Joyce looked at Buffy's outfit. "You're not hunting in that."
"I look cute," she said, looking at herself then her mother. "It's baiting, Mom."
"Dear, how many of them get flashed by you before they go whoosh as Xander called it?"
"Um.... A few maybe but they all go bye-bye."
"Uh-huh. Pants. No heels. We can find you something more practical." Buffy sighed but nodded, letting her mother take her shopping for hunting clothes. You could find sexy jeans that weren't too tight and a top that was tough enough to live through a fight. She called John to get his opinion and he sent Lex over to help. Even if the boy complained he'd have flashbacks. Then she followed her daughter on patrol with Lex to find out what she needed to deal with. They chatted about boys and Lex put in some of his own opinion. At least until someone called his phone.
"What's up?" Lex answered. "Excuse me?" He listened and nodded. "Huh. Sure, you get him handled and I'm going to stake the mother fucker. Thanks, Dean." He hung up. "Angel decided to beat the crap out of Xander for me telling you what he was."
"He's going then," she said with a shrug.
Lex nodded. "We might have a problem with the Powers That Be... but at the least I'm going to make his unlife a living hell." He walked off. "He's been spotted at the Bronze."
"Sure," she agreed, following. She smiled at her mother. "I almost crushed on him until Xander told me what he was. Even if we're supposed to be coworkers, not now." Joyce just nodded and followed, learning about this mysterious Angel her daughter had mentioned a few times.
Lex smirked as he walked up to the vampire. "Angelus." The vampire snarled and turned, giving him a confused look. "Yeah, there's more than one of us." He punched him as hard as he could, sending Angel backward to the ground. He kicked him. Angel got up to take a swing and Lex beat his ass. Then Lex smirked. "I should do the spell to send you to hell now."
"Who're you," he moaned, holding a broken rib.
"Lex." He smirked at the other vampires watching. "What?"
"Nothing, Lord Lex. You scared the crap out of us before." He bowed and they all backed off.
Lex stared at Angel, sneering at him. "So you decided to go after Xander for me telling Buffy what you used to be and about the soul clause? Ya know, I did that because I saw it when you lost it in the future." Angel gave him a horrified look. "Because you so lost it you killed people in the group, you pathetically stalked her, and we had to get into it in the hospital." He moved closer. "You also got to go to hell for a bit because you started a situation and your blood had to finish it." He stared at him. "You might be on the Powers' side, but damned if I give a damn."
"This is not what you were to do," a male voice said.
Buffy looked at him. "Why are you here?" she complained.
"He's a balance demon and works for the Powers," Lex told her. "Whistler tells you how to have a sucky life and gives you painful choices." He looked at him again. "Be damned if I'm going to let this go on. If you want him saved, send him to LA now."
"Um..." the messenger said, staring at him. "You're not Xander."
"No, I'm Lex."
"Huh?" he asked. Buffy filled him in and he gave Lex a horrified look. "The Powers didn't plan for you."
"They didn't plan for my nicer half here. Yay me," Lex said dryly. "By the way, Sunnydale will become a sanctuary for the peaceful demons some day soon. I did it on my realm, I'll damn well do it here to protect my nicer self." He glared at the vampires. "You have until Xander graduates in two years. Then he'll go on his road trip, maybe with Sam, and it'll go my way." They nodded, turning and fleeing. He looked at the messenger again. "Anything else?"
"You're awfully brash in the face of one who works for higher powers," the demon said.
Lex snorted. "I scried when Willow nearly ended the world. Why would I care?"
Buffy gave him a funny look. "She did?"
"Yeah, that's why Draco's teaching her this time. Because Giles doing it led to her stealing books. She got to the scary part of magic addiction. This time she won't."
The balance demon cleared his throat. "That has a reason."
Lex pulled his wand and hexed his clothes so they matched. "No, it doesn't." The demon started to whimper. Lex smiled and moved closer. "Want me to go to the portal and talk to the Oracles?" He nodded and disappeared. "I'll be back tomorrow, Buffy. Get Dean to go with you?" He stared at her. "That way you're not alone."
"I know, John drummed the concept of backup into my thick skull," she sighed. "But Dean's really a hotty with a stake." She called him. "Hi, Dean. Xander just pissed off a higher power by beating the crap out of Angel so he's going to talk to some Oracle-y person. No, not the computer company, some higher power thingy. That way I'm not alone on patrol with Mom? Sure, your dad's great at it. Thanks." She looked around. "Outside the Bronze. Thanks. We can wait in there, get a drink." She hung up and they went inside.
Xander moved himself to LA. He loved learning magic, it was so much easier than driving. The beings in the portal stared at him in horrified awe when he appeared. "I learned from Draco and Harry." He put his wand back in his pocket. "I'm told that you guys not only didn't account for Xander, but also for Rosenburgian wishes that brought me too?"
"You unbalance things," one of the oracles said.
"No, I remember the sucky pain from last time and I know it won't happen again, even if I have to sacrifice myself this time." He stared at them. "There's no reason for Willow to have to go magic addiction. There's no reason for Buffy to have to die twice and be brought back that second time." They glared at him. He stared back. "Sunnydale will be a peaceful demon sanctuary in a few years. I've already started on that plan. Even if you kick me off this realm, it'll happen. I've prepped everything, all I have to do is finish cleaning out the vampires."
They stared at each other. "You're warping the plans."
"The plans sucked," Xander said bluntly. "And they created more problems. Even with that rumored thing with the First, you won't get enough slayers for that invasion prophecy. Which, by the way, pretty easy to stop when you kill the guys doing it. Because I'm not the nice guy in this realm." They looked and gave him another horrified look. He smirked. "Anything else? I've got to help my Army of Der prepare for the next apocalypse battle we'll have."
"You should not be here," the male Oracle said.
"Yeah but I am. What's his name, the balance demon, told me to come talk to you when I beat the crap out of Angel for doing it to my twin."
They shuddered and walked off. "The Powers are upset."
"Yay." He put down something from his pocket, letting it grow. It trapped both spirits. When more showed up, they got trapped too. They never expected him or Xander to use their powers against them. They never expected people to have things that could hurt them, which was stupid around hunters. "Hi, Powers That Be." He picked it up and walked it off. He found Whistler glaring at him.
He held up the box. "I'm not hurting them. Just making them leave people alone so they have free will." He grinned. "Threzenor?" he called. The demon appeared, staring at him. "Here, the Powers That Be." He handed over the box. "Your people are neutral guardians who have never picked a side. You can watch that box of Powers That Be for however long you wish." He disappeared.
"Give it over," the balance demon ordered.
"No, I think not. The priests will make that decision." He disappeared, taking it to the temple. "High Priest," he called. "We have an issue. I got handed this box of Powers That Be to guard."
The priests all stared at him. The highest took it to sense then nodded. "It is them. We will build them a shrine and protect them. They are to be honored but not released." The lower ones nodded, working up plans for their shrine. For now they got locked in the safest area they had available.
Lex reappeared, looking at the family. "I've so had it with interfering powers."
John gaped. "What did you do?"
"Capturing box." He grinned. "Remember when I told you about those priests?" John nodded. So did Buffy. "They have them." He smirked. "The slayer calling is on automatic. The plans were really bad plans. The one thing they wanted so many slayers for, and then to die off afterward, is already stopped. So's most of the ones here." He crossed his arms over his chest. "Therefore it'll be an easier time." He walked off to take his bad mood out on something evil. There were still plenty of them in town.
Buffy shook her head. "He's really pissed off."
"Yeah, just a bit," John agreed. He finished his coffee and they went on patrol with Joyce following. He explained things to her. They ran into a few harmful demons fleeing Lex but that was fine. They could handle lesser evil things.
The remaining few Powers That Be, Was, and Will Be Again had a meeting. Things were not going according to plans. They checked on all their plans, finding many of the lines cut. Humanity wasn't in hardly any danger. There were fewer apocalypses that could happen. Whole books of prophecy were now erased. Though one of the Powers That Was found an interesting prophecy speaking of a warrior they overlooked. They read it and decided that was the one named Lex. They checked his history and winced at what he had seen and done. He had undone their plans because he had seen the outcomes before and had found them lacking for humanity. The Powers That Was crowed because they had always said that the Be's plans were bad. The others ignored them yet again.
They had to make new plans. Ones that wouldn't get countered.
Of course, they forgot the natural one on this world. Until he had a vision. Then they gave him a horrified look because he was just as strong but not in the battle-hardened shape so he wouldn't think tactically, he would just destroy them. All of them.
"So be it. The slayer line shall be changed," one of the Powers That Will Be Again announced. The others nodded it was the only way. "What we saw of them, Kendra will be called." They nodded. "As will Faith. A trio of huntresses will be better for humanity."
"It will also split the memories so not as many are shoved in," another Power said. "Which will help Faith."
"What of that boy and his other self?" another asked.
"He has worked to protect humanity. He is one of ours but Sunnydale will not be the sanctuary he wants. We will help him create one somewhere more neutral. Sunnydale is too washed with bad power from the hellmouth. It will warp the peaceful into a different apocalypse." They considered it then nodded. They also brought their cohorts back. That would calm down Xander and his other self. Before Xander killed everyone while Lex praised him.
The house they were in warped and Draco looked up. "Interesting."
Harry glared at him. "Only you could be that blase about anything this huge going on."
"Well, yes, but it does take a lot to impress me."
"I've got ten inches," Dean quipped with an evil smirk.
"No, I said a lot," Draco said dryly.
John Winchester looked up from his gun cleaning when the house around them changed, grew, and got fancier. And then the other boys started to snark at each other. He cleared his throat. "Dean, you've never been that big, or you'd scare the waitresses, son." His boys both smirked at him. "It's going to be strange with the older and younger sets." He looked at the Der army, nodding at the mini-Sam. Who was adorable and pouting. "Why are you pouting?"
"Now there's three of us."
Draco swished his wand and cast something complicated. Their other selves were brought out and merged. All were now the younger set's age but they had their own memories. And Sam's hyena taint stayed too.
Lex leaned out of the kitchen. "That didn't work, Draco."
"Not on you," he snorted. "You're too well integrated." He smirked. Lex smirked back.
Xander came out to look at them. "Hi," he said, blinking a few times. "You guys feel different and there's more Der."
"That's because the higher Powers said that we're staying here now," Harry quipped with a grin. "How long have aurors been in town trying to track me?"
"Two days," John said. "They stand out in their robes."
"Tonks might not." He settled himself down. The Draco Der hopped up to sit on his shoulder. "We should scout them," he said. The Draco Der nodded. "Are you still hoarse?"
"A tiny bit," he said, then sniffled.
Harry hugged him. "You'll feel better soon." Draco growled.
Dean looked at Harry then at Draco. "He and Lex are both honorable sorts, Draco. If you want in his panties that much, ask him or get him drunk. He won't screw you without one of those." He looked at Sam.
"Me either," Sam admitted with a shrug. Lex came out to give him a hug and a sandwich. "Thanks, Lex." He grinned. Lex smirked back. "I know that look. What plan are you hatching now?"
"You're still in school here, Sam." He beamed and went back to the kitchen.
Dean cackled. "With us being our selves here's age, yeah, you are, Sammy."
"And you have a math test tomorrow," John told him.
"Great," Sam said sarcastically. "Just what I need." He walked off. "It's two so let me get to bed. Before I bite someone tomorrow." Dean Der came in to tuck him in with Harry Der, getting pats and smiles. "Thanks, guys. You fuss over me just the way I like." They grinned back and left him to nap.
Dean Der walked out to look at John. "He's in bed. He's a bit taller than the other Sam."
John nodded. "I noticed the pants were shorter. We'll fix that tomorrow." He nodded and left. The others went to their rooms to make plans. John considered his sons, his boys, who were still inside the new ones somewhere.
Dean came out to look over his shoulder. "We're still your boys, Dad. You still raised us to be the badass hunters we are. We just have a few more years of hunting to fall back on and are a bit more burnt out from battles." He patted him on the head. "Hell, I got burned out at this age the first time keeping the evil chicks off Sammy's tail." He went back to bed.
John smiled, shaking his head. "Yeah, that's my Dean," he sighed. It was good to know the John in their realm was the same as he was.
Buffy looked over her sunglasses at Sam when he showed up. "Why do you feel like Lex?"
He grinned. "Because I should?"
"Huh. So did the ones here switch?"
"Huh." She walked inside with him. "Massive gathering tonight in the park."
"We heard. Dean's going to set things up." She grinned. "Harry and Draco are nagging at each other like old wives." She cackled, she had seen that before. "It helps that Willow sneezed and changed Harry into a girl." She laughed harder, leaning on his shoulder to hold herself up. "Yeah, it was like that at breakfast." She headed for her locker still giggling. Sam got into his and got what he'd need by the schedule he had taped on the door. He was always methodical that way and he knew not to leave personal stuff in the locker. They had left some towns in the middle of the night so he had lost books.
They went to home room and then to classes. Sam marveled at how easy the stuff they were doing was. He had done this years ago. So hey, he could beat Willow's scores easily here. It'd look good on him. Maybe he'd do the Stanford thing again this time. He had loved it there. He'd have to see how that worked out this time. With a school this bad they might not favor the scores.
"Ohmygod, I can't believe they're changing things!" Willow babbled as they walked into the library. "Giles, they're changing the education next year so everything's project based. Four projects a term." She bounced and babbled about what she could do it on.
Sam blinked a few times then looked at Xander and Lex, who were snickering. "Usually it takes a box of candy for you to do that."
Willow bopped him on the arm with a scowl. "I'm excited! This means we get to really show what we can do! It'll be more research but it means we get to design things and learn what we want, within reason of course, and then we can set our own goals and our own time management ideas."
Sam nodded slowly. "That's going to suck in science." She pouted. "Chemistry's easy. How are you going to do a project in physics?"
"We can do an experiment."
Sam shook his head with a smirk. "No you can't. This isn't science fair stuff, Willow. They'd want college level experiments." She gaped, looking awed. "Yeah. Half the students are going to be totally in the junior high mindset. Which means we'll blow the curve."
"Shoot," she muttered. "I'm not dumbing mine down for that."
"No, but you might want to keep in mind who's going to be going over your report and things," Lex reminded her. "We don't have that many teachers who can understand college level work even when they demand it."
"Huh." She nodded. "I can dumb it down without dumbing it down too far, like I do when I teach you, Xander." She bounced back to the books.
Sam stared after her, looking at Xander. Who shrugged and rolled his eyes. "Want some help figuring out what you'll do it on?" He sat across from the twins.
"Not totally. One's meant to be a physical project, one a research one, one a science one, and one an art or literature one." He grimaced.
"We can do one on building things," Lex offered. "That's not that hard and we can easily do something on design things." Xander beamed and nodded. "Art or literature, maybe photos or something? Or do a few paintings?"
"Maybe," he decided. They'd figure it out. They had all summer to figure it out. "What's going on this spring, Giles?"
"Nothing as far as I know so far," he admitted. "Since the Master can't rise."
Lex shook his head. "He went sploosh."
"Good." He went back to reading when his phone rang. "Rupert Giles." He paused. "No, she's fine. I've seen her in the last few minutes. She bounced in to put down her bookbag and then visit the soda and candy machines. Interesting. Which one was called?"
"Kendra?" Lex asked.
"Faith," he said. "No, we have someone here who had some information. He thinks Kendra should be next. Yes, I'll hold." He put the phone between his cheek and shoulder.
"Well, they did pull us from where the demons removed us," Sam offered. "Why not add a few slayers?"
Giles stared. "When did they do this?"
"Last night," Lex said with a grin. "Draco merged them with themselves in this timeline."
"Interesting." He listened, making notes. "Yes, I'm still here. So she is?" He smirked. "That's fine."
"Get Faith out of Boston," Lex reminded him. "Kakistos or whatever his name was is going to torture her and Linda soon."
"Yes, that's true, he foresaw Faith and her watcher being tortured by a very old vampire. Kakistos or something like that?" He nodded. "Actually, the girls could all come here and decide how to split the duties. That'd be wonderful and there's some things we've managed to do to help Buffy. No, that's not going to happen. Because the one with information blew him up rather a lot. Exactly. Yes, we'd love to host the conference. Thank you, Mary. Have a good day." He hung up and went to find Buffy. "Your sister slayers are coming soon."
Buffy stared at him. "I didn't die."
"You didn't have to apparently."
"So it's like Sam feeling like Lex?"
"We believe so."
"Cool." She beamed. "That means I'm not doing it alone with the guys." She got her candy of choice and came back to the library. "So, guys, can we help the other slayers?"
"We can figure out how to do that," Giles assured her. "They're coming out here to figure out how to set things up."
"Uber-cool," Buffy decided with a grin for Sam and Lex. "Thanks, guys."
"Not our doing but welcome," Lex quipped back. John came in. "Long day?" he teased.
"Not really." He nodded at Buffy. "Let's start by warming you up." She nodded, eating her candy bar while she stretched. "Why are you eating junk food?"
"I'm hungry and I have PMS," she said bluntly. "Try to take my chocolate, watch me stake you instead." He smirked but rolled his eyes as he got the practice pads he'd need. She finished it and her warm up, pouncing him to beat on him.
Lex checked his calendar in his phone, shaking his head. "John, she'll need someone with her tonight. The vamps are getting paranoid and will smell her coming."
"Eww!" she said, swatting him. "That's gross!"
"Buffy, they drink blood," Sam said dryly. "Really."
"Still disgusting! John!"
"He's right. I'd guess they'd be able to tell." He shrugged. "You can go on the pill and remove some of those. That way you don't have to have them as often. Or so said the ad in the magazine today."
"I might like that. It's really hard to find a bathroom to change tampons in the middle of the night and I can never stake the vamps in a crypt fast enough to not drip."
"TMI," all the young guys complained.
"You started it," she said and stuck her tongue out at them. Though she did go out that night with John and Dean. And still got jumped more than usual.
John brought her home and handed her to Joyce. He hissed in her ear, getting a nod. "I'll have that taken care of," she promised with a smile. "Thank you for protecting her."
"Not a problem. We got a lot of vamps tonight and a demon dog that wanted to nuzzle her stomach." They shared a look then John left to ride herd over the household of bastards he lived with.
Joyce looked at her daughter. "We'll talk to someone about putting you on the pill for a bad period." She walked her off to get her cocoa. Buffy always needed cocoa during her cycle. She was so glad she hadn't had to deal with that as a teenage girl. It would've driven everyone around her nuts. She settled in for some girl talk - boys and clothes.
Lex looked at the balance demon that appeared next to him. "Yes, Whistler?" he asked dryly.
"How could you?" he demanded.
Xander smirked. "I saw what happened when I didn't. Do you think I want all those people to die?"
"No but that's not your call. You're not a Power."
Lex smirked. "You're right, I'm not. I'm a man who decided that that shit wasn't going to happen again." He went back to whittling stakes. "Any other comments from up high?"
"Where are they?"
"You saw who I handed to protect them."
"They're... They're guardians."
Lex nodded, looking at him. "I know that. They guard a few other relics. A containment box with trapped higher beings is right up their alley. They have a few others as well."
The balance demon grimaced. "Whatever. You still can't interfere." Lex snorted. "The ones watching now won't let you."
Xander strolled out. "Are they the charming people that keep giving me visions?" That got a horrified look. "Because if so, I have a telephone pole I can whittle a point onto so I can sit them on it." He stared at him.
"No, you're not supposed to have visions."
"Surprise," Lex said dryly. "We both have visions. Us and Sam." He smirked. "Though that's about to be solved too because we saw why he wanted Sam."
The balance demon moaned and disappeared to tell them that plan was off too.
