Empowerment & Field Trips
This story is taking on a monstrous life of it's own. I've got 40 pages of the rough draft, 35.5 of which are here and we haven't reached a definte ending yet. I expect another 40 plus pages will be incorporated into the next half and hopefully we'll reach a conclusion because I can't let this overtake my other WIP's... Even if I just love, love, LOOOOOOOOOOVE this story to death due to the simple nature of it. Simple does not equal stupid though, so I hope you'll enjoy this first chapter.Disclaimer: Buffy and all related characters belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy Productions. Doctor Grant, Jurassic Park and all related characters belong to Universal Studios, Micheal Crichton and Steven Spielberg. I don't make any claims otherwise, heck if I owned this franchise Jurassic Park IV wouldn't be in eternal limbo at this point in time.
Most of the survivors of the Jurassic Park incident had not seen Xander very often for the past four days; only Tim and Lex really got to see him as he tended to stay to himself. Until everyone was healthy enough the company had opted to keep them in Costa Rica as guests of John Hammond who had vanished back to San Diego with his nephew Peter Ludlow and the rest of the suits.
Doctor Grant and Doctor Sattler were far to busy rekindling their feelings for one another to care too much and Doctor Malcolm was so high on morphine half the time he hardly noticed when nobody came to visit him.
Muldoon was visited at least once, but until he was fully recovered it was pointless to get Catherine’s new body discussion started. For the past four days Xander had felt like hell, physically he was fine but spiritually was another matter entirely; cleansing a person of excess mystical energies really did a number on you. It got so bad that one night he hadn’t even noticed when Lex slipped into the guest bed beside him; she’d been suffering from really intense nightmares, to the point where Doctor Carter had prescribed a sedative, which the girl refused to take.
Tonight however was the night when the spell could at last be performed, the circle was drawn, the body was pure the vessel prepared at long last his choice had come. Catherine led him into the jungle in the pitch black of the night, animals made their nightly calls or went to sleep until the sun rose the next day. Insects moved about in cover of darkness, there were no demons in the immediate area. Despite their abundant nature most demons preferred to live in areas of heavier population, easier to get food that way.
“Won’t we need an Alpha for this?” he questioned.
“That would be difficult to arrange as well as impractical,” Catherine replied, “this spell has been modified occasionally by certain shamans devoid of access to an Alpha for whatever reason. Tonight we cast without the animal being present.” Having said this Xander took a step towards the circle and froze.
“How does this work with you inside of my head?”
“Simple, now stop dawdling we have to do this before midnight,” she stated impatiently.
“Ok, ok see here I’m stepping into the circle,” Xander said annoyed with Catherine’s persistent nagging. As soon as he was in the direct center he felt a fiery sensation in his stomach.
“Take off your clothes,” she instructed.
“All of them!” Xander’s head nodded in lieu of Catherine’s being absent and grumbling the teenager removed his clothes, most of them were the same ones he’d had all weekend newly washed. The shirt was a recently purchased and quite loud Hawaiian print Lex bought for him, he hadn’t wanted to accept any gifts, but as Catherine had pointed out it was impossible to say no to Lex. Her resolve face was worse than Willow’s with way more effectiveness because she wasn’t old enough yet, so the cutesy factor made it just impossible to resist. Except of course in matters of couple type things, no smoochies, no snuggling excessively and absolutely, positively no making out.
“Now to begin,” Catherine said taking over Xander’s body; she pulled out some inks and a brush from the backpack she’d instructed Xander to bring and began to paint her/his body using levitation to get the hard to reach spots. Circles, ovals, a long line down his spinal column and obvious tribal markings similar to what the Zoo keeper had done to himself back during the Hyena incident. Except these markings looked and felt different.
“This will be much more elaborate than his novice interpretation of the spell,” she/he informed, “the spell I will be casting is one of permanence; it can not be broken or undone unless you consent completely and are standing within this exact same circle I have drawn. This is done for two reasons, so that the Pack I give to you will not turn on you when they reach maturity and also so that your so called friends, especially the Slayer can not simply unmake your new gifts.” Explanations complete she began the spellwork in earnest closing his/her eyes and chanting slowly in Swahili, the spinal marking began to glow.
An hour crawled by at a snail’s pace each marking eventually lighting up with mystical energy. At the climax Catherine withdrew inwards deep behind the door which led back to her own body she’d erected in Xander’s mind and Xander returned, feeling the jungle all around him. He heard the very Earth itself whispering to him and then it ended all in a rush of heady energy. Fire burned through his skin and Xander howled up at the moon a guttural cry that echoed through the trees startling a nocturnal beast of some kind who fled unseen from the source of such a monstrous cry. Collapsing in a heap Xander lost consciousness.
“Pack, Mate, Breed, Hunger, Feed, Kill, Rend, Devour, Protect, Hunt, Live.”
“Wha-Who’s there?” Xander turned in the jungle surrounding him trying to see the person speaking; his eyes fell upon what he thought was a shadow of the person speaking. Before he could call out two Velociraptors charged lightning quick from the side stopping only inches from him and slowly circled.
“Prey,” the Raptor on the left said. It actually talked, though it’s mouth did not move as a humans’ instead it created strange almost birdlike sounds and yet Xander could understand them.
“Prey wishes to become Alpha,” the Raptor on the right said.
“Prey is worthy?” the Raptor from the jungle asked. Animals did not understand good or bad, concepts such as evil were unknown to them. Velociraptors knew family; they knew what it meant to be a predator and even what it meant to be prey. Xander had no idea what was happening so he chose to go along with the dream like vision he was experiencing, as the Raptors circled him he showed no fear. Human concepts were demonstrated through memories of his deeds. One image rose above the rest, it was Lex, Willow, Buffy and Oz; even Cordelia and Giles were present facing down a nameless enemy and Xander moved to protect them. As one they obeyed him, darting about as though they were Raptors themselves.
“Prey is worthy, Prey is Pack, Prey is Alpha,” all three stated as one and the Alpha emerged from the jungle slowly stalking up to Xander. Its eyes stared into his, he met her gaze unflinching and something incredible passed between them. Xander straightened his back threw back his head and imitated the call of the Raptor, his body contorted in pain and the vision of the Raptors slowly faded away.
“Prey is Predator,” the Alpha softly said as it wafted away on a distant breeze.
When Xander came to his entire head was one big ache, in fact he felt like someone had punched him in the jaw and broken all his teeth. Shakily climbing to his feet he looked around in wonder as the darkness slipped away, his night vision was almost better than his day vision, he could see everything.
He could hear better too, detecting subtle sounds no human ear had heard before, his stomach rumbled with a need to eat so he quickly got his clothes back on and started to head back to the Villa.
“Get rid of the circle,” Catherine ordered.
“Don’t we still need it?” he asked his mouth feeling weird as he talked.
“Not unless you want someone to take away those abilities.”
“I thought you said it would be permanent?” he reminded beginning to feel irritated.
“Everywhere except for when you are in that particular circle, weren’t you paying attention? Remember what can be given can also be taken away,” she said in a matter of fact tone. Annoyed and feeling an even greater hunger thanks to the delay Xander destroyed the mystical circle and then stalked off. It was only as he was reaching the Villa that he suddenly realized his gait felt less natural, he was taking longer steps and his entire upper body was bent forward; he also noticed something he should have earlier.
His skin had an odd pigmentation; his regular coloring was gone replaced with a strange mixture of grey and green hues with red markings in several places. Horrified Xander ran for the house grateful that everyone would be asleep by now.
“I can’t let them see me like this,
” he thought to himself. Xander had always planned to climb back in through the open window to his room, but as he saw it now a feeling came over him as though he should be able to reach the window without climbing. Subconsciously Xander bent his legs feeling new muscle mass coiling and with one leap he cleared the distance to the window sill, managing to grab it and pull himself in all in one fluid motion. “Holy Flying Frogs Batman,” he quipped. He had to see his reflection. Rushing from the guest room to the bathroom he shut and locked the door, turning on the light he turned to look in the mirror. What he saw staring back at him was not what he had come to expect.
“My God,” Catherine exclaimed. Xander’s skin wasn’t the only thing to change, his eyes had been mutated as well becoming a very inhuman shade and he resembled one of the Raptors, except his skin didn’t match any of the ones he had physically seen on the island. On top of that every one of his teeth had grown at least four inches longer and had sharpened to jagged points; he looked curiously enough like something off of Star Trek. At least where his teeth were concerned.
“What did you do to me!” he snapped growling low in his throat.
“Calm yourself Alexander, you wouldn’t want somebody to see you like this,” Catherine cautioned; Xander bared his teeth and hissed the sound that of one of them
“This didn’t happen last time,” he said a promise of pain in his tone if she didn’t start explaining.
“Alexander a Velociraptor is not a mammal, hell it isn’t even a reptile as we are used to. Traditionally these empowerment spells have always only been done with mammals because they are the closest to humans since we too are mammalian in nature.” Catherine paused in her explanation seeking the best words to help ease the young man into what she surmised had occurred. “If I were to guess, I’d say that in order for the spell to work correctly the magic made you more compatible, which led to these physical changes making you effectively a mutation on the genetic level.” Xander laughed and it wasn’t a pleasant sound.
“Mutation. Look at me!” he snapped. “I’m a goddamn carnivore.”
“How do you know that?” she demanded icily.
“Oh I don’t know, ya think it might be, the teeth!”
“That could purely be cosmetic,” Catherine said dismissively.
“I bet you it isn’t,” he said hissing once more.
“I see, and how do you intend to prove this theory?” Xander grinned darkly and turned off the light, stalking downstairs he tore open the fridge pulled out a carrot and a rib eye. Taking a bite of the carrot he felt a sense of nausea overtake him and he had to spit it out before he threw up. Despite his personal feelings on the matter he tore into the rib eye, in five seconds it and three more of them were gone while his face was stained with blood.
“Satisfied?” he demanded softly.
“This could present a problem,” Catherine said, “do you feel any, um, cannibalistic urges?”
“Of course not, but I do have a powerful urge to hunt and part of me wants to throw up at the moment,” he replied sarcastically.
“We’ll have to condition you to control those urges, use them at the proper time,” Catherine mused, “in the meantime we must cover up your changed physical appearance. Find something I can use as a focus,” she instructed.
“A focus for what?”
“A glamour, it will make others see you as you were rather than as you are, unless you wish to explain to the Slayer why you suddenly possess a demonesque appearance,” Catherine stated.
“Right.” Digging around in the kitchen he found pretty much nothing, it wasn’t until he dared to venture into John Hammond’s private office that he found a couple of blank Ingen name tags. “This do?”
“Perfect, it can be worn and disguised,” she said. Xander fell into the seat behind the desk while Catherine prepared to cast another spell; his eyes absently fell on a piece of paper jutting out of a pile of legal looking files. Absently studying it he barely noticed the words on the page, something about a low yield, Site B infirmary and Spino with the rest of the word erased by white out. The light snapped on startling him and he dove under the desk.
“Grandpa is that you?” Tim asked in a sleepy tone.
“Er, no Tim it’s me, I, uh couldn’t sleep,” Xander lied wiping off the blood still clinging to his chin with the paper towels he’d picked up earlier.
“Oh, what are you doing in Grandpa’s office?”
“Uh, hiding from Lex,” Xander said lamely.
“Oh, well ok, night Xander,” Tim said before shutting the light off and leaving.
“Was I ever that naïve at that age?” he asked himself climbing back out from under the desk. Catherine cast the spell quickly and the Ingen name tag flickered briefly with a mystical aura.
“Now pay attention, this is a glamour spell it is designed to give you the appearance you had before tonight. It will only affect your physical body appearance wise, your clothes will not be affected and should anyone attempt to look at your spiritual aura they will be able to tell you’re wearing the glamour,” Catherine explained. “This part is crucial, if a mystic powerful enough to see your aura casts a removal spell the glamour will be gone, should that happen they will of course be able to see you as you truly are. Oh and don’t let anybody touch your teeth, like a dentist for instance, they will be able to tell something is wrong quite obviously since this type of magic is for camouflage and concealment not physical metamorphosis.” Xander felt a cold chill creep down his spine and he plucked several more name tags from the desk while applying the first one.
“I think we should make backups, just in case,” he said nervously fingering the enspelled tag he was now wearing.
“Wise precaution, eventually though you will have to tell those closest to you; especially Lex.” Catherine started to cast the glamour again and again until all the tags were done.
“I’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” he said slipping the rest of the tags into his pocket.
“The longer you put it off the worse it will be,” she reminded casually. Xander growled and shoved the chair out of his way as he moved to leave the office.
“Now isn’t the time, wait until the damn nightmares stop before I introduce her to the slaying world.” He hissed slightly and stalked off intent on feeding once more, the earlier meal hadn’t been enough to slate his hunger.
