Disclaimer: I won nothing. BTVS belongs to Joss, Charmed belongs to Constance Burge.
AN: For the record, the Triad live in the same apartment that Xander got in "The Replacement."
Chapter 1: The Initiative
Xander and Tara sat in the graveyard, discussing class choices. Faith was finishing up patrol for the night, so they had decided to wait.
“Anything?” He asked.
“Well, there’s always ‘Introduction to the Modern Novel.’
“Wouldn’t that involve me reading
the modern novel?”
Tara smirked at him. “Maybe more than one.”
“Meh.” He shrugged. “Sounds boring. As if I don’t read enough.”
“Does that count? I mean, it’s all about demons, and such.”
He smiled at her. “If it gives me a headache before I’m done, it counts.”
She shrugged. “Fine. You couldn’t do that one, anyway. It conflicts with Psych.”
Xander’s expression became one of dejection. “Do I really
have to take Psych?”
“Do you ever want to have sex again?”
He glared at her. “You know, that would be a lot more effective if you didn’t use it every time you wanted something from me.”
“Ah, but I don’t. Sometimes I use the sex itself.”
“Anyway,” She smirked at him. “Professor Walsh is supposed to be great. She's world-renowned.”
Xander scratched his head in confusion. “How do you get to be re
nowned? Shouldn’t you have to be 'nowned' first?”
Tara just chuckled, when a class caught her eye. “Oh, this would be perfect for you. ‘Images of Pop Culture.’ They do nothing but watch Movies, TV, and Commercials.”
“For credit?” Xander asked, wide eyed. She nodded, earning a grin from him. “Heh. College is cool.”
“Glad you think so. We’ve got the next four years to spend there.”
Xander cocked his head to the side. “You know, somehow, I don’t think so.”
“What?” She looked at him, confused. “What do you mean?”
He shrugged. “Not sure, really. I just have this… feeling. A feeling that things won’t last that long.”
Tara started to get worried. “You… You mean like…”
Her worries hit him across their link. “No, no. I don’t mean us
. We’ll be around for a long time, if I have anything to say about it. I just meant…” He waved a hand at their surroundings. “Things. Sunnydale.”
“You think Sunnydale won’t last the next four years?”
He shrugged. “Like I said, it’s just a feeling. Nothing definite. Not like it’d be such a bad thing, anyway.”
She nodded. “Very true.” They felt Faith coming toward them. “Oh, time to go.”
Xander nodded, and stood. He reached down, helping Tara to her feet. She struggled for a moment, but finally made it.
“You okay?” He asked.
“I’m fine. So’s the bundle of joy.” She reassured him.
“Glad to hear it.” A voice behind them said.
They both turned. “Hey, Faith.” Xander greeted the Dark Slayer with a smile. “How’d patrol go?”
She shrugged. “Coupla newbie vamps. Nothin’ special. Honestly, sometimes I wish I wasn’t all vamped up. Kinda takes the challenge away.”
They began walking home. “Well, yeah, but then there would be the possibility of you dying.” Xander pointed out. “That’d suck.”
that.” She agreed, smiling at him.
“Oh, Tara. Is there anything special you want for dinner?” He asked.
She smiled at him. “Xander, I keep telling you, you don’t have to go out of your way.”
“And I keep telling you,
it’s not out of my way. It’s very much on my way. Besides, you wouldn’t be craving things if you didn’t need them.”
“I’m not sure about that logic, but… How about a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with strawberry jelly, some cheese on top of the bread, and relish?”
Both Xander and Faith went pale. “Seriously?” The Slayer asked her girlfriend.
Xander sighed. “I had to ask…”
UC Sunnydale, First Day Of Term
“FRESHMEN! WE'RE DOING THIS BY FOLDER COLOR! IF YOU'RE NOT HOLDING ON TO A YELLOW FOLDER, YOU'RE IN THE WRONG GROUP. YOU BELONG UP BY WIESMAN HALL!”
Xander stood, amazed, at the activity around him. The energy level he was feeling was almost as bad as Willow on coffee.
