Title : School Daze, (K)night Job Author : Tenhawk


This story is NOT part of the Journeyverse continuum! This is the Sequel to 'Red & Gold'


Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... none of which are me.

Summary: Life on the Hellmouth is never easy, especially when you're hiding a secret from the Slayer.

Warning : Crossovers ahead. (Yes Plural.)

Rating : PG-13 to PG-16; for mild cursing, violence, and demonic horror content... in other words a bit more grown up then the series... but only cause I don't have to suck up to censors.


"Excuse me, Mr Harris... It's five thirty..."

Xander almost jumped out of his skin. He did jump clean out of the bed, landing on the balls of his feet in a fighting stance as he looked around for the source of the voice.

"Really Mr Harris... don't you think that's a bit much?"

"Wha?" Xander looked around, his mind finally pinning down the voice. "Computer?"

"Who else? Certainly no one unauthorized could gain access to this apartment."

"Jim left something out about you didn't he?"

There was a brie silence, "I'm not certain how I should respond to that question."

Xander started breathing normally again, "Ok... what are you?"

"I am a Stark Industries Mark 3 AI system."


"Artificial Intelligence, of course... though I'm beginning to wonder how 'real' your supposed intelligence is." "Hey!" Xander protested, "Who the hell programed you to insult me?"


"Fine." Xander growled, "But you keep it up and I'll just go in and reprogram you myself."

"You don't have the skill to accomplish that properly."

"I know." Xander growled threateningly.

The computer didn't respond or speak the whole time that Xander was pulling clothes from his closet.


Xander sighed as he sat down to breakfast, considering the day ahead of him. This was going to be a rough day, particularly since he didn't think the gang was warned about him coming back from the dead.

He finished up his cereal and dropped the dishes into the dishwasher, thinking that he was going to have a lot to answer for. The fact that they thought he was dead kept him inside the night before, worried that if he ran into Buffy on patrol she might stake him thinking he was a vamp.

At least the public area of school should be enough too keep her from killing him. Cordy and Willow, on the other hand, probably wouldn't be so reserved.

He sighed again and grabbed his keys as he headed for the elevator.

After the door shut behind him the computer's voice echoed through the apartment.

"Phew... I thought he'd never leave."


Xander pulled into the school lot a few minutes before the bell was due to ring and he watched the others head into the school.

Now or never.

He got out of the Impala sedan and hit the door locks as he walked toward the school. He almost reached the steps before the first bit of trouble jumped him.


Snyder. Xander groaned and turned around, "yes Sir?" "I don't know how you managed to get re-enrolled after skipping out on an entire week of classes and several exams, but I'm going to be watching you!" The troll-like man glared as Xander shrugged it off.

"Yes Sir... Whatever you say..."

"Don't take that tone with me." Snyder growled, stepping up to glare at him from closer range.

Xander rolled his eyes, "Sir, I'm going to be late for class."

Snyder growled, but stepped aside. "I'll be watching you Harris!"


"I'll be watching you Harris!"

Willow snapped around, an odd look on her face.

Oz looked at her worriedly, "What?"

"I thought I just heard Snyder balling out Xander..."

The rocker smiled gently, "I can remember that too..."

"No!" She shook her head, "I mean I really heard it..."

"Willow... you must have imagined it..." Oz said gently, "Its just being back at school... bringing the memories back."

She looked ready to argue, then shook her head softly. "I guess you're right..."

Oz gently laid his hand across her shoulder and walked her to class.


Xander shifted when he saw Willow and Buffy walked into class. Oh shit. Here come the fireworks.

His eyes widened as they walked right past him and didn't even look in his direction. Then he noticed that Buffy was holding Willow, and Wills looked like she'd been crying. His heart fell and he started to go to them, but the teacher came in.

"Alright, everyone back to your desks!" the teacher said, "Since this is the first day I'm going to start easily, but I want everyone paying attention!"


By the time class had ended Xander had worked up his nerve to talk to his friends but they filed out almost before the bell rang and he got caught waiting for a student who was blocking his way.

He sighed. Free period... They'll be in the library...

"I guess I should get this over with." Xander muttered and headed for the door.

He got out in the hall way and was instantly accosted by three of the larger members of the football team.


He lowered his head, damn. Then turned to look at them, "Yes?"

"We heard you were dead."

"Yep. That's me. Laughed to death the last time I saw your face."

The lead guy growled, "What did you say?"

"I'd repeat it, but I don't feel like speaking in slow motion." Xander replied, getting aggravated. "Now look, I'm kinda busy... so if we can take this up later..."

The center guy growled and grabbed Xander by his lapels. "Listen here, you little twerp... I don't know what you did to Cordelia Chase before you ran off but she's one of us and I'm not going to let some little pipsqueak like you hurt her and get away with it!"

