This is a Post Helloween fic. There are some differences. What they
are i'm not going to tell you. You'll just have to read and find out.

Title: Taking an initiative.
Author: Cobra
Rating: R
Summary: Things changed after the Ethan Rayne Halloween Party. New
people, new jobs, new ways of thinking. The more things change the
less they seem the same.
Disclaimer: I do not own any Characters or names related to BTVS.

Chapter One

The gang filed into Sunnydale High in the usual way. Willow was all
hyper, Buffy was tired, the only difference seemed to be in one
Xander Harris, who was just quiet. For once. No one seemed to notice
though, as news of there principals demise spread like a California
wild fire.

"I heard his neck was broke, and he was half eaten."

"True." Xander said without looking away from Buffy. The guy looked
at him and shrugged.

"See."

"I heard he was kidnapped by aliens and anal probed." A jock said
and Xander actually stopped and looked at him.

"One False. Two... Eww."

"Whatever Harris." The Jock said and went to push the young man. He
didn't act shocked that he missed. Xander smirked slightly and
laughed as he put his arms over Willow and Buffy's shoulders.

"I've got a good feeling about the rest of the year."

"Great. We're screwed." Buffy said with a deadpan voice. Xander
removed his arm from her shoulders and held his chest.

"Y.. yeah, If his psychic ability is anything like his choices in
women we've got an apocalypse coming."

"Okay," Xander said stopping in his tracks and causing the two girls
to turn and look at him.

"Who are you and what have you done with my Willow." He said with a
mock serious face that made Willow laugh. Buffy followed soon after.

"We better get to class." Willow said as she took a breath. Buffy
nodded in agreement.

"Yeah."

"Not the Xand-man. I gotta go get my bag from the Library. See you
in class."

"K." The girls said at the same time. Xander smiled and turned to
walk toward the library just as the first period bell rang. The
halls were quickly deserted. He began to whistle as he walked, the
Andy Griffith theme echoed through the empty halls.

"Why aren't you in class?" A strong female voice asked causing
Xander to whirl around and smiled out of reflex.

"Forgot my bag in the library. Going to go get it. You new here?"

"Yes," The woman said with a smile.," My name is Maggie Walsh.
Prinicipal Walsh." Xander raised both eyebrows.

"Already found a new one. You must have been waiting for Snyder to
kick the bucket."

"That's very rude." The woman said with a stern voice. Xander smiled
slightly.

"So was Snyder."

"What is your name?" The woman asked her pleasant tone gone. Xander
stiffened slightly for a reason that eluded him.

"Alexander Harris."

"Ah," Walsh said her eyes beginning to twinkle. Xander noticed but
decidly didn't ask any questions., "I remember you now. I read
Snyders file on you and your gang."

"Gang? Um, lady, I have two real friends in this entire school, and
there 5' 3" and female. Yeah, were totally bad ass Crip killas."

"Watch your mouth Mr. Harris. I'm not as lenient on your kind as
Snyder was."

"I've got to get my bag. So. Buh bye." Xander turned leaving Maggie
Walsh fuming in the hallway, if she didn't need him so badly she
would have expelled him on the spot.

"So anyone met the new Principal?" Willow asked as she, Buffy, and
Xander took there lunch to there normal table.

"Yeah," Xander said taking a drink of his Coke as he sat
down., "She's the troll's long lost twin."

"Really?" Buffy asked in a deadfull voice. Xander nodded his head as
he took a bit out of the mystery meat the school was serving.

"Well," He said with a slightly regretful voice., "I'm not really
sure, I was kinda smart mouthing her. She's probably a pretty good
lady." The girls looked at him for a moment before looking up and
noticing the older woman that was walking up to Xander's back. They
looked at him in shock as he half smiled and winked at them.

"Kiss Ass." Buffy mouthed as Walsh turned her head to glare at a
passing skateboarder. Xander only smiled a full tooth smile.

"Mr Harris. I need to have a word with you." Walsh said as she
stopped at Xander's side. Xander nodded his head, he grabbed his
Coke as he stood.

