Title : White Knight, Black Queen - Episode 1 - Tarnished Armor Author : Tenhawk

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

This is *not* part of the Journeyverse. Some SPOILERS for S7 contained within!! You have been WARNED!!

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

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

Summary: Post Season 7, Xander leaves Sunnydale on a mission with an unexpected companion.

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.

*****

"So..." Faith grinned over her double malt scotch, "What's the scoop on the Xanman here, anyway? I never even knew he'd ever left Sunny-D"

Sonya smiled slightly over her own drink as Xander rolled his eye and sipped very lightly at his own drink. "Oh now... where to start..."

"We don't have time for this, Faith." Xander said. "We're due in New Orleans ASAP."

Faith brushed him off, "We can make up the difference by driving through the day tomorrow."

Xander looked at her, "Faith. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not have to vacuum Spike's seat."

"Spike?"

Faith brushed it off, "You've got that tarp in the back... he can hide under that."

"Great." Xander scowled at her, "Spike'll love that."

Faith shrugged, "So?"

"You get to tell him."

Faith grinned, "My pleasure."

"Spike?" Sonya asked a second time.

"Forget Spike." Faith grinned, "Dish on the X-man."

Sonya looked puzzled, but then shrugged and nodded. "It all happened in late June four years ago..."

*****

June 27th, 1999

"Come on, Nikki!" The platinum blond squealed as she ducked away from the mock slap. "Just admit it... It gets your engine revving just a little bit."

The small brunette frowned, though her eyes were twinkling with humor. "You're one to talk. I hear the noises coming from upstairs after you wrap up a set."

"Hey." The blonde grinned wide, "I never said I didn't. Come on, you should give it a shot..."

"I don't know, Trish..." The brunette said seriously. "Stripping is one thing... but I don't think I'm ready for that."

"Well... It's your call, Nik." Trish shrugged, "But I make ten times what you do in a night."

Nikkie nodded solemnly, her face pensive as she considered the idea as she walked along.

Suddenly she was tugged along by her companion. "Come on, there's the gang..."

Nikki looked up to see Sonya and the rest of the girls just up ahead. She forced a smile and nodded, "Another night..."

"Another dollar." Trish finished, grinning.

They joined the rest at the front of the strip club as Sonya was unlocking the door. She fumbled with her keys, the rust on the old lock making the key reluctant to slide in. She cursed as it cluttered to the ground and crouched down to pick it up.

"Damn it..." She muttered.

"Well, well, well... What have we got here, huh boys?"

The girls turned around to see four men walk up to them. They were all tough looking, dressed like bikers or something, and they were each leering at the gathering of eight women.

"We're not open tonight." Sonya said as she strightened up, "The place is rented out from midnight on for a private party. Come on back tomorrow and I'll be sure to arrange a special show to make up for it."

"No..." The same one said, grinning. "I think we'll stay right here. What do you think guys?"

The men chuckled, nodding and laughing.

"Oh yeah..."

"Damn right."

"Two apiece, huh Rocko? One for eating... one for other things..."

The group of women started to shift nervously, but Sonya just looked at them sternly. "You don't want to do this... It's so much better without the fight..."

The leader stepped forward and his face *changed*. "Oh, but we LIKE the fight."

The rest shifted too, leering and running their tongues over their grotesque teeth as they cackled and approached.

Trish reacted first, whipping out a small canister of mace and letting the leader have it full in the face. He fell back two steps screaming in shock and pain as he wiped his eyes clean, a moment later he glared back at her. "Just for that, *bitch*, I'm gonna kill you last!"

She screamed as he came back at her, but suddenly the whole group was illuminated by light and they heard a car suddenly accelerate.

"What the!?"

The car, a sky blue convertible that had seen better years, swept out of nowhere and ran full bore into the three things that were still grouped together. It flashed past, and crashed solidly into the wall of the next building, pinning the three figures between the crumpled hood and the brick wall.

There was a long, deep silence, as everyone stared in shock. Then the three figures, who by rights should have been dead, started screaming in pain and rage.

The women watched as a figure got out of the vehicle, grumbling something they couldn't hear over the screams of the injured, and walked around to the front of the car.

He looked at the crumpled hood and damaged car, noting the stream rising from the radiator, and cursed.

"Damn it! Uncle Rory is gonna flay me alive for this..." He looked at the three 'victims' of his driving and growled. "You damn vampires can't stay out of my life even when I'm not on the Hellmouth, can you?" He whipped something out of his pocket and drove it into the chest of the closest man, and the women let out a cry of shock as the man vanished into dust. The figure then jumped up on the hood and kicked the second one, bouncing it's head off the brick wall, and then slammed it's head down into the hood of the car. A moment, and a stab of the object in his hands, later and the second one had also vanished into dust.

The figure muttered again under his breath and then disposed of the third one before clambering back off the hood of his car and rubbing his head in pain.

"Damn it. Next time I really need a better strategy... ramming the car into them may be effective, but it hurts almost as much as getting pummeled."

"Who are you!?" The leader of the, now defunct, gang growled in anger and shock.

The figure looked up, surprised. "Oh crap. I missed one."

The biker thing growled, "You killed my gang! I'm gonna rip your arms off and beat ya ta death with em!"

The other guys shifted a little nervously, "um... while that sounds like a real fun time to be had by all... I'm gonna have to vote no on that?"

The biker thing screamed in rage and charged.

"Whoa!" The guy screamed in response, barely ducking under the biker and rolling clear. "Can't we talk about this?"

The thing just spun around and grabbed him in a lightning fast move that seemed more like a blur to the observers. The guy screamed out a long wail as he flew through the air, thrown by the biker, and slammed into the wall.

