Year Zero


Author: Tenhawk <tenhawk[at]>

Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... none of which are me.

Summary: Play it again, Xan.

Warning: Crossovers ahead. (Yes Plural.)

Rating: PG-13 to PG-16; for mild cursing, violence, and demonic horror content... in other words a bit more grown up then the series... but only cause I don't have to suck up to censors.

Xander opened his eyes fearfully. He could still feel the charge of the alien power source ripping through his body, charging every cell in his body, trying to rupture every cell in his body.

"ELAN!!!" He screamed in pain, trying to focus his mind to expel the energy, his mind crying out for the help that Elanthielle would normally have provided.

But there was no answer. No surcease to the pain.

And so Alexander Harris screamed. And screamed. And screamed.

Seconds stretched into minutes. Minutes into hours. Hours into days. Days into years.

Time meant nothing to him as the pain continued to course through every fibre of his body, and all he could wonder was why his call wasn't being answered. He turned his will against the pain, wrapping his mind around it and slowly tightening his mental grip.

It was like trudging through drying cement, but he slowly focused the pain down. From an all encompassing bright white light he forced it down, first to an orb that glowed with the brilliance of the sun, then finally down to a nova hot pinpoint of light that burned at his core.

With an extreme effort of will he reached out and mentally snuffed the flame.

And for the first time in centuries, Xander Harris was silent.




No answer.

Xander searched his mental plane for her, but found nothing but the dust of a barren desert. His hard won inner control was a shambles, his every stride forward... gone.

Standing in the center of a scene that would have done Armageddon proud, Alexander Harris screamed at the sky, his fists raised in anger as he took in the empty wasteland that was all that remained of his mind.

"Doctor?" Willow asked, "is he going to be alright?"

The doctor didn't answer, checking the young man over as he screamed and arced in his restraints.

"Hey, Doc! The lady asked you a question!"

The doctor looked up, annoyed, and asked a question of his own. "What happened to him?"

"Hey man, I dunno. We were just going to meet him in the park... when we found him he was lying in a hole, and his clothes were shredded. I think he was mugged or something. What's wrong with him?"

The doctor shook his head, "I don't know. Please... I need some room."

Willow didn't move until she felt a hand on her shoulder, pulling her back. She looked up, tears streaking her face. "What if he... he...?"

"Hey... it's ok..." The boy smiled at her comfortingly. "He'll be fine. Nothing keeps the Xan-man down."

He opened his eyes.

His physical eyes, not the mental ones he had been using.

The light hurt, and his mind felt like it had been scrambled, fluffed, and blow dried. But it was real. He was free of the pain, free of the Armageddon landscape that his mind had become. He was alive.

The room was white, the light pouring in from outside painful, but he smiled.

The he realized that he couldn't move.

<What the hell?>

He looked down to where his arms were stuck and saw that he was strapped down. His mouth went dry and he cursed. <The Initiative. AGAIN!>

It made sense. It was the only time he had ever been cut off from Elan, and now they had done it to him again. He tensed, his tendons standing out on his arms as he struggled vainly against the leather of the straps. Through his bleary eyes he could see his arms, muscles popping with the strain, and he saw how small his arms were.

<Jesus... how long have I been here?>

He shook his head and reached inside, focusing his mind as Elan had taught him. Beads of sweat popped out on his forehead as his arms strained against the leather strap, popping sounds coming from his shoulders.

Inside his body his adrenal gland started production, amping up his strength. Endorphins began coursing through his bloodstream, deadening the screams of protest coming from his underused and newly abused muscles.

Xander screamed as the leather refused to give way and pulled harder until his arms broke free, leather straps still secured tightly around his wrists but the metal frame of the bed ripped apart by the sheer force.

He quickly reached down and ripped the leather straps from his ankles, then removed them from his wrists. He glanced down at his body, and started ripping sensors from his chest. As they came off alarms started beeping and whistles blew through the room. By the time he hit the floor white coats were flooding into the room, shocked looks on their faces.

Xander shifted to a fighting stance, "You fucking labcoats aren't feeding me to a vamp!"

"Calm down, Son..." The lead guy, a white haired man held out his hands.

Xander's hand snapped out, grabbing and twisting the man's hands until the man twisted around and Xander had him in an arm lock. He growled at the other whitecoats, "I'm walking out of here, and if you know what's good for you, you'll all back off!"

All of them slowly backed out of the room and Xander followed them, pushing the man ahead of him like a shield. In the hall a shocked voice froze him in place.


He turned, his eyes widening. "Jessie?"

Xander swallowed, his control weakening from the shock and his body suddenly giving out. His knees buckled, and the last thing he saw was his two best friends being held back by a crowd of concerned doctors. Then the world went black again.

"Is he going to be alright?"

Xander slowly opened his eye again, the world swimming into view around him. He was lying on the floor and the voice sounded familiar.

"Willow?" he groaned.

"It's me, Xan... it's me."

He turned to look at her and his heart stopped. It was her, but it wasn't. She looked... young.

"Will...? It can't be... it's not you..." Xander shook his head.

"Jeeze, bud... You're the one who's not 'you'... where did you learn the Steven Segal stuff anyway?"

He turned his head and choked. "Jessie?"

"Yeah... last time I checked, bud..."

"No... dreaming. Have to be dreaming. Not fair. It's not fair..."

"What the hell are you talking about, bud?"

"You're dead... you're dead."

Jessie looked at Willow and the Doctor in confusion. "Come on Xan... snap out of it, bro..."

"Jessie's ok, Xander... it was a dream... it was all just a dream."

Xander looked at Willow in horror. "Oh God... What if you're right!?"

The two youths looked at each other in confusion as Xander laid back, wide eyed and horror struck.

Xander studied his face in the mirror, then checked his entire body as best he could.

He was skinny. He had lost all the muscle tone that he had gained in the last year of his life, his face looked years younger. He couldn't find the acid scar on his shoulder, it had vanished as if it had never existed.

Never existed.

All a dream.

He almost believe it. He would believe it except for the fact that the room was pitch black and he could see the smallest detail of anything around him without any effort at all. He took a deep breath and walked across the room to the cheap calender on the wall.

August 26th.

August 26th, 1995.

<Dear God... it was only supposed to go back seven days.> Xander stared in shock, trying to understand. <Elan's energy must have... supercharged it... blown me back 5 years... but, why am I in my younger body? Or is it always like this? When Frank goes back does he get seven days younger? And just never notices it? Jesus, I wish Elan were here.>

And suddenly Xander felt it like a physical blow. The hole in his mind, soul, and heart. He wasn't used to being alone anymore, and it hurt not to feel her presence in his mind. She was really gone.

"What the hell happened?" he whispered, expecting no answer and receiving none.

"Hey, bro!" Jessie called with a grin as he walked in. "I hear that you've started talking normally instead of babbling crazy talk..."

Xander forced a practiced grin and nodded. "Yep. I'm back... Lock up your daughters Sunnydale!"

Jessie rolled his eyes, "Hey doc! He's still delusional!"

Xander chuckled and punched Jessie in the arm.

"Ow! Damn man, that hurt." Jessie rubbed his arm.

Xander winced, chagrined to realize that he had instinctively put a measure of skill behind the light blow. "Sorry man. Guess I don't know my own strength..."

"Yeah... right." Jessie kept rubbing the spot. "Anyway... got good news, the Doc's say you can go today."

Xander nodded. "Cool. Let's move."

"Not so fast," Jessie grinned. "They got a rule here, you ride in... you ride out."

Then he stepped aside to show the wheel chair behind him.

Xander groaned. "Let's get this over with."

Xander watched as they pulled up to Willow's house and racked his brain for the reason. <Oh shit. I'm staying there this week... Dad's on his 'Vegas vacation' with Mom.>

"What are you waiting for?" Willow smiled at him, "Come on!"

"Now Willow," her mother chided quietly, "He did just get out of the hospital... give the poor boy some time to get his strength back.

Willow looked downcast, clutching a book to her chest. "Sorry..."

Xander shook his head and forced a grin that he didn't feel. "S'alright, Wills. I'm fine."

The words echoed emptily through him even as he said them, sounding flat as if produced by some hollow echo chamber.

She smiled again, oblivious to the mood that surged under Xander's facade. "Cool! Come on, we talk about school tomorrow!"

Xander groaned. <School!? Oh shit. I start *High school* tomorrow!? What the fuck am I going to do!? I lived through that shit once already!>

Willow took his groan to mean something else and hit his shoulder then drew back as if embarrassed. "Oh come on... it won't be so bad?"

Xander just shook his head, caught up in his own internal problems. Wordlessly he followed Willow into the house and then he slumped down onto the cot that was his when he stayed with the Rosenberg's.

<What am I going to do!?>

He awoke at midnight, looking out the window to the streets of Sunnydale below with trepidation. He got up and got dressed quickly, cursing the clothes that his younger self had burdened him with.

The slacks weren't too bad, but the colorful print shirts were due for a burning. He searched through his clothes until he found a dark maroon button up that he could stand.

<I need a weapon.> he cast around, not really sure what he was looking for until he remembered something. He slid the window open silently and slipped out into the night.

Xander's first stop was the neighbors garage.

<Locked.> Xander smiled as he pulled out some bobby pins he had stolen from Willow. The cheap hardware store lock popped in seconds and Xander grinned and shook his head. <Thank you, Amanda.>

He slipped in and looked around, praying that his memory served well.

"Bingo." He whispered as he pulled a police baton off the wall. Shiny black hardwood, about two feet long, with a solid wooden handle coming out of it about a third of the way up the length. It wasn't Elan, not by a longshot, but a little bit of work with a knife and it would do. Xander slipped back out and locked the door behind him.

