AN: Sorry! Yet another abandoned fic under my name. But I have a good excuse. I got married and had not one but two babies! Now that they're no longer really babies, I'm trying to get back to my favorite fics, this being one of them. Can't promise I'll get around to updating more than the 2 stories I've touched so far but I'll do my best.
This is unbeta'd and I'm rusty so please be kind but please do review!
"Oh Dean, look!" Buffy squealed, running over to the chimpanzee cage.
Dean chuckled and followed, amused by his girlfriend's excitement. Though he understood it, field trips to the zoo weren't exactly something they got to do often, or ever for that matter. They had never stayed at one school long enough, and John Winchester certainly wasn't the type to take his kids to the zoo.
Dean propped his elbows on the railing. "Hey, that one looks like Xander!" He said, pointing to the chip currently scratching his butt.
Buffy swatted his arm. "Be nice."
"Buffy!" They turned and saw Willow and Xander jogging toward them.
"You missed it." Willow said, smiling at her friends.
Dean cocked an eyebrow. "Missed what?"
"We just saw the zebras mating." Xander said, nodding at Willow. "Thank you, very exciting."
Willow nodded. "It was like the Heimlich, with stripes."
Buffy and Dean exchanged an amused look. "And we missed it." Buffy said with mock disappointment. "Yet somehow we'll find the courage to live on."
"Where we you?" Willow asked as they began walking to the next exhibit.
"We were looking at fishes." Buffy said, lacing her fingers with Dean's.
"Was it cool?"
"It was fishes. I was trying to decide which one to take home for dinner." Dean said dryly.
"Hey, beats being in class." Xander commented.
"Heck yes." Dean agreed.
As they approached the Hyena house, they saw some other students duck under the caution tape.
"What are Kyle and his buds doing with Lance?" Willow asked, her eyebrows furrowed in concern.
"Oh, playing with him as a cat plays with a mouse." Xander said with a sigh.
Buffy wrinkles her nose in disgust. "What is it with those guys?"
"They're major douche bags?" Dean offered.
Xander shrugged. "Well every school has em'. So, you start a new school, you get your desks, some blackboards, and some mean kids."
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Yeah well, I'd better extract Lance before- "
Xander put a hand up, halting her step toward the Hyena exhibit. "I'll handle it. This job doesn't require actual slaying." He ducked under the tap, following the path the others had taken.
"10 bucks says he gets beat up." Dean remarked as Xander walked away.
Buffy and Willow exchanged a worried look.
"You don't think we should follow?" Buffy asked Willow.
"Kyle and those guys are jerks, but they're all talk. Mostly." Willow said, sounding unsure.
It was Dean's turn to roll his eyes. "So, are we going or…are we letting him get pancaked?"
"We should probably…" Buffy trained off, gesturing towards the exhibit.
Willow nodded. "Why don't we?"
They were ducking under the tape when they were interrupted by a voice behind them.
"Hold it! Hold it!" A zookeeper said, coming around the corner. "Are you blind, or just illiterate?" He asked with annoyance. "Because hyenas are quick to pray on the weak."
"Oh, um we were just gonna take-" Buffy started.
"You're not going in there. Anyone that does is in a world of trouble." The zookeeper said sternly.
"No, no one's going in there." Willow said quickly.
"Why is it off limits?' Dean asked, eyeing the man suspiciously. Something about this guy was off.
"It's a quarantine. These hyenas just came in from Africa, so keep out." He raised his eyebrows and added, "Even if they call your name."
"I'm sorry, what?" Dean asked incredulously.
"The Masai tribesmen told me that hyenas are capable of understanding human speech. They follow humans around by day, learning their names. At night, when the campfire dies, they call out to a person. Once they separate him, the pack devours them." The zookeeper explained, his eyes bright with excitement.
"Oookay then." Dean said, putting a hand on each girl's back, nudging them forward. "We're gonna go now. And that is not creepy at all."
"But what about Xander?" Willow whispered as they walked away.
"He'll be fine, but that guy is nuts." Dean said, glancing over his should and seeing the zookeeper still watching them, he urged them on a little faster.
Dean plopped into the chair next to Buffy at their table at the Bronze, handing her a soda. "It's like it would kill these people to get a decent band in here." Dean complained, shooting a dirty look towards the stage.
Buffy laughed at his antics. "It's Sunnydale. You really think anyone you like would wanna come play here?"
Dean didn't say anything, just frowned moodily into his coke.
