Part 16 - A Merging of Forces
(How to Hang With Teenagers and Not Get Arrested)

As Buffy and Steve leave the house Steve loads up with his Katana, Glock 21, several wooden knives and a couple of grenades. Buffy looks at this with suspicion.

"Steve, why are you taking all of those weapons?" She asks.

"Because, I've learned early in life to always be prepared for any contingency."

"Like the Boy Scouts?" Buffy asks.

"No, like the Green Berets."

As they head out to the car. Buffy turns to Steve and asks. "Steve, what did Frank mean that your car was armored and bullet proof?"

"Buffy, I bought this car from a gentleman who specializes in ‘Very Special' cars for ‘Very Special' people. The entire frame and body have been reinforced with steel plates. The glass is bullet proof, up to a fifty caliber round. It has various weapons. As Frank put it earlier, ‘This car would make James Bond drool'". Steve tells her.

Buffy is impressed, "Do Mulder and Scully know about this car?"

"No, but after Frank's comment, I'll bet you that when I get back home, Mulder will be begging me to let him drive it. Scully on the other hand will ask politely."

"Will you let them take a turn driving it?" Buffy asks.

"Yes, I will. Because I genuinely like Mulder and Scully." < And I hope to find someone like Scully, myself. > "Where are we going Buffy."

"We're meeting my friends at the High School Library. It's one of the few places where we can hold a meeting and no one will notice."

"Interesting location. Do you have complete access to the Library?"

"Yeah, Giles is the school librarian, and the rest of the school thinks that we're just helping him for extra credit." Buffy explains as they pull into a parking space in front of the library. Steve can see Willow and another boy sitting and talking together. As Buffy climbs out of the driver's side, Willow sees her and calls out.

"Buffy, where have you been all day? Principal Snyder has been looking for you. Not to mention, Giles and Xander." She says as she comes up to Buffy.

"I had to talk to Steve and Dana some more."

The fact that Buffy is using Steve's first name is not lost on Willow or the boy with her.

"Hello Willow," Steve says. "Nice seeing you again."

"Hello Steve, let me introduce my boyfriend, Oz."

"Nice meeting you, Oz."

"Cool man. I hear your one mean dude when it comes to taking out vamps." Oz replies.

Steve looks at Willow, "Willow, is Oz one of your group?"

"Yes I am," Oz replies before Willow can answer. "And if you try anything fishy. I'll rip your throat out."

Steve looks at this kid, who couldn't weigh more than a hundred, twenty pounds. < Damn, he's threatening me. Like I told Frank last night. These kids have potential. > Steve just shakes his head and smiles.

Buffy sees the expression on Steve's face and misinterprets it, "Steve, Oz didn't mean to threaten you like that." Turning to Oz. "Did you?"

Oz looks a little embarrassed, but he won't back down.

"Look Buffy, I care for Willow a lot, and I don't want anything to happen to her. And to you as well, Buffy. I don't know this guy or what he's selling, but I'll tell him straight out. Anything happens to either of you and his ass is mine." Oz states.

< God, these kids have heart. > Steve thinks to himself as he replies. "Look Oz, you weren't at last nights meeting. I laid my cards on the table then and will do so again at this meeting. I have never played the Bull Shit game, and I don't intend to start now." Steve tells him as they enter the library.

The group waiting for them has an additional two girls, besides Oz. Then it hits Steve. < These three were at the food court last night as well, but sitting away from the rest of them. These kids were smart enough to keep a reserve. Damn, wait until Frank hears about this one. >

Buffy turns to Steve and introduces the other two girls, Cordelia and Amy. Steve takes off his coat and sits down next to Buffy. Giles takes his seat and gets right down to business.

"Buffy, I see you brought Mr. St. Wolf with you. Shall we call this meeting to order, then?" Giles asks.

Buffy gets up and walks to the front of the table, "Guys, I've spent most of today with Steve and Dana, talking. They told me some incredible things, but that's not the only thing that we're here to talk about. I also came here to ask you if you would let Steve join our group." Buffy explains.

Xander looks around the table seeing the doubt in everyone's face. "Buffy are you asking us to trust this guy? None of us know him or where he comes from. For all we know this is some clever trap of Angel's or the Order of Teraka's. How do we know we can trust him?" Xander asks.

Steve looks up and down the table, seeing the doubt in everyone's face, but Buffy's and Willow's. "Look, I came here at Buffy's request. If you don't trust me, so be it. I can live with it." He tells them.

"Buffy, on the phone you said that you wanted Mr. St. Wolf to explain some things. Well, what are those things?" Giles asks, quickly changing the subject.

Buffy looks up and down the table at her friends before she begins to tell them about being an Immortal and what Scully and Steve discussed with her. Their faces begin to register shock, and then finally disbelief.

"Buffy, this tale is absurd. I find it hard to believe that such people exist. And the Watchers don't know about them." Giles says.

"Mr. Giles, may I please point out that your mission here is to guide a young lady called the Slayer to kill vampires." Steve comments to him.

Giles gives Steve a dirty look, "Mr. St. Wolf, such people can not exist. I have no proof that they have ever existed. Nothing in my records has ever mentioned them."

Steve removes the sword from his coat, then he begins to remove his shirt.

"You want to know what an Immortal is Mr. Giles? Well, here's a demonstration." Steve tells him as he takes the sword and plunges it into his own heart. All of Buffy's friends are in shock at the sight of the blade sticking out of Steve's back. He sits back down in the chair, the world going dark.

The entire room goes into chaos.

"What the hell did he do that for?" Xander shouts. He covers Cordelia's mouth to stifle the scream she's about to let out.

"Everybody just SHUT UP!" Buffy yells over the panic. She reaches for the hilt of Steve's sword and pulls out the bloody blade. Everyone sees the open chest wound.

"Willow, call for an ambulance." Giles shouts.

"Nobody move, just watch the wound." Buffy tells them. As they watch, the wound begins to close, and a couple of minutes later, with a start, Steve's eyes open.

Buffy looks at him, angrily. "Was that fun, Steve? You scared all of my friends half to death with that stunt. What was on you mind when you pulled that?"

He grins sheepishly, "Well Buffy, your friends were not going to believe that Immortals existed unless they had proof. Well, I gave it to them." Steve explains as he turns to the group and ask. "Anybody got a towel?" Cordelia promptly faints.

"You ever pull that stunt on any of my friends again, and I will kill you myself. Now, apologize." Buffy tells him.

"Look guys, I'm sorry, I pulled this little stunt. But it was the fastest way to make you believe. Normally, I wouldn't do something like this, but it was worth it, to see the looks on your faces." Steve grins wickedly.

Buffy reaches over and smacks his head. He turns to look at her.

"What was that for?"

"That was for being an ass. Now behave or I'll kick your butt into next week." Buffy tells him.

"Look Buffy, Mulder may take that kind of stuff from Scully because their married, but we're not." He informs her.

Buffy leans over and whispers, " Play your cards right, and give it a couple of years."

Steve's jaw immediately drops to the table when she tells him that.

"Buffy, what did you say to Mr. St. Wolf, that has caused him such discomfort?. Giles asks.

Buffy smiles, "Oh, just made him a promise, that's all." She replies sweetly.

"Alright, Mr. St. Wolf, what are your plans?" Giles asks.

"Well, I was planning on becoming Buffy's instructor. And in the off hours, I would help her hunt."

"May I ask what you are planning on teaching her?" Giles asks.

"Okay, you have a right to know. I was planning on teaching her the martial arts. Specifically, Okinawan style karate, Jung fu, Tae Kwon do, Zen sword and Philippine stick fighting as well as fencing and archery. I also want her to learn the art of the ‘Shootist'.

"‘Shootist', what is a ‘Shootist'? I don't understand that term." Giles says.

Xander speaks up at this time. "Giles, a ‘Shootist' is a professional gunfighter. Not the kind you see in westerns, but a real pro, an assassin with a gun in other words." Xander explains and turns to me. "What sort of weapons will you be teaching, pistol, shotgun, rifle?"

Steve looks at this kid, < Shit, the kid knows his stuff. > he thinks to himself, before he replies.

"Actually, I was going to teach her everything up to and including light missiles, like Strellas, for example." Steve informs Xander, grinning slyly.

Buffy smacks him again, and Steve turns to her. "You know if you keep doing this to me, people will begin to think that we're a couple."

After saying this, Steve looks at Willow and sees her smiling at him. < Oh shit, she knows Buffy likes me and will probably help set me up. Well, worst things have happened. >

"Mr. St. Wolf, since you are an Immortal, may I ask how old you are?" Giles asks.

"I'm actually thirty nine years old Mr. Giles. I stopped aging at the age of twenty four."

"Mr. St. Wolf, do you know anyone older than you, that is an Immortal?" Giles asks.

"Yes, my first teacher, he's almost five hundred years old. He has several friends, whom I've met, who are over a thousand years old. One of them is five thousand years old. He's the oldest of us, still alive."

"Didn't you say you guys were Immortal?" Xander asks. "So how can you guys die?"

Steve turns to Buffy and asks, "Buffy, you told me you wanted them to know everything, do I go ahead?"

"Yeah, Steve tell them everything."

So Steve tells them everything about being an Immortal and about the Game, and his choice not to be a part of it.

"You all have to understand, Immortals are just like people, you have good ones and bad ones. When I first became an Immortal, the first one of our kind who I met tried to kill me. He didn't succeed. The second Immortal I met, became my teacher and friend. He taught me to love life, hold it sacred. He doesn't play the Game and tries to instill that in all of his students. That's part of the reason that I hunt monsters, because they don't hold life as sacred."

Buffy's friends digest all of this. Willow gets up from her seat and comes over to Steve and gives him a hug.

"Welcome to the team, Steve," She turns to the rest of her friends. "I'm sure everybody here is happy to have you join us."

"Thanks Willow."

Xander is the next to give Steve the thumb's up, followed by Cordelia, Oz, Amy and Jenny. Giles appears to be apprehensive about accepting him.

"Just one more question. Why did Mr. Mulder wish to see my left forearm last night?" Giles asks.

"When you mentioned you were Buffy's ‘Watcher', he thought you might be a watcher."

"I might be the only one here, but that made absolutely no sense at all." Xander states.

"Sorry, let me explain." Steve replies. "Where Immortals are concerned, the ‘Watchers' are a group of normal humans who follow us around, chronicling our history. They don't interfere with us. They just watch us. They all have this ‘Y' shape in a circle tattooed to their left forearms. Each Immortal has one, possibly two watchers following them around everywhere they go."

"And are these ‘Watchers' following you around at this time?" A worried Giles asks.

"No, the watchers have never been able to keep up with me, and quite a few of my watchers have died trying to follow me. I finally got fed up with bringing their bodies back, that I told their leaders not send anymore out to follow me."

"What happened to these watchers, who died while following you?" Xander asks.

"Very simple Xander, do you think that any normal person could follow Buffy around and survive, especially when she doesn't know they're out there?"

"They would become an easy meal for any vampire out there." Willow states.

"The watcher's stopped sending out people to observe me after what I did to the last three."

Giles looks up curiously at this comment. "May I ask what you did to these people?" He asks.

Steve's mouth spreads into a wicked little grin. "Well, two watchers ago, I left the guy tied up in the Presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton in New York and charged the bill to the watcher's credit card. It took them five days to find him. The one before the last one, I sent on a first class world cruise, non-refundable, at their expense of course. The last one was with me at an auction, I forced him to buy most of the auction. It was VERY expensive to say the least." Steve explains. "I figured that making it expensive to follow me would stop them, without hurting anyone."

The kids are having a good laugh at the story, even Jenny is giggling. Giles looks at Steve and just shakes his head.

"Those sound like stunts that Xander would pull." Giles replies.

"Giles man, don't have a cow," Xander rises to Steve's defense, "He got rid of the watchers following him without hurting them. That was his plan, what was he supposed to do, kill them?"

"Yes, but he did it in an such a childish manner." Giles comments.

Steve looks at Giles, "Giles, how well do you know your English history?"

"Quite well, I assure you." Giles replies, a little stiffly.

"Well let me ask you a question." Giles nod his head, Steve goes on. "How did Queen Victoria the first, prevent, a noble from revolting or causing an uprising, without bloodshed?"

"She used to visit them for long periods of time. By the time that she left the noble would be nearly impoverished and therefore unable to revolt. My God, you're using Victoria's tactics, Mr. St. Wolf, I am impressed." Giles says.

Steve looks over to Buffy. She's happy that he had impressed Giles. < Giles' approval must be important to her, I guess. >

"Mr. St. Wolf, my name is Amy, and I have a question." She asks. "Where did you get your magic items from?"

Steve looks at this girl named Amy, "I don't know what your talking about. Magical items? What magical items?" He replies with a straight face. < How in hell did she know? > He thinks to himself.

