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Benito Caruso High School

Colorado Springs

 

 

Walton Weatherbee was a short heavyset man who had been the principal of Caruso High for almost ten years. In all that time he had never had a student like Tyler Jackson 'call me TJ.' O'Neill. The boy had started mid-year last year and had been a model student. Just what you would expect of the son of a U.S. Air Force Colonel.

 His cousin, Waldo warned him about students like O'Neill. But Waldo hadn't believed that their really were students like that!

"Nineteen detentions for being late or back talking his teachers. Four out school suspensions for fighting...the football team! The entire team! Two in school suspensions for causing food fights...for this month alone!" Weatherbee paused to see if the silver haired man sitting next to TJ had anything to say, when he remained silent Weatherbee continued,

"And just today...TJ managed to insight the rivalry between the baseball team and basketball team to new heights! They had a dance off " the principal whispered in a scandalized tone o voice, "to decide which was the better sport. What dancing has anything to do with it I have no idea! Then TJ. told the cheer squad the best way to make money for their trip to the national championships was to perform a strip tease for they hockey team! The brawl that ensued put down half the Soccer team when they tried to stop the hockey players from fighting."

"That's was not my fault!" TJ said running a hand threw spiky reddish brown hair, "If Torres hadn't actually tried to touch April, then Cassidy wouldn't have hit him." At this defense the silver haired man glared at TJ, who sank lower in his chair in response.

"As I was saying..." Walton said, angrily, "oh, yes, there is the explosion in the chem. Lab to address..."

"Oh, please! That happens twice a week here!"

"TJ also convinced members of the Glee Club that it would bee a good idea to break out randomly into song during their history class...I believe the song in question was Henry the Eighth I Am..."

"...Hey are good we should hear more from them..."TJ said.

Weatherbee rolled his eyes, "Yes, but not during class...what else? Oh that's right...you told your history teacher that the theories she was teaching were out dated or just plain wrong?"

TJ straighten up in his seat, "She was dissing Dr. Jackson's..."

"Moving on..."the sliver haired officer's tone said, he would have no argument from the teenager, who in turn glared at him.

"And while all that those things went on TJ got some the Chess, Computer and Comic Book Clubs to rise up in order to rule Caruso High like the Evil Over Lords they are..." Weahterbee sighed, " I'm sorry Colonel O'Neill but I can't have such a disruptive presence in my school..."

***

"I'm sorry, Jack." TJ said from his seat in Jack's truck as they pulled out of the parking lot of Caruso High. He was sorry, true. But not that he had done those things only that he had gotten caught. So some one had tattled. But who, TJ wondered, some one from the football team?

"No, you're not kid." Jack said in amusement. It had been so tough to keep from bursting out in laughter in the principal's office. O'Neill had to admit he was impressed by his young clone's exploits. He had decently surpassed any thing Jack had done in high school and that included this years in Sunnydale. "So what brought this on? You did so well last year?"

TJ crossed his arms over his chest and muttered, "Was bored..." Not like he could actually tell Jack he was really resentfully that Jack got to live his life and TJ was stuck being a teenager again. That wasn't the older man's fault. It was Jack's life, he TJ was the interloper and TJ knew that.

A bored O'Neill was a dangerous one. Jack should have remembered that. His own mother had complained about it enough, then later so had SG1. This was after all someone with all his memories and personality...of course TJ had gotten bored with normal high school.

Now it was time for Plan B.

***

Rupert Giles answered the phone when it rang, it was the house phone and not his or Jessica's cell phones so he knew it wasn't any of the children. He had been hoping for a quiet night with just him and Jessica. Ethan Rayne was back in England seeing to his affairs there before he returned and resumed the relationship he had started with them.

"Oh, Hello Jack..." Rupert had talked to Jack O'Neill a few times since he had married Jessica. Being threaten over the phone by the man had been interesting. Jessica and Xander had found it hilarious to say least. From the conversations he had with Jack, Rupert found he liked the man. He had a sense of humor that was a lot like Jessica's.

"Jessica? Oh yes hold on..." Rupert passed the phone to Jessica who was sitting on the sofa with him, her feet up in his lap before the call she had been receiving a foot massage.

Rupert prided himself on his ability to turn his wife to goo with a good foot massage.

Rupert was quite sure it was the reason Jessica married him.

"Hey, Flyboy, how you doin'?" Jessica asked, she loved talking to Jack, his stories about his co-workers were always interesting to hear. "Oh, I'm fine...Yes, Rupert is treating me well. Did I tell you about Ethan?"

Jessica paused, then exclaimed, "I'm so not a slut! You take that back! Besides at least I go after what I want....That's what Don't Ask, Don't Tell is for.... So what..."

Jessica sat up suddenly pulling her feet away from Rupert, "Could you repeat that? Because it sounded like you ..." Jessica trailed off as she listened to what Jack had to say...not that she wanted to believed it...wait, of course she believed it, she lived on the Hellmouth. "You did say that...a clone, huh."

Rupert shot her a look of disbelief, that she so understood. Jessica only nodded at him in return, "So, Jack how's that working out for you?"

Jessica paused to listen to Jack, only to exclaim, "WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT TO SEND HIM HERE?!!"

***

Jack hung up the phone snickering. the last thing he had heard before Jessica had hung up on him was Giles saying he was going to go hide his scotch from her and Jessica snarling and cursing Jack's parentage.

Jack to TJ's bedroom door," Get packed, Kid."

"I can't believe you're really going to sent me there of all places!" TJ yelled from, the bedroom of his small apartment. TJ was already packing and trying not to let his excitement show.

"Well, at least you won't be bored anymore now," Jack said, knowing exactly what the teen was doing, the same thing Jack would do if he were in his clone's place.

"Sunnydale..."Jack whispered with a wistful sadness.

***

Xander Harris was sitting on her front porch; Spike was sitting the railing smoking. Both of then were gazing up at the bright starlit sky, when Xander said softly, "I really think you should go with Angel when he leaves for L. A."

Spike frowned, "What the bloody hell for?"

Xander frowned, back at him, "Because he'll need help setting up his new detective digs in LA."

Xander was supposed to be relaxing tonight. Faith and Buffy were doing the patrol routes. Willow had called earlier; crying, that she and Cordelia were over but they were still going to be friends...

Yeah, and Xander could so not see that happening... Xander had heard from Faith that Jonathan was not on speaking terms with Oz or Amy, the be-spelled chocolate had pretty much killing their relationship with him. Xander still didn't know what they said or did that night that cause Jonathan to break things off with the witch and werewolf. Except for dealing with the crisis of the week. And Xander's mother had told her that after school tomorrow they would be picking up the teenage clone of her Uncle Jack.

"The Poof doesn't like me..."

Xander snorted, "That's not true..." because if the Band Candy thing proved anything, it was just how much Angel liked Spike, especially naked.

Spike growled, because he knew... He just knew Xander was...dangerous. His Xanpet, was. Somehow Spike knew he was going to be spending the summer in LA, with Angel getting his detective agency up and running. Spike sighed and stubbed out his cigarette as he asked, " So, when is this clone suppose to arrive?"

What did it say about Xander's life in which that was a normal question?

***

The next day Xander walked into the library in time to hear Buffy yelling at Giles, "...What it was like to see! Mom can't even speak!"

Giles nodded, " I know she called Jessica..."

"Chill Buff!" Xander said trying to calm her friend down.

"No Xan, I won't chill. You didn't see..."

Xander frowned, "What are you talking about?"

Buffy sighed, sadly and told Xander about how she and her mother found two slain children in the park. Giles came over to the table as Buffy leaned against the back of a chair; Xander hopped up onto the counter.

"We just want to help, Buffy." Giles told the agitated Slayer, "Do you know how they died? Was it vampires?"

Buffy shook her head, "No bites..."

"Any marks at all?" Xander asked.

Buffy frowned, "Wait! There was a mark...um...a symbol?" She stepped around the chair and grabbed pen form the table and was about to start drawing on some of the papers he had on the table but Giles stopped her saying, "12th century Papal Encvalical..."

"Here use this." Xander said throwing her notebook to the blonde, who caught it opened it and began to draw.

"It was on their hands the cops are keeping quiet about it..."Buffy told them.

Xander rolled her eyes. The Sunnydale cops couldn't find a treed kitten in front of the police station.

"Find me the thing that uses that symbol!" Buffy said showing her drawing to both Giles and Xander by holding it up, "And then point me at it."

"Hmmm."

Buffy turned to Xander, "He said, Hmmm. What's that in Giles Speak?"

Xander blinked in confusion, "How should I know?"

"Well he's your Step-Watcher." Buffy said showing a bit of humor.

Torn form his reverie Giles looked at Buffy, "What? Oh Sorry?" He picked up the note book, "I just wonder if we're looking for a thing and not a who the use of this symbol would suggests a ritual murder and a cult sacrifice."

"Well that's a cheery thought. G-man are you telling us some one human did this?" Xander asked because they didn't really deal with deaths caused by humans.

"It is by the way it looks," Giles said getting up from the table and walking over to the nearest bookshelf to look for the books he needs.

"While your looking for the meaning of that thingy, could you also find the loophole that says Xander and I can break the 'no killing people' rule?"

Xander frowned, she was doing it again! Always including Xander like she was a Slayer...Faith was a Slayer! It should be her involved in Buffy's weird thought patterns about slayers not Xander. She sighed, knowing there was going to be trouble later because of the way Buffy thought and included Xander in them.

Giles look at Buffy from his now crouched position in front of the bookcase, "This is an awful crime but don't you think your taking it a bit personally because of Joyce's involvement?"

"Way personally." Buffy agreed, " Giles find me what or who did this!" Buffy snarled before she stormed out of the library.

Giles looked at Xander. Who could only shrugged and say, "She's been kind of emotionally lately...."

***

Xander's stomach growled as she entered the cafeteria, she walked up to the steam tables where Oz was standing. There choices it seemed were foil-wrapped burritos or the Mystery Meat Special. Xander shared a look with the blue haired boy who smiled slightly as they both chose the burritos. They continue down the line where Oz got a fruit cocktail bowl and Xander a bowl of peaches. They took their trays and walked over to the table where Willow and Amy sat. Faith and Jonathan had a different lunch hour and Cordelia was holding court sent she regained her queen bitch of the school title and really Harmony was the only one who had wanted it.

"Hi, Oz and Xander!" Willow said brightly.

"Hi, Xan..."Amy said as she gave Oz a sad smile which he returned.

"Amy, like the hair." Xander told her, the shorter and darker style suited the girl better then the blond had. Amy gave Xander bright grin happy that someone else had noticed.

"Sooo...My birthday is in two weeks! Hint, Hint...I'm willing to take weapons, cash, and Twinkies, mystical objects need not apply..."Xander told them slyly.

"Xander..."

"Willow those are the safe things..."

"Weapons?" Oz asked.

"Like you need more?" Amy asked.

Oz nodded, "I've seen her shed. I don't know where she would put them."

"Oh, look here comes Buffy!" Which Xander knew Willow only said to change the topic. It wasn't fair, Xander pouted. She had planned Buffy's party the least her freinds could do was talk about Xander's birthday.