Xander reached up calmly and jammed his thumbs into the nerve clusters at the base of the Jock's wrists, and applied pressure until his hands went dead. Then Xander slowly twisted them away from him until the Jock was wincing in pain. "This shirt cost me three hundred and twenty dollars. It's silk. My employer had it imported and tailored by a very nice old man from Spain. I liked him a lot, and he'd probably kill me if I let you stretch the fabric."

He kept up the pressure until the football player dropped to one knee, "And for the record... I didn't do anything to Cordelia."

"Did I hear my name?" Xander heard a familiar voice behind him, "And who's wearing silk?"

"Oh damn." Xander moaned, "This is so not how I wanted to do this."

He felt a hand slap his shoulder, "Hey you! Stop beating up our quarterback! He has a game tomorrow!"

Xander let go of the jock and sighed, turning to look at Cordy. "Sorry, Cordy... I'll be careful not to hurt his hands."

Cordelia stared at him, her hand coming up to cover her mouth in shock. "Oh my god... You can't... you're dead... you.... you died..."

Xander smiled as nicely as he could, "No... I didn't."

Her eyes rolled back in her head and Cordelia Chase fainted. Xander moved fast, catching her before she could hit the ground. "Damn. I really wanted this to be less public."

He glared at the Jocks who took a step back, uncertain what was going on. "We'll settle this another time."

Then he turned and strode toward the nurses office.


"Is she going to be alright?" Xander asked nervously.

The nurse glanced at him oddly, "Yes... we'll wake her up in a second..."

The nurse got a small vial and opened it under Cordelia's nose. She instantly wrinkled up and then sneezed. "Gaaaakh! Get that pharmacy grade perfume out of my face!"

Xander smirked, "Yeah... she's fine."

Cordelia's eyes snapped open and she stared at Xander, "You're alive."

Xander nodded. "Yes... I'm alive."

He saw her eyes start to roll back again and he grabbed her, "Cordy! It's really me! I'm not dead, I'm not a..." he glanced sideways at the nurse, "you know... sunlight, remember! It's daytime."

She came back slowly, staring at him. "You're... really you... but Buffy said..."

"I know," He said gently, helping her up. "I heard... Come on, I'll explain it outside."

They walked out, leaving a mildly confused Nurse behind them


"So Buffy was wrong? Why that little..." Cordelia growled.

"No. She was right... I think."

"What?" Cordelia shrank away from him, her eyes fearful.

"Relax. I'm alive, not undead or demon or whatever." Xander said, "I took a sword through my lung just after I left. I flatlined a couple times on the way to the hospital... I'm guessing that was enough to scare the hell out of Buffy and trigger her visions."

"But... but... but..."

Xander leaned back and glanced down at Cordy's ass. "And a very nice one you have too... but we should really stay on topic."

Cordelia blushed red and glanced around to see if anyone else had noticed. "Cut that out!" She slapped him across the arm.

"Ouch! Hey!"

"So why didn't you call!? You let us all think you were dead!?"

"Hey, don't blame me for that. I only found out about that a couple weeks ago... and I was on the road right after."

"It only takes a couple minutes to call!"

Xander nodded, "I know... and I'm sorry. But by then you guys had all thought I was gone for so long... I just wanted to stay gone for a little longer."

"Why?" Cordelia asked, hurt in her voice and eyes.

Xander hesitated, "It's... complicated. I just couldn't stay here after... well, after what happened."

"What *did* happen!?" Cordelia asked, "There were only three people there... one was unconscious, and until now we thought that the other two were dead."

Xander shook his head, "I don't want to talk about it, Cordy. Maybe I can later... but not right now."

Cordelia opened her mouth to push harder, but stopped when she saw the look Xander gave her. "Ok... have you seen the others yet? Or better yet... have they seen you?"

Xander shook his head.

She grabbed his arm, "Well come on! They're in the library... let's go." Xander reluctantly let himself be dragged along to the library, and pulled inside by the Cheerleader.

"Cordy... I...?" He tried to protest until he saw that everyone in the library had turned to stair at them in shock.

"Xander..." Buffy whispered in shock.

Willow just gasped, her eyes wide and her mouth a round circle.

Oz merely raised his eyebrow and said, "Hmmm."

"Good lord." Giles said, dropping a book to the table in surprise.


"Hi guys..." Xander said weakly, "I'm... back?"

Buffy shook her head, "You... you can't be. I saw..."

"You saw me take six inches of cold steal in my left lung?"

Buffy nodded dumbly.

Xander nodded and reached up, unbuttoning his shirt down four buttons. He pealed the shirt away and exposed a scar that puckered on the left of his chest. "It happened."

"But... but... you died."

"That happened too," Xander said, "But I had some good doctors who managed to resuscitate."

"Good lord." Giles said again.

"I think we covered that Giles." Oz said with a small smile.

Willow finally found her voice, and glared at Xander with tears streaming down her cheeks. "Why didn't you call us!?"