"Would you mind if I cast a little spell? It will make the magical items glow a blue color. It won't harm anything, or affect the item in any way."

Steve turns to Buffy, "Buffy, you didn't tell me you had a witch in your little group."

Buffy gives him a smile. "Well Steve, you know what they say, ‘always be prepared for any contingency'"

Xander picks this up. "You mean like the Boy Scouts, Buffy?"

Buffy gives Steve a sly smile. "No Xander, like the Green Berets."

Both, Buffy and Steve laugh. The rest of the group looks at them, wondering what the joke is.

"Well, are you going to let me cast the spell or not?" Amy asks Steve.

Steve sighs, and agrees to it. He moves to the end of the table and stands there as Amy recites a scrying spell. As she finishes it various items that he's carrying start to glow a blue color. Steve removes each glowing object and places it on the table.

His sword is first, followed by both boot knives, shortly followed by his wrist bands, ring and necklace. Steve's charm bag is last and that glows almost as bright as his sword. Giles looks over the items spread out on the table top and inhales deeply.

"Mr. St. Wolf, do you realize what these items are?" An awed Giles asks.

"Yes Giles, I know exactly what each of those items are. Do you want to tell them or shall I?"

"No, I think I do, too. Please correct me, if I'm wrong." Giles tells him.

"The Katana was fashioned by the Japanese wizard called ‘Fire' if I'm not mistaken, its name is, roughly translated, means ‘Demon Slayer', a truly magnificent weapon, lost over two hundred years ago. The two boot knives are called the ‘Fangs of Tyr', they were fashioned by the Norse Rune Priests to defeat the Jotans or Frost Giants. The wrist bands were supposedly fashioned by the God Hephaestus, for Hercules. The necklace contains a druid charm. The charm is for protection against evil. The ring I don't recognize. And the charm bag is from a Shaman or Indian Medicine man, I don't know the tribe." Giles finishes.

"It's Cherokee and it's magic is protection and valor in battle." Steve tells him.

Jenny gets up and touches the ring. "The ring is from an elder of the Romany. It's power is to protect the wearer from all evil. It's an ancient and powerful item of the tribe. It wouldn't have been given up for any cost." She turns around and looks at Steve. "Where did you get it and how?"

Steve looks Jenny straight in the eye, "I got the ring from an ancient gypsy woman. Her great grand children had been kidnaped by a group of demon worshipers. They were to be used as a sacrifice to the demon they worshiped. I rescued the children and killed all of the demon's worshipers. She gave me the ring as token of her respect, since I wouldn't take any payment for my service, other than a thank you."

Jenny looks at him as he tells her the story. "What are you Steven St. Wolf? No mortal or Immortal man could have fought and destroyed such evil in your short life. I called my grand father and gave him your name. He told me to help you in any way that I could. He said that the honor of our clan was tied to you, and not to aid you would be a dishonor to the entire clan."

Steve sits back and looks at Buffy and her friends. "I am a man who has spent most of his life training to be or being a warrior. Some how it became my calling. The nuns who raised me, recognized it early on. They knew that I could become a force for good or evil. The Mother Superior who ran the orphanage I grew up in found me teachers. Men who would teach me the right path."

"My first teacher was a Cherokee medicine man, called Eagle Soars. He taught me the ways of his people and he put me on the path of the warrior. After him, I learned from a Shoalin priest, he put me on the path of enlightenment. After Master Khan, I lied about my age and enlisted in the Army. I became a Green Beret. I fought in Panama and Grenada, plus various special operations."

"After seven years I left the Army, to marry my childhood sweetheart, and tried to start a family. I was working in Houston when she was brutally murdered. The six men who did it, walked on a technicality. But, I made sure they paid the price for their crime." Steve feels Buffy's hand hold his and she squeezes it in sympathy, He squeezes back. "After that, I moved north, to Dearborn Michigan. That's where I died, the first time, saving a group of children from a psycho with an AK-47. Since then, I've wandered the world fighting the good fight, protecting the innocent."

"During my travels, I have made the acquaintance of people like myself. Those that fight the darkness, because they won't sit by and watch it destroy the world. You meet three of those people last night. Mulder, Scully and Frank have stood on the edge and have seen the darkness and are willing to fight it with their dying breath. There are more, you Buffy, and your friends are not alone. If you want the help, just ask, I can have a small army here within a week."

"But please understand this, if you ask for help, you'll get it, but then you'll be obligated to help, if you're called on. Over the last hundred years, there has been a startling number of increases in demons, vampires and other evils all over the world. We have stood before that evil and struck it down time and again, but it keeps coming back in one form or another."

"Mr. St. Wolf, who is ‘we'? Who do you represent?" Giles asks in a shaken voice.

"I represent no one, Mr. Giles, just myself. But, I have fought beside the Knights of the Order of the Grail, Priest Warriors of the C'est Dei, The Millennium Group, Wizards of the Circle of Merlin, the Sons of Asgard, Druids and High Priests and Priestesses of Wicka, just to name a few."

Both Giles and Jenny are shaken at the groups that Steve has just mentioned. Jenny speaks first.

"Steve, you have fought beside all of those groups? How could you, they're only legends, they don't exist." She stammers out.

"Jenny, you're fighting vampires. Aren't they only legends? They're not supposed to exist."

"If these organizations exist, then how is it that I have never run across them?" Giles asks.

"Because Giles, the Watchers are too insular, to closed up. Your organization has the Slayer and they don't want to share her with anyone else. When your organization formed, it was localized to a small area. Well things have changed, the world has gotten smaller and much closer together."

"Those other organizations that I have mentioned have adapted. They've pooled their resources, personnel and information sources to fight the darkness at every turn. There is no more ‘My Religion/Belief/Organization is Better Than Yours', now its ‘How can We Defeat the Evil Without Blowing up the World in the Process?'. You don't realize it do you, Mr. Giles? What do you think would happen if a bunch of vampires got their hands on a nuke? Or a biological plague?"

A shaken group looks at Steve. Giles is the first to speak. "I have never thought about that. It is a truly disturbing thought. What are our options?"

"First of all, I have a complete computer hook up to the various organizations at my house. I'll let you get access to it. Is there anyway we can shift this meeting to my house?"

"That shouldn't be a problem." Buffy states. The rest of the group agrees.

"Alright, here is my address." Steve writes it down on a scrap of paper. "I'll meet you all there in an hour."

"May I ask why in one hour. This address is only fifteen minutes from here." Giles asks, after looking at it.

"Because Buffy, Xander and myself will be stopping by the store to pick up some sodas and snacks. I think my house guests have drank and eaten almost everything edible by now."

"Your house guests?" Jenny asks.

"Yes, you meet them last night. Remember Mulder, Scully and Frank?"

*****

Part 17 - The Meeting Continues
(How to Have a House Party)

As Buffy, Steve and Xander leave, Steve tells Buffy to drive the car. Xander is surprised. When he enters the car, he notices the differences in the car.

"Steve is there's something different about this car. I've been in Blazers before, but this one is different." Xander comments.

"Go ahead and tell him Buffy. I see that you can't hold it in."

"Thanks Steve. Yeah, Xander, its all tricked out. The body is armor plated, the glass is bullet proof and there's a weapons system to make James Bond drool." Buffy tells him with relish.

Xander looks around himself, at the truck and asks "And you're letting Buffy drive it? Man, I hope you've got good insurance."

Buffy gives Xander a dirty look, as Steve laughs. He reaches for the phone to call home and Scully answers.

"St. Wolf residence." Scully says.

"Hi Dana, this is Steve. Listen, we're moving the meeting over to my place. I'm going to pick up some sodas and snacks. I'll be there in an hour with Buffy and Xander. Please let her friends in and make them comfortable until we get there."

"Not a problem Steve. I'll be here to let them in."

"Dana, keep Mulder away from Giles. You know how Mulder likes to play those mind games on so-called para-normal professionals."

"Don't worry Steve. I'll keep those two children under control." Dana replies smiling as she looks at Mulder and Frank, who look at each other and grin evilly. "Bye."

As Steve hangs up the phone, Buffy asks Steve a question.

"Do you think it's a good idea to have Mulder and Giles in the same room?" She asks.

"So long as Scully keeps an eye on them, yes." Steve replies as they park the car in front of the market.

"C'mon, let's get some sodas and munchies." Xander comments.

After a quick thirty minutes they leave the market, Steve turns to Xander. "Well at least we have enough for a few meetings here."

"Steve, this stuff will barely last the night. Don't forget, you've got six teenagers here, plus six adults." Xander comments.

Steve looks at the food, thinking about how much he has just paid. "I don't think that I can afford to feed us too many times. I've only got sixty million in the bank."

Buffy looks at Steve in awe. "That's dollars, right." She asks.

"No Buffy, Pesos." Steve replies, grinning. "Just kidding."

A few minutes later, they get back to the house and Buffy parks the car in front. Xander and Steve grab the groceries and lug them into the house. As they turn to go back out for the rest, Oz volunteers to help, so Steve lets him help Xander with the rest of the groceries.

Frank is on the grill in the kitchen making hamburgers for everyone. As Steve passes him, Frank asks, "Hey Steve, how do you want your burger?"

As he reaches for a cold soda, "Well done, Frank. Do you need any help?"

"No, Willow, Amy and Cordelia are helping me." Frank replies. "Steve, you know, I haven't had this much fun in a long time. I like this group of kids."

Steve enters the living to see Mulder and Giles discussing various myths and monsters they had encountered. Its almost like the scene in Lethal Weapon 3, when Rene Russo and Mel Gibson are comparing scars.

As Steve sits down in a chair to enjoy the exchange, Buffy sits down on its arm. She watches as Giles and Mulder sit and compare notes.

"You know Steve, I've never really seen Giles enjoy himself like this before. He's always seemed so stuffy. Like he was born not having fun. This is a new side to him." Buffy looks over to where Jenny and Dana are sitting. "Did you see how Jenny and Dana have their heads together? It looks like they're plotting something." Buffy tells Steve as she gets up.

Steve looks over to where Dana is sitting with Jenny. < Definitely two women plotting something for their respective mates. I really feel sorry for Mulder and Giles (But not too sorry. Better them, than me.) > Then he notices Buffy taking a seat next to Dana and all three of them start to giggle. < Oh Shit. I better start the meeting before anything gets too far with those three. >

"Frank, you almost done in the kitchen? Can we get this meeting started?"

"No Steve, give it another ten minutes." He yells back to Steve.

Steve's urge to flee is suddenly increased (Yes, I will leave Mulder and Giles to their fate. They deserve it.) to a point where he's checking all of the exits for routes of escape.

Author's Note: The scene I'm describing above happened to me about four years ago. A friend (no longer) invited me to a dinner party. I went alone, having broken up with a long time girlfriend, two months previous to the party. A few friends who were happily married, (ie. The Women) got together to get me together with a female friend of theirs.

Since then, I have learned to watch for the telltale signs: Women with heads together, giggling, trying to observe you and not be obvious about it. And to keep a route of escape handy, several, if it can be helped. Don't look for aid from your fellow males, they won't (They want you to share in their blissful married ways, after all, misery just loves company <G>).

For those readers, both male and female, who have never had a similar situation and don't believe me, your time will come.

As Steve watches Jenny, Dana and Buffy talking, he start praying for a vampire attack. The front door bell rings instead. He gets up to answer the door.

*****

Part 18 - The Local Talent
(Should Cops be Limited to Donut Shops?)

Dana looks up and asks. "Steve, do you need any cover fire while you answer the door?"

"No Dana, only when I take the garbage out." Steve replies, as Dana, Jenny and Buffy start to laugh.

He looks out the peep hole and sees two men. Steve pulls open the door partially and asks, "Yes, can I help you?"

"Good afternoon Sir. I'm Detective Stein, and this is my partner Detective Murray. Are Agents Mulder and Scully here?"

"Hold on a sec, I'll get them." Steve replies as he turn around to get Dana and Mulder. But the Detectives want something else.

"Mr. St. Wolf would you mind letting us into the house, please? We also have questions for you, as well." Det. Stein tells Steve.

"There might be a little problem with that. I have other guests here. In fact, I'm holding a little house warming party."

"That's alright, we don't mind talking to you individually in a room off to the side."

As Steve's about to tell him where to go, Buffy walks up to him and asks, "Steve, why are you at the door for so long. Mulder and Frank are about to launch a rescue mission.. Oh, hello Detective Stein, nice seeing you again." Buffy stammers out when she sees who's at the door.

"Miss Summers, I'm surprised to see you here. May I ask how you know Mr. St. Wolf, and his friends?" Det. Stein asks.

