Content Harry Potter Naruto Buffy the Vampire Slayer XMen Translations
  • Previous
  • Next

Author Notes:

So much for my prediction at the World Cup. Ich bin ein Berliner.

Xander finished work at lunchtime on the Saturday of the prom, and headed straight home. He showered, and dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. He collapsed on the couch, just as Faith wandered, bleary eyed, into the living room. She was in a pair of what looked like his boxers and a tank top. She dropped into his lap, and rested her head on his shoulder. “Patrol ran late,” she murmured. “Some asswipe was fucking with Hellhounds because he couldn’t get a date. I ended up slaying the damn hounds and then broke his jaw for being a dick.”

Xander laughed softly.

“Anyway, it was just luck that I spotted one as I was coming home.”

He stroked her back, and tried not to think about the fact she was obviously not wearing a bra.

“This is nice,” she mumbled. He felt her drift off again, and settled back, and allowed his mind to drift.

Faith shifted, and then yawned and stretched. She kissed him lightly. “You make a great pillow. And we’re gonna have a follow up discussion on that subject shortly. I’m gonna get dressed and have a shower. I left you some lunch in the fridge.”


She stood and sauntered away from him; he watched her leave and then headed to the kitchen for some food.

They walked over to Hank and Charlotte’s mansion, and were greeted by a Harmony who looked to be on an immense sugar high. “Xan, we left a tux in there for you,” she pointed. “And some shoes, Dad got your size from when his secretary ordered your work boots. Games room is through there, Faith and I will see you in four hours. Oh, and I dropped Cordy her dress off earlier. Being classy was fun. See you later.” And with that, she was gone, Faith in tow.

“Oh,” he said.

“Come on through, Xander,” Hank called. “The Diamondbacks are playing.”

“You’re a baseball fan?”

“Dad was a fan; so I’ve always supported them.”

Xander took a seat on the arm chair next to Hanks, and took the beer that was offered.

“It takes about 3 minutes to put a tux on, so you may as well enjoy the game.”

Xander couldn’t remember the last time he had watched any baseball, but the rules and boredom soon came back. They got some snacks, and hotdogs, at the bottom of the fifth, which helped the second half.

Charlotte joined them after a while, sitting next to Hank. She leaned over and kissed his cheek.

“What’s that for?”

“For putting up with Harmony,” she said dryly. “I know we’re a package deal but, she drives me nuts at times. Faith has the patience of a saint.”

“Faith has a twisted sense of humor,” Xander corrected.

Charlotte laughed. “Yeah, that’ll do it. Anyway, they will be ready on time, if only because Faith is stopping Harmony from going to overboard.”

As the game finished with a win for Arizona, he left a happy Hank and put on the tux. While it was lower-class, he appreciated the clip-on bow tie. He checked in a huge mirror, and was surprised at himself.

His hair was a little longer, but looked good, and he had shoulders he didn’t really remember having. They were the result of spending all day carrying heavy planks of wood around, and then using the air gun to hammer them into place.

He walked back into the games room.

Hank smiled, as Charlotte whistled. “Well, it’s a good thing my daughter knows that Faith is a great fighter, or she might be tempted.”

“Nah,” Xander replied with a laugh. He wasn’t Harmony’s type.

“We’re ready,” Harmony called from the top of the stairs. Xander headed back out to the entrance hall, as Charlotte joined him a second later, camera in hand.

Harmony was wearing a light green strapless dress that was tight around her waist and fell gracefully to her ankles. Matching heels peeked out from underneath. Her hair was loose, and curled subtly under her ears, as it draped over her shoulders.

“Wow,” he said with appreciation. “You look great.” He paused. “And where’s your date?”

“Oh, he’ll be in soon, with the limo,” she said as she hit the bottom step. “I’ll do another entrance for him, but I wanted to check I look good first.”

“You do.”

“And I wanted to watch you as Faith came down,” she added cheerfully.

A noise drew his attention and he immediately forgot how to breathe. The dress was far more demure than he had expected. It was a floor length royal blue dress, with an embroidered elongated sheer bodice, and three-quarter-length sleeves, with a V-neck. Her hair was pulled back into a bun. The only jewelry she was wearing was the cross he had given her. Even her ears were bare.

She glided toward him, blue pumps peeking out the bottom of the dress.

He suddenly remembered that breathing was of the good. She looked at him, her expression neutral, and he could see the soft touches of eyeliner highlighting her brilliant brown eyes and the extra reddish tinge to her lips.

“Fuck me,” he whispered automatically ducking the swipe that came from Charlotte. “Every time I think I understand how beautiful you are, you change something and completely blow everything out the water.”

The neutral expression faded, and the smile, a smile he suddenly realized was only ever given to him, appeared. He reached into his pocket, and pulled out the surprise he’d nipped out at lunch for the previous day.

“But, that cross doesn’t suit the dress.”

“You gave it to me,” Faith said, as if that was the best reason in the world to wear it.

He moved his hands forward and opened the box. Faith gasped softly, and Xander forgot his nervousness. They were here, in someone else’s house, in borrowed clothing, and all of the hosts were definitely wearing items far more expensive that the silver cross he was offering.

Faith immediately removed the bigger one, and turned, so that he could put the silver one on her. He slid his hands up, and brushed her neck, caressing her smooth skin as tenderly as he could, as he managed to hook the necklace on the second try. She turned under his hands, and met his eyes again, and she didn’t need to verbalize anything, he knew, he understood.

She gave him a crooked little smile, as her hands reached up and brushed his shoulders. “Mine,” she whispered.


“So that’s what you meant when you said that the price doesn’t matter, but the thought!” Harmony said.

For a second, Xander was embarrassed, until he saw that Faith was laughing. “Tramps like us, baby we were born to run,” she whispered. Her smile turned impish, “I let you in, you are my friend, and you guard my dreams and visions.”

“If only you could also remember my lessons on tact, and time and place,” Charlotte moaned.

“You gotta remember, Harmony,” Faith explained, turning in his arms once more, and leaning against his chest, “that we’ve never had money. I’m trailer park trash with an alky mum and a dead dad; he’s got two alkies for parents. So yes, I know we can’t really afford presents like this, but it is obvious Xan got it for me, and that he’s looked at what prom dresses are generally like, and I know that it means another Sunday morning when he’s got up and worked for me.”

“I’m so sorry,” Harmony said, “I didn’t mean anything, it was just, so beautiful.”

“You’re an airhead,” Faith said with a little smile, “but you’re growing up.”

“A little,” she agreed and rolled her eyes. “Still can put my foot in it, though.”

The doorbell rang, and Harmony made an ‘eek’ sound, before she dashed up the stairs. Hank moved over to the door, and opened it.