Buffy sat her tray on the table then sat down. Xander noticed something on her tray that was not like the rest of theirs... "Uh, Buffy no one gets the Mystery Meat Special..."

"It smelled good." Buffy said with a shrug, "Did Xander tell you guys yet?"

"Tell what?" Oz asked, as he unwrapped his burrito and cut it in half.

"Murder, two little kids." Buffy said, sadly.

Shocked, Willow said, "Oh no!"

"Yeah they were like six or seven...my mom found the bodies during patrol last night."

"Goddess..." muttered Amy.

"Kids?"

"What was your mom doing there?" Xander wondered, as she speared a peach on her spork.

"She picked last night of all nights for a surprise bonding thing." Buffy growled as she to Xander's horror actually took a bite of her lunch meat. "Huh, this is pretty good!" Which caused her to receive several looks of disbelieve.

"Wow your mom really takes the time to do stuff like that with you?" Willow asked kind of wistfully.

Xander shot the red head a look and sighed, while Willow's parents weren't bad they were distance 'detached with love' was their motto. "NoT the point of the story, Wills."

Buffy nodded and took another bite, if she kept doing that Xander was going to be sick, "Point is," Buffy said, after chewing and swallowing, "She's kind of wigging..."

"Who's wigging?" The voice caused everyone but Oz to jump, Xander turned to see Joyce standing just behind them.

"Everyone is!" Amy said, to distract.

"Because of what happen." Buffy said shooting Amy a look causing her to turn red in embarrassment.

"Oh, it was awful. I had bad dreams all night long." Joyce said, then looked at Buffy, "Have you talked to Giles? About who could have done this?"

Buffy nodded, "Yeah, he thinks it might be some ritual... or a cult...He's still looking. In the mean time Xander and I will be upping the patrolling with Faith, y'know, just to keep an eye out."

"A cult?" Joyce murmured and jumped the conclusion, "Like witches then?"

"No," Xander muttered because that line of thought was just too dangerous...to everyone sitting at this table. Willow started coughing; Amy wouldn't look up from her tray and Oz's normal blank expression looked even blanker.

A hard look came over Joyce's face, "I know you kids think that stuff is cool. Jessica told me that Xander is some sort of demon goddess and that Willow and Amy dabble in magic things..."

A concerned looked crossed Xander's face as Willow spoke up nervously, "That's us we dabble and Xan's harmless..."

"But anyone who could do this is not cool. No, their a monster..."

Buffy suddenly stood up, "You know what, "she interrupted, "would you guys excuse us?" And with that lead her mother out of the cafeteria.

"Burn." Oz muttered.

"And just when Mrs. Summers was beginning to except the whole slaying thing." Amy said as she took a drink of her milk.

Xander leaned over the table and spoke in a lower voice as she said, "Willow, you an Ams, go to Giles and get a copy of Buffy's drawing. Contact Miss Calendar see if she can you come up with a locator or revealing spell. Oz, you and Faith are on blood delivery duty for the next couple of days." Since all the hospital and blood bank recieved their blood with in days of each other.

"Why the spell? Can't we let the cops handle this?" Amy asked.

"Two kids are dead. And Joyce, I feel is going to stir something up...besides do you want your father to know about your witchy extra-curricular actives?" Xander asked Amy who shook her head.

Willow sighed, "I just wish..."

"Don't!" Xander interrupted her at the look she received from the red head Xander shook her head and muttered, "Just don't."

***

SunnyDale Airport

 

"Why are we here?" Faith asked as she watched the comings and goings of weary travelers.

"We are here to pick up the teenage clone of my favorite Uncle Jack. Uncle Jack's not related to mom but dated mom's older sister." Said Xander.

"Freza, that's what her name was, right?"

Xander nodded turning to her mother, "So, what was the decided cover story?"

"Why do you persist in thinking that Jack O'Neill is part of some covet militaristic operation?" Jessica wondered.

"Hello, mom, the man is sending his 'clone' here..."

"If anyone asks he's your cousin." Jessica muttered with a sigh.

"Hmm, I've heard that before...isn't that what we decided Faith was..."

"Xander..."Jessica growled in that warning tone only mothers can use.

"Hey X, question?"

"What?"

"Why does SunnyD have an airport?" Faith asked. Because a town this size really shouldn't have one but then again it shouldn't have a zoo, a museum that rivaled the Smithsonian, or a mall as big has that mall in Ohio, but it does.

"Because up until a few years ago this town as a major in/export hub...not real sure what we were importing or exporting though..."Xander told her.

Faith nodded, then changed the subject to, "Tell me more about this Jack guy? Is he cute for an older hottie type?"

"Ew, Faith he's like family!"

"Well," Faith drawled with a grin, "You know what they say about that..."

"Not listening!!" Xander cried putting her hands over her ears!

Jessica smirked at the antics of the two girls as she looked over the airport, "Jack was stationed at the base..."But Xander spoke up and said that the only base near Sunnydale was an Army base, to which Jessica corrected,

"Back then it wasn't. Freza had been the Slayer for almost three years and I'm not sure how they met. Jack was twenty-five, maybe and Freza was eighteen. She brought him home one night and they were tighter for about a year. Her death devastated him, they'd had a fight a few days before and Jack had left to cool his temper when he came back I had to tell him..."Jessica sighed at the remembrance, "Jack did keep in touch with me. I think he worried about what I'd do...and he was a big help after Xander was born."

"Still doesn't tell..." Faith started.

"Because Jack asked for a favor and I owe him, so he sent his son..."

"AKA Clone Jack..."Xander popped up, at her mother's look, explained, "Just trying to keep the facts straight."

Jessica glared at her daughter, "As I was saying, his clone was having difficulty being a normal teenager because the boy is in fact a grown man in a teenage body, that can't be easy."

"Tell me about it." Xander muttered.

"So, he's pawning the kid off on you? Sounds like a real gem of a guy." Faith said in disgust.

"It's not like that. There are circumstances with Jack's career that makes taking care of a teenager almost impossible and Jack said TJ would explain everything when he got here."

"How are we going to know this kid?" Xander asked, "Did Jack e-mail a picture?"

Jessica shook her head; Jack had said Jessica would know him when she saw him. She noticed a lanky teen boy by the baggage claim, who could not have been more than sixteen. He looked tired and confused as he ran a hand through his reddish-brown hair. He looked so much like... "Jack!!" Jessica yelled causing the boy to look over at her, Jessica ran over to him. Once there she repeated more softly. "Jack?"

The boy gave Jessica a long searching look before he threw his arms around the older woman and whispered, "Hey, Ripley...can you believe it?"

***

TJ had been surprised that Jessica still lived in the same house as she had in high school. The same place where Freza...he cut that thought off...it wasn't something he wanted to think about. That had not really been his life. He unpacked his suitcases; Jack was supposed to send the rest of his things and a few weapons. It might have been a few years but TJ was sure Jack hadn't forgotten what SunnyDale was like. The room Jessica gave him was nice, it was next to Faith's and across form Xander's, the three of them would have to share the bathroom down the hall.

"Yo! Clone-boy!"

TJ frowned as he wondered how someone could make that small phrase sound so sultry and sexy, he turned to look at Faith who was leaning against the doorframe. She had struck him as a girl trying way to hard to be bad. Strangely enough...it worked for her.

"I have a name." TJ muttered.

"No, you have initials."

TJ rolled his eyes.

"Come on. X-Girl is ready to roll. She wants you to meet the gang before school tomorrow."

TJ grabbed his black leather jacket and followed Faith down the hall and the stairs; it was a nice view from behind her, TJ could admit even if the girl wasn't his type.

"We'll be back in a couple hours, mom." Xander shouted from the front door when Faith and TJ got there. Jessica yelled back an okay and told them where would be pork chops for dinner. TJ wonder why that would make Xander turn almost green and mutter about having a salad instead. He hadn't thought that Xander was a vegetarian?

As they walked into town TJ asked, "So where we going?"

"The SunShine Diner." Faith told him.

"Do they still do the 'Death by Chocolate'?"

"Oh, yeah and you have a choice between 'Extra Creamy Carmel' and 'Strawberry Cheese cake' toppings to go with it." Xander said with a dazed look.

"And we've lost her," Faith smirked, " she's in her happy chocolately place."

Xander glared at the slayer, "Do not dis the chocolately place! It's the only thing that keeps me from going on a rampage and killing everyone."

When they got to the restaurant TJ followed the girl back to a long table in the back that already had a group of teens sitting at it.

"Hey guys? What's the what?" Xander said sitting down with Faith on ones side of her and TJ on the other. Xander motion to TJ and told them his name, "He's my Uncle Jack's son. He'll be staying with us for awhile." Then she lean forward, "He's in the know, ya'know?"

"You told him?!" said a snotty looking bleached blonde that reminded him of the cheerleaders of his old school.

"No Buffy," Xander sighed, "his dad told him."

"Oh, so his dad knows about demons? How does his dad know?"

"He knew mom and her sister..." That shut the girl up quickly or maybe had to do with the glare Xander sent her. "Okay intros...we'll skip Buffy."

"Hey!"

"I'm Willow." Said a pretty but pale girl with bright green eyes and almost blood colored hair. You hardly saw that color naturally but it looked like it was on her.

"Oz..." Said a lean boy with blue dyed hair.

"Cordelia Chase. And I do hope your not as much of a loser as the rest of these freaks." Said the California tanned, brown eyed girl with almost black hair.

"Ignore the diva," said the dark haired boy sitting next to her, "I'm Jonathan by the way."

"Amy." Said the last girl who was also had dark hair and bright blue eyes.

"Nice to meet'cha all." TJ told them.

Soon a waitress came with some sodas that TJ was sure no one ordered. She smiled and told them they were on the house. Xander nodded and thanked the waitress then asked how her son was, who was find but shaken up still. Xander told her that was normal, and added, "I'm just glad Billy is doing better."

When the waitress left conversations started TJ watched as at least four different ones began taking place at the same time. Buffy and Willow told him about the school. Cordelia told him who to hang out with and who do avoid. Oz, when he did speak, told TJ about his band playing at the Bronze and Amy talked about the clubs in LA. Jonathan about the magics he was learning from someone called Miss Calendar, who everyone but Willow and Amy asked after and the lasted Simpson episode Jonathan was a closet fan apparently. Faith and Xander talked about slaying much to Buffy's dismay.

Soon enough though it was time for everyone to leave and that's when TJ noticed that Xander led Jonathan way from the others. TJ let his curiosity get the better of him and he slyly made his way over to where he could eavesdrop but could not be seen.

"You know this has to stop. You have to talk to them." Xander told the dark haired boy, "Ams and Oz miss you, I'm sure."

Jonathan shook his head. " You don't know what happened or what they said...I thought they were different. That they loved me...but that night they said the same things my parents do but worse."

"Whatever your parents say...their wrong, okay! Amy and Oz were drunk on be-spelled chocolate I'm sure that while their action were hurtful they didn't mean them. And they are sorry...you can't let pride get in the way. Even if you can't forget what they said...at least forgive them so you can be friends. Talk to them."

