Notes: Another story I recently got rehit with the muse for. This one was started back in 2002, and just recently the muse started to nibble and whine about it again.
Written In The Book.
Xander, a relatively normal sixteen year old boy, looked at the book he had found in the bottom of one of Giles' boxes. He frowned, holding it up for the Librarian and Watcher to see. "What's this?"
Giles snatched it from his hand and walked into his office. "Something that I wish I had gotten rid of years ago." He walked back out, looking at his scared duty, his Slayer. "Buffy, why don't you go train in the gymnasium? I'm sure you're bored by helping me unpack books."
She jumped up and left the library without a backwards look.
Xander studied the older man. He was in his early forties, though Giles had never divulged exactly how old he was, and he was only in Sunnydale because of Buffy and the Hellmouth. You see, Giles was here to help Buffy, whose sole purpose in life was to kill demons and keep the Hellmouth from opening. Xander, and his best friend Willow, also helped Buffy. They had found out and jumped in without too many questions. Which is why a semi- normal sixteen year old boy was helping unload books instead of going out to look at older women. "So, what was it?" he asked, flopping down into a nearby chair. "You looked like it was going to eat me."
"Not literally," Giles muttered as he went back to cataloging his books. "Then again, with that book, there's no telling what might happen." He looked at Xander, then at the remaining boxes of books. "Is it break time?"
"Yup, and the Xandman needs a Ho-Ho," Xander said, hopping up and making a run to the snack machines in the school's lounge area.
Giles shook his head, not sure what that boy would be doing with himself in a few years.
*** Five Years Later (after season five, with a few spoilers, but Buffy's already revived, and there was no ring or proposal in the Xander/Anya thing) ***
Xander opened his door as he rubbed his eyes. On the other side stood a young woman wearing a veil and carrying a bag. He frowned and blinked a few times, but she was still there. And she was still wearing a knock-off I dream of Jeanie costume. He thought for a second and held up a finger. "Who are you?" he asked sleepily.
She slipped past him, giving him a hug on the way. "I'm part of your harem," she said happily as she headed for the kitchen. "Do you prefer tea or coffee to wake up with, Master?"
Xander's jaw dropped. "Coffee," he said, then he shook his head. "Um, harem? And don't call me that name again please." He closed the door and walked the few short feet to look at her. "Harem?" he asked again.
"You wished for us," she said cheerfully. She looked up, blinking her big, green eyes, the only thing he could see clearly of her, except her stomach and a good portion of her cleavage. "Didn't you wish for us, Master... I'm sorry," she said, bowing to him. "Please don't punish me."
Xander reached over and patted her on the back of the head. "I don't believe in punishment. Um, you said wished for." He scrubbed his face as he thought. "Can you go ahead and make me that coffee? I think I'm going to need it." He walked over to the phone and called his boss. "Hey, it's me. No," he said, watching her move swiftly around the kitchen, "I just had a personal problem crop up. No, of the female variety actually." He tolerated the laughter on the other end. "Not funny," he said dryly. "I just had one show up on my doorstep saying that she was mine and I don't know her." He shrugged and hung up. "I'm going to go shower, you do...whatever." He waved at her and walked in to go get clean under some cold water. Maybe it would help clear his head.
A few hours later, Xander had gotten her to Giles', and woken the former Watcher up. They were now sitting in his living room, looking at each other. "Any explanations?" Xander asked after another bout of silent staring. The young woman was staring off into space again.
"No, the only book I have that might have an explanation is one that I've since gotten rid of," Giles admitted. "You said he *wished* for you," he repeated for the third time, "what did you mean by that? Was it a literal wish or a figurative one? Was it demonically granted?"
"Anya," Xander groaned, holding his head.
"I'm sure she'll understand," Giles lied.
Xander glared at him. "Oh, yeah. I can just see her understanding this when I don't!" He got up and went into the kitchen to get a drink. "Would you like anything.... What's your name?"
Giles shook his head. "Excuse me? Did you say Bud?"
"Like the beer?" Xander added.
"No, silly," she said, chuckling lightly, "like the flower. I'm the first of the girls coming, I'm supposed to be making your life comfortable until they get here." She looked at Giles. "I really will need to borrow your Pocket Realms guide. His apartment is horribly small and will never hold all of us."
One of Giles' eyebrows went up. "I see." He looked over at Xander. "When did you wish for a harem?"
"I didn't," Xander ground out. "I've never wished for a harem. Ask her!"
She chuckled again. "To answer an earlier question, now that my Master has given me permission, your wish was cast unintentionally but it granted you your fondest heart's desire."
Xander waved a hand at Giles. "What have we run into that would do that? Which demon was it so I can go dig it back up and kill it again."