“Er, is Harmony ready, sir?”

“Come in,” Hank said with a sigh. Xander returned the nod he was given as Mitch Fargo entered, in a tux as well. He was carrying a box in one hand.

“I thought about that,” he whispered.

“I’m glad you didn’t,” Faith replied as softly. “I prefer this.” She played with the cross. He watched, and only let his eyes drift down to her cleavage once or twice. Maybe three times, but certainly no more than four.

Harmony made an appearance at the top of the staircase and descended slowly, as Mitch smiled. “You look great,” he praised. “I got you this.”

“Thanks,” Harmony replied as she took the white corsage, and then turned to her mother to pin it. Mitch and Charlotte both looked a little surprised.

“Right, photos,” Charlotte said. Xander moved Faith back, and out of the way. “Don’t you two go anywhere, you’re next,” she announced. She made the two teens pose for them, and they did, they were both good looking, and in expensive clothing, but Xander felt that they had no real chemistry.

“Don’t look at the camera, look at me,” Faith whispered some advice. “Forget it exists.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

They moved in front of the stairs, and as Faith suggested, he did look at her, and it was easy to forget the rest of the world existed, when her eyes were looking at him like they were. He reached out, and took her hand, raising it so that he could kiss the back, while keeping his eyes locked on hers. He really wanted to kiss her properly, but he didn’t want to muss her make-up.

She moved her hand and took possession of his, she leaned in, “Face the camera,” she exhaled, and as she did, she turned and he caught her smile out of the corner of his eye, and it evoked a similar response in him.

“Happy?” Faith asked.

“Very,” Charlotte agreed. “Right, it’s time for you kids to get going.”

“Don’t worry, Mrs K,” Faith said, “we’ll look after ya girl.”

Xander hid a chuckle at the expression on Mitch’s face, but was surprised by the pleased look on Harmony’s.

The limo was white and gaudy, “We’re gonna have to find how we can get you to look good and wear dresses on a bike.”

Faith laughed. “Now that’s my sort of thinking,” she approved. She headed in first, pausing just long enough for him to admire her rear, before they scooted up. Inside, it was luxurious, but tacky at the same time. The seats were leather, but not actually that comfortable.

“Yeah, definitely biking it next time,” Faith murmured. They didn’t really join in the conversation as they picked up another three couples. The limo pulled to a stop outside the main entrance, which allowed them to pile out. Xander went first this time, so he could help Faith out. Not that she really needed it, she had too much core strength to be off balance, but he liked having his arm around her.

“This is Mrs K’s dress,” Faith said quietly, as they queued at the entrance. “The prom dresses were more before-me, nice, but a little revealing, and tonight ain’t the night for it.”

“I like revealing dresses, but you do look utterly stunning like this. Elegant.”

“Xander, you like me in anything,” Faith pointed out.

“And out of it as well.”

Faith elbowed him in the stomach, but she had an amused cast to her face. She turned and kissed him on the cheek. “I did say you should stop filtering. My mistake,” her tone was teasing.

They entered through an arch way. “Fuck, we shoulda said no, and gone down the Italian,” Faith murmured.

“I can put up with this as long as I have you to look at.”

“Sweet, but corny.”

“Wanna do the traditional swaying to music?”

“You just want to get your hands on me.”

“Of course.”

“Good. I’ve been wanting to run my hands over the tux since I saw you.” They moved over to the dance floor, and joined several others.

To his complete lack of surprise, Faith was a far better dancer than he was. He tried not to think and just responded to her.

“Good boy,” she whispered into his ear as they finished the third dance. They headed to a table, and joined Harmony, Mitch, and a bunch of other people.

“When did you learn to dance, Xander?” Harmony asked. “I mean, I expected Faith to be able to, but you were looking good.”

“Thanks,” Xander replied. “It’s all down to my partner, she makes me look good.”

“True,” Faith agreed with no trace of modesty. “But it helps having a guy as strong as he is.”

Xander looked at Faith. “Drink?”


“Harmony, Mitch?”

“Please,” Harmony said, as Mitch shook his head negatively.

Xander walked along to the punch bowl, and added a small amount to a glass, and tasted it. He was relieved that it didn’t task of anything but fruit and lemonade. He poured three glasses, and picked them up. He turned, and saw Guy Matthews approaching Faith. He chuckled to himself, and moved out of the way, and took the long away around.

Faith didn’t need a White Knight to save her from other men.

He watched her shake her head, and then sigh. Guy reached out with a hand, and Faith caught it, twisted violently, slammed his head into the table (which Xander was pleased to see didn’t buckle) before she stood briefly and tossed him into a dark corner, and sat back down again. The whole thing took less than three seconds.

He handed Harmony her drink, as he sat back next to Faith, and gave her hers. “Thanks,” she said.

“Have fun?”

“I’m more relaxed,” she agreed. “Wanted me to leave the loser and get with someone who drives a vintage Chevy.”

“Ouch,” Xander said dryly.

Faith rolled her eyes.

“He’s been a jerk since Cordelia embarrassed him,” Harmony announced. She looked excited at what she had just seen. Mitch, on the other hand, looked more than a little scared of Faith.

“B and the others just arrived,” Faith said. “Cordy’s dating Wes.”

“Huh, thought he had gone back to Britland.”

“Nah, he’s just been out the few times you dropped in. I think G doesn’t really like him that much.”

Harmony and Mitch got up to dance, leaving the two of them to be able to talk quietly. “Oh, and B and Angel have split.”

“You know,” Xander said, “I’m pleased, but I expected to feel pleasure, and I don’t.”

“Come on, I wanna be back in your arms for a bit. We gotta find a way to pass the time.”

“Having you in my arms is never just a way to pass the time.”

Faith dragged him up, and turned, her arms resting on his shoulders. “That one got to me,” she said with a little smile.

He smiled, “Can I muss your lipstick?”

Faith laughed, her head going back. She nodded firmly, and he pecked her. “That’s hardly a muss.”

“True, but we’re being the classy ones, remember? Making out on the dance floor is hardly that.”

“True,” Faith said with a put upon expression. “The things we do,” she teased.

They paused as the music changed. “Hey, Faith, you mind if I dance with Xander?” They both looked up, as Cordy stood adjacent to them, Wesley next to her.

“Fine,” Faith decided after a few seconds. “I guess I can dance with Wesley for one dance.” She moved away, and started to dance, standing a good foot away from him. Cordelia didn’t seem to have the same problem, as she danced a lot closer. For the first time ever he wasn’t even tempted to peak down her dress.

“Thanks,” she said after a few moments.

“What for?”