“Tara.” He nudged the blonde witch. “This is scary. Can we go home and hide?”
She laughed. “This from the guy who single handedly took down the Watchers’ Council?”
He smirked at her. “First of all, Faith helped. Secondly, I can’t kill these people.”
“Ah.” She nodded sagely. “I see the problem. Unfortunately, you still
can’t run and hide.”
He snapped his fingers. “Darn.” He took a deep breath. “Alright. You ready?”
“As ready as I can be.”
“Let’s do it.”
Stepping together, the two of them surged into the chaos that was the UC Sunnydale campus. Almost immediately, they were assaulted with flyers.
“Rally tonight. We have to let the administration know how we feel.”
Xander and Tara both shrugged that one off.
“Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?”
Both of them snickered, and showed the young woman their pendants: He wore the Eye of Ra, and she had a coin imprinted with the goddess Hecate. The young woman ran.
Finally, they made it to the college bookstore.
“So, how’s Amy been doing with the store?” Tara asked.
“Just fine. She’s managed to turn a better profit than I ever did, but I think she was more happy to get the apartment in the back.”
“Well, it is a nice place. I like our new one better, but still…”
He smiled knowingly. “Alright. We’re here. What am I being subjected to again?”
Tara rolled her eyes. “Let’s start with Psych, shall we?”
Xander nodded, and began hunting for the books. They were located on a high shelf. Xander glanced around and, seeing no one was looking, waved his hand to summon two of them. Unfortunately, someone knocked into him mid-wave, sending the books crashing onto a student.
“Ah, damn.” Xander rushed over. “Sorry about that, man. Are you okay?” He reached down to help the other man up.
His unintended victim took the hand, and stood. “I’ll live.” He smiled good-naturedly. “So, are you actually taking Psych, or do you just want me dead?”
Xander smirked. “Well, if I wanted you dead, I’d probably come up with something better than a text book.”
The two of them shared a laugh. Xander picked up two of the books, signaling Tara to come over.
“Well, you'll have a lot of fun. Professor Walsh… she's quite a character.”
“You’ve taken it?” Xander asked.
“I’m a TA. I’ll be assisting the professor.” He smiled again. “I’m sorry. I forgot my manners in all the concussion. Riley Finn.”
“Xander Harris.” He shook the other man’s hand, surprised at the grip. “This is my girlfriend, Tara McLay.”
Riley eyed Tara’s bulging stomach. “Girlfriend? Not Fiancée, at least?”
Xander shifted uncomfortably. “It’s… complicated. We’re working on it.”
“What, you couldn’t get her father’s blessing, or something?”
This caused Xander to smile. “You’re from middle America, aren’t you?”
“Iowa, born and raised.”
Xander nodded. “Thought so. Believe me, if it was that simple, we’d have cleared it up a long time ago.”
“Well, unless I’m prying here, what is it?”
Xander and Tara shared a glance, and their eyes glazed over for a moment. Just as quickly, they recovered, and Tara answered the TA’s question. “We’re in a triad.”
Riley blinked, confused. “A what?”
“Like a couple, but with three people.”
Riley instantly went into shock.
Xander waved his hand in front of Riley’s face. “I think we broke him, Tare.”
Riley snapped out of it. “So… You two live with another person.” They nodded. “Romantically.” Another nod. “Wow.” He paused. “Man or woman?”
Xander laughed, and pulled out his wallet. Inside was a picture of himself, Tara, and Faith. “That’s her. Her name is Faith.”
Riley whistled. “Wow. How did you…”
“Get together?” Xander asked, grinning. “That’s a long story. One not to be told in crowded bookstores.”
Riley nodded. “I understand that.”
Tara decided a change of subject was in order. “So, do you know if we’re going to be studying ‘Operant Conditioning’ in the first semester? I hear that’s Professor Walsh’s specialty.”
Riley smiled, and nodded. “Absolutely. Do you know her treatise on Dietrichs work?”