"Lead the way." He said with a smile that was anything but sincere.
Walsh looked at him curiously before she nodded and they walked out
the girls hearing.

"I hear you, have little vigilante streak in you." Walsh said as
they stopped. The coke that was halfway down Xander's throat
abruptly shot back up and into the air.

"W.. What?" He asked shocked and confused. He also found the
question, hilarious.

"Snyder's file said you were part of a local vigilante group."

"Well, Snyder was a dick lady. Don't believe half what the creep
left you about everyone. He was a troll. And I don't like speaking
ill of the dead. Well, as long as there DEAD and not...," Xander
laughed for a minute then looked at her., "Sorry, but he was a
troll."

"I'm beginning to think that myself actually.," Walsh said in a
disappointed tone. She really hoped the file on the Harris boy had
been correct.

"Sorry to disturb you lunch Mr. Harris."

"Not a problem. Sorry you had to come in after Snyder, Flutie would
have been a better predecor."

"I'll deal. Good day."

"You to." Xander said and turned walking back to his table. He
started laughing again.

Xander awoke quickly using all the willpower he had to not scream.
Another dream, another nightmare. The young man shook his head as if
to clear it and got out of bed knowing he wasn't going to be able to
sleep anymore. He quickly slid on a pair of dark blue jeans and a
dark long sleeved shirt. Almost as an after thought he grabbed an
old black ski mask and climbed out of the only window in his room.
Then, in Xander Harris fashion he crawled back in and found a few
wooden stakes and the suprise he was going to give Buffy that
weekend. He might as well try it out for her, if it came to that.

Xander walked through the alleys of Sunnydale with a normal step.
Deciding to stay away from the cemetery's he focused on the inner
part of the small town. He had only been out walking about twenty
minutes when he heard the scream. His instincts causing him to run
straight toward the loud sound. He slid to a stop at the corner and
looked around into the alley. A young blonde woman was pushed
against the wall as a male vampire licked her neck. Xander closed
his eyes and took a deep breath. The mast on his face causing the
sound to muffle. Then, he turned and did the only thing he could
think of. He did what Buffy would do.

"Hey Fang face!" Xander yelled with a smile. The vampire turned and
looked at the young man before snorting.

"I'll get rid of you in a minute." The vampire turned back to the
girl who was still trying to get free. Xander took a few steps
toward the vamp. His right hand sliding a pocket knife from his back
pocket, out of the vamps sight.

"Well, you see I have this thing about me. I can't just watch a
beautiful girl die, call me crazy but I'm just to damn manly to
stand aside. So I gotta go first blood boy." Xander tried to hide
the stutter in his voice. The one that told everyone he was scared
shitless. It wasn't working. Then, he stopped thinking.

"Fine," The vamp said before tossing the girl aside and looking at
Xander with an evil smile. He started walking toward the young man
talking the entire time., "Ya know I don't get it. Why do all you
mortals think your invincible. It's not lik..." The vampire was cut
off as Xander whipped the knife from behind his back and sliced into
the vamps throat with one motion. As the vamp instinctivly reached
up to it's throat Xander slammed the knife handle deep into the
vamps chest. Smoke poured from around the blade as the vampire tried
to scream in pain. It burst into dust just as Xander pulled the
knife free.

"I knew it would work.," He said with a smile and looked at the
knife in wonder. He heard the sobbing and remembered the girl. He
wondered for a moment why she didn't run then he noticed her holding
her ankle. He walked toward her quickly and she looked at him and
screamed. He stopped in his tracks then shook his head and pulled
off his mask. A remorseful grin was on his face.

"I'm a good guy.," He said as he moved down and removed her shoe so
he could see her ankle.

"You sprained it pretty good, might have torn a ligament or two.
Come on, I'll help you get home." Xander pulled the girl up
carefully as she leaned her weight on him., "Names Xander, what's
yours?"

"Jessica, Jessica Walsh."

Xander groaned as he walked into Sunnydale High, he hadn't gotten
home until around one in the morning and sleep just wouldn't come.