"Ohhhhhh...." He groaned, as he slid down the wall, winding up in a crumpled heap on the ground.

The biker stalked over to him, "You shouldn't have killed my boys..."

The biker grabbed the guy by the shirt and hefted him up, holding him nose to nose as he snarled into the guy's face. "Now I'm gonna hafta make this *hurt*."

"Ditto." The guy gasped out.

"Huh?" The biker got out before his eyes widened in shock and he dropped his opponent, who barely remained standing. He fell back staring at the wooden stake sticking out of his chest and cursed. "Oh crap."

Then he vanished into dust. The only guy left, the one who had driven in with his car, staggered a couple steps toward the women and looked at them with concern. "Every... one... alright?"

The looked around nervously, nodding slowly. "Yeah..."

"Good..." He looked around, his eyes cloudy and unfocused. "That... all of them?"

"Yeah..."

"Good..." He repeated sort of dumbly as his legs gave out from under him and he hit the ground in a crumpled heap.

*****

Present

Faith snickered as she took a pull of her drink, "That sounds familiar. Boytoy here likes to use his car to impress the ladies."

Xander shook his head, sighing. "Do we really have time for this, Faith?"

"There's always time for an embarrassing story, X-man." Faith grinned.

Xander groaned, as Sonya grinned and spoke again. "So anyway... there we were with this cute kid who'd just saved our lives... and who happened to be lying unconscious outside my club. So we did what anyone would do..."

*****

June 27th, 1999

"He's cute."

"Can we keep him?"

"Shush." Sonya said as she knelt by the unconscious figure. "Come on... Trish, Nikki... give me a hand... let's get him inside."

"What about his car?"

"Sandra... you call Tony. Tell him to get over here with his tow truck right away." Sonya ordered, "I don't want the cops involved if we can help it."

Everyone nodded and started following orders.

***** Present

Faith tried to hold back her laughter, at least long enough to swallow her drink. "Someone actually asked if they could keep him??"

Sonya smirked, "Are you kidding me? By the time the summer was over he had three marriage proposals... and a hell of a lot more propositions."

Faith snickered, still trying valiantly to keep from drooling her drink over the table. "Oh god... I need a second to catch my breath."

Xander sighed, "Great. Catch it on the way back to the hotel. We've got to get going."

Faith managed to swallow and shook her head, "Oh no... I ain't leaving yet. I want to hear more of this."

Xander shook his head, "There isn't a whole lot to hear. I spent the summer working in this place to fix my car."

Sonya grinned, "Oh please. You more than fixed the damage in one night..."

Xander shot her a look, hissing a warning. "Sonya...!"

"One night?" Faith grinned in confusion, "You said he crumpled the front end... that must have cost a thousand bucks easy..."

"Fifteen hundred." Sonya grinned, "And some change."

"And he made that in one night?"

"Oh yeah." Sonya grinned wickedly.

"How?"

Xander groaned.

Sonya's eyes drifted to the stage and lingered their for a minute.

"No way." Faith grinned wide.

Sonya just nodded as she grinned wide.

"Way to go, X-man!" Faith crowed, "You even got one up on me there... I've done a lot of crap, but I never stripped... for pay at least."

"It wasn't the stripping that paid for the car." Sonya laughed. "It was all the times he emptied his G-string. Women are a lot more generous then most of the men we have in here... and even more... enthusiastic too."

Xander groaned, banging his head against the table. "Can we please go now?"

"Oh come ON, Boytoy..." Faith grinned, "I want to hear this!"

Xander pushed away from the table, leaving his drink half full on the table. "And I'm sure that you'll hear it all, in detail, eventually... But tonight we have to get moving. We've got an SIT and a Newbie Watcher in New Orleans with a demon problem, remember?"

Faith sighed and nodded, "Oh alright."

As they got up and Xander slung his things over his shoulder, Sonya stood up and hugged him hard. "You be careful, Xander."

He grinned, sort of self-effacingly. "You know me, Sonya.. I see danger I run the other way unless I've got no choice."

"Right." She smiled, shaking her head. "Just try not to kill yourself while your doing all that 'running'."

Xander nodded, "I promise, Sonya. You take care of yourself and the girls here too. Ok?"

"I always do, Xander." She said, smiling up at the stage. "That's what I do, afterall."

Xander nodded then motioned Faith to the door. "Come on, let's get out of here."

Sonya watched the two of them leave and shook her head. "God go with you, Alex."

*****

The two of them stumbled back into the apartment some time later, having stored Xander's supplies in the SUV first.

"Here you are." Spike growled at them as he looked up from the snowy TV at them, "We should have been on the road over an hour ago!"

Faith grinned, "It was worth the delay."

"Huh?"

"Don't ask." Xander muttered, "We'll just pack up fast and we'll be moving."

"Huh? Oh... right." Spike said, flicking off the TV. "Already seen that movie anyway."

The quickly packed up their things and were out the door within minutes. Ten minutes after that they were on the road and heading out of Oxnard.

"Alright." Xander said, "It's nonstop to New Orleans now. I'll do a couple hours, then Spike has the wheel t'ill dawn. Faith, you good to go in the morning?"

"You know it, boytoy." Faith smirked.

Xander shook his head, "Good. I'll take over at noon. We'll stop for something to eat when we get a chance, and try to score some blood from a butcher for Spike on the way."

"Wait a sec here!" Spike objected, "We're driving through the day? What about me?"

Faith turned around and smirked at him, "You see that tarp back there?"

Spike looked back, "You have to be bloody well kidding me!"

*****

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