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

********WARNING!********

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

*********WARNING!********

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.

*****

"Ok," Xander said, "Let's get this over with."

Xander shifted his feet, widening his stance for better balance and waited.

Luke, for his part, looked more then a little confused. Fighting wasn't supposed to be like this. They other guy is supposed to be angry, or scared, or something... anything. Finally he shrugged it off and lifted his hands, forming them into fists. "Ok."

Xander waited, but for a long moment nothing happened. Luke seemed seriously uncertain about his role in the entire affair.

"What the hell are you waiting for, dummy??" The voice the team captain sounded from behind him, "Beat him into the ground!"

Luke hesitated again, looking over his shoulder, then nodded and advanced on Xander.

Xander waited for the first blow, and when it came he ducked under the slow haymaker and threw a fast jab into the linebacker's sternum.

Luke barely grunted, and Xander fell back a couple steps cringing as he held his arm. "Jesus Christ! What the hell do you do? Sit ups in your sleep??"

Luke growled a little, grabbing for Xander as he stood there, but Xander ducked and rolled under his outstretched arms and came up on hi side. Xander tried a fast strike to the side with his left fist. Another thump, another grunt from Luke, and another hiss of pain from Xander as sharp pain ran up and down his other arm.

"Shit!" He cursed, stepping back again. This is NOT working.

Luke turned on him, surprisingly quick considering the imposing stature he put forward. Xander rolled clear of another attempt to grab him, and came back to his feet a short distance away.

Ok... Let's bring this up a level.

Xander waited for Luke to advance close enough, ducked under another haymaker, and drove his elbow into the linebacker's stomach. There was a rush of exploded air, and Luke dropped to one knee.

Xander stepped back, breathing a sigh of relief as he did. The sigh turned into a groan when Luke pushed himself to his feet. "Come on, man! Stay down!"

Luke shook his head and bellowed as he charged at Xander position, his barrel shaped arms spread wide.

Xander cursed and ducked under the outreached arms, barely staying ahead of the big football player. He drive his elbow hard into the big guy's side as he passed, causing Luke to stumble and collapse to the ground as he ran past. Xander winced in sympathetic pain, an elbow strike to the soft tissue on the side of the torso was painful in the extreme.

Luke rolled on the ground for a moment, then struggled back to his feet. Xander stared in shock, muttering a curse under his breath, "Oh for the love of... stay down!"

But the linebacker refused to stop, he pushed himself up again, first to his knees and finally to his feet. He stumbled a couple feet toward Xander before regaining his balance enough to walk properly. When he did, he came in slower, watching closely for any tricks.

Xander tried to duck under a sweeping haymaker, but this time Luke was ready for the move and lowered his swing to intercept the move. Xander caught the blow in the chest and was thrown back a few feet.

Xander winced from the pressure, then tried to move in the opposite direction, only to be caught on that side and again thrown back to where he started. He looked up at the huge young man who was winding up for another swing and cursed again. I didn't know they grew them this big around here.

As the next punch came in, Xander took an alternate path, he drove in and under Luke's reach. He drive his right fist into the big guy's stomach, then came up with an elbow that clipped Luke under the chin. The linebacker staggered back a couple steps, more in surprise then real pain, and Xander pushed the advantage. He caught Luke with a right jab to the jaw that drove a spike of pain up his own arm, then followed it with a left to Luke's eye.

He then clasped his hands together and drive and axe handle strike into Luke's sternum. That hit finally seemed to take the wind out of the linebacker's sails, dropping him to the ground on his ass. He sat there for a moment, his eye starting to swell slightly and a trickle of blood coming from his lip and nose.

Xander hesitated, and around him there was a long silence as the crowd just sort of watched. The silence deepened as Luke shook his head and started to get up again. First to one knee, then to his feet, and finally he staggered forward, still intent on Xander.

Xander threw up his hands, "Wait! Wait just a second!"

Luke paused, shaking his head, "What?"

Xander took a breath, "I'll apologize to the quarterback! How's that?"

Luke looked at him blankly for a few seconds, not certain how to take that. "Huh?"

"I'll apologize." Xander repeated, then raised his voice. "I'm sorry, ok? I'm sorry for what I did, I took him by surprise... it wasn't a fair fight... I'm sorry ok?"

