Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy & Co. or any other characters or situations that you may recognize in this story.

1. Chapter One

Parent Trap

He should have known. He should have known that his idea would backfire. But the costume store proprietor, Ethan (May he be dragged into a icy Hell filled with Teletubbies) was offering a 'buy one, get two free' sale in the rummage bin. And Xander just couldn't pass up getting two free things with his plastic gun - especially when he saw the mustache and long black wig.

It seemed perfect. His parents were sleeping off a hangover when he was leaving for his school-mandated trick-or-treat extravaganza. He quietly slipped on the black wig onto his mother's head slowly as not to wake her, and applied the sticky mustache to his dad's face.

Then he left, almost giggling at the thought of each parent waking up and thinking in an alcohol fueled daze, that they were with someone other than their spouse. Sure, they may try to take it out on him later once they realize, but they tended to do that every day for everything anyways.

It was only after the spell ended and he went home did he discover the changes that took place. The first hint was the very sharp butcher's knife that suddenly embedded itself a hairsbreadth above his head just as he closed the front door.

"Now son," said Tony with a very real mustache, a striped suit, and a slight Spanish accent, "you simply must explain why it seems we live in a town full of vampires and demons..."

Xander started to sweat as his mother, now with permanent long black hair and a Gothic black dress, continued.

".. and have never once been out hunting as a family?" She aristocratically lifted up a crossbow that seemed far too big for someone of her size to effortlessly hold. "After all, a family that hunts together, stays together. Comprenez?"

Xander, horrified, turned to his father who was now staring at his mother with unabashed love in his eyes.

"Oh, Jessica!" he said, "I love it when you speak French!"

And as his father stared kissing his mother up and down the arm, a wide eyed Xander turned around and started beating his head against the wall in the hopes that some normality would return to his life.

"Great idea, son!" Tony cheerfully said in between kisses. "Toughen up that skull for when we take on that vampire nest tomorrow night!"

Chapter 2

Xander was relieved. He managed to convince his 'new and improved' parents not to meet the rest of the Scoobies immediately, making them promise to wait until next evening when he hoped the changes would have worn off. Unfortunately, he currently found himself waking up unable to move at all. Looking down, he saw he was strapped spread eagle in sturdy chains - to the wall.

"Can't we talk this over?" He said to his father - the man who had traded in his bottle of booze for a wicked looking black curved ceremonial dagger and was currently reading from an arcane book that floated four feet off the ground. "You do know that you are not Gomez Addams, right?"

"Of course I know this, son. Our recent.. body guests saw the condition of our lives and decided to give us a parting gift. Took them most of the evening, but they finally managed to twist the bright chaos magic enough to impart on us their unique point of view - along with various skills we can now put to good use." Tony said.

Jessica spoke up while stirring a bubbling foaming potion in a massive cauldron. "Would you have rather two alcoholics that treat you worse than most decent people treat dogs - even ones they are about to sacrifice later? The only thing they did right was try to arrange the empty beer cans and liquor bottles in a somewhat pleasant manner, although their Feng Shui was atrocious." She pointed one long sleeve towards where the formerly full alcohol containers now were stacked and pasted into strange Gothic flying buttresses throughout the room - making it look vaguely cathedral-esque.

"We're not stupid, Xander, my son." She continued, "In this reality, as in many others, our new adopted family is merely entertainment. But in some, they are as real as you and myself."

"So.. they left you a gift?" Xander tried stalling whatever his parents were planning for him.

"Oh yes!" Tony said with wide eyes and a grin. "Several, in fact. The Addamses, and now the Harrises by extension, have been expert mages, sorcerers, and warlocks for thousands of years. (Witches and half-succubi on your mother's side.) And while you know what they say about power corrupting, they always seem to forget the corollary."

Xander's father leaned closer. "Power corrupts, but if you're really lucky or work really hard - you can control what you want corrupted."

Xander looked confused as he continued hanging wrapped in chains. "What does that even mean?"

"Perhaps it would be better to show him, my little love-muffin?" Tony said.

"Agreed." Jessica went over to the door where the large butcher knife was sill sticking through the wood and casually pulled it out. "Ready, my love?"

"One moment." Tony went to the kitchen and came back with a large Fiji apple that he gently balanced on top his own head. "Ready when you are, rose of all roses."

Xander's mother nodded and threw the knife with amazing speed - right into her husband's forehead. Her son let out a horrified squeak as Tony collapsed like a string-less marionette. The apple, whole and untouched, rolled away back into the kitchen.

"You! You killed him!" Xander shouted once he got his voice back. Jessica slid across the floor over to her collapsed husband and gently prodded him with her foot. Tony didn't respond. "He might have been a horrible father, but he was the only one I..."

"Surprise!!" Tony shouted as he jumped up - nearly giving Xander a teenage heart attack.