John leaned out. "Why?"
"If they open the gateway, are they just going to party?" Xander asked. "Or are they going to want to prove they're masters?"
"He needs someone to be his figurehead," John said then sighed. "Why Sammy?"
"Because he's gifted so they'd listen to him. People like Sam. People want to own Sam so they'd follow him. It'd be like giving us the lead of hell's armies."
John considered that then shuddered. "Dean would stop him."
Lex looked at him. "If things had worked out as planned, you'd be dead, Dean would be dead or very injured, or possibly on his way to hell, I saw it all three ways, and Sammy would be mostly alone."
John stared at them. "How did I die?"
"The two ways I saw it was a crash in the Impala or being in the hospital and making a deal to save Dean from the crash in the Impala," Xander said.
"Fuck no," John complained, going to talk to his sons.
"I'll fucking kill the bitch if it touches my car!" Dean shouted.
"I feel the same about my broom," Draco called from his sunny spot reading.
Dean stomped out. "They did what?" he demanded.
"If I had inner-head vision capabilities," Xander said dryly. "You wouldn't have to listen to the tape of the vision I put on your bed."
Dean went back inside to find those. They were nicely filed by Sam Der. He had them in order even. "Thanks, Mini Sam." He sat down to listen to them, letting John take the headphones when he was done.
"So we'll summon it soon," Sam said dryly. "We're at a strong spot. We've got help from the twins and possibly Buffy and her team or Harry and Draco. We summon him and end him."
"We need something that can kill him," John pointed out. "I can't bring the colt into the open."
"Call Giles, see if the Watchers have one?" Dean asked. John nodded, going to get that figured out. It turned out the watchers had a whole closet of stored 'can kill any demon' types of weapons. If they had to, they'd bring the whole thing there so their slayer could kill this one once and for all. Dean walked out shaking his head. "Swords, axes, and otherwise."
"I miss my axe," Lex sighed. "Giles has it locked in the book cage." He dropped that stake and moved onto the next one.
Dean sat down to help him. They always needed stakes. Xander sat down to help too. They looked up at the sound of cackling, going to investigate. That turned out to be the demon. So Lex shot it. Dean shot it. Harry and Draco hexed it. And Xander... Well he had borrowed something from the book cage so he stabbed it in the back of the neck. The demon screamed and tried to mist up. One of the Ders flipped over Xander's sword with another capturing box, using it to capture the demon. The body went limp and turned to ashes. The Der proudly held up the box. "It says it's sealed," he said.
"Threzenor?" Lex called. John gave him an odd look. The demon guardian appeared with a sigh. "Would you also like a very high demon that keeps trying to take over this plane? If not, who should I send it to?"
"Which one?" he asked.
"It is best served in stronger hands. I will tell the High Priest so he can send one." He disappeared. "The humans are busy trapping demons," he told the high priest with a bow. "They have Azazel. Apparently the family of one of his chosen got upset about his plans."
The high priest cackled. "I can see that point, yes." He called one of the other clans of their type of demon and sent them to the humans.
That one appeared, looking up at them. He reminded you of a blue Yoda without the cane and he had orange hair. "Human, you caught Azazel?"
The Der handed him the box. "It came out of the body he was using, Elder. As of this moment, the weapons to kill him are not near at hand."
He felt it, nodding. "That is him. I will take him to England to have him killed inside the box." He looked at Harry and Draco. "I have heard of you two." Harry shrugged but grimaced. "It was an inspired plan."
"Apparently it was mine and Draco's before." He smiled. "Lex told us."
"Excellent work," he said, looking at Lex, who grinned. "Are there more coming?"
"Yes. This town will become a sanctuary."
"Excellent. Let me remove this so they may be killed. Any others, trap and send to my clan." He handed over his card and left.
"How can we be sure he'll have it destroyed?" John asked. Xander held up the card and John moaned. "They're mythical."
"They're super guardians," Lex said with a grin. "If it can't be destroyed they won't let him out. That's why I trust them so much."
"I can agree with that," he decided. He took the card to Giles to warn him. They found out the guardian was already there and they were figuring out how to kill him inside the box. Someone at the Ministry for Magic showed up to offer his help but they were ignoring him for being an idiot.
Draco disapparated, landing behind the box. He had made it so he knew what it felt like. "You could just destroy it with a killing curse," he offered. They all stared at him. The Ministry official sneered. "I'll have Lex stomp your ass for me. He can beat a good few people." He cast the killing curse and it died. They all checked and it was truly dead. Draco smiled. "See, simple solutions and he won't get out."
"We will keep the box hidden to make sure," the guardian demon assured him. He patted him on the arm. "Very simply done, wizard. Thank you." He and the box disappeared.
The watcher working on the problem looked at Draco. "Where did you come from?"
"Safety. Since they tried to kill my handsome ass for not wanting to die." He stared at him. "Yes, Mr. Potter is very safe. I check in with him often." He smirked. "We're well protected and more than able to beat the snot out of anyone who tries things against us."
"You have no standing anymore. Your father disinherited you, boy," the official sneered.
"Hmm. The top lieutenant of Voldemort disowned his only son. Interesting." The official gasped. Draco smirked. "Did my mother since the money came from her family?" He walked around him. "Let me make sure of that. Do have a better day." He looked back at the watcher. "It's very nice that Rupert's helped us remember we're British when things get too American." He smirked and disappeared. He landed in the middle of Gringotts with a smile. "Good morning." Goblins went running. "That's a charming welcome. Though I'm not invading. Then I'd never get laid again." He followed one since he was heading for the main office. "Was I disowned for real or just for show?" he asked dryly from the doorway. The goblin gave him a horrified look. "Yes, Mr. Potter and myself are hiding from the idiocy."
"You're a very wanted person, Mr. Malfoy."
"Because I escaped them trying to kill us to cover up the truth or for some other reason?"
"Mostly that one," he admitted. "No, your father was disowned from the family so his disowning meant you were in good standing since you kept your head and kept out of the way of the war. By the family's will, you're the only heir."
"Wonderful." He smiled. "How's my mother?"
"Tolerable but having a lot of headaches since your father is such a moron."
"Well, Father was going to sacrifice me in his place when they were going to break the horcruxes." The goblin stared at him. He smirked. "That's how Voldemort did it. Learned from an old potions professor. I clearly learned from a better one."
"Clearly," the goblin agreed. "Let us call people to settle things?"
"As long as it's not an auror," he said dryly.
"They have stated there's no case against you, no matter what the Minister is doing."
"Hmm. Well there's a cure for the Minister as well." He came in to go over things while his mother was sent for. She came in to sob on him and hug him. He patted her on the arm. "It's all right, Mother. I'm perfectly safe and sane." She stared at him, letting him brush off the tear marks. "It's not seemly to cry in public." He smiled. "I can't even get shagged, Mother. Plus the Americans I'm around are weird." She burst out laughing. "Indeed." They fixed things then went to where Minister Fudge was decrying things again.
Draco walked up to him and punched him, sending him off is podium. "You made my mother cry. I do not allow such things to happen." He stared at him. "I'd duel you but you aren't worth the magic." He took his wand and snapped it. "Then again you've never been better than a squib. That's why my father and Voldemort liked you so much as a pawn, just like Dumbledore did."
He dropped the pieces on the man's chest. "Do leave my family alone, Mr. Fudge. It's rather rude and if I should have to come make my mother quit sobbing again, I'll destroy you." He walked over him. "Mother, I need some ice cream. Muggle ice cream isn't the same. It has a funny aftertaste with the way they purify the milk or something."
"They do many things more inferior, my son," she said patiently.
"Actually they do have some nice things." He grinned and held up something. She smiled as she took the present. "I found that and it was better quality than ours but with the exchange rate over a third cheaper."
"That's wonderful. Very nice work. Don't they have a magical section?"
"Yes but it was exactly the same, only more expensive for the niche market." He opened a door for her, letting her go first. They went into the ice cream shop and it was nice. He was even thoughtful enough to bring the letter the twins gave him for Harry home.
Narcissa looked at the present, putting it on. It went with nearly any outfit and it was beautiful work. Her son was very thoughtful to her.
Harry got the magical summons and sighed, holding it up for Draco to see. Draco grimaced. "Must I?"
"They can pull you. I'm assuming that'd hurt since we're half a world away."
"Probably." He went to change clothes but Draco picked out something and changed himself. "You don't have to. It's probably another attempt to capture me."
"Nothing probably about it," he said dryly. "This way you have backup."
"Ooh, me!" Sam Der ordered, jumping up and down with a maniacal look on his face. "I can be good wizarding backup."
Dean looked at him. "How would you do that?"
Sam Der gave him an evil look. "I'm amazing." Draco shrugged and let Sam get dressed and perch himself on Harry's shoulder. He liked Harry a lot. And Draco but Harry was nicer and fed his sugar habit too. They went back to the Ministry, where people were waiting. Sam spat something in an ancient demon language, making them all shriek. "Truth hurt, bitches?" he asked with a grin.
Draco gave him a pat on the head. "Very nicely done, Sam Der." He opened the door. "As I would for any girl sort," he said smugly.
Harry snorted. "I haven't been girlish in a while, Draco, but thank you." They walked inside, going to the courtroom. "I got summoned?" he asked.
"What is that on your shoulder?"
"I made him. He's a wonderful Der," Draco said smugly.
"Your presence wasn't wanted until tomorrow, Mr. Malfoy," one said.
"Harry did rescue me from being killed by my father." He stared at them. "I doubt anything will happen today anyway." They all gaped. "After all, you all took part by ignoring his treatment of your own free will. Even when told about it you shut the stories up."
"There were stories?" Harry asked, looking at him.
"Two or three that I remember. Including one where you had a broken collarbone that never got set."
"No, it didn't until that first quidditch accident." He stared at them. "I have nothing to say to any of you for what you made me go through so you could have a so-called savior. Well, I saved you. You didn't like it. Blow me as the muggles say." Sam giggled, petting him. "Thank you, Sam Der." He patted him on the leg. "You're very calming." He stared at them. "What did you want me to do? Die?" He walked off. "Bugger all of you. You let them keep sending me back there. If you knew about it I'm suing you." He got taken to a lawyer by Draco, who had already owled ahead about meeting with Harry. He had all the facts already, including those stories. Harry went through and corrected a few things. Then he smiled as he handed them back. "They've pissed me off and are trying to turn me into the next Dark Lord. I'd rather not do that today."
"I can fully understand that, Mr. Potter."
"I'd really rather that they left me, my wrongfully imprisoned godfather, and Draco the bloody hell alone forever more."
"I'll see what I can do." He smiled and shook his hand. "Let me work on the lawsuit first."
"Thank you. That'd be wonderful. How are my relatives anyway?"
"We have penseive testimony from them already. I took it myself." He smirked. "It was not what the Ministry created." Harry beamed. "You're...."
"In the Americas."
"That's fine. I'll get news to you via Mr. Malfoy?"
"That's more than acceptable. Thank you." They disappeared with Sam Der hugging his neck. He pulled him around to cuddle him. "You're better than a teddy any day, Sam Der."
"Yes I am." He grinned at Draco, who sneered back. "He'd hug you if you asked."
"Malfoys don't ask."
"Then Malfoys keep using their hand," Harry said, walking off. "Sorry but honor forbids me from treating you like the slut you want to be, Malfoy."
Draco rolled his eyes, stomping off. John stopped him to talk to him about it. He could see both points but Draco couldn't expect Harry to change that much.
Dean Der came out shaking his head. "Sammy Der's getting huggy and it's gross." He went to pounce his Lex Der friend. They wrestled and rolled around until First kicked them out of the kitchen for a bit. They ran outside to wrestle around in the mud so he'd have something to huff over.
John shook his head because maybe there were worse things in the world than staying in Sunnydale permanently. Watching his older son and Lex get together for real.... Yeah that might be worse than a demon torturing him.
A ministry official showed up in Sunnydale, going to where their contacts said Rupert Giles, the current watcher, was working. He ignored all the abnormally tanned, fit, semi-clothed females as being deficient morally and beneath him on his way to the library. He walked in. "Watcher Giles, I'm from the Ministry for Magic in Great Britain. I seek your assistance in finding Mr. Potter or Mr. Malfoy so they can stop whatever demented creatures they brought with them last time from destroying us all."
Harry coughed from his seat reading a book on succuba. "I'm researching how to send a friend's newest stalker away," he said at the odd look the book got. "First Der?" he called. Fourth appeared, saluting him. "What are you doing to the Ministry?"
"We are finding all the hidden information files for your lawsuit, Lord Harry. So far we've found over seven hundred entries." He smirked. "We've only got three rooms left to search and then we'll be done. The lawyer was most gracious."
"Thank him for me and the troops." He petted him with a smile. "You're a good commander, Fourth Der."
"Thank you, Lord Harry. Should I prepare things for Lord Draco to be mean later?"
"Why would he be mean?" Fourth climbed up to whisper in his ear. "No, I've got things for that." He patted him again. "Thank you for the warning."
"You're welcome, Lord Harry." He disappeared.
Harry smiled. "Draco created them for a friend."
"What are they?"
"Miniatures of our friend." He smirked and got back to reading. "I'm sure there'll be a Ministry left after I'm done with them. Hopefully one that won't ever do to another child what was done to me." He turned the page. "Mr. Giles, can't I just banish her?"
"No, I'm afraid she's latched on and that could hurt Xander, Harry. You almost have to do a capturing circle and then make her want to leave." Harry looked at him. "I'm not sure what would suitably distress her so she would pout her flirty way off."
"Well, I could pounce Draco in front of her, or him and Xander."
"Most of them would be disgusted at not being involved," Giles admitted. "Like eating in front of another I suppose."
"I might try that then. John knows a variety of rune-based devils traps." He looked at the ministry official. "Was there something else?"
"Are you...." He cleared his throat so he didn't sound squeaky. "Are you and Mr. Malfoy together?"
"I leave that entirely up to him because honor demands I don't debauch the damsel I rescued and protected," he said dryly. "Draco is nothing if not a princess." Giles burst out laughing, walking off nodding. Harry smiled. "Anything else?" He shook his head. Buffy walked in. "Slayer Buffy, this is one of the Ministry officials from my home country."
"Hey," she said with a nod. "Harry, is this skirt too short?"
"Not for the muggle world. The wizarding world in England lives on Victorian fashions."
"Eww, corsets and long skirts. I'd never be able to slay in them. No wonder some of them lasted less than a month." She walked off shaking her head.
"Change the shoes," Harry called after her. "They don't match."
"Thanks." She let the doors close and went to do that.
Harry smiled. "She's got patrol tonight." The ministry official was still looking horrified. "All muggle girls wear clothes like that. We're very far behind the rest of the world." The official disappeared with a pop. "Maybe Hermione will start the '60's in the wizarding world." He went back to reading. Succuba were very fun. No wonder Lex had let one pounce his twin.
John looked at what Harry was doing. "Why are you doing a devil's trap in your room?"
"Xander's new girlfriend the succuba?" Harry asked.
John took the chalk to add onto the house's protections until he could get some more paint.
First stared at him. "They've always liked Lord Lex," he said bluntly.
"My boys don't need to see that," he said.
"Lord Dean introduced Lord Lex to a few of them."
John went to talk to his sons about succuba being wrong and bad. Clearly he had missed a lecture and beating sense into them opportunity.
First smiled, finishing the marks and then going to help Lord Harry with his plans to gross the succuba out. It worked the best to drive them away. Even if Lord Lex did find them amusing stress relief.
Xander wandered in looking happy. "Harry, what're you doing?"
"I'm finding a way to trap the succuba that wants in your underroos, mate." He grinned. "We're going to trap her and gross her out."
"That's... okay," he said with a nod and a grin.
"New comic come out?" Lex asked as he walked in.
"They killed Superman but they let four people take his place and then there's a whole new arc and a few new comics too."
"Great," Lex said with a happy grin back. "Get them?"
"Borrowed from Johno for a few seconds."
"Cool!" He went to get cash. "We have money."
"How do we have money since the check from the state for surviving orphan benefits is already gone this month?"
"Not like vamps need the money," Lex pointed out. He stared at his twin. "And what we found larping around town?" Xander blushed but shrugged. "Did you want me to let it go whoosh?"
"No. I guess getting the vamps as they go whoosh is a good plan," he decided. Lex smirked. "But not like when you first showed up?"
"They really were already dead when I went to check on them, Xander. The whole family. The vamps had even drained their gold fish." Xander looked disgusted. He led him back to the room and pointed. "See, we have some money."
"I don't want to steal and stuff," he told his twin, hoping he got it.
"We always pay for it," Fourth assured him.
"Really?" Fourth nodded. "Because a cop came up and said that they caught a tiny me shoplifting."
Fourth looked toward the back. "Twenty, you got caught again," he called. "Work on it."
"Yes, sir, I'm working on my stealth. That's why I got caught," he sighed. He came out. "It was only a candy bar, Lord Xander. And I did pay for it when they caught me."
Lex patted him. "We'll get you practice, Twenty."
"Thank you, Lord Lex."
"You can learn to stalk by following Xander around school. Only let those who know see you or Cordelia so she gets fussy. It's great fun watching her spaz out." He nodded and beamed, going back to his duty of the laundry.
Xander looked at him. "She's getting better."
"Yeah and someday soon she'll need to live in the real world." He smirked. "Let's go get some comics." He nodded, going out with his twin. The whole town had ignored that there were suddenly two Xanders. Long live Sunnydale!
Lex found Cordelia out and sneering in windows, handing Xander the money. "Go pick some out. Get my Fantastic Four."
Xander gave him a pointed look. "Why?"
"Some more ahead stuff." Xander nodded and bounced off. Lex looked at her.
"That's still freaky and don't touch me. You might contaminate me with Xander cooties."
"Sure, I won't tell you why your college fund is going to disappear into the IRS's vaults," he said dryly. She gaped, giving him a horrified look. "Ten years of no taxes," he said quietly.
"Oh, shit," she muttered. Lex nodded, staring at her. "When?"
"Sometime late next year as far as I knew. You hid it for months; I only found out because I found you working for your prom gown."
"Double damn." She sighed. "I need to move my things more into my custody and out of theirs, huh?"
"I have no idea how that works. Personally, I'd be emancipated and then it'd be yours. They couldn't come confiscate your car and clothes and things, even if you had to pay taxes."
She shuddered. "My clothes?"
"Damn it!" She stomped off. "Thank you for the freak out."
"Welcome." He followed Xander to the comic shop, getting a look from his nicer half. "There's some stuff I remember about certain agencies," he said in his ear. "Taking everything."
"Oooh," Xander said with a wince and a hiss. "Poor her."
"Yeah. So she'll hopefully find a way."
"Maybe they can 'go to Mexico'?" Xander suggested.
"Don't tempt me. Though that's not what it means." Xander stared at him. He nodded. "Not hard."
Cordelia walked into the family lawyer's office. "I need help."
"My parents haven't paid taxes in about ten years." He nodded he knew that. "Which means the IRS will someday find out and come take everything."
"They can't take anything of yours, Cordelia."
She called the number from the phone book on the desk. "Hi, I'm asking a hypothetical for a class paper. If a parent hasn't filed their taxes in ten years, can you claim their sixteen-year-old daughter's things? Like her car, clothes, any jewelry she might have?"
The IRS agent on the phone hummed. "By law, yes we can, young lady. Is this an issue?"
"I'm doing an opinion paper and subtly helping another student in the class because she's too hysterical to think. Is there any way that her things wouldn't be touched? Because frankly, her parents should jump off a cliff for doing that to her future. Her college fund would be gone too, right?"
