Chapter Four


U.C. Sunnydale
The Courtyard
Wed, September 22, 1999 2:30 P.M.

"Hey, Buff." Willow says smiling while she walks toward the bench Buffy was sitting on. Her bright auburn hair seems even redder when the sun shines like it does today. The sky seems perfect, and the weather is good. How could such a polar opposite take place at night?

Hearing her name takes Buffy out of the daydream she was having about sitting in Xander’s lap at the movies. What is happening to me... to us. Shaking her head, she responds, "Hi, Willow. How's the day been for my favorite witch?"

Taking a seat, Willow lays her advanced literature book down. "I'm all to the good, Buff. The question is, how are you?" she says with an inquiring smirk. Buffy has that 'what are you talking about ' look on her face. "I tried to call you at your mom’s house early this morning, around 6:00 A.M. Nobody picked up. Then I tried again 45 minutes later. Where were you?"

In bed with Xander. "Ah, I spent the night at Xander’s. With his house being closer and how tired I was, we decided I might as well spend the night there."

"We?" Willow asked with an eyebrow raised. I have been getting some funny vibes from those two lately… Could they be… No, not after all this time.

"Well, he did go out on patrol with me last night. Xander offered, I accepted. We decided." She pauses, before looking at her best friend. "He's got a pretty comfortable couch over there ya know." His bed is even better. Buffy hopes her slightly hyper voice doesn't give her away. She is not ready to tell anyone about what is changing between her and Xander, not even Willow.

"So you finally got a good night’s sleep. No nightmares or insomnia."

"I slept like an ang...a baby." She stutters momentarily, giving Willow a reserved smile. "So how was 'YOUR' evening?"

Willow's porcelain complexion gives does nothing to conceal her sudden blush. "Let’s just say, a wonderful evening was had by all," she admits in almost an embarrassed tone.

That makes two of us, Buffy says to herself with a secret smile.

"Buffy, isn't that Xander’s car in the lot?" Willow points out behind them.

"Yeah, since Xander and Faith had to be at work before I took my exam this morning, Xander suggested I drive them to work, then take his car to school."

"I've never driven his car," Willow says with a playful pout.

"You cast the right spell, and he'll probably give you the car," Buffy teases.

"His new paint job looks great. And where did the rust go? Xander's never driven a car without rust. I thought that was his trademark."

"Things change," Buffy replies softly.

What does that mean? Willow can't quiet read her friend lately. Buffy seems happier, but more secretive. She reminds herself to ask Xander about it later. "So, what time do you have to pick them up?"

"4:50. Xander said I didn't even have to stop, just slow down and he would jump in the drivers side." Willow watches Buffy's face light up as she talks about Xander. "He said he would ride all the way home in my lap."

"What about Faith?"

"Faith was in a bad mood this morning. She didn't say much at all. I'm going to have to talk to Giles about not riding her so hard. As far as the Slaying goes, she looks as good as ever."

Nodding in agreement Willow asks. "Can I ride with you when you pick up Xander and Faith? I haven't spent much time with my Xander shaped friend lately." Between her research with Giles, her studying, and her relationship with Oz, Willow has found herself missing the way things used to be with the Scooby gang.

"Of course, you didn't need to ask. Witches, Slayers and humans are all welcome at Xander’s."

"Cool. Walk with me to our dorm room so I can get something to eat."

Buffy soon realizes she hasn't eaten all day. You know whats been on your mind all day. Sweet kisses, arms locked around you, feeling safe.....loved. "Let’s go Wills. I'm starving."


Sunnydale Department of Waste Management
Wed, September 22, 2000 4:30

"Another day, another hit," Xander stretches as he waits for his Pepsi to fall out of the vending machine outside. Now walking back in the lobby, he watches as Faith looks through a new issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. She even turns the pages with anger, he ponders. Faith has been more withdrawn and distant today. But, boy, can she toss those trashcans. Her Slayer strength alone helps us save a good hour and a half. Usually they spend that extra time just driving around and listening to the radio, or talking.

Faith found herself really starting to open up to Xander. Unfortunately, a lot of the things he thought happened in her past did, as she explained her mother’s drug addiction and lengths she would go to get more. How could she hurt her daughter like that. Xander considers, before wondering the same about his parents. "Hey, pretty lady, is this seat taken?"