"You.. How? Wha? But.. Zuh?" Xander stammered.

"Just the sort of eloquence you'd associate with the poor educational system in this country." Tony said as he ripped out the knife from his forehead. The wound closed up in seconds.

"We're not immortal, son." Jessica cleared up. "We age. We can still be killed, but it will take an extraordinary effort."

Xander thought he heard his father mutter something about torch-wielding mobs. His mother continued. "It is just that we usually get the chance to set our own expiration date. And we try to live life to the fullest until that fateful, glorious day."

Tony spoke up. "When it doesn't matter if the parachute opens or not, you have to make your own thrills, son. Unfortunately, we would be further derelict in our parenting duties if we couldn't extend the same family gifts to all our demon-hunting children."

Xander's eyes widened. "Wait, you're telling me that you guys are going to make with the indestructibility and lay it upon me?"

"Of course!" His father exclaimed. "Unless you enjoy being beaten upon by those tacky soulless bloodsuckers - not that there's anything wrong with a friendly beating every now and then, but you should probably wait until you meet that one special girl."

It took a few moments to shake an image of Buffy in a dominatrix outfit with a whip, but after he did that, Xander thought of all the help he could do with helping patrol and the payback he could inflict on all the vamps for what happened to Jessie and probably all the other people from school in the obituaries. Then something his father said raised a warning flag in his mind.

"Uh, dad? The family gifts sound great. It'll really let me lay into the bastards that got Jessie. But What exactly did you mean when you said 'all of your demon-hunting children'?"

Jessica smiled. "We wanted to surprise you a little later, son of mine. I know it has only been a day and a half since your father and I, well... I can show you the video later."

"Looks like you're going to have a sibling, son!" Tony grinned.

Xander's brain chose that moment to overload.

"He fainted." Tony Harris said, raising the ceremonial dagger. "Too bad. The procedure will hardly hurt at all if he's unconscious. Oh well. Time's a wasting!"

3. Chapter 3

Xander woke up to a headache. Well, a headache and his parents doing the tango as the glow from all the mystical sigils carved into his skin slowly faded, followed by the wounds themselves fading. The headache remained.

As the music ended and his father took the rose (no petals, just the thorny stem part) from his mouth, both his parents looked at him.

"Oh look, Jessica, he's awake. And alive! He's ALIVE!!" Tony yelled in his best mad scientist voice. "I always wanted to say that. Ha ha!"

"Do not worry, dear Alexander." His mother spoke up. "He is just, as you would say, pulling your chain. The ritual only has a 40 fatality rate."

"Forty-three percent when I do it!" Tony grinned.

"Ugh.. my head." Xander groaned.

"Yes, it didn't explode like a watermelon falling from an airplane." Tony added, "Congratulations!"

"Honey love, " Xander's mother turned to his father, "why would a falling watermelon explode?"

"I'd always packed them full of explosives. Who doesn't love chunks of watermelon raining down inexplicably at terminal velocity across a mile wide swath of land?"

"You always say the sweetest things, husband of mine." Xander didn't close his eyes fast enough not to see his parents kiss. Although to be fair, the kiss did last almost five minutes. Followed by groping.

Whatever that was going to be followed by, Xander really didn't want to see - so he cleared his throat. Loudly. About a dozen times.

Finally, his parents took notice. "Why are you still hanging around on the wall, Alexander?"

"Well dad, there's the small matter of the chains." Xander rattled said restraints.

"You're stronger now, son. Not as strong as a vampire or that slayer friend of yours - what was her name again? Muffy? Fluffy?" Tony said.

Jessica commented, "It's 'Buffy', dear. Such a nice name. Her mother must have been overcome by the labor pains when she wrote that on the birth certificate. Either that, or she must not want her daughter visiting England. Like naming someone here in the states, 'Fornicatia' or 'Intercorsy'. Although, if she went there and started dating a 'Shaggy'; it would make a matched set."

Her husband stared at her for a moment before shrugging and continuing, "Like I said, you're stronger now, but not too much stronger, though. You're also about as fast as a master vampire, maybe about a little slower than a slayer. On the other hand, your durability and endurance is completely off the scale. Go ahead, try to get free."

"Arn't you going to help?" Xander asked.

"Like a butterfly needs to free itself from a cocoon in order to strengthen its wings, so you need to break free of your steel-linked cocoon, Alexander." his mother said.

Xander strained against the chains. Amazingly, they were slowly giving way. He smiled and put forth a stronger effort. And promptly dislocated his shoulder.

"Excellent, that's the way to do it! Now your other shoulder and you can get free!" Tony exclaimed.

The boy blinked. Usually he had heard that, unlike what some Hollywood movies show, dislocating his shoulder was a horribly painful experience. But he had felt a brief spike of pain followed by nothing. Like someone sharply flicked him on the shoulder with a finger. Surprised, Xander strained again against his other shoulder until he felt that one pop out of the socket.

