arm.  He made a hand motion, getting a nod and they drove on for a bit longer.  Let the kid rest as much as he could.  They all remembered their first time back after being in danger.


Dean looked up as he walked into the hotel room.  "This is nicer than we have," Dean said, looking around.

"This came with a really deep tub so Xander could soak," Clay said dryly.  "No Sam?"

"Pouty.  He's downstairs and he'll be up after he checks on the slayer we've been working with."  He looked around, getting a point.  He looked in the bedroom, grimacing at the too-thin, overly muscled boy asleep in there.  "Where?" he asked.

"The last few months in Sudan."

Dean nodded.  "Handcuffs?"

"He feels called to it," he told him simply.  "He still needs a haircut and something simple and not too spicy for dinner."

Dean texted that to Sam, getting back a suggestion.  Dean agreed and Sam went to get it.  "We can do that.  I can help him trim that mess too."

"He might like that."  He got comfortable.  "How are you two?"

"Decent enough.  Being driven nuts by some of the younger girls."  He flopped down.  "Is he all right?"

"He's fine," Clay assured him with a small smile.  "Really, he's going to be okay."

"Thank God."

"We'll have to see what happens."  Xander came stumbling out, knife in his left hand.  "Put it down, kid.  We're not a threat."

Xander held up a hand, looking around.  "Hissing," he said, pointing at a vent.  "Stupid idiots.  Sleeping gas won't work on me."  He opened it with his knife and stabbed the canister's release valve to stop it.  He handed it over with the knife and went to clean up in the tub again.  "Hey, Dean."

"Thanks, Xander.  Sammy's on his way to pick up dinner.  We'll talk when you're out."

"Sure."  He closed the bathroom door.

Clay looked at it.  "That's not my job coming back.  We'd never use anything that homemade."  He called someone and they came to get the device.  "That's the kid's knife.  He heard it asleep."

"He's probably on guard against snakes."  Cougar carried it off.

Clay nodded.  "Maybe.  I always am.  Or when I'm in Australia."  Dean smirked at that.  "Or the Amazon."  Xander came out tying back his hair with a shoelace.  "We can get it cut."

"I don't care."  He flopped down, looking at Dean.  "So, bad times?"

"Slayer's a bit fussy.  Being a girl."

"PMS," Xander said.  "Get Sanya. I trained her but she had to be evacuated due to civil unrest and them deciding she's a witch that caused it."

"We'll ask about her," he said, looking him over.  "That's a lot of scars, Xander."

"Half of the ones on his chest came from a lion," Clay said, looking him over.  "Do I need to yell?"

Xander shrugged.  "Go for it if it makes you feel better, Uncle Clay."

"Probably not."

He shifted, looking over when someone knocked.  "That's not Sam."

"How do you know?" Clay asked.

"No food scents.  Dean said he was getting dinner."  He walked over and opened the door.  "Ah.  It's you guys.  Did you put the gas canister in the air vent?"  They pulled out a canister but Xander kicked both guards around and out.  "Better," he sighed, calling hotel security.  "Hi.  I'm in room 2554 and a few guys knocked on the door to attack us.  I recognize them as some people who helped take out a tribe I was working with.  Want me to mess up the rug with their blood or would you like to have them arrested?"  He smiled.

"That's fine.  Thank you."  He hung up and closed the door so he could stand there and wait on hotel security and the officer.  He showed them a picture and told them about the village's massacre while he was off on a hunting trip.  They had ID's from the regional government of that area.  They got arrested and charged with attempted assault.  Someone walked past and handed off the gas canister.  "I stabbed that when I heard it starting," he said with a grin.

"Thank you, sir," the officer said, walking them off.  "Stay here at least tonight in case we need a better statement?"

"Yeah.  I'm due for a haircut thanks to my uncle."

The officer looked then nodded.  "Could use a shave too, sir."  He left with them.

Xander grinned at the other guy.  "Hi."

"Feel better?"

"Much.  Thank you."  He knocked and got let in.  Sammy got there a minute later.  "I'll tell the Grosanick to bear you babies," he moaned, taking the bag to inhale the scent of.  "Thank you, Sam."  He grinned.

"That's yours.  The rest is being brought up in a minute," Sam said.  "One of the almost-uncles went with me."  Clay nodded at that.  "Who was that?"

"Guys who got mad at me because I told a lot of people about their government sanctioned village massacre.  It made the so-called progressive leader look really evil, like he was."  He took out a sandwich and grinned.  "Thank you, Sammy."

"Welcome, Xander."  He grinned.  "What are Grossanick demons?"

"They're breeders who can breed with anyone but they're actually on the side of light. There's been a few slayers born of a crossing that were really good and things."  He ate a bite and moaned.  "Oh, perfect."

Dean grinned.  Sam grinned.  Clay handed him half of his.  Xander gave them all hugs and dug in again.  "Meeting's tomorrow, bitch," Dean said.

"Okay.  I can wake up for that."  Sam handed him a bottle of water, getting another hug.  "You're my favorite cousin right now."

"I can help you find a hooker," Dean offered dryly.  "Since I'm the fantastic big brother sort."

Xander looked at him.  "Why would I need one?"

"Because you're too honorable to take out a girl in a village," Clay said dryly.  "Unless you went to the breeding demons?"

"Eww, no, snipped.  After I left her at the altar."  He ate another bite.  "I don't know.  We just took down a huge ass problem that was hyping some human problems the other day.  We had to evacuate some of the girls from the more hardcore Islamic countries due to them not liking slayers."  He sighed and ate another bite.  "Plus a few attacks."

Clay stared at him.  "You good?"

Xander stared back.  "Do you really want to hear about it?"

"I can listen."

Xander shook his head.  "I'm good."

"How about a short vacation from work then?" he offered.

Xander shrugged. "Maybe.  Can it be somewhere chilly?"

"There's a few this time of year."

"Cool."  He finished his food and his water, then leaned back with a sigh of pleasure.  "That helped."

Clay smiled.  "Haircut?"

"If I must."

"Yeah, you must.  You get more respect if you don't look like you just walked out of a cave."  He got up and the boys went with him.  He got the information from one of his guys about that little problem and Xander's current reputation.  He paused him in a doorway, holding it up.  Xander stared back.  "Well?"

"It needed to be done," he said quietly.

Clay smiled.  "You do the line proud, kid."  Xander beamed.  "But don't turn into me."

"I'm not.  I'm turning into the next generation of badass."

"Clearly."  He walked him off.  "Was that all of it?"

"No.  But some probably won't be talked about outside of Africa."

"That's probably a good thing though.  Subtle is always better, kid."

Xander nodded.  "Plus it means less stress."

"Definitely.  No one's hunting for you?"

"I'm not sure why they are since they got smeared in the press.  Said it was 'target practice and unfortunately a few local villagers got in the way'."  They shared a look.  "Some people got pictures of it and it came out after that.  Plus it got pointed out that you don't take target practice in a populated area.  That's called murder and when some of the local missionaries came in for their monthly doctor visits to the other natives in the area they found the same thing and got it back to more people.  They got pissy and I don't blame them.  Taking it out on me is stupid.  They fired the military leaders in charge for it."

"There's no way your death would cover it up so there may be something deeper that someone's trying to cover up that way," Clay told him.

"Maybe.  I'm tired of paranoid people."  They walked out to the car together.


Xander sat down at the meeting table, far away from Willow because he was mad at her again.  Dean and Sam sat near him but the seat next to him was taken by one of the LA crew.  "Gunn," he said, shaking his hand.

"Xander.  Cute haircut."

"Uncle Clay made me get one last night after I got to eat and rest."  He smiled.  "The poor barber nearly had a heart attack when he found all the tangles and things."

"I bet you did," Willow agreed, smiling at him.

He stared at her.  "I'm still mad."

"Fine."  She huffed.  "It's childish."

"You nearly got me killed, Willow.  I'm going to be pissed for a good, long time."  Dean glared at her for that.

"You needed the stuff.  You said so."

"So you dropped a twenty pound mace on top of me while I was asleep?  I thought you could scry."  She moaned but leaned back so he couldn't glare at her anymore.  He looked at Gunn again.  "Heavy, iron thing.  Sharp.  Pointy.  Concussion.  Infection in the wound."

"I bet.  You good now?"

"Better."  He looked over as the others were let in.  He nodded at the few he knew.  "So, why call the general meeting for the first time, Giles."

He smiled.  "Xander, it's good to have you back stateside."

Xander stared at him.  "You saw me six months ago."

"I know but your lightness is missed around the center."  He put papers down.  "We're here to discuss some policy issues and some complaints made."  He cleared his throat, looking around.  "The complaints should go first because I believe half of them are policy issues really."  He sat down.  "We have a complaint saying that some of you have been consorting with demons."

One of the old watchers stood up.  "It was told to some of us that more than a few of the new council was consorting, Mr. Giles."

"Consorting as in demon poker or consorting as in Xander dated again?" Willow asked.  Xander threw something at her, making her teleport out of the way.  "Sorry!" she shouted from her new corner.

"Anya lost her life in Sunnydale, Willow.  Show some respect," he said coldly.  "After all, you said she was a friend."

"She was.  I didn't mean it that way!  Just a joke to ease some tension!"

"That's his job," Buffy reminded her.   "What sort of consorting?  Because if they're harmless, the rules state there's nothing going to be said."

"I was not aware slayers had a say," he said dryly.

"She's on the senior board," Giles said.  "We are here for the girls' benefit, not our own."

"Fine, if you must know, Mr. Harris was said to be consorting with a few very harmful demons to make some people's lives hell."

Xander snickered.  "I bribed two snake demons with some freshly caught game to bring some information and help to another village that needed it against a demon that was their enemy anyway.  That's not consorting.  Consorting is sucking their cocks," he told that watcher, who gasped and backed away from him.

"There's no problem with him having to use a messenger that happens to be a demon," Giles said.  "How far away were you, Xander?"

"Weeks of hiking.  The battle was that night.  Part of the package was some herbs that were an antidote to that one's spit."

"Then I see no problems with that," Giles said, making that note on the form.  "I see one saying that someone doesn't see why we have off-site training."

Xander stood up.  "Okay, I'm going to be real blunt here with the stupid idiots from the old council," he said, looking at that group, who glared at him.  "Not all the demons in the world moved to Cleveland.  There's plenty in the rest of the world.  I've heard this complaint once already this month."

"We should move them to more civilized areas," one huffed.

"Then who's going to protect the people out there?" Xander shot back.  "Not all demons live in cities.  Especially not this one.  By the reports *I* got given, we're missing two full *towns* in South America.  Not to mention some smaller groups of native peoples in Central America.  A whole tribe of natives in Canada.  A lot of civilians in Asia.  Did you think the rest of the world's demons were going to be moving here to Cleveland just because there's a  hellmouth?"

"They're *primitives*," he sneered.  "Who cares?"

Xander punched him, making him scream and hit the floor.  "They're people.  They deserve to be protected if we can.  That's the job in case you forgot.  Just because they can do fantastic things with herbs and choose not to have cellphones doesn't make them less worthy of protection."  He looked at Giles.  "We need to set up multiple houses.  At least two on every continent but we can probably cut down to one for Australia and New Zealand each."  He sat down.  "I've had a lot of the community come up to me to talk about how people are getting attacked and no one's doing anything because all the slayers are in Cleveland."