A snort is his only reply.

OK...I seem to be in the dog house. "Faith," he nudges her arm with his elbow. "You still mad at me for not letting you walk around the house naked. Because if you are, we can work something out. Maybe you could walk around half naked."

A slight curl of the lips extends to a small smile as she looks at him. "Don't you think Buffy would have a problem with that," she whispers as if to herself.

"Well, if Buffy was my girlfriend, then yeah, that would be a problem."

Really!!! "So what, are you two then 'Fuck Buddies'? She your 'Homie-lover-friend? Don't try to deny it. I saw her go into your bedroom last night," Faith says as she stands to her feet to glance out the window, waiting for Buffy to show up. Faith just wants to go home and forget about Buffy creeping into Xander’s bedroom late last night. She wants to forget that Buffy didn't leave his bedroom until the morning.

Xander doesn't know where any of this is coming from. She's acting almost like she' jea..... Xander stops right there. It can't be. He knows that she needs to feel people trust her.. Xander decides to tell Faith everything. "Faith, look, things are changing between me and Buffy. But we are still in the infant stage. She slept in my room last night, but that’s all we did."

"What, no smooches?" Faith inquires with a note of sarcasm.

Xander is silent for a moment, his mind remembering how soft, how wet Buffy's lips were. Has anyone ever had an orgasm from kissing, because I might be an X-File if she ever kisses me like that again. "Yeah , we kissed. But no 'I love you's last night. We are just moving forward, that’s all." He still can't believe that Buffy is allowing all of this to happen. I'm still going to use that spell Willow taught me to make sure Buffy isn't under the influence of something. I can't take any chances with this.

"So, you're still a free agent."

"Right now, yeah. But hopefully for not much longer," he says wistfully.

Faith takes in the loving expression on his face. It's so obvious who put it there. Could he ever love me like that? Could anyone? she wonders. Faith knows what a lot of girls probably said about him in high school. Geek, nerd, horrible fashion sense, loser, slacker, thinnest man alive. Xander is not the brooding type, nor is he rich, or the most handsome guy on Earth. But in him, Faith can see nothing but good qualities. Unbelievably loyal, in spite of just being a regular human, he goes out every night, risking his life for the destiny of another. Xander was not called by anyone to do anything. But his love for B, and his commitment to helping people overrides all that. He's funny as hell, though I won't admit it to his face. He has such a kind heart. How many men would let a woman, who tried to kill him on numerous occasions, live with him? And he ain’t all that bad on the eyes.. Taking a deep breath, Faith tries to calm herself. Four years and Buffy picks now to notice him. Took her fucking long enough.

She knows that’s not fair.. Look how I treated him. I gave him a quick screw and then showed him the door, she regrets that now, using him. They aren't together officially yet. And until they are..... "I'm happy for you, Xander. It's about time B got her head out of her ass."

"So, I'm not the only one who thought that, huh," Xander half-jokes. He can feel some of the tension flow out of her. He also notices the car that just pulled up and the two women who just got out. An idea comes to mind.

"Hey, Xander," Willow gets out before Xander engulfs her and Buffy in a bear hug. The smell he gives off is less than pleasant.

"Oh God, Xander, get off me. You reek," Willow says, smiling while turning her nose up.

"Get your smelly hands off me, Xander," Buffy announces brightly. Willow pushes him away and moves toward a water fountain.

Xander makes sure she is out of earshot before he whispers to Buffy. "You weren't saying that last night."

"That was right after you showered."

"So, you don't mind sleeping in my arms, just as long as I smell good."

Instead of replying Buffy says, "Hey, Faith, how was your day?"

"Five by five, B. Let’s get out of her before they find more trash for us to dump."

"When we get to my house, I'll order a pizza before we head over to Giles house," Xander says, leading his three lady friends outside and toward the car. As Buffy hands Xander his car keys, their fingers linger for a moment.


The No-Tell Motel
Wed, September 22, 2000 5:10

He watches the comings and goings of strangers. The view from his first floor window affords him this small luxury. He observes various businessmen or women, who just stay for the night, passing through.

Truckdrivers, looking for a few hours of shut eye.

