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Xander's Dogging Adventure

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Summary: Xander's latest assignment puts him in a hairy situation.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Movies > Dog Soldiers(Current Donor)VladtheImpishFR1516,399062,45817 Mar 0817 Mar 08Yes
Title: Xander's Dogging Adventure

Author: Vlad_the_Impish

Rating: Nothing worse than the show

Summary: Xander's latest assignment puts him in a hairy situation.

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters depicted in this story, and I will not make any money from writing it. Please do not sue, as not only am I not worth, you'd have to, quite frankly, stand in line.

A/N: This story is post Chosen, and is a crossover with Dog Soldiers. This story would technically take place around Season Ten, working chronologically, which would make Xander around 26. I will point out, however, that this particular universe disavows all knowledge of Season Hate, sorry, Eight.

A/N2: I know that I have a lot of WIPs to be working on, but this is the first thing that The Voices have whispered to me about in ages, and I would have been a fool to ignore them. I hope that this is a sign that they are willing to go back to work.

Xander's Dogging Adventure

As Xander secured the broken window with the dining table, he began to wonder whether he'd pissed someone off within the Council to be sent on assignments like this one, even if they hadn't known it would end up like this when they sent him.

It had all started out fine; in a bid to strengthen relations between the reformed Watchers Council and the MOD, it had been decided that they should have an exchange program between the British Army – who had unofficially dealt with the supernatural in the surrounding area of wherever they were stationed – and the Council, and Xander had been volunteered by Giles to be the first Watcher to do so.

It had been the first time that Xander had regretted allowing Willow to magically replace his missing eye – lack of depth perception would have automatically ruled him out – but with that no longer an issue, he'd had little choice but to go along with things, mainly because he knew that if he'd kicked up a stink he'd have been assigned to Kennedy as her Watcher, and he'd rather slide down razor wire naked and land in a bucket of TCP than be the one to try and rein in Willow's ex.

Once he'd agreed, Xander had immediately been sent to Pirbright, the nearest Army training centre to the Council's HQ, and was put through a condensed version of boot camp – Xander was told to call it CMS(R), as that's what it's called in the Army – which was, fortunately, a far cry from the 14 week course regular recruits went through. While Xander had been happy about not going through the whole enchilada, he had been surprised by it, until he'd been informed by Giles that the Army liaisons had taken his accomplishments in Africa into account, and the fact that he'd been 'in the trenches' for the past decade and was still alive. It had been deemed necessary that he at least have a refresher of sorts before being assigned to a squad, just to be certain he would be able to keep up with the soldiers he'd be placed with.

His training was soon over, and Xander had been introduced to Sergeant Wells, who was the leader of the squad he'd been assigned to as a civilian consultant, and had immediately found himself liking the older man. Later, when Xander met the rest of the squad, he found that the rest of his temporary team-mates were alright as well, although their near obsession with football was something he couldn't understand.

Xander would be part of their squad for three months, and while they wouldn't be out in the field – the team had earned some R&R after their last assignment, not to mention that the brass didn't want to run the risk of Xander getting hurt or worse while on their watch for fear of what Willow and Buffy would do – the squad would be participating in several training exercises that would adequately show Xander just what the British Army did, and would allow the Army to see what the new generation of Watchers were like.

The three months went past quickly, not to mention smoothly, and that alone should have told Xander that they wouldn't be so lucky with their last exercise before he left, but he hadn't seen any inherent danger in a training exercise where they were pitted against another squad, even if it was in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands.

Boy, had he been wrong.

Even so, the beginning of the exercise went as planned; they had been dropped off by chopper in the middle of nowhere, and Xander had quickly proceeded to zone out Private Joe Kirkley, who complained constantly about missing a football match for the exercise. Xander was actually enjoying the trek through the woods, even if it was cold enough to freeze the balls of a brass monkey, and the only thing he'd been worried about was letting the others down when they came into contact with the 'enemy'.

Things started to take a turn towards the strange when they stopped for the night. They were all sitting around a fire, and Xander had been relaxing and listening to the squad's war stories, when they were all surprised by a dead sheep that dropped into their campsite, seemingly from nowhere. When they checked on it, Xander thought he recognised the teeth marks, but with nothing more to go on, and specific instructions from Giles not to mention anything about the supernatural unless absolutely necessary, he'd kept quiet about it.