“I know of
“It's not in the syllabus, but it's a fascinating read... if you're in to that sort of thing. They have it here.”
“I'll show you.” He smiled at the pair. “I don't meet that many freshmen that know that much about psychology.”
“Well, it's fascinating.” Tara replied.
Xander shrugged. “I’m here under protest. I wanted to slack off.”
“What made you change your mind?” Riley asked, leading them through the books.
Xander smirked. “Tara can be very… persuasive.”
Next Day, Images Of Pop Culture
“Good morning, everyone. My name is Professor Reegart. Now, contrary to popular belief, the point of this course is not to critique popular American culture. It is not to pick at it, or look down upon it. And it is not to watch videos for credit.” This garnered a laugh from the students. “The point is to examine…”
“Holy Ra, I think I’m falling asleep.” Xander whispered to Tara, who did her best not to giggle.
“And there are two people talking at once, and I know that one of them is me. And the other is... a brunette boy. You, brunette boy. Stand up. I'm very excited to hear what you have to say that's worth interrupting my lecture for.”
Xander shrugged, and stood. “I was just saying that you don’t see near enough abaci these days.” Sure, it was an old joke, but no one here knew that.
Reegart looked at his list. “What’s your name?”
“Harris. Xander Harris.”
“Would that be short for Alexander?” He received a nod. “I see. I take it you were the class clown in high school?”
Xander shook his head, smirking. “Nah. If anything, I was the Zeppo.”
This confused the professor. “I’m sorry, what?”
“Zeppo Marx.” Not getting a reaction, he tried again. “One of the Marx brothers?” Still nothing. “He was the straight man of the group. Come on, man, I thought this was about pop culture. You should know the Marx brothers. Groucho, Harpo… and two others that I’m sure I knew at some point.” The other students laughed at this.
Reegart cleared his throat, a nervous look on his face. “Yes… Well, as I was saying, the point of this class…”
Xander sat down, and Tara whispered to him. “How were you a Zeppo?”
He shrugged. “I wasn’t really. It’s just the first thing that sprang to mind.”
The witches were still laughing on their way to Psychology, when they were greeted by a familiar voice.
“If you're looking for Psych, it's through here.”
They turned, seeing Riley. “Thanks, man.” Xander nodded in greeting. “How's your head?”
Riley laughed. “My head’s fine, it just stung for a bit and I lost most of my basic motor functions. It's no biggie.”
Both magic users got a good laugh out of that. “Are you sure?” Asked Tara. “If not… Well, I don’t know exactly what we can do about it, but I’d try to think of something.”
Riley Just smiled at the blonde. “I’m sure, but thanks for the offer. Or, something resembling an offer. I appreciate it.”
They continued talking until they reached the Psych lecture hall. The witches took their seats, and Riley moved next to Professor Walsh. For a split second, Xander’s soldier memories were stirred up. Riley moved with a soldier’s precision when he approached the Professor. ~That’s weird…~ Xander shook it off. It was most likely his imagination.
Professor Walsh, meanwhile, had begun her lecture. “Ok. This is Psych 105, ‘Introduction to Psychology’, I'm Professor Walsh. Those of you who fall under my good graces will come to know me as Maggie. Those of you who don't will come to know me by the name my TAs use, and think I don't know about, ‘The Evil Bitch Monster of Death.’” This caused some scattered laughter.
Xander had to admit, she seemed likeable enough. Except… there was something off about her aura. Not Dark, by any means, but still… Deciding to talk it over with Tara later, he returned his attention to the Professor. “Make no mistake, I run a hard class, I assign a lot of work, I talk fast and I expect you to keep up. If you're looking to coast I recommend ‘Geology 101,’ that's where the football players are. Now, let’s begin with the different parts of the psyche…”
The Triad’s Apartment
“Are you sure, Xander?” Tara asked.
“Yeah. You know how a healthy aura will be white, or green.” She nodded. “Well, hers was green… mostly. There were signs of purple. I have no idea what purple is.”