"I thought Xander would be here by now." Willow said, glancing at the door.
"Hmm, that'd make him on time. We couldn't have that!" Buffy said sarcastically.
Willow worried her lip with her teeth. "Did he seem upset at all on the bus back from the zoo?"
"About what?" Buffy asked, confused.
Willow shrugged. "I dunno. He was quiet."
"I didn't notice anything. But then again, I'm not as hyperaware of him as, oh, say, for example, you." Buffy said, teasingly.
Buffy nodded, grinning at her friend. "Well, I'm not constantly monitoring his health, his moods, his
Willow grinned. "130 over 80!"
Dean looked between the two girls, clearly disturbed by the current conversation. "Are all girls like this?"
Buffy shrugged. "Probably."
Willow's eye got a dreamy look in them. "He makes my head go tingly. You know what I mean?"
"I might." Buffy said, nudging Dean playfully.
Dean smiled at his girlfriend before looking over at Willow. "Have you ever thought of, oh I don't know, telling him?"
Willow blushed and shook her head. "I-I couldn't just…no. He's my friend. He-He just doesn't seem me that way. And rejection is not great for my completion."
"You'll never know if you don't try." Dean smiled and leaned back in his chair.
Willow perked up. "There he is."
"Girls!" Xander greets as he comes over to their table. "And non-girl." Xander adds, seeing Dean.
"Boy!" Buffy returns, raising an eyebrow at her friend.
"Sorry I'm late, I... just forgot that we were gonna be here." Xander said, stealing Buffy coke.
"Hey!" She protested. Dean shot Xander a glare.
"Hungry!" Xander looked down at the table and frowned. "Why is there no food?"
"Because we didn't want any, and your ass didn't buy any." Dean said with annoyance.
Xander waved away Dean's comment and looked around the club distractedly.
"Xander, you still want me to help you with geometry tomorrow? We can work after class." Willow asked.
Xander gave Willow a thumbs up. "Yeah."
The other three exchange a look before turning their gaze back to Xander.
Buffy tilted her head to the side and looked at Xander strangely. "What's up with you?"
"Is something wrong? Did I do something?" Willow asked worriedly.
Xander scoffed, "What could you possibly do? That's crazy talk. I'm just... restless."
"Well, we could go to the ice cream place." Willow suggested.
Xander shook his head. "I like it here."
"And the weird behavior award goes too…" Buffy trailed off as Xander leaned over and sniffed her hair.
Dean shot out of his chair. "Okay man, WHAT THE HELL?!"
Buffy stood as well, her hands raised, ready to play referee. "Okay I think we're gonna go, before Dean decides to rearrange Xander's face." She gave Xander a tight smile. "Maybe get some sleep, huh?"
Xander frowned, seemingly obvious to Dean's rage. "Where ya going?"
"Patrol." Dean growled. "I suddenly feel the need to wail on something." Dean sent Xander a final glare as Buffy lead him out of the club.
"You know he wants you. Since like day 1!" Dean ranted as they walked through the cemetery.
"He's just being weird right now. He's harmless."
Dean sighed. "Yeah I guess. I'm sorry. I'm overreacting. He's just a dork."
Buffy squeezed his hand and grinned. "It's okay. I kind of like growly, possessive Dean."
Dean stopped and turned to face her, trademark smirk firmly in place. "Is that so?"
Buffy tapped the tip of his nose with her finger. "Don't get any ideas, mister. We have to finish patrol. Your dad is home and will want a full report."
Dean pouted. "Well that's not sexy."
"Neither is the vamp behind you." Buffy said, handing Dean a stake.
Dean grinned and spun around, quickly going to work on the unlucky vampire, taking out all his frustration on the undead creature. With 60 seconds, the vamp was reduced to ash.
Dean walked out of second period and went in search of his girlfriend. When he found her, she was standing outside the Principal's office holding a small pig in a strange costumer.
He slid up beside her, clearly amused. "Uh hey Buff, whatcha doin'?"
"This little cutie was trying to run away." She said, showing her boyfriend the small pig. "If someone tried to put me in that customer, I'd run too." Buffy whispered.
"Something funny, Mr. Winchester?" Principal Flutie asked, coming out of his office.
Dean coughed, trying to cover his laughter. "Nope. Nice mascot."
"See, the problem is you kids today have no school spirit. Hold on, let me get his outfit off." The principal removed the tiny razor back from the pig, glaring at Dean as he failed to stifle another laugh.