“She is a vegan,” Catherine reminded, “I wonder how she’ll feel being forced to live as part of a Raptor pack? The very creatures who stalked her and coincidentally only eat meat.”
“Shut up!” Xander growled and Catherine mentally burst into laughter.
“Your Alpha abilities won’t affect me Alexander,” she said, “no use trying to force me to submit to you like some cow.”
“Animals have more than one mate, and they don’t care if the girl says no, I’m not going to… Pull a Hyena on anybody am I?” he asked suddenly afraid.
“I can’t be sure,” Catherine admitted, “Pack hunters behavioral patterns are well documented, but nobody really knows about the mating habits of extinct animals.” Xander sighed and dug out a slab of frozen beef from the freezer, shoving it into the microwave he hit defrost on high and waited.
“Buffy, Willow, Giles even Oz and Cordy are all classified as Pack up here,” he said tapping his temple, “Willow is off limits, Buffy is still damaged goods at the moment, but Cordy has a big fair game sign slapped to her forehead.” He tore the meat out of the microwave before it could start to partially cook and tore into it with his teeth. Two big bites and it was gone, Xander licked his lips satisfied and grinned ferally. “Better than pork.”
“What about Lex and Tim?” Catherine questioned curiously.
“Pack, but off limits until she matures enough to bear young,” he replied beginning to feel drowsy, “which by the way my new mental state seems to classify as sooner rather than later.” He sighed dejectedly.
“No way, I couldn’t do that to you.” He leaned forward onto the table and started to close his eyes, as he did he thought he felt a hand on his shoulder again and Catherine seemed to smile.
“If you ever do lose yourself to physical urges Alexander I will make sure the girl fully understands, also I may be able to prevent you from falling down that path.”
“Hmmmm?” Xander was almost asleep barely hearing Catherine.
“What you don’t know can’t hurt you,” she whispered in a playful tone, “go to sleep Alex tomorrow could be a busy day.” Xander grunted and was practically asleep when a stray thought struck him.
“What about Twinkies?” he blurted sitting straight up a look of absolute terror on his face.
Ellie Sattler found Xander asleep in the kitchen the next morning, an entire case of Twinkies lay scattered and crushed about the room and stray tear stains still clung to his face. A puddle of drool had pooled under his bottom lip and his clothes were covered in dirt, she also thought there could be blood stains, absently the young Paleobotanist wondered if he’d gone out vampire hunting last night.
Alan grumbled for coffee as he marched in while she was still cleaning the mess, he looked almost like a zombie and eyed the teen curiously, Ellie started the coffee maker and sat down in her pajamas next to Alan reaching out she clasped his hand.
“He’s too young to be fighting these monsters,” she mumbled softly.
“We’re not his parents Ellie and we can’t stop him even if we tried,” he said. “He’s got too much of a noble streak for his own good.”
“Do you think we’ll get back to the dig before the snow sets in?” Ellie asked as she moved to pour some coffee for the two of them, instant was disgusting, but serviceable in this case.
“I hope so, can you believe the suits? Honestly it’s like they’re afraid we’ll take the Park public,” he grumbled taking a sip of his coffee and grimacing, “wow that’s strong and terrible.” Xander’s nose twitched and a look of disgust fell across his sleeping face, growling in his sleep he rolled over and collapsed off the chair. Despite the hard fall he didn’t wake up and soon he was curled up in an ungodly position.
“How does he bend that way?” Tim asked walking into the kitchen with a stuffed Triceratops tucked under one arm.
“Anything’s possible when you sleep,” Alan replied with a slight smirk. “How can you sleep with that?”
“It’s only a toy,” Tim defended.
“Is your grandfather coming home today?” Ellie wondered hopefully.
“No, but that telegram from last night said mom was coming here,” he revealed. Xander sat bolt upright on the floor his eyes widened considerably and a look of petrified horror etched across his face as though he was a fine sculpture.
“Mom, what about dad?” he asked his voice almost a full pitch higher than usual.
“Mom has custody and dad waived visiting rights, said he could care less about some bratty kids,” Tim explained with a sad expression, “he used to take us to ballgames and everything. I don’t know why he changed so suddenly.” A growl escaped Xander from low in his throat and he leapt to his feet faster than Alan would have believed of a person.
“Mom’s ok, moms I can handle, I just hope Lex doesn’t do anything stupid like announce plans to get married or something,” he said and Ellie burst into a grin. “As for your dad, people change and sometimes they don’t always change for the better at least he was decent enough while he was there,” Xander stated coldly. Alan wondered what that was all about, but Xander burst into an impossibly wide yawn and shook his head to clear it. “Long night, gotta crash.” That said Xander promptly left the others in the kitchen and stumbled up the stairs.
“Is Lex going to be crushing on him forever?” Tim asked.
“Hard to say kid,” Alan replied taking another sip of his coffee despite the taste, “so what’s your mom like?”
Lex was nervous enough she could throw up, her mother was coming today and she’d take her into the study sit her down and tell her what she was feeling for Xander wasn’t real, it was just some silly crush. But that was a lie, the minute her eyes fell on him she knew Xander was the one; and Lex didn’t care if people did tell her she was too immature to know what she wanted.
Everything about this just felt so right, she knew she was too young to date Xander, it wasn’t like she wanted to be all serious with him, she just wanted him nearby. To rely upon as someone who could help protect her, cheer her up when she had a bad day and be there for her when she really needed him. So what if other people thought that was foolish or silly or unrealistic, who cares what they thought?
All Lex needed was her mother’s approval and for Xander to accept. She could just tell he was better than dad.
“I’m not being stubborn,” she told herself brushing the tangles out of her hair, “and I am not acting like a selfish brat. Well, not really.” If only there was some way she could grow up faster so she didn’t have to be so trapped by this stupid age thing. “It’s like Romeo and Juliet, and oh so romantic, I still can’t believe I lied to him about the jet thing.” Shaking her head she left her dressing table to pick out something suitable to wear for greeting her mother, Isabelle Murphy was a woman who always expected you to be on time and looking presentable, even if she couldn’t really see what you looked like.
A clap of thunder and the sudden roar of the T-Rex brought Xander awake with a jolt; before he was aware enough to know what he was doing he was crouched in a defensive stance teeth bared and a hiss escaping from his throat.
Standing in the doorway to his room was a woman with blonde hair dressed in a denim skirt and a sea green blouse, a pair of sunglasses rested on her face and her hair was tied back in a very tight bun, she had a puzzled expression on her face. Embarrassed, confused and partially wondering why the woman wasn’t wearing any shoes Xander quickly stood up as a normal person should.
“I, um, I can explain,” he said quick to defend and apologize for his actions.
“Explain, there’s nothing to explain,” the woman stated in a surprisingly soft tone. “Obviously you weren’t up yet, and I can see you’ve had a rough night as it were,” she said with a subtle hint of sarcasm in her tone.
“You can? I mean is it that obvious, what have I got like mondo bags under my eyes or something?” Xander wondered reaching up to feel them as if he could tell just by touching them.
“That I couldn’t say, so this is the older man my daughter is so taken with.” She entered the room completely and walked towards Xander almost like a predator in her own rights, she nearly tripped over his discarded shoes, but at the last second glided around them.
“That’s me alright, I mean, no Lex is, um, I don’t really have much say in how she feels.”
“Nonsense,” the woman snapped, “Lex is of the mind that you and she are destined to be, has her heart set on it and everything. Father seems to approve though I can’t understand why at times, but he always was one to play at matchmaker,” she muttered reaching up with both hands and grabbing Xander’s face. She began to trace his jaw with her fingers whispering to herself, confused Xander did not react at first.
“I wouldn’t know; I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with Mister Hammond.”
“Don’t talk yet,” she ordered moving her fingers over Xander’s nose and mouth, “and I wouldn’t worry, daddy will be in your life quite a bit from now on. He enjoys youth and those who know how to live life to the fullest.” Xander blinked wondering what this woman could possibly be doing. “You’ll do.”
“I’ll do what?” he asked dumbly.
“You’ll do as your told and treat my daughter respectfully until she gets over this crush, if she does, when I first met Frederic there was really nothing that could come between us,” she said with a wistful sigh. “If only I’d chosen more carefully, but you’re nothing like him. You have daddy’s facial features more than Freddy’s.”
“I have? I mean, is that what you were doing studying my face, are you a sculptor or something?”
“No, I just have a gift for faces,” she replied pulling the sunglasses off almost out of spite revealing milky white sightless eyes. “If you apologize I’ll slap you.”
“Xander Harris,” he said quickly recovering from almost saying something else.
“Isabelle Hammond, or Murphy, still not sure on which one I want to use,” she returned giving a name for her face at last. Xander took a deep breath and adopted a broad smile, which died seconds later when he realized it was a useless gesture.
“Pleasure to meet you ma’am,” he stated sounding stiff and formal.
“Just don’t make any cracks about the blindness,” she stated, “and we should get along just fine.”
“Wow, bitter much,” Xander said before he could stop himself, “er that came out wrong, I’ve had a wiggsome night and that little nap hasn’t really helped, bad dreams.” Isabelle laughed.
“I suppose almost getting eaten will do that to you,” she remarked. “Wiggsome?” she repeated with a smirk.
“Slang term, Buffy thought it up, I think. Maybe it was Willow it’s hard to remember a lot has happened since then,” Xander babbled.
“Hmmm, you’re a cute one aren’t you; just what Lex needs a smart ass.”
“Hey, I mean, uh.” Xander trailed off.
“Relax young man I was just teasing, you have no idea how good it feels to finally be free of my husband we just finalized the divorce,” she remarked grinning broadly.
“Probably not I suppose,” Xander agreed a hint of longing in his tone, but he was quick to cover it up with a fake smile of good cheer. “Well if the standard meet and greet is over I’m wiped, and no offense but I gotta crash before I burn.”
“Say no more before you assail me with any more turn of phrases,” Isabelle stated with a sigh. “Sleep well young man, if you’re going to be around my Lex you’ll need it.”
“Joy.” Rolling his eyes Xander tugged the blanket out from under the bed where it had fallen and crawled back into it with a big yawn.
“Teenagers, why must they insist on mangling the English language,” Isabelle muttered putting her sunglasses back on and leaving the room.
“I can see where Lex gets her mood swings,” Catherine remarked bemusedly.
“Whole family’s a little out of it if you ask me,” Xander grumbled.
Outside his room Isabelle smirked as she headed for Tim’s room, that little display would keep the young man on guard. She still couldn’t believe her own father approved of this relationship, despite it she had definite misgivings considering she’d fallen for an older man herself and look how well that turned out. Frederic had only been three years her senior though. It was a curse all women in her family seemed to have, drawn to more mature sometimes exciting men, her mother had been six years younger than her father, her cousin had fallen for that underhanded con artist and her niece was about to marry a man old enough to be her father.
She just wanted the best for Lex and she still didn’t know if this ‘Xander’ Harris was going to be that for her, still no reason to start worrying about matrimony or even any kind of serious relationship, Lex was still torn between growing up and playing with dolls… Or in her case playing on her computer.
“Mom!” Tim cried rushing up to her and pulling her into a hug. “I missed you so much,” he said almost too low to be heard.
“Oh Timmy,” she said smiling happily as she ruffled her youngest child’s hair.
“I’m sorry mom, I didn’t mean to almost die,” he apologized close to tears as he stared up at her with a look that she could only imagine of as being guilty or apologetic or some combination of both. Some days she cursed the accident that drove a wedge in her marital life and robbed her of the chance to watch both of her children grow up.
“It’s ok Timmy, it’s ok,” she whispered in his ear holding him tightly, “you know when you were electrocuted I had a vision.” She laughed trying to cover up the anguish that memory brought and Tim buried his face in her shoulder.
“I’ll never let it happen again, I promise,” he vowed starting to cry. Isabelle broke down and cried along with her son holding him tight to her breast.
“I know son, I know.”
Late in the afternoon the following day just as the group was finishing up lunch they all were surprised by an unexpected guest in the form of Robert Muldoon who had been discharged from the hospital on condition that he got plenty of bed rest and stayed off his feet. The hospital just didn’t have room for him any more.
Doctor Grant helped him into the study where they’d all been discussing their frustrations at being kept here until everyone was guaranteed not to talk, Xander was just happy that the night life of Sunnydale hadn’t been brought up in front of the kids or their mom, although he could do without the running commentary from Catherine who sounded bored.
“How’s Malcolm?” Ellie asked as Robert sat down in a large comfy looking recliner.
“Looking better, I think he’s just milking his injury for all its worth,” he replied with a shake of his head, “what’s been happening around here while I’ve been laid up?”
“Not much,” Alan replied, “I think we’re all going a little bit stir crazy being stuck here.”