Three hours later he was still wandering the graveyards, starting to wonder once again if it was all just a dream.

"Come on... this is *Sunnydale*! Where are the damned vamps!?" He muttered as he vaulted over a headstone.

It had taken him only minutes to sharpen both ends of the police baton with a small axe the Rosenberg's kept for their fireplace, but the night was as dead as he could imagine. There was nothing stalking the Sunnydale night.


Xander shook his head and made a beeline for Willy's.

Willy's was practically deserted, but Xander felt a thrill as he walked in. There were three of them, and he recognized one.


They didn't look in his direction as he walked up to the bar, the cop baton cradled under his arm and out of sight.

"Hey kid, get outta here." Willy said from behind the bar. "We don't serve minors."

Xander ignored him, instead leaning over the bar and grabbing a bottle from Willy's hand. He uncorked it and sniffed it carefully. <Blood. Well, that settles it. It wasn't a dream.>

"Hey!" A voice said from behind him, "Did you hear the man? We don't want you in here!"

Xander half turned, a surprised look on his face. <What the fuck? Am I getting thrown out by a vamp!? Jesus, what the hell is wrong with this picture?>

He whipped his arm up, catching the vampire across the face with the baton. Xander actually smiled when the man flashed back at him in full game face mode.

"Thank god! Do you know how hard I've been looking for one of you guys!? I thought I was going insane." He said as he beat a pattern across the vamps face and chest. When the vamp finally went down on his back Xander crouched down over him and looked at the nearly crippled vampire. "Man you have no idea how good that feels."

Xander stripped the leather jacket off the vamp, flipping it over his own shoulder. Then checked its pockets. "Couple hundred bucks? That all? I guess it'll do."

Then Xander drove the sharpened end of the baton into it's chest, resulting in a very satisfying rush of air and dust.

As Xander stood up he noticed Darla put her hand on the vampire she was sitting with, keeping him in his seat. She looked at Xander, a smile playing on her lips. "Who are you, boy?"

"Me?" Xander looked at her, a satisfied gleam in his eyes. "I used to be somebody I guess... but now I'm nobody."

"Well, Nobody," Darla wiped a trace of blood off her lower lip with one finger, then delicately sucking the finger clean. "You really shouldn't be playing in this part of town. It could be... dangerous."

Xander shrugged, "Whatever. I just needed to prove something."

"Really?" She asked, sounding fascinated. "What?"

"That I wasn't losing my mind."

She laughed. "You come into a demon bar and stake a vampire in front of others... and you think this makes you... sane?"

Xander shrugged.

She smiled and got up, motioning her friend to do the same. "You're lucky, Nobody. You're very lucky..."

"Darla..." the other one growled.

She glared at him. "No. Not now. It's not time."


"I said no."

Xander just raised an eyebrow, "What makes you think I'm going to give you a choice?"

Darla arced an eyebrow at him and calmly walked up to him. Xander tensed and hefted his baton to strike. As he moved she easily intercepted the blow, hitting his arm hard enough to send the baton clattering to the floor.

She wrapped his hands around his throat and lifted his body clear off the floor. Xander struck at her wrists, trying to break free but it was like hitting a stone statue.

She didn't so much as flinch.

Darla vamped out and pulled him close, "Another time, boy... and maybe we'll have some... fun."

Then she kissed him full on the lips, her cold tongue slipping into his mouth. Xander struggled but couldn't budge an inch. When she was done she tossed him back like a rag doll, then turned and left the bar without glancing back.

Xander lay on the floor for a few moments, dazed, then slowly got to his feet.

Willy looked at him. "Kid, you don't know how lucky you are. You have no idea what you're dealing with."

Xander stooped to pick up the baton, then glanced back at Willy. "You've got that wrong. I know better then you do... problem is, I don't know what I'm *working* with anymore."

Xander trudged back toward the Rosenberg's house, his mind racing as he tried to comprehend what had happened.

<I'm alone. Really alone. My friends are all gone...>

He suddenly jumped out of his skin as a blaze of fire appeared beside him and a booming voice echoed through the night.

"Behold the Metatron, herald of the almighty and Voice of the one true God!"

Then the voice began to repeat itself, Xander interrupted it. He spoke without thinking, his mind still reeling in the loss of everything he had.

"Yeah, yeah. Get on with it already you gas bag."

An annoyed looking Englishman appeared from the flames, dressed in a custom fitting black suit. "Show some respect would you? I am bearing a message from God."

Xander rolled his eyes. "Let me guess... I'm back in time... right?"

"Well... yes, but..."

"You're a little late, Voice." Xander mumbled and started walking away.

"It's not that simple!" Le Metatron broke into a run to catch up.

"Nothing ever is!" Xander snapped without looking back.

"It wasn't supposed to happen like this!" Le Metatron snapped as he caught up. "The Hellmouth wasn't supposed to open the second time. You were supposed to be prepared."

"Well we weren't! Ok!? I'm fucking sorry, but I dropped the goddamned ball!"

"Actually..." Le Metatron mumbled quietly, "You didn't."

Xander stopped. "What!?"

"There was some outside interference..."

"Say that again."

Le Metatron looked embarrassed. "We umm... well, we kinda lost track of an infant and he screwed up the watcher's spell."


"Look, it's not like we're perfect you know!" Le Metatron snapped, "Even HE has made a couple mistakes in the past."

Xander took a deep breath, "WHAT. HAPPENED!?"

"Thesonofanearlyomnipotentbeingchangedthefrequencyofthehellmouthjustasthespellwascast." The Seraphim mumbled at high speed and low volume.

Xander, however, had years of experience translating for Willow and understood every word. "Are you telling me that my world ENDED because you guys need a freaking DAYCARE service!?"

Le Metatron swallowed. "Well... you know... boys will be boys. And your world didn't end... you kind of saved it... kind of."

Xander rubbed his face. "What happened?"

The Seraphim hesitated again, but finally spoke. "The first wildcard hit the table in the opposition's hands... then we played you. This was the only way to preserve this universe. We'd have lost it, and everyone you know, if you hadn't rewound it. The trick is... no one was supposed to come back. We do the rewind, then let it play out exactly the same way again... well, that was the plan."

"What happened?"

Le Metatron shrugged, "Two more wild cards. Elanthielle and Dana'al."

Xander let out a breath and closed his eyes. "Shit."

The Seraphim nodded. "That about sums it up, yes. So... you want the good news, or the bad?"

"There's good news?"

"Well, everyone you know and love is still here. This *is* your universe... just a few years earlier then you're used to."

"So... I can see my friends again."

"Yes. But they won't know you... you'll have to let them get to know you again."

Xander shook his head, his eyes shut again. "The bad news?"

"Not exactly bad... just a few ground rules."

"Don't push me, Voice." Xander growled.

"Now don't get your britches in a knot. These come straight from above, and are a lot more lenient then what the majority wanted to do."

"What's that?"

"You were almost 'sanctioned' as they say." Metatron said, "an overwhelming majority voted to remove you from the time line. All but one, as it were."


"The One. His vote counts for a lot. So He sent me here to give you the rules."

"What are they?"

"Stay out of Wisconsin."

Xander stopped walking. "WHAT!?"

"That and Jersey... He has an event in motion that he wants to turn out the same... so stay clear."

"That's it!?"

"That, as they say, is it."

Xander shook his head. "Fine. Like I'm not going to be busy enough here in Sunnydale anyway."

The Xander stopped in mid-step. "Say... What's with the lack of 'night life'?"

Metatron shrugged, "You've heard the expression 'the light is always darkest before the dawn'?"

Xander nodded.

"That covers the Hellmouth right now. It's at its lowest ebb right now. During the new year it will once again begin to climb in power, a process that will continue until..."

"Until what?"

"Not what," Metatron corrected him absently, "When."

"Well, when?"

"For several years... At it's highest peak the Hellmouth will open spontaneously... but that is a long way off. Worry about the near future for now."

Xander shivered, but nodded. "Alright. Why didn't Darla kill me though? It doesn't make sense."

Metatron smiled, "For the next year most people are quite safe here in Sunnydale. The Master does not wish to attract the Mayor's attention to his preparations for the Harvest."

"Why not? They're both bad guys..."

"They do not work together. The Mayor wishes for things to be prepared for his ascension... if the Master opens the Hellmouth, then the Mayor will be killed before he can complete his preparations."

"Shit." Xander said, "Never thought I'd see the Mayor as an ally."

"Such is the way of evil, Alexander."

"I guess..." Xander drew a long breath, "I guess I've got a lot of work to do..."

"That's the spirit." The Seraphim clapped him on the back, "Oh... try not to screw this up..."

"Hey," Xander said defensively. "I'm only human."

Le Metatron shrugged, "Don't be so sure of that..."

"What the hell is supposed to..." Xander spun around to ask the Seraphim what he meant by that, but le Metatron was long gone. "Great. Just fucking great."

<So my friends are still out there... Buffy and G-man don't show up for a year... Jarod is... shit. He's still in that fucking hell hole! Frank... Frank's probably still in the sanitarium... Lara is in Britain... the SGC is being mothballed... Fuck. Phoebe doesn't even know she's a witch. Faith... Faith is still Dana Tasker... I think. Jesus. What the hell am I going to do?>

Xander slipped into the Rosenberg's house just as the false dawn was starting to appear in the night sky, and quietly slid into bed. He lay there as the night began to give way to the day, just staring at the ceiling and wondering what he was going to do now.

