When Andrew and Jon entered the classroom they found Xander juggling with boxes. Getting closer, they could see he was playing with bullet boxes. "Hey Xander, wassup?" Jon decided to start the conversation.
In response, Xander threw one of the box towards him. "These boxes contain magical bullets. They'll break through small level of magical shields or barriers." Xander said, "Nothing impressive, but something like this is interesting. Isn't it?"
Jon opened the box and pulled out a bullet. It looked like a normal bullet to him.
Xander looked at them and then spoke, "I am showing you these bullets, cuz I am interested in knowing how to create more of it."
Before Andrew could speak, Jon interrupted, "We don't exactly know how to create those too."
Xander nodded and grinned, "I know, this is why I started teaching you magical disciplines. My goal was to create a support group that can craft, research, or if needed kick some ass."
"So you want us to become crafters? Magical items, armors, and weapons." Andrew was excited about the possibilities. He had been dreaming about this since Xander introduced magic to them.
"…and research." Xander added, " Magical R&D you can say." He pulled out couple of books from his inventory, "Right now you have few basic duties, in magical research. To start with, we have mage sight. Its not as good as my observation skill. But it's a start. If you train with me, chances are it'll improve and adapt." Pulling out few more books, "These books are based on crafting. There is not much about this topic. This is a field where you learn through apprenticeship."
Andrew and Jon, both started absorbing the skill books. Jon was wondering, "Ok, so exactly what you were expecting from us?"
"Good question, I was waiting one of you to ask that." Xander grinned, "You know how in RPG games, we have armors or items which can improve our attributes passively and actively. If you guys were able to create say a mana recharging ring or stealth ring. Even though I am currently thinking about some kind of armor based improvement."
"Mana recharging? That sounds useful." Jon scratched his chin in thought.
"Yeah, on the Abyss Auction website, they have a ring which helps recharge ten mana points per minute. I am going to order couple of those rings. I don't know if its stackable or not." Xander explained.
"Abyss Auction? Isn't that site where you can even sell or buy slaves?" Andrew shivered.
"Yeah, I'll show it to you. I am not surfing as much, so you guys have to go through it. You can order few things from there but only on Giles' account. As a precaution." Xander reminded.
"By the way, how is your training with Heart-body skill is going?" Xander asked.
Jon and Andrew smirked in response. "With the kind of active/passive effects, do you really think we won't practice it?"
Xander chuckled, "Good enough. You guys are at level ten with average of twenty in fighting stats (DEX/STR/VIT). With your magic, you are safe from low level scum here in the city. You'll need to be at around 30-35 on average to be feeling any secure."
"What about hunters?" Andrew was still worried about getting kidnapped and used as mana battery.
"You guys are not natural ability user, so there is less chance of that. Even then, I want you guys to act like wiccan witches. There is not much of a crossover between them and ability users." Xander stood up and started to walk away, "Oh before I forgot. There is no training today, Giles has some plan to disrupt some ritual or something, we'll be busy with that."
"Wow, a mission." Andrew was excited, "hey, hey Xander, can we join with you?"
Xander turned towards him, "No. I don't want to expose you guys to her. She's a stickler for the rules."
"You don't trust her?" Jon asked him.
"I trust her to take care of dark spawn, but she follows rules too closely for my taste." Xander sighed.
"One would think you'd like this kind of person?" Jon chuckled.
"Not exactly. If we followed all the rules, we'd be dead in the first few months. Rules have a place, it's knowing when you need to follow them."
Xander said and walked away
As he was walking, Xander remembered the new relationship tab. He almost forgot about this new addition to his status. Activating his relationship tab, he noticed it was little different than normal. First, it was divided into three further tabs.
Individuals, Gaia, and Sunnydale.
Flicking through the "Individuals" tab, he saw the list of people he knew and his relationship status with each of them. For some damn reason, this stat had a range of one thousand.
"That's quite a lot of points to gain or lose." He wondered.
Willow had a "Honored status" with 950 points. There was another label which stated she was his girl friend.
Buffy also had "Honored status" with 920 points. A small statement - "She respects and cares about you", was enlightening.
