Standard disclaimer: BTVS was created by Joss Whedon. X-men and Spider-man were created by Stan Lee and pals. This is a piece of fanfiction that is not written for any form of monetary gain, only amusement.
Sunnydale General Hospital....
“And that, is the story of Arachne.” Xander finished as he set the book of Greek Mythology down on the bedside table. “Well, I've got to get to the Bronze. Oz's band is playing tonight. I'll be back tomorrow afternoon. Later Faith.” He placed a hand on the comatose girl's shoulder before exiting the hospital room.
He wasn't sure why he was coming here, but the quiet did help him sort things out that went on during his daily life. All in all things had been going pretty good. He had a decent paying job, friends and he'd just gotten a two bedroom apartment with Kaine.
With skylights, which happened to be fairly useful for spider-guys.
The rent was more than a little high, but they'd already more than managed to scrounge up the cash from their day jobs. They had also been stashing more than a little away from their nightly activities. Newly risen vamps didn't have any money, but the ones that turned them? They tended to have full wallets. The undead didn't exactly do well during banker's hours.
The main issue the two men had been having was controlling their spending. Neither one was used to having a somewhat abundant cash flow. Both of them had finally taken a step back and looked at their needed spending versus something Kaine called impulse buying.
Despite a few well reasoned arguments, they were keeping the used soda vending machine. It had been one of the few things that had survived Sunnydale High's explosion and Xander had more than a few fond memories of playing soda roulette with it.
Kaine had looked it over and couldn't find anything actually wrong with the machine. After testing all of the circuits he shook his head and declared that it was either possessed or had a mind of it's own.
Considering everything, either one was more than possible. Still, they kept it fully stocked with their favorite brands and they used the money they put into it to buy more soda when it was empty. As long as it didn't try to kill them, they were okay with the Christine of Vending Machines. Even if it somehow kept all the nickels they put into it.
“That was... not very good.” Kaine said softly as 'Dingoes Ate My Baby' finished their first set.
“Well, at least you're more encouraging than the guy that used to write the Sunnydale High newspaper.” Willow said before sipping her coffee.
“He's got a point.” Buffy said. “They could be better. Do they even practice?”
“Not like they need to.” Willow admitted. “You don't have to be so mean about it.”
“Was I mean?” Kaine asked Buffy.
“Umm.... kinda?” Buffy said as she halfheartedly attempted to defend Oz's band.
“Oh.” Kaine nodded. “So... wanna go to my place later?”
“Sure.” Buffy grinned. “I've been wanting to see your new place. Have you and Xander decorated much?”
“I still haven't seen him. Has he been avoiding me?” Willow asked Buffy.
“Nah, he's just been busy. I think he's volunteering or something after work.” Buffy told her. “He's gotten pretty bad about being on time outside of his day-job.”
“Am I late?”Xander asked as he sat down.
“Nah. We were just leaving.” Kaine told him. “I ordered some food. Feel free to eat and pay for it.”
“You got the boneless wings didn't you?” Xander sighed.
“Good luck getting a napkin.” Kaine smirked.
“You bastard.” Xander sighed as Kaine and Buffy got up from the table.
“Hey.” Willow said to Xander.
“Wills.” Xander said before grinning lightly.
“So what's with the sunglasses?” Willow asked him.
“Kids and their laser pointers.” Xander said. “Never know when they're going to strike.”
“No really, what's up?” Willow asked. “I never see you.”
“And you never venture off campus much.” Xander countered. “Besides coffee fixes and maybe a laundry run or two, how much have you left UC Sunnydale? Patrols don't count.”
“Well... I.... not much.” Willow admitted.
“So. I guess we're at stuck at the whole Townie/Student divide then. Even if we're both technically from here.” Xander told her as a waitress dropped a basket of boneless hot wings in front of him. “Can I get some...” Xander began to say but the waitress was already off to another table. “The service here sucks.”
“What's with that Kaine guy leaving you with the chicken?” Willow asked.
“Well aside from him thinking it's funny for me to get buffalo sauce all over my hands with no napkins in sight, he's doing what he can so I get more protein in my diet. He kinda mothers me sometimes.” Xander said before picking up one of the wings and popping it in his mouth.