Jonathan frowned and TJ could see the torn expression on the boy's face as if he wanted to believe but knew if he did it would only lead to more hurt. Finally Jonathan said, "Alright."

"Today! Walk home with them."

"But didn't Oz bring his van..."Jonathan trailed off at Xander's growl and whoa! TJ didn't know that Xander could sound like that. Xander asked Oz to give Jonathan a ride home and TJ watched as Amy walked over and asked for one. The two whispered something to Jonathan that made him smile.

"It's not nice to eavesdrop, you know." TJ jumped at the hiss in his ear he turned to see Cordelia standing behind him.

"But that's how you learn all the good stuff!"

Cordelia nodded, agreeing but said, "That also how you get slapped up side the head."

"Who's going to do that?" TJ asked because Cordelia didn't strike him as the violent type because it would muss her outfit.

Suddenly a sharp pain hit him in the back of the head, he grabbed his head in reflex and muttered, "Xander is behind me, isn't she?"

Cordelia nodded.

***

TJ's first dinner with Xander, Faith, Jessica and Rupert Giles had been interesting. He had been surprised to learn that his Ripley could cook. TJ remembered the time when Jessica got it into her head to cook a turkey had exploded...it had been sitting on the counter frozen still when it did.

They had pork chops and Xander did have a salad, she glaring at the leafy veggies as if they had betrayed her. The dinner conversations were about school and slaying...Work and slaying...Xander's upcoming birthday and slaying...

TJ did notice the theme there. It reminded him when he...no, when Jack was younger and the conversation he use to walk in on or have with Jessica and Freza. TJ shook his head and let Jack's memories of that fade. TJ saw Jessica getting the stuff out for hot chocolate and tried not to bounce in his chair. Jessica had always made the best hot chocolate.

"...So the whole clone made by aliens thing doesn't bother you?" TJ asked, Xander, "Cause you inadvertently caused the end of the world in your original timeline, had a mystical sex change and are the host (god I hate that word) to a primal goddess that may or may not be demonic in origin have I got that right so far?"

Xander nodded.

"And your friends are two slayers, two novice witches, a mage in training and a werewolf?" TJ asked while Jessica poured the hot chocolate into mugs. Giles had retreated into the room he had claimed was a study/library. TJ thought that Jack had been right and that Giles was a little stuff and nowhere good enough for their Ripley and he had yet to met the other guy, Ethan who was a part of the Harris-Giles household. But TJ was sure that this Ethan guy wasn't good enough either.

"It's not that much different from when Jack knew Freza." Jessica said handing him a mug.

TJ frowned, he was pretty sure not all the people they had hang around with back then had any mystical leanings but Freza and Strange, who had been a sorcerer.

"Geeks everywhere would come in their pants if they knew little green men were real." Faith crowed, she was a secret sci-fi nerd.

"Actually their gray." TJ muttered.

"Still cool." Faith told him as she took a mug of hot chocolate.

"Is no one else concerned that the government is playing with aliens?" Xander asked worriedly, "Cause I can see all sorts of bad there...teen clones of my favor uncles excluded."

"I'm sure Jack knows what he's doing." Jessica said giving Xander a mug and smiled when Xander took a hurried sip.

Xander made a face at that, "Mom, this is Jack O'Neill we're talking about."

"Hey, I resemble that remark!"

"So, you do TJ, "Xander said, "Okay some things you still need to know. Giles is a Watcher."

"Wait a minute," TJ frowned, "like..."

"Yesss..."Jessica hissed and the look on her face told TJ to drop the subject.

"Then there is Spike and Angel..." Xander muttered under her breath.

"And they are?"

"Vampires who are on the no slay list." Faith said, stirring her marshmallows in to her chocolate.

"Why? Vamps are bloodsucking evil. Only good as dust." TJ militantly.

Xander sighed and told TJ about Angel and his curse.

"Gypsies? Really? Sounds kind of Anne Rice-ish to me."

"It would to me to but we know a member of the gypsy clan that cursed him." Xander said.

"And this Spike guy?"

"Spike belongs to Xander." Faith said with a grin. To which she received a hard look from the other dark haired girl. There was only so much Xander would let a pretty face get away with.

"That's complicated from what I understand." Jessica popped up.

At TJ look Xander said, "Spike has all the memories of my 'Before' as I call the destroyed time line. Not sure how he got them but he knows far too much and doesn't too well for it to be a trick. He's an ally. But make no mistake he has no soul and his memories do not make one, he's dangerous."

"Then why do you treat him like an annoyance?" Faith asked with a frown.

"Because he expects that from me. Even though he bares affection for me I can't believe that would stop him if he took the notation to kill my friends."

"Then why is he still alive?" TJ asked confused.

Xander smiled, "Because Spike thinks of the Scoobies as clan even if he won't admit it. Clan is family. Clan is all to vampires. You can love the members of your clan or you can hate them. You can even try and kill them but woe be to the person or demon who hurts a member of the clan."

"You just said he could kill us and that he won't in the same sentence that makes no sense!" TJ exclaimed.

"Neither does Spike."

"That's crazy! Your crazy!"

Xander looked at her mother, "Why do people keep implying that!"

Jessica gave her a sad look, "He didn't imply it, honey, and he stated it."

"Thanks, mom." Xander muttered. "You'll meet..." Xander trailed off as the phone rang. Jessica picked up the cordless on the counter and answered it.

"Joyce?" Jessica asked, "...Okay, yes...yes of course I'll be there. I'll bring Giles...it is a horrible thing to have happen." Jessica made a few more non-comments then said good-bye and hung up the phone.

Jessica frowned.

"Mom?"

Jessica turned to where the teenagers sat at the kitchen table, "Xander, why didn't you tell me about the two murdered children."

***

SunnyDale City Hall.

Xander was amazed at the large gathering of people. She had never seen the like of it. People were carrying candles and signs that read 'Never Again' with a picture of the two young blond haired children who had been murdered. Xander saw Buffy and Willow in the crowd and Xander dragged TJ behind her to follow after them.

Faith had opted to go on patrol and called Oz to go with her. Xander learned that Jonathan and Oz and Amy were talking about getting back together...but it was just that talk for the moment. Faith said Oz seemed happy about it.

Xander and TJ got to Buffy in time to hear her say, " ...Patrol later."

"Buffy! Wills!" Xander said, "Can you believe this?"

"I know, right?" Buffy asked.

"Well, at least Buffy's mom is making an effort. My mom's probably..." Willow trailed off when she sees her mother weaving through the crowd.

"Oh, Willow. I didn't know you'd be here," Willow's mother said to her daughter then absently to the other girls, "Hi Bunny, Sandra."

Xander made a face at the name while Buffy murmured a greeting and Willow introduced TJ to her mother.

"What are you doing here?" Willlow asked because getting her mother to notice anything beside her work was almost impossible.

"I read it in the paper and with your dad out of town..."then Willow's mother seemed to really see her for the first time, "You cut your hair, that's a new look."

Willow grimaced nervously, "Just this...uh whim I had...in August." Her mother just smiled vaguely at her.

Joyce had been the one to organize all of this the girls and TJ found out when she came over to them with Jessica.

"Hello, Jessica, Joyce."

"Hello, Shelia." Jessica said. TJ caught the note of dislike in her voice and TJ look at Xander, who shrugged, confused.

"I'm glad you could come." Joyce told Willow's mother.

Giles wandered up and put an arm around Jessica's waist and she smiled at him, "There you are, I almost couldn't find you in this crush. Joyce this is quite the turn out you have here."

"Yeah, looks like the whole town turned up for this." TJ said, never remembering any like this back when he knew, when Jack knew Freza, happening.

"There are rumors." Shelia said.

"About us?" Giles asked confused. Jessica rolled her eyes and Joyce sent him a shut up look that he got. "About what then?"

"About people calling themselves witches...did this." Shelia stated.

Xander saw the look Buffy and Willow exchanged. So now the witch hunts starts. Xander thought, but just muttered, "How strange," under her breath.

"Indeed?" Giles said.

"Why are wiccans bad again?" TJ whispered to Xander.

"There not." Willow said, flatly.

"It's not at all strange," Shelia said picking up Xander's comment and ignoring Willow and TJ's, "...recently I wrote a paper..." she trailed off as the electronic feedback sounded as Mayor Richard Wilkins tested the microphone at the podium.

Xander didn't hear a word of the Mayor's speech to lost in her own thoughts and memories. She knew the Mayor was a big bad and all she had to do was prove it to the others. Faith had told her about the Mayor had been the one was responsible for the almost sacrificed babies.

Xander could feel her thoughts coming together for a plan to stop him. She tuned back in when Buffy nudged her with a boney elbow to her side that had slayer strength behind it. And Xander heard Joyce say, "...Silence is this town's disease! For too long we've been plagued by unnatural evils this isn't our town any more! It belongs to the monsters, primal goddesses, witches and slayers." 

Xander couldn't believe that Joyce that just ousted all of them with the one sentence. Buffy and Willow had the same shocked look. But what surprised Xander was to see her own mother nodding in agreement with Joyce. Giles, the poor man just had a shocked confused look on his face.

"I thought the slay club was suppose to be a secret?" TJ whispered.

"It is." Buffy muttered.

"It's time for us to take back Sunnydale. I say we start by finding the people who did this and making them pay!" Joyce ended her speech with.

Xander shivered when the crowd applauded.

***

The next day at school, Xander dropped TJ off at the school office and warned him about Snyder, so he could get his class schedule. He was in the same grade as Faith who was a year behind Xander. She noticed a lot of the students seemed tense or nervous. Xander was wandering the Quad when she saw Anya...

Anya was sitting on the side of the fountain and she was crying like the first time Xander had seen her. Why Anya was even there Xander had no clue...no one had made a wish that Xander knew about anyway. Xander grabbed the arm of a passing male student,

"Xander! What can I help you with today?"

It was only then that Xander realized whom she had grabbed...it was Andrew Wells.

Xander remembered how Andrew had worshipped the memory of Anya after she died. Xander turned Andrew bodily so he was facing the fountain where Anya sat.

"See that girl?"

Andrew nodded, "She's crying."

"I want you to do me a favor..."

***

Anyanka hated this school, this town, and these people! D'Hoffyern said not to come here and that he would not help her if something went wrong. Somehow that stupid blonde cheerleader's wish went wrong! She hated being human...they had feelings.

"Here."

Anyanka looked up and saw a geeky looking blond boy holding out a red can of soda to her. She was confused, why was he giving her a carbonated beverage? Was it some mating ritual that she didn't remember?

"You looked sad," the boy said sitting down next to her.

Anyanka shrugged, "I lost..." Everything... "My job."

"Oh, I see...but you shouldn't cry."

"Why not?" Anyanka asked harshly. Gods was this human that stupid? Anyanka wondered.

"No one as pretty as you should ever cry."

Anyanka blinked, the boy seemed to actually mean that! It was a nice complement...She wondered what his name was...

***

Xander had walked away after she had seen Andrew go over to Anya. She just couldn't watch that...Even though she had let the memory of Anya go a long time ago it still hurt.