"Xander! Wake up!" Willow's excited voice came through the door to the spare bedroom as he was getting dressed.

Xander grinned and shook his head as he opened the door and stepped out.

Willow almost gasped in shock as she saw him. Xander had a pair of black jeans, sneakers, a faded blue t-shirt, and a tight fitting black leather jacket.

"Xander... I... uh... you... wow."

He grinned at her, and winked, the expression feel a little less empty then it had the day before. "Thanks Wills. Let's grab some grub and we'll hoof it to class... k?"

Willow nodded dumbly as Xander walked past her to the kitchen and breakfast. As he disappeared around the corner she found her voice. "Yeah... sure..."

Xander drew in a deep breath, and grimaced as he saw the building come into sight before him. "Ah, good old Sunnydale high. I'm going to enjoy blowing you up a second time."

"What!?" Willow asked from beside him, doing a double take as she stared at him.

"Huh?" Xander looked embarrassed at being heard, "Nothing... nothing at all."

Willow stared at him suspiciously as the two of them walked up the steps to the school.

"Hey, bro!" Jessie called as he joined them halfway up the stairs, "You all better now?"

Xander grimaced but nodded. "Much."

"Cool. Hey man, nice jacket... where'd you get it?"

Xander actually smiled at that. "Won it in a fight."

"Yeah, right." Jessie laughed, "Good one."

The three friends walked up the stairs, and into the school.

"Hey, check it out... it's the geek patrol." Harmony Kendall sneered as she caught sight of Willow and Jessie. "Who's the stud in the... oh god! That's Harris!"

Cordelia sneered at Harmony, "Did you just call Harris a 'stud'?"

"Look at him!"

Cordelia looked over, carefully maintaining a bored look on her face even when she caught sight of Xander Harris. Her years of maintaining a facade for her friends served her in good stead as she was caught by surprise.

It wasn't just the clothes, she noted quickly, though those were a massive big change from his normal attire. No, it was the way he walked too.

The smile on his face was cocky, as if he knew something no one else did, and he had a comfortable way of draping his arms around the shoulders of his two geek friends. He walked easily, no nervousness evident in his moves. All in all he exuded a slick confidence that was utterly foreign to Xander Harris.

All of these thoughts passed through her head, but she just frowned. "It's just dweeb boy and the dweebettes."

Harmony looked abashed at letting such a faux pas slip, and turned away. Cordelia stared after the trio as the continued through the halls.

Xander sat through his classes and managed to stay mostly awake, breezing through most classes simply because they were doubly easy. First day the teachers were taking it easy on their poor students, and Xander's last experience with math and other classes were far more complicated.

Even so he was bored practically to tears until gym class came around.

"Alright! We're gonna do something fun for today!" The Coach announced. "Dodge ball!"

The class reactions were eerily familiar to Xander. Groans and whines from the Geeks and nerds, grins and chortles of glee from the jocks. He suddenly had a flash to the last time he had been in this position.

<Hyena boy loved this.>

But he wasn't hyena boy anymore. Hyena boy wouldn't do what Xander was going to do.

"Alright... Who's gonna captain the teams?"

No one was surprised when Larry stepped forward. King Jocks tend to be the first to do that sort of thing. But everyone's eyes went up as Xander smiled and took the second spot with a look that dared anyone to challenge him.

"A... alright... pick up your teams."

Larry nodded and started, then Xander followed suit and they took turns until they had chosen everyone in the room.

Larry's team was Jocks, almost to a tee. Cheerleaders, football players, swimmers, even gymnasts. Xander, on the other hand, had picked the outcasts. Nerds, geeks, freaks, and dweebs all.

No one in the room was surprised to see Larry grinning widely, but no one could easily explain the similar grin on Xander's face.

The coach shrugged and grinned. <Should be fun at least.>

"Hey, bro... don't mean to question you... but the hell are you doing?"

Xander grinned, "Just having some fun."

"Yeah... like humiliation is something we enjoy so much we have to go looking for it?"

"Relax... and throw me a few balls."

Jessie went to the ball drop and tossed one back to Xander, who caught it in one hand. "Another one."

"Ok." Jessie tossed him another one.

Xander dropped it and caught it between his ankles. "One more."

"You asked for it." Jessie whipped another one and Xander caught it easily in his left hand.

"Ok." Xander grinned as the balls where passed out. He kicked the ball up from his feet and started juggling the three balls. "Lets Play Ball!"

The coach blew the whistle and Xander whipped the two balls in his hands across the gym, striking Larry right off the bat and hitting his closest team mate. As the third ball dropped from the air above his head Xander struck it with a stiff arm that sent it flying into a group of players, knocking another one out.

Three down in three seconds.

Xander stepped in front of a shot fired by Cordelia at Willow, easily catching the ball and stepping clear so Willow could fire back. He smiled when Cordelia dodged and Harmony took the shot.

"Good shot, Will."

"I missed."

"One down... good enough."

Xander pulled back and arm to throw, but shifted his aim at the last second and let fly. He intercepted a ball in mid air, defecting it away from Jonathon.

"T... thanks Xander."

"No prob, Jon." Xander grinned, "Toss me one of those."

Jonathon looked confused, but then saw two balls rolling down by his feet. He obediently picked them both up and tossed one to Xander.

"Look sharp, Jes!" Xander snapped as a couple football players bracketed Jessie.

Jessie looked up and saw the ball coming in, and barely twisted away from it. "Thanks, Bro!"

"No problem." Xander grunted as he whipped off another shot, scored a hit, then checked his team. <Not bad. We're down by five... but that's better then I remember.>

"Jessie, Jonathon, Wills... let's hook up."

"What's on your mind, Xan?" Jessie asked for the three of them.

"Time to take out the heavy hitters. Tony, Ralph, and Steve... they gotta go." Xander said as he avoided another shot.

"H... how?" Ventured Jonathon as Xander's hand snapped out and caught a ball a couple inches from his head.

"We bracket them. Double team them one by one... one person fires to distract, the other fires for effect."

"Huh!?" Willow asked.

"We sucker punch them." Xander grinned. "Wills, you're with me... Jon, you and Jessie take Ralph."

The group nodded as they avoided another barrage from the jocks, Xander again catching one of the shots with a single handed move.


Willow and Jonathon fired at their targets, who easily avoided the shots but were quickly surprised to feel the impact of the follow up shots from Xander and Jessie.

"Yeah!" Jessie cheered as he watched the star pitcher of the baseball team go down under his fire.

"Don't get cocky." Xander grinned as he let loose his next shot and tagged a cheerleader when the football player he was aiming for ducked.

"Sorry, Stephanie!" He yelled with a big grin as she screeched and started smacking the football player who let her get hit.

"Again?" Jonathan asked, enthused.

"Damn right." Xander confirmed. "Bracket 'em and take 'em down."

One by one the four of them started to take out the more dangerous players, or the more popular ones in Jessie's case, using the same move over and over again. Shortly they had evened the odds and were facing the second stringers instead of the all stars.


Xander winced as Willow was taken out, but fired another shot back.

The coach watched in shock as the, supposedly, least athletic person in the class slowly cut through all the jocks in the gym. Taking them down one by one until he and a half dozen of his team members were the only ones standing in the center of the gym.

Shocked the coach finally remembered to blow the whistle and the victorious team strode off the floor, grinning.

Xander looked at the people standing around and walked to his team members that had been eliminated. "Good game, guys!"

Some of the smiled, but a lot grumbled. "We got taken out."

Xander smiled and patted a couple of them on their backs, "Hey... guys... you got hit, sure. But you kept us in the game. So you won as much as we did. Enjoy it guys. It's a team sport. One guy wins, we all win."

The coach shook his head, looking at the kid oddly. <Why's he with the geeks? He should be playing with the athletes.>

"Harris!" Larry boomed as Xander stepped out of the locker room into the hallway.

Xander glanced around, quickly spotting the crowd that had gathered and shook his head in annoyance. "You don't need to do this, Larry."

"Oh, but I want too." Larry grinned nastily as he slapped a meaty fist into his palm.

Xander heard the sound of struggling and saw two guys holding Jessie out of it and a third keeping Willow back. Xander flipped them a glare, "Hurt them and your next."

While they were laughing at him Xander slipped off his jacket, casually tossing it to one side. "You this ticked about me taking you out of a Dodge ball game?"

Larry shrugged, "Not really. Just thought I'd get a jump on the year... ya know?"

Xander smirked, sizing the jock up as he approached. <Stay away from the Spec Ops stuff... I'd cripple him... he's got too much muscle for Shotokan... Kani'Maro it is then.>

Xander shifted his weight and hooked his hands into loose claws as he stretched out his, almost nonexistent, muscles.

"Oh look. The dweeb is going to fight..." Larry grinned as he advanced on Xander, his muscles flexing as he clenched his fists.

The crowd tightened as Larry suddenly lunged at Xander.

Xander sidestepped, easily avoiding the outstretched hands, and slapped Larry in the back with a deceptively light blow that sent him uncontrollably into the locker room door.

"Ole!" Xander said, giving a little flourish as Larry picked himself up.

Larry growled as laughter swelled around them, then charged again.

Xander hooked Larry's right wrist in a tiger claw grip and gave a light tug, pulling him off balance. As Larry stumbled past Xander gave him a light tap to the midsection that bent him over, gasping for breath.

Xander leaned in and whispered. "I can keep this up all day. You decide when you've had enough."

Unfortunately, Xander knew that was a lie and he needed to end the fight quickly, so he reversed his grip on Larry's wrist and snapped him upright, hooking Larry's ankle with his foot and catapulting the football player off the ground and flat on his back. Xander straightened and waited, when Larry didn't show any sign of getting up he nodded. "Another time then?"