< This guy is starting to piss me off. > Steve thinks to himself. He turns on Det. Stein and tells him. "Look here now, Detective. You are not here to interrogate my guests. If you have questions, for Agents Mulder and Scully or myself and Mr. Iverson, then ask them, if you try to interrogate my other guests, then I'll kick you out of here and any questions you have can be answered through my attorney. Am I understood?"

Det. Stein is taken aback by Steve's manner. He doesn't know what to make of it, but he won't back done. He looks Steve straight in the eye. "Mr. St. Wolf, we are investigating a shooting. We have every right to ask anyone in this house questions about it."

"Very well then Det. Stein, you have exactly thirty seconds to leave this house. Otherwise, you are trespassing and will be treated as such. Now, you can leave by your own volition or be thrown out, pick one." Steve warns them.

"Mr. St. Wolf," Det. Stein rasps out, "I am a police officer of this township and I have the right to question anyone I choose to."

"No, you don't, and you know it." Mulder tells Det. Stein as he and Scully walk up.

"And who are you two, his attorneys?" Det. Stein asks.

"No, I'm Special Agent Fox Mulder, this is my partner, Special Agent Dana Scully. We're with the FBI." Mulder tells him, as he holds up his badge.

"Your investigation is limited to myself, Agent Scully, Mr. St. Wolf and Mr. Iverson. The rest of the guests at this party are not a part of it. If you insist on interrogating them, then I will file harassment charges against you, with your department. And if that isn't enough to wake you up, then I'll go Federal with them. Am I understood, Det. Stein?" Mulder angrily informs him.

Det. Stein looks at Mulder, Scully and Steve and finally realizes that here is a group of people who won't be intimidated by his badge.

"Alright Agent Mulder, I'll limit my questions to only you four. But I don't have to like it." He angrily agrees.

Mulder, Scully, Frank and Steve go over what happened last night, taking turns talking to the two detectives. Finally about an hour later it's finished and the detectives turn to leave, Det. Stein asks to see Buffy for a moment.

"Only if she wants to, detective, is that understood?" Steve gives him a warning glare.

Scully goes out to get Buffy. Steve waits for her to come out by the door.

"I want to talk to Buffy alone, Mr. St. Wolf." Det. Stein tells Steve.

"Buffy is only seventeen. So, she has to have an adult present if you ask any questions. Take your choice, either myself, Agent Mulder or Agent Scully, detective." Steve tells him. < I will not let this shit head play head games with Buffy. >

"Agent Scully can stay with her." Det. Stein tells Steve. < I do not like this bastard at all. I wonder who the hell he is. I am going to make him my ‘special' project. > Det. Stein thinks to himself.

Dana and Buffy come out to talk to Det. Stein. Steve leaves, going back to the party. Mulder, Frank, Giles and Jenny are waiting for him.

Steve turns to Giles and Jenny. "Who is this shit headed cop? What's his problem? And why is he picking on Buffy?"

"Well Steve, Det. Stein was investigating Buffy for the murder of a man called ‘Ted'. Ted had been dating her mother, Joyce, and Buffy didn't like him much. So, one night she came home and found him in her room going through her personal journals and items. He struck her and she fought back, killing him, supposedly."

"It turned out that ‘Ted' was an android that had married and murdered four women previously and he tried to do the same with Buffy's mother. Xander, Willow and Cordelia found the remains of the four previous wives and called the police. ‘Ted' had risen from the dead and tried to kidnap Buffy's mother. Buffy stopped him and destroyed him. We disposed of his body after that. Det. Stein tried to solve the case and wound up being a laughing stock. He blames Buffy for it." Giles explains.

"So the bastard blames Buffy because he can't solve anything in this town? He's, pardon the expression, blind as a bat and he blames a seventeen year old girl for his problems. This guy is seriously in need of a new job."

Mulder and Steve hear the door slam shut. They turn around as a teary Buffy comes back into the room. Steve can see by the rage in Scully's eyes that Det. Stein is lucky to leave this house alive.

Steve reaches out and gives Buffy a comforting hug. She doesn't resist. Buffy puts her head on his shoulder and just cries. Steve looks at Scully.

Scully takes a deep breath. "Steve, if that man didn't leave just now, I would've shot him."

Steve looks down at Buffy, and asks, "What did he say to you? If that bastard said anything that wasn't proper, I'll have his badge."

"No, he just told me that two girls that I knew from school are dead. He made it sound like it was my fault. If Angel did it, it probably was." She tells them.

Steve walks Buffy over to the couch and sits her down, she leans against him as he puts his arm protectively around her. Everybody in the house notices this. Steve notices Willow smiling.

Mulder takes the floor. "Alright, I'm getting tired of this shit. These vampires have the run of this town. No offense Buffy, but there are too many for you and friends to handle alone. I say that we start hitting them back tonight. Let's get a plan of action together and give them a little payback."

Mulder turns to Giles, "Do you know where the vampires are hiding, some of their meeting spots or hangouts?" Giles nods, "Then, we hit them there."

"Mr. Mulder, do you realize how many vampires we could be facing?"

*****

Part 19 - Reach Out and Touch Somebody
(Just Dial 1-800-Commando, and Watch the Body Count Rise)

"It doesn't matter Giles. I'm calling in some favors. I can have at least a dozen warriors here overnight. They will only be expecting Buffy, and maybe the two of us. But, what do you think would happen if I bring in an assault force made up of dozen professionals." Steve tells them, as he gets up to get the phone.

Steve first dials Duncan's Seattle number, Richie picks up the phone. "MacLeod Dojo, can I help you?"

"Hello Richie, this is Steve St. Wolf, is Duncan there?"

"Hey Wanderer, long time no hear. Duncan's right here, hold on."

Duncan takes the phone. "Steve, how are things in California, is Robert treating you well?"

"Listen Duncan, I need some help." Steve tells him as he explains what's going on in Sunnydale.

After Steve finishes, Duncan thinks for a minute. "Steve, I'll be there by tomorrow morning, I'll bring Richie and Methos with me."

"Duncan, also bring Joe Dawson as well. I think we could use his input as well."

"No problem, he probably wants to ask about those expenses your last three watchers incurred." Duncan adds with a laugh.

"Thanks Duncan, it'll be nice seeing you again." Steve tells him as he gives Duncan the travel directions to his house.

Steve hangs up on Duncan and dials another number, this one in L.A. The phone is picked up and a woman answers. "Kyra here, who is this?"

"Kyra, this Steve St. Wolf, I need some help."

"Steve, where are you now?" Kyra asks.

Steve quickly tells her his location and what's going on.

"I'll be there in an hour." Kyra tells Steve as she hangs up.

Steve then calls Casey Romain in Montana. He is not pleased to hear from Steve.

"Wanderer, last time I worked with you, I wound up raiding Libya with a dragon. Before we begin to chitchat, tell me, is it going to be like that again?"

"Well Casey, this time we're hunting vampires in California. They are about to take over a small town called Sunnydale." Steve explains to him.

Steve can only hear his breathing, then, "Wanderer, you are the most rotten bastard that I've known in two thousand years, but you do have some fun jobs. I'll be there in the morning with four friends and I'll bring some party favors." Casey tells him as he hangs up.

Steve shakes his head, < Two thousand years? Romain's not an Immortal > thinking to himself, as he hangs up the phone. Steve quickly dials another number.

"St. Francis of Assisi Monastery, this is Brother Phillip, can I help you?" The brother asks.

"Hello Phillip, this's Steven St. Wolf, can I please speak with Brother Aaron?"

"Brother Steve, how are you? It has been too long since you last visited us. Are you planning on visiting us, soon?" Brother Phillip asks.

"No, Phillip, I need to talk to Aaron. I have need of his services, for a mission."

"Hold a moment please." Brother Phillip tells Steve as the phone switches over to another extension.

"Good Evening Brother Steve, this is Abbott Michael. It's a pleasure to hear from you again. What do you want with Brother Aaron, if I may ask?"

"Abbott Michael, I have need of Brother Aaron's skills." Steve tells him, as he explains what's happening in Sunnydale.

"This situation is most troubling. How can Brother Aaron come to you?" Abbott Michael asks.

"I'll pick him up tomorrow morning, Abbott Michael."

"He will be ready, Steve. And Steve, God go with you, my son." Abbott Michael tells him.

"Thank you Abbott Michael. God help us all get through this unscathed. Good bye."

"God be with you my young friend, and good night." Abbott Michael replies.

Steve hangs up the phone. Then he turns around, everyone is waiting for his news.

"Alright, we have the following forces. Duncan MacLeod is coming down with Richie Ryan, Adam Pierson and Joe Dawson. Kyra will be here in about an hour. Casey Romain is bringing four friends. And I have a warrior priest of the C'est Die to pick up in the morning."

Buffy and her friends look shocked at the forces that Steve has gathered in less than twenty minutes and four phone calls. Giles looks at his little group and speaks up.

"Steve, who are these people? Why are they coming here to fight just because you called them."

"Remember what I told you earlier about your group not being alone? Well this is an example of the cooperation that exists between different groups. Our only common bond is the fact that we fight the evil that seeks to destroy the world. Giles, that makes us, and I mean all of us here, parts of the same army. An ‘Army of the Light' if you will. We may come from different places and follow different paths, but the cause is the same and everyone of us knows it." Steve explains to them. He sees Buffy's friends stand a little taller, and sees a gleam in their eyes that wasn't there before.

"Now, lets plan our attack. Kyra will be here in an hour. Tonight, we'll do nothing. We don't want to tip our hand. Tomorrow afternoon, we'll do some light scouting. Tomorrow evening, just before sundown, the attack begins, we will limit ourselves to their main hiding places and we will hurt them. It is time that those things learned to be truly afraid." Steve tells them.

As Steve finishes, he sees the look of determination in everyone's face. They want that payback. Buffy and her friends have only been reacting to the vampires, defensively. It was time to go on the offensive.

"Giles, we'll need a list of possible hiding places and hangouts as well as blueprints for them. Can you get it for us?"

Giles turns to Willow, "Willow can you access the city hall records from here?"

"I need to see Steve's computer set up." Willow replies.

"Willow, my computers are in the office, near the front. C'mon I'll show you."

Steve leads her into his office, where his computers are kept. Willow looks at the system in front of her.

"Uhm Steve, what is this system. I've never seen one like it before, and where's the monitor?" Willow asks.

"Sorry, I have a few ‘friends' and they provided me this system recently. It's a 2,000 MHZ Pentium 8.5, with 360 Meg of Ram. The hard drive is a stacked 150 Gigs. The Internet connection is accessed through a satellite dish on the roof, so the speed is roughly 400,000 bps. The monitor is a Heads Up Display (HUD) like they use on fighters and everything is controlled by touching the screen and typing on the key board, no mouse." I show her how to access the Internet from my system.

"Do you think you could handle this, Willow?" Steve asks her. When he doesn't hear a reply, he turns around and sees a shocked expression on Willow's face. "Willow, what's wrong?"

"Steve, this system shouldn't exist" Willow gasps out. She turns around and calls Jenny into the room. "Miss Calendar, can you come here, please?"

"Sure Willow, do you need any help?" Jenny asks as she, Dana and Buffy enter Steve's office. Jenny and Dana both have shocked expressions on their faces when they see the set up.

"This can't be real." Jenny gasps out after Steve tells them what the system is.

"My God, most of this equipment should be classified Top Secret." Scully stammers out.

"It looks like something out of Tek Wars." Buffy murmurs.

"Can you ladies handle this equipment, or do you need my help?" Steve asks.

"No, we can handle it. But, where did it come from?" Jenny asks.

"Like I told Willow, some friends gave it to me."

"I wish I had friends like that." Scully mutters.

As Buffy and Steve head back to the living room, she slips her arm around his waist. Steve doesn't complain.

As they enter, they see that everybody else is making plans and lists for the pending assault. Giles, Cordelia and Xander are listing out likely vampire locations. Frank and Mulder have taken various weapons out of storage and were field stripping them, Oz was helping them. Amy was getting refreshments for everybody. < This was a great bunch of kids. > Steve thinks to himself.

Buffy and Steve look upon the scene in front of them and Steve mutters under his breathe, "This is going to be a very bad day for the vampires. I hope none of our friends get hurt."

Steve feels Buffy's arm squeeze his waist, as she replies, "I hope so too, Steve. I'll never forgive myself if anybody gets hurt."

"C'mon Buffy, lets go make some stakes."

"Where?" She asks.

"In the garage. All my wood and wood working equipment is in there."

"Oh." She replies, with a sly smile on her face.

They make their way to the garage, where Steve notices that Mulder and Frank had already set up the equipment. < Must've done it while I was gone. > As Steve reaches for a board to start cutting, Buffy wraps her arms around his neck and kisses him deeply.

