…Cold Comfort…

Xander and Cordelia had called all of their friends and asked them to come to the Library. Some people had asked if there were going to be snacks or if snacks were needed. Of course, snacks were always welcome.

The first to arrive had been Oz, Willow and Johnathon; the three friends lived close enough together that the young werewolf was easily able to pick up the other two.

Next to arrive, had been Faith. She was staying with Amy while she was in the hospital and, at the moment, was the closer of the two Slayers in relation to the school Library.

Finally, Buffy arrived. Her mother had baked brownies so she entered bearing yummy gifts.

Everyone sat around the table munching quietly as they watched Xander rise from his chair.

Xander paced around the room as he bit his thumbnail in deep thought.

"Blood," Oz said from where he sat.

Everything stopped as all eyes turned to the lycanthrope.

"I smell blood," he elaborated.

Cordelia hopped up from her seat and moved to the black haired transgenic's side. She shifted his loose fitting shirt to check the wound. Blood was seeping through the bandage.

"Sit down," she commanded, "That's non negotiable."

The young man sighed as he turned a chair around so the back was facing the table and straddled it to face the others.

Queen C went into Giles' office and grabbed the small first aid kit from there and brought it to the table. Removing the bloody gauze and throwing it in the trash, she checked to make sure he had not popped the stitches as he was moving around. Luckily he did not. Opening the kit she pulled out some prepackaged gauze pads and changed the dressing on Xander's back. She used a triple biotic antiseptic ointment that was not Neosporin, due to the fact that they were allergic to that one.

"Okay, so what's going on?" Buffy asked after they had taken care of that.

"Houston, we have a problem," Xander gave a half hearted smirk.

Cordelia elbowed him gently in the side after she sat down next to him. "And don't forget my problem," she reminded him.

Sighing heavily, Xander put an elbow on the table and put his head in his hand. For a long moment, he just sat there.

"Well?" Faith snapped impatiently.

Xander lifted his head and looked at everyone. He rubbed his barcode and hedged a little more before he began, "Something's up with Giles."

Buffy and Willow stood, frowns and creases of worry firmly in place on both of their faces.

Faith frowned also but she was able to control her feelings better.

Johnathon slumped forward and rested his chin on the table as he looked at Xander, silently mulling over the implications.

Oz remained calm and collected. Or was he, in fact, upset on the inside?

"Cordelia found something interested in this research project I'm working on for Giles. We went to see him so that we could confirm her findings. He was in the process of packing when we got to his house earlier this morning…" the dark haired young man began and proceeded to explain the events of the recent past.

Finally, he put his forehead into his hand one more time and seemed to fall asleep.

Cordy nudged him and murmured something only he was able to hear.

He sat up slightly and looked at everyone, "We need to get working on this before G-man and Brother Zack get back," the black haired young man said as he folded his arms across his chest.

"So Giles just up and left? Where's he going?" Buffy said with heat.

He looked at the blonde with tired, old eyes as he said, "Don't know. His friend has gone missing, so I guess they'll be back whenever, if ever they find his friend."

…Wander This World…

"So why are we going to Cleveland?" Zack asked the older man as the highway streaked past the windows of the little car.

Giles glanced at the young man. "My friend Daniel has been missing since the 80's, another one of my friends wants to look for him. I think he should not look alone."

"Is he like you? Or is he an ordinary?" the X5 inquired as he shifted in the passenger seat.

"He certainly is like me," the older seeming man smirked as they passed the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign.

"Do you normally leave 'your kids' to fend for themselves?"

"Not normally, no," Giles said with a frown. "But they have Joyce to look after them; and Adam should be back soon from Paris. Plus, they are more than capable of taking care of themselves. If you didn't feel that way, you should have stayed with the children."

"No, if I would have done that, Max would have nagged me until I finally left to track you down," Zack said with a sardonic smirk.

Giles scoffed, "Yes, I'll agree that she's tenacious."

"I think they're right though," Zack said quietly, "I should see a little bit of the world to compare it to post pulse America."

"You don't believe them." It was more of a statement than a question.

"I don't know what I believe anymore," Zack said with a frown.

"I truly hope you find what you're looking for, Zack." Giles said as he looked at the young man out of the corner of his eye.