"It wasn't a demon," she said, standing up to look at him. "It was from a book." She looked at Giles as he swore in a long dead language. "I haven't heard that phrase in millennia. I didn't know that anyone still spoke that language."
Giles looked at her, then at Xander. "I think I know where this came from." He got up and headed up to his room, coming back with a small wooden box. "Xander, did you ever touch this book?" he asked, opening it to show it to the young man.
Xander frowned and stared at it, then nodded. "It was one of the ones that came in that large shipment from home you got right after we joined up with Buffy. Why? Did it do this?" He made a grab for the book but Giles pulled it away. "I should have the right to burn it."
"It probably has the only way to cancel the wish," Giles told him firmly. "I first got this book when I was sixteen, and after touching it I found what I most desired. Ethan." Xander snorted. "At the time he was. I wanted someone strong that would teach me even as they cared for me. He did that for a while." He looked at the woman. "You mentioned your Master, who is it?"
"It's the book," she said, walking over to take it out of the box. "In here is where we live." She opened it and a light flashed.
When Xander could see again, there were four more women standing there, all dressed like Bud in cheap harem outfits of varying colors. "Giles!" Xander protested. He grabbed the book from Bud's hand and held it against his chest. "You won't touch it again without my permission."
She bowed her head. "As you wish, Master." She nodded at Giles. "May I borrow that book now? I really should go set up a comfortable place for all of us."
Giles numbly pointed at the shelf behind him, then shook his head as he realized what he was doing, but by then Bud and the other women had disappeared out the door. He looked at his young student, shaking his head. "Xander, I don't know what to do about this yet, but I will figure it out."
Xander groaned and leaned over, banging his head on the counter. "Tell Anya," he said between hits.
Giles reached over to stop the action by putting a hand between the head and the counter, but he hitting continued through him, making his hand hurt as well. He pushed Xander upright and looked at him. "You must calm down about this. She understands demonic entities, she'll understand this."
Xander shook his head. "You tell her, I'm gonna hide behind you." He looked at the door. "For that matter, you tell Willow too. I'm not going there either." He backed away from his mentor. "I'm going to run far, far away until you've figured this out." He hurried for the door. "With any luck, they won't find me!" he said as he escaped, sounding just a little hysterical.
Giles shook his head. "Not likely. They're demons, they could find you wherever you go." He looked at his watch then out the door. It wasn't too early to call the group in to help deal with this. Maybe Buffy would be able to go find Xander by tonight, they'd probably need him after all.
"He did *what?*" Willow shrieked as she jumped to her feet.
"It wasn't intentional on his part," Giles told her, trying to calm her down. "It was the book's fault. It did it to me once also but I thought I had gotten it away from him soon enough." He looked at Tara. "Could you calm her down, dear? I need to get Buffy started on finding Xander."
"That's easy," she said, looking at the empty wooden box in the center of the table. "I saw him running through a graveyard on my way over. He's going to visit Spike." She looked up at him. "When did we get this book?"
"I don't know." He thought back then sighed. "When he was sixteen. He said it came in the large shipment I got after I found you."
Willow groaned. "Well, a harem certainly is every sixteen year old's fantasy," she admitted. She looked out the window. "Giles, you're telling Anya, right?"
"I have no doubt that she'll take it well," he admonished. "She knows about things like demonic books and magically appearing people."
Buffy snorted and patted him on the arm. "Sure she does, and she's just a regular woman who would normally freak and reach for a baseball bat too, right?" She looked at Willow. "Want me to hold her while you tell her?"
"I..I th..think you'd better figure it out," Tara mumbled, pointing at the young woman walking up to the store.
"You hold her," Willow said, her face showing grim determination. "We'll do this in your training room so she doesn't break anything." She got up and went to get Anya from the door, leading her into the back room with Buffy following them.
"She won't take it that hard," Giles protested to Tara, who shook her head.
"I'd kill him," she said quietly, getting up to go join Willow. She didn't want her girlfriend hurt.
Giles jumped a few minutes later at the crashing noises from the back room. He started to walk back there but thought better of it. If what the girls said was true, and it appeared it was, then he was likely to get hurt very badly. He left the store, turning the sign and locking the door so no innocent person would get hurt either as he made his escape. He had some research to do.
Xander panted as he ran inside Spike's crypt, leaning against the door. The vampire sat up and looked at him and he waved a hand outside. "Big...demon...women!" he said frantically. "Help!" He grabbed Spike and shook him. "Save me!"
Spike got free and looked at the boy, starting to wonder if he was going insane or if it was the kid. "What's happened now?" he said in a bored voice.