“Um… I’d have to check, but I think that’s mental illness.”
She nodded. “Where was it?”
“I’d say… around her Muladhara.” He snapped his fingers as something came to him. “That’s the Chakra point that deals with instinct. Protecting your own, and all.”
“That’s right.” Tara frowned at the thought. “Does that mean she’s particularly paranoid?”
Xander shrugged. “No idea. I only started studying chakras a couple of days ago.” He glanced at the clock. “Shouldn’t Faith be home from patrol by now?”
“She said she was going to start including UC Sunnydale in her sweeps. It’ll take a little longer.”
As she spoke, Faith came through the door. “Hey, guys! The campus was quiet. Most I found was some kid named Eddie lookin’ for directions.”
Xander smiled, and kissed the Dark Slayer hello. “Glad to hear it. I’d hate to have to start running around there with a stake. Or my axe. Professor Walsh would probably haul me up in front of the class during test season. Perfect example of a psychotic break.”
Faith chuckled. “Hey, did you guys pick up blood on the way home?”
“It’s in the fridge.” Tara answered.
Faith smiled at them. “You guys rock!” She went to retrieve her dinner.
Xander smirked at Tara. “How long do you think before she realizes we mixed tomato sauce into it?”
“Two more seconds.”
A cry came from the kitchen. “What the fuck?!”
The two of them snickered.
Next Day, The Magic Box
Amy looked up as the bell above the door rang. She smiled. “Hey, Xander. What brings you here?”
He returned the smile. “Oh, just picking up a few things. My Orb of Thessula got broken during the move. Damn things are fragile.”
“Sure thing.” She brought one out from behind the counter. “These have been selling pretty well lately, actually. This is my last one. I’ll have to double the amount I order next time.”
Xander nodded. “Let me guess. Paperweights?”
“Oddly enough, no. People are actually trying to perform magic. I think your display last year inspired some people.”
“My display?” He asked, confused.
“You know, the big triangle of heaven you made? That thing had sides a mile long. No way everyone missed it.”
“Oh. Cool. You’re selling the basic kits, right?”
“Of course, Xander. Everyone’s more than willing to shell out for them.”
He nodded. “Good.” He let out a sigh. “A town full of witches. What next?”
“The Inquisition?” Amy offered.
She laughed. “Yes it is. Besides, I don’t think most of them will be able to pull it off.”
“No. I see the power in them, but not enough determination. Or control, for that matter. You might feel a few new powers flare up, but…” She shrugged.
“That’s good, actually. Too much power over the Hellmouth might not be a healthy option.”
“True enough. Need anything else, Boss?”
He rattled a list of things off, paid despite Amy’s objections, and left.
UCSD Campus, Night
Faith stalked around the bike path. She had sensed a vampire close by earlier, but she couldn’t see it. This should have been a simple hunt, but the damn thing was evading her.
“Fuckin’ vamps. Can’t even wait around for ya to kill ’em.”
Even as she spoke, Faith caught his scent. A predatory grin graced her features. ~Finally!~
She followed the scent. It moved in a typical vamp pattern, going through bushes and other places where he could hide and wait for a victim. Soon, however, it mixed with the scent of humans. At least five of them. There were signs of a struggle, and then the scents moved on.
Faith kept going, eventually coming to a frat house. She looked inside. There was the vamp, unconscious, and behind held in front of a mirror. ~Now, that’s damn strange.~ A green light passed over the five humans, and the mirror… opened? Yeah. It opened, just like a sliding door. There was an elevator inside, and the humans went inside it.
“This is fucked up. Gotta get back to X and T, tell ’em what’s goin’ on.”
She felt the barrel of a gun being pressed into the back of her head. “I don’t think so. Stand up, keep your hands in the air.”
Faith did as she was told, mentally kicking herself for not hearing someone sneak up on her. “I’m guessin’ you ain’t a security guard.”
“Sorry, stud. Got places to be.” As the last word passed through her lips, she used every bit of her speed to roundhouse kick the man behind her. He went down, and she ran. She hadn’t kicked him hard enough to knock him out, and she didn’t need any more trouble.