As they come up for air, Steve asks. "Buffy, we have to stop. I know you recently lost Angelus, and I don't want to be the rebound guy. I can't do that to you."

She breaks away from him and gives Steve a hurt look. Tears are beginning to form in her eyes. Steve reaches for her and wraps his arms around her < she's tense > and looks down into her eyes as he tells her, "Buffy, I want you, but not like this. I know you feel hurt about Angel, but throwing yourself at me won't help. It's not right. You need time to heal. And any man who takes advantage of you in such a situation doesn't deserve you."

As Steve's telling her this, she looks into his eyes and sees only concern and care there. She wraps her arms around his neck and they kiss again.

"Thank you for being the man I thought you were, Steve." She whispers to him as they break apart.

"Now, lets make some stakes." Steve tells her. "Do you want yours well done or medium rare?" He jokes. Buffy makes a face, and giggles.

They spend the next forty five minutes turning twenty 2" X 1" boards into stakes. By the time they're finished they have about a hundred and fifty stakes ready. As Steve's finishing the last stake, they both feel the ‘Buzz'. Steve turns to Buffy, "I guess that Kyra's here."

"Whose Kyra?" Buffy asks suspiciously.

"Just an old friend." Steve tells her as they walk back to the house and go to the front door. As Steve opens it, he notices five people waiting outside, one of them Kyra.

"Kyra, you made good time. Who are your friends?" He asks her with his sword in hand.

"Steve, don't worry, these are some old friends of mine. I was having dinner with them when you called. I explained the situation to them and they volunteered to come and help."

Steve opens the door all the way and lets them come in. They enter the living room which is quite crowded at this time. Kyra makes the introduction for her friends.

"Steve, this is Cara Sinclair (a stunning brunette), Reagan Cole (a gorgeous blond), Katherine Raven (another stunning brunette), and Kath's husband Nick."

Steve introduces his friends in turn to Kyra's. Then he asks, "Kyra, are all of your friends Immortal?"

Kyra looks a little worried about discussing the issue. Steve tells her not to worry. "Kyra, everybody here knew about Immortals." That shocked Cara and Reagan. Katherine and Nick just grabbed some couch space and waited for an explanation.

"Look Kyra, we're here to destroy a large group of vampires. Do you think that anyone in this group is going to be shocked at the existence of Immortals."

"Alright Steve, all of us, but Nick, are Immortal. So, what's the plan?"

"First, we are going to get some rest tonight. I'll be leaving early tomorrow to pick up another of our group. Also, nine more people will be joining us by early afternoon. I'll arrange rooms at a local motel for them and anybody else who wants one. When we all get here, we will work out a plan to take those things out."

Steve checks his watch, it was almost ten o'clock, he turns to Buffy and her group. "Buffy, Giles, its almost ten. You guys get home and get some sleep, we'll all need it."

"Hold it Steve, I have a question," Steve turns to see an angry Reagan Cole addressing him.

"Go ahead Reagan, ask."

"How in God's name, could you involve these children in this mess? Have you gone insane?"

Before Steve can reply, Buffy steps forward, and looks Reagan in the eye, "Miss Cole, for your information, I've been fighting these vampires for over two years. Steve, just came here less than a week ago. One of those bastards killed me when I was sixteen. Besides vampires, we have fought demons, animated corpses, witches and the Order of Teraka. Steve, Frank, Mulder and Scully understand that we won't be shoved aside. You all may be a thousand years old for all I care, but we've been here, fighting, these things for the last two years and WE WON'T BE TREATED LIKE CHILDREN." Buffy tells Reagan.

Kyra and her friends look at Buffy's group and see a group of warriors just as dedicated as they are. Most of them probably haven't seen twenty yet, but they all had the look of people who've seen the grimmer side of life and understood what was expected of them. That was something that all of them could understand and respect.

As Steve turns to the front to say good bye to Buffy's group. Buffy walks up to him and asks. "Steve, can I go with you to pick up Brother Aaron?"

"Yeah, that's not a problem, but can you get here by five am?"

"Don't have to. I'll sleep here tonight, if that's all right with you?"

"What about your mother?"

"Willow will cover for me." She replies, giving Steve a mischievous grin.

Nick sitting by Katherine watches this little scene unfold, and notices the looks on each of his female companions. < Oh boy, the girl, Buffy, has the hots for Steve. I don't think any of Katherine's friends like it one bit. > He sits back to enjoy the fire works.

Steve sees that Kyra, Cara, Reagan and Katherine are giving him the eye, Nick just grins. < Bastard's waiting for the women to lay into me, well I won't let it happen >

Frank looks over to his friend Steve and wonders, < How in hell is he going to get out of this one. >
.
"Alright, now for those of you spending the night here, the sleeping arrangements are as follows. Mulder and Scully, you stay put. Nick and Katherine, you get my room. Cara and Reagan get Frank's room, and no Frank you can't stay." Steve adds, grinning, Frank looks disappointed, "Kyra and Buffy get the last bedroom. Frank and I will sleep on the couches out here." Steve sees the disappointed look in Nick's face, and the sly grin on Frank's face.

< Steve's been hanging around with Sidney too much. He starting to think like a lawyer. > Frank thinks to himself.

"Those of you who have pajamas, use them, those that don't you'll find a few of my shirts in the closet that will do fine." Steve tells them. Reagan and Kyra give him dirty looks. Cara and Buffy just smile.

"The morning briefing will be handled by Frank and Mulder. They, Scully and Giles will collate the information Willow got for us. They will also lay out a preliminary plan of action. When everyone gets here we'll finalize it. Now, I'm going out for a little stroll, Buffy, would you care to join me?"

*****

Part 20 - Midnight Crossings
(The Strangest Things Happen At Night
Or How To Settle Old Scores)

Buffy just gives Steve a relieved look. Kyra and her friends have been giving her the ‘eye'. And they're probably wondering about him as well. Steve reaches for his coat and weapons. He tosses Buffy a couple of wooden knives. She catches them underhand. He turns to Frank, "We should be back in half an hour to an hour Frank, don't wait up."

They go out the front door. Buffy leans against Steve as they stroll down the street with Steve's arm around her waist. As they walk, they just talk. They talk about anything, but what is going on. As the two make their way back, Steve notices a couple of shadows in the darkness near his home. As they approach, the shadows move into the moon light. It's a pair of girls about Buffy's age, one blond and the other brunette.

Steve turns to Buffy to ask if she knows them, but he sees that she does and she's scared for some reason. He asks her, "Buffy, what's wrong?"

"Steve, those are the girls that Det. Stein told me died last night."

As they approach, the blond calls to Buffy. "Buffy, Angel sent us to say hello to you and your new boyfriend." As the girl says this, her face turns into its now familiar demonic form.

Steve looks to Buffy, "Buffy if you can't do it, I will."

The two vampires move to attack. Steve pulls out one of his wooden knives and throws it into the blond's heart, she disappeared in a cloud of dust. The brunette sees this and rushes Steve. Before she can reach him, she disappears, Steve sees Buffy standing behind her, stake in hand.

Steve looks around the area to make sure that no more surprises are waiting for them. He looks back at Buffy and watches as she stares at the pile of dust that was a friend of her's. She looks to be on the verge of tears. He walks over to her, and hugs her from behind, just lending support to her, because she needs it.

As they're standing there, a car pulls up next to them. Both feel the ‘Buzz' of several immortals in it. Steve pulls Buffy behind him and issues a challenge. "Who ever you are, be warned the girl is under my protection and I will kill anyone who tries to hurt her."

"Hello Wanderer, its been what? Four years since you almost killed me." A familiar voice tells Steve.

"Salazar, so you're still alive, and you brought friends this time. I thought you didn't have any?" Steve slyly replies.

"Wanderer, I'm going to gut you and then cut off your arms and legs. Then I'm going to let you watch me rape your little friend, there, until she begs for it to end."

Steve hears the front door of his house open up and sees Frank walk out. He walks over to where Buffy and him are standing and stops. He looks at Salazar and smiles his patented evil grin.

"Hello Salazar, is your butt still in one piece? I'm surprised." Frank tells him with relish.

Salazar's face turns a bright red when he sees Frank. "You bastards are still together? Good, this saves me the trouble of finding you. Amigos, come out and help me." He calls back into his car.

Three more men get out of the car, armed with AK-47s. They look like the type America's Most Wanted would have run week after week, until they were caught and hopefully shot.

"My three friends here will help me beat you two down, then they will have some fun with the girl." Salazar tells them.

Suddenly they all feel a major ‘Buzz', as a familiar voice in the night says, "You know Wanderer, you have some of the most interesting parties that I have ever attended." Kyra tells Steve. She is standing off to one side with a mini Uzi SMG in her hands.

"I tend to agree, but these party crashers take it to a new extreme." Mulder comments, holding an M-16. Scully is standing next to him with another Uzi.

Steve's house guests had surrounded Salazar and his friends with enough firepower to shred them into little pieces. This little fact is not lost on them either, from the fear in their eyes.

"Now shall we take this to someplace private? And settle matters in a befitting manner." Steve tells them.

"I want that bastard Salazar, first." Steve hears Reagan Cole state. "He murdered an entire village in 1478, trying to get to me. I owe him for their blood. You can have the others, Steve, but I want Salazar."

"I want Malcolm Dietrich." Katherine states. "The bastard had three of my mortal students burned at the stake for witchcraft in 1650. Their only crime was that they refused to tell him where I went. He's mine." Steve sees one of the men turn pale at the venom in Katherine's voice.

"I take it that you two are not Immortal." Steve asks the other two men. They nod their heads, relief on their faces. < Won't they be surprised when they die. > Steve thinks to himself.

Steve turns to Buffy, "Buffy, is there anyplace in town that we won't be disturbed, is open and a light show won't get noticed?"

"Yeah, I know just the spot, I'll take you there."

"You don't have to go."

"This is a part of my life now. I have to know what to expect."

Steve sees the rest of his friends and guests nod their heads. She should know what to expect. No amount of teaching or descriptions could cover it. It has to be experienced.

Mulder and Scully have handcuffed Salazar and his three friends and lead them into the cars. Frank, Kyra and Cara stay behind.

The group takes Steve's car, Mulder's and Salazar's. Buffy drives Steve's Blazer as Steve keeps an eye on Salazar in the back seat. Scully is riding shotgun. Buffy leads the three cars to a deserted power plant about thirty minutes away.

They park in the lot facing the plant. Steve turns to Buffy.

"Any vampires here?"

"No, Angel told me the plant somehow scares them. They won't go near it."

"Okay, let's get out."

As everybody exits the Blazer, the other two cars pull up and everybody gets out. Salazar is released and his sword is thrown to him. Reagan is already waiting for him. Salazar turns to Steve.

"Wanderer, you can't let this woman do this to me. Let me go and I'll never bother you again." He begs.

"She challenged you. Take it up with her." Steve coldly tells him.

Salazar spits at Steve. "Pendahoe, you let a woman do your fighting for you. You are nothing more than a Puta."

He then turns around and suddenly attacks Reagan. She's expecting it. She side steps and cuts him across the stomach. Salazar falls to his knees, holding in his stomach.

Reagan stands over him and lifts the sword for the beheading stroke. Salazar tries a final desperate move. He lifts his sword and tries to stab Reagan in the stomach. She sees this move coming and blocks it, knocking Salazar's sword out of his hand.

Reagan again raises her sword for the final stroke. Salazar lowers his head and exposes his neck. The sword falls and the head rolls away.

Buffy is watching this in rapt silence. When she sees Reagan take Salazar's head, she buries her face in Steve's chest. He looks down at her, and tells her, "Buffy, you need to see this to its completion. Please look."

She turns her head just as the Quickening is rising from Salazar's body. She watches in rapt silence as the lightning enters Reagan's body. Reagan's body jerks as each bolt hits it. The sight is both beautiful and scary. Reagan's face is a combination of rapture, pain and bliss. Then, as suddenly as it began, it ends. Reagan falls to her knees.

Scully helps Reagan to the car. Nick and Steve move the body out of the way. Steve turns to Malcolm Dietrich and asks, "Dietrich, who are these two. They're not Immortals."

Malcolm looks at his two accomplices. "Their names are Garcia and Morales. They work for Salazar. They do a lot of his dirty work for him."

"So the world will be a better place without them?" Steve asks.

"Morales likes to hurt small children with a knife. Thinks it's a real kick. Garcia likes young girls. The younger the better." Malcolm then turns to Katherine. "Katherine, I just want to say I am sorry for what happened to those three girls."

"They're still dead, Malcolm. Burned alive at the stake." She tells him.

Malcolm shakes his head and takes up his sword, ready. Katherine enters her stance. The fight begins. Katherine is quick and deadly. Before their swords have crossed three times, Malcolm's head is on the ground. The Quickening comes again.

