“Good Lord, Xander what is all this? Giles demanded horrified at the humungous number of bags Xander and Andrew were carrying.
“There is more out on the dock G-Man it will take a few trips to bring in but it was worth it, and before you have a heart attack, most of it is from the hardware section to pad out my tools and I saved a bungle getting it at the discount shop at the mall, we got brushes and other essential girl stuff at the same place so all those complaints about that stuff should hopefully stop.” Xander said in amusement, there was more than they originally got before the Chocolate draw as he had sent Drew of for the Harry Potter DVD while the girls took the trolleys they had full to the bus while he went back to the discount shop as Dawn reminded him they needed paint brushes or something to apply the stripping potion to both the car and cupboards, he had ended up buying almost every type of pain application tool in the tool isle, everything from paint rollers and trays to brushes, all sizes including some of the small sponge rollers and sponge brushes for delicate work, he just hoped G-Man‘s potion didn‘t require a special brush as that would require another trip to an actual hardware store, he wasn‘t putting anything being impossible with Magic after all the Chronicles required a gold plated nib to write in them. “How did your quest go finding someone who could sell the grade school today or is that another thing we have to wait until Monday for?” Xander asked to change the subject.
“That is one problem I managed to solve,” Giles said with a pleased with himself expression. “The sale proceeded without any particularly insurmountable problems and as the owners of the Grade School set it up for a quick sale, all the title searches and other tedious paperwork needed for the final closure where already prepared and legal. It will take some time to go through channels of course simply because of bureaucracy and their tedious need to dot all the ‘i’s and cross all the ‘t’s but from a Magical viewpoint it is ours and I made sure we can legally start renovations and start using it immediately as it must be liveable within the month, for the Council dependents when they arrive. As soon as the property transfer papers were signed and the financial details concerning payment arranged and approved with the bank in England and the quite substantial amount of keys turned over to me, I sent Willow, Kennedy and Buffy to do some simple wards and the un-invite spell on the three buildings as a simple precaution, until that end building is made more secure we will have to be confined to the other two buildings but as you pointed out to me during the original inspection, the steel reinforced doors blocking the entryways to the corridors between buildings where they installed the lifts makes sure the other two buildings aren‘t compromised during a break in from that patio.”
“Not a bad idea but given three buildings and all the rooms it will take a few hours to finish warding hopefully there won’t be too many complaints about it cutting into their personal shopping time,” Xander laughed.
“Mr. Giles, will the un-invite spell work? It was a school.” questioned Andrew curious.
“I presume so, if it is private property and has people living on site consider it as a home.” Giles said with a frown at the younger Mage realising he was not entirely sure himself. “In this case it doesn’t matter as we don’t intend to use it as school any longer, Vampires should have been totally barred from entering the buildings from the moment the papers were signed simply because the land and buildings have been bought as private property with the intent to turn it into living space, not a school but it is always best to make sure in such situations, hence the immediate implementation of the un-invite spell, to reset the parameters and formally void any lingering invitations and contracts left from the old owners and building use.”
Andrew nodded in understanding but Xander started to frown as he got to wondering what the rules on Vampires entering schools actually were, they never had any trouble entering Sunnyhell High but that was a pubic building owned and run by Sunnydale, the nature of what barred a Vampire from entering might be something that impacted the Slayer school when they set it up, they already had to find a way to give at least some warding to the ground floor shops when they opened for business and stopped using them as extra accommodation, he needed to know what they had to put in place for the school as well, it could be a major security problem if not handled properly from the beginning. Xander gave Giles and Andrew a quick outline of his thought’s and the problems it might cause them in future if they opened a school making Giles reach for his glasses and Andrew look thoughtful.
“Bloody hell, the way your mind works, Xander!” Giles exclaimed with look of horror. “I would never have even given such a thing a second thought thinking the fact it would be a Private Boarding School would be enough.” The older man grimaced cleaning his glasses absentmindedly as he mentally reviewed the little they knew about the limitations of the invite clause for Vampire. In the end he sighed, “It isn’t really a subject that had been studied in depth as far as I know. The invite to a private dwelling has been documented extensively but the exact nuance of the barring is still a mystery as we found out in Sunnydale. Another thing I was remiss about in Sunnydale, I should have insisted Angel clarify quite a bit of Vampire lore during my time there.“ Giles shook his head thinking about it. “I really must get in contact with Angel and insist he write an accurate accounting of all the things a Vampire can and can’t do under the invite clause that rules them.” he grumbled, being split into Ripper and Rupert had ruined his bloody instincts, Rupert had been a prig without a curious bone in his body, he was designed to obey not question, if Ethan hadn’t managed to free at least some of Ripper to bleed into the stuffy prig by the time they sent him to Sunnydale they probably would have all been dead before the Harvest, as it was it had been a bloody near thing.
“Tell him we need the distance they have to be to sense a Slayer from a normal humans as well, Minions never sensed Buffster until really close. Also if Masters and Childer have extra spidy-sense about Slayers, I want distance estimates, when we plan the clean out of the Mental Hospital we need that intel to limit casualties.” Xander said strongly. “Personally I think Masters lie through their teeth and are about the same as minions, saying different just made them more important in the eyes of their underlings, from what I remember Dru was the one who gave them warning about threats and that was Seer not Vamp. Most of them only recognised Buffy from her description.“
“Possibly, that would certainly explain Cordelia being mistaken for Faith that one time,” Giles mused thoughtfully. “That is certainly another thing that must be investigated, Angel may as well make himself useful and fill out the blanks in our Vampire manual, as a contribution towards his bloody redemption.” he concluded with more than a touch of Ripper vindictiveness in his smirk. “The damned, child molesting, ponce, wouldn‘t have lost his soul and killed Jenny if he had kept it in his pants and away from my Slayer.” he muttered under his breath.
Xander kept quiet not wanting to start the whole Angel/Angelus thing again because while he agreed with that sentiment wholeheartedly he knew they would never convince Buffy. What Buffy couldn’t understand was that at the time Xander had been majorly creeped out by Angel stalking Buffy, the vampire part when they found out just added the extra creepiness of him being a demon animated corpse to the situation. Xander shivered Dracula had shown him how sick that was, he had been showering and worshiping the porcelain god for months after that incident and it hadn‘t been the memory of the insects making him spew and scrub himself raw and wake from nightmares, how Buffy could do that willingly disgusted him. Buffy and Willow had been so high on the romance of it all, they ignored the fact Deadboy was a walking corpse so it was necrophilia but even if you took the supernatural element out of the equation they also ignored the fact he had been mid to late twenties at his turning so even if he had been alive making a move on a sixteen year girl classified him as a sicko, paedophile, stalker who liked underage jailbait. Xander had a long time to see that situation for what it really was because soul or no soul Angel was a sick creep. Buffy and Willow never saw the truth, they excused everything as true love and sprouted about soulmates ignoring the implications of Darla, Angels Sire running around Sunnydale in a catholic school girl outfit, it was just one more confirmation of the sick bastards taste, true love be damned, in his opinion Spike loved Buffy more than Angel ever did but even with Spike it was simply because Spike needed to be needed, plus that whole relationship had more than a touch of Stockholm to it.