The next day, they had found the SpecOps team that they were up against, or at least they had found what was left of them, and from the equipment they'd come with, Xander knew that keeping quiet was not an option any longer. Just as he was about to say something about his suspicions, however, they found Captain Ryan, who Private Cooper recognised from when he had ironically tried out for the SpecOps team that they'd just found dead.

It was only a couple of minutes later when the sound of howling caught their attention and after that, there was a mad dash through the woods which resulted in the loss of Corporal Bruce Campbell, who hadn't always understood or appreciated Xander's Evil Dead comments and quips, and Sergeant Wells was practically eviscerated, his bowels spilling out, but was somehow still alive.

By the time they were in a position where Xander had the time to explain what was going on, Megan – the woman who had come out to see what all the gunfire was about and had picked them all up – had taken them to a nearby cottage owned by friends of hers, although they didn't seem to be around at the moment, and after they had deposited Wells in a bedroom upstairs and treated his wounds, she explained to Cooper and the others what they were facing.

That didn't mean that Xander had nothing to contribute, however. Once Megan had finished her explanation, Xander knelt down and removed the two silver daggers he'd slipped into his boots before they left, passing one to Cooper and another to Private 'Spooner' Witherspoon.

“Do I want to know why you keep silver daggers on you, Harris?” Cooper asked him after a moment.

“Want to?” Xander said with a shrug as he began to rummage through the extra rucksack he brought with him, the one thing he'd insisted was non-negotiable to both Giles and the Army when he agreed to this. “Probably not. Need to? Definitely.”

Xander then went into a brief explanation of who he worked for, and then gave them a briefing on the strengths and weaknesses of werewolves, which seemed to calm the soldiers down a little now that they had tactical information on the enemy, as well as someone experienced in dealing with them. Xander had made it clear that on the whole werewolves weren't evil – most werewolves were victims of a werewolf attack themselves and apart from three nights a week lived normal human lives – but added that, given the situation they were in, they had little option but to take them out.

The talk was interrupted when the werewolves tried to gain entry to the cottage, and most of the ammo was depleted in order to keep them at bay. That led Xander back to the present, and his nailing the table to the wall in order to have some sort of barrier between them and the lycanthropes outside.

Now, however, it was time to deal with the ones inside, one way or another.

“Coop, we need to have a chat,” Xander told his comrade, who had assumed command while Wells was out of commission. “Preferably, in private.”

“Alright, Harris,” Cooper replied, “I want to check on the Sarge anyway.”

The pair went upstairs to the bedroom where Sergeant Wells was holed up.

“Alright, so what is so important that you needed to tell me?” Cooper asked.

“Well, you know I told you that anyone bitten by a werewolf that survives becomes a werewolf as well?” Xander asked, although he went on before Cooper could answer. “Well, I thought I'd point out that both Captain Ryan and the Sarge have been bitten by werewolves and survived. Ryan is already looking better than he should, and lets face it, the Sarge should already be dead.”

“You don't know what the hell...”

“I'm talking about?” Xander finished for him, getting right in Cooper's face. “I've dealt with the supernatural since I was in high school, and I've faced things that would make the hardest soldier shit his britches and have lived to tell the tale, so don't tell me I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.”

The change in Xander made the soldier realise that there was a damn good reason the man in front of him had survived as long as he had; he was one scary sunovabitch when he wanted to be.

“Fine,” Cooper said in an explosion of air as he stepped back. “So, what? We use those daggers on them?”

“If it means I don't become one of those fuckers out there,” Sergeant Wells said, causing the pair to turn to him, “absolutely.”

“No, we don't just kill you or Captain Ryan,” Xander said, which surprised the other men, “at least, not unless we have to,” he added after a moment. “Right now you're as innocent in all this as we are, and even after you and Ryan change for the first time, you're still innocent. All I wanted to point out was that it would be an idea to keep an eye on Ryan, and you, Sarge, and tie you up if you start to change. Now, Megan on the other hand...”

“Wait, you think Megan is one of those wolf things as well?” Wells asked, butting in. “She's not looking all that hairy to me.”