Hormone driven teenagers, looking for privacy.

Ladies of the night, who no doubt gave this motel its namesake, move back and forth throughout the day and night. The people of Sunnydale, it seems, have more on their minds than surviving vampire attacks.

Essex has tried to watch television, but he can no longer stomach it's content. The Honeymooners, now that was television. This Jerry Springer guy drives me nuts, he thinks.

Being over thousand years old has its disadvantages. Essex can remember like it was yesterday standing on a small hill, watching Moses lead his people out of Egypt. That Red Sea thing was so cool. he thought at the time.

He was only forty Earth years at that time. He had only murdered a little over 900 people. That was a slow century.

He remembers all the decapitations he ordered in England. How he arranged for the Vampires to be blamed. His men were told to drain blood from the victim’s neck.

"The Watchers Council," he says aloud in his room. He can recall the very day they were created. It was after he made a deal with the Vampire Lord Syphin. I deliver one thousand humans, he lets me watch them die. A perfect arrangement at the time. I actually delivered 1012 humans. I allowed the other twelve to be spared so that they may watch their loved one's die. He shakes his head at these fond memories. Who would have thought those twelve would dedicate their lives to fighting evil. When the first Slayer was discovered, they knew they needed an organization to coordinate their efforts against what they have always believed to be the greatest threat. The vampires.

He takes another bite from the ham and turkey sandwich he bought at a near by 7- Eleven. Essex recalls his last great battle with the Slayers. The Council tracked me down in Germany about sixty years later. They actually thought 25 Slayers were enough to stop me, when I was at full power, not the immortal shell I am today. The Council used a spell that needed ten witches and twenty gypsies. The Slayers were just there to keep him occupied.

The spell itself removed all of his abilities, his power of teleportation, his super human strength, his senses, his mental control over other demons, everything but his most powerful weapon.

His intellect.

That which has kept him alive, and well out of the Councils reach, for almost 800 years.

Humans will never respect the mind over the fist.

Now, Essex misses, for the first time in a Millennium, his true home.

Holding the bronze talisman that hangs from around his neck, he hopes that he can leave the Earth, and never return. My dimension should have sufficiently recovered from the Demon Wars over the last thousand years. It was a bad guy’s paradise before I left. Who knows what it has become now? he ponders. Being powerless and hunted has made him weary of his existence on Earth. This world no longer holds his interest.

The Watcher and his Slayer will not turn down my request once they realize the good it will do this planet, not that I care. Most demons and vampires won't last twelve hours in my dimension. Hell, a little less than 9% of them will survive the first 72 hours.

Now reaching inside the dresser drawer near his bed, he pulls out a folder.

With this, and the fact that 'every' demon and every vampire will be taken off the planet with me, how can this Buffy Summers resist my offer. Minions from hell won't be able to walk on this planet for the next five years. Enough time for Buffy to pass the age of twenty-four, and be released from her Slayer duties. New Slayers will be called, and the world will deal with evil again.

The Folder he holds has two files in it. One has black and white surveillance photos of a dark haired man dressed in a black trench coat. He appears to be the vampire known as Angel. A Watcher accompanies him, as well as an unidentified dark haired woman.My spies tell me that this Angel she cares so much for has his soul back. Once the demon inside of him is gone forever, his curse, placed on him by gypsies, will be no more.

The other file contains information so dangerous, Essex doubts anyone other than him would even walk around with it. His scientists have been working on this project for the past 79 years. They have successfully identified and catalogued two of the five anomalies that make up the vampire virus. Essex theory is that the virus is 60% of what makes a vampire. The loss of the soul is the other 40%. Cure the virus, and give back the soul, what are you left with?

A 100% human.

Essex will allow The Watcher to give the file to the Council, providing the Slayer helps him return home of course. Let the Council scientists work for the next five years on a cure... or maybe a vaccine, it matters not to me.

His plan cannot fail.


The home of Xander Harris
Wed, September 22, 2000 5:50 P.M.

Two extra large cheese, sausage and pepperoni pizza's set on the coffee table in the living room. Xander hands out plates before turning on the TV. They have about an hour and a half to kill before going over to Giles place for their 'night job'.