Xander walked into the main hall where the lockers were she saw Buffy scaring some of the football players away from Amy and Micheal, a member of Amy's coven and Giles was just rounding the corner. As Xander fell into step with the Slayer but they were headed off by Cordelia who snarked at Buffy about babysitting losers. Xander wondered if Cordelia realized that she also was one of the losers that Buffy looked after?

"That was a pointed comment about me hanging with you losers." Cordelia said with a mean smile.

"And yet you still do." Buffy muttered.

Xander rolled her eyes, "What the guy of the week not hitting it for you, Queen C?"

Cordelia sent a murderous glare at her, "Don't talk... you home wrecking candy pusher!" then she turned and stalked off.

"I like her better when she was dating Willow." Buffy whined.

"Didn't we all." Xander stated as they got to Giles, "Tell me witches have nothing to do with that symbol, Giles."

"Actually I think it does," he whispered, "all my research keeps bring me back to an European Wiccan coven."

"Wiccans are nature worshipers! Not murders." Xander hissed at Giles.

Giles exhaled a breath and said, "Some yes, but there's a piece of information I need. It's in a book I let Willow borrow. Can you get it back?"

They say they will and leave Giles and walk to the student lounge where Xander sees TJ sitting with Willow's stuff, "Hi?"

TJ looks up from the book in his hand and greets the girls.

"Have you seen Willow?" Buffy asked.

"Yeah, she helping me find my classes. She's my tour guide. Right now she's in the restroom."

"So how has the first day been?" Xander asked as she spied Willow's books on the table, Giles book setting out where everyone could see it was not a schoolbook. Xander picked it up.

"Good," TJ paused, "but the kids seem sort tense?"

"Noticed that too." Buffy said, "Glad it's not just me and Xan."

Xander flipped through it but it was the notebook under it that got her attention, there on the first page was a familiar symbol staring up at her. Willow walked out of the restroom and over to them.

"Hey, Xan and Buffy." Willow saw that Xander had the book and her notebook in hand.

"What's this?" Xander asked holding up the notebook so they could see the symbol, Willow grabbed it and her books the n the one Xander was holding.

"It's a doodle...I doodle, you doodle too!"

"This is a Wiccan symbol." Xander said flatly because Willow couldn't be so stupid as to have witchy stuff like that here at school.

"Yeah..."

"Willow! That's the symbol found on those kids!" Buffy whispered, harshly.

"Whoa." Said TJ.

Willow opened her mouth to defend herself when they heard the slamming of lockers. The teenagers exchanged looks of alarm as they went to see what was going on. When they got there they could see a lot of police officers going through lockers. They took books, and to Xander's surprise weapons, stakes and daggers, one student even had a short sword! There was also garlic and crufixes removed from almost every locker. It seemed the students of Sunnydale High were not as blind as Xander always thought.

Snyder was standing in the middle of this controlled chaos with a gleeful look as a detective led a boy away.

Amy and Oz join the others, as an officer pulls a voodoo doll of their troll of a principal out of a nearby locker.

"They've taken five kids away. Jonathan was one of the first." Oz told them softly.

"What are they looking for?" Buffy asked.

"Witch stuff." Amy said, flatly. As other officer went through a girl's purse, a detective came up to them, "Miss Madison? I'll have to ask you to come with me." Amy gave the others a look before letting the detective lead her away.

Xander hissed at TJ to follow them and find out what he could. Cordelia was making a fuss over some hair spray...loudly...too loudly...Willow's locker was next.

"Xander, Buffy, I didn't do anything wrong!" Willlow exclaimed, "The symbol is harmless. It's used for protection spells. Which I did for Xander's birthday...with Jonathan, Amy and Michael. Only now it's broken cause you know about it...please! You have to believe me!"

Snyder walked up, "Rosenberg, my office...now." He said holding up two bags of herbs. Willow stared at him with eyes wide with fear and worry. Buffy discreetly walked in front of Willow and took her books. Willow started down the hall in front of Snyder. Oz accompanied her with his hand on her back in a gesture of comfort.

Xander cursed under her breath and followed Buffy.

***

The girls entered the library; they saw that it was swarming with cops. All of them were collecting books...Giles's books.

"They're confiscating my books!" Giles said helplessly when he saw them.

"We need those books, Giles!" Buffy told him needlessly, Xander thought, of course they needed those books that was a given but what did Buffy think Giles should do?

Giles rolled his eyes, "That's what I tried to tell the nice men with the guns."

They moved out of the way to a corner of the library. Xander could see that Giles was seething in anger. She just hoped Ripper would not make an appearance. Xander's mom so didn't need to bail Giles out of jail.

"Willow said the symbol was harmless...we're missing something!" Xander told them.

"Why would it turn up in a ritual sacrifice?" Buffy asked.

Giles shrugged, " Ordinarily, I would widen our research but..."

"Yeah, I don't think a book on math theorems and a copy of Dune is gonna help." Xander muttered.

"Snyder has interfered before, but this? I will not tolerate from twisted little homunculus..." Giles growled just as Snyder walked in he room carrying a cup of coffee.

Buffy asked aside, "What's an homunculus?"

"Something that looks human but is not." Xander told her simply because she really didn't want to try and explain the principals of Alchemy to the Slayer.

"How I love the smell of desperate librarian in the morning." Snyder smirked at them.

"Get out!" Giles stated angrily.

"Ohhh, sooo fierce!" Snyder said unaffectedly and walked pass Giles, "I suppose I should hear you out," he took a book from a passing officer, "just how is Blood Sacrifices and Rites is appropriate material for a public school? Fencing club branching out?" when he finished he took a sip from his cup.

"This is not over!" Giles exclaimed.

"Oh, I think it's just the beginning. Fight it you want. But remember, lift a finger against me and you'll have to answer to Moo."

"Answer to 'Moo'?" Buffy asked incredulously, "Did that sentence just make some sense I'm not in on?"

"Not really." Xander said, confused.

"Mother's Opposed to the Occult." Snyder said with relish, "A powerful new group." He sipped his coffee again.

"And who came up with that lame name?" Buffy asked with a laugh.

"The founder and co-founder, I believe you and Harris call them 'mom'." Snyder smirked at them as he was about to walk out the door Xander stopped him.

"What?"

"You get that coffee from the teacher's lounge?"

"Yes, why?"

"It's decafe, just so you know." Xander said with a grin as she watched the short man look down at his cup in disgust and throw it in the trash on the way out the door. Sure the small lie had been petty...but come on...the man so deserved for this!

***

Xander looked around her living room in concern; there were posters, signs, flyers and buttons all over the place. Her mother was sitting on the sofa with her laptop on the coffee table. Jessica was wearing on of the 'Moo' buttons. She noticed the plastic tub that sat by the front door where she put her dirty weapons after patrol was no longer there.

When did she have time to do all of this? Xander wondered.

"I don't want you hanging out with Willow anymore." Jessica told her.

Xander thought she had to be joking because, "I've know her since we were five!"

Jessica nodded, "And I never knew what a bad influence she is! I've spoken with her mother and..."

"Mom! You know Willow is a witch!" Xander exclaimed in disbelief at what she was hearing.

"Yes, but I didn't know what sort of magic she was doing and I know what type of books Rupert is letting her barrow..." Jessica said, concerned.

"The lockers were raided at school today. Giles's books were taken. Do you have any idea..." Xander tried but Jessica cut her off saying,

"He'll get most of them back. Joyce is just going to have 'Moo' weed out the offensive ones."

"We need the offensive ones! " Xander exclaimed, "They have the info one the demon of the week and you know that! Are you even listening to yourself? I know people are scared and angry. And that Joyce is upset about what happened to those children. I get that your trying to help her but you've got to let me and Buffy do our thing. Faith is handling the blood deliveries so we can patrol extra..."

"And is that working?"

"What?"

"You patrol. You put your life at risk each night. But is that really helping Sunnydale?"

"I..I..I'm tr...Trying..."Xander stuttered, confused at why her mother was verbally attacking her.

"Trying isn't good enough! Do you even have a plan?" Jessica asked standing up from the sofa and walking around the coffee table to Xander.

"Okay! Whoa!" Xander said taking a few steps back, "I have a plan...it might not be a good one but I do have one...sort of...and by the gods I might not have any lapel buttons..."

"Xander..."

"NO!" Xander shouted, and closed her eyes taking a deep breath. When she opened them she said, "I'm going to put my life at risk by going on patrol" Xander walked out of the room and slammed the front door.

Jessica sighed, "I just want to do the right thing." She turned and faced the sofa where two young blond children sat, one boy and one girl.

"You are..."said the boy.

"There's bad people out there," said the girl.

Jessica looked at them sadly.

"She's trying to stop you..."said the boy.

"You mustn't let her..."said the girl.

***

The next afternoon Xander was sitting on the table, in the school libarary amused listening to Giles as he cussed British curse words at the computer he was trying to use as his last source of information, when Oz and TJ walked into the library.

"Take heart!" Oz said, "We found your books."

Giles looked up hopefully at them.

"Now we just have to break in," TJ said, "there being guarded at City Hall by members of 'Moo'."

Giles frowned, "I have no idea what's going on in Jessica's head!"

"Me either," Xander muttered, the looked at the computer, "Frisky Watcher's chat room? Is mom really that bad?" She asked Giles, who turned to glare at her poor attempt of a joke.

The door open and Buffy stalked in, "What do we know?"

"That you're not a natural blonde?" Xander asked and smiled when the slayer glared at her and all was now right in Xander's world, for the moment.

"What I meant," Buffy said sending Xander another glare, "was what do we know about the kids? Who are their parents, where do they live? Things like that!"

"Oh, well, I..." Xander started but then her cell phone rang. Xander took it out of her jacket pocket and saw that it was Jonathan and answered it. "Talk to me Jono."

"Xander, my parents haven let me out of my room in two days. But never said I was grounded or anything."

"That's normal for them..."

 "Their building a pyre in my front yard!" 

"Your parents are what?"

"A pyre! You know the kind that they burned witches on!"

"You sure?"

 "I'm a magic user, Xander! I know my history! I know what one looks like!"

 "Ok, ok! I believe you!"

 "Help me, Xander. I have a bad feeling about this!"

 "Yes! Alright I'll be there in a few."

 Xander ended the call and snapped her phone closed and stuck it back in her pocket. She saw the others were looking expectedly at her, "Jonathan said his parents are building a pyre in his front yard. I'm gonna go check it out."

 "Do you need any help?" Oz asked, cause that sounded worrying.

 Xander shook her head. "Nah, as long as they haven't actually lit him on fire he should be okay."

 ***

It took Xander ten minutes to get to Jonathan's house. There was in fact a half built pyre in his yard. All the lights in the house were on...She walked up the front steps to the door and knocked. When she did the door popped open...that wasn't strange at all...not.

"Jonathan?" Xander called from the door when no one answered she stepped inside.

"Mrs. Levinson?" Still nothing.

"Mr. Levinson?" Xander called again hoping someone would answer. Xander made she way down the short hallway that lead to the living room where she saw Jonathan...gagged and tied to a chair.