“Let me break it down for you,” Xander told them while he ticked things off with his fingers. “This cottage is the only one for miles around, yet when we arrived no one was home. Megan says she's lived here for almost a year, has known about the were's all that time, and yet is still alive. The werewolves aren't leaving to find less dangerous prey, even after we've filled them full of lead, which wouldn't make any sense unless...”

“We're in their home,” Cooper finished for him.

“Well, it makes sense doesn't it; we eat all their food, sleep in their beds, so of course they're gonna be pissed,” Wells quipped. “If Megan's one of them, how come she hasn't changed?” he asked as he sat up, and both Xander and Cooper noticed that he wasn't anywhere as bad as he had been an hour ago.

“After a while, those infected can hold back the change for a time,” Xander explained, “but it's only temporary, unless you've had a lot more training than she would have access to.”

“So, do you think that she's working with them?” Cooper asked.

“Honestly? I'm not sure. I mean, she did help fight them off last time, and she genuinely looked hopeful we were here to rescue her when she picked us up, so maybe she's looking at us as her last best hope of getting out of here.”

“Well, I don't know about you fellas, but I've had about enough of sitting on my arse,” Wells said as he got up, his face showing he was aware that he shouldn't even be able to move, let alone stand at the moment. “Lets go downstairs, and figure out how to kill the big bad wolf, before they huff and puff and blow our house down.”

Xander, Wells and Cooper decided against saying anything about what might happen to Captain Ryan and Wells, or about letting on about their theory on Megan, as it would only make a difficult situation worse.

The trio went back downstairs to join the group, and then Wells ordered everyone to spread out and search the cottage for anything they could use as a weapon, as they had all seen that conventional weaponry would only piss them off, stating that they would then congregate in the kitchen in an hour to work out a game plan.

XOXOX

“Alright,” Sergeant Wells said once everyone was seated, “what have we got?”

As everyone showed what they had found, it proved to be less than promising; on top of the almost depleted weaponry they already had, and the silver daggers Xander had on him, all they could find that would be of some sort of use were a couple of gas cylinders, a few kitchen knives and a broadsword. There was nothing else made of silver in the cottage, which given who Xander and the others though owned it wasn't all that surprising, and all in all they had little that could do any permanent damage without getting far closer to the werewolves than anyone would like.

“Oh, this is so bone,” Private Joe Kirkley moaned. “I missed the footie for this shit.”

“Shut it, Joe,” Wells snapped. “None of us want to be here right now, so lets work out how to change that.” He turned to Megan. “Do your friends have any vehicles, anything we could use to get away?”

“There's an old Jeep in a shed at the far end of the grounds,” she replied, “but I don't know what shape it's in.”

“I don't know if you've noticed,” Captain Ryan said, who for someone bound to a chair looked very calm, “there is the small matter of three or four werewolves between us and freedom.”

“Yeah, we'd kinda noticed that, Ryan; you gonna tell me that water is wet now?” Xander asked sarcastically. “Unless you have something constructive to say, just keep quiet.”

“You seem to forget yourself, Private; I am a Captain.”

“And you seem to forget that I'm not in the military,” Xander retorted as he got up and moved closer to the other man, “you could be Captain Crunch for all I care. Oh, and by the way...” Xander, as quick as lightning, struck Ryan with a thunderous right hook that knocked the Captain out cold. “... that's for using us as bait!”

“Harris, you can't just go around knocking out people who piss you off,” Wells told him, although his tone indicated he couldn't care less that he had.

“Oh, I know that,” Xander replied with a smile, “which is why I only do it to people who try to kill me. The funny thing is, that doesn't narrow it down much.”

“Why am I not surprised?” the Sergeant asked.

“Probably because you've met him, Sarge,” Private 'Spooner' Witherspoon said with a grin, the first one that had been seen on his face since this whole mess started.

“Anyway,” Wells said, “despite how it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, Ryan had a point; those werewolves won;t just let us go without a fight.”

“We're gonna need a distraction,” Xander told them, “and, I'm afraid to say, the best distraction I can think of is me.”

“Why you?” Cooper asked immediately.

Xander didn't answer, instead he picked up the sword from the table and twirled it around his body like it were a part of him. “I know what I'm up against, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and I have the best chance of going up against them and getting away unharmed.”