After Nick helps Katherine to the Blazer. Nick, Mulder and Steve turn to Scully and Buffy. "Buffy take Scully, Reagan and Katherine back to the house. Mulder, Nick and I have some other business to finish here."

Buffy and Scully look at Morales and Garcia. Scully nods her head and leads Buffy to the Blazer and she drives away.

Buffy looks out the rear of the Blazer and sees two flashes of light in the darkness. Buffy turns to Scully and asks. "Dana, what are they going to do with those two guys?"

Dana looks straight ahead as she replies, "They are going to do what is necessary. Those two men probably were the monsters that Dietrich described. The world will be a better place without them."

"Dana, Steve, Nick and Mulder couldn't kill anyone in cold blood, could they?" Buffy asks.

"Buffy, this can be a cold, hard world. Mulder, Steve and Nick have seen its worst sides. They know what has to be done. Believe me Buffy, those men should have stood trial for their crimes, but they never would. They would sell the our secret to the highest bidder, and then we would find ourselves under a scalpel being cut up for examination, while those two go free." Dana explains to her. She looks back and sees the headlights of her rental car following them.

At the next light Nick, Mulder and Steve pull up to the Blazer. Mulder rolls down the passenger side window and tells Scully, "Scully, we'll follow you back to the house."

A quiet, somber group reaches Steve's home thirty minutes later. Frank, Kyra and Cara meet them at the door. They ask no questions, the groups facial expressions tell the whole story. When everybody gets in Buffy excuses herself and goes directly to her room. Steve looks at Scully, who nods and follows her. Kyra goes as well.

As Scully and Kyra open the door Steve can hear Buffy crying. He starts to go to her, but he feels a restraining hand on his shoulder. Steve turns to see Reagan standing there looking at him. She looks into Steve's eyes and tells him, "Steve, I know you want to go in there to comfort her. But don't, if she's to make it, she has to resolve these feelings without you. So, stop being her knight in shining armor, she doesn't need one. And get some sleep, you have to leave at five to pick up that priest."

Steve goes to sleep on the couch worried about Buffy.

*****

Just Outside Sunnydale
3:00 am

A group of vampires answering Angelus' call comes upon a car with a family of four in it pulling into a 24 hour Seven-Eleven. The man and woman get out of the car and go into the store leaving their two children asleep in the back. The leader, seeing the parents enter the store, decides to take the children as a midday snack.

The woman, a statuesque redhead, is asking directions from the shop keeper, when she hears glass shattering. She turns and sees a group of people reaching into her car and taking her children. Her husband is already going out the door, she immediately follows. The clerk, seeing what's happening, immediately calls 911 asking for the police.

The moment the man and woman leave the store, the vampires attack them, thinking them an easy meal. Are they ever wrong. The two immediately begin to use advanced forms of the martial arts to fight their attackers. In the first minute, four of the vampires are down with death wounds that would have killed mortals. The rest of the vampires, seeing that these two were too much for them, scatter, taking the two girls with them. The man and woman run after the vampires taking their children, only be out run by the faster vampires.

As they make their way back to the Seven-Eleven, they see a sea of red and blue flashing lights. The police alerted by the clerks phone call had come out in force to help. Detective Stein is on the scene and in charge. He approaches the couple, holding up his badge.

"I'm Detective Stein, you two are the parent's of the kidnaped children?" He asks.

The redheaded woman is angry. "Det. Stein, who are those people who kidnaped my children?" She demands. "And why aren't you and your police searching for them?"

Det. Stein is not in the mode for angry parents. There are four bodies on the ground in front of the Seven-Eleven. Killed with single blows from what the clerk had just told him. He looks at the couple in front of him. "My officers will begin to search immediately, but I have questions that need to be answered." He tells them.

The couple patiently answers all of Det. Stein's questions, which take the better part of an hour. When the leader of the search party reports back that the suspects have entered the sewers and the officers won't follow them without major backup, the woman goes ballistic.

"What kind of police force do you have? Our children are kidnaped and your men wouldn't find them." She screams.

"Miss Scarlet, my men know that if they go down there without major backup, they won't be coming back up." Det. Stein explains. "The major backup is on the way but it'll take a couple of hours to get here."

"Forget it. We'll go find our children ourselves." Scarlet turns to her husband, who nods his head. They get into their car and drive away, leaving a confused Detective in their wake.

A couple of blocks away they pull into the Sunnydale Motel and check in. In their room, they change into their battle clothes, and prepare their weapons quickly. They understand that to get their children back, time is of the essence.

After leaving the motel, they find a sewer entrance a couple of blocks away and they climb into it to start looking for their children.

*****

Part 21 - Road Trip II
(Bob and Bing Still Won't Come and Dean and Jerry Won't Return My Calls)

Sometime later, Steve feels a hand on his shoulder. He wakes up instantly, he sees Buffy standing over him, her eyes red from crying. She sits down next to Steve on the couch and hugs him.

"You alright?" Steve asks, returning the hug.

"Yeah, Dana and Kyra explained the situation to me. I think, I'll live through it."

"So, you still want to come with me to pick up Brother Aaron? Or get some more sleep."

"Yep, I've never been to a monastery, besides, I can probably sleep on the way down."

Steve sees that Buffy wants to leave the house and do something. So he gets ready. As he's getting his coat and carry weapons, he finds a Glock 26, which he gives to Buffy. Steve then spends a few minutes giving her the basics. She looks at it dubiously, but takes it and puts it away in the holster Steve then gives her.

The trip to the monastery outside of San Diego is quick and not note worthy. Buffy sleeps through most of it. As they drive up the monastery's curving driveway, Steve wakes Buffy up. She looks at the monastery and feels the peace here.

"God, its beautiful here." Buffy comments.

"The brothers take very good care of it, Buffy. Part of their day is spent tending the grounds. This place is considered a national treasure by a lot of people."

"I can believe it."

They pull up to the front door. A group of brothers is waiting for them there. Steve notices Brother Aaron standing next to Abbott Michael. He points them out to Buffy. As they pull up, they both feel the ‘Buzz'. Buffy turns to Steve.

"Steve, Brother Aaron is one of us?" She asks.

"Yep, so's Abbott Michael and a few guests as well."

"What do you mean by guests?"

"I'll explain everything on the road back. Now, lets go meet Brother Aaron and Abbott Michael."

As they get out to the car, a brother rushes up to Steve and picks him up in a bear hug. Steve hugs him back. Buffy, looks worried. A smiling Aaron and a bemused Michael and walk up to her.

"Don't worry, Miss." A smiling Abbott Michael begins. "Brother Franklin is happy to see Mr. St. Wolf again. It's been two years since he last visited. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Abbott Michael and this." He points to the brother standing next to him. "Is Brother Aaron. And you are?"

"Hi, my name is Buffy Summers. I'm Steve's new student." Buffy tells them.

Abbott Michael smiles at this, as Brother Aaron comments on Brother Franklin.

"Yes, Brother Franklin is happy to see him again. He prays nightly for Brother Steve." Brother Aaron tells Buffy.

Buffy looks at Brother Franklin and gives Aaron and Michael a questioning look.

"Miss Summers, Brother Franklin suffers from a severe form of mental retardation. He has the mind of a six year old in a grown man's body." Aaron tells her.

Buffy gives a look of surprise. "But he's an Immortal. How can he be retarded?"

"We don't know." Brother Aaron begins. "When Steve brought him here, twelve years ago, he was like that. To be safe from other Immortals, his condition forced him to live in a wilderness, in the high north. Steve never said what he was there for, just that Brother Franklin needed some place safe to stay. And here he has chosen to stay."

Buffy watches me as I talk with Brother Franklin, a small smile on her face. She mutters, "Small children and puppies." under her breathe.

Abbott Michael hears this, and smiles. "They're usually the best judges of character in a man."

Buffy feels the ‘Buzz' again as a man walks up. He stands about 6' 6". Very muscular, with sand colored hair. He introduces himself as Robert McCallister.

"Hello Abbott Michael, Brother Aaron, whose the gentleman with Brother Franklin, and this charming young lady." He asks.

Abbott Michael does the introductions. Robert McCallister is over 1,800 years old and has known Abbott Michael for 600 years, they are old friends. Abbott Michael turns to Buffy.

"Miss Summers may I tell Robert of your cause?" Abbott Michael asks.

"Please clear it with Steve first, Abbott Michael." Buffy replies.

Abbott Michael nods his head and calls to Steve. "Brother Steve, a moment of your time, please?"

"Of course Abbott Michael. Frankie, please excuse me, I have to talk to the Abbott. I'll come and visit soon, I promise." Steve then turns to Abbott Michael and the stranger.

"Steve, allow me the pleasure of introducing you to my oldest and dearest friend, Mr. Robert McCallister. Robert, this is Steven St. Wolf sometimes he is referred to as Wanderer." Abbott Michael formally introduces the two men.

Steve is impressed, the name, Robert McCallister, is spoken with respect in quite a few high places. "A pleasure, Mr. McCallister, your reputation precedes you, Sir." Steve respectfully tells him, as he extends his hand to him.

"Your reputation precedes you as well, Mr. St. Wolf. Your name is not unknown to me. Brother Franklin thinks the world of you, and speaks of your bravery often." He shakes Steve's hand as he adds. "Its not often I meet a man of honor, but it is always a pleasure. Michael tells me that you have a mission that I could help with."

Steve turns to Abbott Michael with a questioning look. "Abbott Michael, may I ask what you have told Mr. McCallister?"

"Nothing beyond the fact that you have a mission and that his skills could be of use to you."

"I could use someone of your skills Mr. McCallister. But I must confer with Buffy. If you'll excuse us for a brief conference?" They nod their heads in agreement a walk a few yards away from Buffy and Steve.

Steve whispers to Buffy, "Buffy this guy is supposed to be one of the deadliest men alive. What do you think of him? Could we use his help, if Abbott Michael recommends him?" Steve notices Frankie talking to Abbott Michael and McCallister. They seemed to be on friendly terms. An idea strikes him. He calls Frankie over and introduces him to Buffy.

"Frankie, what do you know about Mr. McCallister?"

"You mean Brother Robert?" Frankie asks. Steve nods. Frankie then tells how he got lost one day trying to find a kitten and another Immortal had found him and tried to kill him. McCallister had be passing by and saw what was going on. He defended Frankie and brought him back to the monastery, unharmed. Since then, he had been friends with Frankie, visiting whenever he could.

Buffy and Steve look at each other and nod. They thank Frankie and go to where Abbott Michael and Mr. McCallister are waiting for them.

"Mr. McCallister, Buffy and I hope that you will help us." Steve tells him. "Buffy can explain what has to be done. She's the one most familiar with it."

"Very well, Miss Summers, please explain what has to be done." He asks Buffy.

Buffy gives him a complete run down of everything that has happened to her and her friends over the last two years. After she completes her story, Steve tells him everything that he has done and what their plans are. McCallister turns to Abbott Michael. Abbott Michael only nods.

McCallister takes a deep breathe, and let's it out in a sigh. He turns to Buffy and Steve with a smile, "It is truly refreshing to see the younger generations actually fighting for something worthwhile, and not each other's heads. I'll help."

"We're leaving in about fifteen minutes. Are you joining us or going by yourself?" Steve asks.

"I'll join you. It'll give me time to get to know you better. Now, I must pack."

Abbott Michael watches his friend go pack. He turns to two young Immortals. "He has needed a noble cause for a long time. Thank you for giving it to him."

Buffy and Steve wait by the car for Brother Aaron and McCallister to come out. Buffy turns to him. "Steve, are most Immortals like these guys?" She asks.

"Like I said before, Buffy, Immortals are like everybody else. You have all types, good and bad, and everything in between. You just lucked into meeting a bunch of hero and saint types, your first time out." Steve replies with a smile.

"Oh, and which type are you?" Buffy asks with a smile.

Steve reaches down and takes her into his arms. "The hero type, because some of my thoughts concerning you, certainly don't make me a saint." Steve replies as he reaches down and kisses her. She doesn't refuse.

"Ahem, shall I post the bans at this time?" They hear Abbott Michael ask them.

"No Abbott Michael, it's not necessary." Steve tells him quickly. Buffy looks puzzled. Steve then sees Robert and Aaron coming with overnight bags and their swords.

"Time to go. Abbott Michael always nice to see you again. I'll be back soon to visit. Tell Frankie goodbye for me, please." Steve tells him as they quickly get into his car.

As they leaving the monastery, Buffy turns to Aaron and asks him, "Aaron, Abbott Michael offered to the post the bans for me and Steve. What does that mean?" She asks.

Steve winces, hoping that Aaron doesn't answer her, but as luck would have it, Aaron is curious in turn.

