Disclaimer: I don’t own any TV series, Movie, or Video Game franchise. I’m pretty sure that covers every possible crossover. Cheers!
“I'll be back Monday,” Joyce said while checking her purse to make sure she had her car keys with her. “Dawn is upstairs getting ready for bed, though I'm sure she'll never reach it and you'll both be passed out on the sofa by the time the sun rises.”
“Why Mrs. Summers, I'm shocked that you think so little of me,” Xander mock protested.
“You mean you don't plan on keeping her up until her namesake?”
Xander grinned evilly. “I plan on running her ragged.” Unnoticed by Xander Dawn appeared at the head of the stairs. “I expect to have her collapsed spread eagle on the living room floor panting for breath by no later than three AM, begging for sleep.”
Dawn's face discovered a new shade of red.
“All I request is that she be alive and well when I get home,” Joyce said, giving Xander a hug and trying not to grin at her daughter's expression.
“She will be,” Xander said firmly as he returned the hug with a seriousness that was probably out of place outside a warzone, but fit Sunnydale rather well.
“There should be plenty of food in the fridge and I've got some prepared meals you just have to heat up but knowing the two of you I also put an envelope under the phone with money so you two can pig out on pizza if you wish,” Joyce said, letting go.
“I'm sure we'll be fine with the money you already gave me.”
“That’s money for watching Dawn. It kind of defeats the purpose of paying you if you spend it on Dawn.”
“I'd rather spend it on having a good time with her. I never need to be paid to spend time with Dawn.”
Dawn's smile was so wide her cheeks probably hurt, Joyce thought, smiling at Xander.
“About this time I would probably say something about how I should be paying you to spend time with her, but Giles has been working with me on thinking before I speak and I can see where that could be misconstrued, because what I mean is that Dawn is more fun than a bag full of puppies.”
Joyce couldn't tell if Xander was being serious or just trying to make her laugh, but between that and Dawn doing some sort of victory dance at the head of the stairs, she lost it and started laughing.
“Thanks, I needed that,” Joyce said gratefully. “Between Buffy running away and dealing with … reality not being what I thought it was, I really needed that.”
“She'll be fine,” Xander promised her. “Not only is she off the Hellmouth, so the demons are weaker, but it’s the summer lull when things are at their quietest. Besides, Giles still has a bunch of prophecies that talk about her, so we know she'll be back.”
“If he knows she'll be back, why is he spending all his free time searching for her?”
Xander shrugged. “He said that just because she'll be back is no reason to leave her to deal with her loss by herself.”
Joyce shook off the shock of having a conversation where prophecies were a serious subject and replied, “Sometimes that man is alright.”
Xander grinned. “His main focus is to keep Buffy alive and well, but he treats us all like we're his kids at times.”
“But he sends you out to fight demons,” Joyce argued.
“Unless we need him to find some information, or figure out how to kill the latest demon, he's right there with us. Except when we have to blend in of course, he sucks at that.”
“B-but you're all so young and it’s so dangerous,” Joyce worried.
Xander shrugged. “Of my kindergarten class, about a dozen have made it to high school. They didn't know about the demons or fight them – they simply died. My point is this, what we do is dangerous, I won't lie to you, but if we hadn't fought not only would we probably be dead, but most of the world would be as well.”
Joyce nodded. “I'm not saying you haven't done good work, I just wish the authorities were doing something about it.”
Xander shrugged. “Most of the people who see what’s what repress things better than an altar boy who spends the night at Michael Jackson's house. I'd say it’s like magic, but it probably is magic. Of the rest, they either go insane or take up arms like we do. So if you got the majority of the military to actually see what’s going on … well the crazy people would probably cause as much damage as the demons do.”
“So you're safer fighting than not? That doesn't make much sense.”
He shrugged. “We live in a crazy world. I'd love to live in a world where demons didn't exist and corpses didn't mack on teenage girls, but we don't. There's probably some big picture thing that I'm not getting that'd make all of this seem rational – but you'd have to ask Giles for it. Just be sure to let me know if you find one.”