Having gone over the Watcher Chronicles on Spike, Xander had no doubt Dru had chosen the human William as her childe simply because the type of person William had been would bleed over into the demon and tie him to Dru for eternity, no doubt the Stars told her she needed a keeper and hinted Daddy wouldn’t always be there. The fact Dru had abandoned him so easily told Xander, Spike didn’t really mean anything to Drusilla he had been made to see to her comfort and safety and the moment she didn’t need him she cut him loose.
Xander had never brought any of this up as a teenager or in later years because he had a heavy crush on Buffy’s mom at the time so it would have been hypocritical to mention age, adding a centuries old Incan mummy made the corpse issue iffy and an eleven hundred year old ex-vengeance demon topping of his dating résumé didn‘t give him a leg to stand on concerning the age thing. The Dracula thing, moved the corpse part out of a iffy subject, to don’t go there, even if it hadn‘t been consensual on his part as the thrall took away his will. Weird how a simple thing like Anya not being able to get her power-centre back after the Dracula incident convinced him none of it had been his fault and finally let him deal with it better than he had been doing, in hindsight he could chuckle at how annoyed Anya had been when Hallie told her ‘thralled rape’ wasn’t considered cheating.
Xander decided to change the subject, “We found out at the mall why my instincts were telling me to have Faith use the changer tonight; she won the chocolate basket so Trinity’s picture will be in the Sunday paper tomorrow.”
“Bloody hell, couldn’t you have arranged someone else to win the damn thing?” snapped Giles with more than a little Ripper in his growl making Andrew quickly deposit his share of bags on the table and head back to the dock for more so he would be out of the way of a Ripper explosion that was the second time he almost lost it.
Xander sighed dropping his load next to Andrews and tried to explain, “We almost missed it, as it was Faith was the last through the door it could easily have gone to the people behind her and no I couldn’t pick who won it, my gift doesn’t work that way for these door prizes it doesn’t consider them totally necessary just helpful, so adds quite a bit of randomness to the situation. The odds might be in our favour but there is still a chance it will miss us entirely, a win is never guaranteed, it can’t be because my gift is a type of Order Patterning which as you know has to be balanced by some Chaos or the backlash would disrupt the universe structure and kill me.”
“Where pray tell did you find out the Rules of Chaos Magic?” demanded Ripper in full play.
Xander winced, “I read the book on Chaos Mages and the Rules of Magic they were governed by, you had hidden in the Library, I kept passing that section of the book cage not knowing why I was drawn there but eventually I found it and the draw was gone. I worked out much later after the Bluff that my gift had led me to it when I was trying to understand Ethan and Halloween, it explained a lot and not just Ethan.” admitted Xander reluctantly as it had also given him a little insight into Ripper, Giles alter ego.
Giles groaned, Order Patterning, put that way of course Faith would be the one to win the chocolate and get her picture in the paper it was just the type of potential havoc Chaos demanded as the price for imposing even a touch of Order on a situation that should be random, it was one of the first rules of Chaos Magic he had learnt from Ethan in his Ripper days, everything eventually balanced, he had actually forgotten that for a time when Rupert was imposed, in hindsight he could see that even Halloween and the costume fiasco was eventually balanced by the Order triggered in reaction, the most notable when Xander used the Soldier memories to obtain the weapon to eliminate the Judge and again to organise the graduating class into a makeshift army not to mention to make and deploy the bombs to stop the Mayor, undoubtedly other things from that night touched by Chaos ended up helpful in some manor to those affected. Buffy herself at the time admitted she retained the ability to speak French, not in itself an outstanding addition to paying the Order bill for Ethan’s games but it had enabled her to pass a subject she had been failing miserably and let her patrol more often instead of attempting to learn French, it all added to the Order payment to balance the massive Chaos from that night and the later the band candy incident. Chaos was flashy but Order liked to be more subtle, was another of Ethan‘s lessons he had forgotten.
“Your gift is a bloody nightmare to manage by the Rules of Magic, you flit between them like a drunken fairy on crack. Don’t laugh I have a nightmare just contemplating your bloody gift, those ‘Bikes’ are the Wicca Three-Fold-Rule, your help is returned threefold, then that Need and Want Rule you mentioned last night, now high level bloody Order-Chaos Rules.” he grumbled unhappily understanding at last why Fate‘s Shunts were considered powerful assets in the Tri-War often hunted and eliminated by both the light and dark side, they moved between all the Rules of Magic as needed because their power was anchored in all of them. Forcing himself to calm down he changed the subject. “Have you and Andrew eaten?”
“Nah! We thought we could scrounge something here, Andrew started to freak that he wouldn‘t be back before one o‘clock when I asked if he wanted to eat at the mall.” Xander said honestly.
“What of the girls?” Giles asked with a sigh.
“Headed for the cheap Chinese buffet before they go clothes shopping.” he said simply.
“It could be worse I suppose, at least that place has a decent price for the standard buffet, it’s also clean and well run, not likely to give them food poisoning even if the dish selection is limited if well made.” he decided with a grimace.
“The main customers are university students wait until they go back then you’ll get the bigger selection they even give group discounts and takeaway then. The person who recommended it to Faith said this was their slow time just walk in shoppers wanting a quick cheap lunch if it was expensive it wouldn’t survive, during University term they have longer opening times adding an evening buffet as well and it‘s a popular lunch and dinner hangout for the Uni kids.” laughed Xander. “I’m already planning on extra patrols for that area during Uni times for that reason. It intersects three Universities lots of alleys and walking paths from all three.”
“A reasonable plan if that is correct, when the Universities are in session it would be a prime hunting area much like the Bronze and the area around it was in Sunnydale.” mused Giles thankful Xander was finding the hot spots in Cleveland for him, the Ked'y'drem Matriarch had been quite helpful giving them a run down of the trouble spots when they arrived the information being added as the new Hellmouth gained strength was just as helpful as it let them chart where the hunting and power points were changing due to the rising in nodal power and contamination. “Did you manage to obtain the archive ink and pen holder at the mall, I remembered to place the gold nib I left in Sunnydale into my wallet before the battle so I can start filling in Buffy’s Chronicle for that time, thankfully it still has almost two thirds of the chronicle left to write in before it runs out of pages. The other girls will need to start their own as we don‘t have whatever their Watchers were working on or even know if their books survived, that of course will have to wait until the new Chronicles are prepared. Wesley has informed me he has was keeping Faith’s up to date while she was in the LA area and has brought it with him to be turned over to the Council, so it can be maintained easier while she is in Cleveland, as he will be here a few more days he said he is willing to get it up to date for her while her hands are out of commission.”
“They only had one bottle but I ordered and paid for more to be picked up in a few weeks, I also got practice books, pens, steel nibs and cheap ink for the girls to practice writing with nib and ink for the next month. I figure at the end of the month we can work out who we can trust to write their own Chronicle and who like the Buffster will just create inkblot art if they try.” Xander said with a shrug.