Cordelia also had a "Honored status" with 900 points.
Giles had a "Respected" with 800 points.
"That's interesting. Buffy, Willow and Cordy, each of them have honored status with me. Honored doesn't necessarily mean they are attracted to me. Cordy has less points, even though we had sex once. Willow is my girl friend. Buffy is likely my best friend."
Relationship between people was quite complicated. He didn't expect much from this change. Just a few numbers couldn't exactly describe relationships.
Flicking through his list of acquaintances and friends, the numbers were mostly guesstimate from his point of view. He clicked the screen off. He didn't want to follow on this much. People were more than numbers.
Trying to gain points to manipulate his relationships might push him in a direction he didn't want. Just thinking of the fact, he shuddered. There were limits and lines, he didn't want to cross, and with this gaming system he had no idea when and how he'll cross that line. He pushed the thoughts of relationship tabs out of his mind and entered into the library.
Entering into the library, he wasn't surprised to see Buffy pacing, while Kendra looked relaxed. Buffy must be worried over Angel, there was only one guy who could make her worry. He looked around and found Giles working on translating something. Probably that decoder cross.
He walked silently towards her and picked her up. Her startled 'eep' was enough to distract others in the room.
Xander placed her on the chair, "Sit down for a minute, watching you pace was giving me a headache."
She glared at him, and then relented, relaxing in the chair.
"I'm just worried." Though her voice was soft, and he could hear slight tremor in her voice.
"Angel?" He inquired, getting a nod from her. "Dammit, he's like a cat, we need to put tracker and bell on him."
Getting a small chuckle out of her, he looked at Giles and asked, "Giles, anything we should know?"
"Ah, yes Xander. Give me few more minutes and I'll let you know."
Xander knew, he wouldn't get much more from Giles unless he was sure about the information himself. So he turned towards Buffy and started making small talk.
"You know, I killed another assassin. This one was stalking your house."
"Oh my god." Buffy exclaimed and then sighed, "I am glad mom's not here."
"Yeah, so am I. It'd be hard to explain burn marks on her patio." Xander chuckled, and then shuddered. Mrs. Summers was… well it was hard to define that woman. You could see how Buffy was her child, defiant, stubborn and able to kick ass.
"Cordy was grossed out from the assassin though."
"Oh? So you met Cordy there?" There was something in her voice, that Xander couldn't pick up. He shrugged and responded. "Yeah, a bug assassin. Well, more of worm assassin."
"Ewww… you and bugs, Xan. How many did that make?" Buffy chuckled at his expression.
"Hey this dude was completely different from mantis lady. He was a worm. Even I was grossed out."
Buffy just sighed, "How many assassins does that make?"
"Third? Yeah, you took care of one, Willow handled the one with guns, and I handled worms." Xander was silent for few seconds, "At least, we don't have to worry much. Right now I doubt any of the assassins are stronger than us."
Giles interrupted their conversation, "The thing is everybody is alright. We are under attack and we should not take it lightly."
Buffy nodded, "Yeah, but they are after me. Kendra can still move around without any hassles."
Giles looked in surprised at that statement, "You mean, you want to attract all the assassins and Kendra goes for the one responsible?"
"Yeah, it'd be much better. Buffy and I can handle few assassins. Kendra, You and Willow should plan an assault on this Spike." Xander spoke.
"No Xander. Buffy and Kendra will work together. You will have backup from Willow and myself." Giles corrected him. The reason behind the new team was simple. Giles didn't want the slayers to be exposed to ability user hunters. It may sound cold, but right now they needed a slayer stationed on the Hellmouth.
"And, uh, I fear the worst is still to come. I've discovered the remaining keys to Drusilla's cure. The ritual requires that, the presence of her sire, and it must take place in a church on the night of the new moon."
Buffy looked troubled at the news.
"The new moon? That's tonight." Kendra said.
"Exactly." Giles agreed with her. "I believe assassins were hired to stop Buffy before she could interrupt the ritual."
"Giles, they need Drusilla's sire. Meaning the vamp who made her?" Buffy looked uneasy as she spoke.
"Yes, What is it?"
