A/N - I want to thank the continued reviewers of these chapters whose remarks and advice make it easier for me to keep working on this epic. I really want to thank Luis Silva whose speedy Bata services have insured that these last two chapters are a tad more…. Polished, then long time readers will be used to.
I didn’t have time to weep over the Cordy thing Joyce, Graduation was around the corner and the ascension was fast approaching. We thought we were ready for every possible gambit. We were wrong, tragically and almost fatally wrong…
"Its' a wonderful life, " Spider-man sneered " obviously Jimmy Stewart never lived near a Hellmouth."
The city was being depressingly quiet no crimes, virtually no vamps and no restless demons. The city of Sunnydale was taking a huge breath and Xander was sure that the scream when it came would be deafening.
He was considering calling it a night when he saw a group of mixed beings stalking a old man moving quickly up the street. Spidey homed in on them as they made a final rush at their target as he strode quickly up the block with a walking stick in hand.
Letting loose with a tarzan-yell Spider-man dropped on the rearmost guy and tossed him bodily into the air. The group was confused for a moment and that was when the impossible happened.
The old man turned and hurled the walking stick he had been using at another thug, he leapt into the air grabbing the pole as it bounced off the skull of his target. He landed in the middle of two more and lashed out with the pole taking both in one shot. Even as they fell he darted among the rest of the forces smacking them around like rag dolls.
In less then the time it would have taken Spider-man to take two or even three of them all five were unconscious and the old man was standing tensely watching Spider-man
"That was …unbelievable " Spidey's amazed reaction hidden by the mask.
"Aren't you Spider-man" the old man asked suspiciously " Christ, you must still be green if you ain't ever seen a Nanjin monk before."
"A monk, like the guy from that old tv series,"
"Sholins are pussys, anyway I need to see the rest of the goody goods in this town. Pardon the pun."
"Brightness not a requirement of heroism around here I see, I'm blind dummy."
"Well you are wearing sunglasses, but this is California "
"Well I sure as hell aint hiding a hangover under these," the old man sneered lowering the specs to reveal white orbs where his eyes would have been. He was indeed totally blind. Spidey was about to tell him off when the old man clutched his head in obvious pain. "And could you snap it up I aint got all day judging by that last head splitter."
"Ya want a Advil or something?"
"This aint a headahe ya boob, it’s a …ya know just put the word out that I want a meet and greet where do ya all plot to screw with the bad guys."
"Sunnydale High School --- the School Library "
"Yer kidding me , the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of High School teachers "
"Nope, High School students. "
"The world is freakin doomed "
Next morning the old man was in the library and Giles was again explaining why yet another stranger was on campus to Synder who, for a change, did not say anything. He contented himself with grumbling under his breath.
Wesley showed up as did Buffy and Willow. Xander appeared yawning claiming Angel had needed something preventing his early arrival. Nobody noticed the old man's odd look at Xander or the way that Xander avoided looking at him.
Wesley grumbled that he could not find Faith. Everyone avoided the topic since she was obviously starting to duck Wesley if possible. Xander promised himself he would check up on her later.
Wesley looked at the old man and bowed formally "I greet you sensei and hope that your hearts pathway is straight and short."
"No its hard and long like the ladies like it, who is this barnacle." The old guy snapped
'I was just giving the "
"The formal greeting of the Nanjin which, by the way, sounds like crap in any other language except the original? English lacks the poetry. Besides do I look like some philosophy spouting fortune cookie."
Wesley tried recovering his dignity ignoring the loud snicker that came from the one of the others. "Yes well if we could know the nature of your visit."
"My name is…. Stick and as poffy-boy here hinted I'm Nanjin for the informed I'm top level as high as you can get and still take an interest in anything other then the contours of cave walls. "
"What is Nanjin" Xander asked
Giles answered "a sect of cave dwelling monks they learn to look with their hearts not their eye part of the ceremony involves willingly surrendering sight in order to gain greater insight. "
"They are also known as having developed a particularly effective method of martial art." Wesley lectured
"ohh sounds like fun, anything I can pick up " Buffy asked
"Sorry, Sunshine Nanjin don’t teach Slayers anymore. We don’t like the way old men march them into danger. The more principled of my order feel that man should live in harmony with the supernatural world, Slayers just promote a Homo Sapiens Only mentality, that bugs the crap out of some of them."
"What about the vampires who chow down on the innocents here in town." She snapped
"What about the cow that was made into the burger you enjoyed last night, are there slayers for them. What about the greens that donated their lives to make the salad eaten by missy standing beside you. Who fights for them. Life consumes life that's the way of things the beasts strong enough to protect themselves prosper, the things that can't are warm bait. "
Their argument was cut short by Stick crying out as another headache ripped at his skull.
"What's wrong?" Buffy asked her concern erasing her annoyance.
"What's wrong is the reason I came here. Wolfram and Hart are getting a bit nervous about their man Wilkins and his Acension plans. They want to swing the deck in their favour so they are bringing in a ringer. A lawyer from the firm developed a backbone and came to me. "
"Cause they sent a Nanjin initiate to kill him
"Where is he?"
"Dead, but before she caught up to him he packaged up all the evidence needed to scotch Wilkins plans "
"Excellent, are you carrying it on your person "
"In a manner of speaking yes. The ambulance chaser uploaded the knowledge to my head. Everything he knew I know. "
"The head aches "
"I m not following "
"Xander humans use twenty percent of their brain capacity if they are lucky. Our friend here was using almost a hundred percent before he uploaded the additional knowledge."
"Your head is about to explode. Like in Scanners "
"Nothing so special effects, Think of it as a massive brain hemorrhage followed shortly thereafter by my possibly gruesome death. Which reminds me, is there anyone her untouched by magic "
"Master, I must advise against such an action."
"Hey English, I appreciate your concerns …all of your concerns but having my brains running out of my nose like snot is not a really cool party trick it's death."
"Still Thre must be another…"
"OK could you translate the adult speak for the youngins "
"Stick can be saved but he will have to download the knowledge in his head to someone else who is …not as burdened mentally speaking."
"You mean stupid don't you "
"No I don't mean stupid "
"He means Stick needs to unload all that data into someone who isn't using almost all of their brain power already."
"How's about we table the discussion for a sec, times wasting and times something I ain't got whole bunches of in the first place." Stick sullenly pointed out
"How did you know that we were the ones to help you. "
"The Hand, the tale of what you did, how you tried to protect the Death Mage by fighting them. Stuff like that gets you attention. "
"Wow, how about that Giles, we are famous."
"I said it got you attention I didn’t say nothing about famous, Me I'm thinking any team good enough to face the Hand might have wanted to save a noble stance like that for something better then a Necromaner."