"Hey, look, guys. Aliens is on. That is my all time favorite movie," Xander says, taking a seat on the floor next to the love seat Buffy is sitting on. Faith is laying on a pillow on near the TV, and Willow has her feet up on the couch.

"I thought your favorite movie was Naughty Nurse Nancy," Buffy teases, ruffling his hair a bit, hoping Faith and Willow see it as friendly and not intimate.

"Whats a Nurse Nancy?" he asked grinning.

"That tape under your bed," Willow answered.

Faith turns over and glares at Xander. "You got dirty movies, and you been holding out on me."

"I don't watch dirty movies... I watch adult entertainment from time to time. There's a difference. But you have to be mature like me to know the differences."

"Those movie are nothing but macho filth," Buffy says. "The girls are just tools for the guy to use. He 'goes to Space Mountain', and then scene changes. The girl never...."

"Goes to Space Mountain." Faith laughs. Soon everyone is laughing.

"Buffy, have you ever watched one of 'THOSE' films," Xander asked with raised eyebrows.

"So, Willow, how was class today?" the Slayer says, trying to change the subject.

"Buffy, are you trying to change the subject?" Willow asks.


"IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU’RE TRYING TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT," Willow screams, while arching her right eyebrow. The shocked looks of her friends causes her some embarrassment .

"No more WWF for you young lady," Xander jokes.

Buffy, still with a look of shock on her face, shakes her head, and reaches for another slice of pizza. She suddenly feels Xander’s hand caressing her ankle out of the view of Faith and Willow. Mmmmm, that’s nice. Give me some ankle love.

"So, B, have you ever seen a dirty movie?" Faith feels she can have some fun with this.

Buffy is silent as she answers. "No, I haven't. I’ve been to busy saving the world and all. I prefer clean movies." It's not that she isn't curious, it’s just that her only experience with sex came with Angel. A part of her just doesn't want to deal with sex in any way. I make love one time, and the body count rises. I can live without the stress.

"I've seen a couple actually," Willow says out of the blue. The surprised looks she receives makes her smile. "I can be shocking too, ya know. I used to spend the night here with Xander sometimes. I knew where he kept his stash." Xander looks mortified; Faith looks amused. "I took about five of them one time when he wasn't looking and stuffed them in my overnight bag."

"Willow, how could you steal from me?"

"Hey, I'm a curious witch. I wonder about man-woman relations as much as anyone."

"Which one's did you see, you horny witch bitch?" Faith says playfully.

"Oh God, strike me down now," Xander says in a mock prayer, with his hands up over his head.

"Willow, please. Xander’s movie classics are not something I want to here about," Buffy points out.

"Buffy, chill out. Let the witch spill the beans. Maybe the films will give us some insight into our X-Mans deepest desire's."

Not ours... Mine. Buffy mutters to herself. "Go ahead, Wills."

"Is anyone listening to me, please stop the madness," Xander pleads.

"Did anyone hear an echo?" Faith says. More laughter around the room. Xander pulls a couch pillow over his face in anticipation of what comes next.

"Let's see now, the first movie I borrowed was Ride Em Cowboy," Willow offers.

"I should thank the makers of that film," Faith says, her voice dripping with honey. Xander gives her a quick look, before turning away. A look Buffy notices and finds uncomfortable.

"Then there was 'Blow Jo.."

"Enough, Wills, I think we get the picture," Buffy states flatly, moving her ankle out of Xander’s reach. She still doesn't understand what she is feeling. Maybe it's the thought of Faith knowing something about Xander I don't. Something he has shared only with her.

Sensing the rise in tension. Whats wrong with Buff? Willow changes gears. "Xander, you still got my Savage Garden CD.."

"Yeah, you horny witch bitch."

"Don't call me that, you nasty dirty movie watchin garbage man," she replies smiling. Their friendship is over fifteen years old.

"It's in the basement, Wills." As his long time friend rises, he says., "And don't you come back up here with 'ANYTHING' other than that Savage Garden CD, ya hear me?"

"Yadda, yadda, yadda," is heard as Willow walks toward the kitchen.

Faith then stands to her feet. Two's company, three's a three way, B ain't goin for that. "I'm going to take a nap before we leave. Keep it PG-13, you crazy kids," she says while heading up stairs. Xander mouths a silent thank you. If Buff don't sew you up soon, I'm takin the kid gloves off.