Buffy looked down at her hands, "Angel. He's Drusilla's sire. That's why I couldn't find him."
"Man, that guy got major neck in his days." Xander commented, getting glares from everybody in the room.
Buffy asked Giles, "Will this ritual kill him?"
"Yes, I'm afraid it will."
She was pissed off, "We need to find this church. We need to find where this ritual is gonna take place!"
No body messes with her boy friend.
"Agreed, and we must work quickly." Giles agreed as he checked his watch, "We have five hours before sundown."
Xander looked at her, "Don't worry, Buffy, we'll save Angel."
Kendra was little confused, "Angel? But our priority is to stop Drusilla!"
Xander rolled his eyes, "Angel's our friend! Except I don't like him."
Buffy glared at Kendra, "Look, you've got your priorities, and I've got mine. Right now they mesh. So, are you gonna help me, or are you gonna get out of my way?"
Kendra considered her proposition for a second, "I'm wit you."
Buffy looked ready to make war, "Good. 'Cause I've had it. Spike is going down. You can attack me, you can send assassins after me, that's fine. But nobody messes with my boyfriend!"
"There are forty-three churches in Sunnydale?" Giles spoke in surprise as he was pulling out a roll of mints. "That seems a little excessive."
Willow chuckled, "Its the vibe from the Hellmouth, makes people pray harder."
"You should check, if any of them are closed or abandoned."
"Yeah, yeah. We got monsters, demon, but no Taraka?" Xander complained.
Giles turned to him, "Because you are looking in the wrong volume."
Xander slumped in the chair, "Why the heck we are looking into those guys?"
Giles was little exasperated with Xander's complaints, "You and Willow will be looking into those guys, while Buffy and Kendra will take care of Spike and Drusilla."
"Sounds good to me." Xander shrugged, "but what if they have extra muscle?"
"Don't worry, I'll be there too."
"Giles, I know you are competent, but I rather have Willow with Buffy and Kendra. Worst case scenario, she'll be able to drop the whole building on them."
"Yeah, yeah. I can." Willow was glad that Xander trusted her skills.
Xander grinned, "Willow is our one man-err, woman mobile artillery."
Xander got up and started walking towards Giles' office, "I think, I'll find the book in there."
When he entered the office, he noticed Kendra and Buffy getting along, as nice as they could, for the slayers.
"Hey ladies." Xander nodded at them and picked a book.
"Nice knife, Ken." Kendra was still little skittish around him, so he left without saying much.
Buffy rolled her eyes, seeing Kendra getting uncomfortable with Xander's presence.
"So I guess, dating isn't big with your watcher either?" She asked Kendra.
"I am not permitted to speak with boys."
Buffy scoffed, "Unless of course, you are pummeling them." That reminded her, "He wait a minute. Do you think that creepazoid might know where Angel is?"
Buffy nodded, "Yeah that guy who runs the bar. If he lied to me earlier, I might have a thing or two to say to him."
Her eyes narrowed at the thought, "Let's go. We should have talk with him."
Buffy shoved Willy up against the shelves of liquor bottles.
"Ah! Honest! I don't know where Angel is!"
Buffy pulled him back and then slams him again, "What about this ritual? What have you heard?"
Willy was terrified, he had no idea how the slayer knew about it. It'd be better to take few lumps from the slayer then become chow for Spike and others. "N-nothing! I-it's all hush-hush!"
Kendra scoffed, "Just hit him, Buffy!"
Buffy smirked, "She likes to hit."
Willy stammered, "You know, m-maybe I did hear something about this ritual. Yeah, I-it's coming back to me. But, uh, I'd have to take you there."
Buffy started dragging him out of the bar, "Let's go."
Kendra stopped her and said, "First we must return to de Watcher."
"Excuse me? While we run to Giles, this whole thing could go down!"
Kendra refuted, "But it is procedure."
"It's brainless, you mean! If we don't go now, Angel could die." She was getting irritated by the rules slayer.
Kendra's eyes narrowed, "Is dat all you're worried about? Your boyfriend?"
Buffy stopped again and turned to look at her, "No, it's not all, but it's enough."
Kendra scoffed, "It's as I feared. He clouds your judgment. We can't stop dis ritual alone!"