"We needed him alive, they wanted to make him dead. " Buffy explained defensively
"Relax Slayer, you don’t last long in the champion biz without developing some very convenient ends justify the means philosophy to get you through the night."
"So where is this attack supposed to go down and how do we stop it? "
"Wikins is moving ahead with Ascension but he needed to keep you off your guard until it's too late. Expect a psychological attack. Something guaranteed to keep you busy until the Ascension is a done deal. They've been doing their homework so it will be a dozy of a smackdown when it happens."
"What is it?"
"Buddy didn’t know he was just a point man doing research and making phone calls one of which was to an ex-student of mine Vanessa Bruer. I was too late to save him but I'll be danm if I let the little minx take out a true innocent. "
Stick when on to explain that Vanessa was considered an incredibly talented initiate. Unfortunately, Wolfram and Hart's claws had a long reach. Even into the dark caves of the Nanjin, where their recruiters had found something Stick ashamedly admitted he had missed. Vanessa's dark need to test herself against enemies and be triumphant.
"Well give me the low down and we will take her down." Buffy siad resolutly
"Can you move or fight without thinking? She is Nanjin and that means she can read your Heart."
"It would seem we will need to prepare." Giles decided
"I'll contact the Council and get whatever information that they have." Wesley assured them.
They group scattered.
Xander dashed through the hallways looking for a convenient bathroom exit. He finally found a likely candidate and was about to change clothes when a Stick's voice startled him. "Not that one kid, at least not yet."
He goggled at the oldster. "How ?"
"You look the same, smell the same even sound the same. You could fool a lot of people but not a Nanjin Master. "
"What about an initiate "
"Vanessa's got hang-ups, she wouldn't let herself recognize the threat you are to her. By the way why do you do the whole masked ID thing.
"I've been thinking about that lately, a lot"
"Think some more, all the lies and deception lead to conflict within and you aren't as effective a warrior if you are filled by conflict." Stick folded up as another head pain twisted him.
"Look if you need help with the head thing "
"No kid you can't help, the powers you have are mystical. There could be screw ups I can't afford. I need someone untouched by magic."
"In this town good luck finding a someone."
"Where are you going, "
"To find Faith, maybe she has seen this killer the bad guys unleashed."
"Be careful you're fast and strong but so is Vanessa, and she has an advantage you don't. She doesn’t need to see you to know what you are doing in a fight. Unless you can fight without thinking about fighting she will own you."
"Fight without thinking about fighting. Isn't that a bit fortune cookie for you."
Stick sneered and wandered away grumbling "Lousy kid don’t know when I trying to save his ass."
Xander might have dismissed his concerns except that two stoners waddled out of the bathroom giggling with joy. They had been sneaking a smoke in the bathroom, had Xander used that bathroom to change they might have seen him.
Faith was not at her apartment. He then scoured the city looking for anything. Thankfully, the city decided to give it a rest with the urban crime that normally popped up whenever he made an appearance.
He was starting to despair when he saw a police cruiser sitting into he middle of the road. The officers had taken off from the car. He landed on the roof and was glancing around when he heard the CB radio go on.
"All units, all units we have a silent alarm." The dispatcher gave an address and reported witnesses seeing a dark haired female matching the description of the out-of townie that had been living at the hotel.
"Crap, Faith, he leapt into the air and web-slung his way across the city. "
The building the dispatcher mentioned was a high one. Spidey could hear sirens coming in behind him breaking glass and running feet betrayed a figure dashing across the darkend rooftops.
It looked like Faith but he was still too far away he landed on the roof running and chased down the dark figure as it fled through the night. Making leaps no human could have.
The chase lead into the downtown core with his quarry taking to the higher roofs and trying to evade him.
As he drew closer, he could see the person was female and dressed like Faith but why would Faith run from him?
She stumbled briefly and Spider-man put on a burst of speed and landed on her in a tackle. She threw him off effortlessly.
"OK lady hold on a sec." He snarled but she growled and lashed out at him with a staff. His spider-sense cried a warning and he dodged. She began launching kicks and punches at a speed just shy of startling. He evaded the worst of them not all
He tried fighting back but everywhere his punches landed, she was not there. It was like hitting smoke. The shadowy rooftop was not helping
She dodged around one of his punches and snap kicked him across the rooftop. She was lashing out with her staff when he fired a webline at her. She somehow flicked an empty pop can into the path of the webline.
Dancing away, she fled toward the roof edge and when she reached it she lashed out with her staff. Sparks flew outward and something shattered and broke.
A groan of metallic stress filled the night. Spider-man leapt to the edge and saw that his foe had destroyed the connecting pin that held a fire escape to the side of the building.
His sharp eyes caught a person who had been on the metal fire escape and they screamed as they plunged toward the pavement below.
Spider-man didn’t hesitate. He leapt downward and grabbed them off the fire escape. Gathering them firmly in his grip he fired a webline that snagged the side of a building wrapping the line in his fist he leapt out into space feeling the line go taunt.
With a crash the fire escape lodged against the building next door. The person in his grip was still yelling in Spidey's ear. As they dangled several stories in the air
"OK, unless you stop screaming; someone's hitting that pavement and the webline belongs to me."
Although he spent the rest of the night searching, he found no trace of the mysterious woman he had chased across the rooftops. She couldn't have been faith but if he was honest he hadn't gotten that good a look at her, even during their brief fight.
If it was Faith she had gotten a lot better, a lot faster. She seemed to read all his moves. He and Faith had sparred often enough that she knew some of his best moves already.
The papers where filled the next morning with news about the death of a scientist studying the geography of Sunnydale. She had discovered a skeleton that she claimed was a new kind of dinosaur.
Witness repots about the culprit were sketchy. The police were being vague about their suspicions. Willow hacked into the Sunnydale police database and soon had a description of the suspect provided by an unnamed source. The picture bore a real resemblance to Faith.
Giles remained unconvinced and advised caution but since it was Giles and Wesley rarely did what Giles advised the order from the council for Faith to be brought in for questioning came pretty quickly.
Xander came storming into the library in the midst of an intense argument. Everyone was there and Buffy was yelling at the top if her lungs. Wesley was looking nervous so Xander presumed Buffy was threatening use of the violence.
"It was for her own good. " Wes was saying in a pleading fashion
"Are you kidding how is it helping. What if she is tracking the real crook." Buffy acidly asked him
"Then she need your help and can only get it if she comes in from the cold."
Xander butted in "You have no proof that any of the charges are real."
