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Summary: On Halloween, Xander didn't dress as a soldier: he dressed as a Ghost ...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > ActionGladiusFR18716,4082213138,05626 Mar 1214 Jun 13No

Chapter Six

It lives! Back by popular demand, chapter the sixth!

No, seriously, this is not dead, I've just got a few other projects I'm working on. Please, enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Chapter Six

Neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the Paladin of the Shadows series belong to me, but to Joss and John respectively. I'm just playing.

Xander woke up feeling great. The fact that a beautiful Slayer was lying curled up next to him, her head resting on his chest, probably had something to do with that.

Wow, he mused, as her stroked her hair, that was one night I'm not going to forget in a while. Kendra had proven to be an enthusiastic and compliant lover, eager to please and eager to learn. Thanks to Mike's memories, Xander was well versed in the mechanics of sex, and although he tried not to think about some of the Kildar's more exotic proclivities, it did greatly enhance his confidence in bed.

Speaking of which, they were using the fold out couch in one of the teacher's staffrooms. Fortunately it was Saturday, and the school was deserted for now. Giles will probably be in later, but for now we have the place to ourselves. Thank goodness G-man insisted that we all get our own copies of his keys to the school. Illegal, but it saves a lot of lock picking.

His hand stroked its way down to the glossy black skin of the girl's naked back, and she groaned as he trailed his fingers in idle patterns across her shoulder blades. Her eyes flickered open, and she smiled. "Good morning," she said, her voice a throaty purr.

"It is now," he said with an answering smile, and he reached up with his free hand to caress her cheek. Her eyes closed again as she pressed herself against his hand, and his smile turned into a grin as she shivered against his body. "You know why?"

"No," she lied softly.

"Because," he suddenly rolled over so that he was on top of her, his hands on either side of her head, looking down into her eyes. "Because I get to do this again," he said, pressing his morning hardness against her belly, and she reflexively opened her legs, letting him rub himself against her.

He paused as she shuddered. Lowering himself down, he gently kissed her full lips. "Hey, Kendra. Are you okay? With this, I mean. Hell, we only met yesterday ..."

She answered by reaching up to stroke his cheek. "It's alright," she whispered. "Last night was ... amazing. Please ..." her eyes opened, and he could see her need, open on her face. " ... more?"

Reassured, he grinned again and flexed his hips. Her eyes squeezed shut and her back arched, squealing as he pressed himself back inside her, her hands finding their ways to clutch at his shoulders, leaving red finger marks on his skin as she started on her first climax of the day.

*** *** ***

On the other side of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Mike was working through his non-harem related afternoon workout, breathing heavily as he swung the free-weights. The strain and sweat of simple exercise helped clear his mind as he processed the conversations he had had with the elders that morning.

Mother Lenka had revealed that she had, much like Katya, been taken from a Russian orphanage. Unlike Cottontail, she was taken in by a well-respected Party man, who was also secretly a member of the Council of Watchers. For six years, the young girl was trained, educated and indoctrinated, as befitted a Potential Slayer.

"There are many such," she had said, her normally amused tone flat and formal. "Dozens, or hundreds of girls, all around the world. Many of them are found by the Council, while others are not. They do not explain such things to the Potentials ... to us.

"Then I turned nineteen, and it became clear that I was never going to be Chosen. My Watcher, the man who had raised me, who had been like a father to me, gave me some rubles, a coat, and sent me away, saying that I had been a waste of his time, and was now useless to the Cause."

The young Lenka had wandered, working as a model, as a courtesan, even a simple street hooker, before finally hooking up with a young Red Army soldier named Devlich, a Keldara farmer who was returning to his home Valley after the Great Patriotic War. Adjusting to the Keldara way of life had been hard, but she managed, carving out a position for herself, apprenticed to the 'high priestess' and initiated into the Mysteries of the Families.

These Council bozos are a real bunch of assholes, he mused as he forced himself through another set of curls. The intel girls had discovered very little about the Council, as he had expected, but working backwards from the Giles files, and about how his Green Card had been expedited, they were able to piece together a surprising amount of data. First of all, they were richer than God, with dozens of properties all around the former British Empire, and beyond. They were also old, signs of the organisation going back to the Civil War ... the British Civil War.