“That does remind me, why the bloody hell did you let Spike write Buffy’s Chronicle? The Victorian script might be exquisite but letting a Vampire write her chronicle is a major breech in protocol.” snapped Giles.
Xander‘s jaw dropped, “Giles,” he said slowly, “I took over Buff’s Chronicle. Buffy can barely write with a normal pen, she turned the blank one you left her into inkblot pictures like Willow’s parents use. Willow wasn’t much better when she tried, she still keeps her Book of Shadow’s on computer because her handwriting sucks no matter how much it upset Tara who was a traditionalist. Not that you aren’t right about Spike because Buffy did in fact try getting Spike to write it for her,” Xander chuckled at the memory. “On the grounds he was all Victorany and knows how to write with old splodgey pens that made her hands all inky but between the holy water and the truth spell he ended up writing her bad poetry to blood, guts and her blondness instead.”
“Oh, Good Lord!” he could see that happening with frightful ease.
“I took it over in self defence, to stop the screaming after that, Anya objected long and loudly about it cutting into her organism schedule when she found out.” smirked Xander. “I’m glad you liked my hand writing, I tried my best, I even used my good writing script, the one mom and Uncle Rory made me perfect to use when I sign my name on the cards to the LaVelle relatives on holidays. I never used it at school because whenever I did the teachers acted weird and expected me to be smart like Willow.” he smirked.
Giles snorted at that, given his final grades the boy was smarter than Willow, the difference was Willow revelled in showing how smarter she was to everyone else and Xander hid in the shadows behind a mask of normality and inane quips to make those around him underestimate him. The simple truth Giles had long since realised was that if a subject bored Xander he barely passed it, if he liked it he got the top marks as he absorbed it like a sponge. Giles also knew from experience Xander picked up languages extremely easily, which had been a tremendous help with the constant research living on a Hellmouth required. Even Rupert’s programming permitted the inclusion of such a language prodigy as research assistant, of course that had almost ended when Rupert discovered he didn’t dare let the boy read anything aloud from the books after he set three of the oldest books on fire by simply holding the book and reading the Latin. A language prodigy was one thing adding such a rare magical gift as vocal toning to the situation was another.
Rupert‘s injunction against Magic outside of his Watcher duties was very strong which was one of the root causes leading to Willow's Magical abuse, Rupert had ignored her Magic to a large extent leaving her training to Jenny and her own devices, the only proactive measure Rupert took to contain her was confiscating any books he found her attempting to borrow that were dangerous. In hindsight his present merged personality realised Rupert only managed to continue teaching Xander because he hadn’t been teaching Magic but the skills of a research Watcher and Librarian, neither of which Willow had been interested in, preferring Magic and computers to dealing with the more mundane subjects as book care and repair or even shelving the books they used after the research was complete. Willow’s language skill was another sore point for Rupert, her understanding was very basic and limited in Watcher terms something she probably would not believe as she considered herself a language expert. It was unfortunately just another symptom of her innate laziness, it was something both Rupert and Ripper had found very annoying. Willow was use to being patted on the head and called a genius unfortunately in her hurry to get to the advanced lessons to prove she was the genius they all told her she was she skipped the basics. Willow never really mastered any subject fully as she never really paid attention to teachers instead she skip hopped through the lessons working ahead learning only about half she should have in her hurry to get to the advance lessons and skip the boring basic stuff. Xander had been the exact opposite he had followed the lessons absorbing all the nuances to Rupert’s delight he had actually listened to his lessons, it was why Rupert had managed to work around that pesky vocal toning problem, although the only real acknowledgement of Xander’s gift on Rupert’s part had been setting up a few basic precautions to avoid the boy’s raw gift from manifesting such as banning vocalisation from the books and switching the pronunciation lessons to photocopies, neither of which could in anyway be interpreted as Mage training.
“I congratulate you on your handwriting it is quite beautiful you should use it more often, that scrawl you affect the rest of the time is atrocious,” Giles said, “ As for Faith she will have to use the changer tonight as you suggested, if such a photo comes to the attention of the authorities they will be bound to come look on the odd chance she is the escaped convict they are looking for, it is best not to take any chances.”
“That’s what we’re planning,” admitted Xander, “First thing Monday the tats go as well, but from the moment her fingerprints change she should be safe, Faith Wilkins ceases to exist because so will her fingerprints. We’ll have to get use to referring to her by her new name in public but other than that her new fingerprints will fool anyone looking for her.”
“I will actually be glad when that isn’t a problem any longer.” sighed Giles. “Take Andrew and get some lunch in case these people bringing this infernal computer thing Andrew bought arrive on time. What do you intend to do to the rest of the day?”
“I planed to head for the salvage yard and pick up some doors for the holes we knocked in the walls but first I want to look at the other conservatory spaces, we might be able to knock a door between buildings up their as well if the internal mudrooms match up, if so I’ll need two extra doors for up there.” Xander admitted.
Giles looked at him confused, “Do you really think we need even more doorways between the buildings?”
Xander shrugged. “I’m trying for access on each level in case it turns into a fight some day and with the Hellmouth under them these buildings are a permanent acquisition, we don’t have to worry about resale value we may as well make internal travel between the buildings as easy as we can. Don’t worry the doors will all be lockable and I’m going to try for the steel reinforced security doors if the salvage yard has them. I’m thinking we can board older Slayers going to some of the Universities here it will cut out the whole Dorm thing that caused Buff so much trouble but still let them be close to the University of choice, these shops are closer than the schools for that purpose.”
Giles sighed realising Xander was as usual several steps ahead of him in his planning, “What of the floor you are sleeping on will you be making access points there as well?”
“No!” Xander said with a sigh. “I thought about it G-Man, but the back roof already has a walkway as part of the fire escape system, I might close that in eventually as it will be to cold to use in winter but I don’t see the point of making extra access when it has one even if it is outside. At night it isn’t to much trouble having to go up or down some stairs to use an internal one so I’m not going to bother with that level for the moment especially if the mudrooms match up on the Conservatory level and I can put doors in there. Putting insulation in the other buildings balconies, adding bathrooms in the other two attics like Andrew and I have, probably renovating the other two roofs are more important than some internal doors, that’s another thing I need to check the other roofs for, I have a feeling they might be as lacking in insulation as the balconies in those buildings, if so come winter they‘ll be ice boxes.”
“Are you sure we will need all that extra living space here, there are already four bedrooms on the main level in each building?” sighed Giles since he owned half the middle building he would probably need to contribute to such additions.
“I was thinking the Attics and rooftops areas being separate apartments for whoever runs the shops, we’ll also need some Magical backup stationed here as well so it won’t all be Slayers going to University but at least one Watcher, Witches and possibly an older Slayer or two working full time in the shops, or the surrounding area.” shrugged Xander. “The universities are going to be a main hunting area and the Hellmouth garrison would be the most likely ones to patrol that area as it is closer to them than the school will be and have Slayers enrolled most likely.”