"Are you listening to me? He could die!"
Kendra once again tried to explain "He's a vampire. He *should* die. Why am I de only person who sees it?"
Buffy stared at her a moment, before turning around again and heading for the door with Willy in tow.
Kendra, "Are you dat big a fool?"
Buffy shoved Willy out ahead of her and left Kendra behind in the bar.
Kendra threw her hands in air, "Good riddance, den."
She looked at the way Buffy left and sighed. Even if she didn't like the way blonde slayer worked, she didn't want her to die. She pulled out the cellphone Giles gave her, "Hello. I am sorry sir. I can't stop Buffy going after Angel." She listened for few seconds, "Yes, I believe it's a trap." Again, listening for few seconds, "Yes sir, I can track her down."
She switched her cell phone on the vibrate and started tracking Buffy before she moved out of her senses.
Giles looked at the receiver, put it down and started wiping his glasses. This was a mess. Buffy tended to do what she wanted to do.
"So lemme guess, Buffy jumped into a trap without any back up?" Xander was irritated.
Giles just nodded and sighed.
"Dammit, I didn't even notice when they left." Xander looked at Willow and Cordy. Buffy told him about some friction between those two, and he was trying to put the fire down between them. Even though he didn't have any idea about their issue. He could easily guess it was Cordy who started it, and Willow with her new found powers and confidence wanted to finish it.
He walked over to Willow and picked her up by her waists, and started walking towards Giles.
"Sit down, Wills." Then Xander turned towards Cordy, "Would you mind not egging her on? We have some stuff to do."
Cordelia just scoffed in response. He knew that was the best he could get from her. So he turned towards Giles and Willow, "So how are we doing this?"
Willow looked at him and smirked, "I knew Buffy was going to do something like this. So I am already tracking her."
Hearing that, both Giles and Xander breathed out a sigh of relief.
"Good, then Willow." Giles looked at Cordelia, "Ms. Chase, I am afraid, you have to go on your own. You are untrained and we can't involve you with this."
Cordelia glared at him, she got up and started walking out. She turned to look at them, "Xander, I'll talk to you later."
Her statement caused Willow to glare at her with a furious expression on her face. Xander changed the topic to safer direction. "Giles, Willow and I, can easily reach there. What about you?" Xander asked.
Willow interjected, "We can put Giles in a mana bubble and then we can fly easily."
Giles hearing that paled at the thought of flying, in a mana bubble.
Before he could refute, Xander spoke, "Wills, only you can do that. I'll be jumping around, and create instant dungeons for us."
Willow nodded and then looked at Giles, "Ok. I can do that." Looking at Giles, she noticed him and try to reassure him, "It's ok Giles, It should be safe enough. Though this is my first time carrying someone else. But I think my magic is strong."
Xander was looking at her with a amused expression on his face. It was hilarious to see pale Giles getting comforted by Willow babble.
"Eligor. I name thee. Bringer of war, poisoners, pariahs, grand obscenity."
Spike turned back to the altar. Angel and Drusilla were both strapped together to a chain that hung from the ceiling.
"Eligor, wretched master of decay, bring your black medicine."
Drusilla giggled, "Black medicine."
As Spike picked up the Du Lac Cross with his gloved hand.
"Come. (holds up the cross upside-down) Restore your most impious, murderous child."
Drusilla said, "Murderous child."
"From the blood of the sire she is risen."
"From the blood of the sire, she shall rise again."
He grabbed Drusilla's left hand and raised it to Angel's, with her clasping it. With one swift stroke Spike stabbed the blade through their hands.
As a pulse of energy spread out, Drusilla drooped backward, feeling Angel's energy flow into her.
Spike looked at the process with excitement bubbling inside him, "Right, then! Now we just let them come to a simmering boil, and remove to a low flame."
Before he could do anything, Willy barged through the door and strode into the nave with the vampires and assassins escorting Buffy close behind.
"It's payday, pal. I got your Slayer."
Spike was pissed at the fool, "Are you tripping?! You bring her here?! Now?!"
"You said you wanted her."
Buffy noticed Angel and Drusilla tied together at the altar.
