Imagine: The List
Fic posted by members of Vo's Imaginings YahooGroup

New Locations, New Horrors.

The woman walked out of the airport being all huffy. Her boyfriend of the moment had dumped her and cashed her ticket out. So she was stranded and had no idea of what she was going to do now. She huffed and cast a tracking spell for anyone who knew her. At least she could bum a couch or something, maybe even get some better-than-that-last-one's sex. She found one large spike and smiled. "Xander," she said. She went to find him. He'd pay her back for the rental car fees. He was like that. He took care of his pack and she was one of his pack bitches. She finally found him and snuck into the house. He was meditating and staying calm so was ignoring her. She settled in front of him, running a hand over his wrist.

"You tried to steal from me, Anya."

"I was protecting most of it but I needed storage fees."

He stared at her, giving her an unimpressed look. "Really?" She grinned. "Not cute."

"I can help that tumor."

"I have a spell to remove it but I was warned not to do it alone."

"We can do it together."

"That would mean me pulling you out of your body."


"It's easier for me to do on the astral plane where I can see the damn thing." He stared at her. "Why else are you here?"

"The last boyfriend wasn't worthy of me." She waved a hand with a smile. "So I came to check on you for everyone."

He snorted, shaking his head. "You can help with the spell. It's in the notebook." He pointed at the spiral bound notebook.

"You should write spells in better books, Xander. They deserve the respect."

"That's what I had when I found a copy of it, Anya. It's not like I really do magic." He stared at her. "While we're doing this, you have to concentrate on only that."

"I know how to do magic," she snorted.

"Seriously, Anya. You could set off one of the wishes I'm owed and it'd screw things up worse than Rosenburg did."

"I heard about her and the soulmate thing."

"And something in it needs to be fixed because if you found them before the markings appeared it won't appear."

"Oh. That could suck, yeah. Fine, I'll keep any thoughts to myself."

"Thank you. Your boss almost prompted me to make the alpha setup happen." She moaned and shifted. "That'd mean some day there'd be males who could get pregnant naturally, Anya. Ones who go into heat like dogs. I'm not doing that to my fellow man."

"That would be exciting though. Alphas would be much more hardy and rough."

He stared at her. "I wasn't that kind to you either." She slumped. "And yeah, that would mean you and Cordy if she descended would be my pack bitches." She moaned, getting off at that thought. "Clearer now?"

"Yes." She read over the spell. "It doesn't specify tumors." He turned the page so she could see the updated one. "That's a good rewording." They joined hands and he pulled her onto the astral plane with him. "That's very intimate. More so than doing spells with me, Xander."

"Sorry. I didn't realize that." He found the portal with the picture of his brain tumor. "Here it is." She came over, grimacing at it. "Yeah. They dosed me a second time." He felt something going on near his body and looked at her. "Do the spell. Let me go stop the person that's going to kill us." He disappeared and came up, kicking that guy around. He picked up the guy's gun and used it on him and the vampire in the kitchen. He sent a text message to Steve and went down to do that again. "Okay, we're safe for now."

She stared at him. "You used to be tougher." He pointed at the tumor's picture. "I get that." They went over the spell and she cast it, taking out all the 'wrong' cells in his brain. His liver still had a problem and she cast it again, getting those. A few other cells were starting off so she removed them too. He shivered and sat down holding his head. She ended the spell, sending them back to their bodies. She blinked at the man standing there. "Hi. Do we know you?"

"Xander said someone tried ta come kill you two," Danny said, staring at her.

She smiled. "He handled it. My former pookie is very good at that stuff."

"Sure. He good? He was warned not to do that spell without help. It'd cause bleeding."

She looked then found her phone. No minutes. She grabbed his phone, getting onto the spell website she used. "There, a healing spell." She cast it on Xander and he moaned but passed out. "There, that should help." She grinned. "You're adorable."

"Still healing from a bitch who divorced me," he said. "Get him to bed so he can rest and we can remove these two."

"The vampire's not dust?"

He looked. "I see a pile of dust but I got the one sneaking around the house on my way in." She got up and he hauled Xander up, putting him to bed. He called for a pickup of two B&E suspects who had been harmed by the homeowner. He did not listen to Anya nagging him about her sex life coming back soon. He didn't want to know.


Cordelia smiled and went to prompt Rosenburg. "Hey." Willow gave her a sullen, pouty look. "Two things, Willow. You left a clause in the soulmate thing. If they had touched him before the wish went off, the mark will never come up." Willow huffed but moved. She put a hand on Willow's arm. "Also, Anya just healed him. We think it won't come back without being redosed with the serum."

"I can make sure the serum won't work," she said.

"That would increase his demon taint and he'd be hunted by the same beings. Can't really call them human."

Willow considered it. "I can fix that."

"Just don't make him immortal or the PTB are going to have huge fits and kill you and Buffy. They're already wanting to send an asteroid crashing down." She gave her a pointed look then disappeared to check on him. She ran a hand over Xander's head. "Good work, Anya." She looked at her. "You got it all." Anya grinned. "Willow's fixing her soulmate clause and trying to do something so the healing doesn't make him immortal."

"I didn't use that spell."

"She would," Cordelia quipped. "The PTB are ready to have an asteroid hit the town."

Xander blinked up at her. "I can open the hellmouth." Cordelia moaned, shaking her head. "Yeah, I can. It loves me. A ton."

"Bad idea, Xander."

"Did she manage to not set off those waiting wishes?"

"They weren't set off." She patted him on the head. "It'll be okay." She faded out.

Xander looked at her. "I have rune wards up around the property. They have to actually walk onto it to get me."

"That's a very good idea. I wanted them back in Sunnydale but they never worked." She stripped off. "Are you strong enough to take a shower on your own?"

"Yeah but no sex." He groaned as he sat up. "I'm not strong enough for sex yet."

"Fine. If I must I can hold out for a few days. I have a vibrator in my bag." She helped him into the shower, letting him hose off the sweat. When they got out, he went to warm up soup for them. He had learned how to cook somewhere. "That's good." He grinned and they ate then went back to resting. It was going to be weeks before he was back up to normal Xander strength.


Xander texted Steve a few weeks later. Steve, who was hosting a poker game at his home, looked at his phone. "Please save me," he read. He checked, that was all the message. Then another one came in. "Anya."

"Yeah, she was there when I was getting those last two assassins," Danny told him. Another email message.

"Sorry, I'm using voice to text and she's demanding. One guy who got hooked on me when I was stripping is locked in the indoor safe room, key's on the entry pad, and I can't get up due to Anya being energetic." Steve called him, not getting an answer. He looked at the other guys, who all smirked at him. "You guys need to meet Xander," he said. He looked at Danny.

"She was there helping him cure the tumor with magical stuff," Danny said. "I heard her say she could hold off on sex until Xander was stronger because she had packed a vibrator."

