…Things I've Seen…

Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenburg and Xander Harris strolled into the library and sat at their usual table.

Not long after the trio entered, Cordelia Chase sauntered into the room like the cat who ate the cream and sat next to the dark haired teen.

The three friends looked that the young woman as though she had grown another head.

"What?" she snapped at them.

"What are you doing here?"

"Look," she said with a deflated ego, "Stuff happens in this town, I know, I've seen it. I'd rather be with people who have their fingers on the pulse of the situation as opposed to going about my days and nights unaware."

Buffy nodded and turned back to Willow.

Xander looked at the brunette with a stunned expression on his face.

"What?" she said with a rare smile.

"I just never expected to see you back in action," he whispered low enough that only she could hear, even though Buffy also had super hearing.

The young woman shrugged as she spoke loud enough for the others to hear her, "What can I say? We're living on borrowed time. And if you don't put your heart out there on the line, you're never really living at all."

Rupert Giles entered the main part of the library and moved to their table.

Finally, he noticed Cordelia and looked at her a long time before he turned to the others, "What is she doing here?"

"She's here to help," Xander said in a quiet voice.

Buffy and Willow looked at him before they turned to Giles.

"Yep," Buffy agreed, "she's a new helper."

"Oh, dear Lord," Giles said as he removed his glasses and cleaned them on a kerchief that he pulled from a pocket in his suit.

"Do any of you remember anything about last night? Perhaps you might have lingering side effects." He enquired concernedly of them.

Xander shrugged noncommittally and send a nearly imperceptible hand movement toward Cordelia who caught it and remained silent.

Buffy perked up and said, "I can understand French a lot better now, and I can run an 18th Century English Manor."

Xander rolled his eyes and shared a smirk with Cordy.

Willow's shoulders drooped as she said, "For an hour after the incident, I kept checking to see if I could pass through things. Does that help?"

Giles shook his head.

Xander glanced up at the clock and stood.

"Well, Ladies, I must be off," he said as he slung his blue and white messenger bag across his shoulders, the boots from the other night, comfortably encased his feet like an old pair of gloves.

"Where are you going?" Buffy protested with a stern glare in his direction.

"I have some things I need to take care of," the dark haired young man said as he turned toward the double doors.

"Alec!" Cordelia called after him, at the name the young man stopped, but didn't turn. "Are you alright?" she enquired.

He turned enough that she was able to see a familiar sardonic smile. "Cor, I'm always alright," Xander said as he pushed through the double doors and placed a set of shades over his eyes.

The End... No… the Beginning!