“It’s definitely not fun anymore,” Tim agreed, “I can’t even read my dinosaur books because mom thinks I’ve had enough dinosaurs for now.”
“Hey don’t worry I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy them again in a couple of months,” Xander said trying to cheer the kid up. “Plus now you’ve got an autographed copy thanks to Doctor Grant.”
“What about Catty? Will Hammond help her,” Muldoon demanded. Xander squirmed nervously and offered a shrug.
“Don’t really know that one Rob ol’ boy, he’s been in San Diego since we got back,” he explained trying not to start using code words; he couldn’t believe he’d just called the guy ol’ boy. Definitely a few too many days cooped up in this house. “Personally I hope so, but after it’s done all of that technology and knowledge has got to go.”
“What, why?” Lex demanded.
“Exploitation, some people just can’t be trusted,” Grant said speaking for Xander.
“Right,” the teen agreed, “just look at the whole Nedry thing and what resulted from it.” He pointed out.
“What’s going to happen to the island?” Ellie asked thoughtfully.
“The Lysine contingency should see to the animals,” Muldoon replied, “as for the equipment I can’t see Ingen bothering to clean it up.”
“Lysine Contingency?” Xander repeated curiously.
“The animals were bred without the ability to produce the amino acid lysine, if they aren’t supplied with a constant source of lysine they slip into a coma and die,” Ellie explained. Xander sat bolt upright a look of fear and concern in his eyes.
“Pack,” he muttered, “Catherine?” he asked internally.
“Already in Sunnydale, your present self should be able to meet their needs,” she replied. Settling down with a sigh of relief Xander noticed the odd stares he was getting and blushed slightly.
“Sorry, I um kind of got into the Nursery when we were separated and the younger Raptors kinda bonded with me, I was just worried about’em. I mean they don’t have to die, do they?”
“Nothing has to die Xander, but in this case I think it would be better for everyone if the Dinosaur remained extinct,” Grant replied.
“That doesn’t seem fair,” Tim shouted, “I mean they didn’t ask to be cloned back to life.”
“Tim honey there’s really nothing we can do about it,” Isabelle said softly.
“But mom, you didn’t see
them, all those herbivores and awesome looking dinosaurs. We should, I don’t know, be responsible for them.”
“Tim do you have any idea what you’re saying?”
“Doctor Grant you saw them, Xander, Doctor Sattler, Lex?” the kid pleaded.
“Remember Tim about the breeding?” Xander asked cautiously.
“Breeding? The damn bitches actually started to breed?” Muldoon demanded.
“Robert, language,” Isabelle chastised.
“We found a nest and everything, remember Doctor Grant you said the frog DNA made the girls change into boys,” Tim explained.
“I remember, we were going to tell John but he had to run off.”
“Right, what about the breeding Xander?” Muldoon pried a look in his eyes that spoke about just how disturbed he was by this revelation.
“Doctor Grant said life found a way, quoting Doctor Malcolm, if the dinosaurs can do that. Breed I mean, then what’s to stop them from getting alternative sources of this lysine? Maybe they’ll actually manage to eek out a living on that island, kind of like a Lost World.”
“Really?” Tim asked hopefully.
“Man created life, your grandpa’s company played God, call me crazy but I bet they didn’t do it alone. Maybe a higher authority thought it was time to give dinosaurs a second chance,” Xander said thoughtfully.
“I didn’t figure you for the religious type,” Isabelle remarked. Xander smirked mischievously while Grant and Muldoon shared knowing looks
“You could say I experienced something that opened my eyes,” he returned. Lex grinned and squeezed his hand taking him by surprise; Xander shot her a wan smile and then turned back to the others. “Maybe we should do something before we, uh, get into a funk or start killing each other or something,” he suggested with a shrug.
“There isn’t much to do,” Ellie pointed out with a frustrated sigh, “we already played all the kid’s board games while you were sequestered in your room the past five days.”
“Yeah,” Lex chimed in disappointedly. “Even I’m sick of Monopoly.”
“That’s because I always win,” Tim bragged with a broad grin.
“Tim, nobody likes a sore winner,” Isabelle chastised her son.
“Man there has to be something else we can do, video games, a movie or something we can watch, a tour of the area maybe, hell I’d settle for karaoke if it meant getting out from under this roof,” Xander ranted leaping to his feet and starting to pace. “I’d rather be home where I can do
something, Buffy and Willow need me to help, I’d even be happy to see that socialite seeking bitch Cordelia again even if she did dump me.” Xander let out a growl and flopped onto a chair away from the others facing the window, he stared out into the nearby jungle with a snarl. “I can’t make a difference here,” he said a sense of helplessness in his tone; he hadn’t felt like this since the day he killed Jesse, or rather the demon with Jesse’s face.
“Ease up there lad, you’re like a caged beast trying to get out,” Muldoon said sympathetically.
“I’m sorry I took you from your home Xander,” Lex apologized on the verge of tears.
“That’s not what’s got me so riled up Lex, I’m glad I got to know all of you really I am it’s just…” he trailed off with another deep sigh. “My friends are in a real jam back home, Buffy; she kind of let this guy get her into, well trouble. He wanted, something he shouldn’t have taken and Buffy was so blind by her feelings for him she gave it.” Xander’s eyes narrowed and he clenched his free hand into a fist. “He hurt Pack, he hurt Buffy, he’s gone all stalkery and we had to ‘uninvite’ him from her house, but he’s big trouble. Worse than the Rex, because he kills for fun… Uh, I should be there to help them now that my job here is done before he pulls another Judge on us.”
“Judge?” Grant repeated confusedly.
“He bribed an official?” Ellie wondered.
“Not exactly, you know I kinda wish I’d gotten the chance to use that bazooka on him now, it would have been fun,” Xander remarked with a feral grin.
“Wow, I had no idea your life was so intense,” Tim said eyeing Xander in awe. “Is that why you said you’ve seen more blood back on the island?” Xander visibly recoiled at that; he’d forgotten about that offhand remark.
“Blood?” Isabelle repeated fearfully. “And what’s this about a bazooka?”
“Big mouth,” Lex hissed at her brother.
“Student massacre, uh, escaped lunatic kind of situation, it wasn’t pretty… Willow found the bodies,” he explained twisting the facts around to cover up the truth. “Bazooka, uh, oh right, well, um…” he trailed off unable to come up with a convincing lie for that one.
“Where do you live?” Isabelle questioned.
“Sunnydale, or as the locals prefer Sunnyhell,” Xander replied with a chuckle, “it’s just one big thing you know. Small town, middle of nowhere, stuff happens.”
“Not that kind of stuff and stop dodging the issue about the bazooka,” Isabelle stated vehemently.
“Sure, you hear about it all the time,” Grant spoke up clapping his hands together, “how about that karaoke?”
“All of you seem really jumpy the more we discuss Xander’s home town,” Isabelle commented shrewdly, “should I be worried?”
“Mom you’re getting nosy,” Lex complained trying to defend her would-be-boyfriend.
“Lex.” Isabelle glared at her daughter even with sightless eyes it proved to be an effective deterrent. “He’s talking about casually using a bazooka; no place on Earth requires the use of such a weapon by a minor.”
“Miss Murphy we’re not trying to hide anything and neither is Xander,” Ellie said, “not intentionally. It’s just there are some things about his home town that are better left unknown, for your children’s sake.” Her explanation didn’t seem to stop Isabelle from feeling uneasy, the woman slowly climbed to her feet and started to walk out of the room feeling as though her worst fears had been realized.
“Lex come with me.”
“Now!” Isabelle turned to Xander. “Maybe I was wrong about my assessment of you,” she said disappointedly.
“No, you’re not getting me with the guilt thing,” Xander snapped getting out of his chair, “sit down.” He growled loudly and his eyes shone with an inner light.
“Don’t tell me what to do,” she countered angrily fears of Frederic assailing her mind. He’d started to act this way too. “Lex, Tim come on.” Xander moved in a flash leaping the distance between himself and the doorway with ease blocking the woman from leaving.
“They stay, Pack protects Pack,” he snapped.
“Xander,” Catherine whispered in his ear cautioning.
“What! Oh… I, I wasn’t prepared for that to happen,” Xander said slowly coming back to himself. Muldoon was staring at him with a knowing look.
“Damn it Xander tell me you didn’t do something that stupid,” he said a hint of disapproval of his own in his tone.
“I had to, to help my friends, to protect Lex and Tim. I’m nothing without it, I’m the Zeppo, no super powers here,” Xander said defensively only serving to confuse the rest of them.
“What on Earth are you talking about?” Isabelle demanded frustratedly; one minute this boy was acting all cheerful and selfless the next he was turning into an Emo.
“He had Catherine cast a blasted empowerment spell on him, and if I know my magic it was a Primal spell,” Robert explained slapping his leg in frustration.
“Spell, Magic?” Isabelle repeated.
“Oh cool,” Tim said with a wicked grin.
“A Primal what?” Grant asked not really wanting to hear the answer but having a strange and sudden need to.
“Shamans cast empowerment spells quite often, allowing them to take on the traits of certain species of animals. Mostly they will use Alpha specimens,” Muldoon answered. “I can’t believe Catty let you do this,” he added with a shake of his head.
“I’m still unsure what you mean Muldoon,” Grant said, “why would these shamans want to cast such a spell?”
“Greed mostly or control, sometimes in rare instances it’s to defend against tribal enemies.”
“Xander, what animal did you choose?” Ellie asked a sickening pit suddenly opening up in her stomach.
“Velociraptor,” the teen replied dejectedly. Everyone stared at him horrified except for Muldoon and Isabelle who was completely out of the loop on this one, even the kids seemed a trifle confused.
“Dear God in heaven why?” Grant demanded getting out of his seat.
“I can protect everyone I care for this way that’s why!” he shouted. “It’s not like I didn’t know what I was getting into, the zookeeper back in Sunnydale tried this last year with a pack of Hyenas. I ate a baby pig. And I tried to rape my friend; it wasn’t my most shining moment. Raptors, they’re smarter than Hyenas, I mean I feel so much different this time. It’s not the animal in control, I am, I just jumped eight feet across the room. Oh sure I’ve got the urge to go hunt and maybe kill something for food, but that’s what predators do.” Xander felt pressure building up and suddenly he was crying. “They killed my best friend, they killed him and I had to stake the thing
using his face, Buffy didn’t even care enough to ask me how I felt the next day. Do you have any idea what it’s like to see the parents of your best friend break down into tears when their son doesn’t come home and you know why, but you can’t tell them because they’ll have you committed? I have to protect them, I have to, don’t you see I can’t go through that shit again. Never again!” Xander collapsed feeling over a year of pain and repressed grief fighting to escape, he couldn’t believe he’d just gone off like that, but it felt so much better just finally telling someone about Jesse.
“Xander,” Lex said reaching out with an urge to comfort him even though she barely understood what was happening.
“My God,” Ellie added. Grant actually looked upset almost as though he’d break down in tears too just seeing the pain this kid had to deal with.
“I wasn’t trying to judge ya boy,” Muldoon said shaking his head sadly. “Just wanted to get you to realize you were three seconds away from attacking Isabelle.”
“I get that, and I’m really sorry, I’ve got to… Hunt,” he said; the last word coming out in a snarl and his eyes hardening. Stalking out of the room he left them like that unable to face them anymore at the moment.
“Would someone please explain to me what he was going off about? Why are you all acting like this magic stuff is real?” Isabelle demanded not liking being out of the loop. Tim blinked.
“Did he say he ate a baby pig?” he asked blankly.
“Ewww gross,” Lex said, “but… He’s still Xander right?”
“Yes Lex, now let’s explain a few things,” Muldoon suggested with a deep sigh.
Xander returned two hours after sunset, his clothing was torn in several places, his hair was a tangled mess and he was covered in sweat, dirt and a little bit of blood. Dropping the dead puma on the ground outside the house he leapt through his window again unable to face anybody in the house just yet, as soon as he landed the bedroom light came on. Lex and her mother were sitting on the bed, the former longing to reach out to him with red rimmed eyes the latter looking for all the world years beyond her physical age.
Xander backed up nervously, he’d expected this, but expecting was not the same as being prepared.
“My daughter has a question for you,” Isabelle stated flatly betraying no hint of emotion.
“Xander, there was a lot we discussed after you left. I could barely believe it,” Lex said subdued. “You kind of implied you cast that spell to protect me, not so much in your words, but your eyes. They showed something there, I asked mom and she told me what it meant.” Lex paused a look of uncertain fear present in her eyes that quickly vanished, replaced with resolve. “Xander, what’s between us, what is it that you felt so strongly you went and got this spell cast for?” she asked. Xander’s face betrayed nothing, he stood perfectly still debating what to say, how to say it. He’d messed up big time with Cordy; he’d trampled Willow’s feelings for him in pursuit of the unattainable Buffy. He’d made so many mistakes in his life and not all of them were probably going to be recognized by him no matter how much soul searching he did.