"Xander?" A voice he didn't immediatly recognized asked from behind
him. Xander turned slowly and a smile formed on his face.

"Hey Jess. Didn't expect to see you in the halls of Sunnydale High."

"Ditto boy wonder."

"I'm all man lady." Xander said as the two began walking again.

"Look, I didn't get a chance to thank you last night."

"Don't worry about it. Just doing my duty as an american citizen."
Xander said with a large smile as the two walked.

"Hey Xand." Buffy said as she popped up from an ajoining hallway on
his left side.

"If it isn't the Buffinator. Buffy, I'd like you to meet Jessica."

"Nice to meet you. Walsh asign Xander to be your chaperone?"

"Nah, I volunteered him." Jessica said with a smile to the blonde.

"See, told you I was wanted." Xander said to Buffy and stuck his
tongue at her.

"I didn't know you knew anyone outside of school Xan."

"One, I didn't. Two, OW, that really cuts the ego."

"Xander and I met last night." Jessica said with a smile on her
face., "He saved me."

"She's kidding Buffy, I just asked her to dance when she was being
hit on by some other spaz." He stops for a moment in thought., "I
really need to stop putting myself down."

"What did he do?" Buffy asked as she looked at Xander from the
corner of her eyes. A glare preparing to be unleashed.

"Three guys had me cornored in an alley and he chased them off. I
swear he looked like a White Knight or something when he ran into
the alley." Jessica said with a smile.

"She's exaggerating. Really." Xander said as they reached there
first class. He smiled as he looked at Jessica., "This is Mr. Johns
class, he's the second most dreaded teacher at Sunnydale High. If
SunnyD High is Hell, Johns is one of the little bastards with a
pitchfork. So from hear on out, Hush is the word k?" Jessica nodded
with a roll of her eyes while Buffy smiled and did the same., "Kewl."

Xander grumbled to himself as he walked to the Principals Office. He
smiled at the secretary then knocked on Miss. Walshs' door with a
quick hand.

"Come in Xander." Xander opened the door and quickly shut it, taking
a seat across the desk from Walsh.

"You wanted to see me?" He asked with a neutral tone.

"Yes, it seems my neice is rather taken with you Mr. Harris."

"Jessica's your neice? I was thinking sister." Xander said with a
straight face.

"Flattery will get you nowhere. However, your explanation might. Was
it really a vampire you killed last night?"

"Uh?" Xander asked in a confused tone as his mind ran at a hundred
miles an hour.

"I know what goes on in this town Alexander. I'm not blind. I simply
want to know if you saved my daughter from a gang member on PCP?"

"Yeah." Xander said with a sigh., "I did."

"Thank you Alexander." Walsh said actually showing genuine emotion.

"Just doing what's right. You don't have to thank me." Xander said
in the back of his mind soaking in the attention. It wasn't everyday
you were thanked for anything in this town.

"Be that as it may. I'd like to repay you."

"That's okay. You don't have to." Xander started only to stop when
Walsh held up her hand to silence him.

"How long have you been doing this?"

"About a year I guess."

"That's longer than most people."

"Doesn't suprise me.", Xander said in a sad voice. He knew when he
became involved his life span was drasticly shortened.

"What if I could give you the tools, and the man power to handle the
HST's in this town?"

"HST's?"

"Hostile Sub-terestrials."

"I'd have to ask how? And Why?"

"That's need to know information Mr. Harris.", Walsh said with a
strict tone.

"If your asking me to do this on faith you can count me out. I don't
have much faith in people Principal Walsh." Xander said as he began
to stand. Walsh looked in thought for a moment before speaking.

"I'm working with the Government on an experimental project called
the Initiative. We kill and capture HST's."

"Capture? Why would you want to do that?" Xander ask as he sits back
down, once again interested.

"Believe it or not, these demons have there uses. We believe the
Acratha demons seccret a phermone that can be used to cure some
forms of Cancer. The Bracian demons have the ability to regenerate
lost limbs, could you imagine what studying these creatures could do
to further human science?"