Steve sighed, sending back a text message that he'd get the idiot in the safe room in a few minutes. He was in the middle of a poker game. He got back one from clearly someone else. "Oh, Anya said that's fine, to take my time because she's only gotten three orgasms tonight so far and he's not fully tired yet." He groaned. "This is going to be weird."

Danny ate a chip, staring at him. "I say we let Kono get whoever they captured for trying to kill them."

"Why are you mad at Kono?" Steve asked him. "She's been nice all week, Dano."

"Yeah but she could learn about women like that. Most guys meet at least one in their lives. Plus she's closer than we are."

"She's out in the mountains," Steve reminded him, anteing into the current hand. "Or else I might consider it. I'm wondering if it's an arms dealer former friend or the serial killer that wanted Xander to be his helper and protege."

The other guys stared at him. "Why would he know about those sort?" one demanded.

"Xander's car got attacked on his way out for a post-graduation road trip. He ended up stripping. Xander has an unnatural draw for people who are still semi-decent but dangerous and deadly. He told me and Kono both we're too nice and not deadly enough." The group moaned.

"He appreciates Kono's badass," Danny told them. "And likes that about her, but he said she's not dangerous enough for one of his. Of course, this was the day that we picked up assassins he brought in because he was tired of having them in a closet."

"Brah, he needs help," Chin said. "A lot of help. If that tumor's really gone, we can introduce him to nice people once he's back in shape."

"He told me once he never used a gym to gain muscles and stamina. He had hunted, then dated Anya and worked construction at the same time." Chin looked at him. "Seriously."

"The guy hadn't been eating," Danny told the group. "He's getting better now that they magiced the brain tumor out."

"I heard that he gave it to his doc here, who shared with the other ones over his case," Steve said. "The guy was freaked out but happy that they had removed it safely. The scans came out great. He sent me a candybar in thanks for the help." Steve tossed down two cards, getting them exchanged. "Don't mention any military service around him, people. The army gave him the first tumor on purpose." He looked at the group. "A special project he got help to take out and down for torture and other less pleasant things."

"He's from that town where that evil point of power is," Danny added. "Born and raised there. Never got to leave until that trip and then cancer treatment and a coma in LA."

"That's too weird for me," Chin said. "Though he's nice enough. He's a funny, slightly charming young guy and he's nice. But deadly if you try him. He's also our demon problem fixing person. He only handles problems but if there's one hunting people you call him."

"I'll get his number for people," Steve agreed. "I have it and so does Danny." His phone rang again. "Great, he got a second one and Anya's huffy that he had to lock the guy in the bathroom." He sighed. They wrapped up the hand and he took Danny and Chin to gather the two problem people. He knocked, no answer. He jimmied the door open and walked in. Anya was squealing loudly.

"He has great soundproofing, you couldn't hear her outside," Danny quipped. He walked into the bedroom to find Xander nearly unconscious and her using him like he's a sex toy. "Hey, Anya, where's the guys he needed removed?"

"In the bathroom," she said with a point. "And one in the safe room up the hallway by the kitchen."

"Anya, we'll need a statement from him so get off him for now," Steve said, not looking at them. "We'll need him to be awake."

"Let me nap," Xander moaned. "She won't."

"You need to regrow that stamina, Xander. You used to be able to go for hours longer."

He stared at her. "I couldn't keep food down for almost a month. I lost sixty pounds I couldn't really afford."

"So?" she demanded. "You're cutting down on my nookie."

"Keep it up, I'll apply an impotence spell."

"Fine!" She got off him. "See, he's fine!"

Danny looked at her. Then at the kid. Then back at her. "Anya, let him get some rest. You'll send him back to the hospital and they won't let him have any sex for weeks. You have to rebuild stamina like that slowly. It could be a year before he's fully back." She pouted. "Sorry but truth." He went to get the guy out of the bathroom. The guy was pouting. "Why were you trying to take out Xander?" he asked impatiently.

"I wasn't. I want Xander. He used to be really good at all that stuff. Now he's weaker."

"He's just getting over his second brain tumor," Danny said dryly. "It's gonna take a while." He stared at the guy until he slumped down again. "You're going to be in jail by then anyway." He pulled out his cuffs to get the guy and hike him out to the cruiser they had brought with them.

Steve found the safe room and the keycard on the access panel. He used it and put it back into place, walking in to arrest the two guys and a girl in there. "Why are you upsetting this homeowner?"

"He shouldn't be here. Things like him should be somewhere else."

"He's a human. Shut up." He hauled her out and cuffed her, taking the keycard from her to put back. Chin took her while Steve got the guys. Steve looked in that room then sighed and left it alone. There weren't any open weapons, just survival supplies. "Only the two, Xander?" He nodded, thumping his head back down. "Want some water?"

"Please," he begged. "I'm exhausted."

Anya huffed. "You're not any better than anyone else, Xander."

He glared at her. "Fuck you."

"That's what I was trying to do."

He snorted. "I told you I'm not doing anything like oral sex until you get a test saying you're not full of someone's diseases. You can drive enough to find the local health department. Until then there's condoms and all that good stuff. Not that I can get you pregnant." She shuddered, moving away from him. "Unless you undoing Willow's last helping moment left me fertile again. The chemo killed it before then." He sat up and got the water from Steve. "Thank you. I needed it."

"Yeah, it looks like you're still losing weight." He looked at Anya. "He has to eat to regain all that he was."

"I don't cook beyond what we had when I was married to a Viking. He does better than I do. He won't let me order takeout."

"Not like I've been working, Anya," he shot back. "Sorry but I was too weak to swing a hammer."

She pouted. "That's bad, Xander. I'll have to leave you if you don't get better faster."

He stared at her. "Year," he said slowly and clearly. "It'll be a year." She pouted and stomped off, getting dressed and huffing off. "Leave my wallet, woman! If I have to summon it back I'll be doing the magic myself." It and his phone got tossed into the bedroom then she huffed off again. He checked his wallet. "Two hundred but all I had in the house." He tossed it down. "Thank you for the saving from her."

Steve nodded. "You need better taste."

"No one else wanted to date me."

"Maybe you'll find someone nice as you get better." He patted him on the shoulder and left. "As he gets better, he'll get out to try to date."

Danny nodded. "We can introduce him to some people. Kono has a lot of single friends too."

"Thanks," Xander called. He leaned out. "Did you get the traps by the fence? The alarm system said someone tripped it." He pointed. "And they're bear traps."

Steve went to look, hauling back a crying, begging woman. "Know her, kid?"

"No. Not in the least." He shrugged and went back to bed. He seriously needed a nap. Anya had worn him out more than the cancer had.

Steve let the officer take her and they went back to their nights off.

Danny looked at Chin. "If I *ever* date a woman like Anya, smack some sense into me."

"Gladly, brah. Do the same for me please."

"Definitely." They followed Steve back to the cars.

Steve looked at them. "I'll let Grace have them. She's got sense and can make someone like Anya huff off."

"If not, her mother sure could," Danny agreed. Steve smirked at him but they weren't going to date Anya anyway. They hoped she was *real* unique. The world didn't need more of her.