“Harris, that's suicide and you know it,” Wells told him firmly, and the others were quick to show their agreement.

“Possibly,” Xander conceded, “but it's also the best chance we've got. We can't wait them out,” he told the Sergeant, looking at him and then over to Ryan meaningfully to make sure he got what he was talking about, “so unless anyone can think of another way to keep them occupied, we have no choice.”

XOXOX

“I really have to stop volunteering for things,” Xander muttered to himself as he prepared to venture outside the back door.

Spooner was waiting at the front door with Joe, and would make a break for the shed to hotwire the Jeep the moment they were given the signal. Xander's part of the plan was to bait the werewolves to come to the back end of the cottage, where he would make enough of a nuisance of himself to keep them occupied while the other two got the Jeep and brought it to the front of the cottage. Xander would then make a run for it and join them in the Jeep before speeding away.

It wasn't an elegant plan by any means, nor was it foolproof, but it was all they had.

Megan was standing beside Xander, waiting to shut the back door behind him when he rushed outside. “You realise this is suicide,” she said again, being the only one who had not agreed to the plan.

“Megan, you know better than anyone that that there's life after dog breath,” Xander quipped softly, and when her head snapped round to him, he knew she'd gotten what he meant.

“You know?” she asked fearfully.

“Yeah, so do Cooper and the Sarge.” When he saw that she was beginning to back away from him, Xander tried to reassure her. “Being a werewolf doesn't automatically make you evil, Megan, it's your actions afterwards that do. All you've done so far is help us survive, and I know how hard it is to go against your pack...”

“How can you possibly know what it's like?” Megan snapped, although she did keep her voice down to prevent the others from hearing her.

“Ten years experience with the supernatural, not to mention I'm friends with a couple of werewolves, and that I was possessed by a hyena once, well, twice of you count that time in Zimbabwe...” Xander trailed off as he saw the look on Megan's face. “Let's just say you don't survive the things I've survived completely unscathed. You don't want to be like the others, and that's enough for me, and I know it'll be enough for the others as well. Now, I'm ready to go, so if you don't mind, could you open the door?”

Megan looked at him for a moment or two before she nodded her acquiescence and opened the door. Xander immediately rushed outside and ignited the flare he had with him, tossing it on the ground a few feet away to give him a modicum of light to work with, as wells as a means to attract the werewolves to his location. As well as the sword, Xander had both of his silver daggers on him as well, and just hoped that it would be sufficient to hold them off long enough for the others to get out. He soon began to find out, as the werewolves made their appearance and immediately came at him.

Xander, used to dealing with creatures faster and stronger than him, managed to evade the first wave of attacks, and drew first blood as he caught one of the werewolves with his sword, leaving a deep slash across its abdomen. He knew it would only slow it down for a few moments, and while he hated to do it, he was left with no choice but to press his advantage, so Xander pulled one of the daggers from his belt and stabbed the werewolf in the head with it, killing it instantly.

That enraged the other werewolves, and they immediately went all out against him, and Xander used his sword in a desperate struggle to keep them at bay, all the while knowing that he would have to dig deeper to survive the fight. He became like a whirling dervish, the blade of his sword nothing more than a blur in the red light of the flare, and his attackers found themselves unable to get close enough to do any damage to him. Xander knew he wouldn't be able to keep it up for long, and in fact could already feel himself tiring, and he hadn't heard the signal from the others that they'd been successful.

Knowing that he had little option, he decided to tap a little into the 'gift' he'd received in Zimbabwe, something he had yet to tell the others about. His eyes glowed amber for a moment, and then with a feral grin decided to go on the offensive. Xander dodged and weaved through the werewolves, managing to keep from getting caught by their claws by the smallest of margins, while his sword left its mark with numerous slashes across their bodies, although was not able to get close enough to use the daggers.

As always, the boost didn't last for long, and Xander once again began to feel that he wouldn't be able to go on much longer, which was proven when he was slashed across the chest, although not deep enough to cause major damage. It was still enough to slow him right down, and just as Xander was about to admit to himself that he wouldn't make it, there was a flash of light and the werewolves were no longer a problem for him as they were hit with a couple of tonnes of Jeep.

“What are you waiting for?! Get in the fucking car!” Spooner shouted from the driver's seat, and Xander immediately complied.