"That is something we've been working on," Giles told him.  "Including sending slayers back to their native habitats.  The girls you've had to send for their own protection have done a lot of credit to the slayer name, Xander.  Though, do not hit him again."

Xander snorted.  "He's an ass and a bigot.  I don't put up with it when they invade the village to take slaves.  I'm sure as hell not going to sit and let them do it here."

"I do agree.  Next time, injure him some other way."

"Fine, I'll shoot 'im."  He shifted to get comfortable.  "Also," he said, glaring at the old line.  "The underground is reporting two major apocalypses, not one.  The same as the visions I've had show three, not one."  Giles moaned.  "The underground said that two of the ones I've seen are actually related.  Dual parts of a whole.  That's in Cairo and Belize.  The other one is on one of the Pacific Islands but I'm not sure which one."

"Did you send those to the researchers?" Giles asked.


Giles looked.  "I don't have a copy.  I'll look those up in a bit."  Xander tossed down something.  He caught it with a smile.  "Thank you for being prepared.  Any demons we might know of?"

"Higher levels, like the roaming ones deal with."

"You know some?" one demanded.

"Watch me wipe the floor with you, dude," Dean offered.  "We are your best trainers and yes we've been roaming hunters for years."  The man flinched.  "There's more of us than there are of you.  Get over it."

"Agreed," Buffy said.  "You guys handle a lot of stuff so we don't have to.  Xander, I was in Rome.  Why didn't I get told anything?"

"Partially, your boyfriend freaked them out.  Some of them saw you as being on vacation."  She smiled and nodded that was true.  "Also, they knew telling me would get a lot more done because you won't hit the hidebound asses when they need it.  They know I'm not going to do more than enjoy it."

"Good point.  I hate breaking nails."  She smirked at them.  "Xander is on the senior council."  A few got up and stomped off.  "Bye!" she called with a wave.  "Xander, do you have any idea on placement of the new houses?"

"A few suggestions based on population fluxes.  London doesn't really need a full house.  Wales needs one for some reason but it's not fully demons.  There's been some temporal spikes and things.  I don't think a witch should go, she might get hurt by the fluxing power there.  I do think a few slayers who're very fast on their feet and who can go from demon to 'whatever, it's eating someone' and figure out what they are on the run."

"I can agree with that," she said, looking at Giles, who nodded.  He made that note.  "Any other areas?"

"Paris's catacombs has a growing vampire army and a leader they resurrected.  That's part of the problem that's going to Belize.  They're going to be run into by a slayer or fear that they are so they're going to finish plotting their takeover bid there."

"That is very good to know," Giles agreed.  "Smaller houses instead of full houses, Xander?"

"Yes.  Smaller, few slayers, training area, one researcher sort of houses.  Team approach it, Giles.  Like how we started."

"I can definitely see that going on," he agreed with a smile for him.  "I know we had one in Lisbon who had been attacked recently."

"Yeah, her boyfriend."  He shifted and shrugged at the dirty looks.  "It wasn't a demon that burned the house down."

"Not her, the one before her," Buffy said.

"Oh, her.  Yeah, major demon.  It wanted to own her because she's pure and all that shit."  He waved a hand.  "He was one of the D'Hoffryn level demons.  That was a case of being there means drawing them to us."

"Us?" Willow demanded.  "Are you female?"

Xander looked at her.  "No, I've had to deal with three different challenges to me training the girls in the last few months, Willow.  They hear hellmouth and decide I'm just as good."  She snorted at that.  "Whatever since I ended up killing them all."  He looked at Giles again.  "I wrote it up," he said at the horrified look.  "It was in my monthly email report."

"I need to go over those better," he said, making another note.  "The next complaint is that the girls are being spoiled and coddled."

"Only some of the American ones," Xander said dryly.  "Minny, from Bangladesh, isn't spoiled or pampered.  She complains we're not hard enough on her."

"Some of the girls can complain about pretty stupid stuff," Buffy admitted.  "Like mandatory schooling."

Xander snickered. "The ones I found in Cali before I went to Africa?"

"Yup.  How did you know?"

"They were a princess at home, Buffy."

"Good to know."  She leaned on the table.  "How do we combat that?"

"We need someone like your mother," Xander told her.  "If they were council raised, they haven't had parents outside of a watcher.  If they weren't, then they're probably running wild because they don't have a parent.  You guys need a parental figure that's going to enforce rules like curfew, condom use, that stuff."

"I play big sister but you're right," Buffy admitted.  "I had Mom and I turned out really good because I had her to beat me when I needed to be yelled at."

"That is a good idea.  I would do so but I'm too busy usually," Giles agreed.  "Especially if they spread out.  What can you recommend for that, anyone?"

"Someone specifically over it," Willow said.  "Maybe one regionally if we can manage it.  That way they don't have to travel more often.  They can pop in to do room inspections and things then head to the next one."

"That's not a bad idea," Giles agreed.  He wrote that down too.  "Any others?"

"Breaking the world into regions," Buffy said.  "We need them anyway to assign new houses."

"That's also a good point," Giles agreed.  "It would keep anyone from getting too overloaded.  Plus it may let us spread out some talents a bit among the clusters."  He made that note as well.  "All right, the next one is that ... we are not being subtle enough.  I see it states that Xander seems to have turned into a vengeance god?"  He looked at the boy.

"They took out a whole village because they could," Xander said simply.  "Of course I mentioned the genocide of the native people there.  Because I nearly did get vengeance for them."

"That is a situation I can sympathize with.  I could not let genocide reign either."  He looked at the boy.  "Sanya has said that there's been rumors about you.  That you're nearly mythical."

Xander smirked.  "Sometimes you gotta do the right job, Giles.  I just spent four months in Sudan helping my girl there in the refugee camp she was working in.  Yeah, there's probably stories about how I helped some people that nearly got taken.  How we helped defeat an attack on the camp to get slaves and unwilling soldiers."  Giles blanched at that.  Xander stared back.  "The job isn't always demons.  Buffy stopped some pickpockets.  I stopped some soldiers because I could and needed to."

Giles cleared his throat.  "I dare say your uncle will not be happy," he noted.  He was fidgeting with his pen.

Xander snorted.   "Uncle Clay already asked on the way to get me a haircut.  His people have pipelines of information when they want to use them."

"Which he did," Sam assured him.  "Uncle Clay had his team get a lot of info after some government stooges decided to try to attack him here for turning in that massacre.  I don't think he was that happy."

"I wasn't so I know he wasn't," Xander said.  "Then again, I had a pretty set circuit of how I visited the girls.  I'm sure he heard some hunting rumors between the slayers and their families.  I know he about had a brain meltdown when he first saw me with the eyepatch and found out I had fought off a lion trying to eat a village kid."

"No one can do that," Willow snorted.

"Ask Sanya.  It was in her village," Xander told her.  "I had Inana with me too."  She glared at him so he took off his t-shirt.  "All these curved claw scars are from that except the one on my stomach."

Giles grimaced.  "You have clearly had a lot of problems, Xander.  Are you going to stay stateside for a bit?"

"No.  Vacation yes, otherwise no.  I think we should rotate out the field watchers.  Give them more experience.  Most of them couldn't handle living in the desert.  Or in the jungle.  I've had to do both."  Giles shuddered.  "Half of the old guys can't even find their way out of a library or fight their way out of a sale at the mall."

"I could send Sam or Dean to relieve you," Giles offered.  "It has done you a world of good in matters of your confidence."

"If Sammy goes, I go," Dean noted dryly.  "I might go for a few weeks, or go learn from Xander in the badlands down there."  Xander grinned at him.  "I think it's too dangerous for just one watcher though.  It leaves him out of the right spot often enough to cause pain."

"You start to get very acclimated within a month or so," Xander told him.  "When I had to hit Fez to send Sanya over, I was nearly amazed at the buildings until I reminded myself I'd seen brighter, shinier, and taller."

"Isn't Fez a hat?" Buffy asked with a confused look on her face.

"It's also a city in Morocco," Xander told her.  "The last stop before the desert."

She nodded. "Okay.  Was it pretty?  Could a senior slayer take over?"

"Do any of the older girls know how to not bathe daily and not shop for months on end?"

"Some," she admitted with a small smile.  "No shopping at all?"

"In the cities, mostly for food for the group.  I haven't done more than that in a while."  He looked at Giles.  "Speaking of paychecks...."

"I've been putting it into your account, Xander."

"No you haven't."  He tossed down something.  "That's a statement from my account.  I haven't been paid since before I left for Africa."

"Oh."  He looked it over then tucked it into his notebook with a note on it.  "I'll rectify that very quickly."  Xander nodded at that, relaxing again.  "That way you can buy some new clothes for your next trip.  We could use you to go gather in other areas if you wanted to switch duties."

"No.  Thank you anyway."

"Fine."  He looked at the reports then put out the first policy suggestion.  They clearly needed one.


Giles found Xander later that night where he had asked him to meet him.  "Xander, the payroll clerk said you quit years ago by phone."

The boy stared at him for a minute.  "Giles, I haven't had access to a phone since I left," he said dryly.  "How would I do that?"

"That's what I was afraid you'd say."  He sat down across from him.  "I have corrected that oversight but she's not pleased."

"Then she can find another group to work with," Xander said with a small shrug.  "Are they sabotaging anyone but me?"  Giles scowled.  "First they complain that I'm doing my job, then they want to keep me from doing my job.  It sounds like most of them want to see me gone, Giles."

"I don't," he assured him, patting him on the hand.  "We do miss you around the main office."

Xander grimace.  "I could tell.  No emails from anyone in years."

Giles sighed.  "The girls don't understand why you had to go.  I know you were grieving."

"I'm about the only one of all of us who could handle that duty.  Not like you can drop Buffy in a desert."

"No, you really can't," he agreed.  "Nor me I'm afraid."  He looked at the boy.  "I do not know their reasons."

"I'm about out of patience with them.  I've seen three watchers who tried to claim the girls from their villages.  We had that sharp, pointy talk of doom with one."

"I heard about that and I agreed with you.  They need to stay where they're comfortable to protect the local populations."  He sighed, glancing around.  "Your uncle is fairly over-protective today."

"That's because he found some new things out."  He smirked at his uncle, who only scowled back from a few tables over.  Xander grinned at Giles again.  "He heard about Sarabeth's plans."

"Ah.  We did stop her," he called.

"Not enough since there's a two grand contract out to capture him.  Not to mention the other three, nephew."

"I only knew about two.  What's the other?"

"The same people."

"Ah."  He nodded, looking at his mentor again.  He shrugged.  "I did the right thing."

"Yes you did," he agreed with a smile.  "I'm quite proud of how you've handled the toughest of all the assignments anyone in the Council or among the slayers could ever be called to do.  Though I'm concerned that you're not eating."

"If I eat too much now, my body will think we're just out of a famine and keep extra weight on me in case it happens again.  Then my metabolism is screwed."

"I hadn't realized that.  Are things that tough?"

