Hello everyone, I thought after all of the action and exposition of the last few chapters that I would give a breather one.

Enjoy and review

Chapter Eight: Brand New Day

Despite only getting a few stolen hours of sleep at his desk, Wesley felt surprisingly good all things considered. Admittedly his arms ached a bit if he moved them the wrong way and his head could have been better but, seeing as he was only hours ago engaged in a brutal fight to the death, he was feeling far better than he had any right to.

He received a message from Angel to meet him and Gunn in one of the conference rooms at ten o'clock. Apparently, Angel had finally gotten around to finding him a qualified assistant and they were going to write up the contract and put him or her on payroll.

He glanced at the clock, that wasn't for at least three and a half hours, so he had plenty of time to pop out to the local bakery and get something hot and fresh. And maybe a decent cup of coffee. And while he was at it he might as well get a copy of the day's newspaper, after all he did need to stay abreast of current affairs. And maybe hit the pool for a few laps.

After all the hours he had clocked in, he was quite certain that office could do without him until ten.

The strangest thing happened during his little "me-time" break; the steak pie was fresh and delicious, the coffee heavenly, the paper didn't have any front page homicides and the pool was cool and bracing.

He had a decent break without absolutely anything bad happening to him

That was weird yet he was quite sure that he could get used to that state of affairs.

~o~O~o~

Xander stared silently at the ceiling, watching the increasing sunlight play across the surface. So that's what death tastes like, he thought to himself. Harmony repositioned herself so she was now resting on top of him. "That thing you did with your finger," she said, breaking the silence, "Where did that come from?"

"What?" said Xander, "Didn't you like it?"

"Nah I thought it was great," she said, "Never done that before. Just never pegged you as the kinky type."

"Well," he responded, "It seemed appropriate at the time."

"So," she began, "What exactly happened? I distinctly remember insulting you before you violated me."

"You're an evil soulless demon from Hell," he stated, "I hardly think that of all things "violated" you."

"Hey!" she pouted sensitively, "I just asked a simple question. You don't have to be mean about it."

"Sorry," he said insincerely, "I guess the insulting thing is kind of a turn on for me. I mean when I think about it, it makes. Most of my relationships have started like that. I wonder if that's a bad thing. Is the universe trying to tell me something?" He shrugged.

"I never really thought of you that way," she admitted.

"Oh so you spent time thinking about me back at good ol' Sunnydale didn't you?" he asked cockily.

"No!" she said defensively, "If I ever thought about you, it was about how you would wind up with some poor, miserable old librarian wondering about why she was unable to do better." Xander chuckled.

"I bagged myself a cheerleader," he retorted proudly, "And if I ever thought about you, I imagined you winding up as some old geezer's trophy wife until he decided to upgrade to a younger, hotter model."

"We've come a long way since Sunnydale haven't we?" she asked, placing her chin on his chest so she could look him in the eye, "I mean you can actually fight and I can… well I took a night class, got a certificate and a pretty decent job." She then laughed mischievously. "Do you remember that fight we had a few years back?" They both burst into laughter which went on for several minutes. Every time they thought they were done, they would make eye contact and it would start all over again. She finally buried her face in his chest and counted to ten until she stopped.

"Ooooh God, neither of us came out of that looking any good did we?" he asked grinning.

"I thought you had military training or something," she said, "And, even then, you'd been doing that kind of thing for what, four years?"

"We all have bad days," he said, "Anyway, I thought we agreed to never mention that again."

"No," she stated, "You just walked off with "the tattered shreds of your dignity" and left me there. You didn't say anything."

"Yeah, what were you doing anyway?" he asked, "Weren't you burning some of Spike's stuff and –" He suddenly became silent and his eyes widened. "Ok-ay," he said slowly, "I kinda forgot about that."

"What?" she asked, "Me and Spike?"

"Oh God, please stop saying that," he requested tersely. She giggled at his discomfort before gently biting his lower lip and rolling him over.

~o~O~o~

Spike sat in his Spartan apartment playing Halo on Legendary difficulty. Fred had suggested video games as a form of therapy since his hand were still not a hundred percent since being reattached. Doyle had apparently decided that he didn't need internet so no multiplayer for poor old Spike. "Stupid grunt," he muttered, "Eat a plasma grenade." As he watched the alien comically skyrocket the door opened. "You know, I was just thinking about you," said Spike. Doyle grinned.

"Nothing good I hope," he said before walking over to the fridge and stealing a beer.

"Isn't it a little early?" asked Spike irritably.

"It's still late for me," responded Doyle sitting down on the couch and taking of the lid with a knife, "Didn't sleep last night. I had a vision."

"Good for you," said Spike before being killed by the elite with an energy sword for the eighth time, "Goddamnit I want this thing to die," he cried before slamming down the controller in frustration. Doyle ignored the outburst and continued, "Tonight a woman named Jill will be attacked by someone or something at a single's bar called the D'Oblique." Spike was only half listening as he was killed, yet again, by the same elite. "Look just… Here gimmie," he said, snatching the controller out of the vampire's hands.

"What do you think you're doing," he demanded, "You don't just… How the Hell did you do that?" "That" being Doyle taking out the elite with a plasma grenade.

"You never ever go near that thing," he explained, "Always keep your distance. Remember the Master Chief isn't as fast or strong as you. You have to be adaptable. And if he gave you trouble… Well let's just say the hunters will hit you like a brick." Spike nodded briefly.

"Plug in the other controller and show me how you did that again."

~o~O~o~

Gunn woke up feeling sore. His left leg still ached from the previous night's fight. He grinned slightly, that had been a great fight. It had some decent action, the part where it looks like all hope is lost and of course the last minute ally coming in all Gandalf and Riders of Rohan style. Yes it was a good fight but he had to stop reminiscing and start getting ready for work. He had a quick shower, put on a black suit with grey pinstripes and made himself some breakfast. While eating, he continued to flick through the copy of Lord of the Rings that Fred had gotten him for his birthday the previous year.

"I don't know why they just didn't fly there on the eagles," he said.

~o~O~o~

Fred realised that she was probably going to have to break up with Knox. He was nice enough in a kind of almost sociopathic way but he clearly been working at Wolfram & Hart for too long. Not to mention she had mixed feelings about dating someone who worked under her… as in a subordinate, nothing else. And she had very confusing feelings regarding the head of Research and intelligence that she needed to sort through.

As she chewed on a piece of toast she reached for the phone, intending to call Wesley but pulled back at the last second.

~o~O~o~

Lorne looked at his reflection. "Could be worse," he said to himself, "At least I'm getting more sleep." Thankfully, the reflection didn't respond. That would be bad.

~o~O~o~

Harmony's bedside alarm clock rang out, interrupting the pair on her bed. "It's seven-ten," she said, pushing him off of her, "I have to get ready for work and… actually well so do you." He looked at her incredulously.

"You can't just… stop," he said, "That's unfair."

"Well it sucks to be you," she said arching her eyebrows.

"Okay vampire," he said, "Can you pleeeeease not use the word "suck"? And while we're on the subject of things not to do; the biting thing is scary. Scary, scary, scary, scary, scary!"

"Well I am evil," she said dryly, looking for a clean pair of socks.

"Oh yeah," he said, "Remind me again why haven't killed you?"

"I dunno," she said, positioning herself provocatively, "Killing employees on your first day might upset the boss a tad. He's the one who gets to do that. Now I need to have a shower. And no," she said to him grinning, "Since you were mean, that's not an invitation. You can use it after me." She left the bedroom, taking her clothes with her.

Xander collapsed back onto the bed. "What the Hell am I doing?" he said aloud.

~o~O~o~

Thank you for reading and please review.