“I was hurting big time when Cordy dumped me because all her rich snobby friends said I wasn’t good enough for her, I convinced.” He laughed tonelessly, another lie. “I blackmailed Catherine’s daughter Amy into casting a love spell so I could hurt her, but I was still too nice of a guy to go through with it. The spell made everybody in Sunnydale without a penis fell madly and deeply in love with me, but as a side effect when they couldn’t have me they turned psycho. Tried to kill Cordelia and me,” he paused in his explanation to let out a very long sigh, “Lex the spell didn’t do that to you. Catherine explained to me that it didn’t because there’s something bigger between us, something that ultimately you’re still not old enough to pursue just yet. But because of it we’ll still both want to hang out and stuff, so if you ever visited Sunnydale or moved there I wanted to be able to keep you safe, because when you are ready, I don’t know. Maybe there’s something good that can come of all this.”
“You believe in predestined relationships?” Isabelle questioned sensing her daughter was completely floored by that revelation.
“It’s the only thing I can believe in, prophecies about people fated to die, go to the dark side or whatever. I don’t believe they’re set in stone, no way,” he replied. “But relationship things, I gotta believe something otherwise… Well the alternative is something I don’t like to think about. Ever.”
“This is a lot to take in, and unexpected,” Isabelle said.
“I think it’s so romantic,” Lex said with a goofy grin, “oh Xander, “she exclaimed rushing over to him and giving him a great big hug.
“Er, right, man talk about deep,” he muttered feeling emotionally exhausted.
“When we get you back to this Sunnydale young man I insist on meeting these friends of yours,” Isabelle stated in a tone which brooked no argument.
“Yes ma’am,” Xander said.
“Muldoon said there could be side effects to this spell,” Lex said nervously. Xander nodded slightly and pulled away from her.
“I’ll show you, but only you right now.” He reached to the disguised name tag and prepared to take it off. “Brace yourself, I don’t know if you’re going to like it,” he said nervously before he removed the tag and eliminated the glamour. Lex let out a startled gasp and stared trembling slightly as nightmares of the kitchen came back to her, but this was Xander, her Xander. He smiled a little and rubbed the back of his neck apprehensively.
“What is it honey?” Isabelle asked mentally cursing her lost sight for the umpteenth time.
“It’s ok mom, it’s just his skin, he’s got so many colors. They didn’t look like that,” she said approaching him and touching his arm. It still felt like his arm, even the hair was there, she hadn’t wanted to tell her mom about the eyes though or the teeth.
“Yeah I know, Catherine couldn’t explain that part either,” he said with a shrug, “she did say I changed because dinosaurs aren’t mammals though. Hence the whole skin like a chameleon deal or whatever,” he added with a chuckle.
“Well, you do look kind of sexy,” Lex said teasingly.
“Lex you will not use that word in my presence,” Isabelle ordered, “at least not until you’re older.”
“Sorry mom,” she returned giggling under her breath.
“We’ll let you get cleaned up and then you can join us for dinner,” Isabelle offered with a brief smile. Taking Lex by the hand she led her out and Xander sighed as he headed for the bathroom glamour firmly back in place.
“You should have mentioned your current eating habits,” Catherine teased.
“Shut up Catty,” Xander grumbled before turning on the hot water.
Unable to eat in front of the others Xander sat at the table, the meal was mostly had in silence; Tim looked like he wanted to ask a zillion and one questions but managed to keep his mouth shut. Grant and Ellie spoke quietly to themselves about the dig while Isabelle, Lex and Robert remained subdued.
Finally able to contain himself no longer Xander started to get to his feet.
“Xander you haven’t touched your meal,” Ellie said, “Isabelle and I spent hours making it… Well mostly Isabelle,” she added with a slight smile.
“Uh… well yes I can see you put a lot of care into it, and it looks delicious, but… Um,” Xander trailed off searching for an excuse. Sighing dejectedly he picked up his fork and took a bite of the cooked meat thinking it would be ok, he was wrong, with a sudden roar that scared him half to death at its ferocity he charged the fridge. In the next instant he gave new meaning to the term feeding frenzy.
“I just lost my appetite,” Ellie said with a moan.
“Ten bucks Grant,” Robert said with a laugh, “told you he’d be changed.” Grumbling Grant pulled out his wallet and passed Muldoon a ten.
“Bad Xander,” Lex said bopping him in the head with her baseball cap. Snapping out of his stupor Xander turned around wiping his face clean before looking at the group.
“Sorry,” he apologized his cheeks flushed with embarrassment, “I thought half a puma would tide me over until you all fell asleep. I never wanted anybody to see that, it’s… not natural.”
“Nonsense, it’s perfectly natural for a carnivore kid,” Muldoon stated flatly, “when choosing a Primal that’s why most people go for predators. Their quite a powerful lot, downside is they require a lot of raw meat to appease their appetites. I’m just grateful you didn’t pick the Rex.”
“Raptors are more my size, I’d hate to be nine feet tall or something.” Xander blinked and took a long cool drink of water. “You had a bet on me?” he demanded.
“Well I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me up,” Muldoon informed smugly.
“Can we not discuss this at the dinner table?” Isabelle requested grateful she hadn’t been able to see the earlier display of carnivorous feasting; losing your sight could be both a blessing and a curse.
“So Xander how strong do you think you are now?” Tim blurted.
“Haven’t got a clue, I feel fast, in fact I was running pretty hard this afternoon. Must have been upwards of fifty miles an hour, but strength… I just don’t know.”
“Wicked cool,” Tim cheered shooting him a thumbs up.
“I don’t like the sound of that, you will not case a spell on yourself Tim Murphy,” Isabelle ordered.
“Awww mom I wasn’t going to do that,” Tim whined, “Lex would never forgive me if I started eating like that.”
“That explains all the Twinkies yesterday morning.” Ellie at last dared to speak feeling she could keep her food down.
“Twinkies?” Isabelle repeated in confusion.
“Well that’s the price you gotta pay when you’re willing to risk everything to protect the people you care for,” Xander said with a mournful sigh, “I’m going to miss those golden cream filled pastries of ecstatic delight.”
“Teenagers, they get fixated on the strangest things,” Isabelle commented with a shake of her head.
“I’m just, ah, going to finish this outside,” Xander said pulling out the half eaten leg of lamb from the fridge.
“Wait for me,” Lex insisted rushing after him.
“Oh dear,” Isabelle said with a frown.
“She has definitely got it bad,” Grant stated with a smile.
“Got what bad?” Tim asked naively.
“I’ll explain it when you’re older,” Isabelle stated finitely.
“Awwww geeze, I never get to hear about any of the good stuff.”
“Who’s going to tell John?” Ellie asked nervously.
“Must we reveal everything about the boy?” Robert demanded frustratedly. “It was bad enough we forced him into telling us the way we did, and I take all the blame for that, but you didn’t help any forcing him to eat with us,” he added eyeing Ellie poignantly. The woman frowned at the accusation and shook her head.
“I just thought he could use the company, he’s been distancing himself from all of us the past five days. Now we know what he was up to, but it can’t be healthy for him. He hasn’t even talked to any of us about the incident at the Park.”
“Yes, but that’s because he needs to be somewhere else,” Robert stated. “He can’t continue to stay here knowing his friends are still fighting those things, I have a feeling he doesn’t worry about the past as much as he does the present.”
“Why, what made them decide to do that kind of thing?” Grant wondered concerned about someone he had barely known up until a few days ago.
“No one ever really has a choice mate, I’ve known about them my whole life, I don’t actively hunt them mind you like some. Even a grown man ain’t much compared to one of those blood sucking leeches, but that doesn’t mean I turn my back on one if I do come across it,” Muldoon replied.
“If that’s the case why haven’t they overrun us by now?” Isabelle demanded. “The way you talk they must outnumber us ten to one.”
“There’s this legend I remember Catty mentioning once, about a girl chosen by destiny or some such rot to fight them. They call her the Slayer.”
“A girl? How old of a girl?”
“Varies, some say as young as nine others at least fifteen, rumor has it she doesn’t last too long. One dies and another is called.”
“My God, Lex could be chosen,” Isabelle said with a sense of possessiveness.
“That’s not pretty likely, I’m not sure how they get chosen but I do recall something about this society of Brits, call themselves Watchers or Gatherers. Seems they know how the girl gets chosen, keep tabs on the entire global populace and they raise potential Slayers themselves, take’em away from their families and every thing.”
“That’s barbaric,” Grant said.
“It’s fucking disgusting,” Ellie swore.
“Somebody should do something about these Gatherers,” Isabelle declared enraged at the thought of young girls practically being kidnapped by these creatures; she refused to call them men.
“You can’t,” an unfamiliar voice said. The group turned to the doorway and saw a shining figure; it dissolved to reveal Catherine Madison hovering in an ethereal body. “That world isn’t meant for you, and Xander and his friends are already destined to force a change of the status quo as far as the Slayer and the Watchers are concerned.”
“Catty, how?” Catherine interrupted her brother with a knowing smile.
“I finally have enough power again to project myself astrally, the farther I remain from the Hellmouth the faster my power returns to me,” she explained.
“How do you know so much about what’s going to happen to them?” Grant wondered suspiciously.
“Time has no hold on a spirit trapped in limbo Doctor Grant,” she replied softly.
“I don’t get it.”
“It doesn’t matter it’s not important, Robert write these ingredients down,” she instructed and proceeded to rattle off a list of the strangest things any of them had ever heard of.
“Teleportation spell, you aiming to send the kid home in secret?” he asked.
“I have no choice in the matter Robert, I never wanted to mention this but I kind of displaced him from Sunnydale temporally speaking, the longer he stays out of time the greater the risk of temporal entropic cascade failure.”
“Huh,” Grant muttered.
“Two Xander’s can’t occupy the same space and time,” Tim explained, “what I watch science fiction too ya know,” he defended at the stares the adults were giving him.
“How’d you pull off time travel in the first place?” Ellie asked.
“Bermuda Triangle,” Catherine replied as if that should explain everything. “Get those ingredients tomorrow Doctor Grant, you can find them at the local Voodoo and Occult Store.”
“Ok I’m going to go out on a limb and say the less we know the better off we’ll be,” Grant deiced.
“Least that explains why his pain at being dumped by that girl is still so raw,” Robert commented.
The following afternoon Xander walked into the living room to find all of his new friends and acquaintances gathered around a mystical circle drawn on the floor, afraid that Isabelle had spilled the beans he approached the group warily. When Catherine materialized directly across from him in an astral body he almost lost it.
“Trying to give me a heart attack!” he shouted angrily.
“Of course not, you are far too jumpy Alex,” she returned with a sly smile.
“What’s the deal here?”
“You’ve done everything I’ve asked of you Alex, you gave me back my brother and changed the lives of so many good people because of it. It’s time for me to put up my end of the bargain, what Ingen doesn’t know can’t hurt them.” Catherine winked and indicated the circle. Xander was at a loss for anything to say, he eyed a smiling Doctor Grant, a teary Lex, a grinning Tim and the faces of everybody else who almost looked as though they didn’t want to see him go yet knew he had to.
“Ok now I know there’s a catch,” he said with a smirk.
“Pull that again and you’ll be missing a pinky when you get back,” Catherine threatened with a chuckle.
“Won’t this cause problems with the suits?” he wondered. “What am I saying, I live to cause problems for suits, no really it’s true you should see my principal, he’s a disgusting little troll… Oh I can’t wait to get home and show off the new me.” Eyeing the others his expression softened and he resisted the urge to start crying, he hated long good byes.
“Take care kid, we’ll see ya around,” Grant said.
“Don’t eat any more baby pigs, please,” Lex requested trying not to break down; she smiled with false cheer and hugged him tight.
“Don’t listen to her,” Tim cut in sticking out his tongue, “you eat whatever you want.”
“You know I just realized you guys kind of took all of that, um, well better than I thought you would,” Xander remarked nervously. “Should I be worried of a relapse or something?”
“Nonsense, personally I chalk it up to one too many shocks the past week and a half, people tend to roll with it after a while young man,” Muldoon said slapping Xander across the back.
“I think we just got to know the real you so well we accepted it as one of your character flaws to go jumping in half cocked,” Ellie added giving Xander a hug.
“Doctor Sattler you just made my day,” he quipped with a playful semi-lecherous stare.
“You will behave on this Hellmouth, I do not wish to deal with a broken hearted daughter,” Isabelle stated in a motherly tone.
“Define behave,” he returned receiving a pinched ear for his trouble, “ow, ow, ow alright, alright, man. Can’t take a joke?”