"That depends on where you are.  Out in the bush?  Yeah, sometimes.  They have a drought every summer due to the high heat.  A lot of it is depending on what you can catch and maybe harvest.  Plus if your people raise meat beasts.  The jungle's a bit easier.  More water usually, more creatures to shoot and eat."

"Oh."  He blinked a few times.  "Plus you've been in a refugee camp."

"Yup. And caught a few fevers," he admitted.

"I heard that," Clay said.  "You're getting a full physical."

"Sure, but make sure they don't want to keep my blood, Uncle Clay."  Clay glared.  "Thanksgiving."

"They can find it?" he demanded.

"Yeah."  He smirked.  "You didn't hear how someone tried to capture me to do that?  Speaking of, Giles, is he still dead?"

"Yes, you got him and his host that time.  A very stupid demon."

"Well, yeah," he agreed dryly. "So," he said.  "Uncle Clay says I need a vacation somewhere as frigid as I can make it."  Giles laughed.  "Maybe for a month?  Can we have someone cover?"

"I can send Dawn and two of the younger girls to learn the lessons that the more natural slayers have known for years.  Ones your cousins have passed into field work of course.  They do a very good job teaching how to hunt and track."

"That'll come in handy."

"Excellent, I'll arrange that tonight and have your paycheck cut tomorrow, plus make sure that everything's still going properly.  I have no idea what they have against you."

"Giles, I warped the slayer line.  If it wasn't for me bringing Buffy back, none of this would've been possible.  Not to mention the old Council wanted my ass on a stick for jumping in at all."

"He did?" he demanded.

"Yeah, Travers had a ten grand contract on his life but I warned a lot of people off it," Clay said as he came over.  "We can't go anywhere too cold, nephew.  You'll lose your tolerance for the heat."

Xander looked at him.  "Somewhere in another country?"

"New Zealand's nice this time of year and it's cooler too."  Xander beamed at him for that suggestion.  "I have to do a bit of training with someone down there.  A new team.  It's a favor thing."  He patted him on the head.  Then he looked at Giles.  "I'll protect him."

"Thank you.  It eases many worries."  He shook his hand and stood up.  "Xander, talk to me tomorrow when you get up.  We'll see what I can do about stopping that putrid hatred issue."

"Sure.  Thanks, Giles."

"You're quite welcome."  He left them alone.

Xander looked at his uncle.  "You never heard about that?"

"No, I probably would've lost my temper."

"Well, it was a demon," he offered dryly.

"Uh-huh.  C'mon."  He walked off, his nephew following.   He found the doctor he wanted to check him over.  Underground doctor but he knew a lot.  "Absolute silence," he ordered.

"Of course.  Is the young soldier having post combat issues with an injury?"

"He's just back from a two year stint in Africa.  He's had a few fevers while there.  He had some diseases dropped into his blood a few years back.  He's getting checked out before I release him on vacation."

"Oh, my."  He let the boy into the exam room and looked him over.  "Do you want him to stay, young man."

"He's my uncle.  Let him growl so I don't have to tell him."  He took off his shirt and sat on the table.  "Need me to take off the pants too?  He made me wear underwear today."

"No, that's fine."  He checked him over.  He was very healthy looking for the most part.  He drew some blood and started to spin it so he could do a few tests.  "Your eye is a recent injury?"

"Before I went to Africa," he said, taking off the patch.  The doctor hissed at the scarring around it.  "Some insane preacher had a dirty fingernail.  He decided I needed to see differently."

"You're with the Council," he said.  Xander nodded once.  "You're the Clawed One?"

"That's what one Shaman called me.  Usually I go by Xander."

"Ah."  He stared in the hole.  "That needs a good rinse."

"I can do that later.  I'm being careful not to over eat as well."

"That's a wise decision."  He moved the blood to a machine and let it run.  Another sample got run on something else in the next room.  He came back.  "You are quite tired looking but otherwise healthy.  How many fevers and do you know what they were?"

"The missionaries who run that traveling clinic said one looked like I got teste fly bitten.  Whatever that gives you.  I know I was so fevered I was hallucinating penguins."  Clay snickered at that.  "I asked a priest if he was one," he said with a smirk for his uncle.  Then at the doctor.  "I've had four and one that I think was food poisoning."

"Interesting."  He went to check the results, coming back frowning.  "Young man, are you wearing a suicide patch?"  Clay's gun cleared the holster.  "He should be," he told him.  He let him see the bloodwork.

Clay read it over.  "You're a virologist's wet dream, kid.  Damn."  He put the gun back.

Xander leaned over.  "Thanksgiving," he said with a point.  "Both dead strains."  He looked over the rest.  "Huh."  He sat up again, looking at the doctor.  "Am I okay otherwise?  Uncle Clay said I get to take a vacation."

"I think you'd do fine with some rest and some careful eating."

"Doc, I'm not going to take food from someone else," he said dryly.  "Especially since I was last seen defending a refugee camp in Sudan."

"That's admirable.  You're doing fine," he promised.  "Try to put back on ten pounds or so.  Talk about that emergency patch."  He handed the boy his shirt.  He and Clay left with the bloodwork papers but he had an ethical dilemma now.  Someone on the Council wanted the boy's blood to test.  Someone else would pay him most handsomely for the same information.  He could be rich within two phone calls and a few hours.  The uncle would surely not like that and might retaliate, if the boy didn't himself.  The rumors said he was a bit mean.

What to do, he mentally sighed.


Clay walked the boy into their shared hotel room, looking at him.  "How in the hell?"

"Who knows," he said with a shrug.  "The two old ones were from the damn ghosts that decided to plague us for Thanksgiving one year."

"Only you," he sighed.

"Basically, yeah, until you have a kid," he said with a grin.  He got swatted for it too.

Jensen walked in after a quick knock.  "We gotta move.  Someone just put out a major call for the kid's blood."  Clay handed over the paper with a sigh.  "No wonder!  How in the hell, Xander?"

"Two were from dead Native Americans that we accidentally disturbed," he said dryly.  "Council or not?"


Xander called Willow.  "It's me.  Yes, I'm deigning to talk to you because someone on the Council just put out a hefty price to get my blood, Willow.  Yeah, all that and a few fevers in Africa.  Going tonight actually.  Tell Giles.  Laters."  He hung up and looked at his uncle.  "So, I have an emergency fund coming.  I have stuff that I shipped back that could be safely liquidated.  Can we go tonight?"

"We can go in the morning.  There's no flights tonight.  I checked.  Let's go see your stash.  That might be fastest."  Xander nodded, leading him to the warehouse.  He blinked.  There were crates of things.  "Artifacts?"

Xander pointed at one high stack.  "Demons eating the pirates?"

Clay opened one and whistled.  "That's sweet."

Xander grinned.  "I thought it might come in handy."

"Maybe."  He looked around a few more boxes.  "I need to call Marcia."

"Go ahead.  It's probably safe in here since there's a magically applied security system."  He went to look, finding something.  "Hey, I did send that jerky by accident."  He nibbled on some, hopping up onto a box with a grin.  "You might have to hand this one over.  It's kinda...huge."

Clay came over to look and whistled.  "Yeah, I know a few agents who would love to scream about however you found that."

Xander shrugged.  "I tinkered."

"You ..."  Xander nodded.  "Why?"

"I got sick.  I got tired.  I had to do something since I couldn't get out of bed.  The missionaries and their nurses got horrified so I told them I sent it to an agent who just happened to be my uncle."  He grinned.

"I could've used that," he admitted, going to call someone else.  They showed up quietly since he told them that he had found it while guarding someone from a high price on his head.  The agent walked in and paused.  "You know each other?"

"Hey, Miller," Xander said with a wave.  "Which one are you here for?"


"Yeah.  Is he here for the bomb?"  His uncle nodded.  "I got sick as hell and tinkered while in bed."  He hopped down to let him see it.  "Head's up, someone at the Council and a few others want my blood."

"I heard about Thanksgiving."

"Worse now," Xander admitted.

"Wonderful!" he said sarcastically.  "What's all this?"

"Shit I found in Africa."

"Ah."  He nodded.  "What are you doing now?"

"Going on vacation then probably back to Africa."

"Ah."  He nodded.

"You two know each other how?" Clay asked impatiently.

"Initiative," Xander said with a point.  "But he helped wreck the shit."

"Oh."  He looked at him.  "I didn't know that."

"It's better.  We're in Homeland protecting everyone with the Council.  I learned the slayer way."

"Fine," Clay said.  "Deal with it for the kid.  Anything else you tinkered, nephew?"

Xander grinned.  "Yes."  He got a sigh and Xander went to show him around the warehouse area.  Clay was highly amused and a bit pissed off.  "I should paddle," Clay said.

"Why?  I just picked it up.  The village said that finding those things brought misfortune and soldiers so they told me to send them away."  He shrugged.  "I figured I might need to trade them for supplies sometime."

"That's reasonable," he decided, updating that information.  A contact of his contact center/gear finder/reservation maker Marcia showed up to look things over.

Xander grinned at Graham, who shook his head back and left with his bombs. "Could've been worse," Xander told his uncle when he stalked back his way.  "I could've been twins, triplets...."

"Quit giving me bad thoughts, Xander."

"Fine."  He smirked.  "Nice hotel down there?"

"Yeah, a very nice resort hotel."

"Will we have problems if someone shows up?"

"No.  It's run by someone I worked with a long time ago, when I was your age."


"He's a bit too nerdy for that."  The contact came back to ask Xander questions.  Apparently he had heard about him.  Clay was getting quickly unamused about that.  "I'm going to teach you subtlety."

Xander grinned.  "You'll never hear half of it."

"Is it worse or better?" Clay asked.

"I guess that depends on your point of view and which side you're on."

"I want to know."

"We'll talk on vacation.  That way the new guys can use me as a role model."  He gave his uncle a cheesy, politician's grin.

"Possibly," he said dryly.  His contact coughed but handed over the computer he carried to take notes on.  It had the information file on the boy from the CIA.  Clay read it, nodding at it.  "That's something we knew."  The guy got into another site and it was much more informative.  "Definitely paddling him," he muttered.  He handed it back with an evil look.  "He's my nephew."

"Clearly.  Though you're less insane."

Xander looked at him.  "It was necessary at the time.  I'm not insane."

"Another point of view thing," Clay assured him with a pat.  "We'll have dinner after this."

"Cool.  Can I have fries?  I've been craving fries for weeks."

"You're not pregnant right?"

"If I am, will you kill the witch who did it for me?" Xander quipped.

"Yes.  Then I'll let the chuckle twins have them."  Xander beamed at that, bouncing some.  The weapons dealer paid him for them and got the gems to someone who could handle them.  They walked off with money and an empty warehouse for the next time Xander found things.  Which Clay hoped he wouldn't.  It was freaky.


Xander lounged beside the pool, staring at the pretty bodies behind his sunglasses.  His uncle fit in pretty well.  Xander's sunscreen had a tint to it to help hide the scars.  He'd never get play with all those scars.  He saw a pretty African American woman stroll in wearing a pair of tight pants and a nicely showy top.  Heels.  "Huh," he murmured, watching her walk.

"Eyes left, junior," Clay called from his spot on the other side of the pool.  "Aisha."

"Damn."  Xander sighed and got comfortable watching the others.

