College treated Xander well. He ended up taking architecture as his major, but indulged in a carpentry minor with plenty of sculpture classes on the side.
Edward, as it happened, knew a partner in one of the best architecture firms in St. Louis, who agreed to interview Xander after only a glance at the résumé Xander handed him.
When Ted Forester moved to St. Louis, escaping a failed marriage, he hadn’t expected to fall in love with the architect who designed his Western-style ranch home. And when fledgling architect Alexander Harris designed said home, he hadn’t expected to be living in it before the month was out. To most of Xander’s coworkers, it seemed sudden and uncharacteristic.
To Anita and her pard, it was the obvious next step.
Edward continued to take expensive contracts well into his forties. Ander, a man believed to be his student, did the same, often partnering with him on missions. They quietly retired with none the wiser on their real identities. By that point, bounty hunters were becoming obsolete, as preternatural law enforcement teams nationwide increased solve rates and improved their methods to become comparable to the national average of all cases. Hunting lycanthropes for sport or skins was equated to murder. Trafficking in skins but not being directly connected to a death was considered poaching or trading in the by-products of a protected species.
The system wasn’t perfect, but it was still improving. Lycanthropes slowly gained rights vampires had received all at once: to bear and have custody of children (special provisions were usually required on full moons), to marry, to hold virtually any job (hiring/firing and other discrimination on bases of “life-time illnesses” became illegal, including lycanthropy and some other “manageable conditions,” as the law put it).
Xander sat back and watched his second version of America grow and change. Not only had he gotten his second chance (and he was finally ready to thank Willow for it, too, instead of cuss her out), he had found someone to share it with.
A/N: t-t-t-th-th-th-that's all, folks!