"But we also don’t know that they aren't true." Wesley pompously pointed out
"So instead we go off and start hunting her like an animal?." Buffy asked amazed
Wes snapped are her "Well can you say that you have any proof that she is innocent "
Xander supplied "I can tell you the person who committed that crime was nightmarishly good "
"Maybe it was this Vanessa Bruer, Stick was talking about." Willow mused
Wesley turned on Xander "How would you know how Faith fights, or how a Nanjin monk fights for that matter."
"I have sparred with Faith." Xander replied quietly…the moment he had dreaded for a year and a half was upon him but he had to get the focus off faith somehow.
"I hardly think we can count on that, she would have pulled her punches gone easy on you really Mr. Harris don’t be dim." Wesley sneered
"I'm not dim I'm telling you she is not the one "
"How can you be so sure "
"Because when we sparred she didn’t pull her punches. She didn’t have to…I'm Spider-Man I have been for over a year and a half."
Giles chuckled "Well I appreciate your concern for Faith Xander you can hardly expect us to believe that you of all people could be Spider-man "
"He hardly seems smart enough " Wesley snapped
The room went dead silent.
"Are you calling one of my friends stupid." Buffy asked coldly
"After that ridiculous attempt at obfuscation " Wesley went on obviously ignorant of the mistake he had just made.
"He was being a friend to Faith and standing up for her, which is more then you have been doing. All year you have been sniping at Giles and ordering him around like he's a lackey when he is twice the Watcher you will ever be. You know what I'm going out to find Faith and then I'm stopping the ascension. When that is done I'm finished with the council I can't stomach one more second in the same room with you let alone being part of a organization that would send your lame ass out in the field."
She turned on her heel and walked out Willow followed stopping by Xander before she left "If it's any consolation if anyone could be Spider-man I would have wanted it to be you."
"What is so ridiculous about me being Spider-man "
"Xander you have to analyze that question through he filter of having known you for a long time."
"Am I such a joke to you people that the idea of me being Spider-man is that funny."
"No it more like the idea you could actually keep a secret of that magnitude and nobody know about it is …well lets just say I agree with Willow. Although It is obvious that you've gained much by your association with him."
Wesley started walking after Giles but The older man held up his hand. "You don’t want to hear what is coming next."
"You going to report me to the council?" Wes tensely asked him
"No I'm giving my notice. I wouldn’t want to be a part of anything that views your behavior as being the standard to which a Watcher should be judged."
"Honestly Giles." Wesley whined
Giles held up his hand cutting him off. "Wesley I used to think and act exactly like you. Thank god for Buffy and this town I grew up. i can only pray for the sake of any Slayer you are assigned to that you do as well. "
Soon it was just Xander and Wesley standing into the library the Brit turned to him and held out his hands "Ah Mr. Harris I never meant to imply…"
"Too little, Too late Monarchy boy you stuck your foot in it, you get yourself out."
"Ah yes I understand."
Xander walked out to the library wondering how he should be feeling. He felt good that He had the guts to reveal his secret. Yet, he was annoyed that the very idea was inconceivable to his friends.
Joyce it seemed dark, Faith was missing and presumed guilty. We where running out of ideas and just when things where going badly. Team Scooby took another hit. I was across town pulling a fireman off the fifth floor of a burning building when our mysterious assassin struck again or at least tried to.
Xander had to thank his spider-sense for warning him that there was guests in the loft hence he came in the front way in his civilian clothes.
Angel was lying on the couch looking feverish. Buffy was relentlessly pacing like a caged tiger. Everyone else was in various stages of intense worry.
"Someone attacked us. I couldn't be sure but it looked like Faith. "
"Angel took a hit , some kind of arrow and then he collapsed
"Giles was paging through a book and snapped it closed with a curse. "I won't bore you with the details but the poison is deadly to vampires and the only cure is blood, specifically, the blood of a Slayer."
"Well he's getting better if I have to bleed Faith drop, by drop myself. "
"This seems wrong, why would Faith go bad. Where is she?"
"Nobody knows "
"Are you sure it was her "
"It was dark, I could barely see in the alley but it looked like her."
"Come to think of it the person Spider-man chased fled across somedrrk rooftops almost pitch black"
"As though seeing wasn’t a problem for them"
"I was wondering when you youngins would get it up to speed."
"You knew." Buffy asked accusingly
"I know what you know, but I can tell the handy work of an apprentice when I see it."
"But if you knew."
"My head hurts like a son of a bitch every time I think about using anything the lawyer put in there. I'm certainly not going to invite that kind of pain. But it sounds like the plan Wolfram and Hart came up with."
"I'm going after her" Buffy snarled
"How do you even know where to look." Xander asked doubtfully
"Stick do you think you can track her. "
"Take me to the place where you saw her last we'll see what I can do."
Stick was true to his word. After casting about and sniffing a moment, he eventually started dashing across rooftops with Buffy and the rest in hot pursuit.
They crossed half of downtown before arriving at dark building in the warehouse district. The Scoobies entered. Stick came behind as backup for the Slayer since Giles and Willow remind at the apartment to look after Angel.
They stood in the shadows looking at he dark edifice
Cordelia whistled "so are you just going to walk into the trap or are you going to stealth your way in."
"Optimistic much, why are you along."
"I'm looking after the old guy, he likes my company."
"What is it with you and older guys. " Buffy shrewishly asked
"And who was doing the do with a two hundred year old…"
Stick's harsh whisper cut the argument. "If she helps out then she has pulled her weight
"…and if she dies." Buffy snapped pointedly
Stick smiled mysteriously "if we play our roles then it won't come to that will it?." Xander tried to ignore the slow wink in his direction.
"Ok Xander you are on door detail. Make sure they don't get past you but if you see Vanessa don't engage her. You aren't a monk and despite that wild moment in the library you are no Spider-man, Be careful."
"Kid should make himself useful and call in the police."
"Actually that’s a good idea Xander call the cops and then Giles make sure their ready for when we get back."
"What if we can't get her, what if Faith isn't there? what will we do about Angel?"
"I will not allow Angel to die, one way or the other I will not allow Angel to die."
He waited for them to enter the building and then skittered up the walls changing as he went.
Though a skylight He scouted the floor. Tied up and hanging like a side of beef was Faith. She was being held captive and had taken a beating at the hands of the Nanjin assassin.
Vanessa herself was dressed in the same dark clothes as Faith and had styled her hair similarly. In the dark, it would have been impossible not to say you weren't looking at Faith. Vanessa had used Faith's appearance to fool everyone into thinking that Faith was committing crimes, stalking Angel and spreading chaos among the Scoobies.
He dropped through the skylight, but he had forgotten the Nanjin's senses were beyond human.