"I have a harem," Xander said hysterically. "Demon harem." Spike's mouth fell open. "Don't give me that look! All I did was pick up a book! Giles even took it from me! I never made a wish on it but they showed up this morning, well Bud did, and she made me really good coffee. So I took her over to Giles' house and he freaked too, he didn't even believe that Anya would take this badly. Now I have to hide and you've got to help me, Spike. I don't know what to do about this. I want them to go away!"
Spike pushed the boy hard, sending him into the easy chair. "Thank you. Do it again, slower this time?" he suggested. "All I got was somethin' about a book and demon women forming a harem."
Xander nodded. "A harem for me!" He started to look around. "They can't find me, right? They can't track me here?" He grabbed Spike again. "Fix it?" he begged.
Spike got free and stepped farther away. "Sure, I'll help." He smiled. "For a price."
"Hey, you can have the women," Xander offered quickly.
Spike laughed and shook his head. "I may take you up on that offer." He looked the boy over. "All right. What wish did you make?"
"I didn't! The book did it all without my consent."
Spike groaned and rubbed his scarred eyebrow. "That makes it a bit more difficult but nothing that the Watcher shouldn't be able to fix." He looked down at Xander, who looked miserable. "You really have a harem?"
Xander looked up and nodded. "And Giles thought Anya was going to take it well," he said, almost smiling. "Can you stop her? I mean, she used to be a demon and all, does that work with the chip?"
Spike shook his head and went to find something to drink. He would need it by the end of this story.
Spike looked over at the boy and shook his head. "Your girl's gonna get you," he warned.
Xander nodded, sipping at the water Spike had found for him. "I know. That's why I suggested that Giles tell her while I ran away." He looked up and smiled. "I'm *so* torn here," he admitted. "On one hand, I wouldn't mind having a harem. I'm twenty-one, I can handle having women who like me a lot." He sighed. "On the other, I think I love Anya."
Spike snorted. "I'm sure they'll sort each other out." He finished off his beer and tossed the bottle at the wall, grimacing as it didn't break. "Bugger," he swore.
Xander looked at the bottle, then at the vampire. "Want to expand on that?"
"It shoulda broken," he complained. "The new glass is too thick." He shrugged it off and looked at the boy again. "What're you gonna do now? Go home and suck it up, or go home and have it all sucked up?"
Xander choked. "Spike!" He shook his head. "I want to hide from all the women." He looked over at his friend but he was shaking his head. "I'll be nice and clean," he offered.
"Oy! I do that well enough." Spike stood up and patted him on the head. "They'll still find you, mate. Never fear, they'll be comin' for you soon enough."
"Xander!" Buffy called from the doorway.
Xander jumped, splashing water on himself. "Buffy!" he whined. "Don't sneak up on me."
"Sorry." She kissed him on the cheek. "Anya decided this wasn't your fault and she went to try and get the demonesses to leave."
He blinked then grinned. "Will it work?" He looked at Spike, who shook his head, making him return to unhappiness. "Why not? She's got the prior claim on me."
"Not from when you were sixteen," Spike reminded him.
Xander groaned, "I am so dead," and pulled a pillow up to hide his face.
Buffy looked at Spike. "Giles wanted him."
"Take him," he offered. "I don't want 'im. I'll take one of the skirts if he don't want 'em but I don't need him."
Buffy took the pillows and forced Xander up, ignoring the wet spot down the front of his pants. She dragged him from the crypt, slamming the door behind her.
Spike sat in his chair and started to laugh. Only that boy could get into this sort of trouble.
Anya saw Xander walking up the sidewalk and pulled him over into a break between buildings. "I know this is your fault, but I understand that you didn't actually ask for this. For that reason alone I'm not mad at you right now. No make-up sex will be required on your part." She sniffled. "I would get those women out of your apartment soon. Before I decide that I'm very angry with you and decide that it's best that I leave you permanently." She blew him a kiss and walked away.
Xander shook his head, more confused now than he had been before running into his girlfriend. He continued up the sidewalk to his apartment. Everyone had told him that the women would hunt him down if he didn't show up soon, so here he was. He walked up to his apartment and tapped lightly on the door, not thinking about using his keys. He didn't know what these women were up to and he didn't want to barge in on them without any warning. The door opened and so did his mouth as he saw the inside of his apartment. "Wow," he said, walking inside and looking around. "This is... this is..." He looked at Bud, who was looking hopeful. "Way too much," he finished. "Why did you drape the ceilings?"
"If it displeases you, we can change it," she murmured, looking at the floor. "Your other place was too small so we tapped into a pocket dimension we knew was unoccupied."
Xander reached over and awkwardly patted her on the shoulder. "It's fine. As long as it's comfortable for you...me, I mean me," he amended at her hurt look. "Listen, I'm really new to this whole concept. Would you sit and explain this to me? Maybe in small words with long pauses so I can absorb it all?"