Luke nodded slowly, it sounded ok to him. "What about Chase?"

Xander could see Cordelia bristling in the back ground, but spoke before she could say anything. "My relationships aren't his business or yours. Cordy can decide for herself."

Luke nodded, still slowly, but he seemed to be making up his mind. Frankly he didn't give a damn about Chase, she was cute and all but he knew when a girl was out of his league, football player or not. "Ok."

Xander nodded himself, allowing a relieved smile to filter out. "Come on, Luke... I'll buy you a drink..."

"Ok." Luke nodded and allowed Xander to lead him to the 'bar'.

Everyone watched, a little stunned, as Xander clasped an arm behind the big linebacker's back and walked off.

"Hey!" Cordelia muttered in shock, "Did I just get dumped for a linebacker??"

*****

"Two Cokes!" Xander called out, as he sat down beside Luke. He grabbed a paper napkin from the bar and handed it to the football player. "Here, man... you're bleeding..."

"Huh?" Luke touched his face, looking embarrassed when his fingers came away red with blood. "Oh... thanks."

As the guy cleaned his face off, Xander looked at him with amazement, "Christ man... how the hell do you workout?? I've been training all summer like a madman, and if I took hits like that I'd be flat out for a week..."

Luke shrugged, "I just do weights and stuff... I've always been big..."

"I believe it." Xander said, "You've got to be a hellion on the field..."

"Hell... what?"

Xander waved off the confused look, "A devil... a real scary guy."

"Oh..." Luke grinned, nodding. "Yeah."

"Yeah." Xander agreed, dropping a few dollars on the bar as their cokes arrived. "How's the season looking?"

"Good." Luke grinned wider as he pronounced his teams victory well in advance. "We're gonna go all the way this year."

"Cool." Xander said, taking a drink. "Glad to hear it."

"We got a game next week..." Luke thumped him on the back, causing Xander to spit his drink back into the glass. "You should come..."

Xander choked a bit, but nodded. "Sure... I'll... do that..."

"Good guy!" Luke said, "I like team spirit!"

Xander was about to reply when Cordy came up and tapped him on the shoulder. "Excuse me? Are we on a date or what??"

Xander smiled wryly to Luke as Cordy drug him off, "Sorry, man... duty calls... watch my drink for a couple minutes?"

Luke nodded, taking another drink of his own coke. "Sure man."

"Thanks."

*****

"What the hell was that about?" Cordelia demanded as she drug him back out on the floor.

Xander smiled slightly, encircling her waist with his arm as they started moving to the music again. "Just a couple guys working out their differences... no big."

"No big??" She asked incredulously, "You just got into a fist fight with the walking mountain of the football team! And you won!"

Xander shook his head, "I didn't win... That was barely a tie."

"Right."

"I'm serious... He wasn't going down... and all it would have taken was one shot and I'd be in the hospital for a week." Xander said earnestly. "Luke is one tough SOB."

"He's Luke now??" Cordy asked, "A minute ago he was trying to pound you into a puddle... and what are you now? Best buds?"

Xander shrugged, "I wouldn't go that far... besides, he was just looking out for his team... In a twisted way I admit, but I can respect that."

Cordelia shook her head, "You're nuts."

"Is that your clinical diagnosis doctor?" Xander asked with a grin.

"Hell yes."

He was about to reply when a buzz on his hip caused Xander pull back from Cordy and pull his pager off his belt.

"You have a pager!?" Cordy asked in surprise.

He didn't reply, his face going dead serious as he read the numerical code that was displayed on the small device. "Cordy..." He said finally, "I have to go."

"What!" She screeched, "Xander Harris, you are NOT leaving me here alone!"

"Cordy... I... I have to go." Xander stammered. "I've got a job..."

"Fine." She said, "But I'm coming too."

He shook his head, "Cordelia... This is company business... Tony... my boss, wouldn't like me taking you along."

"Do I look like I care?" She glared at him, "You are NOT walking out on me in front of all my friends."

Xander groaned, but she was holding tight to his arm and he knew he wasn't going to get away without a scene at the very least.

"Fine." He said at last, "I'll give you a lift home."

Cordy looked down, her stern look vanishing in an instant. "I don't want to go home... Mom won't be... asleep yet."