As he hit the floor the doors crashed open, and thugs came flying in to the room. soon Buffy and Spidey were fighting for their lives, while Stick and his student danced around the floor.
Time slowed as thug after thug poured into the room Buffy and Spider-man were hit with a wave of vamps who almost overwhelmed them both…almost.
Buffy cut loose and began tearing into the foes with abandon. Xander would later hear Buffy tell the others that it was as if Spider-man was everywhere at once sending thugs flying into the air and hurling them into walls, floors and every other available surface.
As the army that the Nanjin had assembled began to thin out Spider-man looked up to see Stick writhing as another mental attack curled him up. Unlike the rest, this one was not stopping. He had reached the limit of how long he could contain the information surging in his brain.
Vanessa began to rain blows on the old man who did nothing except curl in a ball as his screams of pain tore across the floor. Spider-man flew at Vanessa who reacted inhumanly fast. Grabbing him out of the air and tossing him toward a wall
He bounced off the surface and ricocheted back toward her.
Cordelia ran from the alcove she had been sheltering in and grabbed the old man trying to get him to safety.
Instead, Stick reached out and grabbed her head his eyes glowed and then they began shouting in pain as one.
Buffy shouted at Stick to let her go but the vampires around her blocked her off., Spider-man was doing all he could to avoid Vanessa's incredibly fast attacks.
All at once, it was over Stick and Cordy collapsed to the floor Vanessa punched Spider-man in the head several times leaving him senseless.
He was still trying to shake the daze from his head as she left him to stride across the floor toward her former master.
Cordy was climbing to her feet obviously weakened when Vanessa reached her and reached out to punch the cheerleader.
Cordy caught the blow.
Vanessa blinked then sent a flurry of blows Cordy's way. Cordelia slapped them all aside with ease as though she had been doing it all her life.
Vanessa growled and stepped back to lash out with her staff.
Cordy kicked the staff Stick had been holding into her hand and caught the blows deflecting them.
Then she began launching attacks of her own. A blistering storm of high-speed strikes and parries that made the two staves sound like a tap-dancing routine
Buffy threw the last of her thugs at the two fighters Vanessa dodged to the side and as Cordy moved to do the same Vanessa swept her feet out from under her. she looked around the room Spider-man was covering one exit and Buffy was racing toward her. Even Stick was getting back to his feet.
The assassin swore and jumped to a pile of crates and used her staff to loose them so they toppled and fell. She used the confusion to escape through the skylight Spidey had used for his entrance.
The next day was bright and clear. The weatherman reported that it would be like that all week long boding well for Graduation ceremony the next day.
Everyone was filled with questions about what had happened. Stick had explained that he had been going into brain melt down when Cordy had tried to help him and he had sized the opportunity to dump the head full of lawyer knowledge before it had permanently damaged him . in light of his present mental health it had obviously worked
Cordy for her part seemed to suffer no ill effects. Then during third period, Synder made a comment about the students being leeches on society. Cordelia effortlessly quoted the exact code and bylaw that would allow her to press charges against him were she so inclined
Her new found fighting ability Stick blamed on the leaving of the brain transfer until the last minute. Instead of a straight download, Cordy had gotten the law know how and some of his fighting technique.
"Although judging from the performance you obviously need help with your technique. Christ she could've had you a dozen times. If she'd been more focused she'd have killed you."
"Hey you can't talk that way to me I'm a Nanjin master now " Cordy replied peevishly
"Ha you got the know how kid but master you ain't maybe if I work with you for a few decades maybe you'll have the ability to really use what's in your head now."
"Is she still Cordy in there."
"What that supposed to mean monkey boy "
"It would appear her personality is intact." Giles said speculatively "all that has happened is the addition of some practical know how and the means to use it. I'd estimate you could pass the California bar right now if you wanted. "
"And I know about Mayor Wilkins."
She explained the whole deal. Mayor Wilkins' plan for Ascension and the help he had been getting from Wolfram and Hart to effect his transformation into a higher demon form. They were just meditating on the task before them when the man himself strolled into the library. The group froze and Wilkins smiled disarmingly.
"Don’t mind me I was doing a tour of the campus. You know I'm giving the commencement speech tomorrow. I thought I would stop by and see what the other side is up to. "
"Isn't he supposed to be evil " Cordy asked incredulously
"Oh I'm evil make no mistake about that but what good is someone who can't multitask."
Buffy sighed "DO we need to make the cliched you'll never get away with it pronouncements."
Richard smiled indulgently "Please, Ms. Bruer came to within a hair of killing your friend Faith. From Ms Summers pale appearance I assume she took another one for the team and saved the vampire. "
Buffy reddened. Faith was still weak from her imprisonment and abuse at the hands of the sadistic Vanessa Bruer. She was in no condition to help Buffy with the cure for Angel. In desperation, she had contrived to be alone with Angel. Both refused to discuss what had happened afterward but the evidence was obvious. Buffy was still sporting fresh scars from where Angel had fed from her and the souled Vampire was looking like a haunted man. In the aftermath as everyone was finger pointing and blame laying it was Stick and the newly Spiritual Cordelia who had pointed out that survival was an instinct that knew neither good nor evil, it just was.
She shook her head dismissivly. "We still managed to beat your big play
Wilkins laughed "Big play, oh no ms Summers last night was just an amusing little diversion to let you know that I have resources to draw in even now that dwarf your efforts. it gets worse as we get closer to go time. I will make you people bleed as you have never bled. Hurt like you never believed you could suffer. When I finally eat you. You be knelling at my feet .in gratitude …assuming I still have feet."
Giles roared and grabbed a sword and rammed it up to the hilt into Wilkins. The mayor blinked and then pulled it out sighing as he did so. "Shame on you Mr. Giles shame. The children look to you to set an example and here you go off half cocked like that. "
"That box Gwen Raiden stole, the one she was trying to off load when Electro started stalking her. It was filled with …well I won't bore you but I can't be harmed until the time of Ascension."
"My god "
"Some of the vilest scum to crawl run out of Hell itself, stopped by a bunch of kids as an after school project and you didn’t think I wasn’t going to come at you with everything I had?"
"I've been threatened before Dick, We've managed to kick ass before and you'll be no different "
You know your right. Ms Summers this fight is going well but I still don’t feel like your init to win it as they say…I guess we will have to take things up a notch.
That evening thugs dragged Tony Harris into a plush office blindfolded. When it came off, he was shocked to see the Mayor Richard Wilkins standing before him. he had heard the rumours of course. Every thief and scumbag had heard the rumours but he never believed them until now.