"May I ask what brought that comment about?" He replies. Buffy tells him that Abbott Michael caught them kissing. Aaron gives Steve a grin and a wink. "Abbott Michael was asking if you two had set a marriage date." He tells her.

Buffy blushes a pretty shade of pink, at this comment. She looks back at Aaron, who is smiling ear to ear. Robert is also smiling.

"I hope that you two know that Michael is rarely wrong about such things. If he told you to post bans.." Robert lets the rest of his comment go.

Needless to say this set the tone for the entire trip back. Buffy enjoys the ride immensely. She chatted with Robert and Aaron the entire way down. Steve wants to hang himself, at least twice, by the time they get back to Sunnydale. The only relief that he got was when he called Frank at the motel and got the rooms that he needed for everybody.

*****

St. Wolf Residence
9:00 am

Frank is up and about, preparing breakfast, helping him is Kyra, Reagan and Scully. The rest of the group is sitting in the living room going over the notes that Giles has put together. Almost everyone is there, except Amy who had just called to say she was coming over a little late. The door bell rings and Willow goes to answer it, expecting Amy, but the Immortals tense. Willow knows that her friend wasn't at the door, she moves out of the way as Frank goes to answer the door instead. Everyone else pulls out weapons, while they wait.

Frank walks up to the front door. He looks out the peep hole and sees Amy standing there with four men. Three of the men, Frank remembers from their little adventure in Libya. He pulls open the door. The tall, dark haired man with a pony tail, smiles at the sight of Frank.

"Hello Amy, I see you've meet Duncan and his friends already." Frank comments.

"Hi, Mr. Iverson, these guys were looking for the house. I found them lost about two blocks over and brought them here. They stopped and asked me for directions. I told them I was coming here anyway, so they gave me a lift." Amy explains.

"Still getting lost, I see Duncan." Frank comments with a smile. < God it's fun getting Duncan's goat. >

"Steve gave bad directions, Frank. I do not get lost." Duncan replies defensively.

Joe Dawson whispers to Amy, "Only in the bathroom, and even then, its sometimes a close call." He tells her. Amy starts to giggle.

Duncan gives Joe a dirty look, which just makes Amy giggle more.

Frank leads them into the house and tells them to find a seat. He introduces Duncan's group to everyone. Frank turns to Giles and asks, "Giles would you mind bringing Duncan and his friends up to date on our little mission?"

Giles nods and starts to explain the situation to Duncan's group, when every Immortal tenses. The front door bell rings again and Frank goes to answer it.

Frank looks out through the peep hole and see his old friend Casey standing outside with four men. He opens the door and greets Casey warmly.

"Casey, my man, how are you?" Frank asks.

"Frank, been a while, but I'm still alive and kicking. Wanderer said he had a mission for me. I've brought a few friends to the party, hope you guys don't mind." Casey replies.

"No, he doesn't mind. The more the merrier. Steve's not here right now, but he'll be back in a couple of hours. C'mon in, I'll introduce you to everyone." Frank tells Casey as he lets him and his friends in.

In the living room, Duncan and Giles are talking, when Casey comes in. When Duncan sees one of the men Casey brought with him. He gets up and walks over and grabs him by his collar.

"Hammer, you son of a bitch, remember New York back in 1978? You almost killed me there. Those drug dealers would have cut me up after they shot me. I barely revived in time to kill them." Duncan tells him.

"Yeah, I remember New York. I also remember four children who had to be saved. It was them or you. You're still alive, so quit bitching about it." Hammer angrily replies.

"What do you mean?" Duncan asks, puzzled.

"Those bastards had four children. They were using them to test their product on. They offered me a choice. Get them to a hospital and save them, but by doing that, they could kill you, an Immortal. Or try and save you and let them die. I didn't hesitate in my choice. I would do it again. So would you." Hammer angrily tells Duncan.

Duncan looks into Hammer's eyes and sees that he's speaking the truth. "I didn't know." He tells Hammer in a soft voice.

"You would have found out if you had met me later that night, but you hopped on a plane to Paris, before I could tell you." Hammer tells Duncan.

"I was angry. I wanted to kill you for leaving me behind." Duncan replies. "I apologize for my rudeness."

"Apology accepted, now let's get down to business." Hammer says.

The entire room breathes a sigh of relief.

Giles stands before a captive audience as he explains what is happening in Sunnydale. The new arrivals are pissed by the time Giles finishes his lecture. Casey turns to Giles.

"Mr. Giles, you mean to tell us that the cops in this town are hiding their heads, collectively up their assess, over these vampires." Casey asks.

"Yes, it appears so. But in their defense, most people in this town don't seem to notice the number of vampire related murders. They chalk it up to the large number of drug gangs in LA. It somehow doesn't register on the human psyche that vampires really exist." Giles tries to explain.

"Bull shit, most of us here are or were law enforcement officers, at one time or another. We would have gotten to the bottom of this situation in record time, vampires or not." Bolan replies. "This is stupidity and cowardice of the worst magnitude."

The conversation continues on this vain for a while. Willow, tired of the constant kvetching, decides to get some fresh air and heads to the side door.

*****

Part 22 - Welcome Home
(What is a Home? Just a Fancy Bunker)

As Steve pulls up to the house, he sees two new cars parked in front, one, a four door airport rental. The other, a dark blue Suburban Blazer with Montana plates, riding low on its shocks. < Probably carrying a heavy load, knowing Casey. >

Steve parks by the garage. As they get out, Robert and Aaron feel the ‘Buzz' of multiple Immortals. Robert turns to Steve.

"Steve, how many of ‘us' are in that house? I have never felt so many of us in one spot, at one time."

Before Steve can answer, Willow comes out of the side door. She sees Buffy and rushes over.

"Steve, Buffy, am I glad to see you here. Your friends from Seattle and Montana are here. Your friend Duncan came in first, shortly followed by this Casey guy with four friends of his. All of them are Immortals. One of them and that Duncan guy don't exactly get along, but at least they're not trying to kill each other, either."

Steve enters his home to find a small army waiting for him. Willow, Buffy, Aaron and Robert follow closely behind. Off to one side of the room the rest of Buffy's friends were clustered, with Frank, Mulder and Scully keeping an eye on them. Near them is Kyra's group, keeping an eye on Casey's tight little group. Duncan and his friends were sitting together, watching everybody. Joe Dawson, was sitting next to Duncan, not believing the number of Immortals present in this house. Methos was looking a little worried as well. < Probably afraid for his head in this crowd. I pity any bastard pissing off this gathering. > As he enters the living room, all eyes go to Steve, the son of a bitch that got everyone in this room out of a warm bed, on a cold Saturday in February.

Steve turns to Casey, "Casey, nice to see you again, would you care to introduce your friends?"

Casey turns to his friends, who nod their heads. "Alright Wanderer, the tall Englishman is Richard Blade, the dark haired fellow to his right is Mack Bolan, the mustached gentleman is Mike Hammer, and the brown haired gentleman at the end is Remo Williams."

Robert McCallister walks in behind Steve and looks at Casey and grunts in surprised recognition.

"Casca Rufio Longious, you're still alive, I see. How long has it been? Over 500 years, at least." McCallister comments walking over to shake Casey's hand.

Casey gets up and gives McCallister a warm hug, "General Tiberius Callistri, you look well preserved." Casey replies with a smile. "It's good to see you again, I don't have too many ‘old' friends, still around."

< Casey knows McCallister? And they haven't seen each other in 500 years? > Steve thinks to himself. He looks at Duncan, who doesn't understand it either.

"Casey," Steve asks, "What does Robert mean by calling you Casca Rufio Longious? And how can he know you 500 years ago. You're not Immortal, are you?"

"Steve, you and your friends deserve the truth. I'm two thousand years old. When I became immortal, I was a legionnaire in Jerusalem almost two thousand years ago. One day, my commanding officer ordered me to escort a prisoner to be crucified. The prisoner was Jesus Christ. I wanted to be merciful and tried to give him a quick death. I was the Roman legionnaire who stabbed Jesus Christ while he was on the cross. Christ cursed me to await his second coming." Casey explains.

The room is silent, almost every person in the room is shocked at Casey's admission. Steve finds himself shaking his head in disbelief. The situation has gone beyond the weird into the realm of the surreal. He looks over to Joe Dawson and Rupert Giles and watches them shake their heads in shock over Casey's statement. Brother Aaron looks as if he has been pole axed. Casey's four friends and McCallister are not phased in the least. They've heard it before, and believe him.

"Alright, let's just suppose what Casey just said is true." Steve says. "That would explain why none of us can feel him when he comes around, and why McCallister, here," He points to Robert, "Has known him for over 500 years."

Duncan and Kyra both drop their drinks, Duncan asks "Robert McCallister?" Steve nods his head. "Steve, how in the hell did you get McCallister, to join in this little party?"

"Simple Duncan, I asked politely." Steve replies with a grin. McCallister just laughs.

McCallister steps forward and stands before the assembled Immortals. His name is legend among the Immortal community, though none, until now have ever met him. Some Immortals think he's Methos, but those who know, know better. Everyone is silent waiting to hear what he has to say. "Steve is correct. I'm here for one reason, and one reason only. I won't sit idly by and watch innocents being butchered by vampires. Also, let me add, that it brings a warm feeling to my old bones seeing you, younger Immortals, standing here together, fighting for a just cause, and not each other's heads. Thank you, for letting me see that there is some hope for all of us."

"Actually, there is more hope than you can imagine." Steve then tells everyone about Krevar's journal, that he and Frank had found in Tibet, and its translation. It's Steve's turn to shock the entire room. Robert turns to him.

"Steve, if this manuscript is genuine, then all the senseless butchery can stop. I hope to God that its true." He tells Steve. The other Immortals also have a look of hope on their faces.

"Tell me, how are you planning on getting this information to every Immortal still alive." Bolan asks.

Steve looks at Joe Dawson, who nods his assent. "For those of you who don't know this, it may be a shock. But, I'll be blunt. There is a society of mortals who have been chronicling the history of us Immortals for the last three thousand years. They are called the Watchers. Each of us has at least one Watcher on him at all times, keeping a history of our lives. Now, please understand this, they do not interfere in our lives, just keep a record, so that what we are and have done is not lost." Steve sees shock on many faces at this bit of information, but he goes on. "What I'm plan to do is provide a photo copy of the journal, along with its translation, to them. They could arrange to have it delivered to every living Immortal in the world within a couple of days."

"Do you think they'll do it?" Richard Blade asks.

"Yes, I do. They're basically a good group of people. I don't think their consciences wouldn't allow them to hide this information from the other Immortals. After all, they could just make the copies and Fed Ex them to everybody. Let each of us make that decision, and not involve themselves any further." Steve explains. He sees Joe nod his head slightly at this plan.

"Now, lets get to the matter at hand." Steve tells them, everyone goes quiet, "We are here to destroy a large number of vampires that are planning on feeding off this town. The preliminary plan is as follows. First, we will go over a list of possible nest sites. Second, groups of us, lead by Buffy and her friends will scout the areas that might hold the most concentrations of vampires." Everyone in the room looks at Buffy's group. "Third, we will attack about an hour before dark, hitting only secondary targets, today. Tomorrow, we'll hit the primary ones at nightfall when the vampires feel the strongest, but are the least observant. Also, Buffy's group, Frank, Joe and Nick will not be joining the assaults." Steve sees that Nick and Frank are very angry about this, so are most of Buffy's friends, but he continues. "I am not down playing your role in this believe me, but you are not Immortal, and you can die much more easily than the rest of us can. At present, there are, including myself and Buffy, eighteen Immortals here. Most of us have combat experience and weapons training that far exceeds anything that you could possibly have. Besides, we will need a tactical reserve and support, which will be you people." Nick and Frank relax, they're not going to be left out.

"Giles, you, Joe, Jenny, Willow, Cordelia and Oz will make up our communications and computer section, believe me, when I say, we'll need it. This operation will have to be coordinated, and I think you can handle it. Frank, Nick and Xander will be our tactical reserve. I have six anti-tank rockets. They're to be used as bunker busters, if we need them. You three will be responsible for getting them to us and using them. Amy, your our only witch," Steve sees several of the Immortals stir at this comment. "So, you'll be teamed up with Frank's group, who will also be responsible for you."

"Primary weapons for this operation will be wooden stakes and edged weapons, secondary weapons such as pistols, should be carried, but not used. Also, each unit will be given a pump shotgun loaded with Dragon's Breathe shells for those crowded moments. For those of you wondering about the use of assault rifles, forget about it. They won't affect vampires. The only ways to kill them is to stab them in the heart with a wooden stake, behead them or burn them up. Most of us here, have experience beheading opponents with swords and axes." Steve adds lightly. Most of the Immortals laugh at this joke. "Now any questions?"