Steve showed up a few days later, staring at Xander, who was giving him curious looks. "What?" he finally asked.

"Anya found a rich friend. They were caught on the news."

"That's good for her. Though she'll hate being a girlfriend. She thinks that wastes time. It's how I broke her pretending to be my heir while I was in the coma."

"That's good. Well, not really *good* but good for her I guess." Xander grinned at him. "You dated an arms dealer."

"Yeah, I was getting stuff for the upcoming battle."

"It's in ten months."

"Not that one." Steve glared at him. "Not my fault."

"Uh-huh. Where is it?"

"We were talking about discounts and how much I could work off the price. He wanted less than I did so we're pretty well screwed unless the military steps into St. Louis."

"I can let someone know if you know details." Xander got up and dug out his notebook, handing it over. "Vision?"


"Real one or astral plane portal?"

"Real. There's a chance I'm wrong or they'll change it."

"I'll let them know. We get tips like that a lot." He tucked it into his back pocket. "Beyond that, I got asked to check for more weapons. The governor heard you were here."

"Did I date them?"

"I'd hope not but they're paranoid."

Xander grinned. "Yeah, don't care. I need stuff that can help when something happens, like that sea monster later."

"We have a sea monster later?"

"Yeah, I heard it was coming." He shrugged. "It's mostly peaceful but we'll need to drive it off before the panicking tourists start to fire on it and we have to put it out of its misery."

"Which beach?"

"That I don't know. I was going to drive down that way and hope that someone lets me know."

"There's a lot of beaches."

"It's not really crowded so not near downtown."

"That's narrowing it down to about ten in the nearest twenty miles," Steve said dryly.

"Oh. I didn't get to really go exploring yet."

"We'll get you a map."

"Thank you." He grinned.

"Are you still helping people out of their bodies?"

"Yeah. It might help when we get hit with a demon plague, having someone who can come back."

Steve stared at him. "How long on that?"

"Don't know but it's not really close. I'm guessing a few years since bell bottoms and mom jeans were apparently fashionable by what people were wearing."

"I have no idea how to tell that timing."

"I'll be watching harder when they start to come back into fashion. The girls taught me how to watch that stuff."

Steve shook his head with a sigh. "Not really practical."

"Well, unless it comes with a look at a calendar or a watch with a calendar function...."

"Point." He stared at him. "More weapons?"

"No. Those are expensive and I'm not working. Ya know, that stuff that disgusted Anya along with my lack of stamina?"

"I remember." He stared at him. "Are you going to be starting to work soon?"

"I'm hoping that the doctor approves me to drive again next week during my next checkup."

"How long has that been going on?"

"Months but I'm stubborn and I only did it when I was reasonably sure I was safe."

"Uh-huh." He stared at him. "Thankfully I'm not the officer that would arrest you for that like Danny would." He shifted his weight. "What about those shrunken boxes?"

"Still tiny and unuseable."

"Nothing else beyond your guns?"

"Not that I'm aware of. I don't think anyone left me a present. I know the demon I had to burn in the yard yesterday didn't."

Steve blinked. "Why?"

"Wolfram and Hart think I'm subversive or something. The word that means I show people how to get around their wanted issues."

"Subversive works in that case. They have a price on your head? How many are there?"

"Them, a few cults that worship the PTB, the Council. Maybe a few individual demons for stopping their bad ideas. One that wanted to kill Danny but couldn't because he was partially ascended and that's a holy state to them. I just taught him so I'm fair game. And the ascended who think they want to control me and I'm not going to let them. They keep saying they can keep anyone from ascending but not really. That's up to the person not them."

Steve rubbed his head while staring at him. "Can we go over all those threats?"

"Maybe. I only know what's been on there thanks to old poker contacts. There's almost no kitten poker circuit locally."

"That's nice in some ways."

"Not really. The majority of the ones locally are kinda mobbed up. And the rest are hiding a lot."

Steve grimaced. "Any related to Wo Fat?"

"No, they consider him a pussy tampon as one called him. His wife purred at that thought."

Steve shuddered. "Eww." Xander grinned. "Did you get nagged about helping us out of our bodies?"

"Yeah but it's not like it was intimate and I didn't snatch and force."

"Why do they consider it intimate?"

"It's like touching magics when you work together. I don't consider it that way but maybe it's because I don't feel magic the same way." He snapped his fingers and got up to get something, coming back with the papers. "Only magic users think it's intimate to help someone meditate that way. This group, they're trying to start a hellmouth like structure to get power." He let him have the newspaper. "That's the same chaos magic group. If you can find them for me I can go smack the living fuck out of them while I absorb the spell residue."

"What would they need to do that?"

"Power, a few personal things, a clear area near where they were going to put it. They won't need any sacrifices beyond personal power and blood there, and it can come from other areas, and they don't have to sacrifice them there or even kill them. This would probably be more taking in virgins and taking their power and blood."


"Not necessarily but willing sacrificing is more powerful. They could actually sleep with a witch, leave a spell hook, something that they can link into later, and then steal their power while they're doing it. They'd probably try to fight back if they could feel it happening but by then it'd be a problem."

"Will it take you or could any magic user stop it?"

"It'll take someone sorcerer class of magic or above to stop the spells itself. I can suck it up and it'll be like hellmouth radiation to me. Just something that lives in me and glows now and then."

"Do we have a sorcerer around here?"

"Two or three. I'm going to see if I can get in touch with one of them."

"That's fine, Xander. Keep me informed. And if you get weapons I'm confiscating them."

"Yay," he said dryly, staring at him. "Worry more about the guy that's starting his ascension bid but is only a quarter of the way through so he'll be sacrificing babies probably."


"Heard the rumors but not who."

"Okay. When you hear, let me know." Xander nodded. "If we find a few sacrificed we'll call."

"Steve, they can use the excess magic to burn the bodies," Xander said. "At least ten others have tried to get there and haven't made it because they didn't do the right steps the right way but didn't get caught by humans."


"Yeah, and I'm not sure where that one is. If I knew...."

"Could that be one of the sorcerers you wanted to talk to?"

"No. They're uptight like the Church Lady. You know, that SNL skit," he said at the confused look. "They're like Danny only less loud and more uptight and less willing to go shirtless."

"Okay, I can understand that. Tell them to call me if they need help stopping someone legally."

"I can do that." He grinned. "Any other huge problems?" Steve shook his head. "Want the turnips? I figured out I really hated them."

"Sell them."

"I don't have that many and the people I asked said that no one eats turnips."

"Neither do I really."

"I put them in soup. I did good making soup while I was sick."

"It's a good thing when you're sick. I can take them and see if Chin wants them." Xander grinned and relaxed. "Make sure you tell me when and if you run into problems."

"Yes, dear." He blew a kiss, going to get him those reusable shopping bags full of turnips while Steve rolled his eyes. "Here you go."