The mayor looked at Tony Harris. "Anthony long time family man the kind of salt of the earth citizen Sunnydale needs more of."
Tony had been in enough real danger he could tell when it was bad this time but he had talked his way out of bad scraps before.
"I'm glad to meet you Mr. Mayor. " he said carefully
Wilkins laughed "I'm sure that you are, Tony, your boy Alexander he runs with a troublesome crowd these days."
"Kids like to roughhouse Mr. Mayor."
"Well I know that Anthony, but this particular gang are causing problems for me could cause bigger problems."
"I'll talk to the boy , get his friends to see the light."
Well normally I'd let it stand at that but honestly Tony if the beating you'd lay on him was really going to work he wouldn’t be hanging around with these do-gooders in the first place."
"Tony, this is my last go round as Mayor and I want my send off to be a real bang. Alexander's friends are likely to scuttle those plans unless I give them something to concentrate on."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean Tony, that Xander has chosen the hero's life. I'm a great believer that no hero's background is ever complete without a defining element of tragedy. Say the death of a loved one, or in Xander's case his friends death at the hands of a loved one."
"I'm not a killer."
"I think that little girl from Oxnard would beg to differ. Left her lying by the side of the road, She was still alive for a few hours afterwards. But you were already driving under suspension. A DUI plus an accident, you would have been finished. It's not as if you had a choice. I paid your marker with the Japanese. Right now your ass belongs to me. "
Harris collapsed and hid his head. Wilkins stepped closer raising his voice or maybe pitching it so Harris could not avoid it no matter how much he wanted to. "I need your Help Tony, that son of yours and his little friend have been making life hard for me and I want it to stop."
Tony coward "I can't do anything, he does what he wants."
"Yeah freakish friends of his make him quite dangerous but I have a workaround for that "
"Friends, the only one he hangs out with is that loser Jessie and the pansy jew chick. "
"Don’t strain your brain, just do what I say and kill them all. "
"Kill I can't kill anyone."
"Oh its too late for that Tony, You know I could crush you right now. Grind you in to such a fine paste that the next bimbo that picks you up would be doing it through a straw. But, I need to break the Slayer before the end and you're going to help me do that."
"What, what would I have to do."
"I'm inviting the lovely Joyce Summers to the graduation ceremony you will take both her and as many of the rest of them as you can. "
"I cant " Tony repeated
"So you keep saying and yet I seem completely unconcerned. if you don't do it. I will make your final moments so tortured that the hell you deserve to burn in will be like Club Med.." Wilkins snapped his fingers and the door opened allowing hooded figures to enter the room. "Tony, these are the Fixers, that’s not their real name but since you couldn't pronounce the name of their clan you can call them Fixers."
"What are they going to do to me?"
"They are going to make a new man out of you …or beast depending on how you look at it " Wilkins answered as the hooded men grabbed Harris
Tony began struggling "I've changed my mind "
"Do you know what your son has been doing?"
"I don’t care "
"He has been running around being a hero. Everything you always thought about him is true. He is better then you. He had power and ability and did he use it to put food on the table or pay you and that wench you married back for the burden he has been, No. He let Rosenberg and that girl chick Summers, talk him into helping the helpless, the losers, the wimps. He could have made you rich, given something-back instead just taking, taking, taking from you. Don’t you think he deserves something for that."
Tony quieted his struggling.
Wilkins voice became soft and seductive. "For a long time, he has been laughing at you and making fun of you behind your back. You're weaker then him and he knows it. he could have helped you at with those gambling debts, taken care of those thugs after you. Instead, he played footsie with the Cheerleader. Tell me he doesn’t have pain coming?"
Tony looked at Wilkins and not for the first time as a man and a father made a completely selfish choice. "Do what you have to, the bastard son of mine is going to learn some respect "
"Spoken like every father I have ever really admired."
The makers unmade the man called Tony Harris and unleashed the thing that had made him a terror to his son and wife. The thing that rose from the table would be unrecognizable to all save a kindergarten teacher who once asked a young Xander Harris to draw his father.
She had asked Little Xander why he made the monster looking thing green. Xander had replied that Willow had been using the Yellow crayon at the time. Besides, green was his father's least favorite colour.
"Time to bring the pain" said the thing that had been Tony Harris and now was something much more dangerous.
There were preparations and plans. Xander made a joke that if Wilkins turned into a frog they could blew it up with a well-placed firecracker.
Buffy somehow turned his groan-inducing joke into The Plan. They would blow Wilkins up and bury the Hellmouth all in one go.
They had tried a few different ideas but Xander eventually volunteered a design for a homemade bomb.
"Awesome idea Xan, where did you get the idea. " Buffy smiled
"Oh just something I stumbled across." Xander smiled disarmingly. Even Buffy would have trouble believing that story…hell even now he had trouble believing it and he had been there. Nice thing about disarming an explosive device that could destroy the world was that he had a chance to learn how the sucker worked, this was a scaled down version… a very scaled down version.
They assembled the bomb. When it was finally done, Xander looked at it and loudly pronounced them toasted if it worked as screwy as it looked.
The Plan (Xander's frenzied giggling every time the word was used prompted Buffy to threaten him with bodily harm if he didn’t stop it.) was that the student body be rallied in defense of the their lives and the school. Several of the group pointed out that some people might have issue with the blowing up of the school but the general feeling was that despite this, it was as good a plan as any they'd be making.
The morning of Grad was clear and bright. It felt weird dressing for school this morning. (Well weird taking into account he regularly put a Super hero costume on underneath his street clothes.)
Xander finished dressing and entered the main loft where Angel was packing things away into trunks. "What's up with the trunks DB." He asked
When this is over I think I'm going to need some time away, I think we all will." He answered sullenly
"Amen to that" answered Faith. Her arm was in a sling. It was the only remaining physical scar of her torture at the hands of Vanessa Bruer. The other scars ran deeper. Her moans in the night already a testament to memories what would not fade any time soon. Her loyalty to the Scoobies had cost the dark Slayer a lot, almost too much.
The rest of the team met for last minute planning and then the entire senior class gathered in the quad for the ceremony.
Xander looked around the square and saw a group of parents watching from afar. Looking oddly out of place was Tony Harris who smiled wolfishly at his son until he saw Joyce Summers who also waved to Xander. At the sight of the Slayer mom, Tony's smile grew venomous. Xander prayed to any Gods listening that Tony would not embarrass him. Not that those Gods had ever spared Xander social humiliation at the hands of his father before, but hey. You had to ask.
Synder finished his opening remarks. A series of veiled insults threats and imprecations that left the seniors thankful they were no longer under his troll-like thumb.