Her face lit up. "Of course, Master."
"Don't call me that!"
She nodded. "Of course not. What shall we call you instead?"
"How about my name?"
"Xander it is then," she said happily, leading him into a room full of soft pillows littering the floor and a single couch. She sat him on the couch and sat at his feet on one of the pillows. "What may I tell you, Xander? You already know about the wish."
"No, actually I don't," he told her. "All I know is that I was sixteen and hormonal. Then I picked up and held a book for under a minute and now you're all here." He looked around the room, taking in the draping fabrics along the walls. "And why did you wait until now?"
"Because we would be the most use to you now," she said demurely. "Even a sixteen year old prince can't handle a harem very well. He needs training and maturity to deal with a harem." She copied his position, getting comfortable. "As to your wish, the book read you. It chose from among the thousands of small wishes every heart holds that are never spoken and picked this one to fulfill for you."
Xander nodded slowly. "Okay, I can understand that part. Um, what about your needs? I don't make enough to feed all of you."
She chuckled. "Our needs are met by taking care of you, and we are equipped to meet all your needs also. For as long as you keep us, we will fulfill every wish and desire that you have, no matter how small or gratuitous."
"But what about feeding you and...and clothing you because you can't run around in that all day, not in this town. They ignore a lot but not almost nude women." He leaned his head back against the couch. "How about this," he said finally. "You girls can do whatever you want to in here, for as long as you're here, but if you go outside you are not to wear those clothes and you are not to defer to anyone." He looked down and saw her nod. "Good. I need you to act like the other women in town whenever you leave this ...apartment." He looked around again. "Whoever did this has really good taste," he complimented. "It's light and breezy but it's not too bad."
She smiled. "That would be Locus. She's wonderful with fabrics." She stood up. "Should I go get her so you can thank her in person?"
Xander nodded. "I probably should meet all of you now, before my mind catches up with the rest of me." She jogged off, coming back with six women. "Hey, weren't there five of you earlier?"
Giles checked his watch and looked at Buffy. "Are you sure he said he was coming back here today instead of going to work?" His Slayer nodded. "Then where can he be?"
"I know," Tara called, holding up her book. She handed it over and squeezed Willow's hand. "It's their way of keeping him."
Giles read the passage, absently sitting down as he did so. He looked up at Buffy. "We have to get him away from them before they stretch time any farther for him. I have no idea what the effects of that might be, but I have a feeling that it's going to be horrid on Xander if we don't save him."
"They're going to eat him?" Buffy asked, looking confused.
Willow snickered. "No, but they're going to keep him with them for as long as possible." She handed over her book. "Here, read that page and the one before it." She looked at Giles. "Can we fight against a pocket dimension?"
He shrugged. "I have no earthly clue." He put the fragile book down carefully. "All I know is that they're stretching time out. To him, it probably seems like it's been an hour or so. To us, it's been two days. The longer this goes on, the more damage can come to Xander."
"And he won't notice?" Buffy asked.
"Nope, his watch and everything will look like it's not been that long," Willow told her. "Which is why it's going to hurt him. Imagine having a meal that lasted for weeks?"
"Until his body gets used to such tricks," Giles pointed out. "Then he'll be perfectly capable of dealing with it."
"So we have to go pull him out of his apartment then," Buffy said, closing the book and dropping it onto the table. "Let's go."
"It's not that simple," Willow reminded her. "Or at least it might not be. If they've got a firm hold on him, he's not going to come out of there without one of them attached to him somehow. Even if he doesn't realize it."
"Which will keep the temporal spell in effect," Giles finished.
"So how do I get him free?" Buffy asked, trying to sound patient.
"We call him," Tara suggested. "The phone would work, right?" Giles shrugged. "It'll be easiest."
"And if one of the skanky demon women come with him then we can beat her up here," Willow said, smiling at her girlfriend. Tara gave her a look. "We can't beat up the skanky demon women?"
"Probably not," she said gently. "He might mind." Buffy gave her an odd look. "They're probably controlling him, Buffy."
"Point," she said grimly. "I still want to beat up on the hos."
Giles hung up the phone. "He said it's the middle of the night and he won't come." He looked around. "I have no idea what to do. He mumbled something about roast turkey sandwiches as he was drifting off again." He took off his glasses to clean them. "He must already be acclimating if he was hungry." He put them back on, looking at the girls. "Get me my pocket dimension guide, Tara. I want to see what she was looking at." She nodded, going to do that. "Buffy, go wake the boy up and drag him here. Say it's a personal crisis or something. Say Spike just tried to climb into bed with Willow. That should get him up." Buffy snickered and walked out, going to do that. "Sorry, Willow. Do you mind being the ravished one this time?"