"Clay."  She stared at him over the rim of her sunglasses.  "I'm told you know more about who took Max out?"

"I do."

"Are you going to share it?"

"I can't prove anything but I know it was someone that my nephew was mixed up defending against."

"Interesting."  She looked over there then at him.  "He looks like he's a geek like Jensen."

Clay smirked.  "Appearances can be deceiving for both of them.  Xander's just spent two years working with the slayers in Africa."

She gave him an impressed look.  "That's the one in Sudan?"

"Yup," he said dryly.  "He likes bad girls too."

She gave him a dirty look.  "Would he know?"

"Maybe.  I didn't ask."

"Why not?"

"Because they fixed all our needs, whoever did it."

"Hmm."  She walked over to the kid.

"My uncle said I can't even think about you, lady."

She smirked at him.  "That's up to you to follow his orders."

"I'm the next generation of badass in the family," he quipped with a smile.   He held up a hand.  "Xander."

"Aisha."  She shook it, smiling at him.  "What do you do?"


"I heard about you.  What are you doing down here?"

"Vacation.  Uncle Clay said so.  Then probably back to Africa."

She stared at him, then looked at Clay, who nodded.  "Seriously?  He's that Xander?"

He walked over.  A new chair in the sun was nicely warm.  He had needed this vacation just as much as the kid had.  "Yeah.  I'm finding out all sorts of stuff from him."

Xander snickered.  "Going back how far?"

"All of it."

"Jesse and I used to shoplift comics and trading cards."

"I always thought Willow was the bad influence," he said dryly.

"Actually, her mother said I was."

"I'm sure it'll be epic when I kick her ass," Clay told him blandly.

"Is she yours?  If not, is she evil enough to be one of mine?"

"No, and probably not.  She might know some though."

Xander beamed at her.  "Know any evil women who might like to have some fun while I'm on vacation?"

She snickered.  "Evil?  Have to be evil?"

"They're the only ones that like me."

Clay nodded.  "It's unfortunate.  He nearly married someone once who was a descended demon."

"She got her job back too," Xander said dryly.  "Then lost it because she had grown a conscience with me."

Clay looked at him.  "Lack of sex warping her or just you?"

"I'm pretty sure it was just me since she couldn't learn that on Oprah."  Clay snickered at that.

Aisha looked at him.  "Where are you from?"


"Oh."  She blinked a few times.  "You were there when it sank?"

"I was in that battle," he told her.

"Then I might talk you up to some of the women I know."  She looked at Clay.  "How long are you on vacation for?"

"The old guy asked me to help him train a new group."

"Wonderful."  She smiled at him.  "Getting him laid?"

"If he wants."

She sighed, shaking her head.  "I think he's warped you too."

Xander looked at her.  "I can kick your ass."

"Clay can't."

He smirked.  "I'm the next generation of badass and he has honor for women usually.  I know what evil bitches some women are and have no problem with it."  She backed up a step.  "Not usually but if they prove they need it."  He smiled sweetly.

"I'd never hurt him."

"Good!  I don't want to be the last of the family.  I might have to spawn and name them after him.  Maybe call him back to possess the kid."

"Don't even think about it, Xander."

Xander smiled at him.  "Then I'd prompt the cousins to spawn.  I will not be the last of this family."

"We'll talk about that later," he said dryly.  "And how to get Dean and Sam to give you kids to watch over."

"Cool."  He smirked at her.  "So why show up?  I have a whole separate room if you want to make him squeal and hurt his back.  I can even hit the bar if you need more space."

"I'll take you up on that after dinner.  You look like you need to eat."

"I'll have dinner with someone pretty.  Take him and make him enjoy his vacation too."

She smirked.  "Thank you for that permission."  She smiled at Clay.  "Dinner?"

"I can eat.  Kid, eat dinner soon.  That way you have the energy to catch one of the scantily clad mermaid wannabes in the pool."  He walked her off.

"Eww.  They're not black, tarry monsters," Xander complained.  Clay laughed.  Xander went to get a drink, non-alcoholic, and went back to watching the prettiness.  Maybe he'd find a local club later.  He hadn't gotten down outside of dancing around a fire in years.


Xander was watching the stars that night from beside the pool, after dinner, when Aisha came back out.  "If you're already done with him, he deserves better."

She smirked at him.  "We can take a break for now."  She stared at him.  "You know the person who double-crossed your uncle?"

"I did hear about that, yes."

"Did you hear who ended him?  I'd like to talk to them."  Xander stared at her.  "It's...personal."

"Hmm, heard that too."  He smirked and kicked her, knocking her into the pool.  With her boots, weapons, and clothes, she sank into the deep end until she could catch herself.

"I'm pretty sure she can swim, kid," Clay complained as he walked over.

"Then go save her like the hero stud you are," Xander said, getting up to shove him in too.   Clay spluttered and Aisha was still spluttering.  He stared at them.  "Give me cousins to fuss over, Aisha.  Make me a happy hunting boy."  He walked off looking smug.  Pooch was staring at him in horror.  He smirked at him.  "They need to relax and have some fun too.  How's the sprout?"

"Doing pretty good.  He's babbling at his mother tonight while she reads him a story."

"Cool."  He grinned and walked back inside.

Pooch and Jensen shared a look then went out there.  The two were glaring at each other.  Jensen coughed.  "The question of who cleared our files finally managed to be answered weeks ago."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Clay demanded.

Jensen stared at him, then pointed at her.  "Because you wanted to keep that for a while longer."

"Who cleared up the files?" Aisha asked, hauling herself out of the pool.  Clay did the same and grabbed them some towels to dry them off.  "Thank you."

"A Captain Riley Finn and his wife, also Captain Finn.  Now of Homeland.  Formerly of a UN sponsored closed, top secret program."  They both stared at him, Clay looking pissed.  "I don't know that name.  Did we run into them?"

"Roque went in to help get the Initiative out," Clay grumbled.  "Because we heard the kid got involved trying to stop a special ops program in his town that was testing demons by torture."  Aisha shuddered.  He looked at her.  "No, worse than you think."  He looked at Jensen again, smirking just a bit.  "Captain Finn was the one who turned traitor to end them.  Some of his teammates are Graham Miller and that idiot you wanted to shoot in the ass last year."

"Who you gave Xander's bombs to," he said, wincing at that.  "They're Council aligned now."

"Clearly."  He rubbed the towel over his hair.  "So, anything on how he died?"

"Yeah, he died in Sunnydale right after it fell," he said.  Aisha stared at him then ran inside.

"He's going to kick her ass," Clay complained.  It'd mean less sex for him later so he followed.

"I do not want any damage to my rooms like what usually happens when you and Aisha spar for foreplay, Clay," the owner called after him.  Clay glared.  "I know one got shot up, one got set on fire.  Not here you're not."

"I'm not planning on it."  He went to save his nephew.  Aisha was being pinned to the ground by Xander, who had a slim dagger pressing into her throat.  "Xander."

"She pounced.  Clearly evil enough," he told her.  He stared at her.  "Family is protected and sacred among us, Aisha.  Unless you can understand that, you should flee from us.  I'll get Dean and Sam to hunt you down and have you possessed so you can be easily killed during the exorcism."  She shook her head, trying to struggle but for some reason she couldn't.  "I told you that stuff would paralyze you for a few hours," he reminded her dryly.  "Now, what did you want to know?"

"Who capped Max?" Clay asked calmly.  "And what did you use on her?"

"Demon goo paralyzer."  He looked up.  "Max showed up twice in Sunnydale.  The first time before he tried to screw you.  The second days after the town fell.  I was up there saying goodbye before I went hunting the girls and then to Africa.  He tried to smarm me to find out what had caused all that damage.  So I kindly showed him."  Clay shuddered.  "A not immediately fatal head shot then I let the hellmouth open from that little hole that's left.  The tentacle pulled him in, unfortunately after he died with how he had to be smooshed.  No one touches my family that way.  I got the demon that took out Uncle John and Aunt Mary, and the one that nearly got you too."  He got off Aisha, putting the knife back into his hidden holster.  "You being pissy is why I didn't tell you."  He stared him down.

"I wanted to know and I'm not pissed.  But he was dangerous."

Xander snorted.  "The first time he had two bodyguards.  One a demon.  The other some guy.  I had Willow knock them out and drove them to the beach to see if Fate wanted to keep them alive after I killed the demon bodyguard.  Pity but the vamps decided it wasn't worth opening the unlocked car door for them."

Pooch gaped at the kid.  "You're usually goofy, sweet, nice...."

"Badass junior, and highly overprotective of what's mine to guard," Xander added with a smug look.  "You can also add in stubborn."  He looked at his uncle then grinned and hugged him.  "I wasn't going to tell you so you'd have a lot more time with the aunt.  That way I get new cousins to fuss over.  I can teach them things, help them when they want to start dating, let the slayers take them shopping...."  He walked off, going to his room and closing the door, clearly locking it.  "Night, Aunt Aisha, Uncle Clay."

Clay looked at his guys, nodding them to go.  They fled.  Clay squatted down to check on her.  "You good?"  She blinked twice.  "It hurt?"  She blinked once.  "I'm sure you'll be fine.  Want put onto the couch?"  She blinked twice so he hauled her up and put her onto the couch, then he walked over to unlock his nephew's door so they could talk.  Clearly his nephew was channeling some of the memories he had sucked up that halloween.  "No cousins for now."

Xander looked up from his laptop and email checking.  "You can."

"I'm not ready to settle down and raise a brood.  Pooch's is enough.  You can spoil him."

"His mom said I can't."  He shrugged and went back to reading.  "It'll wear off in an hour."

"I want some for work reasons but ...."  Xander held up a hand and showed him a video.  Clay watched it, his stomach knotting up and his whole body tensing.  "When was that?"

"About three months ago."  He stared at him.  "I don't believe in relative abuse but...."  He smirked a bit, going back to his email finding.  "She'll be fine.  You can take the time to shower off the pool water and get pretty."

"I don't need time to get pretty.  That's a girl thing," he complained, sitting beside him.

"Eww, getting it wet," Xander complained.

Clay snorted.  "You sleep in the center anyway, kid."  He made the kid look at him by taking the computer and putting it aside.  "You didn't have to."

"I did.  He was posing a risk to Sunnydale."  He stared at him.  "I handled any of the human threats to Sunnydale while the group handled the demon ones.  It's the way the team worked."

"I doubt you told Buffy."

"Hell no!  She would've decided I was evil.  Willow told her I found someone trying to figure out how to use the power there and had her knock them out."

"That's good of her.  It was still dangerous."

"He walked up to me days after it happened, by himself."

Clay sighed.  "Which is a good point but it was still dangerous and you could have told me."

"Why ruin what you had with her?  It was clear she was going to have a fit when it was done and try to kill you herself.  You deserve better."

"She's volatile," he agreed with a smile.  "But I don't think she'd take off because I kick her ass.  See, I killed her father."

"If he was an evil bastard then so be it," Xander said simply.  He shrugged some.  "She had to expect it to come from someone."

"Max double-crossed him too."

"I heard."  He smirked.  "She's not that subtle.  She reaches my level of unsubtle."  He gave him a shoulder-to-arm nudge.  "Your woman is waiting on you."