Larry rolled away and slowly got up, still not moving to attack.

Xander looked over to where Jessie and Willow were still being held. "Let them go."

The three jocks looked over at Larry, who just nodded. Jessie and Willow ran over to Xander's side as he walked out of the group.

"Man, that was awesome!" Jessie clapped Xander on the back as Xander flipped his jacket over his shoulder.

"Glad you enjoyed it, man." Xander smiled, "I've wanted to do that for a long time."

"Yeah, hey Xan, you going to hang at the arcade today?"

Xander shook his head, "Nah. I've got something to do. I'll catch you later... k?"

"Sure, bro."

Xander found himself standing outside a martial arts Dojo he remembered from before Buffy came to town. He trudged heavily into the Dojo and looked at the training weapons on the walls for a few minutes before anyone came out.

"May I help you?"

Xander turned to see a very pretty young Asian girl smiling at him. He frowned for a moment before remembering her name, she was a year ahead of him in school. "Joy, right?"

She looked confused, but nodded. "Do I know you?"

He smiled, extending his hand. "Nope. Name's Xander Harris."

"Nice to meet you, are you here for lessons?"

He laughed, a little bitterly as he though back to Elan's lessons that she drilled into him through the Dreaming. "No. Actually I was hoping I might purchase a Bokken."

"Our weapons are not for sale." She said firmly.

"Are you sure? I don't want to buy one out of some catalog... I want be certain of the quality."

A voice took him by surprise, "And what would you need with a Bokken?"

Xander turned to see an Asian man, apparently in his fifties or so, step out from behind a wall. "Training."

"Are you trained in sword fighting?"

"Some." Xander replied, "Not enough."

"I see. And the Martial Arts?"

Xander thought back to the numerous trainers he had, Soldier boy, Morpheus, Elanthielle. "Yeah. I'm not too bad, but I need to get into shape."

The man stepped up to him and sized him up, "A truer word has yet to be spoken."

Xander rolled his eyes, "I'm having a bad time right now, I'll get it back."

The man looked confused, he could tell that the boy was not, and never had been, in good shape. "Show me."


"You wish to purchase a weapon... show me that you have had some training."

"Hey, look... I'm just after a Bokken... a wooden training blade. I'm not looking for a fight."

The man shrugged, "I didn't say try to kill someone. Just a light sparring match."

Xander shook his head, sighed in an annoyed fashion, and slipped out of his jacket. "Fine."

The man watched, impassively, as Xander tossed down his jacket in an apparently casual manner. He also noted the solid way the jacket struck the mat, and knew that something was hidden inside it.

As Xander slipped into a stance, the man's eyes raised slightly in surprise. "Where did you learn that stance?"

"From a friend." Xander said as he remained in a form that Elanthielle had taught him.

The man nodded, and bowed slightly before taking up his own stance. He waited patiently, confident that he had sized the boy up correctly. The child was obviously some kind of gang member, looking to use some little martial knowledge to harm others. He would teach him a lesson.

Joy Lee stood and watched as the two simply stood there, their faces impassive. Neither moving, both barely breathing, waiting for the other to attack. Seconds stretched into minutes, and still neither made the first move, they just stared into each others eyes.

Several times Joy started to say something, but her experience with her father forestalled her. There was something going on here that she didn't understand, and when in doubt her father always counseled patience.

She was shocked when finally her father stopped and straightened, then bowed slightly. "I apologize. If you wish to purchase a Bokken, I would be honored to sell it."

She stared in shock and surprise as the boy, Xander, returned the bow. "I thank you, Master Lee."

Her Father pulled a hard wood sword from the wall and presented it to the boy. "May I inquire your name?"

"Alexander Harris, Master Lee."

Xander walked calmly into the arcade, the Bokken riding snugly under his jacket beside the police baton, and looked around for Jessie. He spotted him playing Golden Axe with Jonathon and shook his head, <Jeez. I can't remember the last time I played a video game. Oh, wait... yeah, now I remember... when Jarod bought the Playstation, Nintendo, and Sega Saturn, for 'research'. That guy was scary sometimes.>

"Yo, Bro!" Jessie noted him and waved him over, "Toss in some change and join in..."

Xander glance at the game and shook his head, "No thanks. You guys have fun."

"H... hi Xander." Jonathon said quietly.

Xander smiled at him, "How's it going Jon-o?"

The teen grinned at him. "Pretty good."

"Cool. Glad to hear it."

"So," Jessie asked, "What were you doing this afternoon?"

Xander shrugged, "Just had to do a little shopping."

"With what? You're broke... right?"

"Right." Xander smiled.

Jessie looked at him oddly, "You know, Bro... you're acting a little freaky lately."

Xander shook his head, his smile vanishing. "I know. Don't worry about it."

"If you say so, Dude."

"I do." Xander said seriously, "Look... I've gotta meet Will for dinner."

"Sure, man. You still staying with her 'rents?"

"Yeah. Vegas, ya know?" Xander said causally.

Jessie nodded soberly, "Sure do, man. Stay cool."

"Always." Xander let a slow smile cross his face. "Bye."


"Bye, Xander." Jonathon put in.

Xander half turned back, "Be good, Jon-o."

That night Xander elected to forgo any attempt at patrol, the night seemed quiet and he wasn't ready for it anyway. So he shut off the light, got between the sheets, and closed his eyes.

And Xander dreamed.


Xander heard the echoes come back to him across the desolate wasteland, only dim reflections of his own scream. He had been in the dreamtime so often that he recognized it instantly now, and didn't need Elan to help him fight back the nightmares any longer. But it still hurt that she wasn't here.

He walked through the wasteland and sighed. <I can't leave it like this.>

He had gone through the entire school day, running on fumes and the occasional adrenaline boost, trying to pretend he was 'up' like the Xander of old always was. Sure, playing with the Jocks had been fun, but he couldn't go on for long like this.

He looked around and took a breath.

"Burn." He said.

Flames rose up around him and scorched the land, racing out from his position until they razed the entire landscape. When it was done he nodded.

<Out with the old...>

"Rain." He said, stretching his hands out to the skies.

Clouds gathered above him, slowly forming into a huge bank of black storm clouds. In moments the opened up and began pelting the ground with rain. The wind came up, ripping through the dreamscape, driving the rain into the ground with an unrelenting fury.

The blast of rain washed the black ash away, and below it was clean fertile soil. The rain kept pouring down until pools and ponds began to form.

When it stopped Xander nodded, sweat beading on his brow. Around him lay fresh land and water as far as the eye could see and it was good. He fell to his knees, exhausted but satisfied. Then he said one last thing.


"Wake up!"

Xander groggily rolled out of bed when Willow's all too cheerful voice drilled through his skull. "I'm up... I'm up!"

The door burst open and Willow charged in, only to turn beat red when she spotted Xander pulling his jeans on over his boxers. "Omygod! I thought you said you were up!"

Xander shook his head and tried to block out the sunlight, not bothering to cover anything up as he finished getting dressed. "I did. I didn't say I was dressed."

Willow turned around, cupping her eyes. "I'm so sorry!"

Xander shrugged and zipped his pants. "Don't worry about it. Been seen by people I trust less in positions I'd rather not think about right now."

Willow's eyes widened, and she actually turned to stare at Xander before turning away again. "What!?"

Xander shook his head, "Forget about it. I'm dressed."

Willow turned back around to see Xander buttoning up a light blue shirt. She was still a hot pink as he casually reached down and slung his leather jacket over his shoulder.

Xander stopped and looked at her as she stared, "You ready?"

"Huh?" Willow asked, "Umm I mean..."

"Relax Wills." Xander grinned, "Let's grab some grub and hit the road. I need to get to math class so I can catch some sleep."

He missed Willow's outraged look as he slipped past her.

Mrs. Rosenberg watched, her face a mask of awe as Xander and Willow left for school. "I know that Xander likes to eat... but my god..."

Mr. Rosenberg shrugged, "Boy has a healthy appetite."

"He ate everything! Even a half pound of butter and three cups of coffee that were more sugar then coffee!"

Mr. Rosenberg glanced up from his paper. "What?"

"Mr. Harris!"

Xander looked up sleepily, "Yeah? Whaddya want Ms Conner?"

The math teacher glared at him, "Your attention would be nice!"

The class tittered, and Xander shrugged as he peered at the problem on the blackboard. "The answer's forty three. Now be a nice old lady and let me get some sleep."

The teacher glared at him in shock as he laid his head back down to the shock of the class. In seconds he was snoring again.


Xander sighed as he woke up again and got up. "Yes?" he asked, sounding bored.

"What do you think your doing?"

"Trying to get some sleep, what do you think you're doing?"

The teacher glared at him in apoplectic fury. "Principals Office! NOW!"

Xander shrugged and got up, tossing the teacher a bored look as he walked by her. "The answers to the second and third problem are twenty nine, and Pi."

As he walked out Willow stared at the chalk bored in shock. "He's right..."

Across the room Harmony sighed. "Wow... when did Harris grow a spine?"

Cordelia didn't say anything, just stared after Xander with a confused expression. <That's strange... That's not like him at all. First the clothes, then yesterday... now this?>

"Mr. Harris..." Flutie said quietly as he read a file, "Your second day and your already being send to my office... Not an auspicious start to the year."

Xander looked bored.

"In fact... I think a round of detention is in order... perhaps a week?"

Xander looked up at him, "Sure. Right. Whatever."