Agent Graham, meanwhile, shook his head as he stood up. “Damn. Looks like Supergirl decided to hit town.” He tapped his throat mike. “This is Agent Graham. We have a situation.”
Xander rubbed the bridge of his nose. “You said they were in military uniforms?”
“Yep. Black and green. The guy who caught me was wearin’ a mask, too.”
The male witch let out a sigh. “Black Ops, by the sound of it. Soldier Boy went on more than a few of those missions.” He frowned. “What would they want with a vampire?”
Tara came in, holding a cup of hot chocolate. “Maybe they’re studying him. Seeing what makes a vampire tick, or something.” She saw the looks they were giving her. “What?”
“Mustard?” Xander asked.
Tara’s eyebrows met her hairline. “How did you know?”
He tapped his nose. “Hyena, remember?”
Faith smirked. “Slayer.”
She looked down at her drink, and shrugged. “It tastes good.”
He shook his head. “Anyway, that sounds like the government. They encounter a new enemy, they study it.” He paused. “I hope they know what they’re doing. If they captured a vampire, odds are they either have or will capture other demons.”
Faith frowned. “Maybe I oughta talk to one of ’em. See what their operation is all about.”
Xander shook his head. “No. That’s too dangerous.”
The smirk returned. “Ain’t nothin’ they can do to me, boy toy. I’m invincible, remember?”
“That’s what the Mayor thought.” He reminded her. “He’s sitting in a cage at the Magic Box.”
“You worried they might have… Whaddya call ’em… Battle Mages on the job?”
The witches snorted. “Battle Mage isn’t a job.” Tara informed her. “It barely counts as a hobby. All show, no substance.”
“Oh.” Faith shrugged. “Well, somethin’ strong, then. Like you two.”
“I doubt they’d have anyone of any real worry.” Xander admitted. “A real witch wouldn’t be stupid enough to hang around that kind of group. No telling when it’s the magic user’s turn under the microscope.”
“What about a warlock?” Tara asked. “They only care about their lust for power. They don’t use their heads very often.”
Xander nodded. “It’s possible. Demons can be used to gain more power. If they were promised first choice of the leftovers, it wouldn’t surprise me.”
Faith nodded. “Right. Talkin’ to ’em’s out. What do we do?”
Xander sighed. “Keep our eyes open. What frat was it?”
“Okay. I can check it out, see what’s the what. Tara, start checking people’s auras. Anyone with a strong protective instinct will make an ideal soldier.”
“That includes Professor Walsh.” She reminded him.
He nodded. “I didn’t mean quite that strong, but you’re right. We should check her out.” He sighed. “I’d kill for Willow right now… She could hack into just about anything.”
“Ah, if only we had some
way of contacting her from afar… Oh, we do.” Faith smirked at him.
He laughed. “Point. I’ll call her in the morning.”
“Why not now? It’s early, for us.” Tara pointed out.
“Because Buffy has most likely just gotten in from patrol, and they’re probably researching whatever Big Bad they just found.”
He shrugged. “It could just be a Sunnydale thing. The next big apocalypse usually starts showing signs about now. Hell, for all I know, the worst they’ve faced so far is a vampire.”
Faith smirked. “Ten bucks says they found somethin’ better.”
Xander returned the smirk. “You’re on.”
Agent Riley Finn winced as he saw Graham in the infirmary. “What hit you?”
Graham rubbed the enormous bruise on his chest. “Would you believe a five foot even brunette?”
Riley’s expression gave a resounding ‘no.’
Graham laughed. “It’s true. Five feet tall, good figure, smoky voice. Didn’t get the chance to see her face, but I’m willing to bet she was pretty.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yep. Caught her outside. I think she saw you guys bringing in the latest HST. She said something about telling ‘X and T.’ Given how strong she was, I’d bet anything that X and T are HSTs, and she was going to warn them.”