"Yes, it would," he agreed. "If it's in her name and she's emancipated, there's a slim chance they wouldn't be able to touch it. If she cooperated, it'd be a bigger chance. She'd still probably end up with a lot less assets to her name and they'd be watching her for the same behavior. Because she's a minor, everything she owns would be considered her parents'."
"What if she had a trust fund?" the lawyer asked. Because that was not good news. Cordelia and her mother were both mercenary and prone to hitting. "Not run by the family? I'm that family's attorney and we're trying to protect the young lady as well as help this one with her thinly veiled opinion paper."
"Personally, right now my opinion is that her parents should die," Cordelia said.
"If they did, then the death taxes could be settled and it would leave her substantially better off but that's illegal," the agent said smugly. "She'd end up in prison for the rest of her pretty young life."
"With her parents, them committing suicide would mean a good and hefty insurance payout."
"Which would offset the death taxes but even those you pay taxes on. There's not much you can do that you don't pay taxes on unless you're a prostitute or selling drugs."
"Huh. If you guys made them pay, it'd probably fund the US for years."
"Probably but if they admit it, then they go to jail," he said dryly.
"Figures." She looked at the lawyer.
"So basically, if the girl's trust fund suddenly had trustees, she might be all right?" the lawyer asked.
"That's iffy and if she cooperates it'd go easier. I can talk to her if you want."
"That's okay," Cordelia said. "When they find them, I'm sure she'll come talk to you. Thank you for your help." She hung up and looked at him. "Is it more for homicide than suicide?"
"Actually, only if one of your parents kills the other with their policies. How did you find this out?"
"Someone who knows computers told someone who knows me."
"Dirt. So they might already be sniffing."
She nodded. "I'm not going to end up on the street! I couldn't survive that! It's not like my parents would take me when they run from the jail sentence."
"No, they wouldn't," he agreed, staring at her. "Let me look at some options, Cordelia."
"You make damn sure they cannot take what is mine. Especially not my college fund. I want out of this town some year soon. I want to do things and go to college and maybe act but I don't want to stay here!" She was starting to get hysterical. She could hear what her sheep would say when they found out.
"Calm down. Give me a few days. I'll do whatever I can to shield your assets. You might lose your car and they'd lose the house but the state would pay to put you somewhere or into foster care. Or we could emancipate you possibly. Let me talk to some other lawyers who deal more with tax issues." She nodded and left. "Go yell at your father."
He called someone. "Mr. Hart, James Simmons. I interned with you and I need advice on a tax matter for a client. Yes, I am in Sunnydale. No, they haven't paid taxes in over ten years. I think this is year twelve. They have a sixteen-year-old daughter too. No, unfortunately she's had a few boyfriends. Some sort of hacker found out and told her to warn her so she wants to make sure her things are safe and out of harm's way.
"That's what I was thinking but she called an agent and asked for advice for a classmate and a supposed paper. I can do that. Thank you for meeting with me, sir." He smiled. "Sunnydale is a pleasant little town to visit. That's why I took up my practice here. Thank you, sir. I'll see you for lunch tomorrow." He hung up and made plans. The IRS would want his files too probably and he had to get rid of anything incriminating.
Cordelia walked into her house and stomped around the housekeeper, going to where she could hear her parents fighting. She stomped in and slapped her father. "I'm not living on the streets when you flee the damn IRS!" Her father looked horrified. "A hacker told me! My college fund is *mine*! Grandmother left it to me." She sneered. "I know you won't stay to settle or anything so you'd better make sure I'm protected. Because if I end up in a foster home, I'm *so* going to ruin you both. Remember, I know where Grandmother's house is."
"How did you hear that?" her mother demanded.
"Someone told Xander Harris so he could tell me, Mom." Her mother whimpered, sitting down holding onto her pearl necklace. "So yeah, someone knows!" She stared at her father. "I just ran a hypothetical past an agent and the lawyer. They can confiscate everything down to my clothes. So you find some way to make sure that I'm protected, even if you fucking well flee. I'm not staying in Sunnydale forever. I have a much brighter future, even as a trophy wife if I have to, but it won't be here with the class of filth we have."
"No, I agree," her mother said. "Your college fund should be fine."
"No. I asked specifically. He said since I'm still a minor it's still considered in your care. So they can take that, my clothes, my car, the house, all your money, everything. Which would leave me in foster care and very pissed off with enough ammo to help them find you both. I don't care if you two run. I'm realistic and a bitch, Mother. You taught me that."
Her mother nodded. "I did a good job with your realistic streak," she admitted. "We can find a way to protect you while we move to Mexico. My joints are getting a bit stiff anyway, dear. I could use the warmth." She looked at her husband, who was giving her a dirty look. "Dear, your only worth to me at this moment is your life insurance. Because I would've had to file jointly and you didn't file. That involved me when I wasn't involved before." She stood up. "Dying or running, those are our options. Which do you prefer?"
"How dare she talk to us like that!" he complained, glaring at his daughter. "Pumpkin, we'd never...."
She snorted. "Don't lie to me. You left me plenty of times, Father. For that matter, I remember the almost engagement I had for that business deal." He blanched. "I'll be damned! I'm not going to end up like Xander fucking Harris."
"No, you won't," her mother assured her. She patted her on the arm. "He can go to jail."
"The lawyer said there's a suicide clause or a spousal violence clause," Cordelia told her.
"Yes, but then I'd look bad in prison and they'd come after me harder for that."
"Mother, we made how much in ten years? Average taxes, according to accounting class, should be about eleven to fifteen percent of your income." Her mother counted mentally. "That's enough to fund the city for *years* I bet."
"Quite. Oh, dear. Well, maybe homicide is the more preferable option." She stared at her husband. "I'm not going to jail for this. You were supposed to file as the head of the family. You talked to the family lawyer?"
"Yes. He's talking to some people who handle tax matters very quickly."
"That's a good idea. I will make sure what my mother left you is yours."
Cordelia stared at her. "Mother, if you try to leave me destitute to protect yourself, I'm still going to go bitch on the family."
"I understand, dear." She patted her again. "Give me a day." Cordelia nodded and went to make sure her things could be hidden easily. She knew she couldn't rent a storage area because they'd track it back to her. So they'd have to make some plans. She was not becoming a poor princess without a realm or a crown. She heard the door slam and watched her father and mother leave together. She went to empty the safe. It was already empty of all the coins, the gold bars, and the money.
Thankfully she knew the other safes. She called the lawyer. "They're off. Thank you." She got into the area he suggested and found the rest full. So she had means to do things. To protect herself and her reputation. Even if she had to make a deal with a gross, disgusting demon she would. Speaking of, she called Rosenburg to get her ideas on hiding things. She had hidden things from her parents for years probably.
Cordelia met with the agent in the principal's office. "Good afternoon."
"Miss Chase," he said, shaking her hand. "We've recently gotten information from someone that your parents were avoiding their duty to the government."
"They're already out of the country."
He grimaced. "We'll track them then." He stared at her. She handed over the paperwork she had in her bag. "Due to the abandonment?" She nodded. "That's not a bad plan but anything they bought you could still be confiscated."
She stared at him. "Most everything I own, outside my car, was bought by my trust from my grandmother." He nodded at that. "The house was Grandmother's and held in my name. The car admittedly they bought me. The clothes I bought from my trust. Any jewelry I have is mostly passed down except a few things and I'm not liable for their debts."
"No you're not," he said, smiling at her. "Though you're correct, your car is going to disappear."
"My trust can afford a new one."
He stared at her. "You can sell the house and settle their debts."
She snorted. "I'm not liable for their debts."
"No, you're not." He stared at her. "But the IRS can press the case and still seize the house. Plus that means you'd have to pay taxes on it for the local community's property taxes, plus any employment taxes for the help."
She considered it. "I may be willing to sell the house and get an apartment," she admitted. "But if you make one move toward my trust I swear I'll call God down on your head." She looked down at First's tug on her hand. "Yes?"
The agent looked then at her. "What's that?"
"That is the First Der. He belongs to Harris. Somehow." She shrugged. "He takes care of him. What?"
"Your lawyer was raided and they're arresting him. The accountant as well."
She nodded, looking at the agent. "I'll let you seize the house and sell it if you leave my shit alone. Permanently. My trust, my college fund, the stuff my grandmother gave me, and my clothes."
He considered it, talking to his boss as he walked off. The house would settle the tax debt nicely and then some. He came back. "Did you earn any income?"
"No. Not outside the very crappy interest my trust is getting. I think it gets something like two percent. I'm sure the bank reported that."
He nodded. "That's what tipped us off."
"Well, me letting you seize the house should be about the value of anything I owe that I didn't know I owed and theirs, right?" she asked.
He asked his boss that, getting an honest answer back. "Jewelry?"
"Very simple things. Diamond studs." She pointed at the ones she was wearing. "A few other minor things I bought. Grandmother left me her locket, her wedding set, those sort of things. They're mostly in the bank outside her locket."
He nodded, telling someone that. The were brought to her. She picked out what was her grandmothers and one thing, handing it over. "That?" he asked. "It's much too modern."
She smiled. "It was a present from a friend for my eighth birthday. The last good present I got. It's only got sentimental value." He looked and nodded, letting her keep that.
He sat down with her to work on the agreement. It'd leave her without the house, her car, the country club membership, her help, but she'd get to keep her clothes, her grandmother's things, and her trust and college funds. Plus the account she admitted was in her name overseas that she had found out about from the lawyer. That was iffy and she'd have to pay a tax on it but not that much since it was small and in a country that didn't tax that high.
She made arrangements with that bank and then the local one. She handed over her keys and the principal signed her out so she could pack the rest of her things. She took the pictures with her. One was an old oil painting and the agents had to discuss it. "It's my great-grandmother," she pointed out. "The last true bitch of the family. I get it from her." She smiled. "By the way, Mother wanted warmth and she knows that killing him will get her the biggest insurance pay out. My mother taught me to be practical above all else."
"Fine," the agent in charge agreed. It went into her new storage area they rented for her.
Cordelia called the staff together, looking at them. "I know you guys know that my parents fled the country. They did it because they haven't paid the IRS in ten years."
"Thirteen," the agent in charge said.
"Is there enough for a small severance?" Cordelia asked quietly.
"In your trust?"
"I should kill them myself," she decided. She looked at them. "They're seizing the house. They've got nearly everything of ours that wasn't from my grandmother. Though the house was from my grandmother. If I don't, they'll take more and I'll end up in foster care." That got a nod from the older people. "I'm really sorry," she sighed, looking down then at them. "I should've killed them when I found out. If I had enough money I'd pay you guys something but I basically have my college fund and enough to rent a tiny place."
"Your parents weren't good to work for anyway," the housekeeper said. She smiled at her and patted her on the cheek. "You were always better than them, Cordelia. Keep that up, dear."
She smiled and nodded. "I have every plan of it. Even if I do kill them for this." The staff all smiled at her. "I'm sorry. I wish it was different."
"We're not sure about your last paycheck but I'll put in the forms to pay you out of the sale of the house," the head agent said. "I can't promise, but it'll probably sell for enough over to do that." They nodded. "If you live here, go ahead and pack."
"They should've been less cowardly and told you themselves," Cordelia said. "I slapped my father for this." The housekeeper beamed at her. "They're probably heading south. Mother said she wanted some warmth for her joints." They went to pack. She sighed, sitting on the stairs. She looked at the agent. "What if it doesn't sell for more?"
"We signed a settlement agreement. That's all we need from you," he assured her.
She smiled. "Thank you." She stood up. "Since I don't have a car, can I go complain to my friends? I have things I need to get back from them, including about a thousand bucks."
"Fine," he agreed. She went up to check her room, finding an old diary, then left with it. He arranged for the IRS to take control of the property and clean it up for sale. Not that they hadn't kept it very neat and in great condition.
Cordelia walked into the gym a few minutes later. "Ladies." She got sneered at by Harmony. "Like it's my fault my parents didn't pay their taxes for thirteen years. At least I got to keep my trust and things." They all moaned. She smirked. "I'm not destitute but I need an apartment and I need something I can take care of myself since my trust won't pay for a weekly housekeeper. Anyone got any ideas? And speaking of, I want my clothes back please." They all nodded. "And if I loaned you money, that's my party fund now."
"No car?" Harmony sneered.
"They bought it." She smirked. "I lost the house and the car. I got to keep everything else that mattered to me. Houses can be changed. New cars can be found. Me losing my trust and college fund would be tragic."
"Good point," Harmony said. "I wonder if my parents pay theirs."
Cordelia snorted. "They use the same lawyer and he got arrested too." She went to call her parents. So did another girl. "So, anyway, I need to look for a new place."
"There's a few over the stores," one of the girls said, twirling her hair around her finger. Another popped her gum and nodded.
"Those are grungy," Cordelia complained. "Let's get me somewhere I can lock and not have bugs."
"There's the new places out by the college but I'm told they're *major* expensive," gum girl said.
"Nicer," Cordelia agreed, considering it. She called her new trust fund advisor. "It's Cordelia. What, exactly, is my housing allotment going to be?" She listened. "No they won't. My trust should, yes. Yes I did. I faxed you that from the office at home." He found it and read it over, telling her it was a good job. "Thank you. They said they'd give the former staff severance and their last checks if the house sold for more than the tax debt."
She listened. "That's not a lot. I have how much? No, I should have at least ten times that. Oh, that's yearly. I'm fine with less shopping. I don't pay school costs. Yeah, that was my yearly shopping trip." She went over the budget with him and nodded. "All right, that'll work. So my budget for housing is...." She nodded. "Got any ideas where that is in town?" She smiled. "That's fine. Thank you." She hung up. "I can afford eight hundred a month." The girls winced. "And that place by the college is six but too far to walk to morning classes. So nice but closer?"
"Sarah Hall's building," Lex said as he walked past the doorway. "Safe, nice, smallish but stylish apartments but you can't throw parties. No utilities either."
"That's not a bad idea," she sighed, glaring at the doorway. Then at her friends. "That's not totally unfashionable." They nodded. "Let's go look, ladies. All my stuff is in storage." They followed her over there to look at it. The IRS was already breathing down Harmony's parents' neck and another person. Pity. "I really do have to find my parents and kill them for the insurance," she told the girls, who giggled. "I swear they're stupid."
"Clearly." Gum girl blew another bubble then popped it. "How would Harris know?"
"After his father put him in the hospital that time he got emancipated so I'm guessing he looked at housing options for himself."
"Oh! That's nice of them," gum girl said with a smile and a nod. "Didn't his parents die?"
"His mother's MIA," Cordelia snorted. "Maybe in Mexico, maybe dead. His uncle's the same way. His father ran from going back to jail and crawled into the morgue oven. He's gotten much nicer since he moved with his cousins or whoever that old guy and Sam's brother are."
"Sam's cute," the other girl said.
Cordelia smiled and nodded. "Should see his older brother Dean." They grinned. They found the house and the for rent sign, Cordelia borrowing a phone to call it. The landlady met them and she had already heard about the IRS because she was tutting at Cordelia and pointing out nice places that had jobs open. "I'll think about it. I have a college fund that'll cover my rent for at least a year," she said. The landlady smiled and nodded, showing her the tiny apartment. "Um... My clothes won't fit in there." They went to look at the other one and it was nicer. Better view too. Fifty more dollars a month.
Still within her budget. Still no utilities. "I like this one." The closet was still tiny but she'd make due. She signed the lease and the friends helped her get her things over from storage. It was even furnished so she didn't have to worry about that. She sent the lease to her trustee, who said it was a good job and said he sent her state forms to fill out for aid. Which she didn't want to be on, but it'd help and it'd look more normal, so draw less attention to her. So she would but hide it well.
"The IRS got really mean," Lex said as he walked in. "But Cordelia managed to protect herself a lot."
"They're more ruthless than some demons," John agreed. "She good?"
"She's got an apartment, her trusts, and her clothes." That got a nod. "So she's lost some status but a lot of her friends now have the same problem. Flutey gave over his office to the IRS agent in charge today."
"Did anyone ask you how you have money?" John asked.
"Yup, and I took him to a crypt and showed him. Then I dusted the vamp that was complaining. I confiscated his wallet and held it up. The agent just nodded and walked off. So apparently I'm good for now." He grinned. "Plus I turn in anything too noticeable and I report it as gambling income." John snorted, shaking his head. "You?"
"I haven't had income to report in years."
"This year you will," Dean quipped. "Me too."
"That's fine. I can file taxes again," John assured him. "So can you."
Xander walked in and slammed the door. "Geeze, ATF raided all the pawn shops in town. What did we turn in this time?"
"I turned in some artillery I found," John admitted. "In one's window." Lex snorted, shaking his head. "Our guns are registered?" Lex shook his head. So did Dean. "Do we think...."
"Hidden," Fourth noted from his spot making plans. "Lord Lex, do you want us to put up a third level?"
"I think the new level looks amazing," Xander said, giving him a hug. "Thank you. I got tired of hearing him have naughty dreams." Fourth beamed at him. "And thank you for the extra bathrooms too, Fourth." He let him go back to work and went to get a snack.
"Eat real food," John called after him.
"Apocalypse patrol starts in a few weeks," Lex said quietly.
John looked at him. "You've done good keeping him from the dirtier parts of hunting, Lex. He's never going to turn into you." Lex beamed at that compliment. "Even if it does frustrate him to no end, it's a good thing. Burnout gets you killed." He walked off to answer the door. "Lex, IRS agents?"
Lex looked out. "What?"
"Gambling at your age?"the agent demanded as he walked in.
"I showed the one earlier."
"I heard." He stared at him. "There was only one of you born."
"Maybe." He grinned and mentally summoned the demon. He looked amused when he showed up. "You tell 'im."
The demon stared at him, in full demon guise, and shrugged. "It's a wish. It brought him from a locked realm. All the demons hate him because he's going to take over the town and keep the hunters out."
The IRS agent went to his own demon face. "A wish?" Lex beamed and nodded. "Where are you from?"
"One where I was older, had fought a lot of things like during an ascension battle and all sorts of neat things."
"Shit," the demon muttered. "Okay, so you're robbing vamps for income?"
"Not like they need it," John said.
"I turn in anything too huge," Lex said with a grin. "The only weapons we keep are things like knives and useful things." He pulled a sword down. "This one was one."
The demons looked it over and it got put back on the wall. The IRS demon shook his head. "You lied about it."
"Hunting is a gamble with your health and life," Xander pointed out as he came out of the kitchen with his fruit salad. "It's not like it's safe or healthy to do." He ate a bite and swallowed. "That's why he keeps me out of it."
"I can understand that urge," the IRS demon said. "Fine. From now on be a bit better at describing your job."
"Lazy world domination expert?" Xander offered dryly. "No, that's Draco's job title. Um... leader of the Army of Der?" He pointed at them.
The demons looked and the wish demon went 'awww' until Fourth kicked him on the shin.
The IRS demon nodded. "Okay," he decided. "Put hunter."
"Hunter would get him noticed," John said. "You don't make money hunting."
"I can put protection detail member," Lex said with a shrug.
"That'll work," he decided. "Lay more low?"
"I only come to attention when I want to or I turn big shit in," Lex said with an evil smirk. "I could be more naughty."
"Please don't." They left and the family looked at each other, shrugging some.
"Thankfully we have a flat tax," Draco said as he joined them. "It's much more simple."
"We have taxes?" Harry asked him.
"Yes, the goblins do it for us," Draco said dryly. "It's part of the management fee you pay them, Potter."
"I don't pay fees."
Draco huffed and they went to the bank to make sure of that. Before they had to replicate Cordelia's rant at the IRS with their own version.
Lex shrugged and grinned, stealing a grape from his twin's salad. "Cool!" He walked off humming. "Who's going tonight?"