"Still... perhaps we can work out something more... suitable..." Flutie went on, not noticing the tone that Xander was using. "I have a memo here from the coach... he says that he would like you to try out for the teams this year... Football perhaps? Or maybe wrestling or the Martial arts?"

Now Xander gained a little interest in the proceedings. "Are you blackmailing me?"

Flutie, staring out the window and the campus, didn't notice the bemused smile on Xander's face. "Blackmail is a harsh term... I'm merely asking you to show some school spirit... and if you make the team... well, I'm sure we can over look any lapses you have in class. Athletes need their rest after all..."

Xander suppressed a laugh.

"So... what do you say, Mr. Harris?"

Xander shrugged and figured, <what the hell? I'm bored out of my skull already...>, "Sure. Why not."

Harmony ran up to Cordelia, "Did you hear? Xander is trying out for the teams!"

Cordelia sneered at her, "Oh.. He's 'Xander' now is he?"

Harmony stopped, considering what she said. "Well... he's going to be one of us... right?"

"Xander Harris?" Cordelia planted a hand on each hip, "Tell me you're joking."

"If he makes the team... I... uh... mean..." Harmony stuttered.

"That's a big 'if'. This is Harris, remember?"

Harmony nodded, "Well... let's go watch. I mean, if he makes it we can welcome him... right?"

"And if not?" Cordelia asked, <as if I can't guess.>

"Well duh. We can humiliate him of course."

Cordelia Chase rolled her eyes when she was sure that her friend wasn't watching and sighed. "Alright, let's go."

Xander yawned as the coach talked about teamwork and school spirit, <Come on... lets get on with this... at least it'll give me an excuse and the time to get into shape.>

"So..." The Coach finished, "What teams would you like to try out for?"

Xander shrugged, "Don't know. Haven't thought about it. What have you got?"

"Football? Wrestling? Karate?"

Xander thought about it. "I don't know much Karate... a little Okinawan, some Shotokan... but mostly I'm an Akido and Kani'Maro kinda guy."

The Coach looked at him oddly. "I've ah... never heard of that last one."

Xander smiled sadly, remembering what Elanthielle had to say about the style she preferred. "No one has. Not in a long time anyway."

"Ummm right. Well... what's your belt color?"

"No clue. My teachers didn't put much stock in belts."

"Ok... you want to try a couple rounds on the mats?"

Xander shrugged, "Sure. Who've you got?"

The Coach glanced around, "Hey Jake!"

A tall boy a couple grades ahead of Xander stepped forward, a brown belt around his waist. "Yeah Coach?"

"I want you to try Harris here out... see what he can do."

The guy nodded and looked at Xander, "Sure Coach. You any good, kid?"

Xander shrugged, "I'm out of shape... but I'm not too bad."

"Cool. If you've got the skills we can fix the body quick enough." The guy said, "let's see."

Xander nodded and caught the padded gloves and helmet tossed his way. He slipped them on and stepped onto the mat. When Jake bowed at him he bowed back, never taking his eyes off his opponent.

"Fight!" The Coach dropped his arm and Jake rushed forward.

Xander didn't move, just shifted his weight and watched as the brown belt charged.

"KIYA!" Jake screamed as he launched a kick at Xander's head.

Xander sidestepped and dropped, sweeping Jake's free leg from under him. The brown belt hit the floor hard, but rolled with it and came back to his feet. When he came up he shook his head, then nodded and smiled at Xander. "Nice move."

Xander nodded back. <Cool guy. Wonder why I never knew him last go around... I guess not all the Jock's are assholes.>

Jake quickly shifted his balance and threw a punch at Xander head, then followed it up with a knee aimed at Xander midsection.

Xander pivoted and slapped the punch away, then slid just past the knee as it came for him, slipped one foot behind Jake's balanced foot, and caught the other fighter with a straight hand across his chest.

Jake yelped, overbalanced, and feel backward. He hit the ground in a roll that absorbed most of the energy and slapped the mat with both hands to take up the rest. The he lay there for a moment.

"Nice move." He said quietly, "but not exactly going to score you any points with a judge. You have to score hits to win... you need to follow through."

Xander extended his hand, "usually if I'm in a fight the only judge that counts is a fickle bastard called fate."

Jake looked at him oddly, but nodded and accepted the hand. "Oookay. Whatever you say, man."

The Coach walked up. "You've got some nice moves... but you never attacked..."

Xander shrugged, "Like I said, I'm out of shape. Tried a heavy move a couple days ago and my shoulder is still sore. So I used Jake's weak points against him... no offence, Jake."

"None taken." Jake shook his head.

"You should be more careful about telegraphing your kicks," Xander said, "When you shift your weight to one leg for a kick you open yourself up to certain countermoves... next time try it this way, first you..."

The Coach watched as Xander walked his star fighter through a series of slightly altered moves based on the moves he had used in sparring, and shook his head. <Man. Someone from the elementary dropped the ball on this kid's record. Hell, I've got to see what else he can do.>

Jessie shook his head as he nudged Willow. "Did I just see what I think I saw?"

"Depends." Willow said, shocked. "Did you see Xander take down the school martial arts champ while barely moving?"


"Then you saw what you think you saw."



"Like... wow." Harmony said, "He didn't even break a sweat."

Cordelia looked at her friend, slightly annoyed. "You sound disappointed."

"Well..." Harmony said defensively, "A little sweatiness would be nice."

Cordelia shook her head and crossed her arms over her cheerleader outfit and walked away from Harmony.

"What? What!?"

By the end of the day Xander had worked up a sweat, and the coach was ecstatic. He'd taken on the best the school had to offer on the mats and walked away without being touched. When the coach got him to try for football he had a bit more trouble, but was still sufficiently impressive that the Coach asked him to sit in on a few games to get the feel of it.

By the time the day was over, Xander found that he'd drawn a fair size crowd as he moved through the halls.

"Xander!" Harmony Kendall exclaimed as she draped her arms around his neck. "You did sooo well today."

"Umm... thanks." Xander smiled at her, bemused by the attention.

"You're soooo welcome." She practically purred. "I thought I should welcome you to the team..."

"Ah." Xander said, disentangling himself from her. "Well, thanks... but I have to meet up with some friends."

Harmony stared in shock as he brushed past her and slipped easily into a small group that consisted of Willow, Jessie, and Jonathon.

Cordelia walked up behind Harmony, "Wow. Blown off for the geek squad. How's that feel anyway?"

Harmony turned red as she glared between Cordy and Xander. "I... You... He.... AAAHHHH!"

Cordelia shook her head and smiled as the blond stormed off. <I'm glad that I didn't read Xander completely wrong. Good to know he hasn't changed that much... and that I haven't lost my keen judge of character of course.>

"Alright... Spill."

Xander looked at Willow, a confused smile on his face. "What?"

"She means, where did you learn to fight like that, Bro?"

Xander shrugged, "Here and then."

"Huh?" Jessie said in confusion, "Don't you mean here and there?"

"No." Xander said and walked out of the school.

Confused, the other three looked at each other, shrugged, and followed him.


Xander turned back, "What?"

"Man, I'm worried about you..." Jessie started, "Since we found you in that hole you haven't been acting the same..."

Xander stopped. "Hole? What Hole!?"

"In the Park man, man." Jessie said, "You've been weird since then..."

"This hole... was there anything else in it!?"

"I dunno man!" Jessie said defensively. "I was kinda freaked out because my best friend was smoking without a cigarette if you get my drift."

"Take me to it." Xander said quickly, "Now!"

In the park Xander looked down at the small crater Jessie and Willow had led him to. He shook his head and scrambled down into the pit, digging at the ground with his bare hands. <Elan? Elan! Are you here!?>

"Xander? What are you doing?" Willow asked.

Xander ignored her, sifting through the dirt. He suddenly yelped in pain and snatched back his hand. His finger was bleeding. <Damn it!>


"I'm fine, Wills." Xander said as he pulled out a partially melted blade from the dirt. <One of my gauntlet blades... nothing much left of it... Elan! Come on, you gotta be around somewhere?>

He kept digging, but found nothing but a few pieces of his mask, gauntlets, and leg armor. He sighed heavily and sat back in the dirt, staring at the chunks of his once lethal armor and sighed heavily. "Looks like you saved my life one more time... thanks."

"What are you talking about!?"

"Nothing... nothing." Xander said as he rolled over and started to get up. He jammed his leg into something sharp and yelped again. "Ow!"

"Are you ok!?"

"Yea, yeah... I'm fine." Xander said as he dug out around the thing that jabbed his leg. As the dirt cleared away he recognized it. It was what was left of the heaviest armored section of the alien suit, the backpack section that held the computer core and a small storage section.

He dug it out and winced as the virtually indestructible metal crumbled in his hands. He lifted it gently and tried to open the section, but accidently ripped the cover off completely. <Damn. That was some trip.>

He peered inside and smiled slightly, the first real smile he had felt on his face since waking up in Sunnydale Hospital. He lifted out his FN FiveSevens, still wrapped in their assault harness and gently blew the dust off them.

"What's that!?" Jessie asked as he slid down beside Xander.

"Nothing." Xander quickly slid the guns under his coat and tucked the remains of the computer core of his armor under his arms. "Let's go."

He stopped at the lip of the crater and glanced back, <Where are you Elan?>

That night Xander stayed up well after everyone else had gone to sleep, field stripping the two pistols and examining ever part for wear. When he was done he put them back together and sat back with a sigh.

<The armor must have taken the damage. They're both fine... but only got six clips for them... all silver tips. Where the hell am I going to get ammo for these things now?>

Xander spent the next few days training and drawing the attention of the coach and the teams.