Riley nodded. “Probably.” He laughed. “X and T, huh? I actually know an X and a T.” At Graham’s questioning glance, he explained. “Xander Harris, and his girlfriend Tara. They’re in Psych.”
Graham looked alarmed. “You don’t think…”
Riley shook his head. “No. I checked both of them out. He’s from Sunnydale, and she’s from San Francisco. They’ve got all the human records they need. In fact, so does their other girlfriend, Faith Lehane. She lives with them.”
“That was my reaction.”
“Is it wrong that I have enormous amounts of respect for someone I’ve never met?”
Riley just shrugged. “No idea. Come on. Walsh wants to debrief you, so you can ask her. She’ll probably be able to analyze you to death.”
Next Day, Psych Class
“… So, I want all of you to read chapters four and five over the weekend. They’re on the short side, so it shouldn’t take you too long.” Professor Walsh wrapped up her lecture. “See you all on Monday.”
As the students were leaving, she called out to two of them. “Mr. Harris, Ms. McLay. Can I speak to you for a moment?”
The two of them gave each other a confused look, followed by slight panic. Why would a possible government operative want to talk to them? Warily, they walked over to her desk. “Yes, Professor?”
“Mr. Finn tells me the two of you are involved in a triad.”
This surprised them. “Uh… Yeah, we are.” Xander confirmed. “What about it?”
“Oh, it’s just interesting from a psychological point of view. The couple dynamic is under constant study, but there aren’t many opportunities to observe a group like yours.”
“You want to study us?” Tara asked.
Walsh smiled. “I just wanted to interview you, and your other partner. I believe her name is Faith?”
Xander quirked an eyebrow. “Riley’s a bit more talkative than I imagined.”
The professor chuckled at that. “Yes, he is a bit quiet at times. I grilled him a little, so he told me what he remembered. I don’t think I caught her last name, though.” She looked at the two of them expectantly.
Neither were happy with the idea of giving this woman information, but there wasn’t much choice here. A last name was harmless enough. “Lehane.” Tara said, finally.
“Lehane, thank you. Does she go to school here?”
They shook their heads.
“I see.” Walsh filed that away for later. Despite what Xander and Tara were thinking, she was only interested in them because of their odd relationship. All the details were important. “And are you the father?” She asked, indicating Tara’s protruding belly.
Xander nodded. “Yeah, I am.”
“Good, good. Alright. Would it be possible to schedule a proper interview with all three of you? Perhaps… this Wednesday at four?”
The witches exchanged a look, and nodded. “That’s fine, Professor.”
Sunday let out a loud sigh. She was a reasonable vampire, but the lack of prey out tonight was ridiculous. She could usually catch one or two suckers per night out of a decent sized crowd, but there was just no one
walking around. On top of that, one of her minions, Steve, had gone missing.
“Screw it. I’m gonna go raid the blood bank.” She turned to go back to her lair, but stopped short when she found herself facing five men. They wore masks, but she recognized their scents from around the campus. These were the boys from Ludlow House.
Each of them leveled strange looking guns at her. She smirked. “Bullets won’t really do much to me, boys.”
The leader nodded. “We know.” The fired, sending electricity through their weapons. Sunday crumpled under the attack of five tasers.
Riley picked her up, carrying her on his shoulder. “Come on. This is enough for tonight.” They started back for the fraternity. “How many does this make, anyway?”
“Vampires?” Forrest asked. “17, I think.”
“Well, I certainly hope Walsh can do something with Hostile 17, here. She’s a bit on the heavy side.”
Forrest laughed. “Don’t let her hear you say that. Women are sensitive about their weight.”
Sunday woke up in a white cell. She looked around. “Okay. I definitely need to stop drinking.”
“Sunday? Is that you?” A voice to her left asked.
“Steve? What’s going on?”
“I don’t know. There’s a bunch of scientists running things. I got warned by one of the other prisoners not to drink the blood they give us, but I haven’t heard from her lately.”
“Have you been here the whole time?” She asked.
“Yeah, since last night. I was avoiding the Slayer, and they caught me.”