"Me," John said.
"Me too," Sam called from his room. "If only so I can hopefully stake some of the jocks. Even if they aren't undead."
John went to look at him. "When did you sneak in?"
"After third period when I got suspended for the day for beating the ass of two of them. Because they needed it."
Lex walked in and hugged him. "From the girl you saved. They're still very sorry though. I sent them to the ER for you." He grinned and walked out.
Xander snorted. "I hit them with textbooks from Willow's locker." Sam grinned.
John shook his head. "Go do PT, boys." They went to do that while Xander nibbled and Sam got a few pieces too. Dean joined them to make it more fun by doing it shirtless. Harry and Draco came back. "You two good?"
"It was a plot by Fudge and Dumbledore," Harry said with a smirk. "It got added to the suit." He walked off. "I'm going to destroy the Ministry if I have to. Be damned if I want to deal with it." He watched the boys do PT, staring in appreciation.
Draco looked over his shoulder. "Sweaty bodies should only be from when you're in the middle of smutty times."
"It gives them very nice butts," Harry said.
Dean smirked at him and wiggled his. "Nice to know it's appreciated, Harry."
"It's very appreciated. Even if you do sometimes think with it, Dean." He walked off smirking.
"I don't want to know if you boys are getting together," John ordered from the living room.
"But it was fun grossing out the succuba," Harry quipped. "She got really pouty and gave us puppy eyes and all that. She finally renounced her claim and left to find a few frat boys. Whatever they are."
"Still not as good as I am," Dean quipped. Xander blushed. "What? You didn't have fun?"
"It was evil. I had to get really overworked and I couldn't have the same sort of fun," he said quietly, blushing harder.
Dean smirked. "That's what made her give up and we let you come eventually."
"It was hours later." He looked at Sam. "Was he nicer when you got laid the first few times?"
Sam blushed, shaking his head. "No," he squeaked. "Not even close."
Dean shrugged. "I was a fantastic big brother and when my girlfriend of the moment wanted to teach him, I let her. We gave him a good show and then let him learn it on his own." He smirked at his baby brother. "She thought you had natural talent, Sammy. Guess it's genetic."
Sam glared at him. "Dean, that was so wrong on many levels. Shut up?" he begged.
"When was this?" John demanded from the doorway.
"Chicago," Dean quipped.
"He was fourteen," John noted.
"I was seventeen," Dean said. "Just before my eighteenth and she was sixteen. So it was legal!" He went back to his pushups. "He learned how to properly take care of any woman he beds, or walls, or back seat's," Dean quipped.
"I'm going to put you both into a monk's temple." He stomped off.
Sam looked at his big brother. "It'll never happen again."
"Sure, I won't share." He grinned. "More for me anyway, Sammy."
Sam shook his head. "I like cleaner girls who don't want to share me with my brother. It's a bit too kinky for me."
"Shut up!" John yelled. "Before I spank you both!" They went back to their PT. Lex was giggling madly but oh well. He already knew Lex was slowly sliding into insanity from too many bad battles.
Draco Der finished the pensieve spell, saving Lex's memories down. He grinned at his bigger self. "Done."
"Good job," he said, patting him on the back. "Go get John for me?" He hopped down and ran to do that. John walked in and stared at the bowl. "It's a pensieve. It stores memories. You can view them like you're beside them but not really interact."
"How do you do that?"
Draco took his hand and they went in. Draco had read Lex's mind plenty of times. Mostly when he decided to sulk for days on end. John watched and came out shaking quickly like a dog out of the pond. Draco looked at him.
"We can calm him down from that point," John decided.
Draco shook his head. "He's going to do what he has to do so his other half is safe and protected and so none of that can happen."
"I get that but there's ways of doing it without convincing everyone that you're going to be the next evil thing to beat, Draco."
"Then the demons would fight harder."
John considered that, then nodded slowly. "That's a real point in that plan's favor but there's a better way to do it more subtly so they don't challenge you." He went to talk to Lex, who was reading a comic. "Hey." He sat down across from him.
"I knew what Draco had him do and why, John."
"I think you're being a bit too unsubtle. I think you need to do some of that so you end up being a challenge point."
Lex nodded. "Yeah, I'm doing that while we're on our post-grad road trip." He grinned. "Dean and Sam can hang around with popcorn and stuff if they want, or you, but you have to be blunt around here." John outlined his plan and Lex pointed out where his diverged, and it wasn't too horrible of a compromise. It'd keep Xander safer so Lex would bend his plans around some. They could handle this and go on that wanted road trip that Lex missed having and Xander desperately wanted. Guided by Dean and Sam's knowledge of things to visit and things they considered mandatory to see. Xander was already working on his list. "I will say that we'll need a decent car so we don't end up trapped in Oxnard."
John nodded. "I'm already looking for you two." He smiled. "Let us handle some of it. Draco's been missing some of his meaner days. I can help too."
"I know. I figured you'd jump in and help." He shrugged.
"I am." He smirked. "Good boy." He got up. "How long is your list?"
"Very. Orlando's on it, a few other places."
"I'll see what I can do about finding an older hunter's ride. That way you can carry some weapons." He walked off to call his buddies. Sunnydale did warp one, a lot, but they desperately needed more hunters. That way Buffy could handle the huge things with the other two slayers that were called.
Giles smiled at the two young slayers that walked into his library, followed by a single watcher. "Kendra, he didn't come with you?" he asked, shaking her hand. Then Faith's and her watcher, Linda's, hand.
"No, he said it is my duty," she said, her Jamaican accent strong.
"But that's his job," Linda told her.
"He raised her," Giles said then coughed. "It may not be something he can stand to see."
"I guess I can understand that. I hate every time Faith gets hurt too." She noticed the extra people. "We're hosting a convention?"
Giles smiled. "Not quite. This is Xander, Willow, and Jesse, Buffy's friends who help with research and the occasional apocalypse battle. The one who looks stunningly like Xander is Lex, who slipped realities from one farther ahead, which is why we've had very few real apocalypse attempts." He smiled at the kids. "This is John Winchester."
"I've heard of you and your sons," Linda said.
"Lex knew my boys in his realm and he clearly needed a parental figure so I volunteered. Sammy's still in school with Buffy." He smiled and shook the slayers hands. "Welcome to the hellmouth, ladies."
"It's been mostly calm recently," Xander offered with a grin.
"For now," Lex agreed. "We have to see if the Sisterhood of Jhe is in town though." Giles nodded, making notes of that. "Anyway," he said, grinning at the ladies. "In my world, you were called after I did CPR on Buffy, Kendra." Faith shuddered. "Yeah. But hey, no torturing vampire?" he asked hopefully.
"We managed to escape him, barely," Linda said.
"We have a good first aid box, and we can do stitches if you need them," Willow said with a happy grin. "I learned from my parents textbooks and John learned in the Marines."
"No, we're fine now, thank you, dear." She smiled. "What part do you younger three play beyond backup?"
"Research," Jesse said with a grimace. "I still hate that squiggly line language, Giles."
"Stick with Latin," John told him. "It's pretty handy within the community." Jesse nodded he understood that. "And when you're older, and can escape the town, I'll give you a few numbers so you can call hunters if something's going on near you." Jesse beamed at him. So did Willow. He looked at Linda and the girls. "There's two others that live with the boys, but they're being shyly British today," he said dryly.
"Some of ours?" Linda asked him. Lex pulled his wand and put it on the table. "Oh!" She nodded quickly. "I've heard rumors."
"Harry and Draco are pretty nice but Draco's a bit smug and semi-royal," Lex said dryly.
"Hmm, I've heard many of them are," Linda sighed.
"I'm learning from Draco," Willow said.
"We love that you're finding control," Giles assured her with a smile. She smirked back. He smiled at the girls. "We made arrangements for you to stay at the hotel closer to my place. It's fairly clear and clean. Buffy cleaned out a bunch of the vampires the other night." She shook her head. "I told you to," he reminded her. She pointed at Lex. "Oh, well, thank you, Lex."
He smirked. "They ran for Mexico before I blew in their sanctuary space."
"Charming," Giles said. John swatted him. "Thank you, John." Joyce walked in. "Ah, Joyce Summers, this is Watcher Linda Hamilton. She's Faith's watcher. She's the pretty brunette, and the other beautiful young slayer is Kendra. Who is from Jamaica."
"Pleasure, ladies," she said with a smile, shaking their hands. "I've got it set up to invite you to dinner tomorrow night before patrol?"
"You're Buffy's mother?" Linda asked.
"Yes. Buffy wasn't found until a few years back," she said dryly. "And she managed to hide it for a few years. When I found out, I decided she's still got a mother for a reason."
Linda smiled and nodded. "Most of us start to see our trainees as our children." She smiled at Faith, then at Kendra. Who shrugged. "Kendra, how did you get up here?"
"No bags, dear?" Joyce asked. "I can drive you over to the motel after we're done working on things."
Kendra shrugged. "I only need the one outfit."
"Ohmygod, that's almost heresy," Buffy moaned. "Mom?"
"There's slayer upkeep funds," Linda said with a smile. "I had to get Faith a few new things because she's growing."
"I had to redo Buffy's wardrobe. She was going out in fashionable things to hunt," Joyce admitted. "Including skirts."
Linda gave her an odd look. "You let her shop?"
"Yes, she's always shopped. She used to be a cheerleader."
"Hmm. That's very different than how most of the girls are raised." Kendra nodded quickly. Faith too. "Then again, I had to adopt you."
"Saved me from going on the streets," Faith reminded her quietly.
Lex got up and hugged her. "It'll be okay." He stared at her. "We don't expect you to be anyone but Faith, and if someone tries to make you be Buffy, tell me and I'll beat their asses." Faith cackled. He grinned. "Anyway. Kendra, if you need to shop, so could Willow. That way you have enough for a whole week so you don't have to do laundry naked."
"It's not necessary," she said with a blush.
"Oh, please!" Buffy sighed. "Every girl needs at least three outfits. That way she can change and do laundry. Faith? We can go over where the bigger hotspots in town are on the way to the mall?" she suggested.
"I could use a hot pretzel," Faith admitted. "I don't really need clothes though."
"Xander, go help them please?" Joyce asked.
He gave her a look. "They're super strong girls. Why would they need a guy's help? Guys don't shop."
"That's an ugly shirt and I'm so ripping it off you to replace it," Buffy ordered. "And sometimes you need a guy's opinion. C'mon." He sighed but he and Willow both got up. "Jesse?"
"No way in any form of Tartarus or hell," he said firmly. "Eww! Unless I get to watch you three model things in Viccy's?" They all glared. He smirked back because that's the response he wanted. "That's the only reason guys should go shopping with girls."
"Fine. Xander, heel." He huffed but followed her out, taking the card that her mother handed her. Giles handed over the slayer support card he had. Linda as well. "Thanks, guys." She grinned and led them out. "This is the high school, of course. The hellmouth was back between the table and the check-in desk." Kendra shuddered. "Yeah, but the guy who built the town had the idea that he wanted to turn into a giant snakey demon. Thankfully he got arrested by Feds for being over ninety or something." She shrugged. "He looked like he was forty when they showed him on the news."
"An ascension?" Kendra asked. "Those are rare."
"He's gone though so no big snakey demon Lex said his world had to blow up in the school." She grinned. "Which is probably better anyway."
"I don't know, it might've been cool but he had the old VP as his principal for most of his time in," Xander said dryly.
"Eww. They let Snyder rule?" Willow asked, looking at him. He nodded. "Why?"
"Flutey died during our sophomore year, Wills."
"Oh. Eww. Well I guess it's better he fell down the stairs and got a major brain injury. Because he was a troll."
"A real one?" Kendra asked.
"Trolls are real?" Faith asked, looking at her.
"Yeah," Xander said. "Harry said he fought with one his first year of school in Scotland. Big, hairy, and really dumb. Snyder was the small, angry sort that you see living under a bridge in books."
Buffy cackled. "That's a bad image. Sorry." She shook her head to clear it.
Faith looked at Kendra. "Which ones are real?"
"I've heard of both but usually the bridge living ones are a different form of demon than a troll. Most of the trolls I know about are larger sorts."
"Thankfully we don't have many of those here. Or do we, Xander?"
"Three out by the college last time Draco complained? I think."
"Huh." She nodded. They headed outside and ran into Dean. "Cool, a ride! Ladies, this is Dean, he's John's older son." The girls shook his hand. "They need clothes."
"I only need a hot pretzel," Faith assured her. "I have a whole week's worth of clothes."
Dean nodded. "We'll do a quick tour of town on the way." They got into the back, while Xander ran off to hide, and he pointed out with Buffy where all the cemeteries, the demon bars, all the important parts were. Including briefing them about the military unit under the college. That was still bothering John so they wanted to stay out of their way. He got them out at the mall, taking Faith to the food court and then pointing at where Buffy was hanging out with Kendra. They sighed but Faith clearly needed backup with Buffy. This was how Buffy knew to bond with girls so he'd help her keep more calm while they talked weapons. Faith only knew a few. Kendra had trained in many of them. Buffy gave her awed looks and talked about the ones she had. It was good.
Lex came in from patrol that night, struggling out of his gooed on shirt to hand over to Fourth, who was grimacing. "Slime demons in the sewers. They wanted to welcome the two slayers too." He stripped off his pants and handed them over too. "Thanks, Fourth."
"Welcome, Lord Lex. The unit that went with you has already come back and showered so there's hot water."
"Thank the Goddess." He trudged that way.
"Clothes are required outside your bedroom," John ordered when they passed each other in the hallway.
"Fouth has them to soak the slime off."
"Eww," Sam said. "Sewer?" Lex nodded. "You're later than the Der unit. You good?"
"I walked the slayers back to Joyce's. They're having a sleepover/movie night thing." He stretched on his way up to his room. Xander looked at him and opened the bathroom door. "Thanks, nicer half."
"Welcome, evil bastard."
"If I was more evil, the slime demons would've wanted sex, which is disgusting." He went to shower.
Dean Der shook his head, going to get the special goo soap for his Lord and Master. He handed it over and smirked. "At least it's not cold water. Think how embarrassing that would be."
"It's only embarrassing if someone's filming it," he said dryly. Dean Der walked off cackling. Lex sighed but got down to scrubbing. Maybe he'd summon a succuba to help and get some cheap, tawdry, loud, fun sex?
"If it hits on me, I'm going to have Dean slay it," Xander called from their common area. Because he knew Lex needed stress relief and no matter what he slept with it wouldn't be nice and fun.
"Fine." He shrugged. "Just a succuba."
"Cool with me then."
"No way in hell!" John shouted up the stairs. "No summoning succuba into the house, boys."
"But I could use the stress relief and you won't let me pounce your sons," Lex called from the shower. The Der all cackled. "That's it, we need to go to Tijuana this weekend," he decided. Sam leaned in. "Tijuana?"
"Tequila's cheaper at the liquor store," he pointed out.
"Yeah but we have parents here. I'm not used to parents."
Sam smirked. "Dad's taking this weekend to visit a hunter we know and check in."
"Cool." They shared an evil smirk then Sam went down to tell Dean that.
"Hey, Xander, do we want to stop in Oxnard on our trip?" Lex asked. "I know last time we broke down there and I ended up stripping. We could both strip. It'd make one hell of a show."
"Why was I stripping?" Xander asked, blushing hard. He noticed Dean Der staring at him and glared. "What?" he complained.
"You're cute when you blush, Lord Xander. By his memories, the car broke down and that's the only job he could find. He only did it a few times but he made good money."
Xander blushed brighter, shaking his head quickly. "I don't think I could do that."
Lex came out of the shower with a towel around his waist. "It was actually kinda fun after the third time. Girls cooing at us. Wanting to touch."
"How many of them were psychos?" Xander asked.
"A few. They tipped great."
"No thanks," Xander said, getting back to his homework.
"Okay. I'll route us around Oxnard." He walked into his room with an evil smirk. There were people who'd pay tons to see them both stripping and it was harmless teasing of the bad boys and girls in the world.
Dean Der walked in and hopped up onto the bed then walked over to leap to the dresser so he could look at his master. "He's still shy."
"That's because at that age we've only had a few hand jobs. I didn't get any until I was over seventeen."
"Really?" Dean Der asked. Lex nodded with a grin. "Huh. Well, at least you fixed that for him. No innocence problems."
"Yeah, there was a shape changer who wanted virgins to fertilize her eggs. That way he didn't get caught by her."
Dean Der gave him an odd look. "Not even Sammy or Sammy Der can do that, Lex."
Lex smirked. "She was our science sub." Dean Der shook his head with a moan. Lex patted him on the head then put him on the floor. "Go freak out your dad if you want." Dean Der ran out to do that. Lex put on pajama bottoms without anything underneath them then walked out to help Xander with his homework. Lex had passed his GED when Flutey had demanded.
John walked up to the doorway of their suite. "Is that shape changer still alive?"
"Buffy drove her off but the others hang out at Sullivan's Music Store," Xander said dryly. "They think we're cute too."
"Yup, they usually do," Lex agreed. The twins shared a grin then at John.
"Let's not play with demons, boys? Please?"
"Sure, we'll go find someone nicely bad girl to date," Lex assured him with a grin. "Xander could use laid again."
"Frisk her for weapons," John complained as he walked off.
"That's part of my job as his assistant," Dean Der quipped. Sammy Der cackled, nodding. "We need some female Der, Lord Draco."
Draco looked at him. "I can only make from people I know, Dean. Do you really want Buffy or Willow Der?"
"No, that's all right," Dean said, walking off shuddering. "I may never get an erection again thanks to that thought."
"You guys can get hard?" Jesse asked from the couch he was trying to sleep on. "Huh."
"Yeah," Dean Der said with a leer. "Very hard." Lex Der swatted him. "What, bitch?"
"Keep it up. I'll find a woman for Draco to make us." Dean shivered and moaned, shaking his head.
"Please don't make any of the homicidal ones Der," First complained, staring at them. "We're all you, Lex Der. It'd seriously screw up the younger Der."
"Yeah, that might," he sighed. "Maybe Faith?"
"She's a beautiful woman," Draco agreed.
"I'd tap that," Dean Der and Sammy Der both agreed.
"We'll see," Draco said. "I'll offer." They nodded and went back to playing in the new basement area. They had set up a Der workout area, a training, and sparring area. He looked at his cohort, shaking his head. "I did a great thing creating them."
"You did. Our lives would be boring and worse without the Army of Der, Draco. They spoil us rotten. They take care of us when we're fussy and sick. It's better than a wife in a lot of ways."
"The Nagging One did make you a pretty wife, Lady Harry," First Der teased with a smirk.
Harry smirked back. "If you were bigger, I'd spank you for that and make you beg me to be less mean to you."
First cackled. "Of course you would, Lord Harry. It'd be a lot of fun." He winked and strolled off to check on things.
Sammy Der was cackling as he climbed up Harry to hug him. "You would make a great wife, Lord Harry. Even in boy form." Harry poked him but Sam just grinned. "You do like to fuss. That's why you fuss at Ron so much."
"Sometimes, yeah. Speaking of, I should write them." He used Lex's owl so it wouldn't draw attention to himself. He sent his owl Hedwig to Mrs. Weasley to let her know they were okay. Then he sat down to read with Sam Der. They shared a taste in muggle books.
Draco shook his head. "You could've flooed."
"If they're mad, I'd rather hear this way."
"Good point. Weasley does have a temper."
Harry nodded. "That's why I addressed it to Hermione, so she could tell Ron. Just in case."
"If my owl gets hurt, I'm going to destroy them both," Lex called down the stairs.
"I put on the envelope it was a friend's owl," Harry called.