After emerging from the chains, he slammed his shoulders into the wall, one at a time - popping the joints back into place with no more pain than popping them out.

"Now what?" he asked, smiling widely at the thoughts of actually being able to take a vampire-strength punch with little or no concern.

"Now," Tony grinned back at his son, "We do the dance of blades!"

With that, he grabbed three rapiers from the table and tossed one to Xander and one to Jessica.

They fought. Xander lost. Over and over. And over. But he did slowly get better.

Later that evening, the happy family walked towards the school where Xander called ahead and let everyone know that he would explain everything including why he missed a day of school. His parents even offered to write him a formal note to the principal stating that his absence was understandably due to a series of prolonged arcane rituals. Xander declined.

Everything was going a little too smoothly - which explained the six vampires that currently surrounded the threesome.

"Why looky here." said the apparent leader of the group who wore the requisite dark trench coat. "A walking happy family combination meal. And I didn't even order take-out."

Tony spoke up to his family. "Eh.. what do you think? About a three out of ten for originality and maybe two-and-a-half for effort?"

"Please, darling." Jessica said eloquently. "You are being far too generous. It's common street trash like this that give all Nosferatu a bad name. What do you think son of mine."

Xander grinned in anticipation of the battle. "Eh, I've heard better."

The vampires were both put-off by the nonchalance of their prey and enraged at their words. "Who the hell do you think you people are? I'll tell you who you are. You're dead! All of you!"

"It looks like something I said didn't agree with their refined sensibilities." Jessica said. "It's a good thing I brought mace."

With that, she reached into her large purse bag and pulled out the predictable medieval spiked weapon. "Mace enough for everyone."

She reached in and pulled out two more. And some rope.

A few minutes later, the family continued onwards with Tony talking. "And that's why it's better not to kill them immediately. We came out a few hundred dollars richer, and you my son, got a very nice trench coat out of the deal."

"It is better than the horrid things you usually wear. Those shirts from.. Hawaii." Jessica shuddered at the word.

"I don't know love. Those things are so bad, that their bright prints can confuse an enemy. Much like a Zebra's stripes can confuse the aim of a bazooka-wielding safari hunter." Tony voiced his opinion. "Besides, I think we should soon have enough for a new wardrobe for our only son. "

"Fine, fine. I'll get rid of.. some of the shirts. But like dad said, it can be useful being underestimated by your enemy in combat situations." Xander said, letting a little of his soldier persona through. "Just look at what happened to those pathetic vampires."

Xander pointed towards where the six crushed, bleeding, and twitching demons were lying, stripped of everything but their underwear and expertly tied in provocative positions to one another. Helpless to do anything, even with their vampire healing, until well after the sun would rise. And they wouldn't have to worry about anyone untying them. Not even other vamps would want to approach what appeared from a distance to be a six person male vampire orgy.

Tony grinned. "You know the Addams' family motto was 'Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc'. I suppose the Harris' family motto should be 'We would gladly beat the ever-loving crap out of those that would subdue us'."

Xander grinned. Perhaps his new and improved family wouldn't be too bad to have around from now on. "That motto works for me."

Addams' motto: Pseudo-latin for 'We gladly feast on those who would subdue us'.

4. Chapter 4

"Hello, everyone!" Tony Harris said as he and his family entered the High School library.

Xander interrupted whatever his father was about to say next. "Hi guys. I know my call was brief and a little hazy, but I'll try to explain everything. First, these are my.. somewhat altered parents, mom and dad - er.. Jessica and Tony Harris."

"A pleasure to see such a nice collection of individuals." drawled Jessica with a slight bow.

Xander gestured towards his friends. "Parental units, these are my friends and associates. Rupert Giles or G-Man as he loves to be called." The librarian gave a snort of indignation before the boy continued.

"My bestest friend, Willow Rosenberg." The shy redhead waved. "Technopagan and computer teacher, Jenny Calender. Social queen, Cordelia Chase. ("I'm just here because it was convenient after cheerleading practice let out.") And of course, Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer."

"Good lord!" Giles exclaimed. "What part of 'secret identity' do you not understand?"

"My son's done nothing wrong. I'd have been able to spot the demon-enhanced demon huntress on my own." Tony said to the Englishman. "My mage sight is quite advanced. I like the demon tattoo on you arm, by the way, G-Man. Stylish, yet dooming."

Giles scowled at Xander's father while clutching his tweed jacket covered arm. "What exactly happened to your parent on Halloween, Xander? Your message of 'Meet at Library, nine o'clock. Parents altered by Halloween chaos magic.' left a lot of details to be desired."