Sunday cursed under her breath. “There’s a Slayer here?”
“Oh, yeah. Been here since last year, or so. I hear she’s a vamp, too, but that’s just a rumor.”
The vampiress sighed. “Damned if we’re caught, damned if we’re not.” She saw a packet of blood fall onto the floor. She looked up. There was a hole in the ceiling. Hmm… “What does the blood do to you?”
“Puts you to sleep. I won’t ignore that warning again, believe me.”
Sunday smirked. This would be good.
The Triad’s Apartment
“You think she suspects somethin’?” Faith asked her companions.
Xander frowned. “I’m not sure. It could be that she’s really interested in a purely psychological way, but with our luck she’s probably wanting to dissect all three of us.”
Tara shook her head. “She was being honest with us. Her aura didn’t betray anything. Although, that doesn’t change the fact that we should be cautious.”
“I’m all for that.” Faith agreed. “Don’t need a bunch of soldiers and scientists cuttin’ us up.”
Xander nodded. “Right. We’ll go to the interview, but we’ll need a good cover for anything she could ask us. Like, why Faith doesn’t go to school, where all our money came from, things like that.”
“I don’t need a fuckin’ excuse, X.” Faith raised an eyebrow.
Xander smirked. “Actually, that’ll probably do for an answer. If she’s coming after us, she’ll let it drop, and if she’s analyzing us, she’ll pursue it. Oh!” He jumped up, and ran over to their fax machine. Why they had bought a fax machine, Faith didn’t know, but it did come in handy sometimes. “Willow got those records for us. Oh, and you owe me ten bucks Faith. They took out a vamp named Russell Winters last night.”
“Seriously?” Faith asked. He nodded. “Damn.” She handed the ten over. “I’da thought for sure there was somethin’ worse out there.”
He shrugged. “Apparently not. Or, not yet, at least. We’ll just have to see. In fact, twenty says the next thing is worse.”
“You’re on. Twinkie, you want in on this?”
Tara rolled her eyes. “No thanks. You children entertain yourselves.”
Xander laughed. “Suit yourself. Now,” He put the papers on the coffee table in front of him. “According to these, Walsh began working for the government about two years ago, on a project called ‘The Initiative.’ Will didn’t have much beyond that on the project itself, but she noted that Walsh has two degrees besides the one in Psychology. One for biology, and the other in medicine.
“Now, one would think that this would be the perfect makings of an MD, but as soon as her internship and residency were done, she left America. She went to other countries, helping where she could for huge fees. After that, the government recruited her.”
“Why would she give something like that up?” Tara wondered aloud. “It sounds like she was making good money.”
“She was. Her current net worth is even better than ours.”
“Then what’d they offer her?” Faith asked. “If it ain’t about the money…”
Xander flipped through the pages. “Where is it… here. She got married to a guy in Russia. They were together for about six months, until he died. It was labeled a cooking accident.”
“Cooking accident?” Tara raised an eyebrow. “As in, a barbecue fork?”
Xander nodded. “That’s why she’s in on this. She wants to kill demons. But there’s something else to worry about.” He pulled out her psych profile. “Willow managed to find this. It says she has slight megalomaniacal tendencies.” He looked up. “She’s a fanatic. There’s no reasoning with a fanatic.”
“Why not?” Faith asked.
“They commit totally to their cause.” Tara explained. “They won’t quit unless they’re dead.”
There was a moment of silence.
“Damn.” Faith muttered. “Are we gonna have to kill her?”
Xander shook his head. “I don’t think so. If this group is hunting demons, I say let them. Nothing wrong with a little help. We just have to keep our heads down, and let them do our job.”
Faith thought about it, and grinned. “Sounds good to me. More time for me.”
“Exactly.” Xander yawned. “Well, let’s worry about this later. Let’s get some sleep.”
The other two nodded their consent, and they went to bed.
AN: Well, there it is, the next part. Buffy's adventures in LA will be up soon, I hope. R/R, please!