"No, not in the least. Better me being pretend-ravished than me being ravished for real or leaving him with the skanky, half-dressed demons." Tara came back, frowning at her. "It is."
"Maybe," she told her. She handed Giles the book and sat down, pulling Willow down beside her to make sure her girlfriend knew she was going to be ravished just for thinking that thought.
Giles looked around the section she had been using, frowning a bit. "She could have anchored it outside of this world?" he muttered. "Or she could have anchored it in the dimension itself." He sat down to continue reading, he hadn't studied this book very much, it had been a present from Ethan. That got a thought started but he shook it off and went back to reading. He was a method of last resort. He'd have to beg and he didn't like to do that.
Buffy came back twenty minutes later, shaking her head. "No Xander in the apartment. No nothing in the apartment, not even that ratty old sleeper." She perched herself on a counter. "So what's plan b?"
"We need someone who can get in there to them," Giles told her.
"Could that Ethan guy do it since you said he was your wish?" Willow asked. Giles gave her an odd look. "Is he demonic like those women?"
"No, he's human," he said bitterly. "I don't know where he is."
"He's in the Caymans," Willow told him. "I keep a computer trace on him in case he heads this way again." He squeezed the bridge of his nose. "I only wanted to give us some warning, Giles."
"I'm sure it's all right, as long as you're not really breaking the law or anything," he said bitterly. He looked at her. "If you think it'll help, by all means call him."
"Can we go pick him up?" Buffy asked hopefully. "I wouldn't mind a weekend in the Cayman Islands."
"No, Buffy," he said impatiently. "Ask your mother if you wish to go."
"Fine," she said, starting to pout. "Maybe for spring break?"
"I'm afraid you'll have another apocalypse then," he said dryly. He handed Willow the phone. "If you mention me, he won't come at all," he warned, heading to his office to continue reading. He really could fix this on his own. Even if Ethan knew more about magic, realms, and all that stuff.
Willow looked up the number and dialed, smiling at the woman's voice answering the phone. "I desperately need to speak to Ethan Rayne. Willow Rosenburg. No, there was a book that a harem came out of and it's trapping someone Ethan likes to pick on in a pocket dimension thingy. Since he's had dealings with the book I thought he might be able to tell me where to look to take Xander away from the new demonic harem." The phone yanked away from her while she was repeating it to him. "Ethan, it's Rosenburg, in Sunnydale?" She smiled. "Yup, the witchly one. Remember soldier boy from that Halloween? Him. No, some book that made Giles have a headache and say nice things about you. Apparently he managed to barely touch it when he was sixteen and two days ago a demonic ho showed up. Now he's got a harem in a pocket dimension and he's kinda trapped. Please?" she pleaded with a grin. "Fank you, Ethan. Nope, we're in the Magic Box. Giles owns it now. Sure. We'll be here then. I can always skip Physics. Thank you!" She hung up and smiled. "He'll be here while you're taking your TV Lit class, Buffy."
"Gee, just make me take a test," she complained. "I wanna help!"
"Magic stuff. You'd sneeze and trip over stuff," Willow reminded her.
"Fine." She pouted. "I'm heading to study for the stupid test. I don't know how South Park relates back to Greek and Roman mythology, do you?" Both witches shook their heads. "Me either. He wasn't very clear. I think he was smoking stuff during that lecture." She walked off, still pouting at having to take a test instead of beating up on a chaos sorcerer.
"Sometimes her priorities are a bit skewed," Willow noted dryly. Tara kissed her on the cheek and patted her on the hand. She smiled at her. "Giles, we're going back to the dorm. I'm skipping tomorrow so I'll be here when he comes," she called, standing up and pulling Tara up so they could walk back with Buffy.
"That's fine, I'm going to be drinking myself into a coma tonight," he muttered from behind his desk. A bottle of cognac appeared next to him. He looked up. "Something a bit less high brow perhaps?" Ethan appeared, smirking at him, handing over the bottle of scotch. "Thank you. I need this."
"THE book got him?" he asked smugly. "You actually let someone near it?"
"He pulled it out of a box and I snatched it from his hand in under a minute," he said, pouring two shots. He handed one over. He wasn't going to rise to the bait, no matter how much Ethan would enjoy it. "He was sixteen. They showed up two days ago. Buffy said his apartment is empty so the pocket dimension is anchored somewhere else."
Ethan sipped his drink, considering it. Then he shivered and sat down. "Turn up the heat, Ripper. It's cold."
"You were in the Carribean, Ethan. It's California, not much different." But he did turn up the heat a bit. He'd have to humor Ethan to get his help.
"You got that right," he said, smirking a bit at him. "How about a kiss for old time's sake, Ripper?"