“Hmm.” Xander said as he chewed. “This isn't boneless. I've really got to stop eating here.”
“You're not going to swallow that are you?” Willow asked him.
“No. No I'm not.” Xander said before spitting out the non-boneless wing. “I'm also not paying for this.” He said before picking up the basket and walking towards the counter.
“Huh.” Willow muttered as her oldest friend walked away. “He didn't used to be this...forceful. Weird.”
“What's weird?” Oz asked as he sat down. “Also... do you smell spiders?”
“Do what now?” Willow asked him.
“Never mind. Maybe the place is taking an alternative solution to their roach problem.” Oz shrugged. “Where's Buffy and her... friend?”
“I think she's giving him 'decorating tips' back at his place.” Willow told him.
“Huh.” Oz said. “Good for them.”
UC Sunnydale Campus....
“Lowell House huh?” Xander muttered as he tailed the group of commandos. “There was always something about colleges and fraternities that bugs me.” He said as he remembered the evil fraternity he'd helped take down because Buffy had wanted to misbehave back in Junior year.
He paused in his approach to the rear entrance of the Lowell House. His Spider-Sense was tingling. It was a warning.... but not too specific. It was either a trap, or he was about to be caught on camera.
Xander decided to be careful and decided to not pursue this any further tonight. He needed to talk to Kaine and Buffy about this. They needed to know that everyone coming in or out of this place was suspect.
Later... at Xander and Kaine's apartment....
“Why is there a hole in the wall?” Xander asked as he finally found a bottle of Tylenol.
“Umm. We kind of got carried away.” Kaine admitted.
“Okay, I can see that.” Xander admitted. “But why is my bed wrecked too?”
“Really carried away.” Kaine muttered.
“I told you we should have done this in my dorm.” Buffy said as she adjusted the sheet she was wearing. “But you didn't want to go on campus.”
“Well, I've got another reason not to.” Xander said before dry swallowing two pills. “The Lowell House is a front for the commando guys. Now then, I'm going to try to crash somewhere else while you two fix the drywall.”
“Wait a second..... the TA for my Psych class lives in the Lowell House.” Buffy said excitedly. “Maybe my professor really is the bad guy. See, I told you she was a psycho bitch.”
“Doesn't she have tenure?” Xander asked Kaine.
“See? He gets it.” Kaine told Buffy.
“Oh, you two are impossible.” Buffy sighed. “Where are my clothes?”
“I'm going to assume they're not in my room.” Xander told her. “Get dressed and get a fixin'.” He said. “I'm heading out.”
Xander looked around his room before sighing and leaping up for the half open skylight. With one extra move, he was out of their apartment and on the roof.
Kaine eyed Buffy speculatively before grinning. “So... want to break the other bed?”
Buffy blushed a little but nodded. Just as she was leaning in to kiss Kaine, her beeper went off.
“I have to take that.” Buffy told him. “Only a few people know that number.”
Kaine nodded. He understood being 'on call'.
“It's Willow.” Buffy said before heading for the phone and dialing the number. “Hey. What happened? Seriously? Harmony's a what? I'll be over in a little bit.”
“What's up?” Kaine asked.
“Willow got bit by Harmony, who's a vampire now.” Buffy said. “And to think I thought she couldn't get any lower after high school.”
“I'll put my pants on.” Kaine told her. “You might want to do the same.”
“Right. Pants.” Buffy agreed.
Xander stared at the brightly lit streets below and sighed. He had to crash, but where? Joyce's place was an option, but he'd just moved out of there. He supposed he could try Buffy's dorm but he really didn't want to go onto campus with those commandos living there.
“Where to go, where to go?” Xander wondered. His mind drifted to where he'd been earlier that evening. “Ah. Why not? Not like the night staff is going to complain.”
“Doesn't he know visiting hours are over?” One of the night nurses asked the other.
“Ah, let him. He's her only visitor.” The other said. “I know him. He's a decent kid. Clumsy as hell, but all right.”
“Fine.” The first nurse said as she went back to looking at her magazine.
