Disclaimer: Buffy belongs to Joss Whedon and company -including but not limited to Whedon himself, later co-producers and Mutant Enemy Productions.

AN: This has not been looked over by my beta so all mistakes are my own.

Xander watched as Buffy wandered the house, eyes dull -the once ever present shine gone. It had been three weeks since Riley had gotten into the helicopter and flown off to parts unknown and he decided enough was enough.

Xander left that evening, walking towards home with Willow and Tara. They would split at Fifth and Main, the girls to the college dorms while Xander finished the walk to his parent's basement, but for now he focused on asking his questions with great stealth though this might not have been very stealthy from the looks he was getting from Tara. Still, even if Tara knew, Willow showed no signs as she babbled the answers he was looking for.

So it was that Xander made it home, head full of knowledge. He pulled out the laptop Willow had given him last Christmas. It was an older model but with how anal Willow was about computers, it ran as if it were brand new.

Once powered up, he began to put the knowledge into practice. His fingers flicked across the keyboard, eyes scanning the screen quickly, before he gave a cry of triumph.


Xander stayed to the shadows. The night was dark with only a sliver of moon hanging in the sky above him. His hand curled around cool, unyielding wood as footsteps sounded from the street.

He listened carefully, tracking the movements as they neared his position. Xander took a firmer hold on the object in his hands, hefting the weight of it as the steps sounded inches from him.

With no sound but the swish of cloth and displaced air, Xander swung, steel connecting with a metallic clang that echoed off the high brick walls. The body dropped with a grunt and a harsh thud upon the ground.

There was a glint of moonlight reflecting off metal as Xander raised the shovel bringing it down onto the unprotected back before him. The force of the blow sent the scrambling body back to the ground.

He continued on in this fashion, taking his anger out on the downed man. The anger abated with each blow before finally he allowed himself to stop.

Xander gazed at the man on the ground. There was little blood, as he'd pulled each blow but the man would have a mightily bruised body for the next several weeks. It would serve as a nice reminder but it needed something more.

"We warned you of what would happen if you broke her heart, Riley," Xander said slowly. "You're just lucky I'm not going to follow through and bury you with this shovel," he paused before continuing, eyes narrowed. "I can always change my mind though." Xander stooped down beside the curled and groaning Riley. "I want you to keep in mind how easy it was for me to find you and just how very easy it was to catch you unaware."

Xander stood, brushing his hands on his jeans before gathering his shovel and continued down the street, leaving a groaning Riley lying in the dirty street.

He knew he'd never come back to find Riley but Riley didn't have to know that. He'd spend months, maybe even years given his knowledge of the Scooby Gang, jumping at shadows, always looking for the glint of moonlight on metal as the shovel swished through the air.

Buffy may never know of this but Xander felt better and more able to help her deal.

You should never break a promise, Xander thought with a smirk.