The Jeep sped away, the wheels spinning wildly on the gravel, and everyone kept at least one eye behind them as they watched for the werewolves to give chase. As Xander looked around the car, he noticed that Ryan wasn't among them. “Where's Ryan and Joe?” he asked Wells, who was seated beside him.

“Ryan started to change as we were leaving, and before we could do anything he broke his bonds and killed Joe,” the Sergeant replied, his tone grim.

Xander could guess why; not only had he had he had to witness another man under his command die, but what happened to Ryan would soon happen to him, and to Megan also.

“Megan, how are you doing?” Xander asked the woman, and he could tell from the look on her face that she understood what he was really asking.

“I'm okay at the moment, but there's a long time to wait before sunrise, and I doubt I can hold out that long, and I know that Sergeant Wells can't.”

“What are you two on about?” Spooner asked in confusion. When he saw that he was the only person confused by the cryptic conversation, that confusion soon turned to worry.

“Both the Sarge and Megan were attacked by werewolves, just like Captain Ryan,” Xander explained, making it sound like Megan's status was a new thing, “so there's a good chance they're both going to change before sunrise.”

“Don't take this the wrong way, Sarge, but how the hell are we going to deal with you and Megan when you change?” he asked as he risked taking his eyes off the road to look over at Wells.

“If there's no other option, Harris here will have to deal with us like he would anyone else,” Wells informed them all seriously, although he was looking at Xander when he said it. “As a stop gap, it might be wise if we can find some rope or something in here to tie Megan and myself up, but if it boils down to a choice between us and you, don't choose us.”

“But...”

“Sergeant Wells is right,” Megan said, cutting in, “if we become a danger to you, you've either got to throw us out or kill us. Believe me, I don't want to die,” she went on, “but nor do I want to be responsible for killing any of you, or worse, making you like me.”

“Alright,” Xander said eventually, “if it comes to it, and by that I mean if you're both drooling on me whilst trying to use me as a chew toy, I'll do what's necessary, but not a moment before, got it?”

“Hey, Harris,” Cooper said before either of them could reply, “your cross is glowing.”

Xander looked down and say that, indeed, the cross he wore around his neck was glowing. A smile began to form on his face as he realised what that meant. “Well, it's about damn time!” he exclaimed happily. “I've been trying to get in touch with them since we first met up with the Lon Chaney Fan Club!”

“Trying to get in touch with who?” Wells asked.

“The Watchers Council. Every Watcher is issued with an emergency communications device in case of, well, an emergency. It's the first time I've used it, although that's mainly because the other times I've needed to the people I would have called were already there with me, but they really should have replied before now; there must have been a level 5 emergency for them to have taken so long.”

“Level 5?”

“Yeah, otherwise known as an apocalypse,” Xander said absent-mindedly as he fingered the cross.

“An apocalypse?” Wells asked in shock. “Like the Bible End of Days apocalypse?”

“Yeah, they happen every now and then, normally during spring/summer,” a voice said from outside, which surprised everyone and caused Spooner to lose control of the Jeep for a moment.

“What the hell was that!?” Spooner shouted once he had control of the vehicle again.

“Wills, how many times do I have to tell you not to just appear like that? You could have at least given me a warning,” Xander sighed as he looked out the window to see Willow flying alongside the Jeep.

“Don't know, why don't you try again and see if we've reached that magic number,” she replied with a smile, although Xander could tell she was looking a little tired. “So what did you get yourself into this time, Xander?” she asked with a sigh, like a parent would say to an unruly child.

“Hey, technically this is Giles' fault, given that he was the one that volunteered me for this in the first place,” Xander replied defensively. “This was in no way, shape or form my fault,” he added firmly.

Willow looked like she wanted to argue the point, but knew he was right, at least this time. “Fine,” she sighed. “So, what happened?”

Just as Xander was about to explain, whilst he studiously ignored the others who were more than a little shocked to see a woman keeping up with a speeding Jeep without the aid of a vehicle, Wells suddenly screamed in pain and began to convulse.

“Shit, he's changing!” Cooper shouted as he and Xander tried to hold Wells down.