Not all of it was positive.


Xander half turned from where he was eating his lunch in the quad. "Yes?"

He saw Larry leading a group of several of the larger football players in his direction. <What the hell do they want this time...?>

"You're gonna pay for making us look like fools the other day."

Xander got up, sighing theatrically as he dusted himself off. "I don't remember making any of these gentlemen look like fools. I do seem to remember you charging into a closed door though, Lar."

Larry growled and signaled the others to fan out. "You're gonna pay, Harris."

"You might be right." Xander said, "But I think you should ask yourself if you think your gonna get your money's worth."

"Huh?" One of the Jocks asked, "What are you talking about?"

Xander shrugged. "One on one I can fight you and make you look like idiots... but I can't do that if you gang up on me."

Another cracked his knuckles, "That's the idea."

"No..." Xander continued, "If you gang up on me I'm going to have to break some bones."

Several of the surrounding football players paused, chills running up their spines at the cold tone of his voice.

"Uh... Larry..." one of them began nervously.

"Shut up!" Larry snapped, "It's just Xander Harris! Get the little bastard!"

All but two of them rushed in, trying to drive Xander to the ground.

"There's a fight in the quad!"

The students in the lunch room looked around, their eyes lighting up. Someone ventured a question. "Who?"

"Xander Harris is taking on half the football team!"

The sudden rush for the doors left the cafeteria empty in moments.

Willow and Jessie looked up in surprise as Jonathon rushed in.

"Xander's fighting the football team!"

"What!?" Willow cried in shock and surprise, "Why?"

"I dunno!" Jon shook his head, "They just ganged up on him or something."

Across the room Cordelia overheard the rushed conversation and watched the trio rush outside. She glanced around, and frowned to see a twisted smile on Harmony's face.

"What did you do?" Cordelia asked accusingly.

Harmony shrugged, looking down with a coquettish smile. "I just arranged for Harris to learn a lesson about how he should treat his superiors."

Cordy bit off an acidic response and turned away from the blonde, following the geek squad out into the Quad.

Outside, Cordy shoved her way through the crowd, quickly catching up to and passing Xander's geeky friends as she used her position to assure her ease of motion through the press. When she reached the front lines she cried out involuntarily in shock.

Xander was standing somewhat unsteadily, blood running from his nose and mouth. He lifted one hand, wiping the blood from his nose and lips, smearing the crimson liquid across his cheek.

Around him there were three football players still standing, but they were the biggest. Four others were crawling away from the fight, two were just lying there motionless.

Xander breathed heavily. "End this, Larry. I don't want to hurt you."

Larry snarled, "I'm going to do the hurting this time, Harris!"

Xander sidestepped a burly linebacker, and snap kicked him in the gut. As he doubled over, Xander rolled across his back and kicked the next one in the face, causing a spray of blood to spatter the shocked audience around him. As he landed on his feet he spun and drove an elbow into the first linebacker's back, driving him to the ground.

As the two linebackers fell heavily to the ground Xander turned on Larry, his face a mask of blood and a tired anger that was masked by dead eyes. "I didn't want to do this."

Larry paled as he saw the last of his friends go down but, conscious of the gathered crowd, he didn't back down. He lifted his fists in a boxing style and faced Xander.

Xander shook his head, bored by the show of bravado. He turned around and walked away, the crowd parting like the red sea before Moses. His voice wafted back over the muttering of the crowd.

"It didn't have to be like this. I didn't want to hurt them, Larry."

And then he was gone. The stunned spectators closed in, looking at the hurt football players on the ground.

"Jesus. He wasted them."

"Fuck, are they breathing?"

"Someone get the nurse!"

As Xander walked clear of the crowd, sweat beading on his brow as blood dripped from his split lip, he forced himself to stay upright. His control faded quickly though, as he let go of the control that kept him jacked up on adrenaline, and he staggered and coughed up a little blood.

"Jesus, bro!" Jessie cried out as he grabbed Xander by his arm and steadied him.

"Holy crap, man." Jon muttered as he positioned himself at Xander's other side and helped him stay on his feet. "We've got to get you to the hospital."

Xander shook his head. "No... Home. Get me home."

"Jeeze, Bro. Forget it! You're hurt!"

Willow nodded, wincing as he looked at his face. "Yeah... ummm... Xander, you need medical care."

"Just get me... home. My place. Please." Xander said as he started to droop again.

Jon and Jessie looked at him helplessly until Willow sighed nervously. "Ok, you heard him... come on, lets go."

"He did what!?" Mr. Rosenberg yelped involuntarily into the phone. "No... I don't understand... that can't be. I've known Xander all his life, he couldn't do something like that. No, I mean he *physically* couldn't do something like that."


"I see... well, no, I don't see. I'll see to it that his parents are informed... yes... alright, goodbye."

Mrs. Rosenberg looked concerned, "What is it, dear?"

Mr. Rosenberg slowly replaced the phone in the cradle. "Xander was in a fight... with nine football players."

"Oh god..." She gasped, "Is he alright?"

Mr. Rosenberg looked confused. "He put three of them in the hospital. One has two broken ribs, another has a mild concussion... the third is being treated for a dislocated jaw. The rest he put down, but not enough to warrant a trip to the ER."

"What!?" She looked shocked, "Xander? He couldn't..."

"He did." Mr. Rosenberg said grimly. "I just can't imagine how."

"Come on, Xander... wake up!" Jessie got worried and slapped his friend, "Come on!"

"Leave me alone for a few minutes, Jessie. I'm working here." Xander mumbled under his breath, "Go get the first aid kit from under my bed."

Jessie nodded quick and ran upstairs, while Jonathon stared at Xander oddly. "Umm... why do you have a first aid kit under your bed?"

Xander didn't answer, he had folded his legs up under him and closed his eyes again.

Jessie came running down a few minutes later, a white case in his hand. "Got it!"

Willow grabbed it from him, opening it and pulling out bandages and gauze. She quickly got some water from the kitchen and started cleaning Xander's face as he sat there, motionless except for his deep breathing.

Xander opened his eyes almost an hour later, finding himself staring at an empty wall and hearing low talking behind him. He groaned slightly as he unkinked himself and stood up.


"I'm fine, Jessie." Xander said as he walked over to a mirror hung up in the hallway. He smiled as he noticed the medical tape on his lip and the gauze taped over his nose. "Thanks Wills... but I won't need this."

Willow cried out in protest as he pealed the tape off. "Xander, you should..."

She trailed off in shock as she saw his cuts were sealed underneath, then she did a double take and realized that the bruises on his face were faded too. He still looked like hell, but his injuries looked days old instead of an hour old.


"Wow, man." Jon said, then grinned. "Cool. Can you teach me to do that."

"Maybe." Xander shrugged, "Don't know. Never tried to teach anyone."

"How'd you do that, bro?" Jessie asked he walked up behind Xander, his face serous for once.

Xander shook his head, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you, man. Don't worry about it, ok?"

Jessie shook his head, but didn't say anything.

"Xander..." Willow said hesitantly, "Xander... you just beat up the football team."

Xander chuckled dryly, "Not the whole team, Will... just the assholes."

"Yeah, the biggest assholes!" Jonathon chirped in, still grinning like a fool.

Xander turned and walked over to the couch and sat down heavily. He flipped on the TV and surfed through the channels. "I think I'm going to stay here tonight, Wills..."

"Ummm... ok... but, Xan? Dad won't like it..."

"Tell him... just tell him I'm fine and I just need some time alone." Xander said tiredly.

"Oh... ok... I guess." Willow said quietly.

After they left, Xander lay back on the couch and closed his eyes. He was tired from the fight and healing the most dangerous damage they had caused, so tired that he didn't feel the ravenous hunger that usually came with the healing trick Elan had taught him.

He slipped off into a dreamless sleep a few minutes later.

"He what!?"

Willow flinched back, causing her father to curse himself quietly and soften his voice. "Willow, honey... Xander could be hurt... he should be here."

"H... he said that he needs some time alone. He seemed ok when we left..." Willow said, reflecting that those words weren't quite a lie, he had seemed fine when they left. It was earlier that he looked half dead.

Mr. Rosenberg took a deep breath, "I'm going over there."

"Dad... don't! He's fine." Willow said.

Mr. Rosenberg grabbed his coat and shook his head, "I'm going, Willow."

Xander didn't stir when Mr. Rosenberg let himself in with the house key he knew to be hidden under the mat. The older man walked into the living room and looked down at Xander as he lay sleeping.

He looked closely at the ugly yellow bruises and reddish brown split in Xander's lip and sighed. But after taking careful notice of the boy's regular breathing and lack of any hitch in his breath he just walked over to a closet and pulled out a blanket, draping it over Xander. Then Mr. Rosenberg left, quietly locking the door behind him.

Xander awoke to the streaming sunlight that was pouring in his window, and the knocking coming from his front door. He groaned and stretched out the kinks as he got up and walked over. He smiled as he recognized the face on the other side of the door.

"Hey, Jessie," he said as he let the door swing open and walked to the kitchen, his stomach already growling.

Jessie grinned and walked in, "What? You ain't even going to invite me in, Bro?"

Jessie was startled when Xander turned on him, his face deadly serious. "Never invite anyone inside in this Town, Jessie. NEVER."


"Just don't." Xander said, "Promise me."

"O... ok, man. I promise." Jessie said, sounding and looking weirded out.

Xander relaxed, "Ok... come on, You eaten yet?"

"Yeah..." Jessie said slowly, "Some bacon and eggs."

