Disclaimer: I clearly don't own anything related to Buffy the Vampire Slayer or How I Met Your Mother. If I did, I'd be writing canon rather than messing with it.

Buffy: Cannon through Chosen

How I Met Your Mother will be canon apart from the things that are changed in the story. If an episode or story arc is skipped, feel free to assume that it happened the same as in the show and I just have nothing to add or twist to it.

"A people without knowledge of their past is like a tree without roots" - Marcus Garvey

Chapter 10

It had been 2 weeks since they'd arrived in New York, and nothing had come of their stay. Buffy and Amalia were out patrolling the city, but the rest of the Scoobies were holed up in their hotel room, joined by Dylan.

"The problem here is that we just don't even know what we're looking for," Xander flopped down on the couch. "Either that or this mysterious Hellmouth enthusiast is Jedi mind tricking us into not noticing the important stuff."

"Actually, I don't believe that's the case here," Giles stood up from the couch now that Xander's head was perilously close to his leg, "He's demonstrated some capability at violence sure, but nothing we've learned about him suggests an aptitude for subtlety."

"Actually, I'd say the way he killed that guy we caught shows that he's actually pretty terrible at being subtle." Dylan handed Xander a bottle of beer, then cracked open his own. "Head Watcher Giles, are you sure you don't want anything"

"I appreciate the hospitality Dylan, but as this is my hotel room, I'm fairly certain that it's unnecessary."

"Look," Xander took a swig from the bottle before continuing, "We have almost no clues to go on with this guy, and the only way we're going to get some is when Buffy and Amalia shake something loose. The way I see it, us three manly men need to find a way to keep from being shown up by the ladies."

Both Dylan and Giles turned to Xander with quizzical looks on their faces, staring until he continued.

"I'm just saying, we shouldn't just be waiting for them to do all the work. While they're out hunting, we can be gathering the information we do know and trying to find another angle to come at it from."

"It would be nice to feel useful, rather than let Amalia do all the work," Dylan straightened in his seat, "So where do we start Watcher General?"

"Uh, Xander is fine Dyl, I don't go in for all those titles like The Head Looker over here"

"I do not "go in for titles" like that Xander, and Dylan, you can just call me Giles if you'd like" Giles furiously polished his glasses.

"Ehhhh, too little too late Giles, not you just look like you did it 'cause I did it." Xander smiled brightly at Giles, who placed his glasses back on with an exaggerated eye roll. "So what do we know so far?"

Giles sat back down and the three of them bent over the coffee table, trying to hash out everything they had learned.

Lily backed quickly away from the nightstand, shoving the door shut with all her might, making a noise loud enough for her to be very thankful she was home alone. She should have known.

She quickly left Ted's room and walked around the apartment, knowing what she was looking for now, and found all of them fairly quickly. She sat down on the couch for half a second, before realizing that she hadn't been very careful in her search. She returned to Ted's room and began to straighten up the mess she had made, but hesitated when she returned to the night stand.

What the Hell am I afraid of, Lily thought to herself, It's not like I don't have one tucked away too. I really should have known. She reached down and opened the drawer again. This time, she didn't flee, but reached in and pulled out the stake and holy water she found inside.

Ted had been acting strange for a couple weeks now. He was secretive and jumpy, and overall more serious than she had ever seen him. He seemed more protective than ever of Robin, and had refused to let her go anywhere alone, or at least without taking a cab. Every time Lily and Marshall returned home, he breathed small sighs of relief, and most confusing of all, he had started disappearing at night, nowhere to be found, no one knew where he had gone, and he'd come home late at night, exhausted the next day.

Lily had convinced herself that Ted was cheating on Robin, and had also convinced herself it was her duty to find out the truth and confront him. She began to search his room looking for evidence of tawdry sex, and instead found a violence she had hoped he'd never be involved with.

She finished hiding the evidence of her snooping and thought back to the past couple weeks, hoping to figure out when it started. To her surprise, now that she was looking back, she realized that Ted wasn't alone in changing behavior. Barney had been different as well. He still talked a lot of game, but he rarely left the bar early with women anymore, and he always took a cab home, though before he'd have taken them to the alley or bathroom when he could. He also spent more time building up to hitting on the women. Before Barney would see a girl and speak his first word in the same instant, recently however, he'd been watching them for longer, evaluating more. She had noticed it actually, she had asked him why he was checking out the girls in the Bar mirror before going to talk to them. He told her it was a trick Robin had showed him, and that he was just trying to get a better Quantity to Quality ratio going, and she had accepted it, but she realized now that it was more than that. He had been checking for a reflection.

She was able to track Barney's movements much less easily than Ted's, but Barney had been missing more often as well. She had chalked it up to him looking for women, but there was a good chance he had been with Ted.

The fear she had initially felt at finding the stake had been wiped away, and was being replaced with a deeper dread. Maybe they had met a slayer. Maybe they'd find out who she was. Maybe they'd been patrolling with the slayer, and that thought scared her more than the others. She took a deep breath and sighed out some tension. She was very glad now that she had cast that protection spell to keep them safe.

"So really we have 2 things we were looking for, but one of them is irrelevant, leaving us back where we started." Dylan was exasperated. The last half hour of information review had left him frustrated and with a bit of a headache.

"No, wait. That's what we have to do, we need to cover all our bases here, not just the obvious one." Xander stood up and rolled his neck, stretching out.

"Your right I believe Xander, we have been focused too hard on the obvious threat, rather than pursuing the possible one. "Giles arched his back and turned to Dylan. "We thought the energy surges were irrelevant to the creation of the Hellmouth, and to a point we were right about that, but even if the person or thing creating those is unaffiliated, they still are being used in a way beneficial to whomever this mysterious enemy of ours is."

"Of course, Buffy and Amalia work on finding more Hellmouth Acolytes, while we work on stopping the energy surges. At the very least, those building the Hellmouth won't be able to utilize them to further their plans. It's not a game winning play, but it does buy us more time to figure one out." Dylan stood up and grabbed a notebook. He returned to the table and began to write down everything he'd learned about the surges.

"I say while Dylan writes down everything he's ever remembered," Xander said sarcastically, "I'll head down and hit the local Magic shops. Maybe we can get someone who knows a bit about magic to at least give us an idea of what kind of energy those surges were."

"Great Idea Xander, and when Buffy returns we'll cover this together. Maybe we should call those men you met. A local perspective from someone who knows what we're after, but isn't already too involved to have an opinion might be beneficial."

Xander left, Dylan wrote, and Giles waited until they were all together again.