“Willow, we need to get out of here now, and he needs to be put in a holding unit!” Xander yelled to his friend as he and Joe tried their hardest to keep a hold of the thrashing man.

“Shit this hurts!” Wells screamed in agony, his voice already distorting as his vocal chords changed.

Willow quickly took stock of the situation, placed her hands on the Jeep and began to recite the incantation that would return them to Watcher HQ. A few seconds later, there was a flash of light and Willow, the Jeep, and everyone in it, were now inside a large stone room. A second after that, Willow and Sergeant Wells disappeared from sight, Xander and Cooper falling over due to his sudden disappearance.

“I think you can take your foot off the accelerator now, Spooner,” Cooper told him with a wry smile, “you're going nowhere fast.”

Spooner still had his foot firmly planted on the floor, and while the engine was still running, the wheels weren't turning. After a moment, Spooner did as he was told and let his foot off the accelerator, and then turned off the ignition.

“Okay, just where in the hell are we?” Megan asked once she regained the power of speech.

“Looks like we're in the Scottish Headquarters,” Xander told them as he sat back up, “which makes sense really when you think about it, given that we're in Scotland.” He got out of the Jeep, and indicated for the others to follow suit. When he saw their reluctance, he resisted the urge to roll his eyes and instead smiled at them. “It's alright,” he said reassuringly, “nothing is going to happen to you here. Oh, and you don't have to worry about going all wolfy here, Megan, as there are wards in place to prevent it.”

“Then how come the Sarge was still changing when we got here?” Cooper asked.

“I said it prevents the change, it doesn't reverse it,” Xander explained as he began to walk away, the others quickly following behind, “which is why he'll be spending the night in a holding cell. I'm afraid that there's still no cure lycantropy,” he went on as he turned his attention to Megan once more, “so you will both need to work out how you want to go from here, but we'll help you out as much as we can.”

“Where are you going?” Cooper asked as he realised that Xander had a specific destination in mind.

“You don't think I'm gonna just forget there's a pack of werewolves out there who willingly kill for food, do you?” Xander replied, his tone indicating that he was more than a little pissed at the moment. “I'm going to the Command Centre and prepare a team to go and slay them.”

“Is that really necessary?” Megan asked, as while she hated the way she was, she still had an attachment to the family.

“In this situation, yes, it is,” Xander told her firmly.

Megan considered arguing further, but knew it was pointless. Despite the good points about the family, they still killed humans for food, and enjoyed it. There was no argument she could ever make that would satisfy Xander, and if she were honest, there was no argument that would satisfy herself either.

As they entered a large room with display screens covering the far wall, one of the women in the room walked up to Xander and slapped him upside the head.

“And hello to you too, Dawn,” Xander greeted her as he rubbed his head.

“Don't you hello me, Xander Harris,” Dawn replied snappily, using the same tone of voice her mom always used to show her displeasure whilst she began to magically repair the damage he'd received during his fight with the werewolves. “What's this I hear about you going dogging in Scotland?”

“Xander was dogging?” a man squeaked from his position at one of the consoles. “Are there pictures?” he asked hopefully.

“No, Andrew, there aren't any pictures,” Xander said with a sigh, before he turned his attention to the youngest summers woman, “because I wasn't dogging.”

“Oh,” Andrew said dejectedly, before he brightened. “You know, if you ever decide to...” the young man trailed off as he saw the look he was receiving, and then to look intently at the screen in front of him.

“Anya always said you liked it...”

Dawn also trailed off when she saw the look Xander sent her way, and looked a little nervous as he leant in closer to her and whispered in her ear. “Now is not the time for our usual banter, Dawn,” he said in a carefully modulated tone, “because the people I'm with just lost two friends to werewolves, and another has been affected, so I would appreciate it if you dial it down a notch or two.”

Dawn looked suitable abashed, so Xander didn't press it; he couldn't really blame her for reacting the way she did, because they all did, because to them it was just another day at the office. To Cooper and the others, it was anything but that, despite the fact that they're soldiers, and he doubted that they would appreciate their brand of humour at the moment.

“Okay, Dawn,” he went on as he guided the young woman to the others, “I would like to introduce you to Megan, Cooper and Spoony, they're going to be with us for a day or two. Guys, Dawn here will set you all up with somewhere to get cleaned up.”

“But...”