Xander grimaced and went through the cupboard, "Sounds great... but looks like I'll have to settle for some month old cereal bars and a half a box of pop tarts."

Jessie made a face. "You need to get some shopping done here."

Xander shrugged, "Yeah... I suppose."

Xander sat down to the table and devoured the food he had found, but was still pretty hungry when he was done. He got up and grabbed his jacket, his fingers wrapping around the wad of bills left from the money he stole from the vamp. "Come on... I'm getting something decent to eat before school."

"You say so, man." Jessie said, agreeably as he followed Xander out the door.

Xander and Jessie were joined by Willow and Jonathon as they walked up the steps to the school. The quickly spotted Principal Flutie standing at the doors, watching them.

"Uh oh... busted man."

Xander sighed and nodded. "I'll see you guys later."

They nodded and watched as Xander walked up to Flutie, nodded at the man, and followed him into the school.

"Care to tell me what happened, Alexander?"

Xander shrugged, "You probably know better then I do by now, Sir. I was eating my lunch when they attacked me."

"And why would nine of our best students suddenly decide to attack you?"

Xander frowned, "What? You think I attacked nine football players on my own?"

"Now, I didn't say that... I'm just trying to get to the bottom if things."

"Right." Xander snorted. "Just get on with it."

"You leave me little choice... The parents of the boys you put in the hospital..."

"Are they ok?" Xander broke in.

"... yes, they'll be fine." Flutie said, not unkindly. "But their parents are outraged... Alexander, I have to suspend you... for a week. You'll still be able to compete in the upcoming tournament in ten days."

Xander rolled his eyes. "Oh, I'm so relieved."

"Yes... well..." Flutie said, flustered. "I am sorry... but you are suspended."

"Ok..." Xander said, getting up. "Good bye, Principal Fluty."

"I'll see you in a week, Alexander."

Xander turned around and walked out. "Right. A week."


Xander nodded, "For a week..."

"Oh, Xander... I'm sorry..."

He smiled at Willow, "I'll get over it. Look, you'd better get to class before you get detention or something..."

"Oo...ok." Willow said, dragging Jessie and Jonathon with her. "We'll see you after though... right?"

"You bet."

In class, when Jonathon, Willow, and Jessie walked in, Cordelia noticed immediately that the geek squad was short one member. She carefully placed her sneer on her face and walked over to them, "Where's the fourth of your little losers club?"

Willow stiffened, and for a second Cordelia was shocked to see the bookish little girl almost make a comeback. But then the squirming little worm was back and all she said was, "He was suspended."

"Really?" Cordy masked her surprise, "For how long?"

"A week."

"He deserved it then, I'm sure." Cordy said as she turned around and walked off.

Jessie glared at her departing back, "If she weren't so damn hot I'd hate that girl."

"I hope you're happy." Cordy hissed at Harmony when she dropped back into her seat.

"What did I do?" Harmony asked in a whiny voice.

"You got three of our best football players put in the hospital, four walking with limps for god knows how long, everyone laughing at our Quarterback, and the new star of the Martial Arts team suspended." Cordelia snapped under her breath.

"Well, how was I supposed to know that Harris could fight?" Harmony whined.

"Like duh! He's the new star of the Martial Arts team, you ditz!" Cordy snapped out loud, then immediately quieted down.

"Ms Chase!" The Teacher reprimanded her.

Harmony flinched back, then whined again. "I'm, like, sorry... ok?"

Cordelia rolled her eyes and turned her attention to the teacher.

Xander walked out of the school and down the road toward the Rosenberg's, his hands in his pockets and his face pensive.

Things weren't going so well. Xander shook his head, <You'd think that it would be easy going through Highschool again... already know all the answers... Shit, I didn't feel this alone the first time...>

He trudged to the Rosenberg's and let himself into the empty house, quickly gathering up his small arsenal and leaving again.

<What the hell am I going to do now?> Xander asked himself as he wandered aimlessly through Sunnydale, the hot sun beating down on him.

He checked his pockets, pulling out what was left of the wad of bills he had taken from the single vampire he had managed to dust in the last week. <Hundred and twenty bucks... plus maybe another hundred in my 'camping' funds. Not much.>

He sighed and finally just stopped where he was and sat down on the curb, watching the cars go by.

<I'm royally screwed.>

Willow, Jonathon, and Jessie headed straight for the Harris residence when school was out.

"Xander?" Willow called out as she knocked on the front door, "Are you here?"

"C'mon Bro!" Jessie yelled.

Jonathon shifted uncomfortably, looking around. "Maybe he's not here?"

"Where else would he go?" Willow asked looking around.

Jessie thought about it, "Come on."


Xander looked up, recognizing the voice. He quickly stuffed the money he had dug up into his pocket and covered over the hole. "Over here, Jessie."

Jessie, Willow, and Jonathon stepped out into the small clearing.

"Xander!" Willow exclaimed, "I've been worried!"

"I'm fine Will."

Jessie smiled at him, "Hey Bro..."

"Hiya, Jess... Hey Jon..."

Jessie looked down at the fresh dirt on the ground, then back at Xander, but didn't say anything. Xander just nodded at him in thanks for the silence.

"Come on," Xander said, forcing some fake cheer into his voice, "Let's go down to the arcade and have some fun..."

"Xander...?" Willow trailed off, uncertain what to make of his cheer.

"Hey, I just got a whole week off school right?" Xander said, still with the false smile. "Come on, let me share the fun..."

"O... ok..."

They ran through the rest of the day, splurging a little on video games and some fast food as Xander thought about what he was going to do.

It was early evening when they finally broke up and went their separate ways.

"I'm staying at home again tonight Will..." Xander said quietly.

Willow looked ready to object but in the end she just nodded.

Xander smiled at her, "But I'll walk you home first... deal?"

She nodded. "Deal."

After leaving Willow at her place Xander headed straight for home and quickly got his weapons, then made a beeline for Willy's.

This time he didn't go in, instead he staked the place out using a caution that he hadn't needed for a long time. He waited and he watched who went in and who came out.

Darla was there again, but he shook his head slightly. <She's way out of my league. God damn it, what the fuck am I going to do?>

He waited until he saw the vampires leave, then followed one of the ones that Darla treated like a fool. He hoped that meant that the vamp was a young one.

David Corr walked into his 'lair' as he affectionately termed it, and slouched into the old couch he had stolen from this nice little old lady that had provided him with a meal a couple months ago.

Corr shuddered. Since the Master decreed that they had to keep a low profile he had been forced to choose victims who wouldn't be missed. Senior citizens gave him heartburn.

The vampire glanced around the small basement apartment and smiled, he enjoyed what comforts he could find. It was downright weird how that bitch, Darla, and the older ones seemed to be content with a cave. Why live underground when you could live like a king? Sure, he was a long way from that, but still he was underway.

He got up suddenly when he heard a rap on his door, <Who the hell would visit me?>

He opened the door in an aggravated rush, growling. "Who the hell are...?"

The next thing he felt was a crack of pain across his face and then the world went red.

Xander swept the Bokken back, the smashed it across the vampire's face again. The demon's game face was a pulp of blood and gore as Xander reversed the motion and chopped the vamp across the throat with a savage motion.

The vampire staggered back in shock and pain as it clutched at its throat, the pain blinding him to the fact that he didn't actually need a working windpipe to survive.

Xander never gave him a chance to recover, he just kept up the beating. He dropped into a crouch and whipped the hardwood blade across the vamps shin, eliciting a sickening crack as it smashed through bone. As the burly vamp toppled, Xander spun around and chopped the blade down across it's neck again, this time an echo of bone cracking filled the room.

When the vamp hit the ground, it didn't move.

Xander drew himself up, stretching his muscles and wincing as he did. <Damn. I am really out of shape...>

Xander glanced down at the vamp, then around the room. "Damn, man... You have a worse eye for fashion then I do."

The vamp on the floor rattled as he tried to speak, but otherwise didn't move.

"Don't bother trying to move," Xander said, remember what he knew about Spike. "Even with your healing that spinal injury is gonna take more time then you have left to heal."

The vampire's eyes rolled around as Xander moved through the room, looking at the things he had accumulated from his victims.

Xander stopped in front of a large mirror and stopped, looking at several dangling items hanging off the corner of the frame. "Oh, now you're a weird one you know that, fang face? I mean, a vamp collecting crucifix's from his victims? That's kinda twisted y'know?"

The vampire didn't respond, and Xander didn't continue. He just took a few from the collection that caught his eye. <Might be able to pawn these...>

He continued to peruse through the apartment, taking his time. "Nice place. Of course, it's kind of... I don't know, normal I guess... for a vamp."

Xander flipped open a closet and checked what was inside.

"Of course, what do I know? The only three vamps I know enough about to know where they live are real weirdos... I mean, who lives in a crypt, really? Or a cave for that manner... and then there's the other end of the spectrum, a mansion... Ostentatious much?"

Through the entire monologue the vampire just lay there, occasionally shuddering as it tried to move.

Xander stopped and checked under the bed, <nothing.>

"You know... It seems to me that anyone who would collect crucifixes from the people he's killed probably collects other things. So where would you hide it?"

No response, not that Xander was expecting one.

"Now let's see... What would Amanda say?" Xander glanced around, remembering. "Oh yes... small minds."

He walked back to the bed and flipped the mattress off the bed, tossing it to one side. Xander smiled. "Ah... Jackpot."

Under mattress was a couple paper bags. Xander grabbed the first and checked it, "Hmmm... I don't want to know why you thought a green... and probably *alive*... sandwich was worth stashing under your bed."

Xander grabbed the other bag, and smiled slightly. "More like it..."