"Well, remember how I got the three-for-one special at Ethan's bargain bin? I, well, kinda used the Cher wig and mustache to dress my parents up like Gomez and Morticia Addams from the Addams Family. Seems the Addamses left them a few gifts before going back to their dimension or whatever." Xander said. "But hey, on the plus side - they are taking more of an interest in family togetherness. We took out six vamps on the way over."

"Good lord!" Giles started polishing his glasses.

"Are you alright?" Willow asked.

"Sure thing, Wills." Xander smiled. "Not even a scratch left over. And you should have seen the other guys. My improved family also kinda did some, um.. rituals on me. Not that I had a choice, of course, but I'm a bit more durable now. Thus we can help with the slaying and stuff."

"No you can't." Buffy spoke up. "This is my destiny. Vampires versus Vampire Slayer. Tell him, Giles."

"Ooh, she's feisty!" Tony spoke up with a grin. "And a magical warrior to boot. Your red-haired friend has enormous magic potential. The computer teacher is of fine Romany stock - now some of those tribes can hold a grudge, let me tell you. And look at this one!"

He pointed towards Cordelia. "What a looker. She's 'a womb with a view'. That's what we call 'fine child-berthing hips'! Why she can spawn you an entire litter of babies with those!" Xander's father leered at the cheerleader's ample chest area. "And then have no problems feeding them!"

Cordelia opened her mouth in shock and outrage, but nothing came out immediately except a small squeak. Without further ado as the amount of comeback lines overloaded her brain, Cordelia grabbed her stuff and ran out.

"Daaad!" Xander flushed red of embarrassment. Even with all the Addams' enhancements, you couldn't completely take the Tony Harris out of the man.

"It occurs to me, that I've never actually given you 'The talk', son." Xander's embarrassed lush grew a few more shades of red as he started quietly chanting 'no no no no not happening' to himself.

"You see, son, you're coming of an age when you'll want to play the field. Sow some oats. Plow a few gardens. Take your throbbing... " Xander stared slack-jawed at the words that came out of his father's mouth. He was sure if the speech was being broadcast on network television, it would consist with one massive censor beeeep, ending right before "... with the doberman and three jars of peanut butter, applied liberally."

Giles' glasses broke as the lens he was polishing flew out onto the floor. Buffy was staring with her mouth opened. Jenny Calender was also staring open-mouthed, but was thinking about how she should have been taking notes. On the other hand, Willow's brain simply shut down.

"There you go." Tony Harris pointed at the fainted redhead on the ground. "She seems willing."

"Oh, you say the most romantic things, honey love!" Jessica said.

Xander was still clutching and shaking his head in a negative; wishing for the existence of a product called 'Brain Brillo' to scrub his memory away - even as his parents started kissing. Then groping.

5. Chapter 5

"Hey!" Came the voice of Angel as he strode into the library. "On the way over here, I just killed six ferocious...ly ... gay... vampires. Um..."

The vampire with a soul stopped and stared at the scene. Xander's parents were currently making out in a corner like sex-starved teenagers. Xander, himself, was smashing his head against a wall - that now had a small crater in it. Giles was polishing a non-existent lens on his glasses, staring straight ahead in some sort of stupor. Buffy was also staring straight ahead at nothing, also in a daze. Willow was unconscious on the floor, and Jenny Calender was rapidly scribbling something in a spiral bound notebook.

Angel waved his hand in front of Buffy's face. There was no response. "I'll.. um.. come back later." he said and calmly but rapidly walked out the doors. He had no desire to be affected by whatever diabolical spell had hit the library.

"My life is over!" Xander exhaled as he smashed his head against the wall once more, cracking loose another bit of plaster.

The next day, Xander Harris was still very much alive, but as the day progressed, he rapidly began to wish that were not so.

As he entered the School, Cordelia walked up to him and got in his face. "Harris." She hissed. "You, your family, stay the hell away from me."

He went to his locker after the social princess walked away, but there he saw Willow and Buffy. His childhood friend immediately blushed until she was almost the color of her hair, squeaked once, and ran off. Buffy also blushed and said, "I.. class time.. for me.. now.", then ran off as well.

Xander slammed his head into the locker, denting it.

If High School was a racetrack, the fastest thing to make the rounds would be a rumor. And almost immediately, everyone knew that something happened between Buffy, Xander, and Willow.

"Hey, uh, Xander." Said Larry, still with a black eye courtesy of soldier boy on Halloween. "About the possibility of me dating Buffy..."

The jock trailed off as Xander ripped out the door to his locker and handed it to him. The stunned football player stared as Xander stalked away with his head down low, and then looked at the mangled locker door.

"Mister Blaisdell! Defacing school property! Come with me! I will definitely be speaking to your parents about this!" Came the voice of Principal Snyder.

"But.. I'm not.. That wasn't.. Not me!" Larry blurted.

"If you are hoping to impress me with your English language skills, you have failed. Probably much like your actual grade in the class that tries to teach such skills." Snyder said as he took the mangled locker door and started escorting the flustered football player to his office. "But then, you should already be well familiar with failure."