“Garrison?” Giles asked half appalled half amused at the term.
Xander blushed, “Sorry hold over from Soldierboy.” he mumbled.
“Don’t worry,” laughed Giles at he embarrassed look on his face, “I suppose it could be an accurate description of what you intend for these shops. Now run along and find Andrew wherever he is cowering and have some lunch.” he ordered shooing him out.
An hour and a half later Xander trudged into the ground floor covered in dirt, the middle attic had been filthy. Finding Andrew playing a game on his computer while he waited for the computer company to arrive with the network he grimaced being careful not to brush by and pass on the dirt.
Andrew laughed, “Xan you’re almost black, how did you get that dirty?”
Xander sighed, “I had to shift old furniture and trunks to get to the left mudroom in the middle roof space, this is the result,” he said turning around showing of just how filthy he actually was. “Which makes me damn suspicious about how through Will’s warding was last night. I really can’t see them bothering to put things back where they were if they cleared from in front of that mudroom to ward it.”
Andrew winced, “I’ll let Giles know so he can make her do it correctly, I can’t see them shifting something that filthy just to ward a mudroom either.”
“That was my conclusion,” sighed Xander. “I’m going to take a shower and get into my last reasonably clean clothes and wash my eye patch, since you are just playing games let Giles know about the need for the middle roof space to be rewarded, then tell him we’ll be up in our attic if the computer installer comes, we can have some coffee while we sort out what we need washed. I’ll wash it and dump it all into the dryer before I leave and you can bring it upstairs when it finishes drying.” Xander offered.
“That’s a great idea we both need to do washing.” Andrew said enthusiastically packing his computer away happily. “I’ll bring some new bandages for your eye as well the eye patch kept most of it clean but it still need changing.”
“Thanks Drew, you go tell Giles and gather a supply of bandages and other first aid stuff for our attic, we have plenty of storage so we many as well keep some up there as I’m going to need it regularly. I’ll hit the shower and scrub of this dirt, I should be done by the time you get up there.” he said in relief.
Once he hit the attic he shared with Andrew, he grabbed some clothing and new underwear from the storage at the back of his bed and made his way to the shower stripping of and fixing the waterproofing over his eye socket, he was just too filthy to contemplate going out of the shops in such a state. His decision to do their washing before he left was practicality, he didn’t have many outfits as most of his wardrobe had been lost with his apartment, his duffle bag had only two sets of clothing one of which was a track suit, and light jacket in case it got cold, the rest of it was filled with something to sleep in, his old slippers, underwear, socks, and tea shirt to wear under the track suit, his meds and a toiletry bag, adding in the outfit he wore to the battle didn't give him much to wear. Andrew was about the same, while they had taken Xander’s car outside the town limit filled with things just in case, clothes had been last on the list of things to save as they had been the easiest to replace, the remaining Watcher books, computers, vital papers such as birth certificates and other must haves like insurance and Dawn‘s custody papers, all the little pieces of identification a person needed to prove they existed in the modern world were much more important than easily replaceable items like clothes. Even Buffy who could be a complete airhead when she didn’t think and let her Cheerleader persona take over had stopped her whining when Dawnie had snarled in her sisters face to get her head out of her arse, irreplaceable things like the photo albums with mom in them were more important than clothes and shoes she could pick up in any mall.
The clothes had gone on the bus along with the medical supplies even so they had to limit it to one bag of clothing each as there were too many people to carry more, no one spoke of the fact the girls had more clothing than the men, as the bags prepared for the girls who died in Sunnydale had been sombrely divided between the surviving girls on the bus it had been a reminder of just how lucky they had been to survive the battle and the town imploding as the Hellmouth closed.
Stepping into the shower he scrubbed himself clean, it was damn suspicious he hadn’t heard any complaints about how dirty Buffy, Kennedy and Willow got last night up in the roof spaces of the other two buildings, hopefully he was just being a snarky bitch expecting the worst of them but General Buffy had really been getting on his nerves long before the fall of Sunnydale and Willow, well Willow if he wanted to be crude about it seemed to have crawled into Kennedy’s cunt and turned over her decision making ability to the extent she basically just nodded compliance and did whatever the spoilt little bitch wanted.
Xander sighed, reaching up to wash his hair grimacing at the colour the water turned as he washed it clean. He really had to do something about that disaster in the making, Willow had latched onto Kennedy as a lifeline and was afraid to rock the boat, at least she had listened to her parents on how financial dependence in a relationship could easily lead to abuse and had enough sense to see she needed to have some financial independence. He was willing to admit Kennedy had her good points and she had drawn his Will’s out of her shell but she was also a spoilt little rich girl with a father who gave her anything she wanted but kept his distance, creating a very spoilt but needy personality. Xander was willing to give her the benefit of a doubt but he didn’t trust her not to hurt Willow eventually, Kennedy was just too unstable and needy and when you add Willow who was just as unstable and needy it was a volatile mix, very few pathways had them lasting more than a few years, either they lived in domestic contentment for a while before Kennedy’s arrogance got her killed or Kennedy ended up cheating as she got sick of Willow’s good little Witch routine and her fading into the background. Still other pathways had Willow falling to either Demonic or Angelic addiction again in an effort to meet Kennedy‘s need to show how powerful her lover was as it gave her a thrill to think someone as powerful as Willow was hers.
Xander gave a shudder of real pain at those last pathways because there was just so many of the damned things and he had to make sure they never happened, the thought of having to kill Willow to save the world was soul destroying.
Ideally he should just let it play out an limit the damage by nudging it away from the world destruction pathways, first of all he had to make Willow more assertive in the relationship that way when they finally split or Kennedy died Willow wouldn‘t fall apart, the money had been the first step ro that end as a lot of the pathway had lost cohesion when Willow got her own income it had made him a lottle sick to see just how many of those pathways Kennedy had used her money to control Willow's life. Now all he had to do was make sure Willow wouldn‘t fall back into the abyss she had been hovering over since Tara was murdered, Willow’s rampage as Darth Rosenberg and her actual fall into that abyss for a time had proved once and for all Tara had been a Soulmate and a Bonded Soulmate at that.
Stepping out of the shower and drying himself he made another decision, he needed to track down Oz so he could come back and pick up the pieces when the Kennedy relationship ended in whatever fashion. Oz wasn’t quite ready yet but he would be by the time Kennedy was out of the picture one way or another because Oz and Willow had that same vibe as Willow and Tara, Triad Souls were not that uncommon amongst Magical’s according to the books he had researched in the library over the years and two Witches and a Hellmouth born turned Werewolf certainly classified as Magical. Willow could be a damned idiot sometimes, if she had just been honest with Oz when he came back rather than lying, the Wolf would probably have just gathered Tara into his pack as another mate and the three of them settled down in domestic bliss making lots of little cubs or whatever the hell Witches and a Werewolf would make. Pulling of the waterproofing over his eye he removed the dirty layer of the bandage and applied a new one and then got dressed, leaving the eye patch to dry the bandage would do for the moment he started to get dressed. But even as he did his mind kept turning back to Oz, Werewolves and Magic.