"Thanks." He gave Xander a light shove. "Eat more. You're still skinny." He left, taking them back to the office. He handed the bags to Chin. "Xander didn't like turnips."

"I get that problem," he agreed. "I'll pass them out to the cousins." He looked up. "Did he have more weapons?"

"No, they were talking about discounts but the guy wanted more than Xander would give to knock off not enough money." Chin shook his head. "But we have three problems going on. We have a group of chaos mage wannabes who are going to open something like a hellmouth. We have a guy doing rituals so he can do the same rite that happened during Xander's graduation, but he's only partway through them. The next one for him is a lot of sacrificed babies. Then he said we have a sea monster coming up this afternoon. He said it's peaceful but the tourists are going to open fire and he'll have to put it down mercifully."

"We can call around," Kono said. "Make sure people know not to fire on the sea monster since it's peaceful." She started to call her surfing buddies. Chin was sending out some text messages while Steve called more official sources who could get news to the beach lifeguards.

Danny was looking up what rites were needed to ascend. "Taking out babies is step nine in one version, three in another, and the last one is the step before the end."

"He said about halfway," Steve said.

"Okay so he's trying to become about fifty yards instead of ninety." He put that up on their bigger screen. "That's what he's trying to do. They're all taken in the same way."

"He said they could cover it up with extra magic. He heard that ten others have tried and failed their rituals but didn't get found by law enforcement." Steve read them over, grimacing. "That's disgusting."

"Yeah," Danny agreed. "Any idea who?"

"He said he heard rumors someone was." They shared a look. "We hear, we don't make him have to handle them."

"Agreed," Chin said. "I'd kill them just to make sure they can't do that."

"Can we warn the local hospitals?" Kono asked. "Are there things they can do?"

"We hope so," Danny said. "We'll do that in a bit." She nodded, making notes of all the local hospitals.

"It sucks but they could import some of them from somewhere else," Chin said quietly.

"We can warn the airport too. We're already watching about people smuggling." Steve grimaced. "The chaos twerp group is going to probably be a long term problem. Xander said he could interrupt it and absorb it but it'd take a sorcerer to stop it if they really got it started."

"Any around here?" Kono asked.

"He said three."

"Great. Hopefully they can help?" Danny asked.

"He said they're more uptight than you are and mentioned some Church Lady skit on SNL."

"I'm not that uptight," Danny complained. "Or that focused against evil things."

"You handle our evil things instead of Xander's version," Kono told him.

"True, we do handle a lot of evil things." He got back to work, shaking his head. The others tried not to grin about it. Xander wasn't *wrong* but he wasn't that uptight.


Xander walked into a store and sighed, staring at the witches staring at him. "So," he said.

"Harris, you look better."

"I had Anya help me remove the tumor. It helped a lot. I can keep food down again. Though the hemlock you gave me did help a ton actually." They all glared at one of the witches. Xander shrugged. "I'm immune," he said with a small grin for that one. "Thanks though." He looked at the witches. "We have two problems."

"Why do *we* have them?" the head witch asked. She was still young and perky.

"Because at least two of your people have slept with the same chaos sorcerer and he's pulling on their magic to open a hellmouth here."

She blinked. "Excuse me?" another demanded. Xander put the notes on the table. "We know about that group."

"I talked with Bryce earlier. He said the stolen power comes directly from here, two streams of powers. Though the one you slept with isn't the one who stole it. His twin sister tapped into the power that he bookmarked for later touching. She stole it."

"Crap," the bad witch who had poisoned him muttered. "Which ones?"

"Bryce didn't know." He shrugged. He looked at the head witch. "Second huge problem. There's a guy doing an ascension bid somewhere in the islands. He's about three-quarters of the way done and is at a baby sacrificing step within two months. By the stuff we looked up it has to be by summer solstice unless he started his in the winter then it has to be by winter solstice and he's not doing the version we think or he's already screwed so he'll keep doing it and then die when he eats the spiders."

She grimaced. "That's gross. I've only read about those."

"One happened during our graduation," Xander said with a smirk. He pulled up the footage, letting them see it. "This is the biggest version." They all shuddered when he changed.

"Why did you cheer?" one asked.

"Because the troll deserved it. Somewhere a bridge was missing it's slovenly underliving being." He looked at her. "He gave us hell for no reason because he had power. Hell, he tried to tell Willow that she was worthless. He got me many times. The whole school cheered." She grimaced but went back to the film.

The head witch looked up. "Killed by the explosion?"

"Head has to come off," Xander told her. "Explosion did that."

She nodded once. "Eww."

"Yeah, but we were all evacuating past his teams of hit demons who showed up to help by herding all the tasty running and screaming nibbles. Buffy got hit with slime." He grinned.

She shook her head quickly. "Damn."

"Yup. And the local attempt's about to need to sacrifice at least ten infants, all under a solar month's age." She shook her head slowly. "Any blessed or specially gifted kids are extra special. He can do more at the same time, gather their energy, and use it to cover the deaths up." He put his phone up since he saw someone coming their way. He looked at her. "I have no idea where on the islands he is. Could be a she but most are males. He's at least forty-five and probably looks younger. Wilkins was ninety and looked fortyish at the end." She nodded, going to help the older woman who came in. He grinned at one witch. "That morning sickness tea you recommended *really* made sure I made it through the cancer treatments. Thank you for that. There were a few days when nothing stayed down but that."

She patted his hand. "Cancer treatments suck it out of you, Xander."

"Yes they did. And then Anya decided I should be just as strong as when I got sick the first time." The one who poisoned him glared at him. "She used to be Anyanka. Now she's a money grubbing nympho. And my former prom date."

"I know about her," that one said.

"Her gifts got broken so she got fired."

"Oh." She slumped. "Seriously?"

"Yeah, seriously. Thanks to Cordelia muttering she lost it and it got broken by a foot." He leaned on the counter. "Is there anything that can help me rebuild faster? I've got to work back up to where I could work again. I'd like to be able to grocery shop instead of eating the veggies I can grow."

"How did it come back?" that girl asked.

"Someone NID gave me the serum again," he said quietly, glancing at the other customer then at her. "It got given to my coffee a few days after the battle in LA and before the one in Colorado. She found it then during the post-battle checkup."

"Oh," she said. "That sucks."

"Yeah, it does. Especially with who started all that off. I'm just glad I could get free and go talk to the ones I did so they could stomp on them."

That witch blinked at him. "You got O'Neill?" she muttered. He nodded. "How?"

"Astral. I was out of my body for almost two years."

"Oh." She slumped. "We didn't hear that. Just that you're not friendly to us."

He snorted. "Told by Willow? Yeah, she's a bit biased thanks to her addiction issues." He stared at her. "I have nothing against that sort of thing as long as it's not attacking me or creating a problem I have to fix." The woman cleared her throat. He looked at her. "Hey, Brenda. Didn't realize it was you." She glared. "Anya's out here somewhere, she found a richer boyfriend who has more stamina."

"What are you doing out here, Harris?"

