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Summary: Grief hits us all and when it comes how we handle it can send ripples across the world. Watch as Xander Harris deals with his own and evolves from it.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > Other
Multiple Crossings > Xander-Centered
(Recent Donor)TheDivineDemonFR151284,3311914664,21928 Oct 1124 Nov 13No

Chapter Eight

I have no excuse besides laziness. Still I offer my apologies. I can only hope I gave you quality enough to enjoy.

*Beta-ed by Oxnate*

Chapter eight: No Such Things As Angels

Giles sighed as he laid down his pen and idly wondered if the other Watchers ever felt as troubled as he did.

He supposed he have should felt relieved that he was no longer holding a man hostage in his apartment but he could only imagine what was going to happen to the zookeeper now. Interrogation, execution... experimentation.

The Watcher's Council gave no quarter in its war. If there was an advantage, they would push it with little in the way of morals or hesitation.

Just thinking about it made him all the more doubt the letters he was writing. Letters containing recommendations of recruitment for Alexander Harris and Willow Rosenberg. Both had shown promise in different fields and could easily be of a great help when they came of age.

Willow was proving herself an eager student and could easily slide her way into the Research Department, which he was involved in before becoming an 'active' Watcher. Add that eagerness to her natural intelligence you had a born researcher towards any field, even if he was recommending that they had her spear head the more technological side of things.

And Xander, that boy had an intensity, an anger to him, that seemed to scream future Hunter. And despite the groups unsavory nature Giles would rather have Xander working with a team of the Watcher's Wet Work agents than be by himself.

The boy was showing promise for it anyway. His archery was getting much better, to the point he wasn't sure practice was going to slow the boy down any longer. Add to that his intensive study in just about anything Giles placed in front of him and the apparent Martial Arts lessons he was taking, or so Buffy complained, Xander would join the fight soon.

In a much greater capacity than before.

And then there was the surprising discovery he found while examining the boy for post possession damage. The boy was showed signs of magical exhaustion and over use. Meaning one of three possible things, off the top of his head that is.

One, the boy had innate access to his well of magic and it was fighting off the invading spirit.

Two, said spirit activated and was drawing on the boy's well of power. And if that was the case then the other children needed to be found and examined.

Or three, the boy was delving in things that he should not have. At least not without supervision.

Any of the three possibilities demanded intervention of some kind. And soon if the pattern of self taught magi followed.

Corruption or death.

Deep breath in, deep breath out.

Nock the arrow.


Deep breath in, deep breath out.

Start to draw back the arrow, analyze the structure.

Begin to Reinforce and strengthen weak points.

Deep breath in.

Take sight of the target. Lightly coat the head with power, sharpen the tip.

Breath out, release.

As the arrow flew through the air it seemed to be nothing special. Only moving slightly faster than any other arrow but it was when it hit its mark that anything out of the ordinary came to view. The triple layered cardboard target, make shift of course, was cut clean through as the arrow was buried up to its fletching in tree bark.

But despite the rather impressive effect Xander was disappointed.

It took him three seconds to get that result.

In three seconds a vampire would notice him and dodge the arrow before it even took flight. Meaning he would miss by default. He already experienced what happened when the first strike missed and the second shot was slow.

He was actually considering that it wasn't the arrow he should be trying to improve but the bow. Maybe he should reinforce the string to make it more taunt, give the arrow more force when released. Making it harder, making it move faster.

But at the moment all he had was one bow. Arrows were relatively cheap to replace but a new bow, no matter how much he wanted a larger, and stronger, bow would cost more than the money got from his "allowance" of recycling his dad's beer bottles.

And he didn't want to risk his bow. Despite everything it held a certain amount of sentimental value.

Maybe he could see if Giles had any lying around anywhere.

With only a bare few left over thoughts Xander tried to his arrow out of the tree. It took a bit of work but he managed to dislodge it. Despite how deep it went in the arrow lodged itself in a relatively straight and clean cut line.

Which meant he didn't ruin another perfectly good arrow due to magic. Which was good because he was already down half his stock because of that.

Looking at the remains of his target he let out a tsk. It was completely ruined. He wasn't expecting it to last but falling apart after two "Magic shots" was just sad. The other targets he brought with him lasted at least four.

Mournful that his target practice was coming to an end, he tossed the ruined target with the others and grabbed his duffel bag. After placing his archery gear where it belonged he grabbed a pair of stakes and got into a fighting stance.

His fighting style was coming along, still bumpy and rigid in portions but evolving well. Most of his movements still held that straight forward nature of his Boxing trial but his lessons in Eskrima were plain to see. He rarely ever practiced bare handed anymore. There was almost always a stake, or arrow for those emergency situations, in them.

Still though, he was going to find a new trial to take now that the Eskrima one was done. He needed to know more, he needed to be stronger.

The possession gave him a taste of something, power, domination of the opponent, the ability to actually win a fight.

All of that set a goal in his mind.

A line drawn that he had to surpass. To the point that he could hypothetically beat the ever living crap out of his possessed self.

Step by step he would reach that goal and with each step he would be closer to the Hero he needed to be.

Willow had called last night and tried to get him to go to the annual Fumigation Party at the Bronze but he skeezed his way out of it. So he was ready and prepared for a full on verbal assault he was going to receive when he entered the school grounds.

With such ammo as 'You never spend any time with me anymore!' that would be quickly followed by watery eyes and a quivering lip. Such an attack could be lethal if not avoided or side stepped.

So to his grateful surprise he ran into Buffy first saying something happened the night prior after she left the Bronze. Apparently she had called Giles earlier and they were going to have a meeting in the library.

Did it make him disturbed that he was looking forward to whatever the trouble was? Probably a little but so far whenever something bad happened they put it down hard. So it in a weird way it was a good thing if they ran into trouble, it meant another monster was about to die.

And it got him out of a lecture, so it was probably the best possible thing to happen all things considered.

As the trio entered the library Giles looked up from his logs. "Ah, excellent timing. I was hoping to have a word with you Xander."

Said boy blinked "Uh, okay?" In his experience when an adult wanted to talk to you there was something bad about to come, lectures, yelling, you need to do so and so to pass the grade.

But Giles was cool, for a guy over... 40? So it couldn't be that bad, right?

"That can wait." Buffy said, interrupting whatever conversation was about to happen. "Something happened last night."

Giles mid attempted reprimand stopped, seemed torn, and then relented "What happened?"

"I got my butt kicked."