Buffy and Xander are silent at first. Neither really knows how to talk about last night. With her fear of abandonment, her father leaving her mother, Angel leaving her, and Xander’s fear that everything he associates himself with will result in disaster, Xander, the bad luck magnet, communicating will be difficult. Still, Xander tries first.

"I missed you today," Xander says, rising to his feet and taking a seat next to her.

"I missed you, too. If failed my exam, it's your fault.” She gave him a shy smile.

"My fault? No, no, no, Ms. Summers. It was I who almost hit five cars today thinking of you. You felt so good in my arms last night. I couldn't keep my mind off of it." In Xander’s mind last night was a dream. Me and Buffy, wrapped in each other arms sleeping, no dreams, no midnight utterings of 'Angel'. Just us, together, like I have dreamed of for a lifetime.

Closing her eyes, Buffy tries to recapture the her feelings from last night. I wasn't alone for one. Two, I like affection, what girl doesn't. Three, I know he loves me and didn't have to worry about wandering hands or waking up with him mauling me. Four, those kisses...... "I like your bed." Where the hell did that come from?

"I like you in it."

"Think you can handle a Slayer," she teases.

"It wouldn't be the first time."

Now Buffy meets his eyes. She can't understand this jealousy she now feels toward Faith. But she is in no hurry to jump in bed with Xander and go to Space Mountain. I think we might have something more special than a quickie. "Has it happened again?"


"Was it good the first time?"

"Was Angel good?"

She doesn't answer. As far as Xander is concerned, her silence says it all.

"Me and Faith had a one night stand. You and Angel were in love at the time.." Every word out of his mouth feels like a physical blow to his body.

"It's over with Angel. He wasn’t on my mind when I was in your arms last night."

Her words soothe his soul like none other. "I was thinking of Brittany Spears, myself."

"Freddie Prinze Jr. is kinda good looking. I gave him a stray thought," she says while reaching for and finding his hand, intertwining their fingers like last night.

"Hooo, Buffy, we had a mental fourway last night... Kinky."

"You think you could handle two woman."

"I just want you."

That earns him a kiss that sears his lips like fire. This kiss is passionate. Her hand finds the back of his neck, and Xander practically pulls her in his lap. Buffy’s tongue asks for permission , and Xander grants it with a moan. God, I love you, Xander says to himself.

Xander’s hand finds Buffy’s ankle again, caressing it softly, allowing his fingers to flutter slightly up her calf. He can feel her breath quicken behind him. Seduction of a Slayer 101.

Only the need for air breaks their connection. Buffy’s lips feel swollen from Xander’s suckling. "Hot damn," Buffy says in a breathless whisper. Xander has a very talented mouth. And I will go there.

"I'm going to give all those Xander movie classics to Willow," he says while catching his second wind. Xander turns her in his arms so that her back was against his chest. Xander buried his nose in her hair, inhaling the unique scent that is Buffy Summers, memorizing it for the rest of his life.

"Don't give away all of them. You never know when you might have company," Buffy says while playing with forearms that securely hold her waist.

Xander covers her neck and throat with kisses, finding the sweet-smelling spot at the bend of her neck. "You taste fantastic," he whispers while nibbling at her ear. "Can you spend the night again?" he says while sucking on her neck.

"What about Faith?"

"I can tell tonight’s going to be the greatest night of my life."

"No, silly, this is not two-for-one night at the Xan Shack. I mean won't she put two and two together and know somethin is up between us?"

”She already has, Buff. She saw you go into my room last night and saw you leave this morning. Faith’s cool with it."

Buffy doesn't know why she is kind of surprised by that. She caught Faith a few times giving Xander the once over. She looked like she wanted to eat him like a hot fudge sundae. "Even so, what about Willow? Her and Oz ain't goin to Space Mountain tonight."

"Don't be so sure, Princess Slayer. You underestimate the powers of the horny side."

"Well, Darth Time-of the month has taken over Willow’s universe, and no force in the galaxy will stop that."

"Your dirty Star Wars talk turns me on so much."

"Down boy."

"A little late for that."