Harry and Draco shared a look. "We need to get into trouble," Harry decided.
Draco sneered, shaking his head. "That is not my style, Potter. Even if I'm bored."
"Lord Lex had been thinking about summoning a succuba to taunt," Sam Der told him.
"We haven't taunted a succuba in a while," Draco agreed.
"No succuba!" John called from where he was researching.
"We'd need liquor anyway," Harry told him. "And we don't have any in the house."
Lex came bouncing down the stairs. "I hate ingrown hairs." He went into the kitchen.
"What are you looking for, Lord Lex?" Fourth asked.
"Honey. I have an ingrown hair and it's nasty." Fourth handed over a packet. "Thanks." He grinned. "I'll make sure it won't get on the sheets."
"Thank you. Twenty would appreciate that." They shared a smirk and Lex went back upstairs.
"If you want, I can pop a pimple," Sam Der offered.
"It's an ingrown pubic hair, Sammy Der. I can put honey on it to kill it. But thanks." Sammy Der grinned at him.
"That's a weird thought I didn't want," John complained.
Lex hugged him from behind. "It's all right. I'd never screw my Army of Der. They're too small," he said in his ear. "Quit having bad thoughts about my cute ass, John. Before I pounce the real Sammy." He went back up to his room to put the honey on the small spot and then covered it with gauze.
"Another thought I didn't want," John complained.
"Two more days and you can go see Bobby," Dean Der quipped with a grin. "I'm sure he'd help you get drunk so you don't have to see our pretty asses playing with Xander and Lex."
"I should bring one of you with me so Bobby can get the same funny thoughts I am."
"We are adorable," Sammy Der quipped. "Or you could introduce him to Lord Lex."
John looked at him. "I made a paddle just for people your size, Samuel Winchester." Sammy Der beamed and hopped off, running to hide behind Dean. Either of them.
Harry was snickering in his seat. Jesse was asleep on the other couch and Draco was shaking his head while he read some thriller murder mystery book.
The Der did bring a lot to their lives.
Very late Friday night, John got out of his truck and slammed the door, hiking up to the old house at the salvage yard. "Bobby, put that holy water in a beer for me please?" he called as he walked. "I'm going nuts."
Bobby handed over the shot of holy water and the requested beer chaser, watching him gulp them both then go for a second one. "The boys try to set you up again?" Bobby Singer teased with a grin.
"No! Worse." He got another beer and came out to show him pictures of the Sam and Dean Ders next to their bigger selves. "One of those wand wizard sorts made them for someone else." He drank more of his beer. "They're driving me nuts."
"Are they robotic?"
"No. Real live little smartasses. Bleed red blood and all that." He got a third beer because this one wasn't going to last.
Bobby flipped through the pictures. The whole army of little smartasses and their bigger selves. Including a picture of the massed military units. Bobby moaned, looking at John, taking the beer he had gotten him. "Why make them?"
"I told you about Lex and Xander?" Bobby nodded, opening his beer to take a gulp. "Draco made them for Lex when they were confined."
"Jesus," Bobby muttered. "You good beyond the mind warping?"
John nodded. "Sunnydale's calming down a lot. Lex has got a lot of them scared to death of him. Plus now there's three slayers called." He took a smaller sip and put his bottle down. "The Sam Der and the Lex Der pounced the Harry Der for breakfast and I had to protest them trying to strip Sam's little half."
"They were named after Xander."
"Oh." He nodded, taking a drink. "You need to go back to hunting."
"I don't mind staying around until things are calm. Sam's doing great in school. He likes being in one place. We have nightly patrols so I go out about four days a week. Some of those vamps are tougher than I expected. The demon species that're peaceful usually stay out of the way of everything but some are strange and a few are downright weird." He took another sip. "We have the death rate down below fifteen percent."
"Congratulations," Bobby said with a smirk. "There's a few ghosts."
"I'm exhausted. The boys play and smart off at each other. Draco and Harry occasionally fight and shoot hexes at each other. Sometimes in play and sometimes not. Plus Draco's teaching a witch on the team out there. He even assigned my Dean homework since apparently they have a small gift." He stared at him. "Lex likes the really evil bad girls. Xander would like someone a bit nicer than evil but Lex lets them pounce him too. Lex was talking about where he got stranded during his last roadtrip. He ended up stripping a few times for money." Bobby shuddered. "He wants to take Xander there and teach him."
"Sounds like young, stupid guy fun," Bobby agreed.
John stared at him. "Last time Lex drew every bad thing in a six county radius. He did it at the demon club Thursday for beer money and because he was bored. The three slayers showed up to watch with Joyce, at his invitation, and they got a lot of slaying in when the bad ones rushed the stage. Buffy quipped he should do it more often so she could hunt more easily. Xander heard about it and hid in a closet cuddling Dean Der."
"I'm sure they're cute together," Bobby taunted with an evil smirk.
"They play too much more and I'm going to pull out a shotgun to marry them and the two Winchester Der off," he said dryly, draining that beer.
"What're they doing this weekend?"
"I firmed up the wards so they can't summon a succuba and torment them but otherwise, no clue." Bobby cackled. "Not joking," he said dryly. He got up. "Get you another one?"
"Go easy on those," Bobby said. "They're the last I have." John handed him a hundred bucks. "Fine, I'll get more of the good stuff." He laughed all the way to the store and back about how bad John's mind was going. Even if they are cute, they're just boys. Not even Sam could get into that much trouble. Dean wouldn't allow it.
John walked into the house Sunday night, staring around. Something stunk a whole lot. He slammed the door. No boys. He went to look hoping they weren't injured. Nope, stone drunk and dogpiled. Xander was underneath Sam and Dean, and had Harry Der patting his head. John stared at the Der.
"I didn't buy them the extra tequila," Harry Der defended. "That was Lex's idea."
"Figures. Where is Lex?" Harry Der pointed with an evil smirk. He looked and John blushed for the first time in over twenty-three years as he walked off. He did not want to know how Harry and Draco had done that to him. Or if it took more than those two. "Get them to bed. Tonight."
"Once they wake up I will," Harry Der agreed.
Dean Der lifted his head from where it was pillowed on Lex Der's ass, which was on Lex's ass. "They're snoring. It'll be hours."
"I wonder if they remember they have tests tomorrow," Draco muttered. The Der moved so he could have the comfy, soft sleeping spot to lie on. They laid on his back instead. "Itchy." Dean Der scratched it for him. "Thank you." He yawned and drifted off again.
The rest of the army got woken up at dawn for morning PT by John. Who was scowling but oh well. They deserved a weekend off duty. They'd had just as much fun as their bigger selves had. Tequila and all. John came up to wake up the boys, finding most of them in the shower and Xander grunting in the kitchen as he ate a bowl of cereal standing up. "Hangover?" he asked loudly.
"Fuck off," he mumbled, stuffing his mouth again. He glared at him. "Your sons are evil." John smirked. "For that, I should tell the incubus to come do a replay for you." He walked off, limping a bit. "Dean, Sam, your father's up," he called as he walked. "He wants to know what you did to me."
"Tell him to sit on a watermelon, should end up with the same result," Dean called back.
"Dean Winchester!" John shouted.
"Ow," Sam muttered as he came out holding his head. He walked around his father, finding the advil.
"Hangover?" John asked dryly.
"Vision," he said grimly. "Hangover went away last night." He walked off again. "Guys, school."
"Bite me," Xander called. "I can't sit."
"Tests," John called, sounding chipper.
"First, go blow up the damn school, all but the library please?" Xander demanded.
"We can do that," First said, going to the weapons cabinet. "Let's see. That's for the sanctuaries downtown.... We should warn Mrs. Summers first." He called her and she went into panic mode. The school went up and it set off the cascading charges all over town to destroy all the bad demon sanctuaries and to open most of them up to the sun. "Ah! Better." John gave him a horrified look. He grinned. "Lord Xander demanded, John." He skipped off humming.
Lex came down the stairs, setting off one that hadn't went off. "There, got the fuckers under the college too," he said dryly, going back upstairs. "I'm going to bed. Night, John."
John was spluttering and choking. "What the hell did you do!" he demanded, stomping up to the boys' room.
"Poof goes the vampires?" Xander guessed from where his head was stuffed in his pillow.
"Yup. And the library's still standing," Lex agreed. "So the hellmouth won't be bothered."
"We went to rearrange things on Mr. Giles anyway," Fourth said, popping in with coffee cups. "They're all in storage. I left him a note on the desk." He popped out before John could say anything.
Lex nudged Xander, handing him the mug. "Coffee?"
"Ow," he whined as he flipped over. "You're mean to me too, Lex." John started to choke again.
"Dad," Dean complained. "Don't die on us or we're calling you back as a zombie." He walked around him, taking Lex's coffee. "Thank you, I need that. For some reason I have a bad taste in my mouth."
"Yeah, that was licking the tequila you spilled off the carpet," Lex said, taking his coffee back. "Maybe you should have someone do CPR on your dad? If I did it, he might think I was flirting because all badasses love me." He grinned.
It was that smirk that brought John out of his shock and made him paddle Lex until he felt better about him being alive. No matter how much the Der tried to save him, it wasn't going to work.
Xander got up and knocked John out from behind with a nerve pinch. "Don't paddle him. He'll want me to rub de-ouching cream into his butt." He went back to bed.
"Dude, ice pack?" Sam offered from the doorway. "The last time he got me like that for nearly dating a shape changing demon, I needed one." Lex took it with a pout and went to curl up in Dean's bed. Since Dean had gotten him spanked. Dean Der curled up with him to make sure he felt better. The rest laid down around Harry, Xander, and Draco to make sure they didn't die in their sleep. Draco was still mightily drunk and Harry was at the babbling stage of mentally loose.
They enforced a sleep spell on John and called him off work citing a migraine from the lack of sleep because he had a 'break down on the road and it made him drive longer'. His boss was sure it was fine since the garage was still all right. Though they had no idea what had happened to the gas lines in town.
Joyce got let into the house by Harry Der, who blinked at her. "Where is that little evil bastard?"
"The house is full of them," he pointed out. "Which one?"
"In bed. John paddled him for the weekend off we had." He grinned.
"What happened to the gas lines?" She stared down at him.
Harry, never having seen the 'mother' look shrugged. "Why do you ask?"
"Don't play cute, Harry Der." She went to find the others. Dean was up. "What was that?" she demanded.
"Lex's brilliant plan to take out most of the vamps?" Dean guessed. She glared, starting to tap a foot. Dean had only had a mom for four years but he knew that look and body language. "I didn't do it and there's no more bad demon sanctuary areas." She glared harder. "He's napping in my bed after Dad tanned his ass, Joyce. Go talk to the boy." She stomped that way. Dean got more coffee and went to hide Xander. The whole Der Army was in hiding now too. Dean got Sam and they went to look over the damage. They started at the school, which was mostly in rubble, except the area around the library. Giles was staring in horrified awe from the hood of his car. Dean walked over. "The Army decided you needed better organization," he said quietly.
Giles swallowed and looked at him. "Excuse me?"
"They were shifting stuff this weekend. Said they left a note on your desk about which storage area they were using." Giles hurried past the fire department people to check. Dean followed. "He's checking his priceless collection of ancient books."
"Latin smut," Sam said with a grin.
"Doesn't surprise me about someone British," one of the firemen mumbled. "The last one we had in town had a demon porn fetish."
The brothers caught up with Giles in the library, smirking at his awed look. The entire library was empty. "Huh," Sam said. "They did great work. Even though most of them were kinda drunk."
"And sore from the orgy," Dean agreed.
Giles looked at him. "That's a disgusting thought, thank you, boys." They grinned. "The family?"
"Lex is sleeping off the paddling dad gave him," Sam said with a grin. "Joyce is over though so he might be awake by now." Giles winced and hissed. "Xander was being watched over by my Der. Harry and Draco by theirs and Lex's Ders so they didn't die in their sleep from the drinking last night."
"Or our orgy," Dean added.
"Your mind needs a forward button to change tracks," Buffy said as she walked around them. "What the hell?" she demanded quietly. "My mother totally threw a teenage girl hissy! Like a thirteen-year-old-girl hissy!"
Dean nodded. "So did Dad on Lex's ass."
"Mom and your dad could do worse than each other." She shrugged and walked off shaking her head. "Giles, what're they doing about school?"
"No one has any idea, Buffy."
"Good!" She beamed. "No history test. No math test. No science class!" she shouted cheerfully. "I need pompoms."
Dean looked at her. "Don't give me mental images you'd be grossed out by, Buffy."
She pinched him on the arm. "I'm much too good of a good girl for you, Dean. I don't put out." She walked off happier, meeting up with Kendra and Faith. "Looks like school's off for at least a few days." The other slayers gave her odd looks. She grinned. "No tests!"
Faith nodded. "You need a nap."
"I could use a latte. My treat?" She walked them to the Espresso Pump to get them something yummy to snack on. Slayers needed food. She ran into her mother getting a brownie. "Everyone else okay? Beyond Dean's dirty mind?"
Her mother sighed but nodded. "Yes. Even though I want to beat the crap out of them for it." Her daughter hugged her. "Whoever did this, I have a hairbrush for them."
"Oooh," Buffy said, unconsciously trying to tuck her butt further between her legs. "Poor people." The slayers sat down to go over what they knew so far. There was a lot of damage. Both colleges got some. A lot of downtown's streets had caved in. A few buildings too. They looked up at a new rumble of explosion. "Where was that?"
"The college I think," Joyce said, looking that way. "That's where the fire department is heading." The three slayers all groaned and shook their heads. "Maybe it did something to that covert project up there." Buffy smirked. The other two looked confused so Joyce told them what they knew. The other two gave her horrified looks. Buffy nodded. "I'm told by Lex that my daughter there had bad enough taste to date one but he turned against them."
Buffy nodded. "Eww." Joyce laughed. "I should have better taste. At least for now." She finished her coffee. "Let's hit Willie's?" she suggested. The other two slayers nodded and finished their drinks on the way there. They walked in, Buffy in the lead. She cleared her throat and the complaining demons all stared. "It wasn't us."
"Bull!" one shouted. "It was that bastard Lex! I saw some of those mini hims planting some of those explosives!"
"Okay, well, yeah, it might've been Lex." She shrugged. "He did say he was going to turn Sunnydale into a peaceful community and sanctuary by the end of his road trip." Kendra gave her an odd look. "Apparently he got really burnt out on the fighting stuff since they had multiple apocalypse battles, and at least one huge one every year." Kendra shuddered. "Yeah, from what I'm told they were pretty bad." Buffy looked at Faith, who was shifting her weight. "All right, let me call him...."
"Never mind," one said, starting to pout. "If we're harmful a bunch of us are willing to move."
"I think his definition of peaceful is 'doesn't eat humans'," Faith told them. "No hunting, no attacking, nothing like that." That cheered a few up.
"Mom said they have a huge hangover," Buffy said, "but I can call." Fourth patted her on the knee. "Hi, Fourth." She smiled.
"Lord Lex said that as long as you weren't going to eat his future pets, his nicer half, any of us, or any other human, you were more than welcome to stay." The demons nodded at that. "Anyone else.... well, they don't have homework anymore." He smiled. "It was a brilliant plan." He winked at one, who shivered. "Also, that program torturing demons? We're not happy. The whole Army wasn't happy with them. Lord Draco got so upset he actually swore using a muggle term." A few demons started to cry. "So I believe that their command center is now down. Their cells could probably be easily released?" A few demons made calls on their way up there.
"Should we help?" Buffy asked. "I heard they weren't careful to not take the peaceful ones."
"That may be appreciated but if you did so, the city's workers would wonder, Slayer."
"Good point. Can some of you guys go help empty those cells?"
"Of course." He smirked. "Mini Der are excellent at locks. They have to be before they're put on a team."
Kendra looked at Buffy. "They're demons."
"There's peaceful ones," Buffy reminded her. "This military unit...." She sighed as she sat on a table to look at her sister slayer. "The government wanted to do their own classification manual, Kendra. To do that they captured a bunch of demons, peaceful and not." Kendra nodded she got that part. "And then they did experiments on them like they didn't have brains and feelings and felt pain and things."
"Oh," she said, scowling. "But that's not ethical."
"Yes, but there's idiots in charge in some places in the government," Faith said dryly. "Ask any kid in the system and they'll tell you that."
Buffy nodded. "There were when I got put in the hospital due to burning down a gym full of vampires." Kendra winced. "Exactly, yeah. Pretty colors with the pills though. Mom only found out recently about all this. To say she was upset.... little bit of an understatement. Mom didn't eat anything but ice cream for nearly a week."
Faith snorted. "At least your mom's around, B."
"Yeah, I'd have went insane a long time ago without my mom." She grinned. "Linda seems to mom you pretty well."
Faith nodded. "She does, yeah. She's real careful not to push any buttons I learned but she's a pretty decent mom. If a bit strict about diet and stuff."
"My mom got a recipe book that Lex had in his stuff from his version of my mom. She'd share. It's even got stuff to get goo out of laundry."
"I might get her to look at it. I hate salads." Buffy snickered and nodded.
"They aren't tasty but they're good for you," Kendra admitted with a grimace. "I prefer chicken from the grill."
"John has a grill," Buffy said. "We can find you spices since I know you guys eat spicier stuff. I went to a Jamaican restaurant in LA once and had heartburn for three days."
"You learn to like the spices," Kendra said with a slight smile, ducking her head. "Do you think they'd mind?"
"No. I think John would let us cook out there or bring it to Mom's. After all, he's done the same job we do for two decades almost."
One of the demons cleared his throat. "What?" Buffy looked at him. "That older guy and his sons? They're hunters?"
"Yeah, that's John Winchester and his sons Sam and Dean. Thankfully they killed the demon after Sam." She grinned. The demon was making squeaky, horrified noises. "Guys, is he choking? I have no idea how to do CPR for his kind."
The bartender coughed. "He's *that* John Winchester?" Buffy smirked and nodded. "Oh, damn it!"
Dean strolled in. "I heard Winchester and swearing by demons so I thought I'd come look smug and yet handsome at the same time." He smirked. "You didn't realize we were us?" They all shook their heads. "Yeah, in Lex's world, they decided I was going down the same burnt out, could slip over the edge of evil path and sent me and Sammy with him, Harry, and Draco. You would not believe the shit we learned from each other." The demons all groaned. He smirked at the ladies. "Lex is still hung over and Xander's refusing to sit." Faith cackled. "You could've joined in."
"No way in hell," she said firmly.
Fourth smirked at her. "We do need some female Der to learn how to flirt with, Slayer Faith. Draco would if you asked him. That way you had someone to talk to when you needed to but were alone."
Faith looked down at him. "You guys are all probably just as kinky as the twins are."
"No one's as kinky as Lex is," Dean said dryly. "Even I learned stuff from him. Xander tends to walk off humming whenever he thinks about those sort of things." Buffy cackled. "Seriously. Even Dad blushed." That got a louder cackle. He grinned at Kendra. "He'd do the same for you if you asked."
"Make me blush? Quite probably," she agreed.
"No, make you a Der of your own."
She blushed, shaking her head. "That would get my watcher very upset with me."
"Sometimes the Watchers need the hiney stick pulled out," Buffy said dryly. "Giles sure has a few times." Faith cackled, nodding she agreed. She looked at Kendra again. "It'll be fine. Dean, can we bum the grill?"
"Sure. We can bring it to your mom's house." He smirked at the watching demons. "So, anyway, Dad and we support the whole 'let's all be peaceful and make the town a sanctuary' thing. Harry even thinks he's figured out how to seal the damn hole in the library."