There was a long pause of silence as everyone processed that little bit of information. Buffy hasn't lost yet, sure she got tossed around a bit but never beaten. The closest she came to that was when Amy's mom drugged her and no one could really count that.

So Xander said what was on all their minds "Uh, can you say that again? And maybe with a little more detail this time?"

Buffy rolled her eyes at the comment but did so, citing her abrupt attack outside of the local club by three armored vampires and Angel's timely intervention. Xander made special note that vampires really couldn't enter a home uninvited.

The report soon degraded to a gossip session as Willow pointed out how romantic it was when Buffy offered to bandage Angel. Buffy was more than willing to give details, which caused both males to roll their eyes and find something more productive to do.

As Giles went through his stack to find an old book on known vampire groups Xander dug through his back pack for his current 'required reading'.

As he flipped through the pages to pick up where he left off he kept a half ear to the girls' conversation. He tried to tell himself it wasn't any of his business and that Buffy could take care of herself, but all the same she was his friend. He worried.

Then again, Slayer equals super strength. And what that super strength could do to a guy that got too handsy made Xander wince in sympathy.

Still... He did always want to do one of those Big Brother speeches. Since Willow's first boyfriend wouldn't get one, he would be the example of what happens to boys when they hurt Xander's little sister.

It would be a VERY clear message.

"Can we steer this riveting conversation back to the events that happened earlier in the evening?" Giles asked as he returned from the stacks and placed an open book in front of Buffy, " Did they look like this?"

"Yeah that's them," Her voice slightly disappointed from the interrupted girl time, "So what's with the uniforms?"

Giles gave himself a proud nod, "It seems you encountered the Three. Warrior vampires, very proud and very strong."

"How do you know all this stuff?" Willow asked, jealous despite herself. "You always know what's going on. I never know what's going on."

Giles waved her off, "Experience and cataloging. Give it a few years I'm sure you'll catch up."

"Oh." What more could be said?

"Uh, o-obviously you're hurting the Master very much. He, he wouldn't send the, the Three for just anyone. We must step up our training with weapons." He said a bit nervously, mostly because she hasn't shown enough discipline for such training but needs must.

"You don't seem all that worried about the samurai dudes Giles." Xander pointed out.

"Of the three? No, I am not. T-the Master has never been reported to take failure well." Giles reassured relieving Buffy slightly, "But eventually the Master will send someone else, but in the mean time the Three, having failed, will offer their own lives in penance."

Buffy scowled "Do you always have to be about the doom and gloom?"

Giles simply rolled his eyes and prayed that the bell would ring soon.

For his sanity more than anything.

Xander and Willow arrived at the library a few minutes after the bells rang. Xander going because Giles still wanted a word with him and Willow because that's where Xander was going.

And, to be honest with herself, to get to some of Giles book. Being around someone that knew more than her was both intimidating and annoying.

"Ah, you two are earlier than I expected." The librarian said as the two entered and he continued his work of picking up the numerous books the American students have left thrown all about. Really, it was like they had no respect for another's property.

Then again, teenagers.

Xander shrugged, "I figured it would be better just to get it out of the way." He said easily enough though he was fretting inside. This conversation was still making him incredibly nervous and it had been weighing on his mind all day.

He just wanted it over and done with.

"Yes, yes, that would be best..." Giles said as he tried to work out how long the conversation would be in his head and how much time he had to give Buffy to get her familiar with the basics, "Just give me a moment to put these, somewhere." Gesturing to the book in his arms.

It pained him to put if off till later but it was probably best.

After placing the books on a nearby cart Giles gestured for Xander to follow him to his office, "It would probably be best if we had this discussion in private." He spared a glance over to Willow, "This conversation may lead to some rather personal matters"

Xander gave the red head a look too, wondering if he should really care. After all she was his Willow. She knew just about everything about him and he was probably going to tell her anyway.

But the look in Giles eyes brokered no room for argument. And again Xander's nerves sky rocketed.

"Okay, sure."

Willow did her best not to look indignant or puff out her cheeks in indignation but she failed as the two males vanished into the other room.

"So what ch'a want to talk about?" Xander asked as he fell down into a chair, trying to sound as carefree as he possibly could.

"A few things actually." Giles said as he debated whether or not he should sit down. Despite his exposure as the school librarian and his recent adventures with his Slayer and her friends he still found it difficult to deal with teens. Especially teens of the American and digital age variety.

Eventually he took his seat and started to word the information in his mind. After a few seconds of thought, just enough time to make Xander start to squirm in discomfort, he began with a slight cough and a customary stutter "I-I guess it would be easiest to begin with the simple facts."

Xander gave a small nod to that, feeling incredibly like the small child sent to the principal's office for some reason.

"Yes, well, it would seem you were showing signs of magic over use, something that probably felt very painful at the time. And, uh, seeing such signs I thought it best to talk to you sooner rather than later." Giles shifted awkwardly in his own seat wondering how exactly to say what he wanted to, "It would appear that you now have, or already had, active magic within you and it was actively resisting the spirit's influence over you."

"Oh." That hurt his pride a little since, while he was disappointed in himself, he was a little proud of how well he fought off the hyena. Considering how the others turned into mindless slobbering lunatics and he didn't.

"Quiet." Giles gave a nod thinking the boy's response was because of curiosity or that he was following along. So with that train of thought he continued, "Now having active magic in oneself can be a very dangerous thing if not properly educated."

"I've been doing fine on my own, you don't need to worry." The statement was with more than a little indignation in it. He's been practicing on his for a few months now and in his opinion was making decent progress.

Giles stiffened ever so slightly at the boy's sentence, "Does that mean you were already aware of your internal reserves?" He had half expected this but it didn't mean he liked it.

"Um, yeah." Xander shifted a little bit under the Brit's gaze. "I've got a few spells near down pat already."

"You bloody idiot." Giles amazed himself with his ability to keep his voice at a reasonable volume. "Are you telling me that you were not only aware of but were actively practicing the Craft?"


"Do you have any idea how dangerous that is?" Giles growled, his voice doing that weird thing where his accent slipped into something rougher, as he pointed his finger at the table in a subconscious way to get his point across, "Do you even realize what you have done to yourself? What you could have summoned? What you could have bound yourself to?"

"I'm no one's butt monkey!" the boy responded irritably "I've been building my own magic veins and using my OWN power to practice spells."

"Building?" The word finally clicked in place as he processed Xander's outburst, "What type of rubbish have you've been reading?"