"Jonathan!" Xander exclaimed and ran to him. He was shook his head trying to say something.

When Xander removed the gag Jonathan said, "It's a trap!" At the same time a sharp pain exploded at the back of Xander's head knocking her to the ground, disorienting her.

"I' m sorry Xander." Xander turned her head at the voice and saw her mother holding a metal baseball bat. "You'll just try to get in the way and I can't let you." Jessica said with a sweetly concerned look on her face.

"Mom?" Xander asked, why had her mother hit her with a baseball bat.

"Sorry Xander, they made me call you! They said they were going to burn Amy!" Jonathan told her.

"Who said?" Xander muttered, but saw Jonathan's parents walk up behind him.

"The children." Mr. and Mrs. Levinson said in freaky unison.

Xander tried to get up but her mother hit her with the bat again. Xander heard Jonathan begging them to stop, as she was knocked to the floor again.

"...And make them pay..."

Xander heard a childish male voice say. Xander opened her eyes but knew she wouldn't stay conscious for long.

"Who?" Xander whispered.

"That was easier than I though it would be..." Xander heard her mother say.

"We told you..." came a young girl's voice.

"It always does..."was the boy's.

"But I'm still scared of the bad boy and girl."

Her name, Xander remembered, was Gretel.

"You have to make them go away...forever..."

Hans, that was the boy, thought Xander, like the children from the fairy tail, as everything grew dark and Xander blacked out.

***

So, wow fairytales were real. TJ thought, And I'm helping a werewolf trying save a witch. That had to be a fairytale in and of itself.
 
"No one is here." Oz told TJ as they looked around the Rosenberg house.

"How long do you think they've been gone?" TJ asked. "And where do you think they took her?"

Oz frowned, "Scents say no longer than thirty minutes. Wonder how their going to get rid of all those book?"

"City Hall." TJ muttered and hoped as he followed Oz out the door that the bad feeling he had was wrong.

***

 "Xander... Xander...wake up!"

Xander moaned as the pounding in her head with from a light rhythm to a heavy metal beat. The voice calling her name was annoying and her arms hurt to where they were strengthen over her head, the chains clicked together ominously.

Wait...chains...Angelus?

"Xander!"

Xander's eyes flew open at the hiss of her name, she tugged at the chain shackled around her wrists, and saw they also wrapped around her torso binding her to the cast iron fence at her back where she was sitting on the ground.

"I thought you would never wake up!" Jonathan muttered and tugged at the ropes around his hands, he too was tied to the fence.

"How long have I been out?"

Jonathan shrugged but sounded panicky, "Long enough for them to bring us behind City Hall, and..." Jonathan turned his head, "to build that."

Xander followed his gaze to where a pyre was built this one far more stable looking than the one that had been in the Levisons front yard. People were still putting wood that from the smell had been soaked in gasoline, trash and other flammable things around the platform of the stake.

"That's not good."

Jonathan send her an incredulous look, "You think?"

***

Cordelia frowned when she found the door to the Summers house stand wide open, she was sure Joyce had the sense to lock it when she left even if Buffy didn't. Cordelia gasped when she saw from the open door, Giles was lying on the floor.

***

Xander glared at Larry, "I swear if you hit me..." she was cut off when Larry smirked and hit her again. "I dare you to unchain me and try that again!"

"Xander, I think something is happening." Jonathan said, as the crowd parted and Jonathan's parents walked up to him.

"What an unnatural boy you are." Mrs. Levison said, the expression on her face hard.

"Mom..."Jonathan said trying to keep the tears in his eyes from falling at this mother's harsh words.

"You were a disappointment." The woman continued with, "Never smart enough, nor were you any good at sports, and your girlfriend preferred your boyfriend to you."

"We never even wanted a child." Mr. Levinson stated coldly.

"Hey, come on that's not Jonathan's fault!" Xander said only to get hit by Larry again. Xander began yanking on her chains even harder when two of the football players that always gave Jonathan problems came up and untied him and dragged him over to the pyre.

Jonathan struggled but they kept a tight hold on him, they hit him a few times on the way and called him names. When they got him on the platform and tied to the stake Jonathan began to call out to his parents.

"Mom, Dad, don't do this!"

"But now we have a chance to rectify that." Mr. Levison said as if he didn't hear his son and took the lit torch his wife handed him. He walked over to the pyre and looked up at Jonathan, "This is for the best son..." then he touched the torch to the wood...

Xander could only watch in horror as it ignited into flames.

"Xander! Xander help me!" Jonathan screamed.

Xander resumed tugging at the chains but they just wouldn't budge just like...

"I got them form the mansion on Crawford Street."

Xander turned to look at her mother.

"You won't be getting out of them. You couldn't before. So, just calm down, honey."

"Mother, they tied Jonathan to a STAKE AND SET IT ON FIRE! And you want me to CALM DOWN!!!"

A dark look crossed Jessica's face, "Don't worry it will be your turn soon enough."

Xander didn't bother to reply just renewed her efforts on the chains as Jonathan's screams lot louder.

***

Giles and Cordelia raced out of the Summers house.

***

"Just so we're clear, you guys know you're nuts, right?" Oz deadpanned before he and TJ took off running from five young men wearing 'Moo' buttons.

"You do know if they catch us..." TJ started.

"More running less talking." Oz said as they ran down a hallway.

***

"Buffy!" Willow cried when she saw her friend was finally waking up, as Amy shrugged harder against the ropes that tied her to stake. Willow hoped they could get free; being burned alive was not the way she would prefer to die.

***

The fire roared now, searing Xander with the heat from it. Blood ran from her wrists. She had tried to pull at the iron fence hoping to loose it enough to cause the chains to give way...

Jonathan screamed.

***

Amy chanted a wind spell hoping to blow out the fires that were licking at their feet. She ignored the chanting of, "Burn the witch," that the crowd was doing.

***

The smoke from the bright orange-red flames were causing Jonathan to cough and choke in between his screams and heat was burning his skin. If Xander didn't get loose...

"Mom, Dad, please! I'll be better! I'll try harder!" Jonathan cried out his voice barely heard by Xander over he roaring flames.

***

Amy spell caused a powerful gust of wind that forced the crowd back.

Willow yelled out, "You've seen our power, take another step...and..."

"What are you going to do? Float a pencil at them?" Buffy hisses at her, she really wanted Xander to come bursting through the door to save her, but it looked like it was her turn to be the hero.

***

"What are you muttering about?" Cordeila asked from the passenger seat of Giles's car.

"It's an incantation it's in German and that mixture your putting together will cause the demon reveal itself.

***

"You have to kill the bad girls," Gretel said, to the foolish human woman it had been tricking for days now, "You promised."

"Mom! Look at me, you love me..." Buffy said trying to distract her mother from listening to the two dead children.

***

Oz could hear Willow yelling, "I'm on fire!" From the vent it seemed very close now.

"That doesn't sound good." TJ Muttered from behind Oz in the small vent, that he could hear creaking and groan under their weight.

"No, it doesn't."

***

"You have to stop this!" Xander yelled, "We can still save Jonathan! If you don't you won't..." Xander stopped talking when Larry hit her again for the fifth time.

"He toyed with unnatural forces..." Jonathan's mother said with a sly smile that frightened Xander in a way even Angelus hadn't matched. "What kind of parents would we be if we didn't punish him."

***

Giles and Cordelia burst in to the room and saw that the girls were ties to stakes and almost on fire. Giles caught Cordelia's eyes then looked at the fire hose on the wall. Cordelia nodded and slowly slid her way to it, busted the glass, which caused the crowd to turn and look at her. Giles began chanting as Cordelia turned the hose on the mob.

"Cordelia! Fire! We're on fire! PUT OUT THE FIRE!!" Screamed Amy.

Cordelia paused in taunting the mob, "Oh, right!"

***

When the screaming stopped...all was silent.

***

After killing the demon who had been the two children with the stake she had been tied to, Buffy watched Oz and TJ fall from the ceiling and them told the girls that they were there to rescue them, untying Willow and Amy who were both very shaken. After all wasn't burning at the stake every witches nightmare? Hearing her mother apologized repeatedly, it wasn't until Buffy was walking out of the City Hall building when she asked what she had been wondering, "Where's Xander?"

"Oh...oh, no!" Joyce went very pale and swayed as if she were going to pass out, "Behind the building, Jessica was suppose to distract her. Jonathan's parents said they had a plan."

Buffy's eyes widen when she remembered what Xander said in the library. She took off running around the building the other following behind her. It wasn't long before the sweet, acrid smell hit her...Buffy didn't know what it was until she took in the scene before her. A huge fire burned in the same shape as the stakes she had been tied to, Buffy saw Jessica on the ground twenty feet away from the pyre, sobbing harshly her hands over her face. Some people wearing 'Moo' buttons were wandering around looking confused.

Suddenly the smell made Buffy want to vomit.

Giles ran up to Jessica, "Are you alright?" He asked putting his arms around her and kissing her forehead. Jessica nodded and shook her head at the same time. "Where's Xander?"

Jessica was barely able to choke out, "By the fence." When Joyce came up and tried to the same as Giles had Jessica viciously shoved her away.

TJ walked over to the fence and saw that Xander was chained to it; she was slumped against it with her eyes closed. For a moment he could not even see her breathing... "Xander?"

The girl took a ragged breath, "I wouldn't let mom unchain me."

"Why not?" TJ asked with a frown, because if he had been Xander he would have wanted out of those things.

"I was afraid of what I'd do..." The girl's glowing green eyes, caused TJ to stumble back a few steps in surprise. It reminded him of the Goa'uld but for the color. Xander had told him but to see it was shocking.

Cordelia, Amy and Oz rounded the building and stopped in shock, a second later Oz dropped to his knees and began to literally howl in grief...Amy kept asking what was wrong and Cordelia wrinkled her nose at the god-awful stench.

Xander met TJ's gaze and the look in her eyes was a mixture of horror, anger, and sadness...TJ had never wanted to see that look again. It was the same look Freza would come home some nights wearing, as if she had seen unspeakable things...

TJ turned and looked back at the pyre..."Jonathan..." unspeakable things...

***

"Now that is a far more fittin' appearance for one of your stature." The dark haired man wearing the priest outfit said, in an admiring tone of voice.

"Caleb...are you flattering me?"

The First Evil's favorite minion grinned a charmingly evil smile.

Chapter Text

Xander hadn't spoken a word since Jonathan's funeral. She knew her friends were worried about her. She hadn't been able to be in the same room as her mother since the day Jonathan died. SunnyDale Syndrome was at its peak. No one remembered or wanted to remember the day the town lost it's mind and they had a witch burning... But the town was not so unaware, the hellmouth itself had suffered another lost of one of it's children.

It's my fault, Xander thought, for the four thousand three hundred and eighty-second time. Yes, Xander had been counting how many times she had thought that. Xander pulled the blankets over her head, she hadn't left her bed since Jonathan's funeral a week ago.

So, when her door suddenly slammed open, Xander thought she had the right to be annoyed, she pushed the blankets off her head with a sigh. The last person she expected to see was Cordelia Chase standing there with her hands on her hips. Because since Cordelia's break up with Willow the girl had been distancing herself from the group.