"That'd be nice. Giles told me there's a huge kraken and it tried to grope him last time it came out. It got kraken slime on some books and everything. He was not amused."
"That was before we got here," Dean told her. "Not too much before we got here but before then. He and Lex handled it." The group of demons left in the bar moaned. He grinned. "Yeah, he got a bit pissed off." He shrugged. "Anyway. Ladies, want a ride somewhere? I'm out getting antacids and milk."
Fourth scowled. "That's our job."
Dean looked at him. "It's my job to take care of my own hangover, Fourth."
"Well, perhaps but we can do the shopping."
Dean smirked. "Not like I have anything else to do today and you guys are all hungover too."
"Yes we are," he sighed then beamed. "And it was fun too."
"Yeah, so was ours," Dean sighed, grinning back at him, then at the demons. "So, anyway, questions, comments, concerns?"
"Are you sleeping with your brother?" one demon asked. "There's a huge betting pool, Winchester."
"Ask Dad that. He could use another good blush. Maybe then he'd think about dating again since it's been two decades." Buffy whimpered, shaking her head. "Exactly. We respect that he misses mom and all that, but the guy's gotta have someone to fuss at sometimes now that the demon's gone." He shrugged. "Even if Harry swears up and down that he was scrying us and caught a mythical little brother." He looked around. "Any other comments?" They all shook their heads. "Cool. Then we're going to get some stuff for a cookout, impose on Joyce, and let her tell us where to put the grill." He walked off. "Ladies, want a ride?" They followed. They all liked the Impala. It was roomy enough for all three in the backseat. Which was good since Sam was asleep in the front. He was cuddling Harry Der.
"Aww," Faith snickered.
Kendra went 'aww' too but tried to cover it up. Buffy took a picture. Dean smirked at her. "I'll share." Sam grunted. "Go back to sleep, Sam. Just us," she soothed, petting over his hair. Sam grunted something and shifted to the side and stretched out a bit better.
Dean swatted his knee. "Watch that before you hit something." He backed out of the parking spot and took them home to get the grill, then to Joyce's. She gave them a pointed look. "The ladies wanted to grill stuff. We can man the grill while you and Dad compare ideas." He set it up and went to get more gas. Buffy and Kendra went to the store to get stuff to put on it. Faith went to check on a few areas that they had noticed were getting bad, just to see what had happened.
Joyce shook her head, looking at John. "They're nice when they're trying to keep me from doing too much."
John nodded. "Sometimes, yeah." He finished his bottle of water. "He did a good job."
"My gallery's almost untouched," she admitted.
"The library's standing," John said. "And the army of little Xanders and Lexs all moved things on Giles because they wanted to rearrange things." She smiled. "They're all hungover today too."
She snickered. "What did they do?"
"I don't want to know," he admitted. "I might have to skin my boys alive if I knew."
"At least the slayers weren't there," Joyce said.
"No, no girls at all unless they fled the room." She shivered and moaned. He nodded. "I saw things this morning I didn't ever want to wonder about." She swatted him but got up to start some potatoes rinsing in some cold water. "Let the kids, Joyce."
"They'd kill themselves."
"Lex can cook."
"Good point." She called and invited Giles and Linda over. They were relatively close by at the school.
Linda looked around. "No vegetables?"
Joyce snorted. "Half the time, Buffy won't eat vegetables." She handed her the cookbook. "From the me in Lex's realm." She sat down to go over it, nodding at some of the observations. It could only help Faith last as long as possible. "I find that the blue goo remover also works well when you've had a nosebleed and it's partially set. I've managed to salvage about half of Buffy's clothes. Which is very nice because she shops like a debutante at times."
Giles smiled. "Wasn't she before?"
"Quite," Joyce said dryly. "And dating some stupid basketball player too." Linda gave her an odd look. "I had no idea about any of this until recently, and she didn't find out until Merrick showed up to tell her she had been poked with the slayer crossbow of destiny."
"So she didn't know at all?" Linda asked. Joyce smiled but shook her head. "Then she's only had Merrick and Giles training her?" John waved his hand. "You can train?"
"I trained both of my boys to hunt and I've done a lot of work on Buffy's hand-to-hand. I can actually spar with the girls when Giles can't. I can still beat Buffy when she's going all out. She's got a very flashy style, very gymnastics oriented, with flips and throws and all that. I've taught her a lot about straightforward fighting and brawling, because sometimes you've got to."
"It's saved me a lot of damage," Giles admitted. "She nearly broke my hand the first time I told her to hit the practice pads. He doesn't use them at all."
"If you can't beat me, you definitely can't beat a master vampire," John said.
"Is that why the other two were called?"
"No, that was because Lex got pissed at all their plans for humanity and ended quite a few. Including having the Powers That Be trapped in a containment box Draco made and sending it to a clan of guardian demons. They called the other two after that to even things out."
"From what Lex's world went through, there were going to be two when Buffy was supposed to die. He did CPR and it still activated Kendra." He sighed, taking off his glasses to clean them. "Their graduation was an ascension." Linda whimpered, shaking her head. "Later on, they faced the First Evil thanks to Willow raising Buffy for the second time. She ended up activating all the slayers. Which was very helpful since Lex said that they were planning a demon invasion in LA a few years later." First Der handed him a book and hopped over to help Joyce with the potatoes. He found it and let her see it. "Lex acted to remove those and the Powers that stepped in decided they had to change plans and there being three slayers was beneficial."
"One girl can't be everywhere," John agreed. "And apocalypses shouldn't be a solo fight."
"No, they shouldn't," Joyce agreed. "Buffy vowed that if I tried to do more than help research that she'd be packing me into a UPS box and sending me to Arizona or somewhere pretty for a vacation."
John snickered. "She'd worry that you'd get hurt and that would distract her. That's why I don't let the boys get into anything too big if I can help it." The kids came back with Xander and Lex. "Kids, are we feeling better?"
Xander looked at him. "Your sons are still meanly evil to me." He walked around him.
Lex smirked at him. "You had a lot of fun."
"How would you know?" Xander demanded.
"The tape said so?"
"You taped it!" Xander shouted. First waved his hand with a grin. "Why the fuck did you do that?" he demanded, staring at the Der, who was pouting.
"Because sometimes you have to be reminded that there's happier times and more reason to go on," First said firmly. "And don't swear at me."
Lex hugged them both. "It's fine, Xander. It's not getting out."
"I don't remember anything," he hissed.
Lex nodded. "I remember most of it until that sixth bottle of tequila came out during truth and dare." Xander gave him another horrified look. "You can watch it alone later and then destroy it. We'd never do anything with it."
"I know but it's like ambushing me or something."
First came over to hug him. "We won't do it again, Lord Xander."
"Thanks, First. I'm sorry I swore at you." He cuddled him, walking outside still pouting.
"Aww, you and Sammy match," Dean joked. Xander hit him on the arm. "Ow! What was that for?"
"Because you're probably the reason I feel like one of those mountain tunnels," he said dryly. "I didn't want to not know about it when it happened, Dean."
"I think I saw a video camera," Dean offered.
"Yup," First agreed. "He was upset."
"Huh, so we'll make you lighter things," Dean told him. He realized something. "Oh, oh, it was your first," he muttered. Xander nodded, looking pissed off. "Well, I remember it was good, you were yelling like you were riding a bull, and it was Sammy." Xander relaxed and nodded. "I came later."
"Literally?" Xander asked. "Because I'm the one guy that can warp anything and if the Powers are mad at us, I might end up carrying little Deans."
"Is that even possible?" Dean asked, looking confused.
"I found a spell for it," Willow chirped from where she was talking with the slayers.
"Dad, Willow said she found a spell for male pregnancies somewhere," Dean called.
John came out to stare at her. "Should you I'd kill you," he assured her firmly, staring her down. She shrank down and nodded. "Where did you find that bit of dark magic?"
"Giles' old journal that was on the shelves in the history section?"
"Oh, dear Lord. Yes, Ethan made that," Giles said, shaking his head.
"Figured it was Lord Chaos who made it," Lex said dryly. "Did he get it to work?"
"I have no clue," Giles admitted. They all stared at him. He shrugged. "Truly no clue. I removed myself from that group shortly afterward."
"Good to know," John decided. "Can you....maybe make sure Harry and Draco's people don't get hold of it?"
"They have their own version. I showed it to Draco and he said that theirs took less energy and didn't call on Janus. It wasn't a popular alternative anymore but back in ancient times it was a lot of acceptable."
John walked off shaking his head. "I don't want to know what ancient wizards did."
Giles nodded. "I wonder if Ethan's was based off that one." He called Draco to ask him that.
"That's way freakier than I'm used to," Faith decided.
"I'd never do it without permission," Willow told her. "It was just neat to find. Giles had all sorts of spells in there for private moments too."
"No thanks, I got stuff that runs on batteries, that's enough for me," Buffy said. Faith gave her an odd look. "Mom said no sex until I was seventeen. No matter who I was dating. Or else she'd sell me into marriage with someone who wanted a lot of kids." She frowned. "Kendra, what would happen if one of us was in one of those native tribes they show on school filmstrips and on tv? They get married really young and almost instantly start having kids. What if one of them gets poked to be a slayer?"
"As far as I know they'd get the girl to train as soon as she was identified, the same as I was," Kendra said with a shrug. "I don't know how her children or husband would react. Lex?"
He looked up from his reading. "We didn't get that far. I have the feeling some of the ones that were activated before the First Evil battle were over there but I got pulled back over here before I could scry that far ahead. Sorry. Though I'm guessing, since I found a chronicle that had a slayer who had a son while she was activated, that it'd be dangerous to have one during it and that'd be like Buffy protecting her mom only more maternal maybe?"
"Maybe," Buffy said. "So would she have to leave the tribe?"
"Depends on if she knew she'd been activated. Did you?" he asked.
"No. Not until Merrick showed up and then I got some funny dreams from Lothos. He put ribbons in my hair and things. Creepy dreams."
"I got a few of those before I got activated," Faith said.
Kendra nodded. "Slayers and potential slayers can both get slayers dreams. They are prophetic but often a bit cryptic according to my watcher."
"Yeah, had a few of the prophetic kind," Buffy sighed. "They so suck and they never make sense. Then Giles has to pull out the prophecy books and figure out what's going on this time." She saw Lex's smirk. "And if he's already taken care of it."
Lex nodded. "Quite possibly."
Buffy grinned. "He removed a lot of threats." Lex nodded.
Giles came out. "A few may still remain," he reminded her. "Including in a few years when a hell goddess is at the right time to be called."
"Glory's host's name is Ben and if you kill him she's gone," Xander said dryly. "I hate visions, have I mentioned this recently?"
Buffy looked down at him. "Serious?"
He nodded. "Yeah, and he was treating your mom for a future brain tumor. We were going to nag around grad to get her to see someone."
"Mom, Xander foresaw you with a brain tumor," she called, walking back into the house. "The doc who was treating it was a hell goddess in disguise."
John considered it. "There's not many hell gods that could pretend to be a mortal," he said thoughtfully.
"Glory," Xander called.
"Glory would probably have be Glorificus; she's the only one I know with a similar name," John said, tapping out a text message to Bobby, who sent back what he knew. "Yeah, she has to be tied to a host to be on this plane. Kill the host and she's gone."
"Apparently it's going to be mom's oncologist." She looked at her mother.
"I'll get checked tomorrow. How far ahead was that?"
"Post-grad by a few years. Right after Lex got sent away," Xander called.
"Okay, I'll start with a baseline check with my doctor," she decided. Buffy beamed and bounced back out. She looked at John.
"Sam doesn't have visions like that but he has had two now. We thought the demon was sending them but we think some higher authority hijacked it."
"Yup," Dean Der said as he appeared on the counter, sitting on the edge so he could swing his feet. "With the demon gone and the plan to use this family to do an end-times battle now dead too, the new higher powers in charge did it. And you need to talk to Cordelia. In Lex's realm she got given them from Doyle when she was working with Angel in LA. Hers were starting to cause brain changes because they were too strong for a mortal."
John nodded. "I'll talk with the girl this weekend." Dean Der grinned. "There's others outside."
"Cuddling the Xander. They all forgot he wasn't as experienced as Lex was." He nodded. "But he's damn cuddly and cute." He grinned. Then he jumped down and rolled to his feet. "Ah, better." He strolled out. "Ladies," he purred with a smirk.
Faith and Kendra looked down. "Dean, the mini you is a pervert," Faith called.
"So's the big him," Sam said dryly.
"Hey!" both Deans complained.
"I'm flexible and enthusiastic," Dean Der said. "Get it right, Sammy."
"We don't need to know how bendy you can be," Buffy said.
"Not that sort of flexible," the bigger Dean said dryly. "Flexible as in I don't only have one right way to get it done." She blushed, shaking her head. He smirked at his Der. "Hungover?"
"Yes," he complained. "Next time rum? That way Lord Xander doesn't nearly drink himself into a coma?"
"There's not going to be a next time for me," Xander said. "I don't need to turn into my family."
"You won't," Lex assured him. "I'd never let that happen to you." Xander relaxed and grinned. "Or to myself." He gave him a hug around First. "We'll let you take it easier next time." Xander blushed but nodded. "You cuddle First. He and Dean Der are great cuddles." He went back to helping with the grill.
"I'm not into that cuddling shit unless there's a real good reason," the original Dean noted. "I'll do more of that when I'm *with* someone but not for fun things."
"You guys are just weird," Buffy told him.
"That's the girl/guy difference," Xander told her. "Girls do emotional things and guys just want laid at our ages."
"Yeah but still. Eww," Buffy complained. "Guys would get more if they were more into the cuddling and listening stuff." Kendra was bright red and Faith was starting to blush too. "I'd never sleep with a guy who didn't listen to me and stuff." Lex gave her a pointed look. "I have better taste in this realm." Lex nodded. "Who else did I tap?"
"Some guy at the college hunting for panty points and Spike after I got banished."
"Yeah, I have better taste here." The guys all stared at her. "I do!"
"You'd better!" Joyce called.
Faith shook her head. "I think you need help," Faith said. "Not even I'm that hyper."
"A slayer should put that energy into her battles," Kendra said. "Or taking care of her weapons. That's why I carved Mr. Pointy." She showed it off.
"Wow, that's beautiful work," Buffy said, taking it carefully to look over. "Dean, look. Kendra carved it."
He whistled. "That's pretty, Kendra. Really nice job." The Jamaican slayer beamed at him. He handed it back after showing his father.
John leaned out. "Kendra, when you're here, you're a girl and a slayer. Be both." He sat up again.
Faith looked at her. "Linda's strict but I can look at guys."
Kendra shook her head. "My duty is my battle and boyfriends would get in the way."
"Or be someone who can hunt with you," Dean said.
"My watcher would not like that."
"I think he needs the hiney stick pulled out," Buffy said with a grimace. "They expect us to fight and die and not realize what we're fighting for? I mean, we're fighting to save all those in love and who have kids and things. If we don't know what that's like, why would we have the desire to fight? I know there's bad things, that's why the Winchesters fight and all that, but we're told to slay and keep going until we die and they won't give us a reason to slay beyond keeping our watchers safe. That's only not fair it's counterproductive. I fight to make damn sure none of them would ever get my mom."
"I make sure they don't get Linda," Faith agreed. "But I can see both sides. Not everyone can hunt and if you're alone when would you have time to date?"
Buffy looked at her. "Not even slayers can work every single night or we get burnt out and die faster."
"Good point," Kendra admitted. "I do make sure my watcher is safe and so is everyone else."
"Yeah, but the thing that makes us human and want to be that heroine for humanity is love and all that mushy stuff," Buffy told her. "We can go 'aww' at the couples cuddling on the beach but if it's too...if you haven't had it, you can't do more than 'aww' like it's a cute puppy. You don't learn to appreciate it. And then our very short lives suck ass."
Faith nodded. "It's always better if you've lived some life before you die. Drove too fast, had a few beers, went to an amusement park. If not, it's all slay, repeat, train, read, and then sleep. It wears you down and you end up haunting somewhere because you realize that you had things you wanted to do."
Kendra nodded. "I can see that point. I put all those feelings into the training because I expected to hunt alone for however long I was gifted with the duty and the task of protecting everyone."
"But do you realize what they'd lose?" Buffy asked more gently. "They'd lose their sweeties. No more kisses on the stairs after dates. No more sharing popcorn at movies. No more smoochies and maybe even the sex when you're older."
"I understand that."
Dean leaned down to kiss her. "There, now you've had a kiss," he said with a grin. "That way you can compare it."
Kendra considered it. "That was weird."
Dean nodded. "But the non-hunters, all they know is that mushy stuff and the regular struggles. If they fight, it's to protect others who have those same mushy feelings. If you can't enjoy some of them then you're not *living*. You're existing, like a ghost."
Kendra nodded. "I can understand that." She shrugged. "It would be nice but my watcher would never agree."
Dean nodded. "That's true, because it means your focus is somewhere else. It also means that you take too much onto yourself. Even if you hunt every night, you can't be everywhere and someone may still die, but you're not responsible because you were still out there hunting."
"We can't get all the vamps in town, even with nightly patrols, so there'll still be deaths," Faith agreed. "It's not our fault that we couldn't get them all. Even if we were out there all day and night we'd never get 'em all." Kendra gave her an awed look. "And it's not our fault. If we're doing everything we can, even taking a night off is good for us. It gives us time to recharge and refuel. Because otherwise we snap and break and then die."
Kendra swallowed, considering that. "I hadn't thought of that." She went in to talk to the watchers. "Linda, is it true that other girls are not trained as I was, to ignore all my physical desires in place of the hunting?"
Linda sighed, looking at her. "No, they are. In a lot of ways it's wrong, Kendra, but it's also slightly necessary. You girls have a lot expected of you. Not having date nights and things mean that you miss out on things but it also means someone else can't be dragged into the dark that we live and hunt in."
John snorted. "They treat the girls like robots, Linda. Be honest. If she knew why she was fighting she'd fight harder and like Buffy she'd have people to help her fight probably." Linda gaped. "Xander and Willow still would've jumped in to help her, even without Lex. That's why he started to hunt. Why Willow was helping her in his world. Jesse had died," he said more quietly. "And Xander became one of the things that made sure she won. He even protected her from Angelus once when she was hospitalized with the flu by his journal."
"That brings more people in."
"I'd love to have no one else exposed but somewhere like this, where everyone's a target, the only way you don't get eaten is to be proactive and protect yourself. No, hunting's not for everyone but if they took precautions there'd be a lower death rate. Beyond that," he told Kendra. "It's not healthy to hunt every single night. Then your mind snaps and you end up like Lex. He's seen too many battles and he finally...snapped."
Kendra nodded. "I can see that point. A rest is sometimes the only thing that would make me go back out."
"If you've reached that point, you need a full vacation."
Linda nodded. "I know your watcher raised you from a young child." Kendra smiled and nodded. "Which is probably why he can't go hunt with you?"
"I called him and he said it was too painful and he's not skilled to hunt with her," Giles said from his spot at the counter. He looked at the young slayer. "In truth, I do allow Buffy friends. They help her hunt. They've been invaluable keeping her mood up and her anxiety level down. I think every girl should have a supportive team around her, not an individual watcher. It seems to work best that way." Kendra smiled and nodded. "I hope we can find you one as well. If you have backup then you can hunt better and more safely. Which means less injuries and less time you have to worry about things. Even if they get hurt."
"Even I've gotten hurt sometimes and I can beat most any master vampire in town," John told her. "Being hurt happens to you girls too. Lex's Buffy had a huge problem seeing him as *normal* so therefore lesser. He called it special girl syndrome."
"I've heard him speak of that," Kendra said. "She said he'd get hurt."