Dressed and his eye recovered in a fresh bandage he wondered out into the main room and sat on the couch to put on his socks before slipping his slippers on, he‘d deal with real shoes later. Settling back into the couch he frowned as he not only heard Andrew pottering around in their kitchen but also the clink of things being moved out on the balcony, thinking about that he relaxed remembering G-Man had said he would have Wesley make Faith’s potions and catalogue the ingredients out there.
“Wes is out on the balcony making potions, Drew.” he called loud enough to be heard in the kitchen. “Make him a pot of tea as well, he probably needs it.” that done he turned sideways and lifted his legs up onto the couch then hunched himself up enough to use the padded side of the couch as a pillow so he could relax.
“Okay, maybe he can help me recognise some of the spells on the teapot so I can make Giles one so he and Ethan don’t steal it as you saw might happen.” Drew called brightly a few minutes later he brought the tray in with a frown. “We‘re out of milk, Xan. We used it all for breakfast and I forgot to bring up more, I‘ll be back in a few minutes.” he said practically flying down the stairs.
A chuckle came from the balcony door and Wesley made his way over to one of the single chairs, “You aren’t exactly what one would expect from one of Fate’s Shunts, chocolate and teapots aren’t exactly a matter of life and death, one doesn’t really expect a Seer of such power and importance to the Universe to home in on such inane things.”
“The Harry Potter books were right about Chocolate warding of Dark Energies and aiding recovery from Dark Magic, I tested it whenever the Hellmouth played up, Chocolate helped a great deal. Which is probably the reason my gift homes in on it when I don’t have regular supply this close to a Hellmouth. Admittedly I love chocolate but I needed a lot less of the chocolaty goodness away from a Hellmouth. I barely touched it at all on the trip here, yet the moment I hit Cleveland I started to crave it.” Xander said with his eyes closed deciding to rest until he was ready to get up and do the washing.
“I’ll have to keep that in mind.” Wesley said thoughtfully. “The atmosphere at Wolfram and Hart isn’t exactly light, something to relieve the pressure slightly would be helpful.”
Xander snorted, “Try C4, it would probably be the better option than attempting to take them down from within. Deadboy is an idiot and you know that whole deal of his is fishy and stinks to high heaven, make sure the stalking cowardly paedophile hasn’t sold your souls as part of that damn deal.”
“Have you seen something?” Wesley asked pained.
“California is now out of my radius so I can‘t see the pathways for that fuckup except in a vague sense, I don’t think any of you are going to last long but I could be wrong. Deadboy at the heart of it makes me see less as he tends to repel my gift as he’s marked by both sides as a major piece depending on who is in the driving seat at any given moment. I’d dust him in a heartbeat if Buffy wouldn’t kill me for it, she has talked herself into the romantic bullshit of him being her Soulmate, in the angst Starcrossed, Romeo and Juliet way to justify all her actions when Angelus was loose.” Xander said with a grimace.
Wesley sighed tiredly, “Angel himself seems to have swallowed that particular fantasy as well I’m afraid.” he warned. “There is of course a slight chance it could be true.” he said playing devils advocate.
Xander snorted, “Of course he did, it makes his whole existence have meaning, have you read his Watcher Chronicle, as a human Liam was a womanising, drunkard with a taste for young girls, a paedophile kink Angelus retained by the way or why else would Darla wear that Catholic School Girl outfit so much, she made Angelus she knew his tastes better than he did probably. Whistler knew exactly what he was doing when he tempted Angel with a glimpse of fifteen year old Buffy Summers, she was fantasy fodder to Liam, small, blond, beautiful and young, just as he liked them.”
Wesley frowned it did look suspicious when you looked at it that way but there was a flaw in that scenario, “It does seem to defeat the purpose, surely the Powers knew about the escape on his soul curse, I don’t believe they would have wanted Angelus free in such a fashion.” Wesley said apologetically.
Xander snorted, “You forget the Codex Prophesy I broke, Wes. According to that, Buffy was suppose to die and be out of the game. They obviously intended to use her death to spur Angel into taking a greater part in their game as the Champion they wanted, it was nicely timed to make him both grieve for what he thought he lost and become disgusted with his own lack of action that let her die. He was sitting on his duff letting her walk to her death without lifting a finger when I forced him to show me the way to the Masters cave at cross point.” Xander admitted. “Buffy stopped being a Champion of the Powers the moment she drowned and the Slayer Spirit passed on.”
Wesley paled, “Are you sure?”
“After the Bluff I saw a lot of shadows of the pathways I could have taken but didn’t everything that got me to that point on the Bluff,” Xander admitted painfully. “Buffster use to be a void like Angel is now as she was under the Powers-That-Be control but that changed when I resuscitated her and broke the Codex Prophesy, her thread was cut loose from the Powers control the first time she died, when she next dies she may never be reborn as a Slayer again. Which is of the good, I’m thinking. Her soul has been burdened with the Slayer gig way to many times and is about to burn out she needs off the champion merry-go-round they have her on before she ends up destroying the world herself just to make the pain stop for a while.“
“Good lord!” Wesley breathed. “Why the devil did you bring her back a second time if that was the case?” he demanded.
“That was before the bluff revved me up but even then I knew we were all out of other options, we needed a Slayer to guard the Hellmouth and at that time Faith was still in meltdown conscripting her would have been a disaster, hindsight told me exactly why I let Willow talk me into it against my better judgement. I knew, simply knew Buffy wasn‘t in a Hell dimension as Willow insisted. At that point something was screaming at me to bring Buffy back even if it would hurt her, our only other option was to kill Faith and I had a feeling somewhere in the background the Powers were starting to arrange her death to pass on the Slayer Spirit,“ Xander turned and looked at Wesley straight in the eye making Wesley swallow at the glimpse of eternity behind that depthless chocolate eye making him shiver, “Faith was suppose to die and pass on the Slayer Spirit not go into a coma, if I am reading that pathway correctly, and I think I am. The moment Faith went into that coma the Powers lost her as well. I can see her now and I have to tell you I’m a little angry for what they put her through. Faith was so far down the Slayer line she should have aged out but the moment they saw her soul had been born to a potential she became a sacrificial Slayer pawn to stop Wilkins, they made her life a living hell and left her teetering on the edge of sanity then killed her Watcher the only person to show her kindness and sent her running for Sunnydale, she followed their game plan nicely even falling for the Mayor’s fatherly routine as she was designed to do. You see Faith really is his daughter, Trinity Abigail Wentworth-Wilkins, at least her soul is,” he amended. “Wilkins had her before he started his Demonic aspirations and he doted on her calling her his little ‘Dark Flower’ which was why he made her new identity Trinity Melantha not Trinity Abigail but she died at the age of ten with her mother of an illness, smallpox I think. Long before children became just something for him to barter with, if Faith’s past life had lived past the age of ten she probably would have ended up on a sacrificial alter as a sacrifice of his own child would have brought more power but as she died along with the one wife he actually loved the one who fingerprints he retrieved for Faith’s new identity by the way, he retained only fond wistful memories of being a loving dad and the centre of his little girls world. Which was probably a major part of his obsession of making Sunnydale resemble a town from a fifties family drama.“ snorted Xander making Wesley chuckle.