The next few days passed in more or less the same way for the new social pariah of Sunnydale High. A lonely day at school, along with the occasional 'blush and run away' from his two female friends. The same nervous blow-off line from Giles about there being nothing special happening on the hellmouth at this time. And then, being cheered up a little by getting to take his aggressions out on vampire and demon population of the town as he patrolled with his family.

Whenever he and his family would come within visual contact of Buffy on her patrol, she would always, immediately, change her route and quickly head in the opposite direction. Especially, since the first time Xander's father yelled out loudly, "Remember the Doberman!"

Things continued right up until Buffy's old friend came to town.

6. Chapter 6

Being estranged from everyone except his parents, with whom Xander had been spending all the nights out hunting vampires and demons, was causing the happy-go-lucky boy to change. His sarcastic, one-liner spouting, humor side was defiantly developing, much to the joy of one Tony and Jessica Harris.

They were especially proud when Xander told a vampire that he was going to fight to disarm him, only for the confused bloodsucker to state that he wasn't carrying a weapon. The end result of the fledgling demon getting beaten upside the head with his own two severed arms (before they dusted) made the parents grin something fierce.

Home life had also improved considerably. Tony had been investing most of the spoils he and his wife had been looting from the vampires, and it seems that just about every investment had gone up. When Xander asked how he did it, Tony grinned and said that whenever you, or any magical or clairvoyant beings, try to make money in the market; the gods of chaos will toy with you until you are destitute. That was also the reason why no psychic has ever won the lottery. If you just grin and start trying to have a little fun and not mind if you lose what you put in, then chances are, you will actually start making money. The trick was to not let the chaos gods know that you're not really trying to lose the money.

This explanation only caused Xander to develop a massive headache.

His fashion sense stubbornly remained the same, although he did wear a vampire trenchcoat over the clashing Hawaiian print shirts. Having a rapidly growing collection of vampire trenchcoats and jackets just made him smile, and the shirts were for his vow to never wear all black like a certain dead boy he knew.

In fact, family togetherness was at such an all time high, that Xander wondered if Tony alienated him from his friends on purpose with that... talk. But the more he thought about the new Tony Harris, the more Xander discounted that theory. Tony had always been a man of action, by which he acted first and thought later - if at all. Gomez Addams was a creature of exuberance and chaos. Neither attributes lent themselves to careful schemes and backup plans. It was just hit the cue ball as hard as you can just to watch all the carefully racked balls go bouncing everywhere.

"So, you were possessed by a hyena?" Tony Harris asked with his usual grin pasted on. They had been talking about what had happened ever since Xander had found out about the night life in the town.

"Yup. A primal hyena spirit," Xander said uncomfortably. "I ate a live pig and tried to.. um.. forcibly mate with Buffy."

"Hyenas. Such happy beasts," Jessica expounded. "Especially when they're ripping apart a defenseless animal."

"Too true, my little rose thorn," Tony said. "And next time, son, try to use a little subtlety when you try and mate with that Buffy girl. Maybe offer her a chunky piece of your fresh pig kill?"

"Women do like gifts," Xander's mother nodded.

Xander smiled and just shook his head, dimly realizing that he was slowly getting used to his parents, version 2.0.

At school, Xander was hoping things settled down some. He had missed talking with Willow and Buffy. He was about to try to apologize and get back into the conversation, when Buffy's old friend, Billy Fordham, showed up. Xander noticed something was off about the new boy, but he wasn't sure if it was anything mystical or otherwise. His mage sight was still developing, even though his parents both agreed it would eventually surpass their own.

It was the day after that Willow approached him.

"Um, Xander. I have something to tell you, about Buffy's new friend, Ford, I mean," Willow said nervously.

"Yeah, the boy who is a car. What's up with that?"

"No, I mean. He saw Buffy staking a vampire at the Bronze last night, but he knew all about her being the slayer already! Then, Angel came by and asked me to do some investigation on Ford, you know. It turns out that he isn't even enrolled here! I tried to tell Buffy, but Ford was there, and I was all 'Um, I want to tell you something, but Ford is right there so I can't', and Buffy was all 'Oh, Willow is twitchy. She must have had some coffee recently', and I can't have coffee, because I start to babble much too fast, and.."

"Whoa, there! Big dose of Willow-babble there," Xander said with a smile and then though about what he had heard. "Hmm, about Ford. Well, in the immortal words of Hank Hill, 'That boy ain't right'. I think we need to keep a closer eye on mister car-boy."

"Well, I did find a club that was connected to Ford's name online. The Sunset Club. I think it has a vampire theme!"

Xander smirked. "A vampire themed club on the hellmouth? Who'd have thunk it?"

"Ha ha, Xander. I'm serious. We should investigate it, at least."