“Cooper, there's nothing else you can do right now,” Xander said butting in before Cooper could say anything, “except get some rest. As soon as it's daybreak I'll come get you and take you the Sarge, and then we'll go from there alright?” When he saw Cooper was about argue further, Xander went on. “You've all gone through an ordeal, and you wouldn't be able to take anything else in if you tried. Get a few hours kip, and I promise you everything will be explained in the morning.”

With everything that Cooper knew of Xander these past few months, he knew that when he guaranteed something it got done, so he decided to trust him and nodded his acquiescence. He, Spooner and Megan then followed Dawn as she led the way to the living quarters, while Xander continued on into the command centre to set up the mission.

XOXOX

It was two days later, and the sun was just beginning to rise up from the horizon. Xander was currently stood on the roof of the castle, watching the dawn of another day and finally allowing himself to relax.

The family of werewolves were no more; a team of eight Slayers, coupled with Willow who wanted to have words with the thing that had given Xander his most recent scars across his chest, had stormed the area and, once they had found their targets, easily despatched the pack, unfortunately including Captain Ryan. Xander didn't find himself too cut up about that, given that he'd willing used him and Sergeant Wells' team as bait for his trap, which resulted in the loss of his entire team, Corporal Campbell, Joe, and also left Wells with life altering consequences.

Sergeant Wells, along with Cooper, Spooner and Megan, had been given a more in-depth briefing of what the Watchers Council did the following morning, including an explanation as to who Slayers are and the long term goals the reformed Council had set themselves when they had come to Britain from America. The news had been received with differing levels of shock and disbelief, although their experience the night before had gone a long way to convince them, and after they had one of the Slayers come in and give a brief demonstration of what they could do, they had no option but to accept what they'd been told as the truth.

They had then gotten in contact with the Army, first to explain the situation to them, and to also request that they investigate how Captain Ryan had been given the go-ahead to capture a werewolf in the first place. After speaking with the Army officials that had set up the exchange program, the squad were then given the option of being assigned to the Council for the remainder of their service, or longer if that was what they wanted.

To begin with, Sergeant Wells didn't feel he had much of a choice, given that the Council were the ones best equipped to deal with him for the three nights a month where he would need to be contained, and he knew that the Army wouldn't risk sending him out in the field for fear that he would become a risk to the other men. While Xander had done his best to assure him otherwise, even he could understand that Wells' options were limited if he wanted to keep doing the line of work that he loved, which was to be a professional soldier.

The other two soldiers had felt less pressured, as they didn't have the same lunar problems of Wells, but they were also loyal to him, not to mention that neither of them felt they could go back to normal service now that they knew what lurked in the shadows, so after some private discussion, the three had agreed to be assigned to the Watchers Council.

Megan, too, had decided to join the Council, as her skills as a zoologist, coupled with her first-hand experience of how a werewolf pack lived and interacted, could well prove useful. Xander could tell that she felt a lot of guilt over some of the things she had done during her time as part of the pack, although given the circumstances she couldn't be held fully accountable for them, and saw working for the Council as a way of atoning for what she did.

The person side of Xander wanted to assure Megan that she didn't really have anything to atone for, but the Watcher side of him, the side that knew they were severely lacking in qualified staff due the The First's systematic destruction of the old Council, knew that they needed her, and this time the Watcher side won.

Giles had arrive late yesterday and had spoken with everyone, and had apologised to Xander for what had happened, as the older man obviously considered himself to be at least partly to blame for what had happened. Xander had been quick to refute that, stating that it was Captain Ryan that was ultimately been responsible, as he had been the one to choose Wells' squad for the mission, although he did add that it would be a good idea to find out who had authorised it, just in case.

Despite Xander's protestations, Giles still felt guilty about the whole, so in a way to make up for it he had told Xander to take a few days off, and had offered him a small cottage he'd recently been left by a relative to use, which was situated on the small village of Summerisle. Xander had eventually agreed, admitting that he could do with a rest from the supernatural, and was mildly interested in the festival that would be taking place on the island during his time there, as it reminded him a little of Bonfire Night.

“It'll be nice to relax for a change,” Xander said to himself as he made his way inside, “and having a woman called Willow as the housekeeper must be a good omen.”

The End

The End

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