Joyce nodded. “I'll be sure to do that. Remember you can have your girlfriend or Willow over if you like.”
Xander shrugged. “I am once again single. Cordy held out for quite a bit, but apparently her parents finally met her price for breaking up with me.”
Xander shook his head. “Brand new Vette – Candy Apple Red, a two month vacation at club med in the Bahamas, and a beach house in Malibu.”
“You don't sound all that upset,” Joyce observed, remembering what had happened the last time Cordelia had broken up with him and blushing a little.
“Well it’s hard to feel bad when someone puts that big a price tag on a relationship with you. We come from such different worlds that fighting demons was more comfortable than dealing with each other's parents. So it’s not like I expected us to think about anything even remotely long term for about a decade. I insisted it be in her name and that they added prepaid college tuition, just to annoy them a bit, but it seemed to have the opposite effect. They almost approved of me for it! At any rate, I swore I would no longer pursue a romantic relationship with her, but that I would still consider her a friend.”
“That’s a very mature response,” Joyce said while Dawn examined her bedclothes, a set of flannel PJs, and grinned before vanishing back down the hall.
Joyce briefly considered warning him, but decided not to. They both needed a distraction from recent events and this would keep them occupied, as well as provide some excellent opportunities to tease and embarrass them later.
“I know, shocked me too,” Xander joked. “But seriously, you just find Buffy – me and Dawn will be fine.”
“Will do,” Joyce promised as she headed out with renewed hope of finding her daughter and high spirits.
* * *
The Mayor i.e. Richard Wilkins the first, second and third, hummed brightly as he washed off his hands – making sure to clean under the nails. He hated trying to get dried blood out from under his nails, so he was always sure to do a thorough job while it was still wet. Much more hygenic that way too.
He dried his hands with a paper towel. he didn't care what anyone claimed, hand dryers simply didn't work. They always left him with damp hands, as if he'd had a hard time aiming while using the facilities.
Sometimes the old ways were best, while at others a little innovation was nice – for instance the spell he'd just finished performing, it was a promising variation on the standard scrying spell. Instead of having to use expensive crystals or rare liquids it used local resources i.e. video cameras.
Richard had planned ahead and installed traffic cameras at every intersection, and in places no one would think to look for them, so he could watch over the town, but monitoring all the cameras to keep track of the Slayer would use up resources he'd much rather expend on other matters – like insuring the Sunnydale orphanage had an on call nurse, so the children would grow up healthy and strong, or having a limestone pit set up for the Lau'kyel demon next to the orphanage, so it wouldn't snack on children that would be missed.
Being Mayor required making hard choices and sacrifices, Richard thought to himself, as he entered his office – carefully stepping around the pentagram that held the remains of his secretary, so he wouldn't get blood on his shoes.
Settling into his chair he hit the button for the Deputy Mayor.
“Yes sir?” came the reply through the intercom.
The Mayor smiled cheerfully. “I need the latest update on the Slayer and a new secretary from the temp pool. Oh, and let the janitor know he'll need an extra large Hefty bag …” his voice trailed off as his dead secretary twitched and stood up, not even buttoning up her shirt to conceal the hole in her chest before stumbling out the door.
“Cancel that last bit, tell him to just bring a mop and some extra Lysol to clean up the blood trail.”
“Yes sir. Our latest report on the Slayer actually comes from LA. It appears that after destroying Angelus and taking care of the Acathla situation she decided to hop the bus to LA,” Finch reported.
“Don't we have someone monitoring the bus station at night?” Wilkins asked.
“Yes sir, he's down in the morgue. Apparently one of our night shift citizens drained him.”
“Was there blood in his mouth?” The Mayor asked curiously.
The sounds of papers being shuffled could be heard over the intercom before Finch responded, “Yes sir, there was blood found in his mouth and the coroner said it wasn't his blood type. It looks like he's been turned, sir.”