Xander glared at him defiant for a moment, debating giving anything up but his conscious made him cave. Giles has done alot for him over the last few months, to just deny him any sort of answer and storming out wasn't really the most mature, or heroic, thing to do... at the moment.

So he told him where he got the books. The look on the older man's face said that he was not pleased.

Willow strained her ears trying to listen in to the conversation on the other side of the door. She didn't really want to eavesdrop per say, but it wasn't right that they were hiding stuff from their group.

Especially if it was about Xander.

She couldn't really make anything out but there were some raised voices every once in a while. Something about books and them being dangerous.

How could books be dangerous?

Well, she couldn't really dismiss anything anymore now could she?

"Hey Willow." Buffy called out louder than necessary, causing the red head to jump in response and giving herself a giggling fit.

"That's not funny!" Willow complained, her face red from shock and embarrassment.

Buffy started to regain control of herself, "Yes it was." In response Willow gave a pout that made Buffy feel a little guilty. "But only a bit."

The glare she received made it clear that the red head was not reassured. "So, uh, what are you doing?"

Another blush spread over Willow's face, "Nothing!"

With a raised eye brow Buffy said, "Oh, Really?" drawing out the L's to show she was obviously skeptical.

"Really." She said with as much conviction as she could before there was another bout of raised voices rose from the room.

Buffy blinked as the voices took her by surprise, her enhanced hearing picking up every other word in her off balanced state. "Wow. What's going on in there?" So far she was able to translate Giles saying something about being irresponsible and foolish while Xander kept on insisting that he could handle it.

Whatever "it" was.

Willow crossed her arms and looked at the door like it kicked her puppy, "I don't know. Giles said it was private and that Xander might not want others to hear it."

Buffy felt a small pang of guilt as she tried to dampen her hearing just a bit. Sure she liked to gossip and hear dirty little secrets but this was her friend. He deserved a little privacy. Besides if it was really important Giles and Xander would tell the rest of them.

It was probably about that Hyena thing anyway. Giles said that there were going to be some lingering effects and they were probably just talking about it right now and Xander was acting like the typical boy who thought he could handle it on his own.

She said as much to Willow and the red head nodded, seconding the stupid boy part whole heartedly.

There was a slam in the other room that made both of them jump. No one need enhanced hearing to make out Xander yelling that he wasn't an idiot and he knew what he was doing. Giles said something at a much lower volume but they could just hear the menace in it.

A moment later Xander yelled something that ended with a "You!" as he came storming out of the room, not even noticing the girls who had toppled over to get out of the way as he exited the library.

Back in the office Giles was counting to an unknown number to calm himself. That really could have gone better but his own anger at the boy's stupid risk didn't mesh well with his apparent independent habits.

He just hoped that they could break through it to help Xander before he got himself killed or worse.

Xander would admit that he didn't handle that well. Yelling and storming out really wasn't very heroic or nice. Especially if someone was just trying to help but Giles didn't have to yell at him like that.

He was alive and relatively unharmed from his magic, wasn't it proof enough that he knew what he was doing?

Bah, Giles could believe whatever he wanted. Right now Xander need to calm down a bit, really wishing he was still in his boxing classes so he could lash out at a bag.

And since he didn't feel like shadow boxing or going over forms, didn't have the same satisfaction, he decided to head to the local comic book store to relax. It's been a while and he needed to update his collection.

A little more than an hour later he'd have a bag full of Green Arrow, Hawkeye, Punisher and Batman comics. A bit of a toll on his wallet but well worth it in his mind. Especially after he made the excuse of finding new training methods within the pages.

Buffy hummed quietly to herself as she bound up the stairs.

Her day started off kind of wonky because, well, assassins, and then it turned out pretty weird when Giles and Xander decided to have a shouting match at each other that the older man refused to elaborate more on besides "He's being a bloody idiot".

After that though it got pretty fun. Weapons training with a bo staff and then a crossbow! Probably better than Xander's silly old bow.

While those were fun she enjoyed her girl talk with Willow more. It was one of the most normal things she could still do, to still have.

Sure the red head was a little sulky at first, what with Xander storming out earlier, but she joined the boy talk in earnest.

And speaking of boys.

"Angel?" She whispered out as she opened her bedroom door. A giddy sort of excitement started to boil in her stomach. While this wasn't the first time she snuck a boy up to her room it wasn't even close to the double digits.

So she felt totally entitled to the blush that creeped up her neck and cheeks as he called out from the shadows of her closet.

"Hey." His deep tone whispered out as he entered her sight.

God he was hot.

Wide shouldered, strong features, deep brown eyes, and all of that wrapped up into a fashionable package. God the way he looked it was hard to believe he was a Vampire Hunter... Because he has no scars or bruising, not that he was too pretty for that type of thing... Okay he was but so was she, no that wasn't narcissistic! It was just that two good looking people like them should have better things to do at night... alone... in a bedroom.

And she needed to stop rambling in her head now.

Taking the time to collect herself she turned on her desk light and turned back to him, holding up a bag of food between them. "Brought you some dinner. It's a little plateless, sorry."

Angel took the offered food out of her hands and stared at like he didn't know what to do with it. Thus causing an awkward silence that Buffy didn't know what to do with.

"So!" She started, breaking any semblance of quite in the room, " What'd you do all day?"

Angel himself trying to work through the awkward silence did his best to come up with an answer other than sleep, "Uh, I read a little."


What did she have in her room that was worth reading?

Looking around briefly she took stock of her room. There was nothing really in the way of reading material there. A few text books she brought home and never took back to her locker, and not much else.

She wasn't a big reader.

As she looked around for what he possibly could have read Angel started talking, as he finally found what he needed to say what he wanted to say. "And just thought about a lot of things." For some reason the words were harder to get out than he though, "Buffy, I..."

"My Diary?" She said before he could continue. She didn't notice it before but it was out of place, actually laying out in the open for the world to see. "You read my Diary?"

Rage boiled up in her as she snatched the book up and shoved it into a drawer. "That is NOT okay! A diary is like a person's most private place!" She hissed out, obviously flustered by the turn of events. " I... You don't even know what I was writing about! 'Hunk' can mean a lot of things, bad things. And, and when it says that your eyes are 'penetrating', I meant to write 'bulging'."


" And 'A' doesn't even stand for 'Angel' for that matter, it stands for... 'Achmed', a charming foreign exchange student, so that whole fantasy part has nothing to even do with you at all..." She ranted on until Angel's way too amused voice interrupted her again.