Wilkins stepped up and began speaking. Smiling at each of them as he spoke of the future, the changes they would face.
Almost on cue, the sky darkened.
A solar eclipse, Just like Willow's computers had predicted. A vampire army burst from the sewers and shadows to sweep across the quad. Angel emerged from hiding and the seniors sprung their surprise. Instead of folding up and panicking, everyone fought back.
Xander staked a few vamps saving as many parents and students as he could. He was leading a group of fighters against the tide of undead when a figure broke from the crowd.
His father clamped a iron grip on his arm "Danmit boy where do you think you're going the Mayor isn't done his speech you'll learn respect for your elders little man. "
Xander swore at him and pushed him away. He lashed out and punched his old man hard. His strength was such the first hits should have floored his old man but the bastard got back off the ground.
"Striking one of your elders, that’s going to cost you big time little man. " Tony marched toward Xander changing as he came." Since you're sharing your little secret with Daddy, daddy's gonna share his secret with you. Daddy's made a little deal with the Mayor." His body turned monstrous and green. His eye flashed deep red.
Xander wasn’t so old he forgot that day in school and the nickname he had given the beast came to him now. "The Green Goblin " he whispered
Tony slashed at Xander tearing his graduation gown and then a weird orange light burst from the Goblins clawed hands. The blast tossed Xander backward over the crowd to land at Buffy's feet.
A scream from the podium drew everyone's attention back to Wilkins who began convulsing and transforming right in front of everyone. In moments, where Wilkins had been a giant demonic snake now writhed.
The goblin laughed maniacally "Well hero, since the mayor wants some alone time with your little friends how's about you and me get in some quality Father/Son time." He snatched Willow and Joyce from the rushing crowd and hopped away. "I think its time your friends found out how useless you really are."
"He has Willow and my mom." A panicked Buffy turned to Xander. "What am I supposed to do I can't fight the him and the Mayor all at once.."
Xander grabbed her and swung her aground. "You don’t have to fight him on your own. You have never been alone."
"What are you talking about?"
Xander pulled at the destroyed graduate outfit revealing the suit he wore underneath. "I kept things from you. Smart or not, it's done. Goblin has Willow and your mom."
She looked at him hard as she never had before. "Can I trust you?"
He stared back at her. "Trust that no matter what you may think now I love you and Willow and will die before I let anything happen to them no matter who I have to stop."
"Bring them back and I won't care of you are the Queen Of Siam. "
"Beat the Mayor or there wont be anything left to bring them back to."
"Your Father, Xander are you telling me that you can kill Your own dad?"
"Tony Harris is dead and gone, that thing is not my father.
Buffy nodded grimly "Good luck, Spider-man. "
Xander never remembered how he got across town. All he saw was his fathers fleeing form.
It did his heart good to see Willow and Joyce screaming and hitting his mutated dad. Their abuse was slowing the Goblin down.
Spider-man fired another webline and yanked hard on it when it caught the side of the building and went taunt. He gained more speed flying over top the roof and landed running.
"If you'd have moved your ass like that in gym maybe you wouldn't have been such a wuss." Tony snarled
"If you weren't such a loser yourself, you wouldn’t need me to be a success." Spidey shot back
"Well little man wonna toss a few around with the old man, here comes a long bomb." He tossed Joyce in the air, Buffy's mom began plunging toward the pavement below Screaming as she fell.
Spider-man changed course and ran down the side of a building matching speed with Joyce's falling form. Reaching out he grabbed her and vaulted off the building face to swing one handed down to the street.
"My god, what was that, was that Tony Harris." The Slayer's mom asked breathlessly
"I suppose it would be too much to hope that you were unconscious for most of this." Spidey asked wearily
Joyce looked at him and smiled "I could be if it would be better for you. " she looked in the direction the demon had fled. "You should get Buffy."
"No time, Whatever he is its way beyond unstable. Listen I'm going to leave you here. Do not go back to the school. The mayor obviously invited you so that he would have an advantage against Buffy. Now that you are safe, that advantage is gone."
Joyce nodded "are you sure you can beat him."
"I know I'm not going to let Willow be hurt by anyone including whatever my father has become."
"Good luck, Xander."
After putting Joyce in a cab, he sped after Willow and The Goblin.
He knew what his father was up to. If Tony was going to punish Xander, harming Willow would be the way to do it. For two years he had dreaded this moment, thought about it wandered about it and now that it was finally upon him, all he felt was rage.
"If you hurt Willow old man " he snarled to himself, "you are going down."
He caught sight of Willow standing clutching herself on a rooftop. She was alone.
"Come on Dad " he muttered "you really think I'm going to not know this is a trap "
Trap or not he had to reach her in order to rescue her. Landing on the roof, he walked cautiously toward her. "Willis can you hear me?"
"Where am I what did he do?" asked a dazed sounding Willow
"I'm going to get you out of here " Xander replied as he approached her slowly
"Spider-man? " she replied weakly "you came after me"
'"Hell is breaking loose and the skies are falling but my fans are still my fans now lets go." He bent to gather her and that was when his Spider-sense flared.
The roof imploded and as Goblin's clawed fists dragged Willow from sight.
The wall crawler plunged after them he landed on the floor and surveyed the darkness around him. There was Goblin. Willow was at his feet as he clenched his fists …just as he always did before starting in on Xander.
"Don't tell me that the terror of the criminal underworld Spider-man is really my son in a faggoty costume. "
"Well since the name Harris is pretty much crap in this town I had to wear a mask" Spidey snarled
"This is your fault chippie," Tony cursed at Willow. "He wasn’t much of a man but at least he wasn’t some sissy."
"Sorry I wimped out of being a drunken abusive asshole like you dad."
"Not too late for you, you got power. if a man has power he has everything he needs to turn the world."
"I don’t want to change the world, I just want to help my friends."
"They aren't your friends they just like you for what you can do for them. that’s what everyone's like."
"No that’s what you're like what you've always been like."
"I'm offering you the chance to be a big man in this town, the mayor is going to own this place and we can be on the winning side."
"I am on the winning side, your precious mayor is about to have his snakey ass smoked by the Slayer. "
"Stupid, stupid kid, Guess we're just going to have to do this the hard way." Goblin lashed out his arm. An orange glob streaked across the room sending Xander flying as he dodged.
Seconds later his body was hurled to the floor by Goblin as the two crashed to the floor and began wrestling. Goblin tried to get the advantage but Spidey could cling to people as easily as he did walls and still rain blow upon blow on his demonized father.
"Hey red catch" he called out and loosed a blast at Willow. She scrambled to get out of the way, as the hot plasma shattered the floor.