"Today it's all gangs and drugs and those movies on Showtime with the nudity. I don't have cable, I only heard. When I was your age we cared about the school's reputation and the football team's record, all that stuff! Of course, when I was your age I was surrounded by old guys telling me how much better things were when they were my age."
"Um, yeah." Dean said, scratching the back of his head.
The door at the end of the hall opened and Xander walked in, giving Buffy what could only be described as a predatory look. Suddenly the pig in Buffy's arms being in squeal and struggle, clearly afraid. Dean's eyes narrowed suspiciously, even more so when Xander passed them and the pig calmed down.
"You saw that right?"
"Yeah." Buffy said, her brow creased in concern.
"We might have a problem." Dean said gravely. Something was definitely wrong.
'We'll keep an eye on him in gym."
Dean nodded his agreement.
"Alright, it's raining, all regular gym classes have been postponed, so you know what that means: dodgeball! Now, for those of you that may have forgotten, the rules are as follows: you dodge." The coach said, tossing Buffy a rubber ball. He blew the whistle and the game was on.
Buffy and Dean shared a grin. This was where they excelled. They expertly dodged the red balls and strategically took out the other team, being careful not to put too much force into their throws. Buffy wanted Xander carefully the entire game, frowning deeply when he hit Willow with a ball, much harder than necessary.
"That's it. I'm taking his ass out." Dean growled.
"No." Buffy said quickly. "I want to see what he does."
Soon the only players left were Buffy and Dean on their side and the pack and Lance on the other side.
Without a word the pack turned as one to face Lance and one by one, pelted him with the rubber balls. Buffy and Dean rushed forward, hauling Lance up from the floor. They moved protectively in front of him and glared at Xander. The pack stared down Buffy and Dean for a moment before walking off the floor.
"We need to talk to Giles." Buffy said softly, still staring at where her friend had been.
"Yeah." Dean agreed.
Buffy made her way to her locker before she went to meet Dean in the library when she spotted Willow talking to Xander.
" I've um... I've decided to drop geometry. So, I won't be needing your math help anymore. Which means I won't have to look at your pasty face again." Xander said nastily. He and his pack mates laughed at the crushed look on Willow's face.
Buffy walked up and touched her shoulder as Xander walked away. "I don't think that's Xander." She whispered.
Willow blinked. "W-what do you mean?"
"I think he might be possessed. Come on, we're gonna talk to Giles." She took Willow by the arm and lead her to the library.
When they walked through the doors, Dean was already in an animated discussion with the watcher, and from the annoyed look on his face, it wasn't going well. He looked up when the girls came in, frowning when he saw Willow's face.
"Xander." Buffy said simply. "It's like he gets off on being cruel."
"I'm trying to explain to the tweed wearer over here that's something's up." Dean said, frustrated.
"I understand what you're telling me but the evidence that you've presented me with is sketchy at best." Giles said, cleaning his glasses.
"He scared the pig." Buffy pointed out. "Animals are most receptive to energies than we are. It sensed something. We know about possessions. We haven't personally dealt with one- "
"But dad has." Dean finished. "Trust me, what's going on here ain't just testosterone. I got plenty of that and I ain't scaring pigs."
Giles sighed. "So, you believe Xander to be possessed by a demon? If this were the case, you think he would settle for petty bullying? Boys can be cruel. They tease, they-they prey on
the weak. I-i-it's natural teen behavior pattern."
Buffy's eyes widen at Giles' words. "What did you just say?"
Giles furrowed his brow in confusion. "They tease?"
"They prey on the weak. I've heard that somewhere bef..." Buffy snapped her fingers. "Xander has been acting totally wiggy ever since we went to the zoo. Him and Kyle and all those guys, they went into the
hyena cage. Oh, God, that laugh..."
"You're saying that Xander's becoming a hyena?" Giles looked skeptical.
"Or been possessed by one." Dean supplied.
Willow noticed some activity in the hall and poked her head out to investigate while the others discussed the possibility of Xander's animal possession.
A moment later she returned looking disturbed. "Herbert got eaten!"
"The pig?" Dean questioned.
"Yeah. Principal Flutie's freaking out."
Buffy looked at Giles, blond eyebrows raised. "Testosterone, huh?"
"I-I must consult my books." Giles said, looking flustered.
"I'll help." Willow offered.
"I'll get Sam, he can help too." Dean said, heading for the door.
"I'll find Xander before he gets into any more trouble." Buffy said, moving toward the door as well.