"She's still frozen."  Xander held up a canister.  "Antidote?"


He took it to look over then looked at him.  "Let me handle my own affairs, Xander.  You have enough trouble with yours."

Xander smirked evilly.  "If I'm the last in the family I'm knocking up some evil bitches and summoning every one of you guys back to possess them so I'm not the last one."

"With the stuff you do, I'm pretty sure Sam's going to be the last one."

"No, I stopped that prophecy before the angels decided to start a final battle."  He gave him a look.  Clay shuddered.  "Exactly.  Now, shouldn't you be out talking to your woman?"

"Xander, stop it," he ordered.

Xander huffed.  "Not like I have the time to start one of my own to nurture and things.  Therefore I have to fuss.  It's a relative thing.  Just ask Dean."

"I'm not going to introduce them.  Dean might hit on her."

"I would've but I know she's yours."

"Maybe."  He stood up.  "Behave."

"Fine.  Want to do a slayer thing later tomorrow night?"

"Why?" he sighed.

"We expect someone from that asshole group that wants us all dead to show up during our slayer ball."


"Yeah."  He grinned.  "We can arrange it if you want."

"I'll consider it."  He left, going to talk to her.  "He's being a pushy relative."  Her mouth could move and she mouthed something at him.  "He wants me to be happy, Aisha.  Xander's a very fussy nephew.  He's very overprotective of the family.  That way he's not alone some year," he finished quietly.  "He nags Dean and Sam to settle down too.  He just threatened to have kids and bring all of the dead ones back to possess them."  She shuddered.  He sprayed her with the antidote and she went limp with a soft moan.  "Better?"

"Much.  What was that?"

"Demon byproducts."  He helped her up, staring at her.  "He was trying to be kind and Max went up to him to see if he could figure out what happened.  Xander protected everyone."

"He was ours to kill."

"He was whoever got to him," he corrected.  "The important fact is that he's gone."

"He could have told us."

"The kid was being subtle.  For once.  He doesn't brag.  If you find out, he defends it but he does a lot that no one knows about."  He stared down at her.  "Leave the kid alone."


"I don't care," he said bluntly.  "Leave my nephew alone, Aisha.  All three of them.  Dean and Sam are just as overprotective of the family.  John taught them well about that being the only people you could count on.  Xander learned to only rely on himself way too early.  I'm his favorite uncle but he'll protect me too.  The same as he does the slayers and anyone under his care."  She nodded she understood that.  "That's why he's being so pushy about getting new cousins."

"I can understand why he wants more family.  I'm not built for motherhood."

"You have good, wide, breeder hips," Xander called from his room.  "That's how the women in Africa describe them."

She glared at the door.  "Won't happen."

Xander opened the door, staring at her.  "Someday I'll want new cousins to fuss over.  I have to pass on all the stuff I know somehow before I die."

"Why can't you have kids?" she complained with a scowl.

"Because I'm infertile due to DNA tampering shit back in high school and snipped since then just in case.  Beyond that, I'm not sure if I did have any that they wouldn't end up showing a lot of taint from Sunnydale and anything else that I've run into."

"What DNA tampering?" Clay asked.

"Swim team."

"Never mind.  I heard about that and shuddered in horror."

"They mostly detoxed it from me but it's enough that I'm putting out little non-compatible swimmers."  He shrugged, looking at her.  "That means I either have to date an evil bitch with kids, and then take them in when she's killed or arrested.  Or I have to adopt.  By the way, Dean and Sam feel the same."  He closed his door and locked it again.  "I've got my headphones on.  Don't worry about making too much noise."

Clay shook his head quickly.  "Sorry," he said quietly.

"It's cute that he's so overprotective of you, but you're not his father."

"No, my half-brother was a dirtbag," he told her.  "I'm as close as the kid came until Buffy's watcher showed up."  She shuddered, walking off shaking her head.  Since she headed for his room he followed.  Maybe they'd fight later.  She was in the shower.  He listened, then stretched out for the night.  He wasn't a spring chicken anymore.  He wondered if the kid was already working on his flexibility but he was still young.  Young enough to paddle for acting up in the morning.


Xander looked up from the nice police officer's bench when someone stomped his way ten days later.  "I'm not under arrest.  They wanted someone to make sure I got back there."

"It's nice, he found six major drug dealers who decided to fight over him earlier," the officer said, handing him a copy of the statement.  "I don't know how but it's insane.  Take him and go."

"Thank you," Xander said with a grin.

"Not a problem and thank you for admitting you pickpocketed them during the fight."  Xander beamed and they left the station.  The officer got happy with his paperwork and bust.  It was a good thing for the city.

Xander got all the way to the car before he got smacked.  "Hey!"

"You went out without anyone watching you," he said bluntly.

Xander shrugged.  "I went to get down and funky with someone."

"Was it worth it?"

Xander grinned.  "It wasn't bad."

"Should be better than that."

"They were only minorly evil.  It's the really bad girls who enjoy it the most," he said with a happy grin.

"Clay is going to kill you."

"No he won't.  The one who proposed who's a germ doc....."  The other mercenary groaned.  They drove back to the resort and Clay was waiting with a drink in hand.  "They were nice."

"You got arrested."

"No, they decided to hold me safe until someone could make sure I made it back."  Clay got handed the statement and the guy fled.  "Hey," Xander complained.

"You're on your own.  A germ doc proposed to him."

"I would've had an Anya fit."  He read it over then stared at his nephew.  "You're worse than Dean?"

"No.  I only had one, the others interrupted to get their time."  He grinned.

Clay looked at him.  "Don't make me marry you off to someone saner."

"Are they going to be evil and like sex?"

"Not if I can help it."  He took a drink.  "Dinner?"

"Burger, fries.  Milkshake."

"Good boy.  Bed."  He jogged that way.  Clay went to his own room to complain about Xander's bad taste.  Aisha giggled.  "What?" he demanded.  He wasn't used to this cohabitating stuff but her passport had disappeared all the way to Jensen's suitcase.  It was nice of his guys, but he wasn't sure he could take much more of the live-in girlfriend thing.

"I've been trying to get two of those for months."

"You can't have him."

"Fine."  She took the statement to read, giggling at it.  "He's good."

"I'm going to marry him off to someone harmless."

"That's one way to have great-nephews," she quipped.  "Then he can turn them into the same sort of bad you are."

He smirked.  "He can try.  Probably with his daughters."  He finished his drink and went to bed.  He was tired for some reason.  She giggled but followed.  He clearly needed something to take his mind off his nephew.


Xander snuck off the resort again, going to the market up the street.  It was a nice day.  Pretty weather, a bit cool but sunny.  Breezy.  Xander needed some new clothes to go back with him.  His old wardrobe was decimated.  He had been down to two pairs of jeans and a few t-shirts he had picked up in Fez.  He found some great stuff, paying and walking off with the bags.

"Look, it's a shopping hunter," a female voice sneered.

Xander looked at her.  "Ava.  Gran."  The slayers sneered.  "I'm on vacation before I go back to Africa and the slayers there."

"What makes you think you're worthy?" Gran demanded.

Xander stared at her.  "Been doing it for a while?" he said dryly.

Ava sneered, moving closer.  "They're right, you're not worthy."

"That's your whiny opinion.  You two aren't really good slayers.  You slack off, you blow off patrols.  You're weak because you don't train."  He walked off.  "Have fun shopping, girls.  It's what you're good at."  Gran shrieked but Xander got them into an alley.  They attacked.  Xander knocked one down with a bag. The other he kicked a few times and she mewled, hitting the ground.  "Do you think I can train the better slayers now?"

Gran stared at him.  "How did you do that?"

"I learned how to fight, like you two should have, and I keep in practice, like you two should.  You're dirtying the slayer line by being slacking little princesses.  What're you going to do during the next apocalypse?" he demanded.  "Or even, god forbid, if that guy who wants to kill us all comes for you?"  They whined.  "You're fucking up.  Fix it.  Ask Buffy how if you don't know.  Or Faith.  Or Sanya.  I trained her.  She's one of the best we have."  They got up.  "Any other doubts, girls?"  They shook their heads, looking poutily at the ground.  "Good, then have a better day.  Go join a gym or take a martial arts class."  They nodded, scurrying off.  Xander growled but calmed himself down.  Clearly some slacking that needed to be addressed.  He'd tell Giles later.  He went back to his shopping, looking unconcerned.  It was not his fault.  They were not his slayers.  It was not his duty to retrain them.  Though Dean would have a fit to end all Sammy fits.  He sent him an email once he got back to his room and settled in to rest again.

The team member who had followed the kid went to report.  He hadn't been *too* bad.


Clay found Xander meditating later that night.  "Let's talk."  Xander looked up at him.  He stared down at him.  "Something happened."

"I heard," he said quietly.  "I'm trying to get rid of my anger.  There's one left."

"No, there's not."  He squatted down, looking at him.  "Her town was attacked by civil rebellion, kid."  Xander sighed but nodded at that.  "It was bad.  Giles called.  Something about a mirror?"

"It's a spell Willow set up," he said quietly.  He got up and went to his bag to pull out a small, black box.  He opened it and pricked his thumb.  He put it next to the mirror in the room.  "Willow, what happened?  Was it the pain in the ass conspiracy or something else?"

"We think it was the conspiracy."  She looked at him.  "It's too dangerous for you to go back."

Xander concentrated and added more blood to the box, creating another window.  "Ten."

"Xander," she sighed.  "You're all right."

"I got recalled for one of those meetings from hell.  Now I'm taking a month to refresh before coming back.  Are you safe?"  He started another window.  "There you are," he said with a smile.  "I heard you got attacked."

"Xander!" Inana beamed at him.  "You're coming back?"

"Within a week."

She nodded.  "Thank you."  She looked behind her.  "Xander's safe."  A few people came in to stare at him and the other girl.  "Ten.  Are you all right?  We heard one of us was attacked.  I felt it."

"So far.  I felt it too."

"Girls, we think it was the group that's trying to take out slayers," Willow said.

"Who's she?" Inana said with a growl and a glare.

"That's Willow," Xander told her.  "This is my uncle.  You met him when you were younger."

She smiled and waved.  "Hi, Uncle Clay."

"Hi, Inana."  He nodded at the other one, getting a giggle back.

"Girls, I want you two to be very careful.  Watch yourselves.  Go to your safe areas if you can.  Tonight."

"Yes, Xander," they said in unison.

"Good girls.  Protect yourself and whoever you can."

"Yes, Xander," they agreed.

"Good.  Call me each and every day until I can pick you two up."

Inana nodded.  "I'll be ready."  The other mirror portal went dark and she winced, grabbing her stomach.  "Xander," she moaned.

"Damn it!"  He glared at Willow.  "Inana, use that stone the witch made you."

"It's not...."

"Now!" he snapped.  "They're coming for you and you're the last on the continent.  It will take you to Faith.  Do it now."

"Yes, Xander," she said, running to get something and tell her parents.  Then she crushed it in her hand.  "I told you...."  She squiggled and disappeared.


"Faith!" she shouted.  "Inana's coming to you!"

"Got her," she called.  "She's injured.  Nurse Tyler!"

Xander took a deep breath.  "Injured?"