“Recognising the soul of his dead daughter in the newest Slayer in town, must have been a surprise and as all his sacrifices were done as he was ready to ascend to Demonhood as an Old One he could enjoy being a father again before his big day.” mused Wesley seeing what Xander was getting at. “After all as he didn’t need her soul to pay for anything at that point, getting to play dad must have seemed an enjoyable diversion and a bit of unfinished business before his ascension.“
“It made him vulnerable more human, Buffy used that to lure him into the school so we could detonate. Of course in that pathway Buffy was dead Faith was the only slayer, Angel was suppose to kill Faith to call a new Slayer. In that pathway when Faith died Cordelia was to be the next Slayer, Queen C could easily bitch slap Wilkins into following her as Buffy did.” chuckled Xander.
“Good Lord!” he said in shock the thought of Cordelia as a Slayer was a little horrific. “I can see what happened there, as Faith didn’t die Cordelia aged out and when the Slayers were activated a month ago Cordelia was part demon and no longer a potential.” he mused thoughtfully realising the Powers had simply made a new destiny for Cordelia when they no longer needed her to be the Slayer. “And what of Willow in that Pathway?”
“Willow,” Xander sighed but told anyway. “When Oz went after Tara because of Willow’s lies and cheating on him, the Initiative came onto the scene and killed Oz, Tara got caught in the crossfire killing both of Willow’s Soulmates by mundane means so they couldn’t be resurrected. Willow went on a rampage from the pain even without a dark Magic addiction, she tore through the Initiative taking out both Walsh and Adam. I brought her back to her senses but died in the process showing her why she had to learn to be a good little Sorceress and she got sent to Devon again, she would come back just in time to meet Kennedy the new Slayer who was called when Cordelia died saving her little sister Dawn from Glory as she was still grieving for her dead husband ‘Me‘,” Xander said with a chuckle, Dawn as Queen C’s little sister was a sight to behold and Queen D of the new high school and the apple of Cordy‘s eye and Joyce’s, as Buffy‘s mum had adopted the Chase sister’s after their parents did a runner from the IRS. In comparison Buffy’s on again off again, I love my sister was shallow as hell, he wouldn‘t mention any of that because Joyce didn‘t have the brain tumour on that pathway, the Powers obviously killed Joyce to make Buffy more obsessed with Dawn as she wasn‘t too happy with having a sister at that point unlike Cordy who revelled in it, hell he and Cordy getting married was a riot and actually being happy extremely strange, in that pathway the fluke never happened and Anyanka never came to the Hellmouth or at least never had a reason to lose her power centre if she did do a flying visit, it was also easy to see why he died in that pathway. The Bluff hadn’t much to use as physical weapons in that fight, plus Willow had been infected by Giles in that path so had most of her reasoning compromised she just wanted the pain to end, in the other pathway he had confronted her in the Initiative base after she had destroyed Adam and was going after the soldiers so when she realised the pure Magic attack wasn‘t working enough she simply changed tactics, she took him out by telekinetically using the rubble around them as weapons, a pure Magic attack he could obviously survive but not being shredded by thousands of metal and glass shards.
“Willow would become dependent on her and when she was killed would then devote herself to each successive Slayer for the rest of her life, becoming the Slayer’s biddable little Sorceress completely under the Powers control. Not that that would be for long as when Willow reached about twenty-five the whole universe just winks out, someone obviously succeeded in destroying that universe despite keeping to the Powers master plan.” Xander said with a sly smirk at Wesley making him chuckle.
“That’s truly fascinating the changes simply resuscitating Buffy caused, I’m flabbergasted at the scope of your gift. I have one question, why did you tell me this shouldn’t you be telling this to Rupert?” he said looking at him curiously.
“You deserved to know as you are Faith’s Watcher and suffered with her and at her hands, you have also been keeping her Chronicle, I think that pathway needs to be written down. Faith’s Chronicle is the best choice as it will show that much of her life and pathway was already chosen for her as she was the Powers moulded weapon against the Mayor simply because of the soul she carries. I think it will highlight just how much she overcame once she got out from the Powers thumb, because in this pathway the moment she entered that coma she stopped being a void to me even though she still had the Slayer Spirit. I think that‘s how it works if one of their Pawn‘s live past their arranged death they get freedom from the Power’s control as a prize, she stopped being one of the Power’s pawns when her planned death didn’t happen. For a time she was in Limbo as all the sides in the Tri-War waited for her to decide her own Fate but eventually she graduated to being a potential Wildcard for this Universe, who are sometimes called the Third Side of the Tri-War in the Watcher books, that’s a much better place for her to be as it’s pretty obvious from the pathways that they don’t just pay lip surface to the ‘Free Will’ idea like the Light and Dark do, they actually let their pieces do as they will only using someone if it’s totally necessary to ensure the Universe survives usually to counter some idiot play by the other two sides who don’t care a damn about this Universe and it’s inhabitants as we are expendable canon fodder to both sides.
Wesley swallowed admitting to himself Xander was just voicing thoughts he had often had himself but never voiced, “Thank you for informing me and yes, it would be perfect for inclusion in my Slayer’s Chronicle,” he said a touch more formally than he had intended as he realised the moment deserved it as this was one of his last official acts as Faith‘s Watcher and she deserved all the formalities to be followed. “It would be best if I did not mention you by name given how much Seer’s of your type are hunted by both sides so I will simply state that it was told to me by a reliable Probability Seer, you will need a codename by which to refer to you in this Chronicle and any others you contribute to in this fashion, it will separate your Seer identity from your own identity as Alexander Harris.” he decided, giving a little thought on the subject of names but one leaped out immediately so he went with it. “Angelus I believe once called you a White Knight, I think Paladin is a much simpler and elegant naming, I shall simply write that the Seer Paladin told me the vision as he thought it needed for future generations to put my Slayer’s life and actions in prospective.”
Xander grimaced at yet another title but finally nodded, “After you write it down warn Faith and let her read it, G-Man intends for the Slayers to update their own Chronicles for the moment and I don’t think Faith would appreciate having that sprung on her without warning.”
Wesley paled that that and nodded quickly seeing the likely outcome of such a surprise Faith was a volatile personality who would see it as a betrayal if it was sprung on her or shown to anyone else first. “You are a wise man; she might kill us both if she read it without warning. I’ll also show it to Rupert once Faith has recovered from the shock.” he mused. “What of Willow, while she seems happy with Kennedy at the moment, the fact she still does have a living Soulmate could heal her better?”