"Your mother moved your diary when she came in to straighten up. I watched from the closet. I didn't read it, I swear."

"Oh!" She said as first realizing that she jumped to the wrong conclusion before repeating the word again with her checks ablaze and looked down as she realized what she said, "Oh."

"I did a lot of thinking today." He said picking up where he left off before, "I really can't be around you." That caused her head to snap back up to look at his averting gaze. "Because when I am,"

She looked down again, depression just flowing from her, "Hey, no big. Water... over the bridge, under the bridge..."

"When I am all I can ever think about is how badly I want to kiss you." He said, gently interrupting her.

"...over the dam..." Again her mouth was quicker than her grasp of the situation, "Kiss me?"

Angel shook his head as if dissuading her and himself of the notion," I'm older than you," As if that wasn't obvious already, "and this can't ever... I better go."

"H-how much older?" Her voice strongly implied that she didn't really care. Making it all the harder for Angel to reign control of himself.

"I should..."

Buffy approached him, "...go... You said..."

The distance between them closed even more as Buffy raised her head enough to give him a rather chaste peck of the lips. For a second he didn't respond to the contact but when she delivered the second kiss all the dams broke and he returned the affectionate gesture.

God, she tasted incredible. Her warm little tongue playing against his as the kiss depended. The warm little appendage just swirling around in his mouth, just waiting for that one little bite...

Forcibly he pushed he away, afraid of what he might do.

"What? What is it? What's wrong?" Buffy asked wondering what caused him the sudden pain he was feeling and if she was the cause of it.

Her hand flinches away as he turns towards her and snarls. His mouth filled with numerous crooked yellow fangs and his feral golden eyes shadowed by thick rigged brows.

For once her Slayer instinct wasn't the first thing to react. Instead she let a horrible situation sweep her up and responded the same way most girls her age would.

She screamed.

"...And then he jumped out the window." Buffy said concluding her tale to the rest of the group as they took a seat in the courtyard.

Xander didn't even wait for a silence to fall on them, "So when do we kill it?". Actually a better question would be where. Leech ran away and if he was smart he would keep the hell away from Buffy.

Buffy looked at him like he just shot a puppy. "W-what!?"

Xander blinked at her, wondering what caused such a reaction, "Uh, vampire, kill, destroy?"

She bite her lip and looked at all of them, more so Giles, "B-But he helped me! He could still be good guy." More meekly she looked hopefully up at Giles, "Right?"

Giles looked rather uncomfortable under her gaze, "A vampire isn't a person at all." he started before clearing his throat to continue, "It may have the movements, the, the memories, even the personality of the person that it took over, but i-it's still a demon at the core, there is no halfway."

"So that's a no, huh?" Willow asked feeling for her friend the whole way. Unattainable love, she's been there... or was still there. It really sucked.

"But why is he doing this? Why was he helping me? Why was he making me feel... Was this all part of the Master's plan?" She was on the verge of tears now. She had kept most of it in last night but now, after talking about it with her friends she was barely holding it in.

But despite that Xander showed no sympathy, "Buffy, this isn't that hard to figure out. It's a vampire, you're a vampire SLAYER." He raised his hands as if to say 'there you go'. "Pretty obvious how this is going to turn out."

Willow gave him a hard glare.

"What? I'm right? Right?" Xander asked looking to Giles for support. They may be fighting but Xander was backing on male comradeliness and logic for just a smidgen of back up.

And he would get some through Giles awkward words of, "Uh, it is a Slayer's duty to..." Buffy's hurt kitten face crumbled any chance of him getting any further into the usual Watcher pep talk.

Seeing him falter Xander decided to voice his opinion again, "Look, I get this might be hard for you but c'mon! It's a vampire! You're doing a public service."

"I know, but..." She bite her lip and looked down.

"How is there a 'But'? There should be no buts in this conversation. It's a vampire, it needs to die." This wasn't some 'Dating Catwoman' situation, there were no grey lines or redeemable qualities, there was just a hungry wolf in sheep's clothing that needed to be killed before it attacked anyone.

"It's not that simple Xander!" Buffy yelled at him feeling her temper rise. This was hard for her, why couldn't he just get that through his thick head. Angel made her feel like there could have been more to her life than Slaying. That there could be more to her.

"Yes it is." He growled back, his own temper rising at her stupidity. "That thing needs to die."

"What are losers talking about?" Cordelia demanded like she owned the courtyard. It was obvious that she was eavesdropping for a little while but came up at a loss of what was going on from the tidbits she heard.

Too bad Xander was in no mood to deal with her.

"Go back to the minions Cordelia. We're busy."

The rather shapely looking girl gave him a look of pure outrage and contempt and was about to lay waste into him until she saw something that demanded her attention.

A girl in a cheap knock off of the designer dress she was wearing.

"Where did you get that dress? This is a one-of-a-kind Todd Oldham. " The rant continued as she followed the poor girl back into the school as the bell gave its first ring.

"And I thought I had problems." Buffy muttered almost good naturedly as she started to collect her bag.

"You do." Xander said, showing that he didn't consider their earlier conversation wasn't over.

Too bad for him the bell, and a rather responsible librarian, thought otherwise.

"You should have been more considerate to Buffy, Xander." Willow chided a few class periods later as stalked the boy to his locker. "This is a tough situation for her."

"No its not. It's a leech and she's doing it a favor by shoving a stake through its chest." It was almost absent minded the way that he said that but he still managed to add in that extra amount of venom to get his point across. Enough so that Willow flinched back a bit.

"Still... Could you have been at least a little bit nicer about it?"

Xander turned to give her a full forced 'no' but the wide eyed stare he received made him slack a bit. "Maybe." He hazarded, looking none too pleased about it, "but c'mon Will. It's a vampire. It shouldn't be that hard."

"But she really liked him."

"So?" He asked as he closed his locker he slung his back pack over his shoulder, "Like I said she's doing it a favor. Would you want your body walking around killing people after you died?"

"Well, no, but that doesn't mean you had to be such a meanie."

Xander didn't know whether to smile or roll his eyes at his friend's filtered words. Mostly because translated into basic American teenager she really meant "Stop being a bastard you asshole!". Seriously, she would have one of the most foul mouths around if she didn't have a kindergartener's vocabulary when it came to name calling.

"I'm just pointing out the truth."

Willow huffed at his stubbornness, "Well, you hurt her feelings. You should apologize."