“Because there is no way in hell that Harmony would just grow up,” Cordelia stated. “If she did have the idea on her own to lend me a dress, she would never, ever act classy about it.”

Xander shrugged. “You’re welcome.”

Cordelia sighed softly. “You went and grew up, didn’t you?”

“A little, not there yet.”

“Come on, the Cliff Notes?”

He sighed, and steered her around a dancing couple, a blonde dancing with Jonathan Levinson.

“I was down anyway, I had you sniping at me, deservedly, while Willow had no problems at all with Oz. And then Buffy, Willow and you said you didn’t need me, and it broke me. I’d built up this mythos in my mind, of how you were all my girls, and that I’d protect you to the end. That shattered, and I didn’t know how to handle it, so I ran. I bumped into Faith, and we realized we were both broken. I found a different way to help, and then found my self-respect and some balance. I patrol with Faith when she’s out alone, and the rest of the time ensure that she has a home to come back to.”

Cordelia nodded. “Faith’s always been good at fighting, but recently, she’s been untouchable. There’s a calmness about her that wasn’t there before, and I think it’s because she’s no longer fighting just for the fun of it.”


“So, a carpenter, eh?”

“I like working with my hands.”

“Xander, look, I’m sorry I was such a bitch about the whole thing. Yeah, you shouldn’t have done it, but on the other hand, you thought you were about to die. I get that. It’s just, no one cheats on Cordelia Chase, she is the one in control.”

“Yeah, I understand that now.”

“I think you do. Can we be friends again?”

“Can you handle Faith?”

“New Faith? Yes.”

“Then sure.”

He steered her over to the bored looking Faith, and stiff looking Wesley. “Swap,” he said to Faith.

“Thank god,” she murmured, as she took Cordelia’s hand and started to dance.


“Xander. Congratulations on your exam results.”

“Thank you.”

“You don’t mind that I am seeing Cordelia?”

“No skin off my teeth, mate,” Xander replied easily.

“Yes, er, thank you.”

“So, what are your plans?” Xander asked politely.

“I don’t know. I am thinking of heading to the city.”


“Yes, I’m afraid that I’m bit of a persona non grata in Watcher circles, and I’ve heard some interesting stories. I was planning on inviting Faith, originally.”

“Yeah, she’s more interested in college.”

“Good. A strong education is important.”

“Not for everyone,” Xander replied.

Wes opened his mouth and then shut it. “No, not for everyone.”

Faith returned and nodded. “We’re five by five.”

“What does that mean?” Xander asked curiously. “I’ve been meaning to ask that for ages.”

“I used to hear it on old radio shows,” Faith explained. “Just means things are going well. She talked, I listened, we’re chill. Told her she can pop around.”

He smiled, and slid her closer.

“And that was mainly because you didn’t even try and look down her top.”

“Yeah, she’s pretty, but she’s not you.”

“Not many girls are.”

“Only one girl is.”

“True.” She moved, sliding a leg behind his, and tripping him. He fell backwards, as she caught him and kissed him while being bent over. She heaved him back up, as the music changed, to a far rockier number. She took a few steps back, her eyes locked on his, as she started to move to the music. He stood there, entranced.

Her moves bordered on violent as she spun and weaved to the music, each movement catching the beat with breathtaking precision. He could almost see the vampires she was fighting, as he mentally completed the dance moves into the martial arts moves that they were pulled from.

And each time she moved, she was a little closer, a little more intense. In time to the end of the music, she hooked a leg around his thigh, and raised herself, so she could look down at him. He braced, as she moved her hands to his face and kissed him hard.

He broke the kiss, as a round of applause broke through into his hearing. Faith let herself down, and turned, acknowledging the applause, as she took his hand and lightly tugged him back to her seat. He sat, and she settled on his lap.

“That was brilliant,” he told her. “And honestly, the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Faith smiled. “I did that once, fight in a nightclub. This was different. It was for you.”

“And I really appreciated it.”

“Faith,” Harmony gushed, “That was incredible!” She was practically vibrating in front of them. “You were so graceful, so powerful!”

She was interrupted as Jonathan Levinson appeared on the stage. He looked far more confident than he had in the past, which Xander put down to the vaguely familiar short blonde girl he’d been dancing with.

Xander found his attention wandering as a list of awards and winners was read and prizes given out. He stared at the ceiling, and tried to get into the same mindset he did at work, where he was able to think clearly. He suddenly sighed as something on the ceiling caught his attention. “Crap.”


“I’m gonna have to talk to Willow. Just had an idea.”

“’kay,” Faith replied. “This is dull.”


The final award was for Buffy, as the class-protector, and Xander and Faith both joined in the applause.

“Can we get out of here, now?” Faith asked hopefully.

“There’s hours to go yet,” Harmony pointed out.

“Let me talk to Willow, and then we can leave.”

“Cool,” Faith said with relief. “We can grab a pizza.”

Xander walked over to the table where Buffy, Willow, Oz, Wes and Cordy were sitting. Buffy was glaring at him, Cordy smiling, Willow looked scared. “You mind?” he asked Oz.

The boy shook his head, and Willow slowly moved toward him. They started to dance. “How does the sprinkler system work?”


“I’ve seen a sprinkler system maintain the lawns.”

Willow’s eyes flickered, before an astonished look surfaced. Suddenly she jumped forward and hugged him. He looked at Faith helplessly. She was frowning, before she sighed exaggeratedly.

Willow eeped and jumped back. “Sorry,” she said, blushing.

He groaned under her breath, and took her off the dance floor to an empty table, he grabbed two chairs and made them face each other, and sat down.

“Sorry,” She apologized again. “It’s just, I suddenly realized what you meant, and it was really clever, and obvious, and no one else had thought of it, and it’s gonna really help, and I know how I can boost the power and we can get your priest friend to bless the main tank, it’s refilled from the mains, but to start with, it should really help with the vampires and I really really missed you.”

He took a deep breath, and reached out, lightly touching her shoulder. “Breathe, Willow.”

She took a breath, “And then now I don’t even know you, and it’s my fault, and I know it’s partly because I let you take all the blame from when we kissed, and it was a really good kiss, and I felt guilty, so I hid, and I listened to what you said the other night, and I understand, I really do, and I’m still proud of you, but I still miss us, and I’m scared of Faith, coz she’s all strong and sexy and can dance like that, and look graceful, and she looks at you like you look at her and I’m jealous, and nothing has felt right since that night, and I can remember what your face looked like when we said we didn’t need you, and you left and it was scary, but I convinced myself it wasn’t like that, and you left, and I know I was wrong, and I’m really, really, really sorry, and I really, really want to be friends again, and I promise never to do that again.”