Xander sighed, “Oz isn’t ready to come back to Willow, she ripped him to pieces. He almost killed Tara because of her lies, he lost control of the wolf and it almost killed Tara then the Initiative got him. Both Oz and the Wolf in him are licking deep emotional wounds, coming to terms with what almost happened because if I am reading those books on Soulmate’s correctly, if Tara was Willow’s Soulmate she almost had to also be Oz’s as well, almost killing one of your Soulmate’s because of the other isn’t something a Werewolf or anyone for that matter will recover from quickly.”
“Yes, I suppose you are correct, it sounds like you intend to leave her relationship with Kennedy alone?” he mused.
“Let’s just say I’m monitoring it, as long as Kennedy doesn’t egg her on to doing more and more Magic deepening her addiction just to show how powerful her lover is as some of the pathways show,” he admitted with a grimace, making Wesley pale again. “I am willing to let it run it’s course. If she keeps it up I’ll get rid of her, up to and including putting a bullet in her head, as I’ll be damned if I let her encourage Willow’s addiction to the point we have to kill Willow just because Kennedy’s on a power trip and likes to show off how powerful her lover is.” Xander said grimly and Wesley winced at the pain in his eyes.
“Perhaps it might be wise to sit them both down the next time young Kennedy has one of those episodes and baldly state the end result of the pathway you just saw stemming directly from the actions Kennedy just instigated. In other words scare the living daylights out of the spoilt little snot, at the same time it will remind Willow that succumbing to such dares was not just stupid but deadly for herself and others, perhaps even the world because I can assure you it probably wouldn’t be left to you to kill her next time there are undoubtedly quite a few contingency plans in the works to take her out long before she reaches the Darth Rosenberg stage or even the Saint Rosenberg version of her addiction. Yes Xander, I heard she managed that during the Slayer activation spell, I would hazard to say so has everyone else who deal with Magic and contingency plans are probably well on their way to being put in place if she steps too far in either direction again. The world just can‘t afford someone of her power being that uncontrolled and her sanity under the control of the Magic she is addicted to not herself.” Xander grimaced as Wesley’s words opened up a few pathways showing just that, making his need to contain Kennedy’s power plays essential what he wouldn‘t give for one of the Pensives the Harry Potter Books had. For all she was a Witch, Willow was a seeing is believing type of person she only got into Magic because she saw it was real and the books Giles had in the library showed how it was done, that was Willows failing as a Witch she was too logical she only believed what she saw or read about refining other peoples work which was why Andrew was much more dangerous he was an inventor nothing was impossible for Andrew he just hadn‘t worked out how to do whatever he imagined yet. The clatter on the stairs announced Andrew’s return carrying a quart bottle of milk, he came over and filled the milk jug and took the bottle to the kitchen.
“You two are nicely set up here and I must admit the Magic on show in that room is fascinating. It definitely isn’t Mage Magic, those Dimensional spells are impossible for a Mage to perform.” he said thoughtfully. “If it was a little more high tech I would be looking for the Tardis control panel in the centre of the room.” he smirked in amusement wondering if they would understand what he was talking about.
“The Tardis jokes have already been dutifully made,” chuckled Xander. “G-Man mentioned Doctor Who once and I tracked some DVD’s down to see what he was talking about, not bad for a kid’s show, the regeneration stuff was interesting and a great way to change actors, no wonder it’s so long running. Although G-Man just groaned and cleaned his classes when I asked if he stayed male every time he regenerated or did he do the female thing occasionally.”
Wesley groaned but finally chuckled, “That’s bad Xander but I suppose a reasonable question for a generation where sex changes and transsexuals are common. Your generation are quite something, you not only talk so openly about such things but don’t even bat your eye at some of the most outlandish things, I’ve seen Cordelia discuss designer clothes and makeup with a demonic drag queen and the only thing that upset her was the amount of makeup and the fact the colour of the dress clashed with his lavender skin.” he said with a chuckle remembering that incident. “Technology is another thing your generation just seems to absorb. From what Rupert told me you even took Vampire and Demons in your stride and undoubtedly would do the same for Aliens.”
Xander chuckled, “Not our fault we inherited everything all the other generations started, to us it’s just natural, I admit Vampires and Demons took some getting use to, then the whole Magic deal but we grew up with TV and movies both horror and Sci-Fi, Wesley and what they can get away with plot wise these days is way beyond what the older generations saw. I think your Dr. Who got to keep his sex simply because it is both British and old, when it was first made men were men and women were women, they wouldn’t even have contemplated creating a character that switched between the two, if someone was creating it from scratch today it would definitely be a possibility just to hammer home the he’s, she, it, is an Alien more than just the two heart thing which isn‘t that great a difference, telepathy and regeneration helped but that would have been the icing on the cake and these day having a kick ass female hero isn‘t new or unheard of so no one would blink if a regeneration turned female, it certainly would have made the interactions with the Master take on a whole new level, the writers might have baulked at homosexuality in a children’s show but would have thought nothing about doing it if the Doctor or the Master had been in female cycle at the time, they might even have made them a divorced or separated couple.”
Wesley laughed truly amused as he could imagine the writers doing that very easily and changed the subject before Xander corrupted the memory of his favourite TV show from his childhood even more than he had already, “So this is the teapot you think Rupert and Ethan have their eyes on at some future date, what’s so special about it.” he asked pouring himself a cup, still amused at the thought of the Doctor and the Master as a separated couple fighting over who got custody of the universe. Xander had a wicked imagination when he let it free, probably one of the reasons he was such a good planner. It just reinforced how much he missed about the Scoobies as they called themselves when he first came to Sunnydale.
“It keeps the temperature hot indefinitely and doesn’t stew the leaves plus you can set it to steep as long as you want and it will stay that way.” Andrew babbled excited to have someone else to discuss it with.
“That’s a lovely cup of tea I’m tempted to steal it myself.” Wesley said with a chuckle after taking a sip and he was only half joking, America was a wasteland when it came to tea it had taken finding a small specialty shop that imported different tea’s to satisfy the craving for a descent cuppa but it was fairly expensive so not wasting it by having the pot go cold on him would be a blessing.
Andrew frowned at him and said seriously, “I spelled it, so only I or Xan can take it out of the building.” the warning made Wesley’s jaw drop.
Xander broke down in giggles, then reached over and poured himself a cup of coffee when he wasn’t shaking from laughter. “The look on your face Wes, sorry but G-Man and Ethan are really going to try stealing it, Andrew said he would spell it thief proof but I didn’t know he’s already done it.”