Xander bowed his head, "I'm sorry, Will... I just had to get away."

"You... you didn't call..." She said, her voice laced with pain.

Xander didn't say anything for a while. Finally he spoke, "No... I didn't."

Willow took an unsteady step around the table and walked toward him. Xander stood his ground and waited, and she walked up to him until she was right in front of him. Suddenly her hand came up and slapped him hard across the face.

"You didn't call!" She said accusingly.

Xander flinched but didn't move. He could feel the pattern of red heat up on his cheek, but he just nodded. "I know, Will... I'm sorry."

She bit her lower lip and Xander could see her teeth actually piercing her skin, then she suddenly lunged forward and grabbed him in a tight hug. "OmygodI'msogladtoseeyou! IthoughtyouweredeadandI'msogladtoseeyouXander!"

Xander wrapped his arms around her and held her as she babbled into his shoulder, "I'm so sorry Will... I'm so sorry."

They just stood there for a while, Xander holding his childhood friend as her talked herself out. He felt like a heel, but maintained his composure as he held the redhead tightly. Finally she pulled away and suddenly glanced around, embarrassed. He smiled at her and nodded, and she went back to her seat.

"I guess I have some talking to do..."

"You bet you do!" Cordelia snapped, "Like why you left, where you went, and... where did you get those clothes?"

"Cordelia!" Giles snapped, but was interrupted by Buffy.

"No, Giles... She's right... That's silk... and those pants are tailored... and are those italian shoes? How much did that outfit cost you!?"

Xander glanced down, "Umm... let's see... twelve hundred... no wait... fifteen hundred dollars."


Then an explosion.


"Good God!"

"Did you rob a bank!?"

Xander held up his hands, "Whoa... whoa... I didn't exactly pay for it myself, and no I didn't rob a bank. I got a job, and the company has a strict dress code..."

"Strict!?" Giles choked, "fifteen hundred dollars is not strict, it's insane."

"Looks good on him though." Cordelia observed as Buffy and Willow nodded.

"Well... I work directly for the Boss," Xander explained, "and he likes to present a certain image."

"Who's your boss? Bill Gates?"

Xander choked. "Gates? Are you kidding me? That guy wears K-mart sweaters and running shoes. Man if Tony heard that I'd never live it down."

"Tony? Tony who?" Willow asked, her eyes narrowing.

"Tony Stark."

Willow stared at Xander, her eyes widening and she started breathing hard. "Oh god... I need... to sit down."

As she fell into her chair Buffy stared at her, "What? What is it?"

Willow swallowed, "Tony Stark is one of the richest men in the world... Stark Enterprises manufactures... *everything*!"

"Well... I wouldn't go that far." Xander said, "We do quite well in the tech market..."

"Well? WELL?" Willow looked outraged, "Stark Industries sells virtually every computer approved for government use! The real computer technology, not the watered down stuff we get!"

Giles rolled his eyes as the subject of computers came up and began to look very bored.

Xander just shrugged, "We don't feel the need to enter into the civilian marketplace, Wills... Wouldn't be too many people who could afford even a low end Stark Industries system... Intel and Cyrix make a big deal about how much gold they have to use in their processors... if they had the slightest clue what kind of materials we used in ours they'd have coronaries."

Willow just opened and closed her mouth in shock.

"Ok," Giles interrupted, "Can we got on with the story then? Xander... why didn't you call?"

Xander looked down at his shoes, "Look... guys, I'm sorry. I didn't know that you thought I was dead until I ran into Ms Pryce..."

"Pryce? Linda Pryce?" Xander nodded, "Yeah... I met her with her Slayer in Boston a couple weeks ago."

"Slayer?" Buffy looked up, "Another Slayer?"

"Kendra's replacement, I presume?" Giles asked.

Xander nodded, grinning. "Yeah.. A real spitfire too... You know how Kendra made Buffy look like a party girl?"

Everyone nodded except Buffy, "Hey!"

"Faith makes Buffy look like Kendra."

Everyone looked shocked, except Buffy. "Hey!"

Xander shrugged, "Faith is... a force of nature. She's something you have to see to believe."

Giles shook his head, "Why didn't she call me to tell me about you?"

Xander shrugged, "I'm not really sure... but she seemed worried about something."

Giles removed his glasses and began wiping them rapidly. "I see..."

"Well I don't!" Buffy growled. "Do you have any idea what you put me... us through!?"

"Buffy... I... I had to get away."

"Why? What happened!?"

Xander sighed, "I'm really sorry, Buffy... but I don't want to talk about it."

"What happed to Angel?" She asked, her voice suddenly soft and her eyes glistening.

"He died a hero, Buff. He died a hero." Xander said, then turned and walked out.

As he reached the door he could hear the Slayer sobbing behind him and it broke his heart, but he kept walking.