"Be careful." Dean said seriously.
"I'll be fine."
Buffy stepped into the room where Herbert was kept. She walked over to the mangled cage, frowning at the bent and broken metal bars. "They are strong."
Something crunched under her foot. She bent down, inspecting what looked like chewed bones. Suddenly Buffy tensed, the fine hairs on the back of her neck standing on end. She spun around and came face to face with Xander.
Xander watched her carefully, a predatory gleam in his eyes.
Buffy moved to step around him, but he quickly blocked her path.
Buffy sighed. This was going to get ugly. "This is ridiculous. We need to go to Giles."
When Xander didn't move, Buffy lunged, pinning him to the floor beneath her.
Xander smiled. "Been waiting for you to jump my bones."
Then he growled and quick as lightning, flipped her onto her back, revering their positions.
"Get off me." Buffy said, her voice low and deadly.
"Is that what you really want?" Xander said, leering as Buffy struggled beneath him. "We both
know what you really want. You want danger, don't cha? You like your men dangerous."
"You're in trouble, Xander. You are infected with some hyena thing, it's like a demonic possession!" Buffy tried to reason with him.
Xander ignored her words. "Dangerous and mean, right? Like Dean? Well, guess who just got mean." He leaned down, sniffing her hair. "Do you know how long... I've waited... until you'd stop pretending that we aren't attracted..."
Buffy finally got her opening and threw Xander off of her, flipping to her feet. "I wasn't pretending!"
"Until Willow stops kidding herself that I could settle with anyone but you?" Xander continued as if she hadn't spoken.
Buffy eyed Xander warily. "Look, Xander, I don't wanna hurt you."
He grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her against the vending machine. "Now do you wanna hurt me?"
Buffy struggled against his grip, the pressure bruising her arms. Her eyes widened as she struggled the break free.
"Come on, Slayer. I like it when you're scared. The more I scare you," He trailed off, inhaling deeply. "the better you smell."
"HEY!" Xander looked up jut in time to see a desk collide with his face. Instantly Buffy was released as he slumped to the ground.
Dean pulled Buffy into his arms, checking her over for injuries. "Are you okay? Did he hurt you?" Dean asked, his voice panicked. If he'd shown up any later…
"No. No I'm fine." Buffy assured him.
Dean turned to glare murderously at the form on the ground.
Buffy rubbed his arm soothingly. "It wasn't him. It's the hyena."
Dean took a deep breath, exhaling slowly, reining in his anger. "Yeah. Let's get him to the library, we can lock him in the book cage."
Dean dragged Xander by the ankle, showing no signs of remorse when Xander's head smacked into the door frame.
"Let's get his ass locked up before he comes to." Dean said, his face hard.
Willow rushed over to them. "Oh, my God, Xander! What happened?"
"I hit him."
Willow gaped at Dean. "With what?"
Willow opened the cage door, and Dean dragged him in and shut the door.
"He tried his hand at felony sexual assault." Buffy explained, rubbing the soreness from her arms.
Willow's eyes widened. "Oh, Buffy, the hyena in him didn't..."
Buffy shook her head. "No, but it's safe to say that in his animal state his idea of wooing doesn't involve
a Yanni CD and a bottle of Chianti."
Buffy looked over a Dean who was oddly silent. His jaw was clenched, his hands fisted at his sides. Buffy maneuvered in front of him, placing her hands on his shoulders. "I'm fine. Relax. It's fine."
"What happened?" Sam asked, coming down the from the stacks. He took in the look on his brother's face and his concern increased. "Seriously, what happened?"
"Hyena Xander tried to do something stupid and got hit with a desk." Buffy explained.
Sam nodded in understanding. "You okay?"
Buffy nodded, looking back at Dean. "I'm fine."
"Well I think I found how to depossess him." Sam said, dropping a heavy book on the table. "We just have to transfer the hyena's spirit elsewhere. The book talks about transferring the spirit to another human, but that's not going to do much. I'm thinking with a few changes, we can just put the hyena back in, well, the hyena."
"Sounds good Sam. Where's Giles?" Buffy asked.
"He got called to some teacher meeting. Should be back soon. I'm a little worried about what the rest of the pack is doing."
Giles walked into the library, his face grim." The rest of the pack were spotted outside Herbert the mascot's cage. They were sent to the principal's office."
"Good! That'll show 'em." Willow frowned when Giles remained silent. "Did it show 'em?"
Giles sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose.