Money, influence in governments, lots of power in general. And their best effort at supporting their primary asset was a middle-aged librarian and a cage full of antique weapons!

Alright, I'm thinking that the Slayer might be in need of a new patron.

*** *** ***

"Come on Giles, there's gotta be something you can do!"

Giles sighed as he indicated that Xander should sit again, which brought to Xander's attention that he had leapt to his feet. Somewhat deflated, he sank back into the overstuffed chair he had been sitting on.

Giles waited for Xander to settle, then continued. "Xander, I'm well aware that you and Kendra have become, well, rather close in a short time. And heaven knows that, with the kind of life she, that is, any Slayer leads, even the smallest amount of happiness she can have is a wonderful thing."

Xander nodded gravely, silently hoping that Giles was at least partially ignorant of exactly how 'close' he and Kendra had been on the library table the night before.

"But Mr Zabuto, and the other members of the Council are adamant. Kendra was here for the purpose of defeating a specific evil, which we now know was the healing of Drusilla."

"Yeah, but how do we know? I mean, come on, this is Sunnydale, there's a big bad evil thingy rising every Thursday night! What if she was supposed to be here to stop, I don't know, a dragon attack, or a plague of zombies! Then where would you be? I'll tell you where, getting roasted with something eating your brains, that's where!"

"Xander, that's enough!" snapped Giles, and Xander suddenly realised he was standing again, and shouting. He raised his hands in surrender, and sat down ... again.

"Now," continued Giles in a deliberately calm and measured tone, "I wish you to know that I did everything in my power to have Kendra reassigned to Sunnydale on a permanent basis. I was here all night on the phone to London, Kingston and Moscow - heaven knows what my phone bill is likely to be this month! And despite my efforts, I'm afraid that Quentin Travers, the leader of the Council, was quite specific. Whatever else, there is still evil elsewhere in the world that needs to be fought. Buffy is, well, tied down here, by her family, by her school, and by the Hellmouth. Having a second Slayer active is an amazing opportunity which has never before occurred, to allow the Council to essentially have the Slayer in two locations at once, both defending the Hellmouth and being able to strike at other hotspots around the planet."

Xander groaned. "Look, G-man, I get that. Hell, it's a good idea! My problem is that they're just going to ship Kendra from one hellhole to the next! The least they could do would be to let her come back here between missions, give her some downtime. Giles, soldiers get time off between deployments. It's not just the military being nice: combat is trauma, emotional as well as physical. You can't just keep sending Kendra back into the field time and time again! She'll burn out! I mean, come on, you've studied the diaries! You can't tell me that it's never occurred to any of you bozos at the Council?"

Giles was quiet for a moment, then removed his glasses. "Xander ... to be frank, no, it never has occurred to most Watchers. To be completely honest, no Slayer has ever lasted long enough for combat fatigue to become a serious problem. The candle simply burns out too bright to burn for long."

Xander glared at Giles, then closed his eyes. "Giles, they're gonna kill her. She'll take down a shitload of bad guys first, but in the end she's got nothing to live for. They're not letting her have anything."

Giles hesitated, then stood up and walked over to where Xander was sitting, and knelt down and laid a hand on his shoulder. "She does now, my boy," he said softly but firmly. "She has you, and Buffy, and Willow, and for God's sake even Cordelia. She knows that we are here, that her efforts keep us safe, just as ours keep her safe. And never fear, I still have some favors to call in and strings to pull. Hope is not lost, Xander. This is, in your vernacular, only the battle. The war continues."

Xander reached up and laid his hand over Giles, and met his gaze levelly. "Kendra's got you too, Giles, and that's a hell of a lot." His gaze hardened. "And one of these days I'm going to have a chat with Sammy Z about his Watching methods.

"The chat is going to involve sledgehammers."

*** *** ***

The goodbye at the taxi was heartfelt. Kendra surprised everyone by accepting a hug from Buffy, Willow and Xander, and shocked the other girls a little by stealing a quick but passionate kiss from the boy before slipping into the cab. With promises to write and call when possible, she drove off towards the airport, leaving Xander standing sadly between his girls.