Xander closed his eyes, cursing himself for five kinds of fool and a soft touch to boot. "Ok... fine... you can come... MAYBE. First I have to see what's up."

"Deal." Cordy said brightly, her hint of vulnerability gone as fast as it appeared, leaving Xander to wonder if he'd just been played.

He shook it off and led her back to the bar and Luke, "Hey man.. I have to go, got a call from my boss..."

"You got a job??" Luke blinked in surprise.

"Yeah," Xander sighed, "The guy's a real hard nose though... anyway, have a good night, ok man?"

Luke nodded, "Yeah... you too."

"I wish." Xander smiled, then left.

*****

"Hey... where's Xander going?" Willow asked, watching as Xander and Cordy walked out the door.

Buffy frowned, "He should know better then to go out alone at night..."

"Cordy's with him." Willow said.

"Like I said," Buffy replied, "He should know better then to go out alone. Come on... let's see what's up."

She drug Willow out of the club and into the parking lot just in time to see Xander's sedan pull out of the lot and accelerate hard as it turned down the street.

"Where is he going in such a hurry?" Willow asked, mostly to the air.

Buffy frowned, remembering that Xander carried a gun as part of his job. "I don't know, Will... but I don't think I like it."

***** "Xander!" Cordy squealed as she braced herself against the door when Xander spun the car around a corner and put his foot down. "Are you insane??"

Xander didn't answer, instead he reached down and flipped open a small panel that lay between the seats. After it was open he flipped a switch and then spoke, "Computer, what's going on?"

"Mr Stark has been waiting for you to make contact." The computer's voice was a little tinny due to the car's speakers and the transmission quality, but it was still easily understandable.

"Put him through." Xander ordered.

"Visual?"

"Yes."

A small flatscreen flipped out of the dash and flickered to life.

Cordy stared between the screen and Xander in shock. "Xander... what...!?"

She was cut off by a voice coming over the car speakers. "Xander, we have a... is there someone with you?"

"Sorry Tony..." Xander apologized, preparing to fib slightly to his employer. "You caught me on a date... and I can't just toss someone out of my car in Sunnydale after dark."

Tony nodded grimly, accepting the necessity of the situation but not liking it at all. "We have a problem."

"I figured as much when my pager started crying the 'british are coming', Tony." Xander quipped with a slight smile. "I'm heading for my apartment now..."

"Don't you have the... uh... briefcase with you?"

Xander nodded slowly, "Is it that serious?"

Tony nodded grimly. "We have a security breech at one of our buildings in L.A. The intruder pulled the schematics for the security system and the floor plans for our west coast labs using a rather daring bit of acrobatics..."

"And now you're worried that they'll make a move on the lab?"

Tony nodded. "They don't have much of a window either, and they know it. We probably discovered this a bit faster then they expected, one of our guards literally tripped over his own feet and spotted a shard of glass under a cabinet as he was getting up... Seems that while he may be clumsy, he's thorough... he shifted the cabinet and found a circle of cut glass stashed behind it... after that it didn't take him long to find the window it was missing from." Xander whistled, then grinned "Ok. I can be in L.A. in two hours... less if you're willing to foot the ticket."

Tony shook his head, "I hate to say it but make it less."

"You got it." Xander said, pushing the pedal to the floor.

Cordelia squealed slightly as Xander started weaving in and out of traffic. "Xander...!"

Tony glanced over at her, then back at Xander. "Uh... shouldn't you take her home or something?"

Cordelia glared at the screen, "I don't know who you are and I don't give a damn. Xander's not going anywhere dangerous on his own!"

Xander rolled his eyes.

Tony glanced between them for a moment, "Let me guess... Slayer?"

Cordy's eyes widened, Xander just shrugged. "Worse. Cheerleader."

Tony rubbed the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes for a moment. "I don't want to know. Xander, be careful."

"You know me, Tony." Xander grinned.

"That's why I asked you to be careful." Tony returned, "I've given your AI the address of the lab, when you get there talk to Dr Pym... He's in charge of research and development in our West Coast Division."

"Pym." Xander nodded, "Got it."

"I don't expect you'll need it, but War Machine is standing by."

Xander nodded, "That's good to know."