"Cordelia, who is now the messenger for the PTB, told me to move. I had things set up right before they burned my farm."

"Oh, dear." She blinked. "I heard there was a power sink out here."

He pointed. "The chaos bro's who're kinda idiots are trying to open a hellmouth."

The wish demon moaned and shook her head. "Damn it!"

"Yeah." He grinned. "We were just talking about them and the guy who's trying to do an ascension bid."

She grimaced, licking her lips. "That's disgusting."

"Yes it is," he agreed. "And I'd like to stop him before I have to mobilize another group to fight the big worm."

She stared, shaking her head. "No you didn't."

"That was mine, Buffy's, and Willow's graduation, Brenda. Yeah, I did."

"Oh, shit!" she shouted. "That was you that made the wish."

"Did you see why?"

"I did." She frowned. "How did that lead to cancer?"

"Serum. Initiative. Finn claimed he dosed me."

She licked her lips again then patted him on the shoulder. "You're still weak."

"Anya and I did the spell to grab the second version about three weeks ago. Then she tried to get me back up to stamina like I used to have by killing me in bed."

She shook her head. "Anya is warped but she was like that during the middle ages too." She leaned on the counter. "You're healthier than I'd expect."

"The treatments and some of the tea they gave me helped a lot to shrink it. Then Ahn and I used a stuck baby spell to snatch the tumor out."

She blinked. "A what?" He pulled out his phone to look it up on a spell site, letting her see it. "Oh, that spell. I didn't think about warping it that way."

"She made sure I had warped it correctly so it'd only take the tumor. I let my doctor have it for testing and I came out with only lesions again. NID gave it to me the second time right after the LA battle."

"Wow. They really hate you."

He grinned. "Them, the Powers That Be, a whole lot of upper level demons...." He smirked. "It means I'm doing the right thing. By the way, Wolfram and Hart's price on my head won't be paid off. They have me confused too. They thought I was Wesley." She quit touching him and sending power at him. He grinned. "I'm a bit open to that right now. Bryce was ranting in anger earlier so he was shedding magic."

"Dirt." She stared at him. "Everyone hates you, kid."

He nodded. "I know. It's because they hate that normal people can become knights and hunters. Well, screw them about that. They took Jesse. I helped fix that and still help fix that. Or I could just go back to farming and let the chaos bros open a hellmouth on this island. I mean, it'll love me like my original one did." He shrugged. "Doesn't matter to me. It might give me less radiation poisoning than Sunnydale's did."

Brenda looked him over then shook her head and looked at the witch. "This is why they wanted women to do it."

"That and because they thought women were expendable," Xander quipped. "There's been males who had the same marking, notably twins, and they didn't go anywhere near them because boys were more highly prized."

She nodded. "True."

"Sineya told us when we asked," Xander told her. "After Buffy summoned her to help."

Brenda blinked. "You weren't part of that."

"No, I talked to her spirit since I was still out of my body then. That's why I talked to O'Neill and DiNozzo and Gibbs." He grinned.

She shivered. "No wonder the PTB thinks you're in the way."

"They do it around me. I'm not going to ignore it. They let me be made this way," he quipped. "Pity."

She slumped again, nodding. "Good point." She patted him on the arm. "We're all constrained from helping you with anything."

"I heard from D'Hoffryn. I still thought Willow would've used that wish to handle an apocalypse battle instead of starting soulmates."

Brenda's eye twitched. "That was her wish?"

"Yeah. She's sure I have a protective owner somewhere. Since the marks won't show up if you touched the person before the wish went off.... And I don't have one anyway. The PTB severed any I might've had for backing up Buffy and bringing her back to life. CPR, baby," he finished sarcastically.

Brenda moaned. "No wonder. Okay, why are you here?"

"Talking to them about healing teas for my rebuilding time and to talk about ascension person and the chaos bros. I've got to get back to work sometime. I'd like to grocery shop instead of farm for veggies. And have the occasional bunny I catch for stew."

She looked at the witches then at him. "Good luck with that. Those same yahoos from Missouri are here too."

"I know. I punched one that was annoying a young woman at a restaurant the other day. He threatened to beat me up and then burn me in my car. I told him to bring it and pulled a short sword." He grinned. "He kinda ran and the little yellow stream followed him back to his pickup truck."

Brenda shivered. "Damn."

"Yup. But she's safe and that's what's important." He looked outside then at her. "Are you ladies being bothered by heretics?"

"Yup," one said, looking. "That's their car too. Missy, bigots are parking," she called.

The head witch came out and locked the door, walking off. "We can handle it, Harris."

"We can call someone," Xander offered. "They have a nice PD out here."

"Then more of them show up and threaten us more," Missy said. She looked at him. "We don't need more hell."

Xander pointed at Brenda. Who smirked and hit him on the arm. "I think that's her job."

Missy stared at her. "Can we wish that they leave us alone?"

"You can. That is my area." She glared, going to demon face. One of them screamed and the others ranted and tried to get into the shop. One of them broke the door and Xander moved to shove him back out it. "Go ahead, Missy."

"I wish that they'd leave us alone. We're not even sure why they wanted to come bother us for doing teas."

"I don't know either," Brenda admitted. "Wish granted, dear." The bigots got up and mostly walked off. Two weren't. "Harris, you negated the wish for them by being in contact."

"I wasn't touching either one, Miss Brenda. I was standing here looking almost impressive." He pointed. "See, not touching."

She came over and cast it specifically on those two. They wandered off mumbling. "Could you have a bit of magical radiation?" she asked impatiently.

"I don't have magic, Miss Brenda. I have radiation from my hellmouth. I have some astral plane energy still."

She tested him. "You have magic around you but that's Rosenburg doing something." He groaned, slumping. "I'll talk to her in a few minutes."

"Is it trying to protect me again or is she doing something else?" he asked.

Missy tested him. "Trying to have you find your soulmate so you're protected or arrested so you're safe." She walked off sending a text message.

Xander looked up then at the wish demon. "I can't grant one for you, Harris. We're banned."

Xander nodded. "That's fine. I can fix that." He looked up then at her. "I can help her find the Goddess for real." Brenda walked off shivering. "So, ladies, anything to help my recovery go faster?"

"Ten bucks a pound," one said. He looked at his wallet, wincing but got a pound. "You can make this one half-strength and reuse once."

"Thanks. That'll help. Let me know if you need my help, ladies. I'm still a knight." He left, going to his house to start that tea. It tasted absolutely foul but if it worked he'd put up with it.

Brenda looked at them. "I'm pretty sure they had him move out here to stop that ascension and the hellmouth being built." She bought her teas and faded out.

The witches cleaned up the mess from the broken glass door while they sent up prayers to the Goddess that Harris would just send Rosenburg out of her body for a bit.

Unfortunately they felt the wash of magic as Rosenburg fixed the loophole in her wish. A few looked at themselves and found markings so that was nice. One was sure wasn't her husband's mark but they could handle that.