"Let me drink myself into a coma first," he said sarcastically, pouring another shot to get closer to where he'd need to be. Ethan laughed but drank his shot while he thought. "There's at least five of them, Ethan. His wish was a harem."
"Every boy's wish is a harem, no matter how young or old," he said wisely. "People kill for harems. Especially if they're willing ones." He leaned forward and Giles poured him more scotch. "Thank you, Ripper." He looked around. "Where is Miss Rosenburg?"
"Probably snuggling with her witch by now. It's not that far back to the dorms."
Ethan blinked. "I thought she liked men."
"She did, but then he left and she got herself a girlfriend," he said with a drunken smirk. "Very pretty and pure."
"Hmm. Wonder if I could request a threesome in payment," he mused. "That would probably please Janus half to death." He drank his shot and put the glass down. He didn't need any more tonight.
"If you get Xander free, you can probably have his harem," Giles offered with a meaner smirk.
"Hmm. I remember the boy. Quite nice. Very strong aura." Giles shook his head and Ethan nodded. "Oh, yes, he did. Haven't touched that one?" He shook his head quickly. "Pity. Guess that's another possible payment, but only if they've convinced him he doesn't want saved." Giles frowned at him. "Think about it, old friend, he's in a realm where everything he's ever wanted can be his for the asking. Fancy clothes, numerous women, a peaceful life and death, riches beyond measure for a boy who's fought with your slayer if what I saw was right. Would you want to give that up to come back to this life of scrimping, saving, fighting, and dying horribly some night?"
"No," he moaned.
Ethan nodded. "I'll try but I can't promise it or anything. After all not even friendship can make up for a life like that."
"He's got a girlfriend."
"Anyanka turned human and she's his."
"Then I'd definitely stay," he said sourly. "I've seen her, attractive but pushy." She shook his head. "Where am I staying tonight?"
"That depends. Can I not be molested?"
"If I request it, you'd have to pay it, Ripper," he noted smugly.
"Yes, but if you do, I doubt that other little fantasy of yours would come true."
"Point." He shrugged. "Fine. Where is the book?" Giles pointed at the wooden box on his shelf. "You didn't burn it? I'm impressed."
"Xander told Bud, the first one, that she couldn't touch it ever again."
"That alone may save him if she hasn't pulled the method of his destruction out," he admitted, sitting down to look it over. "Ah, here it is. Under standard fantasies," he said about an hour later. "No, she'd be the one hundredth one. Or the hundredth and first maybe. Does she have a roving one?" Giles snored at him. "Never mind. I'll check tomorrow. At the very least the boy will be pleased to know of his destruction coming up." He closed the book and got up, grabbing Ripper and taking him with him. He'd have to get him to agree to all sorts of things in payment and he wanted a good, long think in a bath to figure out what he wanted.
Ethan walked through the apartment, finding the small anchor they had left. They had to leave a bit of it, otherwise it'd be floating off and the demons would lose strength by not being able to touch the book's energy. He used the power of the book to open the portal and stepped inside, watching as it closed behind him. He paused to look around, nodding. "This is rather nice," he admitted.
"Rayne?" Xander demanded, standing up from the lounging couch he'd been on. "What are *you* doing here? Does Giles know you're around again?"
"He called me actually. It's been three days since you've been out of here, young man." He stepped over the threshold, firmly into their dimension now. He could feel time slowing around him. "He couldn't get in here. You see, they've not totally anchored this in your old apartment. This is a serious pocket dimension." He held out the book. "Do not let them touch it, especially not if one of them came after you ordered them not to. You can expel her before she kills you."
"What!" he demanded, moving closer.
"Don't listen to him, Xander. He's a bad man who didn't like his wish when he got it."
"I never made a wish, demon. Ripper made a wish and got me." He looked into the boy's eyes, seeing the knowledge there. He knew who to believe. "Page sixty-one," he said quietly, handing it over. Xander opened it, staying standing to read while he looked around. "This is really nice. A bit more filmy than I usually like though."
Xander blanched and looked at the mysterious sixth demon. "Banish her," he said, pointing at her. Bud shrieked and he glared at her. "I mean it. She leaves this dimension never to return or you all do." She whimpered and his glare turned icy. "I won't have it, Bud. I didn't ask for her services and I ordered you not to touch the book after you called the first four. You violated my orders." She whimpered, shrinking in on herself like a plant dying. She and the sixth one both were shriveling up and turning to dust, blowing away. He looked at Ethan. "Can I avoid them coming back?" He nodded. "How?"
"No one has access to the book but a pure human. They are *your* harem and your word is law here. Either that or you end their world by leaving it, disavowing it, and cutting yourself off from it. Which in this case may mean cutting off your penis if you've let them sleep with you. Giles had to cut off a nipple because they anchored it to a piercing he used to have there. I thought it was cute." He smiled. "Do you think I could name my price with Rosenburg for helping you?"