“Excellent, have someone ready to greet him when he rises with a bag of blood and be sure to let him know he's no longer allowed to take sick days. Three days to rise is covered under our maternity leave policy, strangely enough, but that’s it. Also remind him that the 90 days cancellation clause is still in effect, so if he wants to quit he still has to notify me three months in advance.”
“Yes sir, will that be all?”
“I believe so. Have a nice night Finch, and I'll see you bright and early Monday morning.”
“Thank you, night sir.”
The Mayor looked at the pool of blood that his secretary had left behind and wondered what was so important to her that she'd rise as a revenant and not attempt to revenge herself on her former employer. “A good boss doesn't dig into his employees’ personal lives,” he reminded himself aloud before gathering his things to go home.
“A shame the poor dear wasn't home. That was a waste of some perfectly good Slayer's blood. Ah well, I'll just have to have another blood drive at the highschool. I'm sure Principal Snyder will be able to ensure she donates blood again. Unpleasant fellow, but effective.”
The mayor stepped into the shadows and vanished, leaving the final step of the spell unfinished – the step that would have focused the output of the spell into just where he wanted it to go.
Dawn took a deep breath and started down the stairs, determined to make Xander see her as a mature woman. She'd put on a little bit of makeup and a night shirt that went down to her knees, which was a little tight in the chest region. She knew she didn't have the curves Cordelia did, but then few girls did and Xander had been attracted to her sister – which meant he should be attracted to her since she looked a bit like her sister – right? Right!
Xander smiled brightly at her as she came down the stairs, his eyes never leaving her face.
She wasn't sure if that was a good or bad thing. Sure, he didn't seem to notice her breasts, such as they were (grow already damn it!), but he was happy to see her.
“Xander!” she yelled, completely forgetting she was trying to make him see her as a mature woman before she got within three feet of him, as she sprang off the stairs at him.
Xander was well used to this type of behavior and caught her easily, swinging her up and around to bleed off momentum and make her squeal, before tossing her into the air and catching her bridal style. “So, how's my favorite girl?”
Dawn melted against him. “A bit sad about Buffy being gone, but also mondo pissed at her,” she admitted.
“Angel snuck in here a couple of times. I thought she was still dating the creep, but nooo, it turns out he's a monster who could have killed us!” Dawn admitted, as Xander carried her into the livingroom and sat down on the sofa, still holding her.
“Has anyone told you the whole story?” Xander asked.
Dawn shook her head negatively and leaned against his chest.
Xander sighed. “Once upon a time there was an evil vampire named Angelus with his brother William and sisters Drusilla and Darla. They rained down death and destruction on Europe – earning their title: The Scourge of Europe.”
“A fairy tale?” Dawn asked, grinning up at him. Sure, it was a bit childish to enjoy fairy tales but Xander liked telling them as much as she liked hearing them.
“Yep, it’s easier to tell it that way and I get to skip a bunch of boring facts,” Xander explained. “Angelus and his family raged across Europe for over a hundred years, until they stumbled upon a gypsy camp.”
Dawn laughed. “They were stupid enough to mess with gypsies?”
“They were indeed that stupid,” he replied. “Drusilla the Mad Seer and William the Bloody Awful Poet had stopped for a picnic of poets and poetry contest judges, so neither was there to tell them that messing with the gypsies was a bad idea.”
“Morons,” Dawn muttered against Xander's chest.
“So, Angelus of the Angelic Face, and Darla of the Negotiable Affections, descended upon the camp biting and killing everyone. Unfortunately for them one of the girls they caught and killed was special to the tribe. We don't know her name, but I suspect it was Jana,” Xander said sadly.
“Because that’s generally how these things go,” Xander admitted. “Princess Jana lay dead, and the tribes gathered together to mourn and determine what to do to her killer.”
“It should involve chainsaws,” Dawn growled.
“Chainsaws had not been invented yet unfortunately.” Xander grinned and gave Dawn a squeeze. “They decided to give the vampire Angelus back his soul.”
“What about Darla?”