Remo Williams gets up, "All well and good, you've detailed out a good attack plan, but what are the groups going to be and the command structure?"

"The groups will be as follows, Casey, you and friends stay together. Duncan your group will be Richie, Adam and Aaron. Kyra's Group will be augmented by the addition of Robert." Robert looks at Kyra's group of Valkyries and smiles. "My group will be Buffy, Mulder and Scully. The command structure will be as follows, myself, then Casey, Duncan and Kyra, in that order. Any questions? No, good."

Steve turns to Willow and Jenny, "Willow were you, Jenny and Dana able to access the building records for the building we're going to hit?"

"Yes Steve, we got all of them, including renovation up dates. I stored everything in your hard drive. Now, we have to pull them up and print them."

"Everything's in the hard drive?" Willow nods, "Good, Frank, give me a hand with the projector." Steve and Frank go to the office and pick up a small device nobody had ever seen before, as well as a portable keyboard, and place them on the coffee table in the center of the room.

Willow and Jenny are curious about the device, "What is it Steve?" Jenny asks.

"Just watch." Steve replies with a grin.

As he turns on the device, a computer screen floats in the air above it. "It's a holographic projector." Steve explains, as he's accessing the computer. He then pulls out a three dimensional image of the town, including the sewer system. All of the target buildings are shining in red. Steve touches one of the target building's and create a three dimensional display for the tactical review of that building. Casey immediately starts to take notes and make comments about the building structure and the assault possibilities. Willow and Jenny note the program that Steve's using and want to give it a try.

Mulder turns to Steve and asks. "Steve, where in hell did you get this device? Its beyond anything that I have ever seen."

Steve looks at the projector, and answer. "Mulder, let's just say that this was given to me by a friend for whom I did a favor. A really big favor."

Mulder just shakes his head and comments. "This case is one for the records, for every answer we dig up, I have three more mysteries to solve." He looks pointedly at the projector.

< Mulder's a good man, but sometimes, he asks too many question. > Steve thinks to himself.

The assembled group looks at all of the possible hiding places and decides that they couldn't hit them well enough to put a dent in the vampire population, so the plan was changed to one of the classics, the bait and switch.

The order of attack was decided on. The first scout trip would be Buffy, Frank and Steve. They would pay Willy, the squealer, a little visit at his bar and make life a little painful and drop some misleading information on him. The second scout trip would be the sewers, also by them. They would make Angelus and his friend think that Buffy had joined forces with Frank and Steve. The scouts would be lightning quick and hard. The plan was to make them hate the trio and want to get at Buffy Frank, and Steve as fast as possible. They would be the bait in the trap.

Steve and Buffy decide to hit Willy's Bar first.

*****

Part 23 - Dialogues and Conversations
(Beating the Hell out of a Piece of Slime)

Frank and Steve go to his bedroom to get ready. They grab a pair of black dusters and watch caps out of the closet. And change out of their pants and shoes to fatigue bottoms and combat boots. Besides his Katana, Steve grabs a pair of Glock 21s out of the arsenal, a couple of grenades and five wooden knives. Frank grabs his H&K Spec Ops .45, an Ithaca ‘shorty' 12 gauge pump, and four wooden knives and a pair of throwing axes. After they ‘load' up, Steve tosses Frank a pair of dark sun glasses, they put them on at the same time.

As they enter the living room, Buffy's group is stunned. Frank and Steve see that their ‘Hollywood' bad to the bone looks has the right effect. Everyone else just starts to laugh.

Casey gets out between laughs, "Wanderer, couldn't you and Frank steal any more cliches? You guys look like Terminator wannabees."

"Just make sure you don't go into any liquor store." Bolan cracks, between laughs. "Or we'll have to bail you out, if the owner doesn't shoot you on sight."

Steve takes off his sun glasses and smiles. Buffy and her friends don't understand what the joke is. Steve tells them. "Buffy, the reason everyone is laughing is because, no true professional would be caught dead, dressed like this. What we want to do is make Angelus and his friends think that we're just a pair of amateurs who got lucky that night. We want to make them come after us in force."

Buffy looks confused, "Why do you want all those vampires to hunt us? They could kill us all, if enough of them got together."

"Buffy, that's exactly what we want. It'll make it a lot easier to kill all of them. Especially, when they think, they have you and only two amateurs, who you have to protect, against them all. Not twenty professional killers."

*****

Their first stop, Willy's bar, is in the really bad section of town. Buffy enters first followed closely by Steve and Frank is bringing up drag. Once they enter the bar, they see Willy, a short, nervous guy, talking to three guys you won't want to meet in an ally. Hell, you wouldn't want to meet them in a police station.

Buffy grabs Willy and throws him to the bar. Frank and Steve cover Willy's little playmates.

"Okay Willy, where do I find Angel?" Buffy asks. "Tell me before I rip off your lying face."

< Now that's a polite girl. Gets right to the point. > Steve tells myself. One of the hard cases decides to get up and help Willy. Frank clubs him down with his shotgun.

"Now, now, they're playing nice. Don't interfere." Frank, grinning evilly, warns the three toughs.

Buffy slams Willy against a wall . < Just getting his attention > Steve thinks to himself.

"Willy, I'm not playing here. Tell me where I can find him, now!!" Buffy angrily tells Willy.

"Look, I don't know where your boyfriend, Angel, hangs out. But I can tell you that they're scared of your two friends over there, and want to get rid of them, as fast as possible."

Buffy pulls Willy off the wall and turns him around. "What do you mean? What are they planning?"

"I just know that they put bounties on their heads with the Order of Teraka." Willy informs Buffy.

Steve turns to Willy, leaving Frank to cover the three hard cases. "Angel put a bounty on my partner and me?" He asks, grinning. "What did he offer? What's the bounty?"

Willy looks at Steve, then at Buffy. He sees no way out of this situation, but to tell the truth. "He offered a hundred thou for each of your heads, delivered to him. Preferably, minus the rest."

"Only a hundred thou? Man, I feel insulted. Frank, do you feel insulted?" Steve asks Frank.

"I feel insulted, Steve." Frank comments.

"What about me?" Buffy asks.

"He told them to leave you alone. You were his." Willy tells her.

"Willy," Steve asks. "Who are your three little playmates?"

Willy stiffens and looks at Steve. "They're nobody. They're just here to get a drink."

"Oh, I kinda find that hard to believe, Willy. They look like the type the Order would send after the two of us."

Buffy turns around and goes to one of the men. She grabs his right hand and looks at a ring on his hand. "This guy is one of them." She tells Steve and Frank. She then checks the other two. "These two as well."

"Well gentlemen, you three are members of the Order of Teraka." Steve states. "The last time I meet with your little play group, it cost you twenty of your members."

The three look at Frank and Steve with nervous glances. The largest one looks at Steve.

"Who are you to brag about taking out twenty members of the Order?" As he asks, a look of recognition, dawns, on his face, quickly followed by fear.

Steve looks at him and smiles. "Just call me Wanderer. The place was Istanbul, about five years ago."

The three turn a very pale shade of white. They must have heard what happened.

Meanwhile, Willy is having a stroke.

"Your Wanderer!? Oh shit man, please don't kill me. I'll tell you everything. Just don't do me." He wails.

Buffy shuts him up with a slap. "Shut up Willy." She tells him. She then turns to Steve. "Steve, what are you talking about? You killed twenty of them?" She points at the assassins sitting in front of me.

Steve keeps his eye on the assassins as he tells her. "The Order of Teraka killed an old doctor, about five years ago. The man was a decent human being, who cared for people. The Order killed him because he gave sanctuary to one of their targets, a small child. He refused them entry, and they then targeted him, as well. I was in town buying some items and one the man's followers knew me. She told me what the situation was, and naturally, I got involved. I have a very low tolerance for child killers. I protected the old man and child for a month. It cost the Order twenty of their best assassins, before they quit."

The big man with the scared face glares at Steve with hate filled eyes. "The only reason the Order let the child live was because the bounty was lifted on the child. Otherwise you would still be protecting him."

"Why was the bounty removed?" Steve asks, curious.

"The client who wanted the child dead refused to pay for more assassins to kill you. The Order wanted at least ten million dollars to kill you. That price still stands, and if your friend here is with you, the price for him goes up as well. This contract, now that we know it concerns you, is terminated." Scar face tells Steve. "We will leave this town immediately."

"There is a problem." Steve tells them. "After Istanbul, and that man's death, I made myself a promise that I would kill any of your members that I came across in my travels."

"You wouldn't dare!! We are the Order of Teraka!! We have existed for centuries and killed thousands. What makes you think that you can destroy us without dire consequences?" Scar face haughtily asks.

"Simple, a promise to an old man. This is for Akbar." Steve tells him as he shots each one in the head, point blank. Steve next turns to Willy. He has just pissed his pants. "Willy, can you contact the Order?" He nods his head, yes. "Tell them what happened here. And tell them that this is just a warning. If any more of them come to Sunnydale, I'll start hunting them full time." Steve turns to leave, taking a shocked Buffy by the arm, followed by a worried Frank.

As Steve leaves, he turns to Willy. "Oh, and Willy, if Angelus finds out about this, I will be back for you." Steve tells him. Willy turns paler still.

As they head back to the car. When they get in, Buffy turns to Steve. "Steve, how could you kill those three men like that? They weren't going to do anything." She angrily tells him.

"Buffy, they would have gone straight to Angelus and told him who I was. Then, every vampire in town would have left. I don't want them to leave. I want all of them dead. And, as to me shooting them down like that, ask yourself, how many people have those three bastards killed? Every member of the Order of Teraka has killed at least a hundred people before they're offered a chance to join. Who is going to avenge them? The law? Forget it, the Order is beyond the law. Most law enforcement agencies are scared shitless of these people. Let's go back to the house. Frank and I have to change our clothes. The plans have changed."

*****

Part 24 - Hauntings From the Past
(History Lessons II)

Buffy looks a little scared, and doesn't say a thing the entire trip home. When they get back, she gets out of the car and heads straight to the house without a word. She goes straight to Giles and Jenny and takes them to the side, and tells them what happened at Willy's bar.

"Giles, Steve just butchered three members of the Order of Teraka. He shoot them down like they were animals." A scared Buffy tells them.

Giles and Jenny are shaken by this turn of events. He turns to Steve, whose sitting down, waiting for his reply.

"Mr. St. Wolf, we are not in the business of coldly butchering down human beings, even members of the Order of Teraka. If they were vampires, I could understand, but normal humans? Sir, this is beyond redemption."

Casey looks at Steve, and asks. "Steve, who did you just kill?"

"Three members of the Order of Teraka. Angelus put a bounty on mine and Frank's heads. We found them at Willy's bar and one of them recognized me. I did what I had to."

Joe Dawson perks up at my comment. He gets up and approaches Steve.

"Steve, you didn't tell them, did you?" He asks, as Steve just glares at him. "No, you didn't. Well, I'll tell them."

"Joe, it's none of their business." Steve tells him.

"Yes, it is, and don't give me any crap about it." Joe angrily tells Steve, as he takes a seat. Everyone sits quietly, waiting for Joe to tell them what has gotten Steve so angry. He takes this opportunity to leave the room and go into his office to sit alone and have a good cry.

"For those of you who don't know me. I'm Joe Dawson. I'm also the head of the North American branch of the Society of Watchers." Most of the Immortals give Joe ‘the eye' at this revelation, but remain quiet, waiting for his story to unfold. "The story begins in Istanbul, about five years ago," Joe begins. "Steve had just purchased a piece of art for one of his clients when a young girl came running up to him. Steve had rescued this girl from an attacker, a couple of days before, and she trusted him. She told him about the man who had raised her, and the trouble he was in. The girl lead him to a large house where a man named Akbar, a retired doctor, was housing and raising homeless street children. He also ran a school there for the children and a clinic for the entire neighborhood."

"An old woman came to the house the day before, carrying a small child. She gave the boy to Akbar, to protect him from the assassins sent to kill them by an enemy of her husband. This enemy had all of the woman's family killed because of a vendetta against her husband. As she was leaving, the Order of Teraka found her and killed her. They attempted to gain entry into the house but Akbar somehow stopped them. The Order then tried to break in, but the house was protected by something. By the time the Order found a way around the protection, Steve was already at the house offering his services to the old man."

"For a month, Steve protected them, killing any member of the Order that tried to enter the house. At the end of the month, twenty members of the Order of Teraka laid dead, trying to fulfill that contract." Joe tells a rapt audience. He takes a drink from his beer, before continuing.

"The Order finally stopped trying. They sent a third party to tell Steve that the contract on the boy had been withdrawn. Steve then got the boy out of there and got him hidden away safely. He thought that with the boy gone, Akbar and the rest of the children would be safe. He was only gone for two days."