Xander got home and went to find the witch of his hell and pulled her out of her own body then walked off shaking his head. Willow was throwing a fit but oh well. He waved at a coven member who was meditating, then pointed and grinned. He went back to his own body and got comfortable. He had things he had to figure out. Including how he was going to afford to get meat from the grocery store. He'd need it to heal.


DiNozzo paused his pacing while talking and looked up then at Gibbs. "That was magic, boss."

"I felt. Any idea why?" Tony was texting someone. "Who?"

"One of the coven." He waited and got an answer back. "Rosenburg was fixing her loophole. So now the soulmate mark will appear even if they're dead or if you touched them before the wish went out." He looked up. "Then Harris pulled her out of her body to keep her from harming anyone else." He put his phone up then had to pull it back out to look at the new text message. "He had Anya help him with the spell to remove the second tumor."

"It regrew?" Gibbs asked.

Tony texted Xander. "No," he said when he got one back. "NID gave it to him, boss." He looked up. "Right after the LA battle. O'Neill's doc found it after the battle in Colorado."

"Fuck," Gibbs muttered as he walked off. "He good?"

"He had some magical help pulling the tumor out." Gibbs paused to stare at him. "It wasn't working otherwise probably but he got it out. He ended with an 'I'm fine again, just rebuilding and hoping for meat soon'."

"He has money."

"He had money," Tony corrected. "He probably has a tiny bit left but he's living on a small, acre-big farm on Hawaii thanks to Cordelia ordering him to move before they burned his other farm."

"Hell." He went to talk to others about that problem.

Tony got a new text message. "Oh! Boss!" He came back to take the phone. "That's a bad idea in the making."

Gibbs stared at it. "What is that rite?"

"Graduation, boss."

"Hell no!" He handed it back and stomped off going to talk to those same people. There had to be a way to stop people like that. Maybe import regulations.

Tony went back to his desk to get back to finding his suspect. He really didn't want to be anywhere near that meeting. Especially when he heard that O'Neill got called in to meet with them. Especially since some NID people tried to confiscate O'Neill's people from the meeting and had to be shot.


Xander opened the door for Steve, who was in uniform. His dress blues. "Are you a strip-o-gram or are you being recalled and need a sword?" he guessed, grinning at him.

"No, I got told to come here on official business." He stared at him. "I'd never be a strip-o-gram, Xander." He stepped in. His hat went onto the hook by the door for keys. He stared at him. "Can you prove that the NID guy dosed you?"

"Yep." He walked off. "I'm in the meditation room. It's in there."

"Will it stand up to a court of law?" he asked as he followed.

"Yes it will." He held up a picture he dug out of a pile. "Is that good enough?"

"Yes it is." He took the picture to look at the guy adding something to Xander's drink while he was looking at something happening outside. "What was that?"

"The militant yahoo group was having a party up the street for someone's wedding. I got a copy of the tape from that shop when they found the new tumor. It was the only place outside of LA that it could've happened with what Doctor Lam found. I didn't really go out in LA. I mostly stayed in my room and hit a few fast food places that I brought back to the room. The one time I was actually out I was having dinner with someone at a demon run place and they would've beat him to death. I traced it back and asked him to look."

"That's good then." He looked at the other evidence. "Did the store owner let you have it?"

"I asked him because I told him that the cancer had come back thanks to that serum being given to me. He was horrified that the army has a serum that gives you cancer. In fact there's two." He pulled up his notes on that one. "That was started by someone who wanted to take out anyone *unusual*. It'll start as uterine or prostate cancer and moves very fast to other organs. Generally within six months you're not going to make it through treatment."

Steve grimaced. "Army as well?"


"Hell," he muttered. He looked things over, nodding at a few things. "The Secretary of the Navy wanted to know about this." Xander pointed. "A fax?"

"Yeah, it came in handy a few times." Steve sent what he needed to his boss, who sent him an email about it. "Is he still alive?"

"Frozen." Xander grinned a tiny bit. "He's been frozen by a demon council in Boulder because they like and respect O'Neill but the guy was trying to dose them."

"Did he manage it?"

"Not sure. You'd have to ask O'Neill. His followup general is an idiot but O'Neill's still around."

"Someone tried to kill him the other day so NID could capture him," Steve said.

"That sucks. Then again, so does NID. That's their whole purpose."

"I've heard." He looked over the evidence. "Is there any of them around here?"

"I don't know," Xander admitted. "I haven't asked. I can take you to the local demon council to see if they'd know."

"Please." He put the file back together and it went into the fireproof safe. "You're paranoid."

"They've already prompted people to burn me out once, Steve. I'm practical." He shot him a dirty look. "Let me put on clothes." He went to get dressed.

"Have you had any problems with the neighbors?" Steve called, not following him.

"No. Though there's a small concern about the open quarter-acre between me and the guy to the west. It's no man's land and a few of the people who had been stalking me were on it. The police said they couldn't do a thing since they weren't technically trespassing and stalking was iffy since there were no real threats made." He came back pulling on a shirt. Steve paused him and looked at the newer scars. Xander looked then at him. "Don't ask."

"Hunting or treatments?"

Xander looked at his chest and pointed at one. "Idiot in the mall who attacked me for protecting his kids from him." He pulled his shirt down. "The nice officer got him for it and glared at me but I pointed out he was trying to stab his kids. That was wrong and no one should stand there and watch that. The officer agreed and asked me if I needed medical treatment. I said no, I could handle my own stitches." He tucked his shirt in. "Shoes?" Steve pointed by the door. Xander found them and handed him his phone. "Are you driving me back or am I driving myself?"

"I looked, you're not allowed to drive right now, Xander." He took him to his truck and let Xander show him where to go. They parked and he got out, putting on his hat. Xander saw the worried looks. Steve looked and shrugged. "I'm on official business today, people. I'm also Lieutenant Commander McGarrett, 5-0."

One of the guards nodded at that. "I've heard about you. Why are you here?"

"He wanted to ask a question and I wanted to see if anyone knew who the ascending one is," Xander told him. "They arguing again?"

"Meditating on the anger issues from this morning's meeting period," the guard said. He escorted them in, knocking hard on the door to the council chamber. "I present Lieutenant Commander McGarrett and Hunter Harris," he announced loudly, bringing most of them out of their meditations.

"Could you not wait?" one of them demanded, glaring at Xander.

"He's here to ask a question to protect your people. So no. And I wanted to see if anyone knew who the guy trying to ascend is. Before I have to motivate a group to behead him some year soon."

McGarrett stepped up. "The Navy was not aware that any members of that group or NID was here on the islands. If so, I am allowed to remove them from this state and send them to DC to be arrested. Are there any members of the Initiative or the NID on this island?"

The mean one glared at him. "Why is that important?"

"Because NID took over the Initiative's work," Xander said. "Though they've been torturing anything they find interesting since the end of World War 2."

"Initiative?" one of the females asked.

"The people who were under Sunnydale," Xander explained. "The ones I got O'Neill and Gibbs to stop."

