Title: Traveler interlude

Author: Sami


Summary: The Scoobies find out about Xander's new job.

Xander had been pacing in his parents' basement for a while now. It was becoming a daily ritual: pace for a bit, agonize over telling the gang about what he did over the summer (but not about when one of the male strippers got sick. Never about that. Never.), and then chicken out. "I will tell them, I will tell them." Xander said in a slow, quiet chant. He was trying to figure out how to casually tell them about his trip through the looking glass and into the dimension of the Wise. He couldn't just say, 'So, what did you do over the summer? Me? I got a divine mission to save people-somewhat like Buffy's, but without the superpowers. Yeah, I think I might have been high also.' I could just ask Giles about different dimensions and let something about the Wise slip and just say it was a crazy dream, Xander mused. Xander stopped in the middle of the basement. "That's it! Eureka! I have found it!" Xander started walking towards the door but then looked down. "But maybe I should put pants on."

Xander got to Giles's house, fully clothed and ready to talk. Opening the door, Xander got greeted with Willow, Buffy, and Giles looking rather miffed. "Hello? Was there a Scooby meeting and no one told me?" Xander asked confused, as he walked in. Closing the door behind him, he faced his friends. Whoa, Willow hasn't looked this angry since I stole her Barbie, he thought, as he rubbed his hands together nervously.

Buffy crossed her arms. "I think this is about what you haven't told us."

Xander rubbed his now sweaty palms on his pants. "Is this about how I didn't tell you when that stripper got sick? Cause if you want to know, I could tell you, but be warned it involves a fireman's outfit and some drunk middle-aged women." Buffy just narrowed her eyes. OK, joking not working, and Buffy is giving me a very scary I'm-going-to-slay-you look.

Giles took off his glasses and proceeded to wipe them clean. Giles put them back on his nose and looked Xander in the eye. "Why have you not told anyone about appearing out of thin air in LA, shooting a rifle at a demonic-"

"Light thingy, you could have been killed, you lout," Willow interrupted, looking angry and distressed. Xander gulped and shoved his hands in his pockets.

Giles gave Willow a disapproving look before going on. "Yes, Willow's quite right. You could have been killed. Why didn't you mention that little incident to anyone?"

Oh, shit, Xander thought miserably. Houston, we have a problem. Xander's been a lame ass and now has to fess up. Do you copy? "I-I-I didn'tthinkitwasrealoranythingandIthoughtIwashallucinating-Yeah," Xander mumbled. Why isn't Buffy saying anything? Why's she giving me that look? Xander thought as Willow got up and poked him in the chest.

"That isn't an excuse. That has never been an excuse. We are your friends and you never told us. What is wrong with you?" Willow's face was red and she had her hands on her hips. She looked so cute angry, Xander thought.

Buffy looked up at him. "Why didn't you tell us?"

Xander looked down. "I didn't really believe it myself. I mean, I thought I was hallucinating." Xander sat down, passing a still angry and standing Willow. "Only on TV or in movies does a disembodied voice give you missions."

The rest of the Scoobies went from betrayed and angry to confused. "Disembodied voices?" Giles asked incredulously.

Xander kept his head down, not even looking up when Willow sat down next to him. "One minute I'm washing cocktail glasses, listening to the song 'Tootsie Roll' and the next I'm on some sort of platform thing in space." Xander cringed after reviewing what he had said over in his head. He looked up. "But I wasn't on drugs. No hallucinogens for me. Helping Buffy's my anti-drug."

Giles ran a hand through his short hair. "We had already ruled drugs out of the question when Angel called me and told us about your exploits there."

Xander noticed that Buffy looked stricken for a second at Angel's name. "Wait, you guys thought I was on drugs?" Xander asked, sort of insulted.

Willow bit her lip for a second. "Well, you had this far off look all the time, and on occasion you looked like you didn't know where you were for a second."

"And you had this bloodshot shifty look in your eyes," Buffy added.

Xander nodded. "Well I get sort of confused after those mission whatever things."

Giles had gotten a book out while they were talking and asked, "What was it like in that dimension you spoke of?"

"Um, marble-like floors in the middle of space. A voice from nowhere telling me to accept my destiny, and that the Wise had decreed it. I went there in this bright light, which for some reason no one else saw. That's about it." Xander looked at Giles who was carefully, yet hastily, flipping through pages in his book. He tried not to notice that Willow and Buffy were doing the silent girl communication and that he was the focus of the conversation. "So, G-fresh. What's in the book? Am I crazy, or am I the new Doctor?"

Giles looked up from his book with a look of distaste at his newest nickname. Buffy looked at Willow and mouthed the word 'doctor.' Willow shrugged.

Giles frowned down on Xander. "No, you're not insane. I haven't the faintest idea how Dr. Who fits into this, so no you're not the new Doctor. You're just going to be tapped for missions. It doesn't really say much about the Wise, except for their choosing to change history, or affect it in some way." Giles put down his book absently and went to another bookshelf muttering, "Where did I put that volume. It's near Aquinas but where did I put-"

"So, you got a divine mission. Maybe we should start a club," Buffy said.

Willow frowned, "Could I be an honorary member? Since I don't have a mission, I could write the monthly newsletter."

Xander smiled, "Yeah, you could be Wendy and we could be your super friends. But I really don't have superpowers, they usually just give me a gun and tell me where to point."

Willow raised her eyebrows, but Buffy was the one who did the talking, "A gun? Those things never help."

Xander shrugged. "I think the Wise are card carrying members of the NRA."

Willow and Buffy laughed, and all was right with the world.