Tony glanced at Cordelia again, "And I've also ordered Iron Man to the area to help you out."

Xander kept a straight face, "Thanks."

Tony smiled, "Take it easy on Shell Head, He's still complaining about vampires and skyscrapers."

Xander shot the screen a dirty look, "I'll do my best."

Tony nodded, "I know you will. Good luck." "Thanks Tony," Xander said, "Bye."

"Bye." Tony replied and closed the connection.

Xander slid past a slower moving car, then turned to Cordelia. "So... up for a trip to LA?"

Cordy stared at him in shock. "Who *are* you?"

"Excuse me?"

"Xander Harris doesn't DO things like this." Cordelia said, "He doesn't drive like a lunatic... I don't think... He doesn't investigate break ins... does he? I mean..."

Xander tried to keep his voice light when he responded. "There's a lot of things that 'Xander Harris' does that you don't know about Cordy."

She swallowed. "I'm starting to see that."

Xander sighed, keeping an eye on the traffic. "I should have dropped you off."

"No!" She shouted involuntarily, "No.... I'm ok. You just surprised me, that's all."

"Cordy..." Xander began, "You're going to have to wait in the car."

"What!?" Cordelia instantly objected.

"Cordy!" Xander snapped, "This could be dangerous."

"So's living in Sunnydale." Cordelia shrugged.

"Living in Sunnydale isn't something we have a choice in," Xander replied, "But this is my job. Not yours. I'm actually paid to check this stuff out... besides, the company insurance won't cover you."

Cordelia was actually thrown for a long moment at that last argument. Finally she looked at Xander as if he were crazy, "What!?"

"You're not insured." Xander said simply, "If something happens to you the company is liable."

"You have got to be kidding me!" Cordelia objected, "I patrol with Buffy... sometimes..."

Xander smiled, "Vampires can't get sued... and neither can Slayers. It's a legal thing."

Cordelia glared at him, "Like you care about that."

Xander didn't respond right away, intent instead on weaving through the traffic on the highway. When he finally did he turned to Cordy with an admirably straight face and said, "I care very much about the law..."

As Cordelia stared at him, her face skeptical but unable to r4eally argue, Xander added an addendum in his mind. When it get's things to go my way I do at any rate.

*****

Dr Hank Pym sighed as he looked over the security arrangements one last time, not really sure what he was looking for. Theoretically the security of these labs was above reproach, no one on Earth should be able to break in even with the protocols and floor plans.

Still, he had to admit, the security at Stark Enterprises West Coast Head Quarters was supposedly of equal design and that meant nothing but trouble. Security men were running around the place, locking it down and tripling patrols, but he'd just received a call from Tony telling him that Iron Man himself was coming to town.

That was something else that Dr Pym didn't understand. How could Iron Man be in LA, if Tony was still in New York? Stark Enterprises Chief of Security was never far from his boss, everyone at the company knew that. If it hadn't been for the few times that the two were seen together, people would have thought that Tony himself *was* Iron Man.

Pym shook his head, he'd think about that later if he remembered to. It wasn't important anyway. Iron Man wasn't needed here at any rate, under normal conditions this place was locked down tighter then the Pentagon, right now it was a police state's wet dream.

*****

The figured moved silently as he looked over the movement below and to the right of him. He smiled as he watched all the guards hustle and bustle about their duty, knowing that the confusion and noise of such an operation would work to his advantage.

"Now, now," He whispered, "Time to be doing this here little job."

He jumped from the rooftop, little more then a shadow cut from the night sky to any observers below, and free fell for a few dozen feet before he hooked a flag staff and looped around it like an Olympic gymnast. He spun two cycles around and let go, arcing up through the air almost parallel to the building, and landed on a narrow concrete ledge with an easy grace. He flattened himself against the bulletproof glass and smiled.

"Dis won't be enough to keep ol Remy out." He whispered to himself with a slight grin as he touched the center of the glass with his hand. A moment later the glass began to glow with a dull yellow energy about two feet in diameter. It pulsed once, then twice, and on the third time it exploded with a controlled pop. Sparks erupted, striking the ledge and the inside of the building, but burning out before they could do any damage. As the glow faded away, Remy slipped in through the hole and vanished into the Stark Enterprises Lab.

*****

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