She grimaced. "If there are any here, can they be dragged behind a ship back to the mainland, Commander?"

"If I'm allowed," he agreed. "I'd like them to go back in a paralyzed state from injuries."

"I have snot darts that will paralyze or at least slow them down so they're easier to hurt," Xander offered with a grin. "Because I've had to use them a few times when I was stopping a human being horrible to others."

"Is that what happened to my son-in-law?" one of the older demons asked, sounding amused.

"Yup. I caught him beating the crap out of your younger granddaughter. I darted him about halfway through when I got tired from stomping on him. I rested then I went back to it when he was almost back to moving. Is she okay?"

"She's fine, Harris." He smirked. "That's probably not legal."

"I don't know many officers who'd arrest him for protecting a little kid," Steve said. "I wouldn't." He looked at Xander. "Lay more low though. You've gotten notice."

"They filmed the battle in LA. Not my fault."

"Point." He looked at them. "If you notify me about those sorts being here I will do what I can to make sure they can't harm another person ever again."

The head demon stared at him. "We have seen your actions against humans who are wrong."

"I hope I always work against those sort," he agreed. "My team as well."

She smiled. "Your blond teammate is adorable. I know many who would adore having him as a concubine."

"He'd hate that. He doesn't like to be out of control," Steve said, grinning some. "But I'll pass on the offer to him, see if he'd like to talk about it."

She grinned. "Please. My husband's tentacle is lonely and he thinks he's adorable."

"Danny would still have to be able to take visitation with his daughter. He moved here from New Jersey to make sure he still got to see her."

"That is an action we respect." She snapped her fingers. "Get me the threat file." It was handed over by a guard. "We do list hunters, just in case."

"I'd never touch a non-peaceful one," Xander assured her. "Unless they're doing something harmful I'm not here for that. I realize I knocked the fuck out of one of the young ones who was just high and trying to carve himself up with a tree he carved into with his claws."

"That one was very sorry when you delivered him to the healers, Harris," she said. "We understood why you stopped him that way. Did he fight?"

"Yes, he did." He lifted his shirt and pointed at a scar. "His tongue made that one." She shuddered. "Yeah, he was that high. He was going to cut his skin off with the tree."

"That's a good reason to stop him, even if you did beat him to point out that he should not be taking drugs."

Steve looked at each profile, reading it over. He held up one. "Is he still around?" They pointed. "Frozen, arrested, or just in a cell like Xander does?"

"In a cell," she said. "We cannot legally arrest someone and many are still uneasy, even here."

Steve nodded. "I know that's a bad thing that happens to all of your enclaves and councils. You'd think humans would be past that by now but we still do it to ourselves."

She nodded. "It is a shame but we understand. We just take precautions." She looked at Xander. "Someone's going to ascend?"

"He's at the baby sacrificing step by summer solstice," Xander said. "Unless he started in winter, and that means he did it wrong anyway, then it'd be by winter solstice."

She grimaced. "That is nasty."

"Yes it is, and I doubt they'd give me another high school to blow up," he quipped. She shivered. He grinned. "I'm a good boy usually."

"We know. How did you get cured?"

"Anya and I did the spell to remove the tumor. It's one of the ones that helped with stuck babies. I got warned not to do it alone or I'd end up bleeding to death. She showed up to complain that the one that brought her here dumped her at the airport and helped me. Then I didn't meet up to her demands anymore so she found someone with a fatter wallet."

"Have they not settled the insurance claim on the farm?" she asked.

"No. They're still debating. I check every Wednesday."

She nodded. "That is stupid and annoying," she said. She looked at Steve. "Would we turn that one trying to ascend into a higher demon over to you?"

"Yes you can," he agreed. "Hopefully before he tries his next sacrifice because I'm not sure I can keep Danny from killing him for sacrificing newborns."

"I'll let him tag me out," Xander said. "Because if I find him after that I'll be tired for a few extra weeks from beating him." He looked at the councilors. "Has anyone warned the local nursery? It doesn't say he has to use human children." They blinked and one got up to go warn them. Just in case. "If he does try to harm one of their kids, would the PD get him anyway?" he asked Steve.

"I'd like to say yes. That may depend on which officer answers the call. Possibly also the judge. Three of the felony judges are hateful about demons. I can't guarantee that one but I can be sure the prison hears what he did. Some may not care as much but to some, any kid is untouchable." Xander grinned. "I'd never lie about that, Xander."

"I know, Steve. You're honest and tough." He looked at the councilors. "Do we have any idea who it is?"

"I know a few who might," the head councilor admitted. "We'll try to get him stopped, Harris."

"Thank you. Let me know if I can help."

"You are still weak," she said.

He shrugged. "Hasn't mattered yet when I had to handle something. I just brought bigger guns."

She laughed. "We had heard. You need time to heal and get stronger."

"I'm trying. I'd like to go back to work sometime soon so I can grocery shop. Veggies are okay but I'd like meat."

"You could eat beans," she reminded him.

"Yeah but I hate the stomach ache I get. It's not even the gas, it's the bean itself. I get it from rice too."

"Interesting. I hope you make it."

"Me too. I miss doing construction."

Steve looked at him. "You did?"

"Yeah, I did, then did patrol, then went home to Anya. It's how I grew stamina the first time." He grinned. "She didn't used to complain that she wasn't getting seven a night."

"Is she here?" one of the demons demanded, standing up.

"She found a richer boyfriend when she didn't like my stamina levels. I told her I'd be back there in about a year." He shrugged. "She nearly sent me back to the coma after four hours of sex."

The demon flopped down with a huff. "We do not like her sort of demon."

"I ran into Brenda the other day. She was helping the witches who made the tea that got me through treatment this time."

"What's she over?" Steve asked.

"Lost dreams. The witches were being bullied. Anytime they reported it they got worse. They broke their door the other day before Brenda got a wish."

"Those sort I'd like to move too. They shouldn't be in paradise. They don't deserve it," Steve said. He looked at the council, who all smiled at him. "May I copy this file?" They nodded. "I will share this with my team. I know my team would help." They smiled. "Then I'm going to give Xander a few hamburgers." Xander hugged him. "Thanks, get off." Xander grinned.

They let Steve copy that file and he took him back to the station. With a stop at the food truck by the station. Steve walked in. Xander was walking behind him eating and moaning in pleasure. "He missed meat," he said at their staring because of the moaning. He put the file down. "From the local demon council on the various threats. They'll ask to see who is doing the ascension." He put his hat down on the table. "I'm still officially off today for formal Navy business." He looked at Xander. "The Secretary of the Navy was not happy with them."

"Not my fault," Xander quipped, stuffing the last few bites into his mouth. "I can hike home now."

"Sit down and shut up," Danny said without looking at him. "So we can make sure you're safe." He pointed. "Sit there." Xander huffed but sat down. "Thank you. I'm glad that my daughter isn't half as stubborn as you are." He held up a page. "This one? Says he was captured?"