Wesley looked put out for a moment but finally chuckled, “I want pictures or Video of their faces when they fail.” he ordered. “I promise not to steal it but I must admit if it can be duplicated I am certainly interested in a set of my own, what does the rest of the service do?” he asked Andrew his curiosity getting the better of him. “The silver is obviously stabilising the spells stoping them from unravelling which makes sense, silver, gold and gemstones are often the heart of this type of spell work as they can hold and stabilise spells more effective than other metals which is one of the reasons they can‘t be made with Transmutation Magic, iron and steel are some of the worst Magical conductors which is why Humans have never managed to imbue the metal with Magic only layer on top, most of the more effective Magical weapons are not of Human forging we can only make the so called Lessor Weapons and they have a great many flaws, the Kobolds have a greater affinity being Earth Elementals but even they have trouble as the metal fights the magic as it is forged, the Great Weapons like Excalibur and the Slayer Scythe, Rupert showed me when he explained how all the Potentials were activated are all Sidhe made from before Atlantis sank except for Death‘s Guardian which is God made and Cursed to buggery so if you see it and don‘t trust the bearer run like hell and for God‘s sake don‘t touch the damned thing.” Wesley said with a frown obviously distracted even as he gave warning. “Come to think of it the Scythe probably had a different name back then as the Slayers were created long after the loss of Atlantis, they must have bound the existing Scythe to the Slayers, just as Excalibur has been bound to the Magic of Britain as a way to choose a High King to focus the Magic of the entire Island against Magical attack from beyond the shores of Britain.”
Andrew had been listening avidly taking it all in then gazing thoughtfully at the Silver Service. “You’re right Wesley, the spells are embedded into the silver and being reinforced by the Magic conductivity of the metal the Silver has been set up as a battery to renew the spell from the ambient Magic around it, I noticed some tiny runes engraved where they can‘t be easily seen they must the spell binders for the enchantments, that means I’m going to have to study runes to work out what they do, it also means I can’t make China sets without something to anchor the spells they’ll unravel within days possibly hours of casting if we use a china set,” he said with a pout silver was expensive he had been hoping to experiment on china from the charity shops but he realised they would be temporary and need reinforced constantly which defeated the purpose.
“We’ll experiment Drew, it might be a simple case of etching the runes and filling them with silver or looking for China sets with gold or silver rims or patterns to experiment with, even if you can’t make them work permanently on china you can still perfect the spells that way before you tackle a silver service.” Xander said shaking his head at how Andrew missed the obvious solution going for the bigger picture.
Wesley frowned, “A lot of the older China has gold in the pattern but the value would go down if you took an engraving tool to them, the mundane price of the set would plummet which also defeats the purpose of not using Silver, they also couldn‘t be sold to anyone without Magic even if you set the spells up to only work when turned on as they would see the engraving and only offer the damaged pricing.” he said with a sigh, “The engraving on this Silver set has already devalued it so the added runes didn’t lower the price any more, perhaps Xander‘s idea of using some of the plainer gold or silver rimed China sets might be a better idea.”
“Oh!” Andrew said the pout starting to form again but it didn‘t last long as he had an idea. “Maybe it would be better to make the spells transferable, store them in an attachment that hooked into the gold or silver decoration in any china pattern or the silver, turning it into a spell lattice that does the same thing that way it is removable if you need to sell the china or silver.” babbled Andrew excited at the possibilities.
“Wouldn’t the spells be too complicated for that Andrew?” Wesley asked startled.
“Not really, the steep timer is the most complicated the rest of the spell on both coffee and tea pot just keeps it hot without the cooking the contents, sort of a stasis spell,” he said with a frown. “I think they might have D-space on them as well but haven’t tested it to be sure. If so, they will probably hold four or five pots of coffee or tea on the inside and still look the same outside, they have the same aura as the balcony and wardrobe which makes me think they have d-space. I won’t be able to copy those.” he said apologetically.
“That is quite understandable Andrew, Dimensional spells are not something any Mage should attempt, so I wouldn‘t want you to try. I would be very happy with a pot that simply keeps my tea hot and didn’t stew the leaves or steep it until it is undrinkable.” reassured Wesley.
“Xan or Dawn could probably do D-space spells as they have internal Magic not external but Xan said it’s too dangerous without a teacher that knows how to do it, as we could take out Ohio.” sighed Andrew with a pout.
“Don’t go their Andrew neither of us are touching D-space spells without a teacher who knows what they’re doing and aren‘t Demonic.” Xander said tiredly not in the mood to start that argument again.
“Really, how intriguing there are some non-human races with internal Magic but it is quite rare in humans, some of the oldest books hint the human race ate something they shouldn’t and it stole their Magic, it could even be the true basis of the apple myth from the Garden of Eden.” Wesley mused. “But then neither you or Dawn are entirely human from what we gathered this morning and internal Magic is more common amongst the Covenant Races so you might have inherited it from that source bypassing whatever curse there is on humans that way.”
Andrew frowned at him, “Xan wasn’t like that until Willow almost killed him on the Bluff, sure Xan always has some Magic which is why spells went wonky on him but he was a lot different before I went to Mexico, it’s like he was an almost empty power battery and Willow powered him up so he’s usable.”
Wesley frowned looking at Xander speculatively, “How strange, I‘ve never heard of anything like that happening, is it staying active and the same level or like a battery is it running down as he uses it?” he asked Andrew.
“He’s steady as if he‘s constantly charging himself now, I think Willow’s power bombardment fixed something broken in Xan, it didn’t damage him it healed him,” Andrew said frowning trying to put into words what he was seeing whenever he looked at Xan now and compared it to the way he had been. “He should have been born this way but he wasn‘t, something damaged him before he was born exhausting and trapping his Magic on a genetic level, does that make sense?”
“Frankly I haven’t a clue, by all the Magic I know Xander should have died on the bluff, burnt out from the Magic. I shall try researching it but I am not hopeful of finding anything similar.” Wesley admitted.
Xander shrugged it wasn‘t as if it was hurting him, he’d actually felt better than he had all his life once the agony of his over loaded nerve endings stopped screaming and he got some sleep during which his body seemed to get use to the Magic in him, he had been worried he might be infected with the Black Magic for a while but it felt clean just part of him as natural as breathing as if something in him had just needed the jumpstart the start up on its own.
“Wesley are you going come watch the first Harry Potter Move with us tonight?” Andrew asked suddenly.
“I beg your pardon?” he asked confused by the change in subject.
“We bought the second DVD today so are going to watch the first one tonight and the new one tomorrow night since you’ll be here I wanted to know if you’ll come down and watch it with us and the baby Slayers and Dawn?” asked Andrew sipping his own coffee happily.
“Yes I think I’d like that! Thankyou for inviting me.” Wes said quietly, suddenly realising he had laughed more today than he had done in years being here was like breath of fresh air or perhaps like having a vacation from a stressful job. “I haven’t seen either of the movies yet, I have been meaning to find the time one day to do so.“ he admitted touched he had been invited because it was true he had loved the books but with all the constant crisis in LA had never been able to see the movies.
“More the merrier!” chuckled Xander, “I’ll pick up some popcorn and other junk food while I’m out and some soda and we’ll do it in style, if the baby Slayers get rowdy or peanut gallery loud with the comments you have my permission to throw some popcorn at them because I intend to.”
“Sounds like fun, I shall look forward to it!” he chuckled and he meant every word of it, such a simple thing as watching a DVD with a group of other people sounded like heaven after everything he had gone through in the last year or so.