Cordelia looked around the messy room with distain and wrinkled her nose when her gaze landed on Xander. "Have you bathed at all? Cause with as bad as you look you probably smell just as bad!"

"I've had other things on my mind, Cordy, than my cleanliness." Xander muttered.

Cordelia stomped into the room. Xander noticed TJ cowering behind her, "Sorry, Xander but she just stormed in and said she wouldn't leave until she saw you! Said she would talk about the latest fashions. And trends...and ..."TJ shook his head, there was just no way he was going to listen to the vapid chatter if he didn't have too.

"Well, she's seen me. Now get her out of here." Xander snarled.

"Oh, no you don't, loser! Only Amy and Oz get to mourn for longer than a week they were dating after all."

"Cordelia..." Xander warned.

"Jonathan's death was a sad thing...." Cordelia said walking up you Xander's bed.

"Shut up, cheer bitch!" Xander growled. She didn't want to hear how she couldn't mourn her friend. The unspoken rule of the Dale stated ...that if you weren't related or in a relationship with the person who died or disappeared? You were suppose to get on with your life like normal after a week.

"I will not shut up! You need to pull it together. We look to you to lead us! To keep us and this hellhole we live in safe!" Cordelia said as she yanked the blankets off of Xander.

"You look to me?" Xander shouted incredulously, "Are you all insane? It's my fault Jonathan is dead!"

Cordelia frowned, "Strange I thought you were bound in chains and that his parents were the ones to actually light him on fire?"

"That's not the point! I brought him into our group...if I hadn't...well," Xander sighed how was she suppose to explain that Jonathan only had four more years if you went by the old timeline. "...He should have had more time. I stole that from him!"

A cold look passed over Cordelia, then she casually backhanded Xander to the face. The force of the blow caused Xander's head to turn. It didn't surprise Xander that Cordelia would be the one with the balls enough to actually hit her. Even Spike would have thought twice about it doing it with the way Xander's moods ran.

TJ pulled Cordelia away from Xander, he yelled at Cordelia, "You're suppose to be helping not hitting Xander!"

"Let me go, you...you..." Cordelia sputtered, because no one manhandled her unless she gave them permission too.

"Are you going to behave?" TJ asked.

Cordelia sighed, "Yes! I won't hit her again."

When TJ let her go Cordelia frowned at him. Cordelia was so going to have to take him to the side and explain things to him where she was concerned. "Xander, you said you were given the chance to change things for us. We have to take the good with the bad...because as much as we would like only good and great things to happen to us...well, let's be real this is the Hellmouth we live on.

You can look on bring Jonathan to us as a bad thing or you can see it as giving us a friend! You gave him to Amy and Oz and they may not see it right now but their lives are better for knowing him. You have to believe there was a reason...no, that's wrong. You have to believe that Jonathan is in a better place and is now watching over us. If you don't then it's all been for nothing, and you may as well give up and let the bad guys win!"

Xander still faced away from them, her dark hair shielding her face from their view, her shoulders were shaking.

"Is Xander crying? Why is Xander crying? You aren't supposed to make Xanders cry! It's a rule!" TJ said his voice edging toward panic because the last time he remembered Xander crying, Jack had bought a share in the Hostess Company just to make it up to the girl. Xander looked up at them and gave a harsh bark of laughter before she wiped her face and got out of bed. Xander walked over to her dresser and got some clean clothes walked past TJ and Cordelia to the bathroom down the hall. But before she closed the door she heard,

"See I told you it would work." Cordelia said.

"Did you really have to hit her?" TJ asked softly.

"Please this is Xander we're talking about!"

After Xander had showered and dressed, she sneaked out of the house. But was sure Giles had seen her. Xander had heard TJ and Cordelia bickering and Faith laughing at TJ, he really wasn't holding his own with Queen C at the moment. Xander out into the yard and squinted her eyes in the bright sun light. She walked down the street and twenty minutes later into town. Ten minutes later Xander pasted the Bronze and the Espresso Pump, she walked through the playground and noticed all the memorable to Han and Gretel were gone. Xander went farther still into the Strife's Woods crossed a creek by an old log that stretched across it. Until she came to a dirt mountain path, which Xander, followed up the to the top of the incline. And there sitting on a log was her Mother.

"I thought I'd find you here." Xander said softly, remembering that her mother would bring her here a lot when she was younger...which was weird because she didn't remember Jessica doing that in the 'Before'. Xander thought that the other woman turning and facing her was the hardest thing her mother had ever done. Jessica's eyes were red from crying and Xander thought she looked tired. But that was just from the nightmares. Xander was sure her mother was having. Because the screams coming from her mother's room were not the good kind...

Xander so needed brain bleach after that thought.

"Xander...I..."Jessica's voice faded, because what could she really say?

"It's not your fault." Xander repeated what Cordelia said because her mother needed to hear it too, as she came over to sit beside Jessica.

"How can you say that!" Jessica hissed. "I hit you...I hit you with a baseball bat! I chained you up...I've know your nightmares about that...I betrayed you..."

"You were under demonic influence. I think you thought you were trying to save..."

"I was going to kill you." Jessica stated in a dead voice.

Xander snorted, "You and a lot of others."

Standing up angrily Jessica shouted, "This isn't a joking matter!"

Xander sighed, "What do you want me to do? Yell. Hit you? Hate you? I'm alive, your alive, we get to live..."

"Xander...forgive...me?" Jessica choked out, tears in her eyes.

"You aren't to blame that demon was..."

Jessica shook her head, wiping at the tears running down her face, "It knew what I knew. It knew what Joyce knew. Jonathan...he...he was a distraction...that's all. I know you are dangerous so we had to get you out of the way."

"It played on your fears..."

"But it shouldn't have! I should have known. I know about demons! I've fought demons!"

"You love me...it used that." Xander told her mother.

Jessica nodded but didn't look like she believed it. "You know it wasn't even my or Joyce's idea...to use Jonathan. His parents volunteered...they weren't even part of 'MOO'...and at his funeral...they didn't even look sad...didn't even try to fake it even. No, they looked smug..."

"Mom!" Xander exclaimed, "We must remember who Jonathan was to us...and never forget it!" Xander tried not to choke on the irony of using the same words that the town had for the memory of two children that turned out to be demons.

Jessica walked back over to her daughter and sat down on the log, she looked over the edge of the mountain and down at the town of SunnyDale. "Never Forget?" The boy who had been her daughter's friend, the boy who saved her husband's life, after Angelus had tortured Rupert. When others turned a blind eye to what happened in their hometown. To remember this was the Hellmouth and sometimes people...died.

"Never Forget." Xander repeated, intently.

***

Knight Industries.

Twizpen, Montana...

Dr. Bonnie Barstow had been the Spokesperson for F.L.A.G. And the C.E.O. of Knight Industries since Devon Miles past away. The company was now just a specialized car company who made cars for MI6 and CIA and a few other covert agencies. She had only taken the position because Michael Knight, who was supposed to inherit the position, died of cancer in 92'. K.I.T.T. The Knight Industries two thousand was dismantled at his request. K.I.T.T. did not want to be active without Michael. K.I.T.T. said it was because he was unable to complete any missions without his driver. Bonnie thought it had more to do with grief. She had always believed K.I.T.T. was able to feel something akin to human emotions. She sighed off on the report in front of her. Then Bonnie decided to do the paperwork for her grand-niece, Xander Harris's birthday present.

Jessica Harris-Giles, Bonnie was sad she had missed the wedding, but business had kept her away, was her oldest sister's daughter. Xander was turning eighteen and Jessica had wanted something special for her. Jessica had called and asked Bonnie's opinion about a few models of cars. Bonnie had nixed all of them, not because there was anything wrong with them. Bonnie just prefer the cars made by her company. Bonnie had signed off on a pretty little red car with nothing special about it but the bonded shell and pyroclastic lamiton coat. Bonnie was sure the car would finally ousted Jack O'Neill as Xander's favorite relative. Bonnie just wished she could be there to see the look on her grand- niece's face...but Knight Industries and the F.L.A.G. Charity foundation had to come first.

***

Stockyards Of Knight Industries.

"So, which car is supposed to go to SunnyDale?" Anderson asked entering the office of the small stockyard building. It was the last thing he had to do for the day and then he could go home it his young twenty-one year boyfriend. Anderson saw his boss was on his cell phone and the man just shrugged his shoulders motioning to the computer. He sighed if Dr. Barstow only knew how much work Anderson did...he's have his bosses job. Instead life was unfair and he had to do his and the other man's and not get paid for it. Anderson threw himself into the chair at this desk and looked through the files on the computer. Once he found them he send them to the stockyard chief then did the other things he had to do before he could leave.

Later as Anderson was walking through the stockyard on his way to the employee parking lot when he heard, "You know it's a damn shame about what we have to do to that pretty little red car," one worker said.

"Yeah it doesn't seem right to crush it." Another said.

Anderson frowned the only car that was suppose to be crushed was a black and sliver model that resembled a Trans-Am. He turned to see the red car dropping into the car crusher. He could hear the groaning of the hydraulics and the shrieking of metal sounding like screams...Anderson shivered as he continued on to the parking lot. Still he wondered. I'll double check he work order in the morning. Anderson thought.

***

In the back of a darken semi truck, a engine rived a few times loudly, a glimmer of glowing red light could be seen before disappearing and engine soften to a low comforting purr...

***

TJ sighed as he brought the tray of drinks over to the girls. It was at times like this he missed O'Malley's. He so wanted a beer right now. But no, he was stuck with the Bronze, which was a cross between a dance club and pool hall. He would be much happier to be at home watching the Simpsons or reading one of the books that Jack had sent him. TJ was pretty sure that Jack had swiped it from Daniel's office, what interest could Jack have in Sumerian? Xander had been including TJ in stuff ever since he arrived. Patrolling had been fun...Then there was the training Xander put him through which TJ found was insane and there was no way he could keep up with her or the slayers but Xander demanded it of him if TJ wanted to keep helping on patrols. He could do without these trips to the Bronze; they just reminded him of how old he really was...

When he got to the table he put the tray of sodas on it and sat down next to Willow as he watched in amusement as the girls fought of them. There was only one diet soda in the bunch. TJ was not surprised at all when Cordelia came out was the winner of the diet soda. She reminded him of a Goa'uld Queen. TJ shuddered at the thought for the hundredth time since he meet the girl.

TJ was about to ask Willow if she wanted to dance when two young men came up to the table. He noticed the bright smile Buffy graced the dark haired man with brown eyes that put him in mind of a kicked puppy, and somehow the smile he returned was shy. It was the other guy that set off every alarm TJ had. He had his hair bleached so blond it was almost white, hard blue eyes, he reeked of danger. Of course this was the guy Xander greeted with a look of fondness.

"TJ this is Angel," Xander said pointing to the dark haired man, "and the Bleached Menace is Spike." TJ tried not to frown at the annoyed affection in Xander's voice.

Angel nodded his head in greeting while Spike sent TJ an assessing look before the blond practically purred. "So," as he put an unlit cigarette in his mouth and began to dig in the pocket of the long leather coat, "How's being a clone working out for you?"