"Why?" Xander asked genuinely confused, "She has a problem, she wanted help, I offered it, she didn't like it. I am still not seeing how I'm the bad guy." Willow gave him a pouting glare that just made him sigh and relent. She wasn't going to let it go she he might as well seem like he was going along with her, "Fine, I'll try to be a little nicer."

She gave a half satisfied huff, "You better mister."

The research/study session that took place after the final bell was tense. Most of it could be blamed on Xander and his current animosity with both Giles and Buffy. In his defense he did lighten up a little on Buffy but the underline statement of "You're being stupid" seemed to come out of his mouth every so often.

The other factor to the tense air was what they were currently researching.

Angel, Buffy's undead crush.

The mere thought of that sent his stomach for a tumble. It was such a disgusting thought. But he tried to put that aside as they searched through the books.

Giles had said that the Master wasn't known for cannon fodder. That his minions more often than not were chosen because there was a certain something about them that made his line so terrifying. And if the giant vampire Luke or the three armored vampires that nearly killed Buffy were any hint Angel must be a real monster.

It also meant that there was a good chance that he was in Giles' books. The first book Giles went through, the vampire group reference from the other day, seemed to have a clue that sent him through a tizzy as he scoured through a number of old journals.

"Here's something at last." Giles called at last as he returned from the ever increasing pile of leather bound books. "I couldn't find anything definitive in the general text but it suddenly occurred to me that it's been ages since I've read the diaries of any of the watchers before me."

So that's what he was looking at earlier! Each one of those little worn out leather books were the diaries of experienced Watchers that came before Giles. God, there at least twenty in that pile by him. How many more were there?

But while Xander was drooling over the potential hunting material the actual resident geek actually started to bounce in her chair in excitement for a totally different reason. Turning to Buffy she started to happily babble, "That must've been so embarrassing when you thought he had read your diary, but then it turned out he hadn't, but then he felt the same way..." Out of the corner of her eye the red head could see Xander's face twist into an expression of pure disgust, "I'll be quiet now."

"Yes, well," Giles said trying to ignore the interruption, "There's mention some two hundred years ago in Ireland of, of Angelus, the one with the angelic face."

"They got that right." Buffy muttered and Xander's face twisted again.

Giles let out an uncomfortable cough and moved on to some of the more identifiable traits of the vampire in question, "Does this, uh, Angel have, um, a tattoo behind his right shoulder?"

Buffy nodded "Yeah, it's a, it's a bird or something."

"And how did you see that?" Xander's voice filled with open disgust and barely hidden insinuations.

"It wasn't like that!" She snapped, "He was hurt and I was trying bandage him up."

"Oh, so now we help the enemy?"

"He helped me!"

"Children!" Giles snapped out, disrupting the argument from going any further, "Can we please get back on point?" The two teens spared a glare at each other but remained quiet. " Angelus leaves Ireland, uh, wreaks havoc in, in Europe for, uh, several decades, and then, um, about eighty years ago, the most curious thing happens. He, he comes to, uh, to America, shuns other vampires, and, and lives alone. There's, there's no, no record of him hunting here."

"So he IS a good vampire!" Willow said hopefully, "I mean, on a scale of one to ten, ten being someone who's killing and maiming every night, and one being someone who's... not."

Giles shook his head negatively, "I say that there's no record, but, uh, vampires hunt and kill. It's, it's what they do."

"Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly." Xander said fixing Buffy with a level stare, "Leeches gotta drink."

"He could have fed on me but he didn't." she said indignantly.

Xander snorted as he turned to Giles, "Question: a hundred years or so before he came to our shores, what was he like then?"

Giles stuttered, "Uh, like all of them. Uh, a vicious, violent animal."

Buffy looked down in what appeared to be defeat and Xander felt a not so guilty satisfaction that his point had finally sunk in.

The little yellow ball bounced high in the air, making its way steadily to the old buildings wall with a series of arrows trying to pin it down.

Xander cursed as he missed again and again. Damn it, Green Arrow made it look so easy in the comics! Why couldn't he do it? It was just one tennis ball, Ollie pinned like seven!

He supposed that was the difference between him and the heroes in the comics. They were actually skilled in what they do while he was a novice in just about everything.

As the ball finally stopped bouncing and he began collecting his arrows for another round he reflected on the meeting that took place a few short hours ago.

He thought about how he acted he had to wonder if he was too harsh, that maybe he was too much the anti-hero. It made sense in a way, he supposed, he was trying to be the Batman of the group but still it didn't feel right in his stomach.

He had every right to be angry, to dig the point home, and yet he felt bad. He shouldn't be feeling like the bad guy.

"Damn it." he mumbled himself as he bounced the tennis ball in the air again and quickly aimed and fired his bow, the arrow only skimming the ball in its decent.

He knew he wasn't feeling bad because of any form of logic or reason, more because Buffy and Willow were practically willing him to feel bad with wide and watery eyes.

Damn it! He was not supposed to be that weak. He had to be stronger than that, unbreakable in the face of... well anything.

As he missed again and the ball knocked gently against the wall he growled in frustration as he realized his mind wouldn't clear until he got rid of that stupid guilty feeling that was building in his gut.

Collecting his things for another attempt he decided that he would try and be more... accommodating next time they met up. Maybe even apologize for his behavior now that he calmed some.

Maybe he'd stop by her place later, it was on his way home anyway.

Joyce Summers peeked out the side window of her door to see who could possibly be at her door that late at night. While relatively early for the LA native it seemed an hour or two after night fall Sunnydale seemed to go near dead.

When she brought up the oddity to some of her new employees they said that there was a bit of a gang problem in town that caused a certain wariness at night. She supposed she could understand that but Sunnydale seemed too small of a city to have such a frightening gang presence.

Still, she was more than a little wary from bits of rumors she has heard in the last few months and caution never hurt.

Moving aside the decorative curtain she peeked and let out a relieved sigh.

Opening the door she greeted her daughter's friend warmly despite the implied late hour, relief was funny like that, "Hello Xander."

It was a rather goofy nick-name for such a serious boy she thought. A nice young man in general but she could barely recall a time he smiled in her presence.

"Um, hey, Mrs. Summers..." Xander greeted back uncomfortably shifting his duffel bag on his shoulder, "Is Buffy home yet?"

"No, but she should be home soon. She just called from the school saying she was on her way."

"Oh..." Xander said looking confused on what to do as he scratched at his sweat soaked hair. After a few seconds of awkward and confused silence finally was able to get out the reason why he was there. "Um, look... Can you pass a message to for me? I was a bit of jerk earlier and I might have been... harsher than I needed to be... And I wanted to apologize... Sorry for bugging you." He started to move to leave.