“Well... I suppose I can sleep here, but....” Xander grinned. “It could use a little decoration.” He scratched his head before taking the straw that was next to the glass of water on the bedside table and using his webbing to make a rough looking dream-catcher. “It's no Magnum PI poster, but it'll have to do.” Xander told Faith before hanging it up on Faith's IV bag holder. “Sweet dreams Faith.” Xander told her before slouching down in his chair to get some sleep.
Since his eyes were closed, he didn't notice the small spider that made it's way up Faith's nose.
Willow's Dorm room....
“So she bit you and ran off?” Buffy asked as she looked at the wound Harmony had inflicted on her red headed friend.
“I think she said something about her boyfriend and then she ran off.” Oz said. “She...isn't much of a threat is she?”
“Well, she is a vampire... but it's Harmony.” Buffy said. “I think we need to worry about whoever this boyfriend is. He's either very patient or very stupid. Both tend to be really dangerous here.”
“Not just here.” Kaine said as he remembered The Rhino. “Also, avoid the guys from Lowell House. They're the commandos.”
“Good to know.” Oz nodded. “We'll be sure to steer clear.” The last thing he needed was to be hunted down like an animal.
“Well, it looks like you're going to be fine. I'd still disinfect the hell out of it. It was Harmony that bit you.” Buffy told Willow.
“Already have.” Willow told her. “Super hot Holy Water and everything.”
“Good.” Buffy said. “We all know where that mouth had been in High School.”
Everybody except Kaine shuddered.
“That bad huh?” Kaine asked once everyone stopped reminiscing.
“Don't get me started.” Oz told him. “I get kind of chatty when I'm angry.”
Sunnydale General, the next morning....
Xander yawned as he sat up in his chair. "Man, that was a little intense." He said as he scratched his head. “I thought dream-catchers were supposed to prevent bad dreams. That was just... wrong."
"You're telling me." Faith muttered before yawning. "I feel like I've been asleep for months."
"Umm... well you were in a coma." Xander told her as he popped his neck. He paused and stared at Faith. “Shit, you're really awake!”
"Yep." Faith said as she looked around. "This doesn't look like jail."
"Yeah. With the Mayor being dead along with most of the higher ups in the police force? All charges against the Scooby Gang disappeared." Xander told her. "All evidence too. The only ones who might be after you are the Watchers. Though.. if they were, I can't say why they haven't taken you once you got here."
"B still pissed?" Faith asked him.
"Probably." Xander nodded. "You did poison Angel."
"I've got no real love for him either." Xander shrugged. "Still... I guess we need to get you checked out of here."
"You know I don't have insurance right?" Faith asked him.
"I know. I think the Mayor took care of the bill." Xander said as he stood and stretched. "You okay?"
"I will be once I get some food." Faith told him. "By the way, spiders? Couldn't you do any better?"
"Hey, I got spliced by my Mad Scientist second cousin. It's not like I got zapped by Cosmic Rays or Gamma Radiation." Xander snarked. "He used what he had. I kind of like it since there's a great queen spider out there and she likes me."
Faith shivered as she remembered that part of the dream. "Yeah. She's kind of intense isn't she?"
"That she is." Xander agreed. "So... breakfast? I've got work in about two hours."
"Sure." Faith said as she yanked the IV out of her hand. "Oh, and destroy that fucking dream-catcher, would you?”
"You got it lady." Xander grinned as Faith shakily got out of the bed.
He wouldn't destroy it, just yet.
Faith sneezed and a small house spider landed on the far wall of the room. It skittered along the wall and into the air vent near the ceiling.
“Okay, that was a little gross.” Xander admitted.
“Hey, spiders are your thing not mine.” Faith said before sniffing. “Still... that was fucked up. Let's go get some food. I'm starving.”
Xander nodded before following Faith out of the hospital room. He couldn't help but grin as one of the morning shift nurses started swearing and calling for a doctor.
“Has anyone seen Xander this morning?” Kaine asked as he looked around the work-site.
“He called saying he was going to be out. A friend of his just got out of a coma.” The Foreman told him. “That means you're going to have to do double the work until he shows up.”