"Well, do you mind if we bring a bit of backup? It is a vampire-themed club and all."

"I can ask Angel, " Willow brightly said.

"I was thinking of heavy-duty back up. My family."

"Oh. Um, yeah. That should be okay," said Willow as the small blush faded. "Do you think they can dress up like vampires, though?"

Xander just stared incredulously at his Willow-shaped friend.

"Oh, yeah. Right."

That evening found Xander, Willow, Angel, and Xander's parents walking into the bombshell-converted Sunset Club after telling the doorman that they knew Ford.

"Hmm, I'm noticing a theme here, " Xander looked around. "Like Anne Rice meets Gary Gygax. The only thing missing is some Cure or Bauhaus playing on the speakers."

At that moment, Bauhaus' 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' started playing.

"I take that back, " Xander observed. "Nothing is missing."

"You guys are newbies. I can tell," spoke an enthusiastic girl dressed up like the stereotypical vampire.

"We have plenty of.. experience," Jessica Harris drawled out. She was dressed in an almost perfect duplicate of one of Morticia Addams' dresses, complete with gothic arm sleeve tails that went down to the floor. She and Tony had applied makeup liberally in a goth style, causing both of them to appear much younger than their true ages.

"Don't be ashamed! It's cool that you're open to it. We welcome anyone who's interested in the Lonely Ones," said the girl.

"They're lonely because their soul has left for vacation and forgot to tell the body," Xander quipped. "Also, nobody likes them because they make terrible house guests; what with the killing and the torture and stuff."

"Now, now, son, " grinned Tony, "Nothing wrong with mixing a little torture and house guests every now and again."

"Are you lonely, Mr. Angel?" Jessica Harris asked with neutral curiosity.

"I think he's dating Buffy," Willow chimed in.

"Ahh, yes. Vampire and vampire slayer. Who could have predicted that opposites attract?" Jessica said.

Xander shrugged. "Paula Abdul and MC Skat Cat?" he offered helpfully.

The pretend vampire girl just shook her head in a combination of sadness and confusion and walked away.

7. Chapter 7

"I've seen enough. I've seen this type before. I mean, they're children making up bedtime stories of friendly vampires to comfort themselves in the dark," Angel scoffed at the people in the Sunset club.

"Personally, I have found the dark very comforting on its own," Jessica Harris responded, looking off towards a darkened corner of the modified bomb shelter before grabbing Tony and dragging him off. "Let's explore the comforting darkness, my beloved."

"Technically, you're a friendly vampire with a story," Xander told Angel, only to receive a strong scowling glare back. "Well okay, you're not that friendly. And your story is filled with so much brooding, it will probably never be shown on television or movies. Although, maybe if they pair you up with an annoying side-kick or a hot chick or something. Vampire crime drama, maybe? 'Deadboy Forehead McBroodypants, the tv series'. Heck, you'll have all the people in this entire club for an audience!"

"Don't call me that! And these people don't know anything about vampires. What they are, how they live, how they dress..."

A party goer dressed exactly like Angel walked past, giving the scowling vampire an approving nod at his choice of wardrobe.

"I'm not sure, but is there some kind of store that caters towards stylish outerwear for the undead?" Xander said while thinking. "I have two coats just like yours in my growing collection. I just didn't want to wear one today because, you know; two guests in a club, both wearing the same thing. It's unseemly."

"I think it may have something to do with vampire's body temperature," Willow said. "Coats keep the heat in, and all that."

"It's not like they're going to freeze to death, Willow," Xander shook his head. "Er, freeze to their second death, I mean."

"No. Have you ever touched a defrocked vampire at night. They are much with the cold and clammy," Willow said. "The coats probably lessen that somewhat."

"Defrocked?" Xander raised one eyebrow in amusement.

"Er, without a frock. No coat. Coat-less vampire," Willow blushed.

"Okay, I'm leaving," Angel said and was promptly ignored by Xander and Willow. The vampire sighed and made for the exit door.

"Why are you thinking about naked undressed vampires, Willow?" The dark haired boy teased.

"I didn't say naked! Defrocked is not naked!"

"Hmm, I bet most of these people in the club will have sex with a vampire," Xander said with a smile. "Can you imagine? Cold, clammy vampire sex?"

"Ewww!" Wilow stuck out her tongue in disgust. "I hope I'll never meet a person who would want that!"

"Ditto, " a stray thought suddenly manifested in Xander. "Although you know who probably wouldn't mind cold, clammy vamp sex? Ford! Maybe I should go and investigate him a little more closely. A guy doesn't enroll into high school, but does attends the classes; then goes to a vamp wannabe club on the hellmouth. Something is hinky!"

"Maybe the guy is into torture and stuff?" Willow said meekly.

"No, that would only explain the high school," Xander spoke. "We should go."