Joyce smiled indulgently as she stopped him from leaving, "Wait. Why don't you wait for her to come back? She should only be a few minutes." It was nice to see such a change in quality in her daughter's friends.

While Xander liked the idea of that very much, as he came to prefer doing things himself, he couldn't help but cast a self conscious glance down at his clothes. His still sweat soaked clothes. "Um... You sure? I don't want to stink up your house."

Joyce held back a snort and rolled her eyes, "Trust me, you smell no worse than some of the merchandise I move through here." Which was true, some artists used unusual supplies and some of her more antiqued items tended to smell at least a little musty. "Now come in."

Xander suppressed a wince at her invitation but came in anyway, trying to think of a way to prevent her from saying such a thing at night again.

"Thank you."

"No problem at all," She waved off, "No would you like something to drink? You look like you might need a glass of water."

Still trying to find a way to inform the older woman about her deadly mistake without seeming like a crazy man Xander nodded his head, "That would be great, thank you." It really would be, he ran everywhere now and while it was great for cardio and leg strength it worked up quite a thirst.

As she moved through the kitchen getting the boy a drink she decided to strike up a conversation, "So what were you doing to work up such a sweat?"

Xander shrugged unseen as he followed her into the room, "I try to work out every day and your house was on the way home so I figured 'why put off til tomorrow?'."

"A good policy." She whole heartedly agreed with something like that and hoped that it would rub off on her troubled daughter, "So what are you working out for? Thinking of joining a team?" She asked as she handed him a glass of water.

"Um, no." He answered awkwardly after taking a quick sip of water to help his dry throat, "I'm going to go hunting soon and I figured I was a bit out of practice so, I getting into practice."

Not the whole truth but not a lie and it worked just fine as an answer.

Mrs. Summers twisted her face in distaste, "I never really liked the idea of hunting. It seems like needless killing to me."

Xander knew what his dad would say to a comment like that, following along the lines of 'Liberal Pussies', but in honesty he didn't really care. So he shrugged, "It was good bonding time between me and my dad when I was younger."

Joyce didn't really like the idea of that a father was teaching his son how to kill, even if it was just animals, but despite her recent efforts she wasn't exactly the model figure of parenting.

The two small talked for a little bit longer, Joyce asking all the questions and Xander trying to answer them while trying to set himself at ease but found themselves interrupted as the door bell chimed for the second time that night.

"Well, it seems like I'm popular tonight." The lady of the house said as she excused herself to answer the door, unaware that the young man across from her was digging into his bag for one of his arrows.

It was only a few seconds later that Xander walked after Mrs. Summers to make sure she didn't invite anyone she shouldn't into her home. But despite how he steeled and prepared himself he paused in the kitchen's door way as he stared wide eyed at the blonde standing in the Summer's porch.

He remembered it.

Catholic school girl outfit, deceiving pretty face and all.

It was the one who took his little brother away. The one that twisted Jesse's corpse into a hellish abomination and let it loose onto the world.

It was his Carradine, his Joe Chill.

It was the reason he hated, it was the reason why he trained and it was crossing the threshold into his friend's house.

"Mrs. Summers." Xander called out a warning, his voice tense enough for the woman and thing noticed. "Get back." He wanted to yell something to hurry her up but his voice was too layered in anger and hatred to get anything out.

Luckily though his tone of voice was enough to make the woman back away from the door with merely a hesitant glance.

"Xander? What's going on?" She questioned as she did as he said.

Joyce wasn't moving fast enough for Xander's taste so he moved forward as fast as caution allowed and placed himself between her and the thing in her doorway, his circuits burning to life as his magic analyzed the arrow.

"It's dangerous." The way he said the word 'it' made it perfectly clear that he wasn't talking about the situation. Something that made the blonde's face twist in annoyance.

"I don't like being called that." the thing said dryly, dropping the books in her arms as well as the innocent school girl routine she was laying on Joyce for an invitation into her home.

A disgusted sneer appeared on his face, "Too bad." Power started to flood through the wood, metal and plastics of the projectile, slowly making it a more effective close ranged weapon.

It's face seemed amused for a moment before it's features flashed into its true face. Joyce let out a scream at the sudden change and scampered back to the wall while Xander stood his ground, anger fighting with several different instincts and morals.

He wanted to fight the fake 'woman'. He wanted to tare that thing apart, limb by limb if he could, and ram his arrow through its heart but he couldn't. If he acted Buffy's mom would be left open and that monster would get a free shot at her.

And as much as he loathed to admit it he wasn't ready yet. Not to protect himself nor to protect another. But he could stall, if he was desperate enough he could hold it off until Buffy arrived. He could do that much.

More magic flared within his body as for the first time in his life he began to comprehend the structure of his inner body. How it worked, how it moved, and what could be strengthened.

"Oh how cute." It purred as it fully entered the room, Xander damning himself for not correcting Mrs. Summers as it did, "The little boy thinks he can fight me."

Xander stood stock still as he felt his blood set ablaze as magic attempted to fill in the weaknesses of his flesh. He could already feel that it was too much, that his body was being bloated by misplaced energy but he didn't care. For it was still energy that he could use.

The blonde thing paced in front of them with its face pulling into what can only be called an amused expression, even if it looked disgusting upon that face. The creature's finger started to move back and forth between Xander and Mrs. Summers as it sang out "Enie menie minie mo, catch a tiger by the toe,"

Xander swore in his head as he watched the vampire begin to play with them, his mind unsure what to do and pain of his ill placed magic beginning to get to him. He kept on trying to assure himself that everything would be fine and that Buffy would pull a Big Damn Heroes moment but he had a feeling that if he didn't act soon they were going to be turned into juice boxes.

So despite all reasoning he attacked, the tip of arrow jutting forward with speeds he didn't think his body possible. But his body didn't let his mind registered the surprise as his self made and inflicted routine kicked in.

As the vampire dodged the arrow head an empowered low body hook slammed into its side and made its small weight tumble in surprise.

Xander managed a grunt of a battle cry as his flesh gave protest to further action. The arrow made club swung down with as much technique and power as he could muster as he swung down again and again. The wood giving none as it hit down on the monster's flesh like a metal rod.

For a split moment, maybe not even a second, he thought he could do more than hold it off. That maybe he could kill the killer of his brother. That he didn't need the Slayer to help him end the menace before him.

