Chapter 9 - The final installment of Time to Go Home.
AN: Thanks for reading, Standard Disclaimer still applies.

Lucas blinked his eyes open slowly, adjusting to the dim light in the room and the figure that sat slumped in the chair by his bed.

" Hey," The boy croaked and Xander lifted his head up and smiled,

" Hey yourself." He replied and looked away as he caught the shocked expression on Lucas's face. With only one eye, his patch lost in the scuffle with Calamitas and too many bruises to count Xander hadn't even dared look in a mirror he dreaded to think what he looked like.

" What happened?" Lucas demanded,

" I came to say goodbye Luke,"

" What? Why?" The teen demanded struggling into a painful sitting position,

" What I do now. Who I am…I made the mistake of thinking I could just take a break from that to come home. I never thought they'd come after you, " Xander shook his head

" Who would? Xander you're not making any sense." Lucas begged and Xander rose painfully from the chair, a hand holding his side where he was sure one of Calamitas' blows had broken his ribs.

" I'll come back," Xander whispered and he turned to the door,

" Xander!" Lucas called and Xander turned his head

" Look after Keith for me will you, he's not going to understand but tell him that I won't put this family at risk any more. That I won't be responsible for you getting hurt again."

" Xander you can't go, " Lucas called out but it was too late Xander was already gone.

He made it to his car before Dan caught up with him,

" Xander?" His older brother asked and Xander unlocked the car door but didn't open it yet as he turned to Dan,

" That's it you're leaving? " Dan demanded and Xander nodded

" And what was all that crap about wanting to be a part of this family last night? You just make that up to play me?"

" No Dan, but…" Xander hung his head,

" What?" Xander?"

" Keith and Lucas are lying in there because someone wanted to get to me. " Xander stated and Dan frowned,

" What?" He asked not understanding,

" He thought if he took my family out then I'd stop coming, he thought it would stop me but it won't."

Dan still looked confused,

" What are you talking about Xander?" He asked

" I left to join a fight Dan,"

" I thought you ran away to make a point?" Dan queried and Xander shook his head,

" I was offered an opportunity, an opportunity that I couldn't turn down because it was too important."

Dan shook his head, " What could be more important than your family? " The older man was getting angry and Xander raised his hands gently and with hand drew a semi-circle.

" This," He stated as he drew the globe,

" What?" Dan demanded and Xander smiled,

" The World."

" You ran away because of the fight for the World?" Dan stated in disbelief and Xander nodded,

" A fight that has raged for centuries between good and evil, and I was told that I could save the world. That I could make a difference."

" Have you lost your mind?" Dan blurted

" I don't care if you believe me Dan but you at least deserve to know the truth and to know that I can't stay until a little more of the battle is won. Until I know that you'll be safe."

" You really believe that don't you."

" Take care of them for me Dan, and I'll be back. I promise I'll be back."

Dan stared in shock as Xander climbed into the truck, and as Dan took a step back the truck roared into life and took Xander away into the night.

" You have been hunting me Human?"

Xander nodded retrieving his gun from the waistband of his pants,

" You came after my family, "

" They were a means to an end."

" Yeah, what end?"

" You. " The demon stated and charged the broad sword raised above his head.

Xander emptied the clip into the demon who was forced back by the impact of the bullets but otherwise unaffected by the shooting.

" Your weapons are of no use Human,"

The demon charged again and brought the sword down, Xander blocked the strike with the gun the two metals clanging loudly in the night, taking a step forward Xander kicked out at Calamitas, his boot catching the demon in the stomach.

" They said you would be a challenge." The demon said with a cough and a grin as he stumbled back,

" Who said?" Xander demanded as he fetched another clip from his pocket and jammed it into the weapon,

" My employers."

The shock of the statement nearly caused Xander to stop still but Calamitas raised the sword again and the motion snapped Xander out of the daze as he fired again, this time his aim targeted at the sword itself.

Sparks flew from the weapon as the bullets hit the steel and the sword flew out of Calamitas' hands, driven by the force of the gunshots.

" Somebody hired you to attack this town?" Xander demanded the demon as the two circled each other,

" No, somebody hired me to attack you." The demon answered as he charged, tackling Xander around the middle and pile-driving him into the ground, forcing the air violently from Xander's lungs.

Xander gasped for air and twisted his legs up underneath the massive body of the demon and as the demon punched Xander twice hard across the face with fists the size of melons Xander kicked out with both legs and sent the demon flying off of him.

Calamitas landed on his back and Xander scrambled away and retrieved the demon's sword and using two hands to hold it he advanced on Calamitas once more.

" Who hired you?" Xander demanded and Calamitas smiled,

" They are not a who, but a union, taking the fight for the night from the streets and transforming it into an organised society better equipped to handle the multitude of Slayers who have infected the world. "

" Their name?" Xander demanded and Calamitas shook his head and pushed himself into a standing position,

" Should they want you to know their name, then you would know their name."

The demon charged again and Xander brought the sword up but not in time for a strike, the sword impaling the demon through the chest as he tried to once again tackle Xander. The pair fell to the floor where it was a struggle for Xander to claw his way out from underneath the dead demon.

" Why do I get the feeling you were just the messenger." Xander sighed as he watched the body begin to sizzle and finally dissolve into a thick purple goo which drained through the ground.

As Xander drove he relayed the new information to Giles on his cell phone, who ordered him back to the Council's headquarters for research. There was a new threat in the night and knowing that they would be prepared to target the families of the Council's warriors there was an increased urgency to find those responsible.

Xander flipped the phone shut and sighed as he read the sign caught in the truck's headlights, ' Thankyou for visiting Tree Hill, Come Again Soon." Then the truck rounded a corner and Tree Hill was once again behind him.

The End for Now.