Willows voice can now be heard from the kitchen. "Xander, how do you find anything in that basemen?," she says walking back to the living room.

Buffy slowly and seductively slides off of Xander’s lap, making sure to grind a little. The moan that escapes his lips does more for her self esteem than he can possibly imagine. I still got it. Xander returns to the floor with a pillow replacing Buffy in his lap.

"Xander, are you all right? You look kind of flushed. Maybe you should lay down, take a nap like Faith," Willow asked with a note of concern. Xander looks tense as hell. Buffy looks... What the fuck is going on here?

"I feeling good, Wills. My body is still adjusting to food on a regular basis." Giving his friend a reassuring grin, he says, "I 'm going to throw my work clothes in the dryer, back in a minute." Xander prays Buffy’s powers extend to mind reading as he taps her leg, hoping she understands.

My, My Xander, you do know how to flatter a girl. "I need to go to the little girls room. If you clean up, I'll do the laundry tomorrow?" Buffy says to Willow.

No problem, Buff. That will give me time to take these two tapes out of basement and into my purse. I bet Oz will love Rock Band Groupies. "Okiedoke, but, Buff, I'm going to hold you to this," she says while taking the pizza boxes into the kitchen.

Smiling from ear to ear, Buffy rises to her feet, and extends her hand to Xander. He excepts, while continuing to hold the pillow in front of him. "Come on, big boy." She leads him upstairs.


With his work clothes in the washer, Xander leaves Willow in the living room. I guess Buffy wants a few more smooches before we blow this pop stand. Far be it from me to deny my favorite Slayer from her daily Xander fix. Willow didn't seem to find it strange that Buffy had been gone so long, and Xander didn't feel the need to bring it up. He creeps toward his bedroom. With the sun setting so early in Sunnydale, his room is cast in shadows. Carefully opening the door, he notices her standing near his bed with her hands on her shapely hips. Wasting no time, he lunges at her, taking her into his arms, and kissing her almost violently.

Her fingers start to run over his face and down his neck. Her lips soften under his own. A strangled sigh comes from the back of her throat, as her tongue flicks out and runs over Xander’s bottom lip.

God... Oh God, Xander thinks as the passion sears through him. The feel of her smooth, small, wet tongue working into his mouth. This is so good, it's almost painful. Xander moans again.

His tongue is hot and heavy in her mouth. He taste's like hot chocolate, her thoughts, clouded with arousal. Xander moves his tongue over hers, all the way into her mouth, claiming her, sliding over her teeth, against the insides of her cheek.

Xander plunders her mouth with a longing he never knew existed. Their lips mesh together in a dance that is growing more and more frenzied by the second.

There are few words that could describe this.




Running on instinct alone, Xander grabs her thighs and lifts her off of the ground, crushing the Slayer to his chest, never letting her lips leave his. She wraps her legs around his body as Xander takes two steps , pushing her back up against the doorframe. This is so good. is the only thought running through his mind. The Slayer thrust her hips against him, eliciting a low groan from his lips.

This leads to more thrusting.

Still fully clothed.



Perhaps hours later, an animalistic howl escapes the Slayer’s lips.

"Yes, goddammit, fuck."

Oh God.

Oh No.

This is not happening. Xander know when his bad luck kicks in.


"The one and only. I was just in here to borrow one of you 'Classic Movies', but now, it just doesn't hold the appeal it once did," Faith says while unlocking her legs from around Xander’s waist. She is still catching her breath when she says, "Thanks for the trip to Space Mountain. I sure hope I get the chance to make a return visit.," Faith leaves the room with her usual cat like walk.

Xander, who has not moved an inch in five minutes, just stares off into no space. How could I fuck up this badly? Truly, I must rank number one in terms of fuck-ups. I am the fuck-up World Heavyweight Champion.

Xander is in love with Buffy, but if it wasn't for her…

He collects himself, and heads back down stairs.


The home of Rupert Giles
Wed, September 22, 2000 7:37

As Xander car pulls up to Giles townhouse, they can tell by looking through the window Giles has company.

The Watcher greets them at the door and ushers them in.

"Buffy, Faith, Willow, Xander, I would like you to meet Essex."

Buffy has never seen Giles look more disturbed in her entire life.