Spike threw his hands in air in exasperation, "In the ground, pinhead! I wanted her dead."
Willy refuted, "Now, that's not what I heard. Word was there was a bounty on her dead or alive."
Spike growled showing his fangs, "You heard wrong, Willy."
"Angel." Buffy whispered.
Spike smirked, "Yeah. It bugs me, too, seeing him like that. Another five minutes, though, and Angel will be dead, so... I
forebear. Don't feel too bad for Angel, though, he's got something you don't have."
"What's that?" Buffy was pissed and wanted to vent her frustration on him.
Spike looked at the assassins and vamps, "Five minutes!"
Before Buffy could move, she was attacked by another assassin and vamps. Vamps tried to hold her, in normal scenario, they would have succeeded. But today, she was far stronger, thanks to Xander. She kicked and broke a vamps leg, hitting another and breaking his neck. The Assassin tried to stop her assault, and he succeeded for a fraction of second, before getting interrupted by Kendra who entered through another door.
Buffy wished, she had an inventory space like Xander.
"Who the hell is this?" Spike was little confused.
"It's your lucky day, spike." Buffy smirked as Kendra decked him. "Two slayers."
"No waiting" Buffy feeling extra energy in her movement, punched him, throwing far away from them. Before she could move towards other vamps or the assassin. Spikes rose from the Earth and speared every single one of them.
"Good work, Willow."
Kendra was impressed, elemental magic was hard to do, and this witch did it casually.
Spike wasn't stupid, he immediately realized the situation was not in his favor. He decided to free Dru and run away. Watching a witch spearing his minions with earth spike only solidified his decision. He signaled for the minions who were on the fringes, watching the fights.
Kendra noticed Spike getting away, she ran towards him. She also noticed, Buffy was working furiously trying to free Angel. She wondered about Buffy's priorities for a second.
She exchanged few hits with Spike before getting brained by Drusilla from behind. Instead of killing her, Spike took the opportunity to run away.
By now, almost everyone had finished their fights. With Buffy's help, Angel was able to get up on his feet. Willow was controlling the fire in the church.
"Peace through firepower." Willow chuckled at her own joke and looked at Giles, who was still heaving out contents from his stomach. "It seems like flying didn't suit you Giles." Willow asked, getting a glare from him. She then used her water elemental magic to put out all the fires in the church. It'd do any good, if the roof fell on them. Where was Xander, she wondered.
Spike sighed in relief, he was glad, he was out of that church, "That chit, she was packing too much firepower." He shuddered thinking about that redheaded girl. He looked at Dru in his arms, bloody slayer didn't let the ritual finish.
Tucking her hair behind her ear, he looked at her and grinned. "Don't worry luv, I'll take care of ya."
Dru smiled and kissed him, then suddenly threw him on the side. If she hadn't, that sword would have beheaded him.
Spike watched in horror, as the attacker didn't stop and moved on with the technique cutting Drusilla's head and dusting her.
"NOOOOO!" Spike roared.
"That's the issue with seers, she saw your death, but not hers." He heard a feminine voice, casually describing how she did it. "Though seers are pain to handle."
He growled, "I'll have your guts for garter, you silly bint."
"Aww, Spikey, you need better dialogue." She taunted him and moved to attach him.
Spike showed her, why he was infamous. He noticed, she wasn't as fast as slayer. Using skills learned on the streets, he ducked and weaved through her attacks and tried to grab her. In response, she stabbed his arm with a knife, and kicking him in the stomach.
"Just because I don't have slayer level strength and speed, doesn't mean I am weak." She scoffed.
Next few attacks were similarly defended, Spikes both arm were bleeding from stab wounds.
He understood on some level what was happening in this fight, why he was losing.
"You are…" Before he could speak further, she sprayed something on him, making him scream in agony.
"I call this de-fang. Holy water in hair spray can. Nice invention. Isn't it."
He screamed, as she pretty much sprayed all the content on him. Without waiting, she moved and chopped his head off. Watching him dust, she snorted, "That's why I said, it's such a pain to handle to seers."