"Yes, but everyone gets hurt sometimes, even slayers."
"I tripped many times," she sighed.
"He had you on patrol before you were called!" Joyce shouted. "How dare he!"
"That's no worse or better than the boys hunting," John told her.
"She was a child!"
"I agree with that point. No one under seventeen should hunt. Sixteen I'll give you training hunts with someone," he said at her opening mouth. "I didn't let Dean go out on his own until he was seventeen. And then he had to bring Sam." He smiled. "It's not a happy field." He looked at her. "Though she's right, if he had you out much younger than you are I'll kick his ass for that myself."
"Someone had to handle it," she said, looking down.
He tipped her face up. "That's an adult job, not a child's job. Even if she's a future slayer and has a destiny. Even if she's Chuck Norris's psychic twin and she can kick everyone's ass, she's a child and should be doing childish things and training. You can do both. I managed it even if I did a bad job of it sometimes." He looked at her. "How old are you anyway?"
"Fifteen," she said quietly.
"Excuse me?" John demanded.
"So's Faith for a few more weeks," Linda said.
Joyce sighed. "Buffy got called just after she turned fifteen." John growled. "It's not their choice. The last one died then."
"The one before Buffy was fourteen but there was a huge demon population where she lived causing problems," Giles admitted. "The average age for slayers has raised," he offered to ease the pissed off look. "There were some called as young as nine."
"I would've kicked any higher powers ass that did that," John said bluntly. "You don't send kids to be soldiers."
"No, you don't," Linda agreed. "But Faith's not a kid. Faith spent an awful long time raising herself. Like Xander and Lex did."
"They're still children," he assured her. "I still paddled Lex for his shit. I've grounded both boys for their shit. Even Dean gets it and he's over eighteen."
"They didn't have good parents," Linda pointed out.
"That's our job to make up for that." He stared her down. "Faith?" She leaned in. "School stuff?"
"Eww?" she guessed, looking at him oddly.
He stared at her. "Kendra, where are you in school?"
"I learned all the classification manuals and all the chronicles."
"What about math? Science?" She grimaced. "Science can be important. It can help you do things while hunting and make things to hunt easier. Dean excels in that."
Faith shook her head. "I did some GED prep classes to keep the CPS people off me." Linda moaned, shaking her head.
John and Joyce shared a look. "Classes are at the house's kitchen table each day at ten," he told them firmly. "Buffy can join you until they figure out where classes are being held for the rest of the year." He stared at Faith. "You'll get a lot of hands on building gear things from Dean. I'll go over the GED stuff with you both."
"Education like that would be wasted on a slayer who's expected to die before she's eighteen," Kendra said quietly, looking down.
John tipped her face up. "You die before I do and I'll have Lex bring your butt back so I can kick it, young lady." She sniffled and hugged him. He patted her on the back. "We want you girls to live full lives. There's no way I'll let that stupidity go on." He let her go, pushing her back some. "Don't listen to Dean about dating stuff. He's a slut. Do what Buffy's doing. Be very choosy. Don't put out until you're absolutely ready."
She blushed. "I've never even talked with a boy who wasn't a watcher," she said quietly.
"I have and I didn't find it that comforting," Faith said dryly.
Sam walked up behind her and hugged her. "I'd kill everyone who ever hurt you if you wanted," he said in her ear, making her shiver. "No one should ever have come near you." She looked at him. He gave her a sad smile and a kiss on the cheek. "If they come now, you let us know and I'll kick their asses. And if I can't, Lex sure as hell can." He grinned. "Now, chicken's done." The girls fled from the mushy stuff. "Am I teaching math?" John nodded. "Okay." He went to get his own stuff.
Joyce and John got the adult food and they settled down to make out a schedule for the girls and for the patrols. There was no reason for the girls to all go out every night. And then they could work on their specific skill faults while John taught sparring practice.
Buffy was out on patrol when some guy walked up to her and Dean, who was off handling a crypt full of vampires. "New to town?" she guessed.
"Miss Summers," he said with a British accent. "I'm from the Council and we wanted to talk to you."
"No." She smiled. "Anything else?"
"You're our slayer."
She punched him, knocking him down. "No, I'm a slayer. I don't work for you. For that matter, training a slayer is a sacred duty, not what you guys turned it into. I don't care what you guys want really. At all." She walked around him. "Dean, you done yet?" she called.
He came out of the crypt dusting off his Metallica t-shirt Xander had given him for his birthday. "Yup, all gone." He looked at the man giving him the hated look. "Who's he?"
"Watcher. He wanted to talk."
"Hmm. Bite me," Dean said, grabbing his crotch. "Right here, dude." He let himself go when she giggled. He called his father. "Dad, there's a watcher here who wanted to talk to Buffy about stuff. Sunny Rest by the Morgan's crypt. Thanks." He hung up. "He'll come take you to where the watchers are tonight."
"Young man, you shouldn't even be involved."
Dean pulled a gun to point at him. "Really? Because a demon didn't take my mother?" The man gasped. "Yeah, there's hunters here in the US. We're rare but not quite mythical." He stared him down. "I've been hunting for a while now and my dad's been doing it most of my life. So back the fuck down."
John got out of his truck and walked over, staring at the guy. "He that evil, son?" The man flinched.
"Yeah, he said I shouldn't be hunting, Dad."
"Huh. Yet I trained you to hunt after it took your mom." He knocked him out. "Let me take him to Giles. You two nearly done? It's almost midnight."
"Nearly," she sighed. "It's real quiet tonight."
John smiled. "That means we're doing a good job." She smiled and they walked off again, Dean hiding his gun. John got the guy into his truck and drove him back to Joyce's house. That's where the adults were gathering. With Lex as it turned out.
Lex stared at him. "That's Wesley's dad. Wes got sent when the Council fired Giles for giving too much of a damn about Buffy. That was after her birthday surprise."
"I do not like them," Joyce decided. "My daughter's not an auto-making robot who can slay."
Lex grinned. "No, she's too fashionable for that. None of them wear skirts." He strolled off. "Let me spare her."
"They're nearly done," John said. Lex shrugged and sat down. Dean and Buffy came back a bit later and John hit him with cold water in the face to wake him up. "Good, you're alive. You have a worse glass jaw than any hunter I've ever met."
Buffy settled in beside her mom, getting a hug. She grinned at her. "I only got a bit of ash on me."
"Good job, Buffy." She stroked over her hair. "Didn't we talk about skirts on patrol?"
"It was handy and it's too hot for pants."
Lex pulled out a picture and held it up. Joyce gave him a funny look. "Patrol night. After you found out."
"The me there had no sense."
Buffy looked at the outfit then at her. "I look good in it."
"Yay," John said dryly. "Still too showy for slaying." She rolled her eyes. They all stared at the horrified looking watcher. "Yes, she's still got her mother. Unlike the girls you snatched and ran with."
"Some gave them over when they saw the mole," Giles corrected. "But they knew about the destiny."
"It's not how it's done," the watcher said.
Lex snorted. "That's why she's lasted longer than a good majority of them already?" She's nearly seventeen now. That's over the year and a half mark for her."
"Well....some girls have done that and lived the proper life," he said.
"Yes, but she's going to last much longer," John said dryly with a smirk. "The same as I've been doing it for almost two decades now. Hunters last longer than slayers, did no one ever realize that?"
"Also, I've seen what you guys do to the girls. I may love Kendra like a sister but I'm *so* going to kick her watcher's ass. He turned a sweet girl into someone who couldn't express her emotions and didn't even know what boys were for! I mean, we do deserve some life. Otherwise we die sooner."
John nodded. "The system sucks for you girls."
"It does! I mean, she didn't even have more than one outfit! How are you supposed to live like that?" She stared at him. "Sometimes you have to be able to change out to get the goo out of things," she said sarcastically at his disgusted look. "Not like you can go hunting naked."
"There's funds set aside for that sort of thing," he assured her snottily.
"Good, then they can pay my mother back," she snapped, glaring at him. "For that matter, the Council can blow me. I'm my own woman in the making. I may have this duty and I'll be doing this duty until it kills me, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let them turn me into some unemotional, scared little girl like they tried to do to Kendra. It took us all weekend to get the point that learning something about life gives you a reason to hunt instead of it being *duty*."
John nodded. "If you don't have a reason beyond the duty you would die faster," he agreed.
Giles cleaned his glasses. "I think Kendra's learned quite a lot with us and she's gotten better in a few areas she still had weak thanks to you helping her spar, John." John smirked at him. "As has Buffy's hand-to-hand."
Buffy looked at him then at the other guy. "Why aren't field watchers military trained?' she asked. "I always wondered that. I know Giles is a research watcher originally. It just seemed odd he got sent into the field."
"Yes, well, my father's involved in the political end," Giles said dryly. "And part of a faction against Mr. Travers' idiocy. They wanted me out of the way before I upheld the family viewpoint." She gave him a funny look. "More chance of me dying out here, Buffy."
"Which would mean another family in the Council dies out," John pointed out. "Which means that they'd have to recruit from outsiders and they'd probably be hunters like I am. Which they seem to hate."
Giles nodded with a smile. "Dearly so, yes. As for the field watchers, no, they're not military trained or similarly trained, Buffy. That hasn't made sense to me either."
"So, idiots in charge syndrome; good to know," she said dryly. She stood up. "Giles, send him home in a milk crate or something before I ask Draco to turn him into a pet." She walked off.
Giles rolled his eyes. "That's not polite," he called after her.
"Yay. I still have PMS. Be thankful I didn't try to do it myself."
Joyce shook her head. "The new medicine is helping some but she still gets that problem."
"Girls have those sort of problems. That's another reason I'm glad I have boys," John said.
"We have ways of fixing that," the other watcher pointed out to Giles.
"Yes, but unlike some of the idiots in the Council I'd never have her go through a hysterectomy."
"If you had tried, or her first one, I would've killed you all," Joyce assured him firmly. "There wouldn't be any more watchers, ever."
"Amen," John agreed. "I would've done the same."
Lex snorted. "Don't tempt me." He looked at him. "By the way, if she lives to eighteen and you guys try it this time? You won't get her. You'll get me." He smiled sweetly. The guy shuddered. "So, let's get you back home. First?" He appeared. "Did you find my wand?" He handed it over. "Thanks." He grinned and sent the guy packing back to England still tied up. He stood up. "Let me go calm her down." He strolled off with First, who ended up hugged again. First didn't seem to know what to make of being hugged so often but it was good for a Xander to hug and cuddle. "If they try something we'd help," he reminded her.
"I know. It just sucks."
"Yeah, well, that's Traver's shit." He shrugged. "Go calm your mom down. They just suggested taking out all your girl stuff." She stomped that way. Giles defended that he had no idea it had been done to some of them. Xander went home. First could save himself after helping Joyce calm down by being hugged some more.
Faith ran into the house. "Guys, Council idiots are snatching Buffy!" she shouted.
Xander and Lex both ran for the weapons and then the door. Dean and Sam ran for the Impala's weapon stash. Draco and Harry went to teach them to be better British people. The team was on the edge of town. Draco blew the engine on the van. Harry blew the tires. Lex shot most of them non-fatally but one he took the headshot because he found him in the back holding a knife to Buffy's throat. They helped her and Kendra out of the back. Xander took them to check over with Dean and Sam. Lex stared at the groaning people. "Let's go make my displeasure known." He looked at Xander. "Watch them." He took the idiots with him this time. "You know, it's wonderful Draco taught me to apparate," he told the man in front of him.
"Who the bloody hell are you!" the man shouted.
"Lex." He shot the guards running in. Then glared at him. "Backup for Buffy Summers." He smirked as evilly as he could. The man gasped and backed away. "See, I'm not from here. So I can kill you all and go eat ice cream with the me from here. He's not allowed to hunt so he doesn't turn into me because I learned a lot of expedience fighting in my Sunnydale." He shot another one coming in with a gun. Then he calmly reloaded and hexed the other three sneaking in. They screamed for quite a while. He looked at Travers again. "This your only warning, Travers. You leave Buffy, Kendra, and Faith the hell alone."
"They're my slayers," he sneered back.
"No, see, wrong thinking," Lex chided. "They're not *yours*. They're not the Council's for that matter. You guys aren't really doing what you're set up to do, which is support and help them. Instead you're turning them into little robots. Robots die very quickly because they can't get around problems." He stared at him. "You ever come to Sunnydale again and it's not the end of the world? I'll make sure what my world was starting to go through with the First Evil will look pleasant compared to what I do to you guys."
"The First!" a voice shouted from behind him.
Lex looked at him. "In my native plane, yes. Here, no. I've made sure it can't happen." He looked at Travers again, seeing the gun. He hexed him and Travers tried to fight it as his hand slowly brought the gun to his own temple. Lex stared at him. "Watch yourself, Travers. Your misogynist problems are showing. The girls aren't *yours*. They're not playtoys, they're not soldiers, and they're sure as hell not expendable."
He stared him down. "Unless you really want to pull that, don't fuck with them again and I'd hide like hell before I call in a debt." He turned and looked at the other man. "You must be related to Rupert. I knew him really well in my plane and he's helping me make sure all the apocalypses we have on the books won't happen." He heard a shot and felt the pain but looked back at him without showing it.
"I've had worse on patrol and you're a lousy shot, Travers. But thank you for giving me a reason to do this." He shot him in the pubic area. A lot of blood flow and the psychological damage was great. He looked at the other man again. "Anyway..... Buffy's safe from him. Kendra's safe from him. Thankfully they only tried to take the two, not Faith as well." The man shuddered. "It won't happen. If I have to blow all of you up, so be it. I protect the slayers. Every last one of them."
"Rupert never said you were this scary, boy," the older man said.
Lex snorted. "Yeah, well." He shrugged. "I don't have to be scary around Rupert. Here.... I have to prove I'll end everyone if I must to protect the girls. Since most of you do a shitty job of it. Because Joyce Summers, Buffy's Mom? Seriously pissed off that the watcher from last night wanted to cut Buffy's uterus out." The man shuddered. "That Kendra had no idea what fun was pissed her off just as much. You've warped your duty from the beginning and the first watchers would be ashamed." He disappeared.
The elder Giles called for support and glared at Travers. "You brought this onto us yourself by treating the girls this badly. This trend stops now." He went to talk to the senior council. They had seen Rupert's reports on what Lex had told him and why. Now they knew he was serious. No fatalities but he was seriously going to kill them all if he had to so his slayers were protected.
Everyone would be happy to be without Travers anyway.
Draco looked over as Lex appeared. "You just had to get more injured, didn't you," he sneered, pulling him closer.
"Shut up, Draco. I'm fine. I just need it pulled," he said between gritted teeth. "Are all your people stupid?"
"Quite a few; education has went down in the last few decades," Harry said, coming over to help. "Who shot you?"
"Travers. By the way, Giles, your dad or whoever you look a lot like that was there said hi."
Giles stared at him. "Why did you meet him?"
"He showed up to calm me down before I shot Travers."
"Oh." He nodded, handing Sam the First Aid kit. "You may want to check for poisons."
"You can't do that on Lex and he's immune to most of them thanks to the mermaid taint." He and Draco fixed the wound and got it stitched.
"The girls?" Lex asked quietly.
"With Xander and the rest of us. We didn't think you'd want them to see if you came back injured."
"No, it'd freak them out," he agreed quietly. "Thanks, guys." Draco swatted him on his good arm but Sam hugged him. Lex smiled and hugged back, patting him. "I love you too, Sam."
Sam laughed, pulling back to kiss him on the forehead. "Go put on a real shirt." Lex went to do that. "He smells like a lot of gunpowder."
Giles called as he walked toward the kitchen. "It's Rupert," he said in greeting. He winced at the yelling going on. "Well, he did warn you," he said dryly. "As I did." He nodded. "That's reasonable then. No, he's fine. A bit of a temper but otherwise fine. We're going to check on the girls right now. Yes, well, that's what true friends do," he said dryly. "So no, I don't think he was sorry in the least." He got switched into the senior council's meeting on their demand. "Yes?"
He listened. "Yes, I'm quite certain. Really? Look up the news out here." They did that and one gasped. "He's making sure the town stays peaceful. If he has to protect others, do you really believe he won't after whatever he did?" He got the rundown and grimaced. "I'll talk to him about his temper. No, I feel he's fully justified after a team tried to snatch Buffy and Kendra." He hung up and walked back there. "Lex, be less temperish," he ordered with a smirk. "But thank you for showing them that they're idiots."
"Whimpering idiots," Lex said, pulling on a shirt once the bandage was retaped. "They're a disgrace to the calling. Every damn last one of them that stood by and let things get this bad." He walked off. "At least you're doing something about it."
"Who did they send after they fired me?" Giles asked, following him.
"Wesley but it took him a while for his asshole stick to come out too."
"Huh. I know of Wesley. Another child of someone higher up who has ideas. Though his father toes the line most of the time."
"Someone's probably going to have to take over for Travers," he said dryly. "Nominate someone who won't treat the girls like shit." He got into his car and drove off.
"There's not enough of those in the right position." He called them back. "Can I have Wesley?" he asked politely. "Because in Lex's world he became Faith's watcher after you lot fired me for giving a damn about Buffy," he said dryly. "He said it took him a while to remove his properness but he eventually turned out much better. That's fine. Thank you." He hung up and hummed on his way to Joyce's. He walked in. "Faith, we're getting a third watcher and you can work with him with us or he can work with Kendra. I've asked for one in case we have to break you three up," he said at the heated look Buffy gave him.
"That's a good point. That way Kendra has backup." She held her head. "Ow."
Her mother handed her the ice pack. John got her some aspirin. That helped a lot. She went to lay on the couch while Fourth's whole Der unit fussed at her. It was good for her.
Giles looked at Kendra. "Are you injured?" he asked.
"Just some burns from the rope," she said, showing him. He fussed over them and she relaxed. Sam gave her a hug and she sniffled. "I should not cry. It's not the slayer way."
"Bullshit. Even hunters cry sometimes," Dean assured her. "You're a human being and it's a human reaction to a really stressful situation. Now go cry on Sammy." She sniffled and nodded. Sam cuddled her and let her cry on him. Dean looked at his father. "Think Lex left us any?"
"No," Giles said, shaking his head. "Even if Travers survives he's fired and the next one will hopefully be better." He petted over Kendra's hair, helping her calm down. "We'll be fine, dear. They will not touch you three again. Lex went to show his temper off quite beautifully." She gave him a horrified look. He nodded. "Your watcher wasn't there. Sam's still at home." She nodded, letting Sam comfort her. "I'll call him and tell him you're all right." He looked at Faith, who was white knuckled and hugged her, making her go stiff. "You're all right as well and I'm very happy that they hadn't managed to capture you."
"They didn't even try for me," she admitted.
He smiled. "That's because they underestimated how strong of a girl you are, Faith." She looked at him. "They were going to break Buffy under torture to turn her into Kendra and put her with a more suitable watcher to correct anything she had learned here. They didn't think you were going to be as good as you will be."
She nodded. "I've been though hell."
He brushed her cheek with his fingers. "I'm sure you have and I'm sure you're going to be one of the strongest souls we have as a slayer for many years to come." She relaxed and nodded. "I find a lot of fault in their thinking. Buffy may have learned free will first but you've fought hard to keep yours."
She grinned. "I'm a scrapper."
"Indeed, which they don't expect. They expect you to be more like Kendra." She cackled, shaking her head. "Exactly." He smiled. "They made a few very fatal mistakes today. We'll make sure they don't do it again." She grinned and walked off to check on the others. He hugged Kendra as well. "Let's call your watcher." She nodded, wiping off the tear tracks.
"Does he have a computer?" Willow asked. "Mine can video conference."