He closed his eyes, he could feel that she meant every word, and she brought back so many memories of them growing up together, and the friendship that they had enjoyed. He opened his eyes.

Willow stood suddenly. “I know,” she said, and marched away from him. He watched her go, ready to chase her, only, she headed to Faith. Faith looked surprised, and stood, moving toward Willow. Willow actually grabbed her and started to dance. Faith looked surprised, and as they turned, Xander saw the resolve on Willow’s face. She seemed to be talking as fast as she had with him.

He watched, checking to see if there were any signs that Faith wanted him to interrupt. She didn’t give any, so he stayed away and made his way back to his normal seats. Harmony was looking a little worried, and Xander hid a groan. There was far too much drama on display.

“No,” he said firmly. “You are our friend, Harmony, we would never dump a friend.”

“Thanks, Xan,” Harmony breathed. “Come on,” she said, as she grabbed him, moved into his arms, and started to slow dance with him. “Mitch is being a bit of a creep,” she said softly. “He wants to leave as well, as he’s booked a motel room.”

“Yeah, we’re gonna grab pizza and watch bad movies, wanna come?”

Harmony gave a hiccup-like laugh. “Me, leave before the announcement of the Prom King and Queen?” She paused. “You know what? It’s meaningless, even being bitchy has been boring this evening. I thought it would be special, you know, but the only time it’s been exciting was when Faith was dancing, and that was because you two weren’t being kids.”

Xander chuckled and hugged her. “We can stay and support you, if you’d like?”

“Nah, I wanna watch a movie where people swear a lot, bad guys get killed, and the good guy has muscles on show.” She paused. “I always end up watching chick flicks with my friends, and I’m so fed up of them!”

Faith moved over and joined them, as Willow practically skipped back to her seat. She put her arms around both of them. “I think we’re friends, now,” she said, “Kinda, I think she explained why she was so nervous around me, and apologized for being rude. I’ll know for sure when I’ve re-wound the conversation and ran it at half-speed.” She paused. “She said she saw it in your eyes that you forgave her.”

“I did. Harmony wants to watch one of your favorite movies and eat pizza.”

“You two finish dancing; I’ll go order a cab and a couple of pizzas.” Faith vanished.

“She wanted to get out of here as well,” Harmony stated. She put her head on his shoulder. “I feel safe with you,” she said quietly. “And I think that’s because you don’t wanna do me.”

“True,” he agreed lightly. “Parties can be fun, but they need to be with people you are comfortable with.”

“And not people I’ve been a complete bitch to for the past four years?”

“Pretty much.”

She lifted her head, and moved back. She headed toward the stage, and grabbed the microphone. “Hi,” she said, as the music came to an abrupt halt. “I know you’re all thinking this is gonna be about voting me Prom Queen, but it’s not. I just want to say that I know I’ve been a huge air-headed bitch to all of you since we started, and I’m sorry for that.” She nodded into the stunned silence, before she grabbed the microphone again. “Oh, and vote Cordelia for Queen.” She walked off the stage, and grinned. Xander moved with her, and they exited the hall, catching up with Faith.

By the time they were outside, the taxi was waiting, and they spent the rest of the evening lounging around, drinking beer, eating pizza and taking the piss out of the movie.

It was a fun ending to the evening.


Xander awoke and for a second, everything seemed normal. That was until he realized his right hand side felt very warm, and that someone was lying on him. His hands were on her back, and he could feel just how incredibly soft and smooth her skin was. He didn’t need to open his eyes to know it was Faith.

It took him another few seconds to realize that he had let Harmony have his bed last night.

Faith yawned softly, and snuggled. “You awake?”

“Can I say something cheesy?”

“Knock yourself out.”

“If I open my eyes, it might be a dream.”

“A fucking sexy wet dream,” Faith corrected. “I don’t star in normal dreams.”

Xander laughed.

“While we’re talking, I’ve cleared a drawer and some space for you. You’re moving in here. I’ve never slept in a bed this way before, and I’ve decided I like it. You don’t have much of a choice.”

“Oh, god no, anything but that,” Xander dead panned.

“You are just warm enough,” she continued, as if he hadn’t spoken, “and extremely comfortable to sleep on.” He felt her leg drift up, as she switched position slightly. “This is emotional,” she whispered, “and I never confused sex with emotions. It makes me vulnerable.”

“It does,” he agreed. “But I think I’ve learned that you have to have faith in yourself at the very core, because you can’t base a relationship on the other person. You have to have something inside you to offer.”


“I’d be devastated if we didn’t make it,” he whispered, “but I will never be broken again.”

Faith shifted, and he opened his eyes, as she drew the covers up, and sat on his stomach. He could feel that she was wearing panties, but nothing else. The covers covered her, tucked under her arms, which she rested on his chest, as she leaned forward. “You’re saying that if it ain’t good, we should splitsville?”

“We should try and fix it first, but if it’s broke, then we move on, keep fighting and searching for what makes us happy.”

“Another girl might take that a different way,” Faith murmured.

“Not you, you know that I’ll fight for us with everything I have.”

“You’re giving me freedom.”

He shrugged lightly. “I want you. I want us. I want you to want us. But not if the price is your, or my, happiness and not if you, or I, confuse safety, comfort and familiarity with that thing that is special.”

“That thing that I feel when I’m alone with you?”


Faith leaned down and kissed him, slowly and intimately. “Your problem is that I’ve got my claws in you now, and I don’t release.”


He slid his hands up to tug down the covers, when he remembered just why he was in here in the first place. “Harmony,” he grumbled. “I guess I’ll get some breakfast started.”

She kissed him again, lightly. “Good plan, now dress for me.”

He slid out from under her, and realized he didn’t have much in the way of clothing in here. He shrugged and pulled on the shirt from last night, and nothing else. He had at least hung the tux carefully.

Faith wolf-whistled.

He shook his head at her, and headed to the kitchen. He had a hankering for pancakes, so he opened a recipe book and started. He turned on the kettle at the same time.

Faith joined him. Her hair was tied up in a pony tail, and she was wearing shorts and a tank-top. He poured her a cup of Slayer-strength coffee, and himself one that was merely human strength.

“Is that coffee I smell?” Harmony asked as she walked blearily into the kitchen. “Sorry, I had to borrow one of your shirts.”

She was wearing one of his work shirts, and probably just her underwear underneath. “That might be a good look for me,” Faith murmured. “Yeah, coffee. Instant.”

Harmony held out a hand until a cup was placed in it. She sniffed, and then took a sip of the hot liquid.

“If you want to wake up, try Faith’s.”Xander kept the evil smirk off his face until she wasn't looking at him.