Willow came back.  "She's got a pretty bad cut on her stomach but she's fine otherwise."

"I was watching, how did she get attacked?"

"In the link."

"How?" he asked.  "That's higher magic.  Right?"

She stiffened.  "That's brilliant!" she shouted, running off.  Hers got closed by Buffy, who waved.

Xander sighed, shutting down the link.  He looked at his uncle.  He swallowed.

"Grief is normal," he said.

"I...."  He took a breath.  "I'm going to kill whoever did this.  And then I may join Oz in Tibet."  He swallowed again.  "Check on me now and then?"

Clay grabbed his shoulders, staring at him.  "This is burnout, Xander."

"I know."

"It's been coming for years."

"I knew that at graduation," he admitted.

Clay smiled.  "I saw it then too."  He gave him a squeeze.  "After you get them, you're retiring.  Marcia needs a bright assistant who knows weapons.  We've had problems with her last one sending stuff that needed worked on or cleaned.  You seem to be able to find the damndest shit."

Xander nodded once.  "I might like that," he admitted.  Clay gave him another shoulder squeeze.  "I need to meditate.  I need to plan."

"Go for it."  Xander went to his room to do that, laying down on the bed so he was comfortable.  Clay watched then called Marcia.  "I have a solution for your universally whined at problem.  My nephew is ready to retire to a more sane, less dangerous occupation."  He smiled.  "Yes, Xander."  He hung up.  That would settle that.  Now he could worry less about Xander at the very least.  Dean and Sam he'd get to do something more sane and less dangerous.  Maybe even to carry on the family.  If Xander had kids, he'd have to kill the mother.  That would mean only one kid to carry on the line.  Or he'd have to take out multiple baby momma's maybe.


Xander found the site he wanted and then got to work looking it over.  He read everything he could on this movement to take out slayers.  What he saw disgusted him.  He called a number.  "Miller, me.  Are you with Finn and the group he's with or the slayers?"  He hung up.  He looked in other spots.

Jensen walked behind him.  "You could ask," he said in his ear.

"It's on the slayer net system.  They have links into our system."

"Who created it?" he asked.


Jensen set beside him to go over what he was seeing.  "They're mentally insufficient."

"They're fucking crackheads," Xander corrected.  "And yeah, not real happy with them."  He frowned and handed it over.  "That's the ten people that're listed as being part.  You can help with that while I eat?"

"I can do that," he agreed with a smile.  He got to work tracking them down.  What he saw disgusted him but it was necessary.  "Those idiots."

Xander snickered, getting up to put a different outfit on.   He looked at himself then changed his shirt to a tank top and then stretched.  He checked his weapons.  He loaded a  good few guns and then found a few knives.  He checked then put on his personal favorites.

Clay walked in.  "Oh hell no."

"Shut up, Uncle Clay."  He looked at him.  "This is my job."  He finished and looked at Jensen.  "I adore you."

"Scotland," he said.  He handed back the laptop.  "You can get backup."

"I have slayers.  They're after us."  He plucked up something and looked at his uncle.  "Dinner?"  He crushed it and left.  He landed in front of Faith.  "They're in Scotland."

"You sure?"

"Yeah.  I asked for some help."

"X has it!" she called.  People came running.

Xander opened his laptop, finding plans and a rudimentary attack plan.  He handed it to Buffy.  "Will that work for you?"

She stared at him.  "No guns."

"Fuck off," he retorted, staring at her.  "They're humans.  Stakes are for vampires."  He took the laptop back.  "Okay, people.  This is what we're doing.  Buffy, assign *teams*.  External and internal.  Internal needs stealth and sensory awareness more."  She nodded, breaking the older girls into teams.  "Giles, stay with the younger ones.  You younger ones, guard the building.  You do not let in anyone on this list," he said, handing it over.  "Including Riley Fucking Finn and his wife since they turned on us."  They nodded, taking it to look over.  Buffy gave him a horrified look.  He stared at her.  "They're not undercover, no.  They're right hands.  Have them go to the mall and have someone check for bombs."  He took the team leaders to explain what he wanted them to do and how.  They all nodded and gathered their favored weapons.

"Xander," Buffy said.

Xander stared at her.  "Don't even."

"We all lost friends."

"Ask Sanya about that, Buffy."  He looked around.  "Speaking of.  Inana, are you teamed up?"  She shook her head.  "Sanya?"


"Excellent.  Dean, take Inana.  She's young but I trained her and she's hunting for the family.  She'll wince at blood but she's damn good."

"Good enough for me," he agreed, taking her aside to check her weapons.  "Guns?" he asked her.

"Please.  I like it better than a bow."  He nodded, getting her some of his spares.  Xander handed over two too.  She beamed at him.  "Thank you, Xander.  It was nearly my new year."  She checked them over under Dean's picky gaze and it was good enough.

"Willow," Giles said.

"We can go."  She looked at Xander.  "You should guard the younger ones."

He snorted.  "I've actually been in battles with real armies, Willow."  She gave him a horrified look.  "Ask Inana.  She saw me protect a refugee camp for months on end.  Including hunting down the assholes who kept trying to take them as slaves.  You can stay with them if you think it's necessary."  He looked at Buffy.  "Now?"

"Now," she ordered.  She'd talk to Xander later.  He clearly needed a time out.

They appeared and Xander signaled.  The teams broke off.  The idiots had troops too but the slayers were good.  He winced when one fell but the witches that had come with them evacuated her to the council's chosen hospital.  They had called to warn while the others had gathered.  Xander looked around.  He had taken an unusual track to get to the main area.  Because he knew one of the people and how they thought.  Too many years of watching him plot, plan, and try to take over virtual worlds.  He usually made the same mistakes.  He ran into one.  "Warren," he said blandly, pulling a gun.  "Evening."  He shot him.  He moved on.  He heard a moan and looked back so he beheaded him.  That killed zombies.  And Warrens it appeared.  He kept moving.  He gained the main area.  The head people were gathered around but he couldn't see the big one.  He glanced beside him.

"Xander," he said happily.

Xander shot him.  "Yes, I am."  He walked out and fired on the others.  A few dove.  Sam Finn, well, she wasn't going to be walking again.  Riley shouted and fired back.  Xander concentrated and his spear came to him.  He threw it at Riley, killing him.  He fell down, having enough time to look at his wife, who was crying.  The slayers came rushing in and cleaned up the mess.  Xander walked over to pull his spear out.  "Sam, if you live, remember that a few of those were like my kids."  He yanked the spear.  "You killed children.  Innocent children who had no say in what happened to them.  Not like they chose it."  He walked off.  "Fall out if you're clear," he called.  "If there's any left, they'll never do it again."  The slayers met up back at the landing area.  He did a head count, sighing at the missing ones.  "Only fifteen?" he asked the witches.

"We felt sixteen," one told him.  She and another witch did a searching and got that one out.  Sam Finn.  "It's her child," she announced.

Xander looked at her.  "Were they going to die too?"  He looked at his cousins.  "Uncle Clay's having dinner with me later."  He hugged his girls.  Sanya and Inana went back to the cousins.  "Guard them, girls."  He looked at Giles, who was looking worried.  "Uncle Clay wants me to find someone nice to date."  He looked at Inana.  "Pick your team well, young lady."

"Yes, Xander."  She beamed at Sam.  "He can teach you."

"I know some and we'll figure it out."

She hugged him.  The witches sent them back to the main building.  Police were there.  One stopped them.  "Bombs?" she asked.

"Two," he said, looking at the males.  "What are you guys?"

"Watchers Council," Giles said.

"Oh.  Okay.  Like in LA?"  They all nodded.  "Then the bombs..."

"Someone wanted to cut down on their numbers," Xander said quietly.  "We just fixed that."  The officer nodded at that.  "In Scotland.  Don't worry about another problem.  The younger crew?"

"Up the street at the mall."

"It's safe," he decided.  He looked at Giles, shaking his hand.  "I'm falling back to a support position Uncle Clay wanted to have filled with someone who knew what they were doing with weapons."  He hugged Buffy and nodded at Willow.  "I'll tell you where I land so you can send my girls to visit."  He looked at his spear, then said a silent prayer before handing it to Sam, who glowed.  "You're still hunting.  It'll teach you how to use it."  He walked off.  He knew the local demon bar had a portal person working there.  He walked in and everyone got quiet.

"Going back to my uncle, people.  Scotland's dweeb patrol was solved."  They sighed in relief.  "The girls are on edge.  Be safe tonight," he told one.  Who nodded quickly.  He looked at another.  "Can I go back to my uncle?"  The demon nodded, working on a portal to send him back.  He walked out and turned to wave then walked up the road.  The resort wasn't that far and he needed the calming down time.  On the way he picked up dinner, which he didn't want to eat but he knew he should, and about ten beers.  Plus a bottle of tequila.  He walked back into the resort, nodding at the owner.  "Hey."

"Bad day?" he asked.

"Yeah but not for me.  I didn't know any of them real well."  He went up to his room, handing his uncle the food.  "I'll eat in a while."

"Sure."  He looked him over.  "Injuries?"

"No."  He poured himself a shot and opened a beer, gulping both.  He looked at him.  "Sanya and Inana are both fine.  Sam has my spear.  The girls are talking them into going back to Africa with them."

"No way in hell," Clay said.  "They don't need that sort of stress and they'd never leave the Impala."

"Good point but Sam can help.  And maybe they'll switch out so some of the more spoiled ones."

"That would be a huge culture shock," Jensen said.  "The report made the underground news."  He let him read over his shoulder.

"Lighter than it happened."  He went to his room and slammed the door.  "Let me take a shower.  I'll be right out."

"Sure, kid," Clay called, watching him through the door that had bounced back open.

"It's a good time for him to retire," Jensen said quietly.

Clay smiled.  "He'll do good helping Marcia.  Better than the last idiot."

"He clearly knows his weapons.  Are you going to bust his other two warehouses?"

Clay stared at him, then sighed.  "I'll talk to him about it later.  The kid had enough artillery to make even Aisha hot."  He looked in the takeout box, then put it into the fridge.  He'd eat it cold.  It was sushi.  Xander came out in soft sweat shorts, clearly cut offs, and no shirt.  Clay stared at him.  "You can get those scars lasered down so they're not as prominent but they're not removed."

"I can?"

"Yeah, they can do that.  Like they do stretch marks and tatoos."  Xander beamed at that.  "Dinner's in the fridge."

"I got enough to share."

"We can do that."  Jensen and the others left.  He rolled his eyes.  "They're being girls."

Xander snickered.  "I'm too used to girls.  We should prank them."  He beamed evilly.

Clay smirked.  "I doubt you could sneak up on them, kid, but if you can.... don't hurt 'em and take pictures."  Xander beamed and hugged him, then they sat down to get the kid calm again.  Dinner wasn't too bad.  The tequila made Xander goofy.  Which was good to see.  He hadn't seen the kid this relaxed since middle school.