The varying "what's" were not quite in stereo.

Xander sighed deeply and reached across the table to where Spike sat and hit him in the forehead with the tips of her fingers causing the cigarette to fall out of Spike's mouth, "What have I said about topics of polite conversation and things said in confidence?"

Spike frowned, "Thought that was a better question than what his sexual preferences and positions were?" Causing TJ to choke on the sip of soda he'd taken. Buffy and Angel shouted At Spike and Xander just covered her face with a hand, groaned a muttered words about why she let him hang around.

"You have no concept of what classified means, do you, Xander?" TJ asked with a sigh.

Xander shrugged, "Best they find out now, than later."

TJ was then swamped with questions that he answered, who, how, why...the best he could. It was Willow's questions that stumped him she was so like Carter.

"Ok as interesting as this is I'm bored now." Faith said standing up, "Xander, let's go dance!" Xander was dragged onto the dance floor, by the dark haired slayer.

"Oh, no!" Buffy muttered. "Now their going to dance all close, sexy and end up teasing half the club."

Spike snorted, getting up, "What do you mean half the club? Those two are going to cause a riot one night," he the left walking over to the bar.

"Don't take anything Spike says to seriously." Angel said speaking for the first time that night.

"Xander can keep Spike in line..."Willow told him.

"But she doesn't really want too." Cordelia said her eyes following the two dark haired girls.

"I think Xander enjoys the chaos Spike causes." Buffy growled, as Faith's hands wandered over Xander.

The two dark haired girls made a pretty picture bumping and grinding on the dance floor, Faith seemed to enjoy teasing the crowd and Xander just looked like she didn't want to stop Faith's fun. Spike came back to the table with a beer bottle in his hand. TJ groaned at the unfairness of that, Spike looked younger than TJ. How the hell did he get a beer!

"Know the bartender, mate."

TJ had said his last thought out loud. Great. TJ leaned back in his seat and smirked. Time to get his own back at the bleach blond. "I'm hetero-flexible and I like to top." That small phrase caused Spike to almost drop his beer, Buffy to spit take, Cordelia to snicker, Angel looked surprised and Willow completive. It was the last one that worried TJ the most.

"Hetero-flexible? Huh? I'll have to remember that, mate." Spike said with a smarmy grin.

TJ frowned, "Aren't you and Xander..."

Spike shrugged. Even he didn't know what he was to Xander. "Maybe. But things have been known to happen, isn't that right, Slayer, Peaches?"

TJ watched as Buffy blushed bright red and Angel sank down in his seat muttering, "No talking about that!"

Before TJ could ask the question all but burning on his tongue, Xander and Faith came back to the table. Xander sat down next to Spike and Faith next to Cordelia.

Xander grabbed Spike's beer and took a drink of it then she asked, "How was the City of Angels?"

Angel told about setting up a detective agency and meeting a Seer called Doyle. Spike told them about saving Amy, who had gone to LA after Jonathan's funeral to live with her grandparents until her dad could find a job in L.A, from a vampire that was stalking young girls who wanted to be actresses.

Xander never knew that Amy wanted to be one. Spike said, as he stole back his beer, that she didn't anymore and Angel had hired Amy to be his secretary. Angel told them that they had run into Lindsey MacDonald during the trip. Spike said there was a lot of UST between the MacDonald and Angel, causing Angel to growl at Spike.

"I'm hungry!" Buffy said suddenly. "I'm thinking nachos with tomatoes and jalapenos."

Xander nodded, "There's that Mexican place on Fifth."

Everyone agreed to that. As they were walking down the street Buffy asked, "I think I want Chocolate sauce with them."

Buffy noticed the stares of disgust aimed at her, and cluelessly asked, "What?"

Xander gave the blond a long look and almost said what she was thinking but thought better of it. It wouldn't be possible any way.

"Two days ago I saw her eating peanut butter and sardines." Faith said with a shudder.

"What!" Buffy asked clueless, "It was super salty!"

***

The next afternoon, while in the living room of her house, Xander hung up the phone after talking to her Uncle Phil. It was odd because Xander was sure she hadn't know who Phil Coulson was in the 'Before'. But Xander remembered him an old boyfriend of her mother's and that their relationship hadn't worked out because Jessica wouldn't leave SunnyDale and Phil couldn't stay because he was working for a 'super secret agency' he couldn't leave at the time.

"So, how's Phil doing?" Jessica asked from her spot in Xander's favorite armchair. Jessica had talked to Phil a few days before he knew about SunnyDale and he was a worrier.

"Fine. He as a new asset, that's likes to do the whole Robin Hood thing."

"Steal from the rich?"

"No, just uses a bow and arrow. Uncle Phil wished me a happy birthday...He'll be in Milan later."

"Well it's not everyday you turn eighteen, honey."

"Mom, why do I remember people I've never met?"

Jessica wondered when this would come up. "D'Hoffyern, told me that he was only able to grant my wish because the Powers That Be as you call them weren't playing by the rules. Because of something your group had done he was able to change things about my life...he promised it would be better."

Xander sighed, "It was a wish granted by a demon..." then a thought occurred to her, "Wait! Does this mean you knew I wasn't always a girl?"

Jessica leveled a look at her daughter, "Did you think that all those books that had information about certain girl problems just appeared by themselves?"

***

The Upper Realms...

Connor was gone.

One moment he had been in Dawn's arms in the next he vanished like smoke in the wind. She had lost him once before when the do-over happened. Dawn knew she had been lucky to find him again and that he still remembered her and loved her. Dawn had been in a rage since then and had been taking it out on the room she had shared with Connor.

The once white room was now an array of grays and reds, the flat screen T.V. in which she had watched the events in the Dale was now a heap of smoking junk, her bed...the one she had shared so happily with Connor was a mess of wood and cloth. Dawn was holding the remains of a pillow she had ripped in half when she heard a silky, and slightly sulky voice say, "Really now, this behavior does not suit one of your age."

Slowly, Dawn turned to face the being, he was pale skinned with messy black hair and ageless eyes, he had spoken with a British accent. Dawn snarled at him, "Really? And who are you to decide what suits one of my age? Oh, Voice of the Creator?"

Metatron sighed; he was getting to old to deal with these petulant creations of his master. He was going to file a complaint one of theses days.

"Connor should not have been taken from me!"

Metatron rolled his eyes and wonder why in the Creator's Wisdom did he put the Key to the Universe in the body of a teenager?

"The Destroyer..."

"DON'T CALL HIM THAT!!!" Dawn screamed. Metatron paused as the Ancient One had a mini-hissy fit, screaming and foot stomping included.

"Are you done now?" the Voice asked with the quirk of and eyebrow.

Dawn glared but finally sighed, "Yeah..."

"Now as I was trying to say...Connor's time here with you was only temporary. He has his own destiny."

"Oh, Fuck destiny."

Metatron made a face like he had sucked on a lemon, "Let's not, she can be a fickle bitch."

Dawn gave the Voice a long look, but in the end decided she didn't want to know how he knew that, because he sounded like he had first hand knowledge of that. Dawn was about to start demanding answers when a dark haired angel came stumbling into the room,

"There you are Metatron..."

"Not now Castiel!"

"Yes! Now! How could you! Why do I have to watch over them? Do you know how much trouble their going to be? I know you give the assignments but why me? What did I ever do to you?"

"If you ever want to prove yourself as an Arch-Angel? This is your chance." Metatron groused at the angel, "Just make sure you keep them from the Hellmouth when they come into their own...we have enough trouble with Harris being there..."Metatron turned to Dawn, "I wonder if an angel can get an ulcer?"

Castiel looked as if he wanted to say something but instead chose to glare at the Voice then leave in a huff.

"Lord save me..."Metatron muttered knowing Castiel and his charges were going to cause him nothing but headaches in the future, he just knew it. "Now, what should we do with you?"

With those words Dawn shivered as she felt the true power of the Voice Of God wash though the room. Dawn knew her destiny...her fate was about to begin again.

***

TJ carried an unconcusious Xander, as Faith opened the front door of their house. Faith yelled for Jessica, who came running. Buffy followed in behind Faith looking worried. TJ laid Xander on the sofa as Jessica looked the dark haired girl over as she barked out questions, TJ answered automatically.

They had been on patrol when a large hairy green demon with two-foot horns and sharp claws had attacked them. It had gone after Buffy and Xander had stepped between the demon and the blond slayer. Xander was thrown into a near by wall and didn't get up. Faith screamed in rage and went for the demon, while Buffy checked on Xander and TJ guarded Xander and Buffy. When Buffy yelled that Xander wasn't waking up Faith quickly killed the demon by tearing one of its horns off and stabbing it in the chest.

TJ hoped Xander would be okay, as he watched Jessica sent Buffy for some water to bath the wound she had found at Xander's temple. TJ had gotten to know Xander as a friend rather than as an uncle like relative. In personality he had found Xander to be a lot like Jessica had been when she was younger. Only Xander was a lot more cynical and sarcastic.

"Sheesh, stop looking like some one is a step from death..." Xander muttered blinking her eyes open, pushing away her mother's hands from her head.

TJ let out a sigh of relief he hadn't known he had been holding. His stay in SunnyDale was going to be so different from Jack's, he thought.

A few days later TJ was sitting on his bed reading a book, Daniel had sent him. He had to wonder what the space monkey was thinking sending him a book on Egyptian culture. It had to be Danny's sense of humor at work.

"Yo! Clone-boy?"

TJ looked up to see Faith leaning against the half open door, "You up to patrol with me and X?"

"I have a name, Faith." TJ said with a sigh. There were times...a lot of times when he missed being a Colonel. He wondered just what he had done...surely he hadn't been that bad to Daniel?

***

TJ stared at the destruction he hadn't seen anything like it since Teal'c found out the cafeteria of the Star Gate Command was open twenty-four hours. He and the girl's had stopped by the Sunshine Diner after patrol that night. He hadn't known three teenage girls could eat so much! "That was..."

Xander looked up from the remains of her burger, "What?"

TJ slumped down in the booth, "I can't believe you three ate all of that!"

Buffy frowned from her seat next to him turning to face him she said, "That was just a post slayage binge." Then she looked down to her empty plate. "This place needs bigger portions."

"Mmm...I think I'm ready for the other post slayage thing..." Faith said with a leer at TJ. Which freaked TJ out because he remembered when Freza had gotten that look and it had made for some memorable nights for him...for Jack and Freza.

"Faith!!" Both Xander and Buffy exclaimed.

Faith just grinned at them, "So what was with the horse radish and peach jam on your salad, B?" she asked changing the subject.

Buffy shrugged, "It seem like a good idea and it was totally yummy!"

"It was gross watching you eat that." TJ said making a face.

"Seconded." Xander said waving a waitress over so she could order more she was still hungry and Spike was in L.A. Only one hunger could be sated for now.