Xander watched as Buffy was walking Kendra to her taxi. He smiled as he saw, Buffy kidding with Kendra. "At least they are getting along. Now all I need to do is work on Willow and Cordy."
He sighed, when he heard Kendra calling Angel cute. He wondered if there was something wrong with this generation of slayers. Yeah, Angel could be called cute, but dammit, he was a vampire.
He started walking away, knowing he needed to talk to deadboy before Buffy could.
Few minutes later, he landed in front of Angel's place. Kicking the door open, he shouted, "Hey deadboy, where are you skulking."
"Harris." Ah there he was growling in the shadows. Though he never called him by his surname, what's with that, he wondered.
"Deadboy, stop skulking in the shadows and sit down. Treat it as your place."
"It's my place." Angel gritted out.
"Ah. How did you get the deed registered to your name?" Xander wondered out aloud.
"It's easy to do it. You go through a middleman who handles everything for denizens of nights." Angel responded. He was wary of Xander, that power he was sensing wasn't making him comfortable. For a second, he wondered if Xander came here to get rid of him.
Angel noticed, Xander was looking at him. He was silent for few seconds.
"You are afraid of me, aren't you?" Xander grinned and asked.
"Why would I be?" He responded.
Xander grinned and raised his hand. Angel noticed the change immediately.
"Now we can talk without any interruptions." Xander said, getting serious for a change.
"I am here to ask you, some serious questions."
"Or what? You'll kill me?" Angel scoffed.
"No, why would you think like that?" Xander chuckled.
The silence lasting a couple of minutes, that permeated through the room felt like eons. "Do you love Buffy?" Xander asked, coming straight to the point.
Angel looked at him and wondered for few seconds, "Are you here to tell me how our love is doomed?"
Xander shrugged in return and looked directly in his eyes, "Do you love her?"
"Good. I don't know if your love is doomed or not. Do you want a future with her?" Xander said, without taking off his eyes off Angel.
Angel chuckled, "There is no future for us." And he growled, "Is that what you are here to tell me? Huh Xander?"
"That I should get out of your way and away from Buffy", Angel was now shouting at him.
"Nah. I am with Willow." Xander spoke and then leered, "though if Buffy wants a threesome with us. I am A-OK with that."
Angel growled and jumped at him, found himself unable to move.
"Telekinesis." Xander grinned, and then getting serious. "But seriously, I want to know, do you want a future with her?"
Angel was feeling trapped in the air, and suddenly he found his foot on ground once again. This time, his voice was soft and haunting.
"There is no future for us. I am a Vampire and she's a human. There is no future."
He looked at his hands, "this is my penance, my destiny, to suffer for my sins in the dark."
Xander scoffed, "Stop with the melodrama. I am not a teenage girl that you need to impress. Just tell me if you want a future with her or not?"
"OF COURSE, I WANT A FUTURE WITH HER." Angel stood up and was shouting at him. This child, what did he knew about suffering. His thoughts were interrupted by a bottle bouncing on his forehead.
"Drink it. If you really want a future with her. Spawning little bastards, instead of siring it." Xander was silent for few seconds, before he made disgusted face, "Even though I find that thought revolting."
Angel calmed himself down, "What is it?"
Xander looked at him, "Nothing you need to know. Drink equals future." He stood up and started walking towards the door.
"I don't care if you drink it or not. Though if you do, you'll have a hard time impressing teenage girls with your sob story." Xander chuckled and kept walking away.
He was a little surprised at the sounds of Angel's scream and convulsing on the floor. He turned to look at him and chuckled. "Welcome back."
Patrice is dead (Taraka assassin who took a shot at Buffy in the classroom), Oz never got hurt, so Willow and he never met. Willow is also with Xander. That pairing is 100% sure.
Will Oz join somewhere? No. Same for Miss Calendar.
This section of story arc is finished, tried to follow the cannon as needed. It was little irritating to use text and dialogue from the episode. Finally I am done with it.
Now from the next chapter, things will change. Almost all the pieces are in the play, and they'll play as needed.
For this story, I am working on the plot for next few chapters, and then I am going to write couple of chapters for SGC Unleashed (expect another chapter in day or two for SGC).