Clay woke up to find a manila envelope on his extra pillow.  He smirked because Xander was better than he thought.  He opened it to look inside.  What he saw was... really horrifying.  Somehow Xander had did the guys' makeup and hair.  "Pretty girls," he said dryly.  He got up and stopped to stare in the bathroom mirror.  "Kid, I'd run!" he shouted.  He heard cackling and went to wash that shit off.  The eyeliner was a good job.  The blush job was nice, and he had been shaved too.  Thankfully only a little lip gloss and subtle eyeshadow.  He didn't look like a transvestite hooker by any means.  Clearly, Xander had spent too much time with girls.  He went back to look at the pictures.  His wasn't in there.  He'd maybe save the kid when he beat his ass.  He came out to find the other guys looking embarrassed.  "He get you guys?"

"Yeah," one said, drinking some coffee.  "Pretty nails, Clay."

He looked at his hands.  "One's lopsided."  He shrugged.  "Got any remover?"

"No and there's none in the resort shop," Aisha said with a grin.  "You're all such pretty girls."

"We can still shoot you," they told her.

She giggled.  Clay shook his head.  "You guys are pitiful.  You can get the kid back."

"Xander doesn't sleep all that often," Aisha said with a grin.  "He just now went to sleep in the locked bathroom."  Clay went that way.  "He's fine."

"He's not fine," he assured her.  "He only sleeps in the tub when he's hurt or when he's flashing back to his parents."  He jimmied the lock and peeked in.  The kid was on his side in a tub of bubbles so he left him alone.  He walked back out, staring at them.  "You guys suck at bathing yourselves.  You're still wearing makeup."  They groaned and left to clean their faces better.  He shook his head.  "He have one of me?" he asked quietly.

"Only your nephews he said."  She smirked.  "He did a good job on them."

"I saw that.  I didn't look like a Singapore tranny whore.  Clearly he needs more guy friends."  She cackled and nodded.  "Get us breakfast?  I've got to deal with the team again later."

"Sure."  She went to do that.

Clay waited until they were alone.  "Xander, I'm going to beat your ass for that," he called.

"You're kinky that way but I'm not," Xander called.

"Uh-huh.  It had better not get out."

"Sam was speechless according to Dean."

"Wonderful."  He glared that way.  "Breakfast or do you have a hangover?"

"Hangover but I'll live.  I've had worse when I had dengue."

"Uh-huh."  The boy came out with his weapons.  "Don't forget to dry them."

"They are."  He climbed into bed and covered himself up.  "Thank you for protecting me."

"They'll get you some other time.  And in punishment, you're cleaning and doing an inventory on those other warehouses so we can safely get them out of your grasp.  That way no nosy agent wants to arrest you for it."

"Does that mean I'll have enough money to rent a few bad girls?"

"Yeah, more than likely.  Let's hope you have better taste than your last one."

"He was fun."

Clay looked.  "Your last one was an evil gay guy?"

"Not all that evil.  He wanted to rule the world but in a nice way.  No repressive regime...."

"You slept with Traggers?" he demanded loudly.

Xander uncovered his head to look at him.  "He's not bad.  Whimpered a lot.  Thought he wanted it harder but didn't.  He wanted to cuddle."

"First, I don't want sexual details from any of you boys.  It's creepy.  Secondly, he's still evil."

"Yeah, I know.  You got him about six weeks after I did."  He smirked and covered his head again.  "I can smelly greasy bread so they're back."

Clay groaned, going to let them in when they knocked.  "We need to seriously find Xander someone decent enough to date.  Someone I can accept.  Maybe get to like."

"You have bad taste in women," one of the guys said.  "It's apparently genetic."

"You should've met his fiancee Anya.  She was all sorts of loud, blunt, and bragged about sex constantly."

"Better than the one that tried to blow you up," one of them joked.

"His try to kill him all the time.  I have much better taste."

"So give him one of your cast offs," was joked by Aisha.

"Sure, you wanna date my nephew?"

"He's adorable," she smirked.  "But I'm not the sort to share.  I might compare you two and you know he's younger, more limber, and a really good fighter."

"Good, then spar with him later.  He could use it."  He grabbed his own breakfast.  "Kid, come eat."  Xander came out to get something and go back to bed.  Clay shook his head.  Kids!


Xander got the money case from Marcia at their first meeting.  They were in LA and he had gotten to pick the place.  "My new boss," he joked with a grin.

"Xander."  She shook his hand then sat down to have lunch with him.  "You're buying."

"I can do that time."  He ordered when the waitress came back and so did she.   They got comfortable and settled in to talk.  "So, am I making reservations at first?  I have no idea what some of these places look like and which are not that nosy or who has bugs."

"I've got a pretty good list.  I try to visit a few a year.  You can start out doing that.  Clay said you needed to find a decent girlfriend."

"I'm not that picky but I'm supernaturally drawn to bad girls," he said with a grin.

She pinched him on the cheek.  "You're too cute, so therefore deadly."  Xander laughed and nodded.  Their lunches were brought and they dug in.  "This is on my list but I've never eaten here before."

"I had lunch here a few times.  I'm from up the road a bit."

"He gave me a full dossier, Xander."  He smiled and ate another bite.  "Injured?"

"Not bad.  Fully healed."  She gave the eyepatch a pointed look.  "Gone.  I'm good without it."

"So I've heard."  She handed him her extra fries.  He beamed and salted them then dug in.  "It's mostly a job you can do from a home office."

"I've clearly got enough now."

"More than," she agreed dryly.  "I've seen some small countries that have your house hunting budget."  He beamed.  "Are you going to stay here in LA?"

"I don't know yet.  My cousins keep talking up Kansas."

"Pretty plain lands," she said.  "Nothing exciting."

"I spent time in the wilds of Africa.  A movie theater is exciting."

She smiled.  "You'll get used to the US again, Xander.  I'm sure you will.  You're young.   You can go to school part time if you want."  He shook his head quickly.  "You can do whatever you want as long as you don't get arrested."  Xander pulled out something and handed it over.  "How on earth?"

He grinned.  "Friends in low places."

"Ah."  She handed back the letter of permanent pardon for weapons trafficking due to his involvement in the underground protection of the United States.  "Did your friends get the same thing?"

"After LA."

"Good to know."  He smiled and put it back.  Then he held up another in another language.  And one in English.  She giggled and he put them into the suitcase, which now had papers.  "Your new bank account in a safe bank."  He beamed at her.  "Also the name of a good national real estate agent so you can have as many hidey holes as you want."

"Nah, one and a good safe room.  Plus armory."  She smiled and nodded at that.  "I'll work on that today, then take the weeks it'll take to close on the place to sightsee some of them.  Do you want me to do in the US or international?"

"Do some international in Central or South America.  I'm running low on places down there."  He nodded at that.  "I'll send my list to you and you can check on them and new ones."

"I can do that."

"Good boy."  He beamed.  "You start in a month.  I'll have the specially shielded line set up by then.  Once I know where you're going to be living.  Don't get anything too flashy or the ring hunters will come for you."

"I won't.  I promise.  Something modest with an armory."  She laughed but nodded.  He put down money for the tab and they left, him going to find a place.  Her going to start the process of making lists for her apprentice.  He might do good.


A Year Later.


Clay woke up in a bed.  Not in a hospital bed.  It was firm but a bit soft.  There was no hospital smell.  No machine noises.  He listened but nothing sounded wrong so he might not be captured or anything.  Someone was coming with something clinking.

Xander put down the tray and leaned down next to his uncle's ear.  "I'm going to fuck you up and make you give me more cousins," he said quietly.  "If you even *think* about dying again, you're going to regret it with the three little girls I'll make sure your future wife will have so I can warp them with Dean."

"I'd have to kill you for that," he mumbled.  "Water?"  A straw was slipped onto his lip and he sucked, grimacing.  "Not water."

"No, herb tea for the damn infection you ignored."

"Not my fault."

"Yeah," he snorted.  "Sure it wasn't."

"We at your place?"

"Yup.  Yours is full of mother-henning pseudo uncles."  Clay moaned and winced as he moved.  "No, you stay flat.  I did some of my best stitching and damned if you're going to pull it out."

"Nag," he muttered.

"You did to me when I had the lion marks."


"I'm not your type but I'll let her come fuss if you want."

"Please don't."

"Fine."  He patted him on the head.  "I have toast, with the jelly you like, and regular tea once you finish the herb stuff."

"Must I?"  He blinked a few times.  The kid was fuzzy.  "Did I get a head injury?"

"No, the infection got worse."  He made him drink the rest of the tea, earning a few grossed out faces.  "There.  Regular tea?"


"Of course.  The sweet tooth is on the badass gene.  That's why Sammy usually doesn't like it."  Clay laughed.  "Here, sit up slowly."  He helped him up and plumped up pillows behind him then handed him the tray.  "Eat.  I've got to bitch out an airline for losing some luggage."  He winked and walked off.  "Ladies, he's all yours."

Two women dressed in fantasy nurse costumes walked in to coo over him and help him heal.  Clay let them feed him allll they wanted.  If he had to be injured... this wasn't a bad recovery.  "One of the other guys was hit."

"Xander already babied his arm and he's in the main house.  You're in the guest house, Clay," one said.

He smiled.  "That's nice of my nephew.  He's a good boy sometimes."

"Very good boy," the other agreed with a wicked smirk.  He gave her a look.  "He helped save us from some mean people that wanted to kidnap us and hook us on drugs when we came out to get into acting.  So when he asked if we could flirt you into better health of course we said yes.  He told us you're some big, action hero in Asia."  She wiggled a bit.

He smirked.  "Something like that.  Some in South America too."  They cooed and fussed over him.  So maybe he couldn't get laid while he was laid up but it was still nice treatment.  He told them all about exotic shooting locations.  Where he had shot people instead of film but that was fine with him.  He even knew a guy who had went to a studio so he could pass on their profiles to him.  He did camera work but he knew who to pass them to.


Xander walked into the house, looking at the mother-henning pseudo uncles and one aunt.  "He's just fine.  I sicced Candy and Tiffany on him."  They all smirked at him.  Even the almost-aunt.  "They won't let him get past second base," he assured her.  "They're good girls underneath the lace panties."  He went to the kitchen.  "I've dosed him for the infection.  It should be down a lot further by tonight.  He said his vision was fuzzy but that's probably getting better."  They all nodded and relaxed.  "Go to the media room, guys.  That way you don't hover."

"Your phone rang," one of the guys said.

"I know.  I'm avoiding the idiot."  He went to check and then call him back to chew him a new one for doing stupid shit that got caught.  Then he kicked it up to Marcia.  She could bail him out if she thought it was a good idea.  Officers always thought Xander was mafia these days for some reason.  She wasn't happy but she was vacationing near there so closer anyway.  He had given her a detailed reason why he hadn't bailed him out at the first call.  Going to jail for hitting on the undercover cop and then nearly raping her when she tried to arrest him earned jail time in his book.

He went back to the kitchen to finish a snack and then back to his office.  He had to vet some new hotels.  A few of their chosen ones had changed hands.  It was unacceptable how much of the world Raddison was buying.  So maybe he'd invest in his own line of hotels.  He drafted out a list of what he'd be looking for and where.  Then he looked up companies that did the same thing.  Including the resort they had spent that month in New Zealand at.  It was nice and he might own other properties.  He'd invest in that.

Aisha stuck her head in.  "Where is he?"

"Guest house," he said with a point while he typed.  "Second floor bedroom.  The one with the gun closet."