Then Willow turned to him, face stern. "And what was all that about, mister?" she demanded, a glint of humor in her eyes.

He shrugged. "We got to talking last night, after you guys went home. Talking led to hugging, then kissing, then ... hey, a gentlemen never tells everything, right?" he said, holding his hands up defensively.

"Gentlemen? True. But you?" said Buffy, smiling, before sliding her arm through his. "Come on, Xan, spill!"

"Yeah," said Willow, taking his other arm. "What was it like, you know, making out with a Slayer?"

Buffy poked her head around Xander's chest to look quizzically at her friend, who realised what she said, and backpedaled. "Not that I want to know what it's like, kissing a Slayer, per say, because, you know, kissing girls? So icky."

"Hey, come on," protested Xander as they walked down the street. "I'm thinking this is a new side to you, Wills! Tell Dr Xander all about these feelings for super-powered females you've been having, ja?" he said, putting on his best Austrian accent.

"Yeah, Willow, it's the twenty-first century, it's cool to like girls," Buffy agreed, enjoying the way Willow's face was starting to resemble her hair.

"How did we get from Xander making out with Kendra in the library to this?" Willow complained.

"Just lucky, I guess," Buffy said brightly. Then her eyes widened. "You made out with Kendra in the library?"

"Yep," he said, a note of pride entering his voice. "Right on Giles' table, too. We cleared the books off first, of course," he added.

"Ewww!" came from both sides, and he got slapped in the chest by two small hands.

Worth it.

*** *** ***

The Scoobies got together again later that afternoon, so Buffy and Giles could train, and Willow and Xander could work on their homework and to be there in case they were needed. Cordelia being there, really, was something of a mystery.

Xander went to the back of the stacks, searching for a reference for his paper on the Cuban revolution. Have to admit, having Mike's memories is making schoolwork a heck of a lot easier. Now I only have to watch myself so that I don't go off on tangents mid-paper about Transnational Progressives ...

So he was a little surprised when Cordelia ambushed him in the Biography section. "Alright, Harris, we need to talk."

"Ookay," he said as the beautiful brunette glared at him, arms crossed beneath her breasts. Now is not the time to be looking at those breasts, dumbass! "I suppose this is about what happened in Buffy's basement, right?"

"You think?" the contempt dripped from Cordelia's voice.

"Well, I suppose there's a logical explanation for that," he said, trying to keep calm. What the hell is it about this girl that gets me so damned mad? Why do I care about what she thinks of me? Come on, keep it calm, keep it cool, be the mature one.

"Yeah: you're a pervert!"

Xander reared back, completely astonished. "What? Me?"

"Ahah," affirmed Cordelia.

"Hey now, missie, I remember being the jumpee, not the jumper," he countered, unconsciously taking a step closer to her.

"In your dreams, loser. You've probably been planning that little stunt for months!"

"Right, so I hired the Buggiest assassin I could find so we'd get trapped in Buffy's basement, all so I could kiss you?"

"I wouldn't put it past you, Harris!" the two teens were now only a step apart. "Look, the point is, it's never going to happen again, so don't even try it!"

"I didn't try it in the first place!" he proclaimed, then remembered that the others were still in earshot, and lowered his voice. "And the thought of locking lips with you is enough to make my blood run cold. Believe me, that day is a memory I can do without," he lied.

Cordelia stepped closer, glaring up at Xander. "If you breathe a single word about this to anyone," she threatened.

"Heh, as if I'd want anyone to know!"

"Then it's erased."

"Never happened."



They stood there for a moment, breathing deeply, fury and frustration burning in their veins. Then suddenly they were in each other's arms, desperately clutching at each other, tongued dueling in a passionate, violent battle. A dim part of Xander's brain recalled that both of his best friends and one of the adults he most respected were still nearby, and he managed to steer himself and Cordelia further towards the back, finally reaching the back wall of the library. He pressed her up against the brick wall and attacked her mouth with renewed gusto.

"Don't ... don't think this means ... anything," she gasped, in between kisses. "You're still ... a loser."

"Oh, screw you ... princess," he panted back, one hand on the back of her head and the other squeezing her ass. Then he went back to making out with his mortal enemy.
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