“Remember when you get back to get me out of that damned trophy case, if Snyder makes Jonathan polish me one more time as part of his detention I’m going to hex the son of a bitch worse than those prissy teenagers,” Catherine said with a look of pure disgust.
“Is Jonathan that bad?” Xander couldn’t help asking.
“No, it’s, um, well how would you feel being polished eighty times in three months?” she demanded.
“I wouldn’t know I’m not trapped in a cheerleading trophy… Huh, wait you actually feel stuff in that form?”
“Feel and see, but cursed never to speak, my own fault for letting life get the better of me as well as a few bratty teenagers,” Catherine said with a sigh and a playful wink shot in Xander’s direction, “now get in the circle already before anybody else shows up,” she snapped.
“Check and double check, God it’s like an older sister or something with you,” Xander complained as he stepped into the circle. Having already cast the spell before he entered the room Catherine knew he would vanish as soon as he did, no fanfare, no grand mystical display. One minute he was there the next he was gone zipping back to Sunnydale on the mystical equivalent of the red eye express. Before Lex could run off to cry in private Catherine shot her a broad smile.
“Lex sweetie, get the door,” she instructed just as the doorbell rang. Confused Lex went to answer it and squealed in delight her outburst loud enough to almost be ear shattering.
“What on Earth,” Isabelle remarked. Lex came running back into the room a big smile on her face, following her was Xander dressed in a loud Hawaiian shirt, faded black jeans and a hat similar to Doctor Grants.
“Gone not more for two seconds and she’s making with the waterworks already,” he quipped with a goofy grin, “Doc, took your advice.”
“I, I don’t understand,” Isabelle said clearly confused.
“Time travel will do that to ya,” Xander said with a laugh.
“Where is she?” Catherine demanded expectantly; Xander held up a cage with a rat in it.
“I had a hell of a time not eating her,” he said rolling his eyes, “she was really thrown for a loop when those morons tried to burn her at the stake and then that spell of hers backfired the way it did. I blame Giles’ death for the creep that made with the Hansel and Gretel routine showing up when we were supposed to get the summer off,” he added with a growl. He put the cage down and removed the rat from within holding it tightly in his hand so it couldn’t scurry away.
“Doctor Grant, Tim kindly leave the room for a moment if you please, Lex fetch some clothes out of Xander’s smaller suitcase my dear,” Catherine requested.
“What, why do we have to leave?” Tim asked in a whiny tone.
“Come on Tim now’s not the time to argue with the incorporeal witch,” Alan told the boy leading him out of the room.
“I don’t understand,” Ellie began turning to Catherine, “what’s with the rat and why did half the men have to leave?”
“Probably because I changed my niece’s diapers when she was a baby and Catty doesn’t want me to strain myself by having to get up in my condition,” Robert replied with a serious glare aimed at the squirming rat in Xander’s hand.
“Goddess of creatures great and small, I conjure thee to withdraw. Hecate, I hereby license thee to depart,” Catherine incanted and instantly the rat in Xander’s hand was a fully grown seventeen year old girl, a completely naked fully grown seventeen year old girl with her arm trapped in Xander’s hand.
“Mother,” the girl screamed in rage and frustration, “Xander you pervert,” she added yanking her arm free and slapping him across the face while covering her breasts and private area with what she had on hand, namely her arms.
“You haven’t got anything I haven’t seen before Amy,” he returned smirking mischievously.
“Since when?” she demanded, which was of course when Lex showed up with some clothes in her arms.
“Hey, Xander why are you looking at her when you have me?” she demanded angrily.
“I’m not,” he returned with a sigh, “and since Willow tried to turn you back to normal and it worked for like all of two seconds,” he replied taking the shirt from Lex and passing it to Amy.
“I…I remember that, God Xander you are a perv,” she accused ignoring the shirt in favor of the bra still clutched in Lex’s hands.
“Don’t be a stupid child,” Catherine stated sternly, Amy froze and turned to face her mother realizing that it was
her mother, a look of fear crept into her eyes.
“M-M-Mom,” she stammered, “please don’t take my body again. I would have gotten the trophy out of the case, but I didn’t think I could free you. I didn’t mean to start playing with magic, I didn’t mean to get dad in trouble either, the spell, it…you’re going to kill me aren’t you?”
“Of course not you brainless little fool,” Catherine hissed, “don’t you feel better now?” she wondered.
“My sentiments exactly,” Isabelle remarked.
“I’ll explain it to you later,” Xander promised, “right now I think it’s time we left the family to, uh, make amends.” Leading Lex out of the room he shot her a brief look. “Um, Lex just because we’re, meant to be it doesn’t mean we can’t, see people our own age, like… Well I am a teenage guy and we tend to be driven by hormones, especially Primals.”
“You had sex with somebody didn’t you,” she accused.
“I didn’t mean to, it just kind of, happened,” he returned with a dejected look in his eyes.
“It’s ok, I forgive you, but you are going to be my first.” Lex patted his arm and followed him to the kitchen.
“Lex,” her mother chastised form behind them.
“Mother,” she whined.
“I’m cursed,” Xander muttered under his breath.
“Xander how did you get back here so quickly and why?” Doctor Grant wondered once everybody or almost everybody had gathered in the kitchen.
“Well ya know Doc there’s this little thing called a plane and.”
“Without the sarcasm please,” Grant requested, Xander shrugged and took off his hat putting it down on the table.
“Ok, to make a long story short I missed all of you, that plus I didn’t want any of you to get in trouble with the Ingen creeps when I just up and disappeared.” Xander grinned.
“But you only just left,” Ellie pointed out.
“From your perspective maybe, but I went back to the month Amy, that’s Catherine’s daughter by the way, cast the love spell on me. February in case you were wondering,” Xander reminded. “Let me tell you it was not easy, I don’t know how many times I wanted to give Mister Hammond a call to warn him about that jerk Nedry, or contact one of you and stuff. Thankfully I had enough problems to occupy my time with,” he said falling into a chair with a tired sigh. Lex sat down next to him and gave him another hug; she frowned slightly when she pulled away.
“You feel different,” she observed with a slight frown.
“Course I do, I’ve had seven months of chowing down to gain some weight kiddo, and maybe you should, uh, stop with the touchy feely stuff,” he suggested nervously.
“Only in public, which we never did anyway,” Lex declared hugging him yet again and nuzzling her cheek against his chest, “You’re just so cuddly.” Her tone was teasing, but Xander didn’t smile, he couldn’t at the moment feel too happy. Buffy was still missing after the blowup they’d had over Giles’ death on top of the problems she’d had with her mother when the slaying became public knowledge at Casa de Summers. And also they’d lost a good woman in Jenny Calendar, then there was the whole Zabuto mess, if it wasn’t for the fact that Kendra and Willow could take care of the Hellmouth for the next few weeks before Vamp season started up again in earnest he wouldn’t have left at all even with Amy a rat and Catherine still a trophy.
“What happened all this time?” Ellie wondered curiously.
“I guess I can tell you part of it,” Xander said grateful that Lex was still next to him because for some reason it made him feel both stronger and less upset over the past seven months’ events, “but first how about something to eat I’m ravenous.” Ellie smiled nervously at his broad smile half expecting to see fangs glistening back at her and Alan laughed.
“Teenagers,” he said, “you know we could use some more assistants back at the dig. Why not join us there? Provided we get out of this place in the next few days,” he offered.
“Sure why not,” Xander accepted, “I could use something to take my mind off the total insanity which has become my life.”
As it turned out the wait was in fact over for the imposed upon exiled group, stories had been told, Ingen had declared Chapter Eleven to escape the Investors and the creditors all while John Hammond remained in power, despite a coup attempted by his nephew. Malcolm got to stay in the hospital for another couple of weeks since unlike Muldoon he hadn’t had a mystical blood transfusion, the Chaotician didn’t seem to mind saying goodbye to the group, especially with a fiery young red head by the name of Sarah Harding to spend time with.
“As I told Doctor Grant I’m always on the lookout for a future ex Missus Malcolm,” he had told Xander with a conspiratorial wink.
Lex, Tim and Isabelle bid a fond and reluctant farewell to the three of them as they would be returning to San Diego to be with grandpa, so a few days later Xander found himself in the arid badlands of Montana with Doctor Alan Grant and Doctor Ellie Sattler digging up dinosaur bones. Velociraptors to be exact.
“They sure don’t look like them,” Xander commented holding up a Raptor skull and scrutinizing it thoughtfully.
“How can you tell?” Alan asked.
“Well I guess I should say they don’t look exactly like them, see here there’s something off about the brow,” Xander explained indicating the area in question.
“You know I think you’re right, probably a mutation caused during the cloning process changed them,” he said, “what do you think Ellie?”
“I think I picked the wrong line of work,” she said with a sigh.
“Doctor Grant, Doctor Sattler we’re ready to try again,” an assistant called to the group from outside the specimen trailer. Ellie and Alan shared a look breaking into a pair of broad grins and Alan squeezed Ellie’s hand.
“Should I be asking?” Xander said.
“It’s not important,” Ellie replied leading the way out of the trailer. Xander followed them over to an area where a lot of special equipment seemed to be, a big funny looking device with two wheels sat off to the side with a pair of operators ready to turn it on or whatever.
“What exactly is all this?” he asked curiously. Without warning the device let off a really loud and deep rumbling sound, Xander almost screamed as he covered his ears, the pain was unbearable yet he appeared to be the only one affected. “What did you say?” he shouted turning to Ellie who was looking at him with some concern.
“I id are you ight,” Ellie repeated closer to his ear.
“Getting better, damn I didn’t realize I had such sensitive ears now. The loudest thing I had to deal with in Sunnydale was the occasional fire drill,” he remarked his hearing clearing up relatively quickly compared to an ordinary persons.
“Oh, I… Well anyway this thing sends a type of probe into the ground which emits a signal bouncing the image of whatever’s underneath there back to this monitor here.” Xander smiled and turned to the screen.
“Sounds neat.” Ellie nodded and studied the image as it began to flicker into focus.
“This isn’t a Velociraptor,” Grant remarked, “Ellie take a look at this,” he insisted. Stepping closer Ellie studied the image even more carefully than before; she broke into an impossibly wide grin.
“Oh my God Alan you’re right, look I think we found a nest,” she exclaimed leaning in to give Grant a kiss.
“A nest?” Xander repeated while everyone else burst into cheers.
“What we’ve been waiting a long time to find,” Grant explained, “we’ve found a fairly large number of intact Raptor skeletons all over this place. We were hoping this might have been a nesting ground, and it looks like we were right.” Grant was smiling broadly and he spun Ellie around in his arms before hugging her. “Break out the tools, let’s excavate this one as soon as possible!” he shouted to the gathered assistants. As one the group began moving away to do just that, Xander stared at the image of the fossilized nest intently a strange longing filling his eyes. The Primal inside of him wanted to mate, it wanted to have young, but Lex wasn’t old enough yet for that and what happened with Kendra was a one time only thing brought on by the heat of the moment during the hunt.
“Hmmmm, well there are always other women to have children with,” he said to himself thoughtfully.
“Don’t even think about it Xander Harris,” Catherine snapped causing him to nearly jump out of his skin.
“I thought you were with Robert and that Doctor Wu guy?” he grumbled crossing his arms.
“I am, I’ll have a body again soon thanks to you, but I couldn’t help hearing your thoughts just now. Alex you can’t have children with some strange woman, you couldn’t possibly explain your condition. Also you may be incompatible with regular women now,” Catherine explained.
“You mean someone else would have to have this spell cast on them too?” Xander demanded not liking the sound of that.
“But, then how can I enjoy a reasonably normal life with Lex?” Catherine sighed a sudden sense of doom filling his heart. “No, no way I can’t ask that of her,” he said with a growl.
“You no longer have the luxury of that choice, it will be up to her when the time comes,” she told him in a tone that implied Xander would not be allowed to influence this choice at all. “Either Lex chooses the path or she does not, as it stands the only hope you’d have of mating with anyone right now would be one of your Pack,” she stated.
“Damn,” he said with a soft sigh, “and can I just say ewwww gross. Bestiality is so not my thing; I already have enough problems with them demanding to know when I’ll choose a mate to be the Beta.”
“Yo, kid come give me a hand with this will you,” an assistant called out breaking Xander from his thoughts.
“What? Oh sure, coming,” he called back tugging his hat down to cover up the fact he’d started to tear up a little at the thought of Lex becoming exactly like him.
Late, late in the night Xander woke up to the sound of the phone ringing from his suitcase, reaching clumsily for it he pushed past Rina who was on his left and promptly dropped the phone causing it to fall open.
“Hmmmm, wha?” he mumbled sleepily.