Harmony looked curious as she held out her hand. Faith chuckled as she passed her’s over. Harmony took a sip, and then her eyes widened. “Why not just inject raw caffeine into your veins?”

Faith re-appropriated her cup, and continued to sip it.

Harmony shuddered. “So, I was thinking,” she said, “that last night I ended up in a guy’s bed, a guy I went home from the prom with, and now I’m wearing his shirt.” She paused and grinned. “So it’s kinda how I expected last night to go, only I smiled at myself in the mirror this morning.”

“I felt myself falling back last night,” Xander admitted. “Like, all those teenagers are contagious. I didn’t once think of the electricity bill.”

Faith laughed. “Teenagers, the result of the communicable disease called life.”

Xander dropped some blueberries into the batter and put a pan on the stove.

“How many are you making?”

“A lot. They’ll all go.”

“Xan makes great pancakes,” Faith explained. “So I tend to eat as many as I can.”

“What about getting fat?”

“You spend some time with me running through those self defense moves and you won’t have to worry about it.”

“Deal,” Harmony said.

Xander poured out three ladles-full, and then started passing them out as they were cooked, ensuring he took care himself as well. Experience had shown that a pile of pancakes placed in front of a hungry Faith tended to vanish before he was able to snag some.

“God, that was good,” Harmony sighed, as she passed on another one. Faith nabbed it immediately, and it was a few more rounds before they ended. He was pleased he’d judged it right, as he had no more batter left.

Faith took the plates and started to wash them in the sink, then the pans, as Xander made another round of coffee.

There was a weird melodic beeping noise, and Harmony dashed out of the kitchen, returning with the clutch purse she had the night before, and pulled out a pink mobile phone. “Hi, Mom… Yeah, Xan made awesome pancakes…. Can you, about half an hour? We’re gonna practice self-defense… Okay, I’ll tell him.” She hung up. “No work this morning, or rather, Dad considers looking after his daughter important work.”

“He is the boss,” Xander said dryly.

“Exactly. Mom’s gonna pick us up.”

“Wanna share a shower, Xan?” Faith purred.

“It’ll take far longer than 30 minutes if we did. I’d spend that time just making sure your boobs are clean.”

“A dirty job, eh?”

“That I have to do.”

“If you two have finished flirting…. Can I borrow some clothes, Faith?”

“Sure, come on. Xan, you can shower and dress in your old room for the last time.” The two girls exited, and the door to what was now their room shut. He headed into his, and sighed. The bed was a mess. He stripped it and put all the sheets in the washing machine, but didn’t turn it on, as he didn’t want to disrupt the showers.

Back in his room, he took a hanger and hung the dress that was draped over the back of the chair. With the room looking sane again, he had a quick shower, and dressed properly. Harmony was waiting for him, wearing a pair of Faith’s jeans and one of her t-shirts. She smiled at him.

“Hey,” he greeted her, as she sat on the arm chair.

“So, like, did the G.E.D. studying teach you all the words you’re using?”

“A lot. We had to really study some poetry; I thought it would be dull, but you know, some of the sarcasm and descriptions were really good. And that was the secret, it was finding something in it that we liked.”

Faith exited the bedroom, the dress slung over her arm; she was running a brush through her hair.

Xander jumped up and added the dress to the other hanging outfits. Harmony’s phone rang, which was the signal. They headed out, and Charlotte opened the trunk for him to put the clothes in. “We’ll get them dry-cleaned.”

Xander nodded and jumped into the back of the car, next to Faith.


The week before graduation passed quickly. They had their first motorcycling lesson. While he was merely adequate, Faith handled the machine they were learning on with experience and style. So much so that, rather than wait, they booked her for a test the next day, which she passed. It was going to take him another few weeks before he felt comfortable, but there was no real hurry.

Which meant that on Saturday, they walked to the Kendall mansion and met up with every student from the graduating class, who were standing around the swimming pool, along with a man in full religious regalia.

The priest was a thin and tall man, with soft blue eyes, and a calm mien. “While unusual, I can bless the swimming pool,” he said, his voice reaching all the students gathered around easily.

“But the absolute best way to make it Holy is a baptism. Is anyone willing to do that, right here and now?”

“How much better?” Xander asked.

“About as Holy as you can get,” Father Michael assured him.

There seemed to be no one willing, so Xander sighed. “Fine. My parents were too busy getting drunk to get me baptized. But there are some things I am not willing to promise.”

“I quite thought that would be the case,” Michael said, and there was perhaps a degree of smugness about him.

Xander pulled off his t-shirt and kicked off his boots, before removing his jeans. Before anyone could comment, he hopped in the cool pool and shivered slightly.

The father entered the water in his full vestments. “Your full name?” he asked.

Xander groaned. “Alexander Lavelle Harris.”

“We are gathered here today, in the direct sight of God and his Holy Choir to witness the death and rebirth of Alexander Lavelle Harris. Alexander, do you swear to fight the devil and all his minions, in any way you can?”

“I do,” Xander swore.

“Do you renounce Satan and all his Minions?”

“I do,” Xander said again.

With a surprisingly firm grip, the priest took his head, “Then, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I baptize you, as a warrior of God in all His glory.”

Xander was then dunked under the cold water, and raised up again.

“That was it?” he asked,

“Know your audience,” the Priest replied dryly. “You’re all teenagers, you have the attention span of gnats.”

“Yo, Father,” Faith called. “Can I get the same thing?”

“Of course, my child.”

Faith kicked off her boots and socks, and then wriggled out of her tight jeans. Xander turned and growled at some of the comments and whispers from the crowd of students gathered around. “Remember that I was just christened as a warrior of faith, as well as a warrior of God.”

Faith dived in, swam through, and rose like a goddess in front of them, her long hair slicked back, and her t-shirt transparent and showing her black bra.

“Your full name?”

“Faith Patricia Lehane.”

The Priest ran through the short ceremony again, and baptized Faith. As she rose, she had a small serene smile of confidence on her face. She shifted over and hugged him, draping herself against him.

“Know what?”


“I had a moment, under there.”


“Yeah. Got something important to tell you,”

“Oh?” he asked again.

“It’s a good thing,” she assured him. “And all yagotta do to hear it is be there this evening.”

“That, I promise.”


Xander laughed and nodded at the Priest. “So, this water is good?”

“It isn’t going to get any holier.”

“Well, fill up then,” Xander yelled to the teenagers who had been watching, muttering and giggling in low voices.