"When you put it like that it's kind of hard to say no." Xander said
as he looks in deep thought., "I do have a few conditions, well
request really."

"Tell them to me, I'll see what I can do."

"I'll get you a list. We need to set up a base of operations. Begin
recrutiment, we're nowhere near ready to take on the things in this
town."

"We will be Mr. Harris. I promise you that."

"Call me Xander. It seems were going to be working together."

END CHAPTER ONE
I'll have the next chapter of MAC and hopefully the next chapter of
Dark out in the next week. Also I'm planning on updating both my JOH
stories and my Phantasm crossover The Chase in the next two or three
weeks. sorry guys, my laptop went down and I've lost the next two
chapters of JOH and just can't seem to rewrite them the way I want.
I'll get back on track soon.
Later

Cobra

Title: Taking an initiative.
Author: Cobra
Rating: R
Summary: Things changed after the Ethan Rayne Halloween Party. New
people, new jobs, new ways of thinking. The more things change the
less they seem the same.
Disclaimer: I do not own any Characters or names related to BTVS.

Chapter Two.

"So, what else will you need Xander?" Walsh asked with an almost
smile.

"A leave of abscence. And a car. I need to make contacts, recruit."
Xander said in a serious tone, a business tone.

"The military have plenty of recruits."

"I know that, but I want people with experience. On the Hellmouth we
are going to need more than one team, and that means we need people
that are proven in the line of fire. There's men that would stand up
to a gun, but a vampire, that would scare them shitless. Fear of the
unknown Miss Walsh."

"I understand that I suppose. It will be done. Anything else?"

"Yeah, I already have an ally, I don't like him, but I trust and
respect him. I wanna bring him in on this."

"I don't see a problem with that."

"He's a vampire." Xander said in a deadpan voice. Walsh blinked her
eyes for a second.

"And you trust him?"

"He's saved his share of lives." Xander said before explaining., "He
was cursed with a soul. He's not evil."

"If you trust him, I'll trust you, for now." Walsh said in a
strained and distrustful tone. Xander nodded his head.

"When can I leave?"

"Tomorrow is friday, I can give you a week, no more, at least not at
one time." Walsh said in thought as Xander nodded his head.

"I gotta go, talk to my... friend." Xander said the last word in
distaste., "I'll be back tomorrow morning."

"Would you like weapons on this little trip?" Walsh asked with a
smirk.

"The bigger the better, and the normal vamp equipment. If you can
swing anything that will cause, extreme damage it would come in
handy." Xander said as he stood and walked toward the door.

"I'll do what I can." Walsh said with a no nonsense tone.

"See you tomorrow." Xander said as he opened her door and stepped
out closing it behind him.

"This will be interesting." Walsh said to herself, a look of thought
on her face.

Xander knocked on the door of the apartment with a hard right hand.
It was opened slowly as Angel rubbed his eyes.

"Xander?" The vampire with a soul asked in a confused voice, then a
panicked one., "Is Buffy okay?" Xander smiled as he stepped into the
apartment.

"Relax Deadboy, Buff is fine. I just need to talk to you. Ask you a
few things."

"Huh?"

"Your a little slow in the afternoon aren't you." Xander said with a
chuckle as he flipped a lightswitch. A pale yellow light entered the
room and Xander moved over to sit in the only chair in the
room., "You know this thing with you and Buffy isn't going to work
right?"

"I don't want to talk to you about this." Angel said anger entering
his voice.

"Too bad. No one else seems to be smart enough to tell you the
truth." Xander said his voice not growing in octave., "You're not an
idiot dead boy, I know you understand what I'm saying."

"It's none of your business!" Angel said in a loud voice.

"It's my only business Angel. To protect my girls. You know me
better than to say that." Xander said somehow keeping his calm.
Angel seemed to deflate at his words.

"I love her Xander. I really do."

"I know. So do I. But neither of us are good for her." Xander said
with a sigh. Actually hating that Angel had understood what he had
been saying.

"What do you mean?" Angel asked slightly confused at Xander's
statement.