“Xander, Xander is that you?” Willow’s familiar voice asked on the other end. “Where are you, you sound like you’re in a tunnel and this reception sucks, I had to enhance it with a spell I found.”
“Yeah, yeah it’s me, God Willow I’m in the nest where else would I be, what time is it?”
“Three o’clock, at least where you are,” she replied sounding somewhat nervous.
“Is it Buffy?”
“No, Kendra says a team showed up looking for Zabuto, she said she hadn’t seen him since June and had simply figured he’d gotten killed.” Willow explained, “Xander she feels so terrible for lying to the Watchers, I had to give her a sedative to stop her from going right back and blabbing the truth, what the hell did you do to her?” Xander curled his lip baring his teeth.
“They’re sending another Watcher,” he said with a hiss.
“Pretty much, Kendra made them think Buffy was just visiting her father again,” Willow whispered, “seriously Xander what did you do to her?”
“Uh, well, we were hunting vamp nests and things kind of happened… So not my fault Willow so don’t blame me ok, you know how Buffy sometimes gets when she’s been out slaying,” he stammered.
“Oh Xander, no wonder you were her first you know,” Willow said softly.
“She was mine too Wills,” he reminded, “ah Willow why are you whispering?” he asked stifling a sudden yawn.
“Oh, uh, right,” she said lamely, “Xander how are your, um, you know?” Xander smiled and looked down at the three juveniles curled up almost like cats all around him.
“Sleeping like babies, or I should say teenagers, they wouldn’t wake up if a bomb went off… Maybe, thanks a lot for sending them with that teleportation spell; you’re coming along pretty good with the training.”
“Catherine’s a great teacher, even if she is all incorporeal and stuff,” Willow returned with a proud smile, “are you sure they won’t, um, eat you?” she asked nervously.
“They know their place Wills, if I have to do anything to remind them I’ll deal with that when and if the time comes,” he replied a hint of sadness creeping into his tone. He didn’t want to have to kill one of them just to make the other two behave.
“W-Well ok, good night Xander don’t let the Velociraptors bite,” Willow returned with a light giggle. Xander chuckled.
“Night Wills,” he said and hung up; yawning widely he settled back down to sleep resting his head on Glenna’s flank. Willow worried too much, ever since becoming the Primal Xander’s fears of Raptors had disappeared; besides he could just innately tell they were ok. Not tame, but ok, now his fears about the Rex those weren’t going to go away any time soon.
In dreams they felt strange, each of them still walked on two legs, but their tails were gone, their claws were not as sharp or long though their teeth remained the same. Alpha was theirs; together they hunted, stalked and killed their prey devouring it while it cried out in pain. In dreams they were more than what they had been. In dreams strange beings watched them from on high with disapproval.
“Dinosaurs and Man, two species separated by sixty-five million years of evolution have just suddenly been thrown back into the mix together. How can we possibly have the slightest idea of what to expect
“This isn’t some species that was obliterated by deforestation or, or the building of a dam, dinosaurs, uh, uh had their shot and nature selected them for extinction
“We can not interfere, this is a matter of Free Will, the tools were given to mankind the dinosaurs are back to stay. But we can contain their spread should they ever get off the islands.”
“Isla Nublar should be destroyed; Isla Sorna is the real land that time forgot.”
“What of the Harris Pack?”
“She is seeing to them as we speak, the ally of the Slayer should not have chosen this path.”
“She isn’t doing what I think she’s doing is she?” The being who spoke next let out a sigh.
“You know how she likes her little games.”
“They won’t understand.”
“She has foreseen this.”
“Isn’t what she’s doing a tad over the top?”
“It’s only what would have happened had evolution taken a different step, the Old Ones killed them off when they claimed the Earth and She’s always been sore about that.”
“They are more effective as is.”
“Who are we to question her?”
“It will be chaotic, and you know how much I love chaos.”
“Stay out of this Janus; it doesn’t concern you this time.”
“I wonder what Harris will do when they wake up?”
In dreams they learned of a whole new world. In dreams science fact became science fiction, with perhaps a little mystically empowered divine intervention thrown in for good measure.
Slowly opening her eyes the next morning Glenna felt a cramp in her legs, twisting her head she found her range of motion more limited than before and frustratedly she started to get up, pushing herself up with two hands. Blinking she eyed her new form memories from the night images of sleep returning, Alpha was sleeping on her thighs that was why she felt discomfort.
“We are changed,” her sister said waking up beside her.
“We are like Alpha,” Glenna said, “only during the time that the golden disc flies in the sky then when the ever changing silver disc comes out we shall be hunters yet again.”
“Ve-lo-ci-rap-tor,” her sister said using the name those other creatures had given to their species.
“Wereraptor,” Glenna corrected using the name of their new offshoot species given to them by the dream woman, and she instinctively understood what those thoughts and words meant.
“Why?” Tianna questioned sitting up on her haunches and staring at Glenna.
“To learn, to be like Alpha,” she replied.
“Alpha is not wereraptor,” Tianna stated. The more they talked as humans the more their vocabulary grew.
“Alpha is Alpha.” Glenna reached up to touch the short course hairs now growing out of the skin atop her head, it felt strange completely alien to her.
“Alpha gave us this new understanding,” Rina added, “we are… What we should have become almost.” Glenna and Tianna nodded in tandem and reached down to rub their bellies at the simultaneous hunger pangs.
“We must hunt,” Glenna stated climbing to her feet and promptly falling forward.
“No tails,” Tianna reminded laughing.
“What is that sound?” Rina asked curiously.
“They call it laughter, the woman said emotions come, new emotions complex,” Glenna reminded.
“We are not like old Pack, what if we meet them again?”
“Velociraptors are now Prey,” Tianna stated with a snarl.
“Time to hunt, catch Prey, wake Alpha he must teach us how to hunt with short claws and no tails,” Glenna ordered.
“Alpha is Alpha, Beta you are not,” Rina said with a growl.
“Smartest and oldest I am, until Alpha chooses mate I am Beta,” Glenna decided snapping at her sister.
“Fight to decide,” Rina shot back.
“No!” Tianna almost shouted pushing between both siblings. “Animals we were, now something more. Orders given, orders obeyed only from Alpha, Beta his choice, de-mo-cr-o-cy.” Glenna and Rina blinked a new light of understanding filling their eyes.
“We are only ones of our kind,” Rina said subdued.
“Sorry,” Glenna apologized lowering her head. And once again a new type of intelligence shone in the three juveniles’ eyes, together they turned to face Alpha and shook him until he woke up snorting and disoriented.
“Time to hunt,” Tianna said.
“Hungry we are,” Rina added. Alpha blinked away the exhaustion and sleepiness from his eyes mumbling something too low to be heard clearly, when he saw the three of them he let out a choked sound of surprise and backed up in shock.
“What, how, you’re, you look…” Alpha sounded troubled, Glenna smiled to help put him at ease.
“Woman made us new and… Im-pro-ved,” she said.
“Woman?” Alpha repeated. “Catherine?” Tianna shook her head somehow recognizing the name.
“Many names your species give her, we call her Mo-Th-Er.”
“God, you mean God?” Rina nodded; Alpha ran his hand through his hair in total shock he looked between each of them and then growled as he felt the pangs of hunger as well.
“Ok, we’ll hunt first and then I’ll figure it out,” he decided with a shake of his head. “Follow me and stay low, you don’t have clothes yet,” he instructed.
“Alpha what are cl-oth-es?” Rina asked titling her head to the side curiously.
“This is because I wanted to have kids isn’t it?” Alpha asked of the sky, the three juveniles shared confused looks but followed after him as ordered.
When Doctor Sattler woke up she thought she heard a familiar and terrifying sound, moving to wake up Alan at her side she was startled momentarily, Xander hissed something too low to be heard and then called out to her from outside the door.
“Doctor Grant, Doctor Sattler let us in please before anybody else wakes up,” he pleaded. At the word us she wondered just who could be with them; Alan grumbled and sat up tossing a dirty shirt over his bare chest.
“This better be important,” he muttered tugging the door open, three forms flung themselves into the trailer hissing and snapping at Alan.
“Glenna, Tianna, Rina stop that at once,” Xander barked. Immediately the three forms pulled away revealing themselves to be three naked girls with sickeningly familiar skin tones, jagged looking teeth, piercingly intelligent eyes that promptly filled Ellie with a sense of dread and oddly enough short course hair. As though they were army brats.
“Xander why are three naked girls in our camp?” Alan demanded before he really got a good look at them. “Xander why are three naked possibly girl versions of you in our camp? Is there something you should have maybe mentioned before?”
“Remember those juveniles I mentioned?” Xander asked nervously. “I, uh, didn’t want to bring this up but apparently God decided to make my life even more complicated,” he added with a sigh.
“Tell me they aren’t who I think they are?” Ellie ordered in a haunted tone.
“Who do you think we are?” the one with the darkest color hair asked innocently, her teeth shone in the ray of sunlight from the window revealing bloodstains and fur from some animal.
“Velociraptors,” the one with the lightest hair reminded with a roll of her eyes. “Rina you are stupid.”
“They, they can talk,” Alan blurted in shock.
“Of course we talk, we smart even when we were animals,” the one with the medium colored hair stated insulted by what Alan had said, all three of them had the same odd color of hair. A bright almost unnatural shade of red, almost matching a bird’s plume rather than any colors human hair tended to be.
“Humans don’t generally speak Velociraptor Tianna,” Xander said rolling his eyes.
“Would someone please tell me what the hell is going on?” Alan shouted glaring at Xander. “You brought them to the mainland, what for damnit, you know how dangerous they are and now, now, what happened?”
“Alpha needs Pack, without Pack Alpha is not Alpha!” the one Xander called Tianna shouted right back.
“Only Prey fears Pack,” the one called Rina said beginning to circle Alan, “this one has the scent of Prey, he fears us,” she added smiling broadly and showing off even more blood stains on her teeth.
“Prey should fear us, unless this one Pack, is this one Pack too because Pack already pretty big.” The unnamed one turned to Xander somehow managing to adopt an innocently curious face.
“This Alpha of different Pack, uh, friendly Pack,” Xander tried to explain.
“Humans don’t have Packs,” she stated in a shrewd tone, “Mother explain, open our minds to human concepts, you humans are a strange type of Prey. Having friendships, so-cia-li-zing, so chaotic.”
“Will we have to socialize too?” Rina asked.
“Hell no,” Xander blurted, “look we’re, uh different. We only socialize with people who know us, know me, anybody finds out about you and they might try and experiment on you. Technically you’re still Ingen property.”
“Ingen,” Tianna repeated testing the name.
“Property!” The unnamed one hissed. “Only Alpha can call us property, if Alpha wants he could even choose us as mates, anyone else try to make us property they die.” Her eyes filled with genuine fear and Ellie actually felt sympathetic towards her. It wasn’t hard when instead of a primitive looking animal like form she happened to look like a multicolored girl from Mars or something.
“At night we not as easy to capture,” Tianna reminded with a growl.
“They wouldn’t have to, with sedatives they could keep you unconscious, I mean asleep indefinitely,” Xander said possessively.
“Don’t let anyone take us Alpha, we’re the only ones of our kind ever, Mother would be sad if we were hurt or killed,” Rina said rushing to bury her face into Xander’s chest. Sighing he rubbed the little bit of hair on her head and looked up to a still furious and confused pair of adults.
“Now you get why I need your help, it was a little stupid of me to even think about keeping them as pets, but the thought of having them at my side while I hunted the vampires of Sunnydale was just too good to pass up,” he said in a lost tone of voice.
“Xander, why don’t you just explain what happened as best as you can, and answer me at least one question,” Alan suggested holding up a finger.
“How come they can speak English?” Xander stared down at the shorter Raptor-human mutations with a mystified look in his eyes.
“Damn Doc, you know I’d like to know the answer to that myself,” he said.
“Terrific.” Alan sighed and fell into a chair with Ellie moving to comfort him by resting a hand on his shoulder.
“What is English?” the unnamed one asked tilting her head sideways in confusion.
After Alan and Ellie had, had their coffee and explanations were shared all around things were at least partially calmer, at least now everybody was on the same page and the two scientists weren’t so nervous around the girls, who were currently sitting on the bed like good little children. Though the fact they were almost adults in Raptor years meant they knew and acted more like teenagers despite the fact that they were currently no higher than Lex Murphy compared to Xander height wise.
“Still not used to no tail,” Tianna complained fidgeting on the bed.
“It come back at night,” Rina reminded.
“Well, now I’ve seen everything, “Alan stated with a shake of his head. “Wereraptors,” he added in an astonished tone.
“I wonder though if technically that shouldn’t be Raptor-Weres or something?” Xander mused aloud.
“They’re, uh, they’re still carnivores,” Ellie pointed out with a nervous titter.