With a direct command to kick them into action, they all ducked their water pistols in. Xander moved to the edge of the pool, and heaved himself out in a single movement. He gave himself a mental pat on the back as he managed it, as he’d wanted to be able to do that for years. He turned, to find Faith giving him a challenging look, as she held out a hand. He braced, bent his knees, reached and grabbed her hand, and then lifted slowly, before exploding, making sure to use every part of his body in unison.

The wet Slayer slipped out of the pool and landed neatly on the side. “Nice,” she said. They turned, and lifted the Priest out together.

“Thank you,” he said, as he was handed a large towel from Harmony, who had several. Xander and Faith each took one.

“Come on, Faith,” Harmony called, “I’ll dry your hair.” She dragged Faith away, after picking up her clothing.

Xander finished with the towel and dressed, just as Cordelia moved over and poked his chest. He looked at her.

“Working for a living clearly agrees with you.”

“Applied laziness,” he explained. “I hate fetching materials, so I just grab a lot at one go, and get on with it.”

“That, and Faith is incredibly strong.”

“That too,” he agreed, amused. “Thank you, Father.”

“You’re one of God’s warriors, Xander, and that doesn’t mean you have to be at the front line. You know what they call a soldier at the front line with no support?”



Xander winced. “Yeah, not going to happen.”

“I’m always happy to help,” the Priest continued. “Not all of us are capable of being direct, but this sort of thing, and the curious blessing of a water tank earlier, that is something I can do.”

“Once more, thank you, all help is gratefully accepted.”

“I’m going to head off, and get a warm bath and out of these wet robes. As dramatic and fun as it was, normally we just need a few drops on the forehead after a lot of study. I think Our Lord will understand and forgive the slight deviations.”

“I’ll see you to your car,” Xander agreed, and they moved off, Xander giving Cordelia an apologetic look.

Once the Priest had departed, Xander returned and filled up his MasterSprayer, and then a few smaller water pistols, a couple of small water balloons, and then a water bottle. He put on his graduation gown and checked in the reflection provided by the patio doors that he looked okay.

His hair was a bit of a mess, and he went to fix that, when Harmony appeared with a brush and a gleam in her eye. He was sat on a garden chair and his hair attacked before he could protest. “There,” she pronounced.

“Thanks,” he said dryly. The noise level was high, as everyone was getting their gowns on. He turned, and climbed onto the small diving board. He walked to end. “Right, listen up,” he yelled. “I want you all to get into groups, no less than three, no more than five. Move.”

He watched as a simple job became anything but, as people started to get into arguments about who would team up with whom.

“Fuck this,” he muttered, and hopped back on to land. He quickly moved through the students, plunking them into arbitrary groups, physically in some cases, until everyone was roughly grouped. And while there was some grumbling, no one made any serious complaints. He re-took his stand. “Right, you are in groups for a single reason, to protect each other’s backs. All you are going to do is stand in a circle, and as the,” he coughed, “gang members come close, you’ll shoot them. They will react to what they believe is acid, and will move back. That will give Faith enough time to get to them, and disable them.”

“And don’t even fucking think of abandoning your group,” Faith added. “Because I guarantee that someone on their own will be picked off like a fucking antelope that’s left the pack with a bunch of cheetahs hunting them. They are faster, stronger, and don’t really feel pain.”

Xander chuckled under his breath. “With that said, let’s get this show on the road. I’ve got far more important stuff to be doing this evening, so we’ll get the unpleasantness out of the way.”

“Like me!” Faith called cheerfully.

There were some chuckles that Xander joined in on. “Yeah,” he agreed.

There were some more chuckles and cat-calls as the students wandered out in their groups and got in to one of the armada of cars that were parked outside.

“What about me?” Harmony asked softly.

“You’ve got my back,” Xander said. He was pretty sure he didn’t actually need anyone, but as Harmony was a friend, he was going to protect her, like he would anyone else.

Harmony beamed. “Right, let’s get this show on the road.”

“Are you sure you don’t want me to come?” Charlotte asked fretfully.

“No,” Harmony said. “This is something I gotta do, Mom.”

Charlotte hugged Harmony, and then hugged Xander and Faith. She didn’t say anything else, just watched as they got in the car and Harmony drove them away.

As they arrived, the students were making their way to the seats in front of the podium. Willow and Cordelia were waiting for them.

“Everything is ready,” Willow said. “Buffy will be getting him inside, Giles has the switch and Oz is going to turn on the sprinkler system.”

“Right,” Xander agreed. “You both ready?”

Cordelia opened her gown slightly, showing her water pistols.

“Harmony is with us,” he continued. He waved her closer. “And seriously, more than anyone else, I expect the three of you to stick together!”

“What about you?” Willow demanded.

“Asking my X-man to stay still if I’m in the shit is pointless,” Faith pointed out. “So, much better to accept that up front.”

“But,” Willow started.

“No buts, Red,” Faith said with a sigh. “I trust him to have my back, and anyone else who needs it, that’s part of what makes him him.”

“Oh, right, sorry,” Willow mumbled.

“Come on,” Xander said, and wrapped an arm around Faith’s waist. She leant against him slightly, as they took seats at the front. There were five clear for them.

“Relax,” Faith whispered. “I’ve told you, Faith the Slayer has something to fight for, now. She’s not going down, and fucked if I’m letting you go down without me enjoying it.”

Xander hadn’t realized he was so tense. The opening speeches had been particularly dull, and while he had plastered an attentive expression on his face, especially as Snyder was talking, he was waiting for the real show to start.

The mayor started a speech, and as he did, it started to go dark.

“Don’t die,” he whispered to Faith.

“Ditto,” she replied. “You still gotta hear what I realized earlier.”

Snyder looked on in disbelief as the mayor turned into a snake.

“Fuck,” Xander muttered. “In your groups, collapse the chairs,” he yelled. There was a noise to the side, and a large group of vampires appeared.

Faith didn’t hesitate as she sprinted over to them, removing her robes as she did, a stake in each hand.

Xander ran forward and crashed into Snyder, knocking him back as the Mayoral Snake crashed into the ground, narrowly missing his feet. The principal’s head bounced off the stage, knocking him unconscious.

Xander bundled him off the stage, and then under it, for safety.

He removed his robes and pulled out his MasterSprayer. He looked around, and was relatively pleased.

The vampires looked confused at the organized resistance, but before he could continue, his instincts told him to duck, so he did. The heavy tail of the mayor swept over his head. Xander turned, to find the snake right next to him. He stumbled as the stage splintered under the weight, the movement throwing him against the snake.

There was a strange sizzling sound, and the snake made a weird hissing sound, and glared at him.

“Huh,” Xander muttered. He shrugged, and shot the snake – which gave off the same sizzling sound.

“Oi, Snake-face!” he heard Buffy yell. “Why not pick on a real challenge, The Slayer.”