"I think Tara would kill you," he admitted dryly, smirking at him. "You get to name a price for bringing me the book?" He nodded. "Really?" He nodded, smirking now. "Huh. Why don't you want Giles?"
"Because I'm having a craving for purity at the moment. Miss Summers slept with a vampire."
"A few times," Xander agreed, nodding. Ethan raised an eyebrow. "Spike too."
"Eww. I have better taste than that. Miss Rosenburg is still rather pure and her girlfriend is rather pretty. Plus she's innocent of many things, including corruption."
"Yes, but Tara's strength is her purity, Ethan," he said dryly. "Willow would miss that."
"Point." He looked upset for a moment then it cleared up. "Oh well." He looked at him. "What do you think about coming back?"
Xander slumped and looked around. "I don't know," he said, looking at him again. "I feel...."
"Happy? Rewarded for all the good you've done? Secure for a change?" he suggested. Xander sighed and nodded. "Can you really leave your friends for a quick piece of ass?"
"It's not like they're that close. Besides, I already have partially thanks to Anya telling them *everything* and complaining about her lack of orgasms if there's less than four."
"Are you sure she wasn't a succubus?"
"Fairly. We saw her at work a few times." He sat down again, looking at the remaining girls. "The only people to touch the book are myself and Ethan Rayne here," he ordered. "If you break this law or try to harm me in any way, I will destroy you the same as I did the other two."
One girl knelt at his feet, bowing to him. "Master Xander, only Bud knew of the ways to harness the book."
"That's only partially a truth," Ethan admitted as he flopped down. "Ooh, this is nice, I need one of these at home." He looked down at her. "You all know *something* about how to use the book."
"Only how to use it in our areas and using it to feed us," she whimpered.
"What do you eat?" Xander asked.
"Energy, Master Xander," another one said, sitting at Ethan's feet, staring at the ground. "We are sorry Bud was going to harm you."
"How many forms did she go through?" Ethan asked.
"She always looked the same to me," Xander offered.
"Doesn't mean a thing, boy. Speak."
She looked at him. "Three, one for each day. As it is written," she said quietly, blinking her big, wet eyes up at him.
"Tell me the truth," Xander ordered them. "Who else can call that destroyer from the book?"
"Only Bud," they assured him, all bowing to him now.
"We would never do anything to harm you, Master Xander," one girl pleaded. "We only want to please you." She looked up at him. "I could do nothing to harm you in the baths while I'm bathing you. Please don't send us away and disavow us. We'll die!" she sobbed, clinging to his legs.
"There is that factor as well," Ethan said quietly. "They won't go back into the book, young man."
"I have a name, Ethan, use it," he said gruffly, patting her on the head. "Are they harmful demons?"
"No. Not in the least. You'd be in here forever with the way time's slowed. You'd be pampered and spoilt until the day you died of old age, sometime in the next ten millennia." Xander looked at him. "Seriously. When I came in it was about, probably, a day ago." Xander groaned and shook his head. "If you do give them up, they will die. If you don't give them up, you'll die pampered and spoilt."
"Is that really so bad?" he asked quietly. "I know it's selfish...."
Ethan patted him on the wrist. "I didn't think you'd come back anyway. Not with what you had to go back to. A horrible death some night when you weren't good enough? Scrimping and saving for Anyanka to get treats. Working all day and slaying all night? Friends are wonderful, Xander, but I do understand."
"So, Janus is getting a happy right now?" he asked calmly.
Ethan snickered. "No, for him to get off that way, I'd have to get some innocence and share it here with you." He looked around again. "I never did make a wish you know."
One of the girls touched his knee, nodding. "You did to get in here," she said quietly.
"Can you make him his own area?" Xander asked. They nodded, smiling at him. "Will that keep you guys fed and happy for a while?"
"Yes, Master Xander," they said, smiling at him.
"I'd need a few servants of my own," Ethan pointed out. "Let's see, there's been eight of you used. May I, Xander?" He handed over the book, grimacing. Six more people appeared and he smiled happily. "Ah, there." He handed it back. "You'll need a purely wooden box for that." He unshrunk the one he had pulled from Giles' desk last night and handed it over. Xander put it in there and locked it, making them all sigh in relief. "Did it burn?" he asked one. She nodded, looking down. He smiled and patted her on the head. "Go make me a place to live, dear." He looked behind him, gauging their chances of being the destroyer, putting a marking on each one that would change if they did. One was already changing so he destroyed that one. "Let that be a lesson to you lot. Nothing and no one harms me or Xander here. We are your Lords and Masters. Remember that." He stood up and one of the men nodded, bowing to him. "Good." He smiled. "Lead me to my rooms. Xander, I'll see you later?"