"What about your parents?"

A wannabe vampire goth girl passed by, busy speaking to her friend, "You know, I think there's an old couple dry humping in the far corner."

Xander blinked and sighed in resignation, "They'll be fine."

()

Ford had just gotten back from making his deal with Spike when the doorbell rang. Opening the door, he saw Xander standing there, holding both hands behind his back. "You're Willow's friend, right? What do you want?"

"Um, yeah. I'm actually trying to make a little money after school by going door to door, selling shovelings."

"Selling what? What's a shoveling?" Ford asked.

"Here, let me show you," Xander said with a wild grin as he whipped out a shovel from behind his back and, with supernatural speed, whacked Ford across the head with it, "Don't worry. The first one's a free sample. No charge."

()

Ford woke up with a massive headache and gradually noticed that that he couldn't move any of his limbs. "Uh, why am I chained to the wall?"

"Because the torture chamber in the basement isn't complete yet, of course," said Tony Harris with a wide-eyed grin.

"Because you were my lucky customer of the day," Xander said, still wielding his digging implement, "you win a lifetime's supply of unlimited shovelings!"

"Thanks, but I don't think I want any more shovelings," Ford said, still groggy.

"But they're free! You can examine the fine Corinthian metal polish up close over and over again!"

Ford decided to switch tactics, "Why are you doing this?"

"Good question. I actually have a few questions for you. I can ask them, then if you lie according to the truth detection spell, I hit you with a shovel. Lather, rinse, repeat," Xander said seriously, "Of course, there is a fun alternative."

"What's the fun alternative?" Ford asked.

"That's where we forgo the truth spell and I start wailing on you with mister happy fun shovel here until you tell me everything bad you've ever done or have planned; or start making faint squeaky noises and then pass out. In which case, I'll gently wake you up and then we'll continue where we left off."

"You can't do this! You will have a long jail sentence once I'm through with you!"

Xander shook his head, "No. If you play it that way, you will only have a short obituary that will most assuredly contain the phrase 'authorities have yet to find the head'."

Ford blanched.

"So, shall we try the truth detection spell way?" Xander smiled.

Buffy's old friend just nodded.

()

"Wasn't that easy? I hardly had to use the shovel at all," Xander said with a smile. Ford just groaned in response.

"Now, let's talk about you selling out Buffy in exchange for getting vamped," The high school student just shook his head sadly, "Buffy and I may not be on speaking terms at the moment, but she still is my friend. And as such, I have so much the issues with people trying to kill her for stupid reasons."

"Brain tumors are not stupid reasons," Ford muttered out, "I just wanted to live."

"Well, who doesn't? But still, you did me a solid by fessing up to everything. So, tell you what," Xander smiled wide, "I'm gonna do you a favor. I know this magic ritual that should fix up those nasty tumors right up. If it works."

Ford brightened up with the promise of living longer, "And if it doesn't?"

Xander laughed, "Let's just say, you won't have to worry about the tumors in either case. But don't worry, my dad showed me how to do it and he's an expert."

Tony grinned, "I have a forty-three percent fatality rate!"

"Exactly," Xander said to a rapidly panicking Ford, "Nothing to worry about at all!"

()

"So you understand what to do?" Xander asked.

"Sure, son. Nothing to worry about," said a smiling Tony, "Come, my lovely poison flower, to my secret backyard shed of mystery!"

"How wonderful!" Jessica Harris said expectantly with an elegant smile, "We can frolic there as we often do."

"Not right now, my lovely. We'll do what you're thinking after we return. Right now, we need to get the boxes of enigmatic danger loaded into the car. Then, we follow our brilliant son's plan."

"And then, we can play the lovely game of naked floor jell-o tag where we are not allowed to use our hands or feet?"

"Mom! I don't need to hear this! Just go!" Xander squinted his eyes hoping the mental image would fade soon.

()

After a trip to the Sunnydale police precinct, Tony and Jessica Harris, each holding a megaphone, walked out of their easily stolen police car and towards the bouncer of the Sunset Club.

"Now we don't want to alarm you, my good citizen, but it is urgent that we speak to the person in charge of the club right away," said Tony Harris after flashing the man the badge he had just happen to find on his stolen police uniform.

As they were led inside, the bouncer asked, "What is this about?"

"Well, I can't really say inside the club. It would probably cause a wild panic even if I didn't place this megaphone to my mouth and announce THERE IS A BOMB THREAT IN THIS CLUB," Tony said after putting the megaphone to his mouth and turning it on.

The stampede towards the exit door was predictable, although a few club goers lingered behind.

"What is this? What's going on?" said a young man.

"We have received a bomb threat to this establishment, young sir," Jessica said, "We need everyone to leave until the bomb squad arrive. As a precaution, you understand?"

A wannabe vampire girl pouted, "But the lonely ones were going to bless us tonight!"