"She wants out of this life Angel. She wants the white picket fence
and two point five kids. But you and me, we're in this fight for
life. Because we want her out of it to. And to get her out, we have
to fight. It's the price we have to pay." Xander paused in his
speech for a moment., "The only time we work together is if it's for
Buffy. So, whadda ya say Angel? Up for another trip down tornado
alley?"

"What do you have in mind?"

"I have a backer, she'll pay for recruitment, armamant, everything.
I don't trust them enough to bring Buffy and the others in."

"But I'm fair game huh?"

"I knew you'd die for her to. That just means you'd be willing to
take that chance."

"When do we leave?"

"Tomorrow night. You gonna say goodbye?"

"Maybe."

"It's up to you deadboy, but she does deserve an explanation."

"I know."

"I still don't like you Angel."

"Don't much care for you either Harris." Angel said with an almost
smile., "But thanks anyway."

"You to Deadboy." Xander said as he left the apartment with a
resounding click of the door latch. Angel moved toward the chair and
sat down softly. Then, he put his head in his hands and cried.

Xander walked into the library that night with a heavy heart. As he
pushed open the doors the faces of his three best friends raised up
to look at him.

"You look beat Xander." Buffy said in a soft voice as Xander plopped
down in a seat beside her.

"I'm cool."

"Are you still having nightmares Xander?" Giles asked as he sat down
at the head of the table. Xander nodded subconcieusly.

"Yeah, there getting more graphic every night G-man."

"What was the last one about?" Willow asked in a caring voice.

"My squad was surrounded by twenty chaos demons, it was like I was
there, seeing the life drain from there eyes."

"You can't live like this Xander. We have to do something." Buffy
said as she held his hand.

"I've talked Walsh into giving me a leave of absence. Got my uncles
car, I just need to clear my head. Get my priorities straight again."

"You don't need to go off on your own Xand." Willow said as she
moved over and hugged her friend.

"I'm gonna be fine Willow. I need to be alone. I need quiet, to
figure out exactly how to get rid of these damn nightmares." Xander
said sighing deeply as he closed his eyes.

"Do you remember anything from that night Xander?" Giles asked as he
looked at one of his charges.

"Everything G-man, I remember everything. It's strange isn't it.
That idiot Ethan gave me the costume of a hero, you think a
worshipper of chaos would only want villians."

"He needs someone to protect him Xander. He would be nothing if the
world was ruled by Chaos." Giles explained to the young man with a
warm smile.

"Yeah. I'm gonna head out tonight guys. Just wanted to come by and
tell ya I'll be back sunday after next. So you don't start worrying
about me."

"We're still gonna worry, you better call everynight." Willow said
with her resolve face. Xander smiled despite himself.

"You got it Wills. I'll talk to you guys later." Xander said as he
stood and said his goodbyes. He walked to the exit and opened the
doors. Leaving his friends for a short time.

Walsh stood by the car as the passenger side door slammed shut.

"Here's the credit card. And if you run into any trouble just call."
Walsh said as she turned and walked away.

"Thanks." Xander said loud enough to reach her retreating form.

"She's just a little cranky watching all these immature teenagers."
Jessica said as she stepped up to Xander., "Be careful okay?"

"This is me we're talkin about." Xander said with a smile.

"I know." Jessica answered and leaned in quickly kissing Xander on
the lips. The young man blinked in shock then smiled., "Good luck."

"Thanks." Xander said as he came out of his stuper and opened the
drivers side door. He closed the door and started the car, putting
the new SUV into gear he waved out the window as he drove from the
school parking lot., "Ready for this Deadboy."

"I doubt it. Never, in a million years, would I ever think of
partnering up with you."

"Partner? Hell no, your a grunt in this army Angel. Me, I'm a
general."

"This is going to suck."

"Did you just make a joke?" Xander asked in a shocked voice.

"No."

"Yeah, you did, there might be hope for you yet blood breath."

"Xander."

"Yeah?"

"Shut up."

END CHAPTER TWO.