Kaine nodded. “Not a problem.” He said before getting back to work.
“He does know you were joking right?” One of the other crew members asked the Foreman.
“I don't know. I can't really tell with that guy.” The Foreman said with a shake of his head.
Hansel's House of Hashbrowns...
“Mmm... Waffles. Waffles with lots of syrup!” Faith said around a mouthful of the food.
“Good to see some things haven't changed.” Xander said with a grin as he sipped his coffee. He'd already eaten a fair amount but Faith was still pounding food down. He looked at his watch and grimaced. He was already out a half a day's pay and that was just with the food bill!
“So... what is everyone doing?” Faith asked after she finally stopped eating.
“Stuff.” Xander said. “My roommate is dating Buffy and Willow and Oz are doing the whole college thing. Oh yeah, there is some sort of secret military thing happening at the local college. They're collecting demons.”
“That's a good idea.” Faith snorted. “What's G been doing since you blew up the school?” She asked.
“He's enjoying not being a High School librarian.” Xander shrugged. “What he does in his free time... well I'd really rather not think about it.”
“Alphabetizing things.” Faith mused.
“Or sorting his books based on the Dewey Decimal system” Xander said.
“Or watching porn.” Faith offered.
“I don't think he owns a TV. If he does, it isn't in his living room.” Xander told her. “This way madness lies.”
“Yeah.” Faith agreed. “So... now what?”
“I pay the bill.” Xander told her. “You can walk away if you want. No payback against Buffy or anything. It won't end well.”
Faith snorted. “I get that. Now.”
“Guess you had to sleep on it.” Xander grinned.
Faith kicked him under the table.
“Abuse!” Xander declared. “You're abusive!”
“X, that shit ain't funny.” Faith said with a bit of a glare.
Xander considered their respective backgrounds and nodded. “Fair enough. Check please!” He called.
Faith just shook her head. She didn't know if he was ever going to really grow up.
She also didn't know if she wanted him to.
Underneath UC Sunnydale.....
“What are you doing?” Maggie Walsh asked as she entered Dr. Essex's office.
“Watching a movie.” Essex said before munching on a handful of popcorn. “It's.... inspiring.”
“What is it?” Walsh asked. Her curiosity getting the better of her.
“It's called 'Full Eclipse'.” Essex said. “It's about a werewolf policeman who uses a serum from his own glands to enhance other officers to take down major criminals.”
“Huh.” Walsh said. “Fiction and reality.” She muttered. “Have we caught any lycanthropes yet?”
“No. But I've already started preparing some data for our teams about them and when the next full moon is.” Essex said. “The odds are slim. But all things considered there are probably at least three of them here on campus.”
Walsh nodded. “Keep up the good work. Also, order more silver nitrate. We need to determine exactly how vulnerable they are.”
“Already have.” Essex grinned.
“Okay... I guess Kaine's been holding back a little.” The foreman muttered as the day came to a close.
“Think we should tell him how far ahead of schedule we are?” One of the others asked.
“No. Let's just see what he and Xander can do when they really go all out tomorrow. We can adjust their pay accordingly.” The Foreman said. “We all know someone might end up throwing one of the 'M' words around. Let's try to be better than that. They're workers first. What they do in their off time is not our business.”
“I'll spread the word.” One of the workers said with a nod.
Elsewhere Underneath Sunnydale.....
“Have we found it yet?” Harmony asked Spike.
“No.” Spike growled as he started to pace around their lair. “Arrgh!” He said as he walked face first into a spider's web. “What is with the insects in this town? They're fucking everywhere!”
“Umm... spiders aren't insects.” Harmony corrected. “They're arthropods but they're a different class.”
Spike glared at her.
“Sorry. I guess it was that biology major I ate last night.” Harmony shrugged.
“You don't... nevermind.” Spike sighed. “That's enough digging for today. The sun's going down.”
“How can you tell?” Harmony asked.
“I have a watch.” Spike said slowly. “It keeps time.”
“Oh.” Harmony said. “Can we eat Willow tonight?”
“Maybe.” Spike said. “If we can get her away from Buffy. They'll probably be on the alert now that they know you're a vampire.”