Dean turned to face Giles, speaking for the first time since locking Xander up. "Did they hurt him?"
Giles sighed again. "They, uh... ate him."
Willow sat down heavily, her eyes wide.
"They ate Principal Flutie?" Buffy asked, face pale.
Giles nodded slowly. "The, uh, official theory is that wild dogs got into his office somehow. There was no one at the scene."
"But Xander didn't." Willow said, gesturing to the cage. "He was with Buffy and Dean."
Giles glanced as the cage, his features brightening slightly. "Uh, well, that's a small mercy."
"Yeah." Dean grunted bitterly.
"I think I found what we need to reverse the possession." Sam told Giles, gesturing to the book. "There's a few missing pieces though. We may need to talk to the zookeeper. Maybe he knows more than he's letting on."
Giles nodded. "We should talk to him."
Buffy looked at Dean. "We should find the rest of the pack before anyone else becomes dinner."
"Yeah." He glanced at the cage. "But somebody's gotta say with him."
"I will." Willow said, standing up from the table.
"I don't know about that." Dean protested. "If he wakes up…"
"I'll be alright." Willow insists, holding her hand out of the keys. "Go."
At Buffy's nod Dean handed over the keys. "Alright. Be safe." And the four left the library.
"I heard the vice-principal's taking over till they can find a replacement." Willow said as she walked down the quad with Buffy, Xander, and Dean.
"It shouldn't be too hard to find a new principal. Unless they ask what happened to the last one." Buffy said.
"Okay, but I had nothing to do with that, right?" Xander asked, hopefully.
Buffy nodded. "Right."
"You only ate the pig." Willow said.
Dean remained silent, watching Xander carefully.
"I ate a pig? Was it cooked and called bacon or..." Xander trailed off, a disgusted look on his face.
The girls shook their heads.
Xander ran a hand over his face, dramatically. "Oh, my God! I ate a pig? I mean, the whole trichinosis issue aside, yuck!"
"Well, it wasn't really you." Buffy reassured him.
"Well, I remember I was goin' on the field trip, and then goin' down to the Hyena House, and next thing some guy's holding Willow and he's got a knife."
"You saved my life." Willow said adoringly.
Xander threw an arm around her shoulders, hugging her to his side. "Hey! Nobody messes with my Willow."
Buffy smiled. "This is definitely the superior Xander. Accept no substitutes."
"I didn't do anything else, did I, around you guys or anything embarrassing?" Xander asked hesitantly.
Buffy shook her head. "Nah!"
"Not at all." Willow said.
Buffy looked at Willow. "C'mon. We're gonna be late." She pecked Dean on the lips and headed to class.
"See you at lunch." Willow said with a wave, following Buffy.
"Cool! Oh, hey, goin' vegetarian! Huh?" Xander called after them, giving them a thumbs up when they looked back.
Dean patted Xander lightly on the shoulder. "They're good friends."
"They are." Xander said in agreement still looking in the direction the girls had gone.
"Especially Buffy. She's such a good friend, she's willing to play along and let you think she buys your amnesia act."
Xander stiffened and turned to face Dean.
Dean's face was unreadable, his voice deceptively calm. "I on the other hand, I'm not that great a friend. Buffy, Sam, and I were raised by a man who spends his every waking moment hunting for the demon that killed my mother, and you really thought we wouldn't know that possessions don't cause memory loss? Though if I'd have done what possessed you tried to do, I'd probably want to pretend it never happened too."
"D-Dean, I- "
"Don't talk. It wasn't you. It was a hyena. I know that. But I also know that the hyena was driven by your thoughts and your feelings." Dean said, piercing Xander with his gaze. "I get it. Buffy's hot. But I want to make sure something is very clear here." Dean stepped closed to Xander, getting right in his face, his voice low and threatening, almost a growl. "You are her friend. Nothing more. Move on. And if you so much as look at my girlfriend the wrong way again, pain is going to have a whole new meaning for you."
Dean stepped back and smirked at Xander's pale face. "Good talk." Dean said and walked away towards his next class.
Xander let out a breath that he hadn't realized he was holding. "Nope, he's not scary." Xander turned to go only to almost collide with Giles.
"You heard all that, huh?" Xander asked sheepishly.
Giles nodded. "You had to have known that was coming."
Xander nodded and ran a hand through his hair. "Shoot me, stuff me, mount me."
Giles chuckled and walked away.
This was long. Next up: Angel. This should be interesting. Thanks for sticking around! Reviews please!