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“What do you mean ‘do with him’?” asked Willow.
“Well we can’t just let him wander about. He is still an agent of the First. He might also have some hidden programming he doesn’t even know about,” Kennedy said explaining her concerns.
“But he’s still like Xander!” Willow called out upset, she wasn’t sure she could hurt someone that looked and acted like her Xander.
“Can’t we just delete any programming and just make him a not-evil Xander?” Buffy said softly. At the odd looks she was receiving she glared back, “I’m not an idiot, I figured out the computer metaphor.”
“But this is something that’s programmed into his DNA, I have no idea how to mess with that. Scientifically or magically,” Willow stammered.
“Fred,” Illyria said suddenly.
“What?” asked Spike turning to look at Illyria who had moved silently to his side at some point.
“She was looking forward to attending a seminar that is this weekend. It is about genetics. Perhaps the lecturer will either know how to ‘delete’ this program or know who might know.”
“I thought Fred was into physics?” Buffy asked quietly.
“She was. She was interested in how the lecturers’ research might assist in identifying demons.”
“Then I guess we’ll keep Xander ‘2.0’ locked up until we can talk to this lecturer guy, just to be on the safe side,” Buffy decided standing up. The others nodding in agreement, well those who would nod, some just watched on not disagreeing. Buffy was happy to have a plan to deal with both Xanders even if it was just a starting plan. As she turned around to look up at Spike she saw the other slayers who had been, for the most part, just watching the events as they occurred. Buffy sighed as she saw how upset the African slayers were about this. He was still the only Xander they knew, and they trusted him.
“I promise you,” Buffy said to the slayers before her, “I will do everything in my power to make sure it’s safe for your Xander to return to you. We just have to be sure that he won’t harm any of you someday because of what happened to him.”
“That brings us to another problem,” Kennedy said swiftly. “Who is going to be their watcher if we’re keeping their Xander for awhile?”
“What?” Buffy and Kennedy both asked as they turned to Xander who had unexpectedly spoken.
“He’d be a good person to replace me.”
“But he’s dead, the Council records say he died only a month after Kendra,” Dawn said speaking up. She’d helped Giles go through the archive looking for watchers to help rebuild.
“He faked his death. Kendra dying affected him deeply. I ran into him two months ago in Africa. He told me that she was a perfect slayer by Council standards and that her dying a year in by being hypnotized meant there were faults in the Council methods. He’s been in Africa trying to figure out a better way to train potentials away from the eyes of the Council. He’s been trying to find a medium between the Council and how Buffy trained by finding out more about the first slayer. He hopes to make slayers live longer. He’s the best person to replace me. Some of the girls already know and trust him.”
“Then I guess we have plans for all our current problems,” Buffy said trying to be cheerful. Spike wrapped his arms around her, knowing that later, away from the others, she was going to break down. She reached up and held his arms closer to her.End – Chapter 5REVIEWS INSPIRE ME!
Short chapter, but no cliffhanger because it’s end scene.