For a second, Xander wanted to smack his face. There were two Slayers, one of them his girlfriend. He absently shot the snake again with another stream of holy water, before jumping back out of the way of a flick of the huge tail.

There was a soft put-put sound as the lawn sprinkler system activated, that quickly grew into a curtain of rain. The Mayor shuddered slightly, before chasing after Buffy.

Xander surveyed the battlefield again. The students were roughly in their groups, the Vampires were keeping their distance from the holy spray while trying to avoid Faith.

They weren’t having much luck, as Faith was tearing through them with an economy of movement that he had never really seen from her before.

It took five minutes before the sprinkler system died down, and there was a rough cheer from the remaining vampires.

“Stay sharp,” Xander yelled, heading toward his group. “They are going to start strafing now.”

A vampire appeared in front of him. He sprayed the female vampire in the face. She screamed and grabbed her face. Xander pulled out a stake and calmly ended her existence. She dusted, and allowed him to move back to the others.

“Well,” he said cheerfully, “this is better than speeches.”

“Is this really the time?” Cordelia asked, as she held her MasterSprayer like an assault rifle.

“Yes,” he replied. “Being relaxed but on guard is better than being tense. Right, let’s move, slowly, to the left, so that we’re the first line.”

“Are you nuts?” Harmony asked.

“Probably. I have a distinct feeling that I’m in love with a girl who can tie me into a pretzel.”

“Oh, good, that’s alright then.” They slowly moved. Cordelia and Willow first, moving together, Xander and Harmony following, Xander checking his six carefully as he went.

“This will do. Look sharp.” The first group of vampires seemed to realize that the Holy Sprinkler system was done and had coordinated themselves. They attacked, to find three streams of Holy Water in their faces. As they dropped down, Xander looked around again, and saw that Faith was busy, so he popped forward and stabbed the three of them.

“You have any more of them?” Harmony asked, “Just in case.”

He handed one of his spares over, and went back to looking around. The other groups were doing the same thing, only without the stabbing, and he had yet to see any causalities. He could practically feel the confidence building in the students.

He turned, as Angel appeared next to their group. He opened his mouth. Harmony squeaked and shot him out of reflex. He immediately vamped and fell to the ground. “Die!” Harmony screeched and stabbed him in the chest. Angel dusted. Cordelia turned her head to look, a second later.

“Nice one,” she said in surprise.

Xander turned away, and swore to himself that he would break down in hysterics later, as he told Faith how Angel had been staked by Harmony Kendall of all people.

He looked around again, and seeing that they were safe for a few seconds, he turned and hugged Harmony. “Well done,” he told her.

She grinned at him, before she retook her position. Across from him, he could see one guy look panicked as his pistol ran out. It looked like he had forgotten he had a finite resource, and had wasted it.

“You three keep together,” he ordered, and started to sprint across. Exactly as Faith had predicted, he was instantly picked out. He got the first two with burst, but the third ducked, and punched him.

He managed to absorb some of the blow, and dropped down. The vampire screamed, and looked at his hand in disbelief.

Xander suddenly realized it must have been the result of his baptism earlier. He was still Holy. He jumped up, slapped the vampire, and staked him. That done, he headed back over and arrived just in time launch a stream at an attacking vampire.

He handed over his main Soaker. “Be fucking careful,” he snapped, “Only use it as you have to, not to impress people.”

“Sorry,” the boy muttered.

Xander looked around again, and spotted that Faith was surrounded by fifteen vampires. He stared for a second, as Faith was dealing with them, before he realized that they had ganged up on her, and if she fell, the rest of them would be in a lot of trouble.

There was a huge explosion in the school gym.

Xander ran forward, pulling out his two handgun water pistols, “Everyone, help Faith!” he yelled. “Get some revenge in!”

The students broke formation and ran forward, some spraying Holy Water as soon as they got near.

The group of vampires howled, as more and more Holy Water was poured on them. Faith ducked and span, staking them, and as she stabbed the last one, the eclipse ended, and bright sun light filled the area.

There was a strange silence, as everyone looked at each other.

“Anyone dead?” Xander asked.

People looked around, and no one said anything.

“Anyone missing a member of their group?”

Again, silence.

“W-what happened?” Snyder called, from the stage. “I remember…”

“Gas explosion,” Xander called back. He tucked the handheld water pistols behind him, hiding them. “It was causing hallucinations.”

Snyder paused, and shook himself. “Yes,” he murmured. “I remember the hallucinations.” He paused. “And I remember you, Harris, flying at me.” He paused again. “You saved my life,” he said in surprise.

Xander shrugged.

“Thank you.” He paused. “I think I’m going to my office, and have a sit down. I don’t think I want to be the principal here anymore.” Snyder slowly walked away.

Xander turned, to find Buffy, Giles and Oz jogging toward them.

He felt Faith slide against him. He shot her a quick look; she smiled at him.

“Right,” Xander yelled. “We did it, people! Not only did we graduate, we got to blow part of the school up as well.”

“Three cheers for Xander and Faith,” Jonathan Levinson yelled. “Hip-hip.”

The Hurray that followed was huge, and Xander tightened his arm around Faith. As the cheers finished, the groups broke up, and a bit of a party kicked off, aided by some of the boys revealing that they hadn’t just smuggled water pistols in.

“Did Angel help?” Buffy asked softly.

“Didn’t see him,” Xander lied with a straight face.

“I guess he already left,” Buffy sighed. “Probably for the best.”

“So, are we done?” Faith asked. “Big bad defeated, students safe, loads of vampires dusted?”

“I believe we are,” Giles agreed.

“You,” Faith said, poking Xander in the chest.


“You. I have been on the longest dry spell since I discovered sex,” she said, continuing to poke him. “I have been so horny that I’m shocked I don’t have permanently wrinkled fingers!”

Xander saw Buffy, Cordelia and Willow all blush.

“So we are going home, and you are going to deal with my horniness properly. Is that in anyway unclear?”

Rather than answer, Xander bent over and picked Faith up over his shoulder. “Later,” he called, and headed out.

“Xan,” Harmony called. He looked at her; she chucked him her car keys. “We’ll expect you for dinner.” She had a huge smile on her face.

Xander checked his watch, they had plenty of time. “Okay,” he said back, and started to jog off. “Dinner tomorrow, right? That give us, like, 28 hours.”

Faith twisted and regained her feet, and took his hand.

“No, you horndog!” Harmony screeched while the girls around her blushed harder. “Tonight! My house, dinner, tonight!”

Faith twisted and regained her feet, and took his hand, and the jog became a run. “Fine, then. We don't have any time to waste!”