***

Cordelia slammed her locker door closed with a huff and glared at Willow who was talking to OZ across the hall. While she vocally blamed Xander for her break up with the red haired girl and wasn't ever taking any sort of chocolate or candy from Xander ever again. Cordelia was honest with herself if with no one else, and her relationship with Willow was getting strain because of Cordelia's flirting with boy's to get what she wanted from them and to keep her parents in the dark about her sexuality. Not that she was a shamed to be Bi-sexual with a preference for women. It just wasn't something she wanted to scream from the roof tops at the moment. Besides she was still in high school she didn't know what or who she wanted yet.

"Hey! Your Queeny-ness!"

Cordelia turned to look over her shoulder at TJ who was standing next to a classroom door. Cordelia blinked confused as to why he was speaking to her.

"You're going to be late."

"For what?"

TJ smirked, "While you were staring at Willow...the bell rang." Then he turned and walked into the classroom.

Cordelia growled wordlessly, I so needed to get over that witch, she thought before running to her next class.

***

Jessica put another box on the floor of the living room; she had been going through the stuff all day. TJ was digging through another box in the corner and Faith was lounging on the sofa watching them work. Most of the stuff was Jessica's, from when she was in high school and collage.

"Ripley, look what I found!" TJ said holding up a mini-cross bow, "can you believe it?"

Jessica walked over to him and hit him across the back of his head lightly, "Very funny." She began to look through the same box that TJ had been in she pull out a few book as Faith got up and walked over sitting down next to Jessica. Faith picked up one of the books and flipped through it, then exchanged it for another.

"Someone moving out?" Came a male voice from he shadows of the doorway, Jessica looked up and saw Spike standing there holding an unlit cigarette in his hand. The vampire never smoked in her house without permission. It was a cute little quirk the blond had to show the respect he had for Jessica.

"You do know you can use the front door, don't you William?"

TJ and Faith exchanged a look both mouthing the name William to each other. Causing Spike to growl at them but to Jessica said, "Where's the fun in that? We're going on patrol as soon as she gets done with her schoolwork. Gonna meet up with the Poof and Slutty."

Jessica nodded, "You shouldn't call Buffy that."

Spike smiled, "Can still call Gelus a Poof though."

"As many times as you wish." Jessica said, she still hadn't forgive what Angelus had put Xander and Spike through last year.

"When did X, go blonde?" Faith asked, suddenly bring the blond vampire's attention to her when Jessica quickly turned to Faith and pulled the photo album the girl had been looking at way from her.

TJ looked over Jessica's shoulder at the picture the album was open too and drew in a deep breath as he whispered, "That's not Xander."

Spike made his way over to Jessica and lightly pushed TJ out of the way so he could look at the photo. It was of a pretty girl with long waist length dark blonde hair, she has a delicate looking face, with wide brown eyes that had a wild but sad look to them as if they had seen too much for some one so young. She wore a brown suede vest that had fringe over a white long sleeve blouse and a pair of dark blue jeans.

Spike frowned as he thought he....

"That's my sister, Freza." Jessica said with a sad smile.

"She was a Slayer, right?" Faith asked.

Jessica nodded.

Slayer? Spike wondered. The girl in the picture... I remember that girl, "That girl looks nothing like Xan!" Spike growled out, then with a twirl of his leather coat stormed out the front door.

"That vamp needs glasses. Cause Blondie there could be X's twin." Faith muttered.

Jessica slowly closed the album and put in back in the box. Jessica could only hope her daughter never suffered Jessica sister's fate.

Death by vampire. 

***

Ethan Rayne, looked out of the airplane window, had never been as unsure about his life as he was now; he wrapped up his life in England so he could go live with Ripper and his pretty wife. He would be arriving in SunnyDale in a few hours. Perhaps this was his second chance, to use his magical abilities for good rather than for selfish reasons? To find happiness with the man he fell in love with over twenty years ago? Although he did wonder why a woman as beautiful as Jessica was so willing to share the husband she so obviously loved. Ethan would have to ask her about that. He had thought after the incident with the be-spelled candy that he would be told to leave the Hellmouth and never to return. Instead he found himself being bedded by Ripper and his lovely wife.

Ethan sighed to himself. Things were almost perfect or would be except for one thing...person really. The lovely Jessica's daughter, Xander, seemed to be holding a grudge against him. But that was mostly because of what the candy had done to her little group of friends. Ethan did wonder what Ripper was thinking though. Ripper had to know, that Xander Harris...the feared Hyena...was one of the Old Ones. Bound though the power was, the very air crackled around Xander from the shear weight of the power that was trapped in the girl.

Ethan knew he would have to find a way into the girl's good graces or she could cause him some difficulty later with Ripper and his wife. He had learned that Xander's birthday would be a in a few days and Ethan was sure he got the perfect gift for the girl.

After all Lady Lara Croft's taste had never disappointed him before...

***

Xander cringed as she heard the sound of vomiting coming from the school restroom stall. She exchanged a glance with Cordelia, who was checking her make-up in the mirror.

"You really should go to the doctors. I don't want to catch whatever nasty thing you have...like your fashion sense." Cordelia snarked.

"No! No, I'm fine..."Buffy was cut off by another bout of vomiting.

"Yeah," Cordelia said rolling her eyes, "You sound just fine."

Xander only cringed again at the sound of vomiting.

***

Buffy sat in the examining room of the doctor's office. Her mother had made her come when she caught Buffy throwing up in the trash can out side of their house after patrol last night.

This is a waste of time! I'll be fine by lunch time, Buffy thought, as she swung her legs back and forth from where she was sitting on the exam table. The doctor had drawn blood and ran some other tests. Dr. Wilson told her it might just the cold virus going around. But when he came back he had a frown on his face as he told her the tests results.

"I' M WHAT!"

***

"YOU"RE WHAT!!"

"You heard me the first time. I'm not saying it again." Buffy muttered from her spot on Xander's bed as she stared at the ceiling as if it had all the answers in the universe.

"How is this even possible?" Xander grumbled.

"I know, right! It doesn't make any sense. I haven't been with a guy in a while and yet here I am Pregger Buffy at three months along."

Xander frowned as she paced in front of her bed, "That's not completely true," she said slowly, "you just haven't been with a human male. But you have been with a male."

"But it's been to long since my birthday." Buffy said, frowning, thinking of Angel.

Xander gave Buffy a meaningful look, and said, "Bandy Candy." It was always surprising to see how red Buffy would blush at the words.

"No, that was just a month ago."

"Isn't Dark and Broody a vamp? Shouldn't his little swimmers, not you know be able to swim?" Faith asked from her seat at Xander's desk, "And it could be Spike's spawn you're carrying."

"Oh my gods! Don't say that!" Xander muttered. Mini-Spike. The very thought gave Xander the chills.

"So, Buffy's having a really slow pregnancy or...a really fast one?" Xander said with a vague look in her eyes, the one she got when she was talking to Shakarri.

"Uh-oh, X has that look." Faith said.

"I hate it when she gets that look," Buffy moaned. "It means..."

"Giles!!!" Xander yelled, "We need the G-man."As she grabbed Buffy's by the wrist and pulled her up off the bed and out the door, all the while ignoring the blonde's protests.

"Yeah, like I'm going to miss this!" Faith said to herself as she jumped up from her chair and followed the two other girls. After dragging Buffy downstairs Xander made the girl tell Giles what she had told her and Faith.

"That is one of the consequences when you participate in an orgy." Ethan snarked, from where he sprawled in a kitchen chair..

The man had returned yesterday much to Xander's dismay but he made Giles and her mom happy, so she would suffer his presents in silent but if Ethan started any trouble or hurt Giles or her mother in any way...Xander frowned she had to give him the shove talk soon.

"Are you sure there wasn't a mix up at the hospital?" Giles asked as he slowly poured himself a cup a tea while processing what his blonde slayer had told him. He wished Jessica were here, his wife would know what to say...or perhaps Jessica would just laugh the panic attack he was going to have because of this news.

Buffy shook her head her voice muffled because she had head face hidden in her arms which were folded on the kitchen table, "No, I had them run the test three times." Hiding the blush caused by some of Giles earlier questions and Ethan's laughter at her reactions to said questions.

"There are some demons..." Giles started.

"No, Giles," Buffy said sitting up, " I think I would remember if something like that happened."

Giles almost began to tell Buffy that she probably wouldn't but saw Xander shake her head at him.

"Well," Giles said clearing his throat, "there is a spell that will tell us the child's parentage. It is a spell we will be doing."

Xander called Oz so he could patrol with Faith and TJ then she called Willow over to help Ethan and Giles with the spell. Jessica had come home and asked what they were doing and they told her. Jessica in turn said that Joyce should be here for this, which Buffy denied with, "I want to make sure that it's nothing too Hellmouthy. She still is getting over the Hans and Gretel thing."

"You haven't told her, have you?" Jessica asked.

Buffy retorted with, "How do you..."

"Child, no teenage girl tells their parents something like this first. That honor always goes to the best friend." Jessica said with a smirk she shared with Ethan who nodded in agreement with her.

Once the spell was ready, Ethan and Willow casted it. There was some snapping sounds, the air crackled with life before there was a sharp popping noise like when one stabbed a balloon with a pin followed by a horrid smell that was accompanied by a show of red, black and sliver lights that surrounded Buffy for a few moments then vanished.

"Well, what did that tell us?" Buffy asked.

"Your pregnant." Ethan deadpanned.

Which caused Xander to snicker at the glare the slayer sent the man.

"I know that! What else?" Buffy snarled 

"The father is a vampire." Giles said, "So the pregnancy should be a relatively quick one. Human-Vampire pregnancies are rare there are only a few that that been recorded by the Council."

"Which means there could have been more that weren't." Ethan said giving Giles a look. To which Giles nodded, they both knew how much the Council hid from not only the Slayers but also the Watchers.

"Great! So I'm having a half-vampire half-slayer baby." Buffy moaned, "When did my life became a bad romance- horror novel?"

"When you became the Slayer." Xander told her helpfully with a smirk.

"I think the question was rhetorical Xander." Willow said when the blonde glared at Xander, Willow turned to Buffy and asked, "So, what are you going to tell your mom?"

Buffy slumped in her seat, "That I'm pregnant and that the father is one of two vampires I slept with while drunk on be-spelled chocolate during an orgy I had with Xander."

There was a moment of silence.

"Perhaps you should just tell her that Xander's the father." Willow mumbled.

***

Angel and Spike took the news of Buffy condition rather well. Chalking it up to life on the Hellmouth and the strange things happen here. Buffy dragged Xander with her when she told Joyce about being pregnant, Angel had asked to go as well and Spike muttered about being included.

When Buffy actually told Joyce, Joyce cried, then screamed at Angel and Spike. It was beginning to look bad then Angel told Joyce that Buffy would be taken care of not only by himself but Spike and Xander. This caused Joyce to slap the dark vampire and them burst into tears again.

Spike yelled at Angel for making Joyce cry before storming out of Buffy's house. Angel followed the ensuing fist fight was a given. Buffy threw up in a nearby vase after declaring that Xander was the father of her child cause the two men were morons

The proclamation caused Xander to fall of the sofa arm she had been sitting on as she moaned, "I knew I was going to get blamed for this!"

 All in all it couldn't have went any better.