"Perhaps, they will do that on a different night. An equinox maybe?" Jessica patted the girls head as one would an upset puppy.

The young man who was left behind glanced at the two police officers again a bit more closely, "Hey, weren't you two in the club earlier?"

"No. Those were our twins who do not carry tasers around," Tony said, pulling out his taser and applying it to the young man, dropping him to the ground in a twitching mess, "For his own safety, you understand?"

"Yes, please take him home," Jessica added to the girl, "We will move the bomb-hunting equipment boxes inside."

()

"6:27. Sunset. They should be coming any time now, dearest belladonna blossom," Tony watched from across the street while sitting in the police car, still dressed like an officer.

After a moment, Jessica spoke up, "Ahh, there they are. I do believe that is the vampire Billy Idol look-a-like that our son told us about. Spock, or some silly name like that."

"That's Spike, dearest," Tony said, "And that babbling girl must be his vampire love. How romantic."

"She does seem to speak of such interesting things to her doll," Jessica agreed, "Perhaps she is on some sort of undead versus inanimate object debate club?"

"Oh well, they're nearly in position," Tony observed, "Oh look, one of the minions is running out to tell them that there's no one in the club. Now or never, my love."

"Let us make it now," Jessica said and pushed the detonator button. There was a earth-shaking explosion that destroyed all the vampires inside the empty club except Spike and Drusilla, who managed to avoid the blast due to Drusilla's seer abilities. The two vampires ran off as fast as they could while the fire was still raging inside.

Tony Harris smirked, "I wonder why they were so surprised? It's a bomb shelter. It's supposed to shelter bombs."

"Amazing, my love. All of this violence. I feel like I'm on the set of a Michael Bay film," Jessica smiled, "Do you think Xander would be upset with us if we returned later then planned? I wish to use the siren and lights on this vehicle. We can pull over an unsuspecting motorist and do dark, naughty things to each other on the top of their hood."

Tony grinned his mustached grin, "We can promise them no ticket if they wait until we finish! I do love the games you make, my darling nightshade."

And with that, the police car drove off into the night.

()

"We're home, son!" Tony said enthusiastically as he opened the door, letting his wife in. "We dumped the naked passed out cops back in their car and pushed it into someone's garage. They should be safe, although we did keep the uniforms and handcuffs. For later."

Jessica smiled as she walked into the living room, "How ever did the ritual... go?"

Xander's mother stared at a very messy scene that looked as though someone's head exploded.

"Ford's head exploded," Xander explained, turning off the blood-stained television he had been watching.

Tony smiled, "I'm so proud of you, son! First time, and already you have a better fatality percentage than your old man."

"Whatever happened to the body?" Jessica asked.

"Eh, I dumped it on the football field at school with a fired sawed-off shotgun and a typed note that explained that his gay lover was leaving him for an alien cult," Xander shrugged his shoulders, "Explained in full whiny, graphic detail. It was two and a half pages long, single spaced; not including the horrible goth poem. Or crudely drawn diagrams. I figure the best thing that can happen to old car-boy is for some random passing demon to mercifully devour his body."

"Ahh. An end as honorable as the man," Xander's father nodded in understanding.

"Oh, hey," Xander remembered, "I think I manage to capture his soul in this Orb of Santa Claus!"

"Orb of Thesulah, dear," Jessica corrected.

"Eh, it looked like a fancy tree ornament to me," Xander sighed. For once, he had thought he understood the naming of a mystical artifact.

"Thorn flower, dear," Tony said to his wife, his grin widening, "How rusty are your skills at making golems?"

()

Ford came back into consciousness with a slow groan. His second thought was, 'That doesn't sound like one of my groans.' His first thought was, of course, 'Ow, my head!'

"What happened?" he managed to say in a slow monotone.

"Heya car-boy," Xander said with a cheerful smile, "To make a long story short, the ritual failed. Now I have some of the good news and some of the bad news for you."

"Good news first. You have a new, shiny body. It should last you a few centuries at least. Also, you're taller. Close to seven feet, now. Yay! You could even play basketball if, you know, you weren't a slow moving, magically animated, artificial crime against nature. So, no more tumors and a long life span as a magical being much stronger than a human. It's what you wanted minus the gross sucking of the blood, right?"

Ford drawled out in a slow deep voice, "The bad news?"

"Well, you're bound to this family, for the next few centuries at least. That means, you can't hurt us or go against your orders, such as 'clean the living room of all your former head pieces', and 'stay in the house until ordered otherwise, in which case return to the house after you finish your orders'. Also, you need a new name, since your headless body is probably causing a small incident at school as we speak," Xander thought for a moment, "Since you can't be Ford anymore. Hmm. Oh! I know! I now dub thee... Dodge."

Ford, now a magical golem named Dodge, just let out a long slow groan.