He drove them home, and they passed what looked like most of Sunnydale’s police force heading in the opposite direction – late, as he had predicted.

Xander floored it, now that he no longer had any concerns about law enforcement.

He pulled to a stop, and they both headed in.


Xander panted softly, he could feel Faith panting as well, on top of him.



“You know what I realized earlier?”

He opened his eyes, and then reached out and lightly brushed her sweaty hair from her face. “Hmm?”

She took a deep breath, and met his eyes. “I love you.”

The words shot through him like electricity. “Earlier,” he whispered, “Harmony asked if I was crazy. I replied, ‘I have a distinct feeling that I’m in love with a girl who can tie me into a pretzel.’”

Faith laughed softly.



“I love you.”

Faith’s smile was simply the best thing he had ever seen. They were silent for a bit, as they relaxed. It felt like a weight had been lifted from his chest.

“Why’d you lie to B earlier?”

Xander chuckled.

“What?” Faith asked.

He grinned impishly at her.

Faith drew herself up and straddled him, there were no covers hiding his view this time, but he fought not to get distracted. “You know how Angel likes to do his surprise-here’s-Angel routine?”

Faith nodded.

“Harmony doesn’t know Angel. He appeared, she hit him with Holy Water, he vamped, and she staked him.”

“Harmony Staked Angel?” Faith asked.


“Harmony. Staked Angel,” she repeated for confirmation.

“Uh-huh. And she was shrieking like a little girl when she did it.”

Faith collapsed, her face going into his neck, and she started to laugh and laugh.

He held her, and joined her. “His last expression was of such shock,” he continued.

Faith laughed harder.

“No one else knows, Willow and Cordelia were facing the other way, and we’ll never tell.”

“Yeah,” Faith said, and giggled again. She heaved herself back up.

“Right, important words passed, anecdote given, time to prove I’m still a teenager.”

“Huh?” Faith asked, before his hands moved to her hips and he shifted her back. “Oh!”

Several hours later, they shared a shower and got dressed slowly. They headed into their living room. “Faith?”


“You buy a V.C.R?”


“Then why do we have one?”

Faith turned and looked. It was wrapped with a red ribbon, and had a video tape inside it. Xander shrugged and undid the ribbon, and plugged it in to the power and TV.

They settled on the couch, as he pressed play and turned the TV to the correct input.

“Alexander, Faith,” the mayor appeared. “If you’re watching this, then alas, my plan to become an Old One has failed.

“I am totally convinced, Alexander, that my defeat is your fault. Sadly, I cannot hate you for it. When Faith accidentally killed my traitorous number two, I felt for sure that she would join my side, and with her, I would have been unstoppable.

“Instead, you both chose to grow up and become productive members of society, and that is something that, as mayor, I can’t do anything but applaud.” The now-deceased Mayor smiled. “And Faith, you found the strength to overcome your insecurities and have become a remarkable young woman.

“I applaud you both.” He actually did, clapping seven times. “Now, I was thinking about what I could do for a nice young couple, and it finally came to me. Faith, you have a full Mayoral Scholarship to college, and guaranteed acceptance. It cost me a few favors, but I hardly need them now, do I?

“So, once more, congratulations, and I hope you both live long and happy lives.” The video ended, showing static.

“He was a really nice guy,” Xander said, shaking his head.

“Yeah, but you know, happy to be here, not fighting against you.”

“Me too. And not just because of the sex.”

Faith laughed and nudged him. “Shit, Xan, I’m going to college. First in my family, ever!”

“And you’ll end up teaching me stuff, while you study.”

“Hell yeah,” Faith cheered, and pounced on him. She paused after a few minutes, “Shit, we need to get to dinner and return Harmony’s car.”

Xander made a whining sound.

“I know, me too,” Faith grumbled. “Come on.”

“You drive,” Xander said, handing her the keys.

“Hell no,” Faith replied, handing them back. “Even Slayer recovery hasn’t dealt with the deluge after the drought.”

Xander felt pretty proud, but kept it off his face. They drove toward the mansion and pulled up. Harmony dashed down the stairs and hugged them both, before grabbing their hands and dragging them to the garage.

Charlotte and Hank appeared out of it.

“Xander, Faith,” Charlotte said. “My ex had his typical mid-life crises, which included his twenty year old secretary.” She reached behind her, and pulled a large blanket off of a shape. It revealed a gorgeous Harley Davidson softail classic. “And,” she continued, “a motorbike. I took it in the divorce, and since then, it has sat in here, gathering dust. Hank prefers his trucks, I don’t want it, and neither does Harmony.” She grinned, “So, when Harmony got back this afternoon, and explained how you two ensured no one died, and even saved the principal, I sent off the paperwork to the DMV, and it’s now yours.” She chucked the keys, Faith caught them, and then looked at them in disbelief.

“Are you serious?”


“Oh, wow,” Faith exhaled. “I mean, thanks, really, you have no idea what this means to us!”

“You not only saved my daughter’s life, but you’ve been an incredibly positive influence on her.”

“Hey,” Xander said. “We did that because we like her, not for a reward.”

“Xander,” Harmony said, as she hugged him. “Say, ‘thank you’, and shut up.”

“Thank you,” Xander parroted, as he realized it was very good advice.

“Right, food,” Hank said. “I’ve got the BBQ on, and we have some steaks going. You can drive it home later.”

“Yeah,” Faith agreed. “Come on, Xan,” she said, locking her arm with his.

“Excuse me,” he said to the other three, as he cheered, picked Faith up, and span her around. “Grand Canyon?”

“For our holiday?”

He nodded.

She pulled herself toward him and kissed him firmly. “Yes.”

  • Previous
  • Next

Author Notes:

Thanks, once more, to Luan Mao for beating this for me.

I really enjoyed writing this. It felt like I could relax. And I think writing it helped me with a few other projects.

Yes, Faith is a Springsteen fan.

I was very tempted to use the "Drop that zero and get with the hero" line from "Cool as Ice" - but alas, no one is as cool as Vanilla Ice.

I tried hard not to "bash" anyone in this - everyone had reasons for the way they acted. I know Buffy and Xander didn't reconcile, but that's life. That was part of my original idea for the fic - not having Xander go on a killing spree or get super powered, for him to just get on with his life and live well.

Parts (The X and F in bed talking scene) of this are possibly pointers that my divorce has influnced my writing, but as it was cathartic, I don't really mind.

At the end, Buffy should have got the cheer as well - but all the students saw was Xander and Faith fight with them and for them - Buffy was out of site getting the Mayor destroyed.

I have the odd idea for an omake that I might write over the coming weeks. I like the characters.

Thanks for reading. it's been fun (for me, at least)