Author: Cobra Rating: M Summary: Set after season seven Xander get's his first solo mission from the newly reformed Watchers council.
Disclaimer: I own nothing!!
"This is pretty good.", Buffy said to Xander as she took a big bite of her breakfast.
"Just stay away from the haggis and all will be well.", Xander said with a smile. Buffy chuckled slightly then looked around the small diner.
"Why is everyone still looking at us?"
"I believe I can answer that lass.", A slightly joking voice said from her left.
"Or I.", A second voice said, both causing Xander to groan and lay his head on the table.
"Now is that anyway ta greet ye brothers Alex.", Conner McCanus said with a smile as he took a seat at the table, followed by his brother Murphy.
"Buff, I'd like you to meet Conner and Murphy McManus."
"I know those names."
"W're pretty famous back in de states.", Murphy said with a smile and a wink.
"Stuff it. What the hell do you two idiots want?"
"Is that anyway ta talk your older brothers. Kids these days."
"Keep pushin it."
"Mum called and told us ye was here. Couldn't pass up the reunion of the Saints."
"Wouldn't miss it for the world.", Xander said with a smile.
"You don't sound like you're from here.", Buffy said stating the obvious.
"Because we ain't lass. We be Irish."
"Um, so how..."
"We'll let Alex tell ye that sometime.", Conner said with a smile. He opened his mouth once again before the quartet was interrupted.
"Alexander.", A deep voice said causing Xander to turn his head.
"Hey Zack. What's up?", Xander asked the man in the court sheriff's uniform.
"I um, I need you to come look at something with me. By the Loch."
"Sure.", Xander said with a slightly confused look on his face., "Connor and Murphy will make sure you get back to Uncs."
"Aye.", Both brothers said at once then slapped eachother on the back of the head before launching into a playful words game.
"I see where you get it from.", Buffy said with a smile and a nod.
"Are you kidding. They spent there entire childhood trying to be me."
"HEY!", The two brothers yelled as Xander walked from the diner.
"Be careful.", Buffy yelled with a little tremor in her voice.
"Pff. Like anything around here could kill Alex.", Murphy said as he leaned back and lit a cigarette.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Now now lass.", Conner said as he leaned in close., "'Tis a secret."
"I don't like secrets"
"Not my problem."
Xander walked around the campsite with a deep breath. It had been a nasty sight, one that would hold up residence in his nightmares along with everything else the young man had seen.
"What do you think?", The Sheriff asked with a slightly beaten tone.
"I think we have a problem.", Xander said with a sigh., "Tell the press, hell tell everyone not in the know it was an animal attack. Not a nessie attack. The last thing we need is to be overrun by tourist."
"The shop's and hotels might not agree with you."
"I don't care. This is going to get messy. For one thing... I'm not saying this was Nessie, but, if it was, we don't know how to kill it. And just as important, we don't know how to find it.", Xander stated with a hard tone., "Besides, I don't really think it's Nessie."
"Why not? You've seen the monster.", Zack said with a slightly shocked tone., "you're the only one who really has."
"Just trust me Zack."
"I'll do what I can. But you need to do your part Alex."
"Count on it.", Xander said with a nod and a tight lipped smile as he thought of how to proceed., "I need you to get some samples of the blood on and around the victim."
"Mind if I ask why?"
"Templar business.", Xander said in a whisper., "You'll just have to wait to find out."
The moon glowed a brilliant white as Xander stood on the cliff facing the waters of Loch Ness. Once again unable, and afraid to sleep.
"The word sleep must be extremely overexaggerated with you mortals.", Conner MacLoed said as he walked up to Xander's right side.
"No rest for the wicked. Or the dumb."
"I think it's time.", Xander said with a sigh as he pulled his hands from his hands from his pockets.
"Time for what?"
"To go back down there.", Xander said as he slapped his older, extremely older, friend on the back of the head.
"No one's been down there since you."
"And only a few were down there before me. I can handle it."
"Never said you couldn't lad. You know I can't go with you."
"I know. I must go alone.", Xander said with a sarcastic tone., "Again."
"Do you remember?", Conner asked, slightly frightened for his friends safety.
"Nope. Nothing vivid anyway. Just a few feelings. Fear, anger, and somehow, hope and happiness."
"Zack is convinced it was a Nessie attack."
"It wasn't.", Xander said as he turned and walked back toward the castle.
"How can you be sure?"
"I just know Conner. Trust me. Nessie has nothing to do with this."
"If you say so Alexander.", Conner said with a smile on his face., "Will you at least be taking a weapon this time?"
"As many as I can possibly carry.", Xander answered with a serious tone. The look in his eyes one Conner had seen in many men over the last few hundred years.
"So, where are we going?", Buffy asked as she walked into the room the two shared. Xander smiled at the beautiful blonde slayer before continuing to pack a back pack
"We, aren't going anywhere. Conner asked me to go on a little hike slash camping trip for a day or two."
"I don't think that's a good idea.", Buffy said as she sat on the bed beside the bag Xander was packing., "With the 'Animal attack' yesterday."
"The sarcastic tone is not lost on me Buffster. But I'll be fine. I can take care of myself and you really don't need to worry about Conner."
"Well, what am I supposed to do without you?"
"Zack, the sheriff.", Xander elaborated for Buffy.
"Um, he's not entirely ugly but I don't thin..."
"If you would let me finish.", Xander said with a large smile that caused Buffy to blush., "His sister is coming over tonight to show you around the town and keep company till your handsome and fantastic male friend can find his way back to you."
"Well, he better hurry. I don't know what I'd do without my Xander shaped pillow."
"Don't ever forget it.", Xander said in a mock serious tone as he zipped up the bag and slung one strap over his right shoulder., "I'll be back tomorrow or the day after."
"Just be sure to come back.", Buffy said with a smile as she gave her best friend a hug.
"You know I couldn't stay away from my Buffy.", Xander stated as a fact as he pulled out of the hug.
"So you're MY Xander?"
"Most of the time.", Xander answered as he raised his eyebrows up and down., "Though sometimes in my dreams you and Faith might share me."
"Perv.", Buffy said with a smile as she slapped her friends shoulder.
"I guess you better go.", Buffy said as she again hugged her best male friend. Her touch lingering longer than neccessary.
"Yeah.", Xander said as Buffy pulled away and he walked to the door before turning around., "You know I love you right?"
"Ditto.", Buffy said with a slight blush as Xander closed the door behind him. Buffy turned quickly grabbing a duffel bag from the closet as she began to throw clothes in., "No way in hell am I staying here."
END CHAPTER THREE