“We only eat to survive, just like humans, except humans eat in excess,” Glenna said with a snort, “Alpha tell us who we can and can’t eat. Only one human so far,” she added holding up her finger. Xander’s face turned ashen as both adults turned horrified gazes on him.
“The guy tried to kill me after his spell to get rid of my Primal enhanced powers failed, he was seriously wiggy, plus in my defense I kind of lost all sense of reason in a blood haze cause hey, threatening Pack here,” he babbled with a nervous chuckle.
“I don’t want to know,” Ellie said with a shake of her head.
“To be fair Ellie, as scientists we do spend a lot of time learning and speculating animal habits,” Alan said.
“Xander is still human, he has a human soul and thus cannibalism is a serious crime,” she stated.
“Can we please drop this?” Xander requested in a mortified tone. “I already got the eating humans is bad lecture back home, if I wanted to sit through it again I would have told Isabelle back at the villa.”
“Yes lets,” Ellie returned sour faced.
“Ok, we’ve established all of the facts on the subject,” Alan said, “so why did you come to us for help exactly?”
“Well keeping the girls hidden was easier when they didn’t look like, um, well girls. Around here not too many would give a damn if they saw a tail or something from some animal ducking out of sight behind a mountain ya know, but multicolored naked preteens, yeah that’s gonna turn some heads,” Xander stated. “I was hoping they could stay here until sunset, and maybe we could, um, get clothes for them?” he suggested.
“No clothes,” Rina ordered with a grimace.
“They’d just rip when we turned back anyway,” Glenna reminded, “remembering to take them off isn’t always going to happen even if we do match your level of understanding intellectually speaking.”
“Glenna sure picks up things faster than her sisters,” Alan remarked.
“You have to wear clothes,” Xander insisted sounding like a father to Ellie’s ears.
“If nobody sees us why should we?” Tianna demanded slyly.
“Ugh,” Xander grumbled, “alright fine no clothes, but you’re agreed to at least stay here except for our hunting times?” The three of them nodded.
“We read books, learn more about cu-l-tur-es,” Glenna stated.
“Maybe you could teach us about Raptor society,” Alan suggested in a hopeful tone.
“What teaching? Sleep, Hunt, Kill, Mate, Take Care of Hatchlings, that’s pretty much it,” Rina said dismissively. Alan’s face fell and he sagged in his chair.
“Back to figuring things out from the rock,” he said.
“Well we couldn’t really use the girls like that Alan,” Ellie said, “think about it, how would we explain away our findings?”
“Worth a shot,” Alan returned, “ok well if all of that’s settled we’d better get out there before the interns start talking about us.”
“And that kids is a lesson on gossip,” Xander quipped.
“We’re not your ‘kids’ Alpha,” Glenna whined taking Ellie aback at the level of humanity such a being could display.
“Can’t you call me Xander when you’re, uh, humanoid?” he pleaded.
“Alpha is Alpha, names are human concepts we have no need for them but we will answer to the ones Alpha gives us. I like Tianna,” Tianna informed.
“Well what do you call each other?” Ellie wondered.
“Hatch Mate, which is different from Mate or Pack Mate,” Rina answered with an inhuman gesture that might have been an attempt at a shrug.
“I wonder if their bones are the same as the Raptors,” Alan mused.
“Oh man, what do I do if they get sick?” Xander blurted in a worried tone.
“Eat us of course,” Glenna said as though it should be obvious.
“No way,” Rina argued glaring at her sister, “that’s what animals do we’re not animals, not anymore.”
“Oh fine, take us to a Doc-Tor,” Glenna said with a roll of her eyes, a roll which consisted of a full three hundred and sixty degree rotation. Ellie shuddered just looking at it.
“Take her to a doctor she says,” Xander said with a laugh, “and where am I supposed to find one I can…trust?” A light went on in Xander’s eyes and he broke into a broad smile. “Ellie drive me into town, I have to make a phone call and I can’t get my cell out of the nest since it’s kind of off the beaten path as it were.”
“You have a nest?” Ellie asked.
“Why not use our phone right here?” Alan wondered.
“Because it’s long distance,” Xander explained, “and yes I have a nest…For lack of a better term.”
“Just who are you calling?” Alan asked curiously.
“Someone who deserves a better place to practice since Ingen ruined her life,” Xander replied with a smarmy looking smile.
Doctor Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Carter stepped off the charter plane in Montana with a barely suppressed yawn, she was thoroughly exhausted from a combination of the hours she’d put in at work today to the rushed departure and flight to handle the emergency case Xander had asked her to.
She still couldn’t understand why he’d called her for this when it would be more practical to let his family physician deal with it. Rolling her shoulders and stretching to get the kinks out she made her way to the gate intending to enjoy a long hot shower and a jumbo sized Tim Horton coffee before meeting up with Xander, but as she was about to enter the lighted building a hand suddenly clamped over her mouth.
Bodily dragged out of sight she tried to strike at her attacker only to be slammed into the side of the building for her troubles, spun around she was shocked to find a woman with a disfigured face was the one holding her. The woman tried to bite her neck and Bobbie let out a muffled scream, two seconds later she was coughing up dust and staring into the eyes of one Xander Harris.
“Sorry about the rude demonstration Doc,” he said in a light and troubled tone, “but it helps to understand my way of life before you get to work on your patients.” Roberta finally felt confident all the dust was out of her mouth and she glared at Xander with animosity.
“You arranged that?” she demanded to which the teenager had the good sense to look properly ashamed. “What the hell was that, that thing?”
“That was a vampire Doctor Carter, which I doubt you get a lot of down in your neck of the woods,” he replied. Roberta blinked rubbing at the spot on her neck where she’d just about been bitten, she shook her head.
“That’s impossible vampires are myths,” she denied.
“Oh I guarantee they’re one hundred percent real Doc,” Xander stated. Slowly Roberta felt the truth of the matter sinking in, and without warning she fainted dead away, Xander managed to catch her in his arms a look of surprise on his face. “Well damn, that’s the first time that’s ever happened,” he stated hauling the two foot taller woman into his arms, “good thing I told her to pack light.” Xander grabbed the woman’s suitcase in one hand while balancing her with the other arm; once he’d gotten both her and her luggage settled he walked off into the night unseen by all.
Xander sighed as he came to a sudden stop four feet away from the car, Doctor Grant was waiting for him with a confused expression probably wondering why Xander had stopped.
“You might as well come out Buffy I can smell you,” he called over his shoulder. Warily the blonde Slayer emerged a sword in hand, Grant made to approach them but Xander shook his head. “What do you think you’re going to do with that? Slay me?” he demanded.
“If I have to,” she stated with steel resolve.
“Frankly Buffy I’m insulted; you track me down after what, three months? And all you want to do is Slay me, or I’m betting get the spell reversed, I’m sure you realized what I did by now,” he said turning to face the blonde, she looked worse than he remembered. Her skin was waxy and slightly ashen, her clothes were torn and stained with dry blood, her hair was cut shorter then he’d ever seen it and her eyes almost looked sunken.
“Angel distanced himself from me, my mom won’t talk to me, she doesn’t even want to see me. Hank’s off in Barbados, I can’t face any of the guys, I lost my Watcher and on top of that I’ve been attacked religiously since I started looking for you. It’s like I have a kick me sign stuck to my back or something, they think I’m weaker because Giles was killed, well they’re wrong.” Buffy sagged and her sword fell from her nerveless fingers, he’d never seen her so broken. “I haven’t eaten for a week, I just wanted a situation I could control again, Xander why does everything I touch have to be destroyed?” Buffy burst into tears and swayed unsteadily on her feet, Xander found he still cared for her despite how things went down at their last meeting, in two steps he was at the car putting Doctor Carter in the back seat. In three and one quarter steps he was at Buffy’s side gently picking her up in his arms, he left the sword behind.
“It’s going to be ok Buffster, we’ll get through this like we always do, did you even try to call your mom?” Buffy shook her head and rested it against his chest quietly sobbing, it felt broader somehow more masculine.
“She hates me,” she said softly.
“No she doesn’t, she was just scared, I mean if she can get over me eating part of a guy she’s strong enough to deal with anything,” Xander said with his trademarked lopsided grin.
“You ate part of a guy?” Buffy demanded nervously looking up into his eyes.
“I lost my head, I got upset, Zabuto was nothing like Giles and he treated Kendra like shit. Tried to forcibly de-claw me, mystically speaking, the Pack and I didn’t take kindly to it.” Xander shrugged. “Mom, er, I mean Joyce gave me the whole lecture deal and the patented mom glare, we had a bonding moment. The gang’s fine with it now, sort of,” he said with a light laugh as he laid her in the back of the car and hopped into the passenger seat.
“Any more guests I should be made aware of?” Doctor Grant asked joining them behind the wheel.
“Nah that’s everybody,” he replied, “unless Deadboy followed you.” Buffy shook her head.
“Xander my sword, it was Giles’,” Buffy mumbled close to falling asleep.
“S’ok young lady, I stuck it in the trunk with Doctor Carter’s suitcase,” Alan informed.
“Good, I like that sword, it’s all I have of his,” Buffy whispered and then she fell asleep.
“What’s her story kid?”
“Not mine to tell Doc, she’s had a rough few months,” Xander replied sadly.
“Yeah I can tell, she’s not that… Oh, uh never mind, I forgot you weren’t there when Robert mentioned that,” Alan said shaking his head and starting the car. Xander shrugged slightly to get the kinks out and settled down for the ride back to the dig sight. At least that vamp he’d threatened had played her part, such a shame she wouldn’t get to keep the cash he’d bribed her with. Smiling mischievously he fondled the wad of cash in his pocket and leaned back with a sense of accomplishment in his eyes.
Ellie couldn’t help feeling unnerved as the three Raptors stood near by keeping an eye out for the car and their Alpha, she still couldn’t believe Xander had teleported them off the island, or just how intelligent their species actually were. It challenged everything she thought she knew about dinosaurs and Velociraptors in particular, it could take years for her and Alan to figure out how these creatures could be so intelligent.
Suddenly the one called Glenna stared out at the road intently, Rina made a noise Tianna snapped at her neck with her jaws hissing and fluting, Rina growled at Tianna and then Glenna said something to them causing them to calm down. Ellie shuddered in apprehension and Glenna stared at her with almost what could be a smile in her expression, as though she liked that Ellie was afraid.
“Yeah well you may be higher up in the food chain missy, but you’re still young enough to be taught a lesson when Xander gets back,” she told the Raptors, “I don’t appreciate being looked at like a side of beef.” The three of them actually made a sound almost like a laugh at that remark before settling down as the car pulled into sight, Ellie sighed with relief, whatever possessed Xander he was going to have to make up big time for leaving her here with the three girls alone.
“Ellie we’re back,” Alan called softly as he climbed out of the car. The three raptors charged them knocking Xander to the ground and pressing their noses into his face, they really didn’t like being separated from him.
“Get off you three,” he growled and the playful display came to an end. Humans feared predators because they often thought nothing more of them than prey, especially the big ones, but they could display the same traits as humanity. Playfulness, family bonding, sorrow, joy even love; though it was not the same as human love, true some species exhibited primitive and loner tendencies, but all creatures on Earth had the same capacity. Even dinosaurs apparently.
Ellie was surprised when Alan picked up a slightly malnourished teenager from the back seat and brought her up quickly to the trailer.
“Get the bag will you,” he requested, “oh and don’t forget the sword.”
“Sword,” Ellie repeated in shock. That’s when a woman’s scream pierced the night only to be silenced by a sudden muffling, Ellie spun around to find Xander holding Doctor Carter around the waist with a hand clamped over her mouth.
“Is it the dinosaurs?” he asked, the woman shook her head in a very slight nod. “Relax Doc they won’t hurt you, in fact if you’ll take my word on faith alone they are going to be your patients.” Ellie shook her head and got the suitcase out of the trunk and a finely crafted broadsword designed for a woman.
“Smooth move operator, think you could scare her any worse?”
“Probably, but I want her to help me not get herself committed trying to prove her story to the cops,” Xander stated in a deadpan tone.
“Save the cracks for your friends wise ass,” she shot back, “you owe me big time for leaving me alone with them.”
“Ok, one case of Rocky Road suitable?” he asked.
“Rum Raisin, two cases,” she returned with a smile.
“Gotcha, now come along Doc I think you need to sit down.” Xander led the woman to the trailer; inclining his head in the raptors direction he said something to them in their own language. They replied in unison and vanished into the night.
Once inside the trailer Doctor Carter managed to calm down enough to accept a cup of coffee though she probably would have preferred something stronger, sitting on the couch she took a sip from her cup and eyed Xander apprehensively from over the lip.
“You’re a damn bastard you know that?”