"He's in their jail," Steve said. His phone rang. "Yes, sir," he said as he answered. "Yes, I'll hold." He pointed at a page. "That one's really worrying since he's leading a group to create genocide on any demon community," he said quietly. "Yes, sir, I'm here. No, I got the local demon council to let me copy their threat file. My team is going over it now so we can figure out which ones we need to get first and for what. Well, we do have one who is ascending, sir. Or attempting to." He listened. "Yes, sir, that was that one. Xander, your friend Buffy testified in front of a private tribunal about all that stuff."

"Tell her I said hi," he quipped. "I'm sure if they talked about me it wasn't about how I helped because she thinks I'm normal."

Steve nodded as he listened. "Yes she did. They asked the local demon council in DC and got your page from the demon hunter's site." Xander shrugged at that, shaking his head. "No, sir, he didn't know about that. If you had to look yourself up somewhere honest where do you look?"

"I look on the Toldera site or the one for the Order of Taraka. They're assassins but they keep information on their possible targets. There's two of them in DC."

Steve repeated that. "Yes, sir. No, sir, he's trying to regain strength so he can go back to work. No, sir, he and his ex-girlfriend did some magic to remove the later tumor. He gave it to his doctor and I'm told he shared with Doctor Lam." He listened, leaning against the wall. "Yes, sir, that is his doctor." Xander stared at him. "No, sir, magically. His ex is a former vengeance demon. No, sir, he's still healing and a bit weaker than he'd like to be.

"He's hoping he'll be getting back to work in a few weeks. Well, they're still arguing about paying the claim on his former farm in Missouri since the local bigots burned it after he had started to sell it," he said dryly. "It's been over six months, sir. Yeah, that sort of problem. He pointed that out at the end. He had put a notice in the paper that he'd be selling his farm and moving. They burned it the day after he got everything out."

"I heard that they did it that way because they were scared I had something in there that would've killed them all. They thought I had bombs or some trapped demons," Xander said.

Steve repeated that, shaking his head quickly. "Yes, sir. No, he's been living off his current farm. They had some vegetables already planted and he planted more. I'm sure it helped his health some but he will need more protein to get better, sir. After all, we have someone trying to ascend somewhere in this state."

"Plus chaos sorcerers trying to make a new hellmouth," Xander quipped.

"And he said there's a group of sorcerers that are trying to make a new hellmouth," Steve repeated. He sat down with a grimace. "Yes, sir, but the PD isn't really able to handle that for everyone. That makes it his job. No, sir, there's no payment in hunting. I'm sure they would be delighted if there was."

"Yes I would sometimes," Xander quipped. He started to move but Danny's glare made him sit down. "I was just going to use the bathroom."

"You can wait. There's idiots in this building." Xander huffed but stayed there.

"Yes, he's here, sir. Yes, I did talk to him about that redosing. Sir, I sent the pictures. Oh, your assistant gathered it. Yes, sir, he had pictures in proof of the NID agent in question pouring something into his drink. Yes, sir, he is an NID agent." The 'I said he wasn't' was loud enough for others to hear.

"Well, he might have been," Xander said. "Right now he's mulch." Steve stared at him. "According to the website on hunters, he was sent to dose Buffy with something so they could pick her up. The Council had him wet worked last week." He let Steve see that entry.

"Yes, sir, I do see he's a former human now." He listened to him splutter and choke.

"Is that the guy that got infected by a snake of some sort? Demons were saying he wasn't the only one and O'Neill is going to have fits."

Steve considered that. "Sir, there's rumors you're presently being overtaken by some sort of symbiotic creature." He got hung up on so he found O'Neill's number. No answer. "Hmm."

Xander grinned. "He's off world. It's on the gossip site." He considered it. "I can go tell someone." He put his phone up and concentrated, letting his mind go out of his body. He looked around, frowning. "I'll tell him about that later." He went to the mountain lair of the alien king, his pet name for O'Neill. He found Landry, and his snake. He found Mitchell, and he was in jail. He found Sheppard about to come back in and stopped him. "No no nonono," he said, stopping him. "No. Go up." He shorted out the elevator panel and hit the 'up' button. He faded into view. "Lots and lots of snakes," he said. "And they're putting non-snaked in jail. All the way to the Secretary of the Navy." He blew a kiss. "So are some of the guards." They tried to get them when the doors opened but Sheppard hated being threatened. They walked off together, him going with Sheppard back off the base.

"Can you go tell McKay?"

"Yeah. I can do that. He's down there though."

John winced. "Please?"

"Sure." He grinned. "Mitchell's in jail. O'Neill's off plane." Sheppard grimaced. "The Secretary of the Navy hates me and he has one too." He disappeared, going to the lab area. He faded into view then out suddenly when a snaked one came in. He came back and knocked her into the wall. "No citrus!" he ordered, talking down to her. "You'd think that your snake was better trained than that. Lemons and snake meat just don't go together very well." He stared at her. "How very boring you are. I'm pretty sure that other snakes and worms are smarter than yours." He glanced at Rodney. "I intervened with someone who's off base. He said to warn you."

"Thank you," he said dryly. "Who else?"

"The general that's here. The Secretary of the Navy....I'd use a musical cue right now. It might stun then enough to leave their hosts." He pointed at a button. McKay locked the labs down and set off a tone. One of the scientists in there screamed as her hearing aid went off but the snake in the one scientist screamed and fled. Xander grinned at him. "You're brilliant."

"Yes I am. Why are you doing that?"

"It was necessary. No one answers phone calls these days." He shrugged. "Let me go back to my body." He waved. "Have fun with them. O'Neill is off somewhere playing golf or something."

"I heard. Shoo before one of the Ascended Ones shows up."

"I'm only out of my body. They can't do anything about us." He went back to his body and came back to stab the demons attacking. "Why hi there," he said dryly. "Are you snaked too?" One of them shrieked but Xander got the snake pouch. The other one was in the head so he pulled something out and hit the demon with it on the back of the neck. It made it scream but pass out.

"He's got snakes in his brain instead of his belly. Oh, Danny, call your daughter." He grabbed his phone to do that. "Her contact with you was glowing a lot and I'm not sure why." The other demon got up and rushed at him so he kicked it into a wall. "No," he said. "Bad snake." It hopped up to hit him again, showing off the gold tattoo on their shoulder this time since his shirt had ripped. Xander kicked him again but Steve got the guy down and knocked out. "That tattoo means something special but I'm not sure what."

"You will be one of us and do our will," one of them sneered.

Xander looked at him. "You're fucked in the head if you think I'm going to let someone take over my brain after I had to fight to get it back, mother fucker. You want it that hard, you come at me and we'll talk." The demon got up sneering. Xander pulled his blessed blade, waving him on. "Really. C'mon." The demon winced and held his head. "What? Think you have the wrong one? Probably but oh well."

"Xander," Steve warned. "My job."

"Fine." He sat down again. "At least I don't have to worry about them torturing a pet I own since I don't right now."
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