But in that instance of arrogance, of fool hardy wishing, its hand lashed out like a parent tiring of their child's games. And a sound not unlike an elder tree cracking in the storm rang through the air, it started to bend the reinforced arrow in her hand.

"Now that was surprising... and annoying." It said as it straightened itself out, looking only a little mussed and annoyed from his attacks. Like the most he did was knock the wind out of her for only a second.

And with just as little effort as it took to stop his blows it snagged his weapon from his hands and gave a dainty looking push that sent him tumbling across the room. "Gikkk." Was the sound that escaped Xander's mouth as his back slammed into the stairway's banister.

The wood cracking before Joyce's petrified eyes. God, why was she still sitting there? Was she insane?

"Do you know the life expectancy for someone who tries to fight a vampire is?" The vampire said, breaking him from his thoughts and impossibly appearing in front of him in the time it took for him to let out a breath, "About a minute."

Xander gave a frightened swing, praying that it would connect. And it did, with its hand, despite how fast he was pushing his body. Despite the magic flowing and cracking through his flesh, it was only a fraction of the speed that it was capable of.

"Mmm, poor little hunter, so scared, so weak." It let out an unnecessary breath of cold air as it leaned in painfully slow towards his neck.

No, no, no! This isn't how this fight was suppose to be.

He was suppose to be the hero. A champion! Someone to help save the people of Sunnydale from the monsters under their bed. Not be a victim of them, not yet at least. It was not his time.

It was not his time.

And if it was going to end it certainly wasn't going to be that bitch.

Not to the one that took away his little brother!

"AAH!" His head whipped around and slammed into its face, dazing the creature as he forced his weight forward, toppling the lighter monster over. He could feel his body rebelling as his magic circuits forced power into his flesh and bone, fist slamming down at the monster with a fever. Bruises fading into view along his arms for no reason explainable to an outside observer.

The vampire found itself genuinely surprised by the turn of events. The human was stronger than he looked. Not much but enough for her to think he was part demon somewhere down his family line. The blood was probably so watered down that it only gave that tiny bit of extra strength that was keeping him alive so far.

Not that it really mattered. He was barely stronger than any other human on the street. But if he kept on surprising her then her unlife may be in trouble.

So she started to take him a bit more seriously.

Again, against his will, Xander found himself flying across the room.

In his mind he had that glorious image you see in movies where the hero rights himself as he lands on his feet. Unfortunately the sofa he hit didn't agree with that thought.

"Ugh" He groaned as he twisted to his stomach to get back up, only to be pushed down by a woman's size six.

"This is getting rather irritating." His aggressor mumbled as it debated whether or not to drain this distraction or move on to the Slayer's mother. Both would have a decent impact on the Slayer and if it all could be blamed on Angel then all the better.

Speaking of the intended target Joyce Summers seemed to have finally snapped out of her daze in the few scant minutes of what can hardly be called a fight. She seemed to finally become aware of just how dangerous of a situation she was in as she started to scamper up from her spot on the floor to make a run for the still open door.

"And where do you think you're going?" The vampire stomped on Xander hard enough to kill a normal human through blunt force alone, luckily for him his reinforced body lowered it to a case of bruised ribs.

Though the vampire found it odd it ignored his pained moans as it advanced towards its original prey.

Joyce let out a frightened yelp as she made her way to the door, her throat craving to scream for help but her mouth seemed unable to form the necessary sounds.

God, what was happening? What was that girl? Was she one of those gangs on drugs her employees warned her about? What kind of drugs would allow such a small girl to be able to pick up a boy Xander's size and toss him around like that?

She, she had to get out of there.

She had barely made it out the door before the felt the collar of her shirt tug back painfully, choking her, as she was flung back into her home.

"Naughty girl." The obviously mutated girls said, "Where do you think you're going?"

Joyce stared at the approaching blonde with wide eyes, her mind running through a hundred different possibilities that was about to happen to her.

"Darla, leave her alone." A deep and angered voice called from the largely forgotten kitchen.

Xander, who was still trying to regain his breath from the vicious stomp, turned his head along with the two blondes to stare at a rather imposing dark haired man in the doorway.

Xander didn't know who he was or how to feel about his sudden appearance. Maybe he should be thankful that someone showed up to help but he couldn't help but mentally scream for the man to run away.

For the moment all he could do scream at his body to move... or to do anything other than throb in pain.

"Angel." The thing cooed as it stared at the man, unmoving from its superior position over the frightened human. "I knew you'd come in eventually. Come have a drink with me, there is plenty to go around."

Xander felt his blood run cold.

That was Angel?

Fuck. He could barely handle one vampire of undetermined age, how the hell was he suppose to handle another one that was over two centuries old?

It didn't matter.

He had to try.

He was the hero.

He would get Mrs. Summers out of there and get revenge for Jesse in one go.

He just, he just needed to try, to push.

As he stumbled to his feet once again Xander started to send power to his fingertips and nails, coating them with magic and ignoring the painful sting as the power slipped and cut his skin.

Both creatures heads literally snapped towards him as the familiar and enticing coppery scent entered the air, Angel's face twisting to it's true form as he did.

Xander's breath hitched for a moment as a near instinctive fear hit him, a fear that just as quickly as it appeared transformed into anger. And anger was his fuel.

He had planned this a few times before, well thought of it more like. A last resort weapon that seemed cooler than it currently felt.

If he had to put the idea to terms than it would be turning his hand into a knife or a spear. Again, more painful than one would think.

Still it would work... probably.

With a desperate sprint he attacked the closest of his perceived aggressors, Angel.

Which seemed to be the right choice as the vampire seemed to hesitate over something, giving Xander the perfect chance to dive his hand through leather and flesh.

Angel let out a roar of pain as instinct finally won and sent Xander slamming against the floor. A strangled sound came from Xander's mouth as he literally bounced off the ground.

"Angel!" The other thing actually sounded worried to Xander's ringing ears.

The would be hunter tried to stand up for what seemed like the hundredth time that night but found the growing pain from his bruising body too much. His magic veins, circuits, he couldn't remember what to call them, felt like they were melting through his skin and though the only things that was bleeding on his body was his hand the rest of him had been brutally bashed into just about everything in the room.

As one creature fussed over the ones now bleeding side Xander again tried to make his uncooperative body rise, failing with each attempt. He tried to remind it that if they didn't rise both he and Mrs. Summers were dead.

Gasping her managed to get to his knees and see real hope for the first time that night.