“Guilty as charged ma’am, when I want something I tend to figure out the best way to go about getting it then I royally mess up and have to get my friends to help me out.” Xander smirked. “Helping?”
“No,” she replied, “now let me get this straight. Vampires are real, I can’t really doubt my own eyes, and those dinosaurs outside are your, pets?”
“Pack,” Xander corrected, “I performed a spell, it was a thing, I’m the Alpha now.” Roberta nodded.
“All right, Pack then, and you want me to be their physician. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t you get a veterinarian?” she asked.
“I can’t, besides God kind of turned them into wereraptors, like werewolves only they change back every night from their newly given humanoid forms instead of just during the full moon.”
“What?” the blonde cried out turning out to be awake. “Bad enough you do this to yourself, now even God is making things easy for you?”
“Easy, do you know how many creeps would love to get their hands on them to experiment Buffy?” Xander demanded angrily. “They’re my responsibility, I needed someone I could trust Doctor Carter, you’ve already had some experience with Ingen’s handiwork.”
“So Ingen made the dinosaurs,” Roberta said thoughtfully, “after that first patient died on me from his injuries mumbling something about Raptors I suspected something was going on.” She shook her head with a sigh. “Just not this.”
“Some company made dinosaurs?” Buffy asked.
“Cloned them for a theme park, things happened, people died, dinosaurs got loose. If they haven’t died yet from lack of lysine then they’re on an island somewhere off the coast of Costa Rica,” Xander revealed, “typical Harris luck was involved.”
“Figures, only you could get into this kind of mess Xander.”
“Mess, mess, are you forgetting who saved your life!” he shouted.
“That was over a year ago Xander,” Buffy reminded. “And if you hadn’t kept this from me maybe we could have saved Giles,” she accused angrily.
“And you’ve given me tons of examples for trusting you before,” Xander retorted sarcastically.
“Xander, you turned yourself into a carnivore,” she shot back. The three doctors felt uncomfortable listening in to this conversation, but it wasn’t as if they could leave without being noticed.
“I still eat the same food you eat Buffy, it just doesn’t happen to be cooked anymore,” he said with a shrug.
“Xander how could you do this to yourself, change into something that completely ruins the life you used to have, I never had that choice but you… You were supposed to be happy, normal.” Buffy was crying now and Xander moved over to the bed sitting down beside her and taking her in his arms, he didn’t care about the others in the room.
“I didn’t have the choice Buffy,” he said softly so they couldn’t hear him, “remember Jesse, I promised to make them pay for that. I promised to keep Willow safe, but I’m not stupid, you Slayer me Jane right? I had to be able to protect all of you, I care too much to see any of you go like that.” Buffy stared at him and broke down in his arms.
“God Xander I’ve been such a selfish bitch,” she said through the tears, “I mean here you are giving up everything to do what I was destined to do.”
“No Buffy, you’ve been human, any girl in your situation would have felt the same way, the world’s too big to have its fate placed on your shoulders alone. You gotta let your friends take the load with you or it’ll break you in half,” Xander whispered caressing Buffy’s hair and wiping away her tears. He shot her his trademark grin and Buffy broke into a laugh.
“How can you always know the right thing to say?” she asked.
“It’s a gift,” he said; Buffy slapped him for his troubles. “So Doc,” he spoke up turning back to Roberta, “can I count on you to help me take care of my girls?”
“Can I have time to think on it?” Roberta asked unwilling to commit right away.
“Of course, I never intended to pressure you,” Xander lied with a smile. “Buffy you look like you could use a good meal,” he added turning to his friend.
“Oh definitely,” she returned.
“Xander there’s something I have to ask first,” Doctor Grant stated doing his best not to call attention to the fact that they’d been witness to a vulnerable moment between the two teens. “You glossed over a fairly big thing concerning your Pack. Are they capable of breeding?” he demanded seriously.
“Catherine said she could make them sterile,” Xander replied. “Maybe Doctor Carter could confirm that by at least agreeing to give them a physical tomorrow morning, when they’re human again, as it were.” He turned with a look aimed squarely at the physician.
“I’d need equipment,” she said thoughtfully.
“Fortune favors us all then, it took some doing but I got Isabelle to convince her dad to give us access to some state of the art equipment, he spared no expense.” Xander laughed at his own private joke.
“Will they be ok out there for the night?” Ellie wondered.
“Sure, I told them to wait for Buffy and me at the nest,” Xander replied with a shrug.
“You expect me to sleep in some nest with you and your pets?”
“Well you are still Pack, besides aren’t you curious to learn where I sleep, trust me it is mondo cool,” he said eagerly hoping Buffy would join him. Mostly because he was tired of sleeping without any human presences.
“I have to admit I’m curious to find out what this nest looks like,” Doctor Grant said.
“Ok Xander, I’ll come but only because I’m emotionally fragile and need your stabilizing influence,” Buffy relented with a smirk, “food first, rest second.”
“Gotcha, pizza good for you?”
“Pizza would be great.”
The nest was in a cave whose entrance was not easily noticed unless you already knew where to find it, the cave was roughly one hundred miles away from the dig, Xander carried Buffy there in his arms. Inside the cave were tunnels branching out from a central chamber, one such tunnel led into a side chamber where the nest resided.
The three Raptors circled Xander nipping at him and pressing their noses against his chest, beside him Buffy stared in shock at the extent Xander had gone to, she didn’t even react when Rina nuzzled her. Grant on the other hand was stunned.
“This is a nest?” he asked.
“Yep,” Xander replied with a sly smile. The nest consisted of eight mounds intended for clutches of eggs circling a central sleeping area covered in moss and grass, to keep the bugs away a small moat had been erected and bug zappers hung from several stalactites. Xander’s clothes hung in an alcove which had been turned into a closet, a radio and weapons cache also rested there, including several curved wooden stakes carved in the image of the Raptors’ middle toe claw.
“You want me to sleep here?” Buffy blurted.
“That’s kind of the general idea,” Xander shot back sarcastically.
“But, but, it’s primitive,” she said aghast.
“Oh come on Buffy.”
“You said it’d be mondo cool, where’s the cool, the floor?” she demanded.
“You don’t think this is mondo cool?” Xander demanded. “Nobodies seen anything like this for sixty-five million years, granted the bug zappers are a modern convenience, but still. I worked hard on this; you know how hard it is to pick out all the bugs from a blanket of grass and moss? To dig a moat with your bare hands, make a pond of drinking water that doesn’t get contaminated from the latrine or the area for washing up? In Sunnydale we have to stay in the basement and it’s just not the same, this is more natural to me, I like it.”
“I’m sorry,” Buffy apologized squeezing Xander’s hand. “I just felt totally wiped hours ago and I’m kinda on edge.” Xander accepted her apology with a soft smile and turned to Doctor Grant.
“What do you think?” Alan smiled and clapped Xander across the back.
“Stunning, absolutely stunning,” he replied, “well I think I’ll leave you to rest, goodnight Xander, goodnight Buffy.”
“Night Doc,” Xander returned and Grant left. Buffy watched nervously as the raptors got into the moss covered area and settled down for the night.
“I have to sleep with them?”
“You’re both hunters Buff,” Xander whispered with a look of desperate need, for some reason he really wanted her approval. Buffy realized it was because this was probably the first time he’d shown his Nest to anybody outside of the Pack, and in a way she found that kind of sweet, but still.
“They hunt people like me Xander,” she argued. Chuckling he took a step towards the raptors and kicked off his shoes.
“You have more in common then you think,” he said stripping off his shirt.
“Xander, you’re not… doing what I think you’re doing?” Xander shot her a confused look.
“Sleep with clothes on in that?” he said pointing at the large bed area, “and risk staining my clothes, no way.”
“Xander,” Buffy exclaimed in utter shock at his candid attitude.
“Buffy as a species we’re far too hung up on our bodies and appearance, especially in the nudity department, I just don’t get bothered by it any more,” he lied. His heart was pounding in his chest at the prospect of his greatest fantasy coming to life, to sleep with Buffy au naturel, and he didn’t even feel bad about Lex. The Primal aspect of his personality was content with the thought of multiple mates. Not that Buffy ever could be, but at least for one night she might be inclined to share his bed with him and sex didn’t even have to be involved. “Besides in a few seconds it’ll be pitch black in here.”
“In case it skipped your notice no lights, and the moonlight will have passed by the opening shortly.”
“Sleep in the dark with them,” she whispered growing ten times more afraid then before.
“They sleep as sound as a rock,” Xander said trying to assuage her fears.
“R-Really?” Xander simply nodded and proceeded to unbuckle his belt.
“Dinosaurs aren’t mammals,” he warned before letting his pants and the pocketed glamour inducing name tag to fall to the ground. Buffy gasped in stunned disbelief, seeing Xander’s physical changes in the waning light of the moon she approached him no longer concerned all he had on were his socks and boxers. Reaching up tentatively she traced the flesh of his pectorals marveling at the odd patterns and skin tone.
“Xander.” She looked up into his changed eyes. “Do the others know?”
“Only Willow and Kendra so far, and Lex Murphy, she’s, uh, she’s the girl I mentioned,” he replied with a nervous chuckle.
“You showed Kendra before me, what don’t I get senior Slayer privileges?” Buffy demanded in a playful yet tired tone of voice.
“We were out hunting together, one thing led to another, it wasn’t planned or anything,” he defended his cheeks darkening in embarrassment. Buffy smirked recalling all too well how she felt sometimes after a fruitless hunt or even more often a successful slay. There was a reason it had the word Lay in it.
“So you can’t resist Slayers huh,” she teased moving in closer and resting her head against his chest listening to his heartbeat.
“I’m oh for two so far,” he returned with a smirk of his own. Buffy yawned killing the mood suddenly building up; Xander let her go and slipped over to the center of the bedding settling down to sleep. He took off his socks first and then shrugged. “You don’t have to take off your clothes if you don’t want to, it’s not like they’d be any worse off,” he said with a shrug laying his head down he prepared to take off his boxers.
“Xander wait,” Buffy called. Xander looked up at her.
“I solemnly promise not to go Hyena on you,” he stated, “but there’s no way you’re getting me to stop. Another drawback, it gets everywhere and itches like crazy when you sleep with clothes on.”
“You did remember!” she accused with a glare foregoing the rest of what he’d said.
“I didn’t want to weird you out,” he returned softly. Buffy smiled at his thoughtfulness and kicked off her shoes, she didn’t even have socks on and Xander frowned in concern.
“I haven’t done anything remotely like this except with Angel… I know how you feel about him, Xander promise you won’t get weird or change on my just for sleeping with you,” she requested gaze lowered at her blistered and dried blood stained feet.
“I could never do that to you,” he returned, “besides in my eyes you’ll always be Pack plus I think you could use a good friendly snuggle with the Xan-man.” Buffy laughed and took off her tattered pants seeing Xander’s eyes glaze over for a moment and a goofy expression crossing his face before he shook it.
“What I could really use is a long shower.”
“Sorry, nests don’t come equipped with modern conveniences like that,” he quipped. Buffy smiled in the growing dark and continued to take off her clothes; Xander did his best to ignore his hormones and slipped off his boxers.
“Oh wow, it changed too,” she exclaimed her eyes widening at the sight.
“Nah it’s always been that long,” he teased, “all kidding aside though the skin tone just matches the rest of me is all,” he said with a dismissive shrug. “Kendra didn’t seem to mind.”
“Kendra’s hardly ever seen a boy in her life probably, she wouldn’t care if it was hairless and covered in polka dots,” Buffy shot back, “I had no idea you were so… I mean,” she stammered slightly and then shook her head. “Sorry, it’s getting a little weird. Guy friends and Girl friends just don’t sleep together in the nude like this.”
“Course they do, at least I’m inclined to believe in that fantasy wholeheartedly,” Xander stated. “Don’t apologize just get over here already and lets go to sleep, after the day I’ve had I’m too tired to even think about mating with one of my best friends,” he stated settling into a comfortable position and closing his eyes to sleep. Buffy was equally exhausted and so took off her underwear without further comment, she smirked when she caught Xander peeking, he definitely wasn’t as calm about this as he let on.
“Remember our dance together?” she asked laying down beside him and resting her head on his chest.
“Vaguely.” She slapped him for his remark and moved to whisper in his ear.
“Play your cards right and you might get a repeat performance without the audience this time,” she said teasingly. Xander felt his manhood stiffen oh so slightly at the remark.
“Buffy,” he said doing his best to ignore the raging Primal inside his head, “go to sleep.” Pouting Buffy pressed herself closer against his body the tiny part of her brain not yet heady with exhaustion wondering what the hell she was playing at. Eyes gently closing she soon drifted off to sleep beside her Xander shaped friend feeling a sense of control and security she hadn’t felt for the longest time, it felt good.To Be Continued