She screamed as her weight caused the weakened floor to collapse and crash. Spider-man threw himself off the goblin and scrambled after her with a cry. They crashed together and Xander inverted his body so that he absorbed the force of the blow when they crashed to the level beneath.
Goblin's screams of laughter preceded him down into the furnace level. Grabbed Willow and threw her off Spidey and began raining blows on the wall-crawler. "Naughty boy, Daddy isn't done beating you yet."
Willow at first watched in horror as the two of them fought but the fear began to drain away. Drained away to be replaced by cold, hard, rage; this bully, this monster, this pathetic excuse of a man was what her best friend had lived in fear of for all of his life.
She clawed her way to her feet, gathering power from the earth as she did.
Spider Man and Goblin flew around the room in a blur of speed and rage and anger hurling abuse and punches at each other.
For Tony it was a miracle, the power to do and say anything he wanted nobody had the power to deny him anything.
For Xander his anger floodgate was stuck wide open and his powers fully unleashed, allowing him to pummel the Goblin who gave him back every hit.
Goblin slammed Spidey into a furnace and sent a blast of power whizzing at his head. Xander instinctively flipped away but was hurled to the ground hard when the blasts ignited the volatile gases inside the furnace and it exploded with a roar.
Flames belched around them but even as Spider man rose o his feet again his spider-sense flared and he saw Goblin leaping through the curtain of flames. Spidey caught the flying body and threw him to the side.
Goblin held up his hands and green lightning danced across his fists before lancing out. The green fire bounced around the room before striking close to Spidey.
Suddenly out of nowhere a piece of debris rose from the ground and sped across the room. It was the first of a storm of objects that began tearing themselves free of the walls and launching toward The Goblin.
Spider-man looked around and saw Willow with a scary look carved on her face, screaming as she stared intently at his demonic father. Willow was "going carrie" on them.
The Goblin blasted several of the flying objects out of the air roaring his rage at Willow's power as he did.
He kicked a metal rebar into his hands and flew at The Goblin swinging as he came. The dazed Goblin fell backward as Spidey rained blows on him.
Goblin snarled at his son and threw out his hands. Green fire danced around the room before ricocheting back toward Spider-man. He cried in pain as the green flame savaged his body. Goblin threw Spider-man back and laughed as his crashed into a wall.
He stalked toward the weakened Wall Crawler. As he came, he picked up the rebar slapping it in his palm as he came. "Filthy Brat, I thought I was turning you into a man instead, I find you defending wimps and losers. "
He stood over Spider-man raising the rebar to shove it home in the heart he had broken a long time ago. "You know what they say sonny-boy. You spare the rod, you spoil the child." He reached down and tore the mask from Xander's bloodied and bruised face. "Any last words"
"Duck" Xander sneered
A heating unit slammed into the Goblin crushing him against a wall. Willow collapsed with the effort her burst of magic had cost her.
Goblin screamed in rage cursing Xander and Willow and vowing to kill the both of them when he had freed himself. Xander shot webline after webline into what was left of the ceiling. Then he began pulling on the lattice of webbing. He strained and groaned with effort. The ceiling supports sagged yielding to his spider-strength. The ceiling crashed down around The Goblin entombing him further and trapping one of his arms.
The demonized Tony beat on the debris trapping him and cursed them angrily. "Is that all you got, you think this will stop me." his fist glowed green with fire.
"Dad, I realize you weren't much for book learning but free roaming energy blasts in a room filling with explosive gas is a bad idea." Xander jerked a thumb toward a broken gas main that was indeed filling the room with vapour that had a distinctly acrid odor to it.
"I'm betting that I'll survive, can you say the same wimp-boy, this is the day you die. " Tony laughed and raged as the green fire flared brighter in his fist
"Nope, this is the day I graduate." Xander snapped and dashed backward. He snatched Willow and bounded upward even as he heard the flames igniting the gas. A last burst of spider-speed propelled the both of them through the hole in the roof just as a tremendous blast gutted the building reducing its contents to ash. He managed to get them safely to a building a short distance away. Once there he set Willow down.
"DO you think he got out." She asked quietly
"Strangely enough I don't really care, do you?"
"Nah, I was just being polite, Hey after all these years you finally kicked your dad's ass."
"Yeah, all he had to do to get me to stand up to him was threaten My Willis."
"Your best bud."
"The bestest "
"The person entrusted with all your deepest darkest secrets."
"Lets get back to the school we can have "the Talk" later."
The two of them arrived back at the High School to find firemen and police poring over the blasted remains.
"The bomb went off at least." Xander stared
After a few questions, Xander found out that Buffy had indeed walked away from the blast site. They had won.
Willow looked at the destroyed school. "We made it, we survived high school. "
I am very surprised, I think somewhere along the way I just assumed I was going to die here." Xander said mystified
"And you're Spider-man."
Yeah I'm Spider-Man I know this will come as a shock but."
"Are you joking, Xander Harris Ive known you since kindergarten there is no such thing as you hiding anything from me. Ive know something was up for a long time now."
"OK actually it took a lot longer then that you are really good at the dual identity thing. You actually had me fooled several times even after I was sure you were Spidey Does Buffy know?"
She does now. One of dad's blasts shredded my grad outfit. Kind of hard lying about the Spider-man thing with the uniform showing.
"Buffy great girl, not the brightest of seeds in the garden. She thought, well she thought many things these last few months.
"I can imagine," he took her hand. "Listen I think we should talk."
"Where, Buffy is expecting us."
"There are something's that I really should have said and its time I siad them."
"Ohh are we going to web-sling cause I gotta say, that is by far the coolest thing you do."
"Web-slinging is very cool." Xander took Willow to a spot that looked down on the city. There he told her everything from the beginning, the night in the spider-cave, his adventures both before and after the LA exile, everything. Willow listened asking questions occasionally when she sensed he was skipping over things. Finally, he came to the end. "So know you knew everything."
"Danm you Xander you could have been killed, you could have been killed a thousand, times and we would never have known."
"I thought I was doing the right thing, and "
"And nothing, you told Angel, you told Faith, hell you told Cordelia, don’t thing I'm forgetting that anytime soon. "
"Actually Angel found out because Angelus guessed, Angel knows what Angelus knows. Faith was saving Spider-mans life when she found out. "
"And Cordy "
"Actually that one even I have trouble with.. Cordy found out from an alternate universe version of me who professed his undying love because he never got the chance to say what he really felt before she was killed by Venom."
"You mean there is a universe out there where Xander and Cordy are bucking like funnies as we speak " Willow asked disgustedly
Xander Shook his head "Actually, no he got killed by the Vampire Willow in a pitch battle during which he had the chance to kill her and save the world but hesitated because Cordelia was in danger."