"Yes, he does," Kendra said. Giles called him to tell him to turn it on while Willow got them connected. Her watcher's face appeared on the laptop. "Hi."
"Good morning, Sam," Rupert said with a smile.
"What happened? Were you overrun?" he demanded.
"There was a bag and tag team who tried for her and Buffy," Rupert said. Her watcher glared at him. "It was solved by the hunters we have helping us here and then one of them went to show his displeasure. Expect to hear news about Quentin being demoted if he survives."
"I've already heard rumors of an attack in his office." Giles nodded. Sam Mubuto grimaced. "Are the girls fine?"
"They're absolutely fine. We stopped the team here," Giles said. He patted Kendra on the back. "She was a bit upset."
Sam looked at her. "Are you all right, Kendra?"
She sniffled but nodded. "It was shocking but I'll be all right. They're very good to me here and John helped me a lot."
"John? Another watcher?"
Linda came over with a smile. "No, the team here includes some hunters. John's the patriarch of the hunting family." John waved from his seat. "Him and his sons."
"Interesting." He smiled at his slayer. "Are you all right?"
"The first thing Buffy did was make sure I had a change of clothes and made sure I had something to eat."
"You need at least a week's worth of clothes or you can't change when you get slimed or gooed," Buffy called.
"I suppose that's true," Sam said. He looked over his slayer. "How is the hunting?"
"They've recently gotten a lot of the vampires gone but I've learned a lot about the demon community from the local peaceful ones. Including where the real troubled areas are. Plus John knows more about the possessing sorts so I'm learning a lot of that too." She smiled at them then at her watcher. "His sons are very nice and tease but not meanly."
"That's good. Making contacts like that is good for your duty."
"They're called friends," Buffy said, walking up behind Kendra. "Friends keep you sane and alive in this life." She stared at him. "The same as not knowing that there's a reason to keep going beyond the duty sucks demon tail." She walked off again.
Sam looked at Giles. "Was that your girl or Faith?"
"That was Buffy." He smiled. "We do agree with her. It does keep the duty from wearing on you and the friends have been invaluable, including this morning. It was one of them that went to make his displeasure known."
"Oh." He stared at his girl. "Are you going to stay in Sunnydale?"
"I'll be traveling a bit. There's a few troubled areas nearby that we'll be going to look over. Faith and I will both be looking at those while Buffy stays here to handle most things that come up."
"They're welcome here anytime," Joyce assured her, giving her a hug from behind. "We're very happy with how nice Kendra is. Even if I won't let her help me cook dinner." She walked off to follow her daughter.
Giles smiled at her. Then at her watcher. "Buffy's mother Joyce. She's just recently found out and has also helped quite a lot. Including improving the girls' diets so they're more supportive of their needs."
"That's excellent for your girl."
"She made the most delicious, healthy brownies," Kendra said with a smile. "No fat, low in sugar, but still wonderfully chocolate and gooey."
He smiled. "Even better. I know you have a fondness for it now and then."
"And John has helped my fighting skills a lot. He's taught me many tricks to help on a hunt."
Sam smiled. "That's wonderful. Keep me informed where you're traveling and what's going on." He stared at her. She smiled back and touched the screen. "The children around here miss you, Kendra." She giggled and he hung up.
Willow ended the program and let Kendra go talk to Buffy. She looked at Giles. "He's got the same problems Joyce and John do sending her out to hunt," he said quietly. "Some people can only handle it via distance."
She nodded. "I realize that. It's classical psychology." He nodded. She grinned. "The girls need a girl night."
"I'm sure you ladies can do that." He got up and went to talk to John.
Willow got up and went out back. "We need a girls' night." The ladies looked at her. "Hair stuff, face masques, girl movies, ice cream?"
Buffy shrugged, looking at Kendra and Faith. "Never had one," Faith admitted.
"Me either," Kendra said. "Why would you wear a mask?"
"There's stuff you put on your face to moisturize it and suck out the zits," Buffy said.
Faith shrugged. "Not a problem I have." She looked confused. "What's a girl movie?"
"You know, with dresses and cute guys?" Willow said with a grin.
"No, I have no idea," Faith said, looking at Kendra.
"I don't usually watch movies. Sam likes me to read."
"How about we get funny movies and some stuff to nibble," Buffy decided. "We can braid hair and things."
Faith nodded. "We can try that."
"You can help pick out the movies," Buffy said with a smile. "Dean, can you take Willow and Kendra to get stuff for a movie night?"
"Sure," he agreed, pulling out his keys. "C'mon, girls." They went with him.
She and Faith went out to find movies. Faith liked harder things with car chases but Buffy talked her into a few more funny ones. They could handle that and Buffy got one girl movie for her and Willow the next afternoon. Faith gave it an odd look. "Kendra's probably read it and Willow likes it so we can do it tomorrow while you and John work out." She grinned.
"That'll work," Faith agreed. Because making her watch _Pride and Prejudice_ might make her have a mental breakdown. They went to join the girls at the store, Faith picking up her bag of chips. Buffy got hers. Kendra stared at them until Dean gave her one and she grinned at him. Willow got hers and they were set to hit the ice cream row. That got raided so they could get home and set things up. The guys got kicked back to Lex's house. The ladies settled in to watch movies, munch, and braid hair. Buffy was a great braider and Kendra had great hair for it. Even Faith got a french braid.
Xander carried in a pretty box the next day, smiling at the girls. "Good morning." He put it in front of Faith and kissed her on the temple, like a brother would. "Happy birthday."
"You..." she said, staring at him. She looked so confused.
"They make me celebrate mine too," he said with a grin. He bounced into the kitchen. "Morning, Ders."
"Morning," First said happily. "We're making omelettes."
"Wonderful." He got a soda and went back to his seat. Faith had presents from the rest of them, including from John, and she was trying hard to not be too shocked and cry. He grinned. "Open them!"
Faith looked at them. "You didn't have to, guys."
Dean snorted. "You're a friend. We do for friends." He smiled. "So, open them. I know what Sammy and I got you, but what did the bastard twins get?"
Faith opened them, staring at them. "Pretty," she said in awe. She lifted up the hunting knife, grinning at it. "Already sharp too." She looked at the card. "Thanks, Harry."
"A knife seemed like a handy thing with the way those two carry them," he said with a nod for Dean and John. He grinned. "Happy birthday, Faith."
She got into the next one. Draco had gotten her a blank journal. She looked confused.
"No one but you or whoever you hand it to can read anything you write in there," Draco said with a smile. "That way you can get anything you need to out but no one can get into your privacy."
She tried not to sniffle. "Thank you, Draco." She opened the others. A new resin crossbow from Sam. Another knife from John with a whet stone. She grinned at him too. The twins got her one larger box. She opened it and stared. "Wow." She pulled out the leather jacket and pants. "It's in my size."
"I was a shopping mule for Buffy for *years*," Lex said with a grin. "It's practical and pretty."
She kissed them both on the cheek then the others. "Thank you, guys. This was the best birthday I've had."
"We have great omelettes," First said, bringing out hers. It had a huge candle on it that was lit. He put it in front of her and hugged her. "We mended all of your clothes." He went back to get the rest. They dug in and then they went to do their schoolwork because John insisted. Faith still got a great lunch and dinner. Then they went to hunt at the Bronze. She loved to club hunt. Buffy and Kendra had tonight off but she was having a lot of fun. Even when Lex had to move the succuba off her butt. The leather pants were a great draw for evil things.
Lex and the others went to where the Principal was huffing at people. Lex raised a hand to be able to ask a question. One of the City Council members sighed but pointed. "Where are they holding classes beyond our kitchen table?"
Principal Flutey stared at him. "You passed your GED, your twin hasn't."
"Exactly." He grinned. "We're going on a great roadtrip after graduation. We can't push it back that far or we'll be too old to have fun."
Flutey smirked. "There's a test. If you pass it you can move onto your last year." They all nodded. "Those that aren't, there's the study group at the library. Is Rosenburg around?" Lex pointed at her. "There you are. Miss Rosenburg and Mr. Winchester, we need you both to help tutor classes." They smiled and nodded. "Thank you. Eight to four at the library. We have two hour blocks for different subjects. Work your classes however." He looked at the two Harrises. "Would you know what happened?"
"I heard they said it was a gas explosion," Lex said with a shrug. "How would I know?"
"Fine." He looked at City Council. "We'll still need a school back sometime."
"We don't have the money for it since the insurance won't pay for six months, Principal Flutey. Even with it in our hands it'd be four weeks before they could start building and about a year before it was finished."
"We can probably take up a few spare rooms at the college," Xander said. "They have an empty building?"
"That one's fallen in," Flutey said.
"You wanted us to be more project based anyway," Willow said. "So technically that can be done easier in less space since most of it would be on our own. We could do it at the Mocha Pump or the local library." She paused. "You can also use eminent domain to procure the three houses by Willie's Alibi Bar to get those three huge houses, which would make good classrooms probably."
Flutey looked at the Council Members. "They're owned by the late Mayor's family, Miss Rosenburg."
She shrugged. "What family? The last the newspaper reported the probate was going nowhere since he had no living relatives and no will. Which is just stupid with as many people used to die around here."
"With what the papers said about him being part of it," Sam complained. "It seems fitting that it come back to the city he adored and nurtured for all those years. It was bought on your money anyway."
They shared a look and one wrote something. "I'm putting forward a motion to nominate ourselves as trustees of the former mayor's estate. That way the state can't confiscate it all for death taxes."
"You might also want to look under the bank," Lex said dryly. "I know he had a hiding place down there. It was found when we were younger and he's probably refilled it." One sent one of the police officers there and he came back with a picture. "Empty?"
"Three rooms. Two empty of all but filing cabinets. The other has gold and wrapped cash stacks."
"Bingo, there's a school fund," Mayor Flutey said with a smile.
"It might be easier to move the school to a new area anyway," Willow said. "So they can take the extra time to clean it up but can start construction right away. There's that huge open area on the other side of town that was meant to be another shopping mall. So about the same distance for everyone who walks or bikes."
"It's already zoned for schools because we were thinking about moving the middle school there," the head of the council said, looking at the others. "It's big enough."
"If we use the old plans it'll be cheaper," another one said.
"We would suggest that you put in some way for kids on crutches to get upstairs," Xander offered. "A hidden elevator or something. It'd help the kid in the motorized wheelchair as well."
"It's probably big enough that we could do something like what they were showing on tv about the new one in Rivelo," Willow offered. "Which is single level but has all the doors to outdoor walkways. A nice courtyard to eat and hang out in."
"We'll look at those two options," the head of the council decided.
"I saw that news report on that new school. It looked very nice but slightly smaller than our old school was," Flutey admitted. "But very handy and easy egress in case of problems." He shrugged. "Either would make me happy as long as the school got rebuilt quickly." He smiled at Willow. "You have very good ideas, Miss Rosenburg."
"Thank you, Principal Flutey." She blushed a bit and ducked her head. Sam patted her on the back. "Should we start tutoring tomorrow or today?"
He checked his watch. "It's a bit after two. Start tomorrow if you can." They nodded. The students filed out. He sighed, relaxing in his seat. "That's not a bad idea and it would have positive safety implications that would be easier as well."
"It would," the head of the Council said. "But I agree, I think it was smaller."
"We can see if their city council will let us look at the plans," another said. "I have a cousin that way and we can call."
"Let's do that." They banged the gavel. "Officer, go confiscate those hidden funds from our beloved former mayor?"
"Already have officers doing it, sir, under watch of the paper so they can't disappear." He smirked as he walked off.
"Even better. Talk to the judge?" he told one, getting a nod. They went to call them about those plans. They had heard about the explosions as well. They were more than happy to show off the plans for their new school.
John looked up when Sam and Willow came in the next day. "What're you two teaching?"
"English," Sam sighed, sitting down.
"Math," Willow said with a grin. "Jonathan's teaching the higher maths because I haven't finished calculus yet. So I'm also teaching the basics of science."
Sam nodded. "I assigned book reports and essays for the rest of this month. They should be able to handle one in nine days." Willow nodded. "And I'm going to grade them like some of mine were at other schools."
"Here is dumbed down," Willow agreed. Lex walked past nibbling on some grapes. "Are you turning into an emperor?" she called.
"Some year. Magic practice?" She hopped up and got what she needed, going to find Draco with the others.
John shook his head. "I don't see how anyone can study that."
"Not like they made deals for their powers," Sam pointed out.
Harry leaned into the room. "You as well, Sam." He sighed but went to join the class. Harry smiled at John. "Is there patrol tonight? Draco wanted to know. It'd depend on which area he's teaching today."
"Kendra and I have patrol tonight."
"Okay. Thanks." He walked back to where they were learning. "John and Kendra have patrol tonight." They nodded and got into the more subtle sciences of transfiguration using both wanded and unwanded magics.
John shook his head, finishing his weapons check. Then he went to gather Kendra for dinner and patrol. The girl needed to eat more often.
Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, looked at his teachers. "We must get Mr. Potter back here where he's safely taught to be more...reasonable."
Snape snorted. "I've heard from Mr. Malfoy. He's having quite a lot of fun teaching some remedial magic classes to a witch he found at fifteen."
"Interesting," Dumbledore admitted. "But is he with Harry?" Snape nodded. "You're sure?"
"Quite. They're with those twins that showed up." He tossed down a newspaper. A muggle newspaper with a picture. He smirked. "It seems that they've recently cleaned up quite a vampire menace in that town."
Dumbledore took it to read, scowling at it. "Explosion?"
"It ripped open their daytime sanctuaries. Plus it was diverted around their hellmouth."
"A what?" McGonagall asked.
"A hellmouth is a weak spot between worlds," Snape told her. "Or other planes and realities. That one is annoyingly open and has been causing a lot of problems for the last twenty years. In the last five it's slowed down considerably and then suddenly the vampires had no safe place to room during the day." He smirked. "It's quite entertaining I'm sure."
Dumbledore put down the paper. "Do we think Harry engineered that explosion?"
"I'd say one of his friends did," Snape told him.
"Harry's a warrior for the light," Dumbledore said. "It says nothing about any friends."
Snape snorted. "Do you honestly think those twins would've helped him if they weren't just like him, Albus?" He stood up. "Beyond that, Mr. Malfoy's been in touch with his mother. He has no desire at the moment to return here. Something about imbeciles with plans bothering his patience I believe he said." He stared at him. "He also said that Mr. Potter is not coming back either. Those same planners have ruined his temper." He walked out happier. Dumbledore vs. Potter and his friends; that was a battle that should be put on the WWN.
McGonagall cleared her throat. "How can Mr. Malfoy teach?"
"If she's that late a bloomer she's not powerful," another teacher told her.
"It's probably remedial tutoring so she doesn't have accidents," Dumbledore agreed. "Like we'd give an inbred purebred for formality's sake."
A demon sighed as he appeared, staring at them. "You know not of who you speak, Albus Dumbledore. The one he teaches *we* had him teach because she nearly caused some apocalypses in Lex's realm." The teachers all glared at him. "Three of them. The girl nearly destroyed the entire world during two of them. She was next to her Goddess in power." McGonagall gasped, holding her throat.
"Exactly. We like Draco forcing her to learn the more formal ways this time since she didn't last time. And yes, he's quite suitable to teach her. The same as Potter is." He sneered at the teachers. "Beyond that, he's fine where he is. Lex would destroy anyone who harms one of his friends." He disappeared, his orders from his boss done.
"Who is this Lex?" Flitwick asked quietly.
"One of the twins," Dumbledore said, handing down the paper. "I don't like him being there even more now. We must get him back."
"I'll write him later," McGonagall said.
"I believe we need action, not temptation," Dumbledore said. "We'll go talk to him in person." She nodded, getting up to follow him. He got a few aurors as well for their protection. Hellmouths were clearly dangerous.
Xander looked up as people appeared. "Huh. Draco, it's your sort!" he called.
"Shut up, you stupid little boy," Dumbledore hissed, casting at him.
Suddenly the Ders were all there and he was blown out of the building by the force of the magic. Lex walked out behind them. He uncursed his twin, staring at him. "Are you all right, Xander?" he asked quietly. Xander nodded, giving him an odd look. He smiled. "Go get Willow to protect her." He did that with some of the mini Der. Lex stared at the shocked people. "Breaking into our house is rather rude," he said dryly. "Beyond that, I doubt you had peaceful intents. Especially with that using asshole cursing my twin." The aurors all stepped back. "Yeah, that's my twin. I'm Lex, not him." He sneered. "I'd fly home, people. Before I destroy you all."
"Hold it," Harry said as he came out. "That's my job." They shared a look. "He didn't hurt Xander. They hurt me for years." Lex nodded, moving to back him up. He stared at the professor he used to admire. "Really, you show up to threaten us?" he asked. She shook her head. "It appears that way."
"What are they?" she demanded.
"Lord Draco made us," Dean Der said smugly. "We're Lex's army."
"Very handy and very nice," Lex said with a grin. "They spoil us horribly and help on patrols."
"Patrol is a lot more fun when we're teasing the army." Harry looked at her again. "What part of never come near me again did you not hear?" he asked her firmly.
"You're not safe here," she said.
"I'm more safe here than I was in the home you and he put me in. Especially since I've found information saying that you both knew what was going on." She gasped, shaking her head. "Then I'd check for memory spells, Professor McGonagall. Beyond that, I want nothing to do with your community. Anyone who would turn a child into a warrior and then expect them to fight without training are worthless and useless wastes of blood and skin. I'd never be like you. The American community is fairly pleasant as far as we've seen. They don't want anyone who's not a full warrior to fight. Especially not a child."
"Now see here," one auror said. Lex slammed him into the wall wandlessly.
Harry smiled. "With your wand, Lex. Draco would be horrified you're not using it."
"I have it in my other hand." He shrugged. "I'm more mean with it. You wanted me to be nice."
"I did, yes." He stared at the professor again. "Get out of our house. Take the aurors with you. Because the rest of us aren't really happy either."
Dean cocked his shotgun. "We'd never kill 'em, Harry, but they'd be damn sorry by the time they left." Sam nodded, his gun up and pointed at them.
"Those can't hurt us," one auror said. She shrieked when Dean shot her and it hit. "That's not right! You're muggles!"
"No, we're demon hunters," Sam sneered. "And yeah, bullets hurt everything. That's the point of guns."
Harry nodded. "It can be, yes." Police cars were pulling into the yard. "I'd suggest you go with the nice officers, Professor. They'd probably just deport you." They rushed in. "They decided to appear here and try to kidnap me," Harry told them.
"I know who you are, Potter," one said.
"This is one of my professors. The headmasters' on the lawn. The rest are aurors who wanted me to do their job. Then got mad when I did their job. For all I give a damn they can flee." He walked off. Sam Der followed to pounce him to cuddle.
"The one on the lawn tried to hex my twin," Lex said smoothly. "Since Harry wanted first shot, it's my turn."
"Let us," that officer snapped. "Put the guns down, Winchesters."
"They broke in here," Dean pointed out. "They're clearly a threat."
"We'll arrest 'em," another one said. He held up his badge. "American aurors." The cohorts all stared at him. "I got hired on when Lex got here. Someone told us about what happened there," he told him. Lex smirked. "Nice work."
"Thank you. Hangover but thank you." That got a nod and they arrested them, taking them back to the jail so he could call his people and get them deported. Including the headmaster. One of the aurors came to talk to Harry later that day and Draco tried to protest but Harry sighed and answered what he wanted to know. The next day it was in papers all over the world. The contingent from England got publically handed over. England's Minister for Magic sneered but the Americans had bigger wands.
This was not going to happen again.
The End until part 2, the road trip
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