"Are you sure you want to stay?"
"What do I have to go back to, boy? Getting older? More riposting with Ripper? More selfish little girls and boys who only want me for my power? A lack of innocence in all of them?" He shrugged and smirked a bit. "I find this much nicer." He followed his servants out, giving them the same orders Xander had. No one who was not the two of them, by name, touched the book. Ever. One gave him a hurt look so he banished him back to the mortal plane with an order to please Rupert Giles until the day he died. That left him with four, two of each sex, and that was more than enough. Once his bedroom was complete, he did check one, finding that his desire to have them being permanently pure for him was being followed. It was good, like the sweets he used to crave. The rest got to work making a life for him while he went to soak off the small exertion. He found the sunken bath just past the library with every book ever written with Xander already in it, climbing in across from him. "You," he ordered, pointing at the waiting men. "Our backs please." They nodded, coming to give massages. Xander moaned, arching back into the talented fingers. "You only have females?"
"I only like women," he said, opening one eye to look at him. "Why?"
"I'd have thought that you might like men as well. The stronger the sexual urges, the stronger the wish created is," he quoted. Xander shrugged and closed that eye. "You were how old?"
"Sixteen." He moaned again, tipping his head to the side. "Oh, there."
Ethan smirked a bit. "Perhaps you should have some men as well. Teach you that side? It'll give you something to do."
"I'm not bored yet, Ethan. When I am, I'll think about it." He looked around. "Why does one of yours look like Tara?"
"I've always had a thing for blondes, natural blondes." He smiled. "It comes from growing up around redheads." He tipped his head so the man could get his neck better. "There, thank you." He nodded, getting to work on the knots of tension doing the spells earlier had created. "Yours are pretty."
"That's up to them, Ethan."
"Actually that's up to you."
Xander opened both eyes this time. "We'll see." He closed his eyes again, turning to let the masseuse get more of his back. "That's good, right there," he moaned.
Willow walked around the empty apartment, glaring at the magic she could almost feel hanging around. "They're still here somewhere."
"They're probably anchored to one of the wall studs," Giles said quietly. It had been over a week since Ethan had went in and neither had appeared. He watched her look around, feeling where the magic was. It was anchored in front of one of the windows. They were probably taking some sunlight or something from it. The spell had been anchored so deeply into the foundation of the building that even if it was destroyed, the sub-realm would still be safe. They knew what they were doing when they created it.
"We should try to..."
"Should you, it could unravel and kill them all," Giles said firmly. She pouted. "I mean it."
"Fine, but we can't just leave him!" she whined.
"We can and we will. If it stopped Ethan, what's to say they could come back," Buffy said reasonably. "I love Xander and I'll miss him, but not enough to risk his life if he's not already dead, Willow. Trying to go after him again could mean he'd die. I don't want that. You don't want that. Xander definitely wouldn't want that. For all we know, he could have succubuses there and be enjoying it or something." Giles gave her an odd look. "I figured they'd pull other demons first instead of real girls," she defended.
"The type of demons they are can do that sort of thing without further help," he offered. He looked at Willow. "We will not go after him again, Willow. We will take over the rent on this apartment so we can make sure we're here if and when he comes back. If they still have time slowed, there's no telling how long that could be, but it seems to be the safest course."
"What if they're torturing him," she complained. "He could be in really big trouble."
"Willow, those girls only wanted to have Xander sandwiches," Buffy reminded her. She blushed at that and looked at her feet. "They were willing to do anything he ordered. I doubt they're torturing him unless Xander's that kinky." She blushed brighter red and so did Giles. "So who's going to live here, Giles?"
"Tara and I can," Willow offered.
Giles stared at her. "I think not. The temptation would be too great for you, Willow. I'll move here. It is a very nice place, fairly well lit and all. That way if anything starts to happen I can brace the spell without interfering, like you would." She pouted some more. "This is not open to negotiation. You doing magic around it could very well mean that they both died. Do you want that on your conscience?" She shook her head, looking down again. "Then buck up and behave, Willow. We'll just have to wait." He shooed the girls out and stopped to talk to the manager about renting it, telling him that Xander had to move suddenly for a family emergency, that it was fully cleaned out. The manager found the thread of magic but Giles coughed and shook his head. "I'm here to handle that." The manager nodded and found a lease for him, letting him move in the next day.
Soon he was settled in and everything was set for whenever Ethan and Xander decided to come back. Because he was sure it was a matter of decision in this case. Immortality with a few pretty girls would have drawn him too. No pain, no suffering, no having to kill those demons... He knew why Xander hadn't come back once he stopped to think about it and he was sure the boy would get bored some year. He, or someone else who understood, would be waiting on him.