“Darla, the Hanger Around on Street Corners in the Evening, was ignored. I'm guessing they figured punishing Angelus who she loved so much would be punishment enough.”
“Wait, I thought you were your soul?” Dawn asked as the thought hit her.
“Very true, so what the gypsies did was rip the soul of the man who owned the body out of the afterlife and stuff him into the body alongside the demon – turning what was once a dangerous vampire into a vampire that felt guilt over everything it had been proud of the day before.”
“The man made the vampire regret its actions?” she asked.
“The man was put in charge of the body and given all of the vampire's memories so it thought that it was the vampire.”
“How does that punish the vampire?”
“The vampire was forced to feel everything the man felt, it could see hear and feel everything but it couldn't do anything. The vampire became a helpless passenger in the body – a body that was suddenly emo!”
Dawn giggled. “So what happened?”
“The rest of the Scourge of Europe rejected the newly coined Angel and he moved from place to place; hiding in the dark, brooding and eating rats.”
“No killing humans or demons?”
“Nope, just rats. Then one day a demon appeared and told him it had something to show him.”
“That can't be good,” Dawn muttered into his shirt.
“Well … Yes and no,” Xander admitted. “For the demon was a balance demon and it was his job to make Angel seek redemption for all the crimes Angelus did.”
“Does that make any sense? I mean the soul didn't do all that much, it was the demon,” Dawn pointed out.
“Not really, but it is what happened and Angel bears at least a little guilt, for letting the demon Angelus loose.”
“True,” Dawn agreed, snuggling into Xander's chest once more.
Xander smiled and gave Dawn another squeeze. “The demon Whistler showed Angel a 14 year old girl, the Chosen One who did not yet know her calling and he fell in love.”
“How old was he?” Dawn asked.
“He, being the man, was in his mid twenties when he died and had been brooding as a vampire for a century.”
“I'm thinking the age gap is bigger than the Grand Canyon. I can see two to three years being unimportant at our age, and half a dozen being ignorable when you're in your mid twenties – but a century when you're my age?!” Dawn snorted.
“I'm the last one to disagree with you there,” Xander agreed, not catching the smile she had developed at his agreement. “But to be fair to Deadboy …”
“Do we have to?” she teased.
Xander laughed. “Just a little. Vampires don't change much as times go by, they don't age physically and it seems to apply to their mental age as well. So Angel, for all intents and purposes, can be considered a 17th Century mid twenties male.”
“A twenty five year old man hitting on a fourteen year old girl is still a bit much.”
“Well, in his day and age Buffy was not only of marriageable age, but in danger of becoming an old maid and despite all that he still resisted her advances. So, while he was attracted he didn't start dating her until a year later and held off anything more intimate until she was seventeen. I can at least respect him for that.”
“Isn't sixteen legal?” Dawn asked, having read up on the subject.
“If he was only a few years off age wise it would have been,” Xander agreed.
“Well, back to the story please,” Dawn requested.
“So the souled vampire Angel settled into Sunnydale and waited for the Slayer's appearance. He was determined to help her, but not get involved. Unfortunately for him, Buffy, being in some ways the typical teenage girl …”
“Hey!” Dawn yelped.
“Found the whole tortured soul, brooding, angsty stalker type, to be just what she was looking for in a boyfriend. The part where he was a walking corpse who could never have children or walk in the daylight was completely unimportant to her, as she was convinced she was doomed to die young, since she was the Slayer. I don't get the whole tall, dark older male attraction,” Xander admitted.
“I'll tell you when you're older,” Dawn promised, mimicking her mother and making him laugh.
“So, the Slayer dated the souled vampire, they fell in love – a bunch of stuff not germane to the story happened, the curse broke and Angel was gone only to be replaced by his evil twin Angelus.”
Completely unnoticed by either of the two a nanny cam installed by Ted, shortly before Buffy had dismantled him, had come on and began broadcasting, shortly before they'd sat down.AN: Thank godogma for the typing and me for the typos!