"Thanks, Xander."  She went to check on him.  The girls were seriously making her giggle when she caught them doing an exaggerated sponge bath routine.  She stepped in to help, earning a moan from him.  She'd get a lot of teasing out of this.  More than the makeup job had.  They finally left him with her.  She smiled.  "Better?"

"Every man likes some pampering now and then," he admitted.

She smirked.  "Good.  Work closet over here," she said, showing it to him.

"I know.  I visited and toured when he got the place.  Dean and Sam too.  Inana and Sanya too.  Plus Sanya's baby heathen."  He shifted and winced.  "How bad was I?"

"Really bad and when I called for a doctor recommendation he said to bring you here and he'd deal with your bad temper."

"It'll be fine.  He's a good field medic."

"Good."  She came back, sitting beside him.  "Everyone else is all right.  The job was finished."  He nodded.  "Sanya sent you a new picture of her now-walking heathen.  Plus video of her stealing that spear from Sam and walking off nibbling on it while dragging the rest.  It got Sam yelping and hurrying to stop her then calming her down when she fussed.  She seems to have found a stepdaddy."

"Sanya's a good girl and a good slayer.  She'll last for a long time."  She smiled at that.  "And when she goes, the heathen will keep Sam stable."

"That's what Dean thought too.  He said so in the video when he was giggling at them."  He smirked at that.  She cued it up on the tv since they had saved it to DVD for him to watch.  There was no internet out here.  Xander had done it on purpose for those favored few who needed to destress.  They had watched while Xander had planned the whole remodel, including massive bathroom renovations to a deep soaking tub, plants outside the window for aroma therapy and relaxation.  Yoga, meditation, and exercise space.  A sick room for medical clean ups.  The heathen had been born in there actually.  That had been done early in the renovations.  Right after the armory.

Xander walked in on his cellphone.  "You're going to Venezuela.  Home of herpes in a can."  Clay laughed at that description.  "I'll make sure your room has extra condoms and I'll call Bennet if you want to warn him, Carter.  Thanks.  No, he's good.  Thanks.  Yup, done before I left the office. It should be in your inbox.  If you need further in-country, I don't have much.  So let me know."  He hung up.  "Three others have called to tell you to get well."

"I'll try.  Herpes in a can?"

"Domingo said that's how he got it.  He drank a can of beer after one of Bennet's girls."   He sat on the foot of the bed facing him.  "Personally I think he had it before because Bennet checks all his girls for everything, even demonic STD's.  That's why I refer to him."

"The guys seemed to like the minions of anarchy doing a retrospective flashback to a James Bond movie in homage.  Thunder Pussy was a good show."

Xander grinned.  "I heard it was.  He's sending me a tape of it."  Aisha rolled her eyes.  "Not like I have my own."

"I know a few agents who might like you."

"Yeah but the last one you set me up with I had to go rescue because she got stranded on a job.  She's still pouting about that and Dean telling her he wanted nieces or nephews soon."

"He has Tara to fuss over," she complained.

"Big huge fight there recently," Xander said with a grin.  "Sanya's uncle that works at Boston University finally showed up for that lunch meeting he kept promising."  Clay moaned, shaking his head.  "He called Sam a gutless coward for daring to keep her as a lover and not a wife.  He demanded the family do right by her, or we had no honor.  So we apparently missed a Vegas wedding that was full of confusing mistakes.  The wedding chapel had a fire, they lost their booking book and receipts so they're going to have to give a refund to them.

"The dress she ordered online to pick up was two or three sizes too small and in the ugliest shade of aqua velva blue ever seen.  The airline lost the bag that had the ring in it for eighteen hours.  There was no room in the plane so they had to check it.  The desk worker would not let Sam open it in the airport to get the ring out of it.  She threatened to have him arrested if he tried.  Tara got so air sick she ended up with a bloody nose and vomiting constantly so their calming down time was spent in the ER.

"Her uncle said it was proof that the higher beings didn't want her to marry Sam, that she had to go home to marry whoever he, as the head of the family line now, had picked for her.  He got to spend the next day in the ER so Sanya got to spend that night in jail explaining why she had stabbed him in the thigh.  Thankfully in the ER because she used her special hunting knife we got her for Christmas and got his femoral with the cutting side."  Clay winced and shifted some.

"Her uncle tried to blackmail her into marrying whoever by offering to drop the charges if she went home with him.  Inana got walked off by Dean swearing at him in their native language.  While Tara giggled and clapped no less.  He finally tried to attack Sam for making her bear such an unfortunate demon child because it was a half-breed.  That she was ruined and the best she could do is a bad marriage at home.

"He took a swing, tried to stab him.  Sam calmly pulled the Colt and put it in his face.  The guy begged for mercy.  Literally.  The local slayer came to get the gun, get Tara, calm Sam down, get Sanya free, then they got married at the pool at the Mirage in their bathing suits."  He flipped to that file on the DVD so they could see it.

"Is that a ghost in the back?" Clay asked, frowning and squinting some.

"Yup.  Apparently Uncle John was just buried, not salted and burned."  They shared a look.  "Dean caught it when he was making copies.  Look, it's Aunt Mary next to him."  He rewound it and froze it.  "And Uncle John is apparently bawling like a baby."

Clay hit play so they could go on.  "I'll do that role for you if you finally get married."

"Why?  One of the younger slayers babysitting Tara told her about grandparents so she scowled and yelled she wanted one too."  He smirked.  "Uncle John was annoying everyone so much the demon showed up with his spirit, said that, handed it to Tara then left with a 'we're going to celebrate him being gone now' note."  His uncle laughed so hard he had to grab himself from the pain.  "Easy there, sparky.  You got shot."  He helped him sit back again.  "So Uncle John can float around and bother you later.  Aunt Mary too probably since Uncle John talked Gunn into taking him to the Power's oracle and he made a few demands based on how bad they had fucked things up again.  There is nothing like waking up from a wet, dirty, fun dream masturbating to find Aunt Mary giving me the dirtiest look for it."

"Poor Sanya.  She'll never have a second child," Clay quipped.

"Dean's already threatened to have Anya brought back."  He stood up at the new cackling.  "You try to rest.  Remember, I have the safety switch out here."  He pointed at it.  "You need rest to heal so I'll let her do that job for me since I doubt you want me to molest you."  He walked off looking smug.

"Can you introduce him to a sane female agent?" Clay asked her.

"I thought I had but she turned out to be pouty because he had to rescue her."  She fluffed up his pillow and took a kiss.  "Get better so I can molest you since he gave us his blessing."  She strolled out to the growl.  That was cute family news.  She thought that up until she ran into John in the garden and he nagged her about being an honorable woman who'd quit stringing his poor brother along.  Finally she couldn't take any more without whining.  "Xander learned to nag off you, didn't he?"  She ran into the house.  The whole way she prayed that Anya was a good punishment and she'd come back to haunt John for a bit so he'd quit nagging the family.

The young brunette woman faded in.  "It's not as much fun on this side.  I can't get orgasms, I can't stalk Xander to make sure he's getting many good orgasms.  Or that his newest girlfriend isn't too evil.  It's no fun."

John stared at her.  "You don't have to stay.  You can move on, Anya."  He hoped.

"No she can't," Cordelia's voice said as she formed between them with the most evil of all smirks.  "All the higher ups said so.  Until you three are reborn, probably into the family, you're here with them to watch over them and give advice."  She smirked at the house.  "Take that, Xander Harris!  My will be done."  A shotgun went off and she shrieked when the rock salt hit her.  "Hey!  Mr. Mean!"

Xander leaned out, shaking a drink already.  He smirked at her.  "You know, none of us plan on having kids.  And if so, the vision I got said you'd be one of ours too."  He went back inside.  "Aunt Mary, stay out of my bedroom or I'm turning gay!" he bellowed.  The ghost in his closet rearranging things quit.  "Take Anya and go visit Dean."  He poured the drinks and handed one over, taking the other.  "Make your own, people.  It's going to be a long day.  They can't leave until Dean and them have kids.  So pray for Aisha to not have mood swings."

She glared at him.  "You can."

He smirked.  "I'm infertile even beyond the snippage, Aisha."  He sipped his drink, going back to answer his phone.  "House of the Deadly Tempers and Ghosts.  How can I help you today?" he quipped, sitting down.  "Uncle Clay's fine, Bennet.  Why?"  He listened.  "Marcia's down there.  She can.  No, he's here in the guest house.  No, dealing with the returned spirits of a few family members.  I'm apparently going to have to beg some higher powers to knock up my cousins."  He took another drink.

"No, two of my ex girlfriends too.  No, not the last one that tried to use the nuclear bomb in LA," he sighed.  "Anya.  I told you about here that night I was drunk.  And Cordy.  Yeah, that one," he said dryly.  "Exactly.  So Uncle Clay being grumpy is fitting in just perfectly.  Yup, call her, dude.  She'll do it.  Thanks, Bennet.  That's why she's closer to you, yeah.  I wasn't about to bail him out of jail for trying to rape an officer because she caught him picking up hos.  Thanks, man."  He hung up and got back to looking over new hotels.   He called Dean.

"The only way they'll move on is if one of you two have kids and then they'll be reborn," he said in greeting.  It had been long enough for Anya and Mary to get out there.  Sam was in the background talking to Anya.  He realized they had never met.  "That's mean to Sam, Dean."  He smirked.  "Infertile, Cousin.  So you, Uncle Clay....  Sammy....  Have fun with that.  Ask Willow, she can make it so you carry it if you want."  He hung up quickly before Dean could swear at him.  He heard his closet door open - it was squeaking.  "Get out of my closet, Cordelia, now!"  She shut the door.  "Thank you."  He typed in a note to one of his underground contacts about getting info on those hotels for him and would someone please come do an exorcism to get at least Cordelia to go away.

Clay walked in.  "What?"

"Huh?" he asked, looking at him.

"We have to have kids?"

"The only way they'll quit haunting the family is if they're reborn.  So said Cordelia.  She's somewhere in my bedroom probably giggling at the sex toys if you wanted to ask her.  My vision said the same thing though.  It was Connor looking very gleeful at that information."  He smirked.  "I can't have kids.  I shoot blanks.  So man up, Uncle Clay, or get Dean hitched soon."

He considered it.  "Sanya might like to have a few more kids."  Xander held up four fingers.  "Who else?"

"Cordelia and Anya."  He smirked.  "Aisha called Anya to make Uncle John quit nagging her about marrying you."

"Aisha!" he yelled. "I'd hide."  She left the house.  He walked off shaking his head, going back to his sick room.  It was nice, quiet, restful, and he had the two 'nurses' to fuss over him.  It was so much saner than the rest of the house.  Plus Sam had warded it so no ghosts could get closer than the window.  So John had to complain from there.  It was much more sane.  Though he would have someone pounce his nephew to make sure he was really infertile.  The boys should all have kids instead of him.  He did not want to be the father of his brother or Anya.  It'd be creepy.  Which he was not.  Or really ready to settle down and be a father.  This had to be from his infection.  It was all a hallucination, all the bad thoughts.  Because he hadn't caught Xander's bad thought syndrome.  He hadn't.  He was too badass for that.

The End.