"You mean the other me with the tight leather and the dubious sexuality killed you."
"Uh huh, In fact, that’s why Cordelia put the brakes on the Xander/Cordy story. "
"Wow, You realize how incredibly weird that sounds
"You know Willis between the cheerleading vampire slayer the super computer hacker slash wiccan initiate and of course waking up with the proportionate powers of a spider….i just stopped expecting this town to make sense a long time ago."
"I've suspected for months but I could never figure out why you would avoid telling me, I can see Buffy and Giles but Why me."
"I kept telling myself that I was protecting you guys." HE grimaced sarcastically "Of course I was pissing off Buffy and putting a strain on our friendship but I knew best. I thought things would have to change."
"Not unless you stopped being Xander which isn't the case. I won't speak for Buffy withholding of the info kind of an issue with that girl for good reason. "
'Well that’s all done now I'm coming clean with Buffy today "
"Does this mean more webslinging because I'm absolutely loving that."
"If you insist" Xander pushed Willow off the building side. She screamed all the way down and stopping only when he caught her a few feet from the ground and they swung away.
"Still think web-slinging is cool " Xander laughed
"You're paying for my dry cleaning mister "
He laughed and they swung through the city arriving at Xander and Angel's apartment loft "Uh oh, Angel hung the white flag outside the loft that means someone's there that doesn't know "
They landed in the alleyway, Xander had "borrowed" a change of clothes. Then he and Willow marched into the apartment. Buffy was sitting at the worktable crying
"What's wrong "
"Angel is gone "
Xander gasped and then raged "What? Who got him, give me a name and I'll…"
"No he survived but he told me that he was leaving after the fight with the mayor I thought I could talk him out of it but he didn’t even wait…he just left."
"In hindsight, I thought he was packing a bit heavy for a short trip. " Xander whispered quietly
Buffy flew at him and wrapped her arms around him and Willow in a hug. "It the curse. Besides the curse the vampire thing. I know he's right and I realize its for the best but why this way." They comforted Buffy who after a moment asked after her mom.
Xander smiled proudly "Should be a Casa de Summers as we speak."
"You should have seen it Buffy he was incredible. Mr. Harris tried turning Joyce into road kill but whoosh there he was grabbing her out of the air. "
"Thank you Xander, so you have something you've been dying to tell me. "
Xander took a deep breath and retold his tale from the beginning. Sometime in the middle of it Giles showed up so Xander had to start again for his benefit. Giles cleaned his glasses an impressive two dozen times.
Giles then insisted on booting up the computer. He pulled all the records on Arachnis. Xander walked around the apartment while the work went on.
The loft seemed hallow without Angel's things. Xander wondered if he would be able to make the place feel like home again. But he puttered around doing useless busy work.
"How are you feeling" Willow gently asked
"Odd, really every time I think I'm going to get upset about dad being gone It just seems so false. I don't think I ever really knew him. "
"How is your mom?"
"Moving to San Francisco to live with her sister for a bit. She invited me to come along but I don’t think I could stand lying to her and the rest of the family. They think Dad ran off or got killed at the grad ceremony."
Giles finally signed and stood up from the terminal "All those things I said about you being smart and resourceful…I take them back." Giles muttered while cleaning his glasses. "Oh I seem to have become a demonic Avatar well I'm sure nothing bad will come of that, I'll just whip up a costume and fight crime."
"The thought process was a bit more complicated then that." Xander said defensively
"Not Bloody Likely " Giles snapped. He was in full Ripper mode
Buffy chimed in her two cents on the matter. "All this time I thought…well I'm …you know what I'm just so angry right now."
"I understand, I lied to you and Willis "
"Not about that, well yes about that, but there is all the things you’ve put yourself through the last two years that I would have been more then happy to help with. All the fights you went into alone when you could have used my help. All the times I thought Spider-man was butting in and interfering it was really you, helping."
"I'm just glad you want to try and get past this Buff" Xander replied archly
"Hey you saved Mom and Willow anyone who can do what you did deserves a little slack…a very little slack.
"I'm just glad all this running and hiding is behind me I can give up all the dual identity schtick." Xander sighed
Giles shook his head. "I'm not sure that is wise. Spider-man has a high profile that has its uses He can go places and do things that Buffy can't just because she is already too well known within the demon community."
"I don’t like where this is going." muttered Xander
"Spider-man's identity is still secret. Angel and Faith know but they have both decided to leave town and can be trusted to keep it. You say that Cordelia knows and I think we can count on her silence. That means we have an effective tool for both confronting foes and backing up Buffy in secret."
"We can split patrol," Buffy supplied cheerfully "I was worried how I was going to do Slayage and University now I don’t have to worry."
Xander gave up all pretense and lapsed into whining "I thought you guys knowing my secret would make life as Spider-man easier "
"Oh come on Xander, the Hellmouth is buried. The demons are going all quiet. Honestly what could possibly happen at UC Sunnydale."
Xander snickered "You know the funny thing Buffy, I remember saying something like that…about five minutes before I met you for the first time."
And that was how everyone found out. Angel and Faith moved to LA. Eventually Cordy joined them after Giles pulled his few remaining connections to get her a bar exam which she passed without breaking a sweat. Soon they met up with that lawyer Foggy Nelson. Together with Foggy they fought Wolfram And Hart on their own turf. I dropped in to help but it's not like they really needed another masked do-gooder. Daredevil proved to be more then a match made in hell. She and Angel spent a few adventures sniping at each other but eventually they joined forces against the bad guys. Thank goodness made me feel guilty going out there and drooling over her like I did, Hey what can I say she was a real looker. Meanwhile it was a New Year for all of us. Willow majored in bioscience while Buffy decided to take Psychology. I personally think Willow just liked the teacher Curt Conners. Maggie Walsh Buffy's program head was one freaky lady and me I was taking pictures and meeting high minded university girls. Although with spider-stuff, I had no time for serious dating. I got a Fine Arts Scholarship to UC Sunnydale, which surprised me. Oh eventually I found out why, Spider-man made a good first impression on someone who wanted to get a much better look at him. Moreover, in typical Xander fashion I did not disappoint.
*** the end ***
A/N -- well that is it for a little while. The only thing to follow this chapter will be a brief little synopsis thingy. That is just so that new readers have the option of going right to the new stuff or reading the whole story. If you like season four, I hope you will like my tinkering with it. Just so that you know what's coming , Doc Ock, Lizard, and a for the old school Spider-fans out there a variation on the Scourge storyline that will not suck.