There in the doorway stood a rather shell-shocked looking Buffy, her face pale and hand clenching.

Xander managed a rather smug and satisfied smile as the vampires noticed the enraged Slayer.

Oh, this was going to be good.

Too bad Joyce didn't agree with the idea, "Buffy! Run!" As terrified and dazed as she was she still remembered to be a good mother and try to get her daughter out of there.

It was then that both Xander and Buffy noticed a bleeding welt on the side of the older woman's head.

For a split second Buffy froze completely, unblinking, breath stilled in her chest, and then her hand gave an audible crack as it snapped close.

In the space of a blink Buffy steam rolled the two vampires out of the den and into the kitchen. The sound of crashing wood and broken glass soon echoed through the house as Buffy let her outrage be known.

As Xander's relief was followed a steady decent into darkness the last thing he heard was Buffy screaming "You are not welcomed here!"

He hoped she got those bastards.

As the Ambulance raced down the road of the small city known as Sunnydale Joyce's foggy mind tried to make sense of the mess her night turned into.

It started rather nice and quiet, Buffy's friend Xander had come over to apologize over some teenage drama they engaged in earlier that day and then everything went bad.

Darla looked like such a nice girl but oh how she was wrong.

Just the way Xander's voice sounded ruined any semblance of a nice night.

At first she didn't understand his blatant hostilities towards what seemed like a perfectly normal girl. But then her face twisted into something out of a horror movie.

A snarling face filled with twisted fangs and ridged brows that seemed somewhere between bestial and prehistoric. And then she started to toss poor Xander around the room like he weighed no more than a throw pillow.

And things only got worse when that older boy, more like man, that Buffy had over the other night. At first she thought that maybe he was there to help him but then Darla greeted him and his face contorted just like hers.

Poor Xander tried to stop him too but was simply slammed to the ground.

All seemed lost, as dramatic as that sounded it was true, when Buffy arrived. When she first came to the door it seemed like the worst possible thing to happen. She screamed at her daughter to leave but that only seemed to spring her into action.

Action that sent both assailants flying into the kitchen.

The vehicle jolted slightly as they entered the hospital's property.

And then Buffy fought them off... no, that isn't right. How could her little baby girl possibly fight off those mons... robbers wearing Halloween mask?

No, no, it made alot more sense that Xander had scared them when he tried defending her and when Buffy opened the door they were frightened enough to run.

Yes, that's probably what happened.

It's what made the most sense.

But if that was true why, in the very back of her head, did she think that it was wrong?

The next time Xander awoke he found himself blinking at the bright lights and bleach white walls.

So the ER again.

Huh, he hadn't been here since the tree/skate board bet last year. Not one of his better moments but until the end it looked good.


And as if she was a fixture, there was Willow right by his side. "Hey Will. How you doing?" He asked as he turned to look at her, his body sending oh so subtle signals that no it did not want to move.

"How am I doing?" She asked incredulously before puffing out her cheeks out, "Look at you!" He did, the tips of his fingers each covered in stark white gauze and his arm looked like someone made circuit board out of bruises and swelling welts.

And if he had to guess the rest of him looked about the same. He never really thought the circuits thing was serious.

He wondered if he would get any cool scars from it.

Putting that thought aside he went to his more heroic thoughts, "How's Mrs. Summers?"

She gave him miffed look, like she wanted to slap him for even daring to change the subject, but she decided the subject was relentable, "She's fine... ish. She has a bit of a concussion and is, well... a little hysterical."

Well that's to be expected, he supposed. She just came face to face with real live monsters. How else was she suppose to react?

"How bad?"

"Well... She's talking about muggers in weird mask so I think she's trying to rationalize things."

Xander felt a pang of disappointment and a hint of disgust at that. He had hoped Joyce was better than that. To not be one of blind, or delusional, sheep that ignored what was truly going on in the world, in their town.

He even voiced his disappointment to Willow but she seemed to accept it readily enough. Going into great detail about how people tend to see what they want to see and rationalizing traumatic events.

She tended to ramble like that when she was nervous, scared, unhappy, hyper, or any other mood that would take her out of her normal happy place.

It was usually best to let her vent like that to get it out of her system but sometimes you just had to stop her to keep things moving along.

"So when are my parents getting here?" Interrupting a rather boring sounding case study on... something. She usually talked so far above his head his mind started to wander.

"Oh... um, the doctors called them not me but I think they're on their way."

"Which should give us a bit of time talk." Giles said as he entered the room. He had probably been standing outside it for a while waiting for the right time to enter because no way was that timing accidental. "Willow can you give us a moment?

The red head looked like she wanted to protest but Xander tapped her on the arm and asked her to get him a soda. She glared at him because now he was trying to get rid of her too... and she usually found it hard to turn down his requests.

"Fine" And with a miffed air she stormed out the room.

With Willow gone an awkward and tense silence descended on the room. Giles seemed to be studying him for a long hard minute before taking a seat next to the bed.

"Buffy, or rather her mother, told me what happened and what you did... I want to say good job but at the same time you have proved my point on what I was trying to tell you earlier." Xander blinked as he watched as a number of emotions crossed over the older man's face, "Magic is dangerous without the proper guidance Xander, surely you see that?"

"I did fine on my own." Came his usual protest.

"Yes, I see how fine you are." Giles responded dryly with his voice sounding tight, "Your body has literally been burned and bruised by your own magic."

Xander was about to protest about how he was fine but Giles held up a hand, halting any words from being spoke by the teen, "I am not asking you to stop, just, I'm asking you to work with me. Learning and using magic is like dancing with the reaper. With every step you risk stepping on its toes and losing your life. If for nothing else on your part to be proficient in the spells you use but for my part I just want to see you live long enough to use them." 'Or see more than your teens' he silently added to himself but figured he was already treading on the edge with what he said to Xander already.

Xander didn't say anything for a minute as he processed what Giles had told him.

Was he really doing his spells that wrong?

Did he really need more help than he was already getting?

Giles was already helping him out so much and he learned a great deal from the various martial arts studios around the city, did he really need more.

As he reviewed his progress and position in the group he finally saw it. He saw who he was in the group.

It was almost laughably obvious.

He wasn't the Batman or the Green Arrow, he was the Robin.

The little bird, the sidekick to the real hero, Buffy, who was getting shown the ropes by those who did the real work.

He could live with that he supposed.

After all every Robin left the nest and struck out on their own eventually.


Well, I hope you guys enjoyed that.

Tell me what you think and peace.
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