Disclaimer in the first chapter.
Xander was still fuming when he walked into his hotel room. He slipped his cell phone out of his pocket, and discarded his jacket on the table next to the door. He touched the runestone that he had brought along. He and magick still were of the bad, but he could make use of some objects without a problem. The runestone made the hotel room proof against vampires in the way a residence would. It took them some looking, but one of the researchers found it in a book of Scandinavian lore. Seems the Norse in their journeys figured out a way to ward their tents against vampires, so now the stones were standard for all members of the council while traveling.
He flipped open the phone and hit the quick call. He started pacing while he waited for it to ring. It was answered on the second ring. “Secure line this. Request authentication Zebra, Echo, Papa, Papa, Omega… Forget it. Roxie, this is Xander, lock this line down three ways to Sunday and get me Buffy.”
Xander was sure he heard a giggle on the other end of the line. “I’m sorry, but if you don’t have the full authentication code, then I will have to terminate the call.”
“Roxie, if you don’t get Buffy on the line right now, I will let it slip out that there is no ice cream in the castle for the next two weeks is because of you.”
“I am connecting you to Buffy now,” was the hurried response.
Xander smirked, he might not be the top boogieman for demons, but he was for most of the new slayers that they had found, especially those that were bunked at the castle. He sat on the couch and leaned back while waiting for Buffy to pick up.
“Xan,” queried a sleepy sounding Buffy, “I know I am not one to chastise you about this, but there is a thing called time zones. That makes it eight hours earlier here… or something like that? I can’t remember from the last time that Giles yelled at me for it.”
“Sorry Buff, but this is serious. I may need a small strike group put together for Metropolis. I ran across three vamps on the way back to the hotel. From the way they acted, they were either fledglings, or really dumb. Either way, I don’t see how they could party for any length of time in this town without coming to some ones attention. I would feel better if we had a team come in, do a sweep and nip anything in the bud that might be popping up. No one made mention of a master, but better safe than sorry.”
Xander could hear Buffy nodding on the other end. “I’ll call Cleveland and have them send a unit there, if there isn’t a roving squad in the area. Any one in particular you want there?”
“Not Faith, too many high key people are here and pay attention. We can keep her on call if things go south. Check to see if Vi and her squad are available. They’re pretty good at keeping attention down and getting things handled in a timely fashion, one or two of the mystical or psychic add-ons if they aren’t running with any. I don’t want go overkill if it isn’t needed, but I don’t want them hanging in the wind either. That should about do it. I’ll give you a call after the meeting tomorrow,” Xander finished up.
“So what else is bothering you, and don’t say nothing. I know you well enough to know that something has sent you into a hissyfit.”
“I’m not having a hissyfit. I am hissyfit free. I don’t have them anyways. I am a guy; we don’t have hissyfits. Well, except Andrew and I think his guy card got pulled long ago.”
“Xan, what’s wrong? I can be there in a few minutes if you…”
“It’s nothing, Buff. I had a run in with one of the caped crowd. She came in while I was handling the last vamp, tried to get in between us, but froze when fang face popped up and charged after she knocked him down. He was in full game face and diving at her. I know we have started thinking of worse case scenarios, but I didn’t want one happening because of me. I dusted the bastard in front of her, and then she had the gall to try and pull a high and mighty on me because I dusted three vamps…”
“Xan, listen to me. They run around a play hero. We fight a never ending war. I don’t care what someone in a cape and underwear says; you did the right thing. Do you need me to come there and help comfort you? You know that I wouldn’t mind.”
“Buffy, I know… And part of me would love that.”
“And I bet I know what part that is.”
“Well, yeah, that too. But we need someone in command at home. I’ll bring you something nice, maybe a snow globe or something. You know there are some places here that sell some fancy clothes.”
“And I know that Dawn gave you all of my sizes in everything, so you can pick me up something,” he heard her beam from across the Atlantic. “Maybe I will even model something for you.”
“I hope so. Go on back to bed. I am going to try and get some sleep here. I’ll give you a holler when I get done with the spandex set.”
“Night, night, pleasant dreams.”
Sleep didn’t come easy, nor was it restful. Too many dreams of the unpleasant variety plagued him, and here he had no one to talk them out with. He gave up the somnambulistic struggle at five in the morning and took a long shower. He just hoped that no one in a primary color would decide to play the high and mighty perfection card today. He knew that was too much to ask.
Author's Comments: This didn't come out quite the way that I had intended, but flowed fairly easily.