Inside the bag were various odds and ends that must have attracted the vamps attention. A few rings, a couple watches that looked expensive, a few bits that Xander grimaced at. <Fucker stole gold fillings from some poor bastard's teeth...> And, of course, a wad of cash.

Xander shoved the bag under his jacket and walked back to the motionless vampire. He knelt over the vamp and checked it's pockets, but found nothing. He slipped what looked to be a Rolex from the vamps wrist and shrugged.

"Well, I'm all done now." Xander said, looking into the vamp's darting eyes. "Probably should have just staked you to start I guess... but I didn't want to dust anything valuable."

With that Xander flipped the Bokken in his hand around quickly and jammed it down into the vampire's chest. As he drew it out he could see the shocked look on the vamp as it vanished into dust.

Xander stood up, looked disdainfully around the room one more time, then left.

Three Days Later

Jessie walked along beside Jonathan and Willow, his hands stuffed in his pockets and his chin buried in his chest.

Jon and Will looked at each other uncomfortably, then glanced back at Jessie.

"Uh... hey, man..." Jon started hesitantly, "You... like, ok?"

Jessie looked up, "huh?"

"You're awfully quiet, Jessie..." Willow said softly.

"You guys notice how weird Xan's been?"

Willow nodded, but Jon just shrugged. "Like how? Other then getting suspended..."

"That's just part of it... The fight was a big thing sure, I mean... I've been practically by his side since we were born Jon... He never took any fighting lessons before... well, except a course in Judo when we where nine... niether of us even got our yellow belts. But that's just one thing, it's everything... he hasn't been... Xander, since we..."

"Took him home from the hospital." Willow said softly. She'd been thinking about it a lot herself.

"Yeah..." Jessie said slowly, "Yeah, that was the big change up."

"W... what do you think it was?"

Jessie shrugged, "I dunno... It's weird... it's like amnesia in reverse or something."

"Huh?" Jonathan looked up.

"Well, he knows who he is, and who we are... but he knows all kinds of other stuff too... like how to fight."

"And dress." Willow said quickly, then she suddenly backpedaled. "Well, not that he didn't know how to dress himself before... but I mean, well... you know..."

Jessie took pity on her and favored her with a smile. "Yeah Will, I know. He's wearing leather and dark colors now... not like him at all."

Jonathan frowned as he thought about it, "Hey! Maybe he was abducted by aliens!"

Jessie and Willow just stared at him until he blushed and looked away. "Sorry."

Jessie laughed and clapped him on the back. "Don't worry about it, Jono. Come on, let's go see how the abductee is doing anyway."

Harris Residence


"Yo, bro!"

"Man, where is he?"

The three of them looked around, shrugging, until they heard a noise from the Harris garage.

They walked over slowly, looking hesitantly inside.

"Xander?" Willow peeped out in surprise.

Inside the garage Xander Harris was dressed in overalls, crouched over a motorcycle that he had laid down on its side. There were flashing of light and sparking sounds coming from around him. He turned and looked back at them and they saw he had a welding mask on. He quickly flipped it up and grinned at them, "Hey guys... How's it going?"

"We're fine..." Jessie walked in, looking at the work Xander was doing. "Whatcha doin?"

"Oh, I'm just welding some armor plating to the frame of this Ninja..." Xander said as he flipped the mask back down and touched the arc welder to another place.

"Why are you doing that?"

Xander looked back, "What!?"

"I said, why are you doing that!?" Jessie yelled.

"Oh..." Xander shrugged, and turned back to the job. "Just want to protect the engine from any... flying debris."

Jessie frowned and shook his head, not understanding what was going on. He decided to try a simpler question, "Where did you get a bike?"

"Picked it up second hand this morning. Found it for sale in the buy sell and trades."

"Xander..." Willow said quietly, "When did you learn to drive a motorcycle?"

As quiet as her voice was, Jessie was surprised that Xander even heard it. But Xander turned around and lifted the mask, grinning softly at Willow. "Oh, I picked it up around... Don't worry, Will. I can drive."

"Yeah, but... bro..." Jessie interrupted, "You don't have a license."

Xander just shrugged as if it weren't important and went back to work. "I'll be done here in a few... you guys want to grab some chow?"

Reluctantly Willow and Jessie nodded their assent. Jonathan, on the other hand, was grinning like a fool and looking at Xander like he'd just slipped into a phone booth and changed into red and blue tights. "That is so cool."


Xander watched as his friends split up and headed for home. When they were gone he let out a deep breath and slumped slightly. It was hard being cheerful for them, but he also knew that they weren't ready to find out what he knew and how much he had changed.

He shook his head as he turned on the TV, trying to figure out what he should be doing. He smiled slightly as he clicked through the channels, finally settling in to watch 'Karate Kid'.

About halfway through the movie it felt like a light bulb actually turned on over his head. And then Xander grinned.

Next Day

"What's this all about, Bro?"

Xander grinned and pushed Jessie ahead of him, "Just a gift man... nothing big."

"Alright already... stop shoving."

The four of them walked into the Dojo, Willow, Jessie, and Jonathan shifting uncomfortably as they looked around.

"Hi, Joy. Is Master Lee around?"

The lovely Asian girl at the counter nodded, smiling. "Hello, Xander. Yes, I'll get him for you."

"You know her?" Jon nudged him.

Xander shrugged, "Not too well... She goes to out school."

"I know man," Jon smiled wistfully, "She supervised our Study period a couple days ago..."

Xander grinned at him, but didn't say anything.

Shortly, she returned with Master Lee.

"Good Day, Alexander." Master Lee said, bowing.

Xander returned the slight bow. "Good Day, Master Lee."

"Are these to be my new students?"

Xander nodded, "Yep. This is Jessie, Willow, and Jonathan."

"Students? W... what?" Willow looked around, confused.

Master Lee smiled, "Your friend here has paid for lessons for the entire year as a gift."

Jonathan looked nervous, "I don't know, Xan... I'm not really athletic."

Xander smiled, "Relax, man. You'll do fine. Now I want you guys to promise me that you'll take these lessons."

Jessie looked at Xander, bothered by something. "How can you afford this?"

"Don't worry so much, Jess." Xander said, "Just enjoy the lessons, and pay attention. Ok, Blockhead?"

Jessie snorted and grinned, "Watch your mouth pea brain."

Xander laughed at that, "So you going to accept the gift?"

Jessie considered it slowly, but finally nodded. "Sure."


"But... I'm kinda busy, you know... with schoolwork..."

Xander snorted. "Will, you're a bona fide genius. You can take a few hours a week... For me?"

Willow suddenly blushed, the nodded. "O... ok."

"Great... How about you, Jon-o?"

Jonathan shifted, still uncomfortable. "You know... I'm... we don't really hang around all that much normally... I wouldn't feel right..."

Xander shook his head, "You're here now, Jon... So that's good enough. Besides, think about it, it'll do ya some good. Master Lee Teaches some really cool stuff, a little Kung Fu, some Kendo, you'll have a blast."

"Well... If you're sure?"

Xander clapped him on the back, "That's the spirit."

Then he turned back to Master Lee, "You're new students."

The Master bowed to them each in turn, a trace of a smile on his face. "I am most pleased to meet you all."


Xander said goodbye to Willow and Jonathan and watched them walk toward their homes, a wistful smile on his face. The smile was removed a second later when Jessie spun him around and glared at him.

"Ok, that's it. Spill."

"What?" Xander asked, trying to sound innocent.

"You damn well know what!" Jessie snapped, "First I find you digging up your camping stash, then you buy a bike that your not legally allowed to drive... Now you're giving us this 'fabulous parting gifts'. Spill!"

Xander sighed, "I'm leaving town for a while, Jess."

"What? Why?" Jessie looked confused, "All this over being suspended? Come on, man, it's not that serious."

Xander shook his head, "It's not that man... It's... there's a lot more too it..."

"Well tell me goddamn it!" Jessie snapped at him again, "I'm you're best friend!"

There was no hesitation in Jessie voice as he spoke. He *was* Xander's best friend and, unlike the two dimensional characters you saw on TV, he *KNEW* it.

Xander smiled, almost sadly. "I'll be back man... not for a while, but I'll be back. And I'll tell you everything you need to know then."

"Not good enough, bro!" Jessie grabbed Xander's shoulder.

Xander shrugged him off easily and walked around to the garage with Jessie following him. He slipped on his jacket, pulled on a pair of Engineer boots, and straddled the black Ninja 750. "I'm sorry man... I just don't have anything else to tell you right now... I wish it were different."

"Come on Xander..." Jessie said, a little helplessly. "It can't be that bad. We're friends forever... right?"

Xander winced at the sudden uncertainty in Jessie's voice. "More than that. Brothers. But I've got to do this, bro. I just have to."

Jessie swallowed. He couldn't see anyway out of it. Finally he shook his head and looked around helplessly. "You're gonna keep in touch, right man? I mean like call me... or Willow... or someone."

Xander nodded and smiled, "I'll call you both. Now you've got to do me a favor man."

"Name it."

"Watch out for Will and Jon. Hell, keep an eye on Cordy too."

Jessie looked up, startled. "Huh, what do you mean?"

Xander smiled, "I know you like her man... don't worry about it, just watch out for them... and don't skip any classes with Master Lee."

Jessie nodded slowly, "Ok, Bro. You've got it."

"Thanks." Xander kicked over the bike and the engine started with a roar. "Be seeing ya, Bro."

Jessie nodded back, "You know it, Bro."

With that Xander twisted the throttle and roared out of his parent garage, down the street, and out of Sunnydale.

The End


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