"In that time the Order attacked Akbar's house and brutally murdered all of the children there, as revenge against Akbar's stand against them. They crucified Akbar to a wall in the house and slit his eye lids to force him to watch, as each child was murdered in front of him. It drove him mad." Joe's eyes turn cold as he continues, "Three of my Watchers, Mike Anderson, Pat Samuels and Robert Thorpe, tried to stop them. The Order killed them and left their bodies in the street."

"When Steve came back the next day, he found Akbar still crucified to the wall and all of his children dead, at his feet. The bodies of my Watchers had been taken by the local police and put in the morgue. The police wouldn't go into Akbar's house for fear of the Order. Steve had to take the nails and boards off Akbar himself."

"The worst part was the children. Steve had to take each child out of the house and bury them himself. No one local would do anything to help him. The Order had made sure of that. Two of my Watchers, Frank Drey and Tony Driscal, saw what he was doing and went to help him. That's where he learned about the Watchers, and the sacrifice three of us made for Akbar and his children. Steve, Frank and Tony buried seventy four children that day, sixty three of them were ten and younger." Joe tells them. His audience sits there, listening to the story unfold. Many of them with cold gleams in their eyes.

"It was also too late for Akbar, no local doctor would help him. By the time Steve, Frank and Tony were able to get him out of the country, and to a doctor, a deep infection set in. Akbar died three days later from blood poisoning. His final words were for Steve. He said, ‘The children and I do not blame you. These men would have killed us anyway. You gave us life for another month, and showed us what a single good man could do. Just remember us in your heart.'"

As Joe finishes his story, he sits back and gauges the reaction of those around him. The Immortals in the room, those that have seen many years and wars have a cold rage in their eyes. The younger Immortals and mortals are much more open in their hostility. Giles is the first to speak.

"My word, no wonder he just gunned them down. If I had seen that, I wouldn't have hesitated myself in killing them." Giles comments.

Buffy meanwhile heads towards Steve's office. She opens the door and slips inside. She finds him asleep on the couch softly crying in his sleep. She gently reaches out to him and touches his face.

*****

Steve awakes to find Buffy gently stroking his face. He reaches for her and pulls her towards him and she sits down, next to him. Steve looks into her hazel eyes and sees understanding in them.

"I guess Joe told you the whole story about what happened in Istanbul." He asks her.

Buffy wraps her arms around Steve and just holds him tightly as she tells him, "I don't know Steve, I'm sorry for over reacting like that."

"No, you didn't over react. Just hold me, that's all." Steve tells Buffy as he gently hugs her and lays his head against her shoulder.

Frank chooses this moment to enter the office. He smiles at the sight of Steve and Buffy, before he clears his throat.

"Steve, Buffy, come back into the living room we have some major plans to make."

Buffy gets up, pulling Steve up with her and leads him back to the meeting and to the matter at hand.

As Buffy and Steve walk back to the meeting, Giles walks up to him and apologizes.

"Mr. St. Wolf, I wish to apologize for my earlier remark." Giles tells Steve as he offers his hand.

As Steve takes his hand, "I understand Giles, you didn't know the whole story, so no harm done."

Casey starts the meeting with, "Steve, do you think this Willy guy is going to stay quiet?"

Steve shakes his head, "No Casey, this little turd is going to roll over at the first threat. Angelus is definitely going to find out about me. And I think, Buffy correct me if I'm wrong, that this will make Angelus come after me with everything he's got."

Giles and Buffy put their heads together and compare notes. Giles turns back to Steve and tells him. "From our experience with Angel and the notes in the Watcher Journals, we can expect him to attack you and Frank as quickly as possible. He will not tolerate a serious threat to himself or to his game with Buffy. And you two are definitely that."

"This boy is one sick puppy." Mulder comments. "How does this help us?"

"Simple, Angelus will probably surmise that we will be calling in the calvary, and he will want to hit us before we can get reinforcements in and get organized." Steve looks at the assembled group and grins. "Poor bastard probably thinks it'll take us at least week to get something together. Too bad for him. The three of us were planning on being bait in our revised attack plan, this makes it easier. We hit them hard now, taking out as many as possible. Make them think that we're the only ones on the hunt and then lead them into a trap. The place we'll need will have to be enclosed, where they will have limited room to move in and run, but they can enter freely. Anyone know about a place like that?" Steve asks Buffy and her friends.

Xander perks up, "Yeah, you're talking about the high school gym. We can make Angel think we're headed to the library and let him corner you guys in the gym. The gym has only four entrances, and those can be easily blocked."

"That sounds like a good plan." Steve comments. "Do we have access to the gym, available to us?"

Giles looks up and replies, "Yes, I have a complete set of keys to the school, as well as the security codes. And Principal Snyder is attending a meeting in San Francisco. We shouldn't have any problems."

"Good, its Saturday, let's go scope out the place, right now. We'll all meet at the high school in fifteen minutes." Steve turns to Buffy, "Buffy, have one of your friends go with each car, this way," He look pointedly at Duncan, "no one will get lost."

Everyone of Duncan's friends started laughing.

*****

Part 25 - How to Set Up a Party
(Combat - One Part Preparation, Two Parts Determination,
Four Parts Pure Insanity and Twenty Parts Pure Luck
Where's Chance Harper When You Need Him?)

The group meets over by the school gym and scopes out the place. Casey is the first to speak up.

"This place is perfect. The building is built like a bunker and the windows even have steel shutters on them. No vampire that enters here is going to leave here, except as dust." Casey comments.

"We can use the office and the equipment rooms to hide in until the vampires are too busy fighting Buffy, Steve and Frank. Those rooms also give us an excellent cross fire, if we need it." Xander adds.

Casey gives Xander a speculative look. < Who is this kid? He walks around us old soldiers like he's one of us. Let's see if he can back up his act with action. >

"Alright kid, since you know so much about these things. Why don't you just give us the attack plan." Casey asks with a grin. His four partners, along with Kyra, knowing Casey's style are waiting for Xander to take the bait and get his ass handed to back to him.

Xander gives Casey a ‘I'm not some civilian, playing a make-believe soldier' look. He takes a deep breathe, letting it out slowly before he begins, looking Casey straight in the eye. "Casey, you may be two thousand years old. Fought in God alone knows how many wars. But, I've been fighting here for over two years. I've watched my friends being murdered and turned into vampires. My best friend since childhood, a guy named Jesse, was turned into one of them. I had to kill him to save innocent lives. I've seen the bodies of my friends lying in coffins and in chalk outlines. And gone to, god alone knows how many funerals. Yeah, I know about these things, and to tell you the truth, I hope that I can kill as many of them as possible. Just to get a little payback." Xander angrily tells him as he sheds a tear for his boyhood friend. "Now, can we get started setting up this little party?"

Casey, his friends and Kyra, are surprised at the strength and honesty behind Xander's words. They've all been there. The constant battle. The fear, the not knowing whether today you'll die or one of your friends will, instead of you. Never knowing when you'll wind up dead or live to fight another day, starting the same cycle over again. They look at this kid, turned into a man before he should have been, and they see themselves. Whether the battles were in the Sahara Desert, Viet Nam, Gaul, the Rubicon or any one of a thousand other places or times, they've all been there. They see that Xander is truly one of them, a brother soldier who has been in combat and seen much of the dirtier side of existence, but hasn't let it destroy him, just made him stronger.

Casey feels a lump in his heart. He wishes he could give this kid a normal childhood, but it's too late for that. The only thing Casey can think to say is, "You're right Xander, it's time to give these things a major payback for all of the pain and death they've caused." Casey replies and smiles, as he reaches over and clasps Xander's shoulder while saying, "Like you said, let's get started planning this little party."

Buffy and Steve watch this little drama play itself out. Xander's remarks strike home in many of the people present and they understand where he is coming from. Most of them wish they didn't, but they do. Steve leans over and whisper to Buffy, "Looks like Xander has made himself some new friends."

Buffy smiles, "I can't imagine a more stranger group than that."

"WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?" Principal Snyder shouts as he enters the gym. "Who the hell are you people?"

"Principal Snyder, weren't you supposed to be attending a meeting in San Francisco?" Giles asks.

"The meeting was canceled. What are you doing in this gym on a Saturday, Giles? And who are these, and I use the term loosely, people?" Snyder orders.

Before Giles can answer, Mulder and Scully step up with their badges open. "Mr. Snyder, I'm FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and this is my partner, Special Agent Dana Scully." Mulder nods his head toward Scully. "We requested the use of the gymnasium from Mr. Giles." Mulder tells him.

"Why," Principal asks.

"I'm afraid I can't tell you at this time. You'll be given a full report on Monday, no sooner." Mulder tells him.

"Alright, but it better be good." Snyder tells Mulder. As he stalks out he sees Buffy standing next to me. Snyder walks over and tells Buffy, "Summers, you skipped school yesterday. Unless you have a very good excuse, I'll have you in detention for a month."

"Principal Snyder, Buffy was helping me, all day, yesterday." Scully speaks up.

Snyder looks at Scully with pure hate. < How dare she make excuses for Summers. I can't do anything this time. But next time, Summers will be sorry. >

Snyder uses the shocked silence to make his leave.

"Uh, who was that?" Steve asks.

"That was Principal Snyder. He detests all of the students, especially Buffy and all of her friends." Giles informs us.

"No wonder the American education system is so bad, with people like him running it." Steve comments.

"Wanderer," Casey begins, "The rest of us can get this place set up. You, Summers and Iverson should go and start the ball rolling."

"Change in plans Casey," Steve tells him. "I'm not taking Frank with us." Frank starts to protest. "Frank, don't!! We need to take another Immortal with us on this one. I want to make it look like all three of us are wounded." Steve sees the grins start to show. Predators always go after the wounded animals with the most stubbornness. "Mack, you Frank look enough alike to fool anyone who doesn't know you, would you be willing to play the wounded goat with Buffy and me?"

"Yeah, no problem." Bolan replies.

*****

Part 26 - Discoveries - Willy's Bar
(The Information Tree, Shake It and See What Falls Out)

Willy is having a *very* big drink. Normally Willy avoids drinking too much, especially with his clientele, but what has just happened and the following phone call have scared him shitless.

< Wanderer, teamed up with the Slayer. Man-o-Man what have I gotten myself into here? > Willy thinks to himself. His head jerks up at the sound of the sewer entrance being opened. < Who the hell can this be? > Without turning around Willy yells out "We're closed, come back later."

"But Willy, you have such interesting lunch specials." Angelus tells him as he examines the three dead assassins. Willy starts to sweat heavily. After looking at their rings he gets back up and turns to Willy.

"What happened here Willy? Those three are the assassins the Order of Teraka sent here to help me. Who killed them? Who has the balls to go against the Order of Teraka?" Angelus questions Willy.

"Angelus, my man, it was just a little disagreement that went out of hand, nothing more." Willy explains nervously.

"A LITTLE disagreement Willy? There are three dead members of the Order of Teraka sitting in your bar, shot through the head. Who did this, and is the Order going to do something about it?" Angelus demands.

"I just got off the phone with the Order. They're not sending anyone else here. Your money is being sent back to you. As far as the Order is concerned, Sunnydale is too hot for them and they won't come back here." Willy tells Angelus.

Angelus is taken aback, the Order of Teraka, too scared to come to Sunnydale? "Did they say anything else Willy?" Angelus demands.

Willy nods his head, "Yeah, they said you and your vamps can go to hell for setting them up like this."

"Set up? What the hell are you talking about, Willy? Who in their right minds, sets up the Order? Tell me everything Willy, or so help me, I'll rip your guts out."

"It's your old girlfriend, she got some professional help to take you out, Angelus." Willy tells him.

Angelus looks at Willy closely, asking, "Alright Willy, just who are these two guys and why is the Order so scared of them?"

"I can't tell you who they are. They'll kill me if I do." Willy wails.

"Willy, listen to me. I'll kill you slowly right now if you don't tell me everything, and I mean everything." Angelus demands.

"Look Angel, you're a tough guy, but this guy really scares me. I'm too afraid to tell you anything." Willy explains

Angelus takes Willy and slams him against the wall. As Willy slides down the wall, Angelus leans down and whispers in Willy's ear, "Willy, either you tell me, or I will change you into a vampire and then you'll have to tell me."

Willy pales visibly, "Okay, okay, okay Angel. The guy that the Order is scared of, is called Wanderer." Willy pauses waiting for Angel's reply.

Angel growls low in the throat, and tells Willy, "Tell me more, I've heard rumors about this guy, but I need more information."

"I don't know anything." Willy tells Angel. "The only stuff I've heard about this guy is that he's one of the deadliest SOB's on the planet. He admitted to killing twenty members of the Order right here, in front of me. In less than a month. And the way those three were looking at him, confirmed it. Then, he just blew those three sitting there away, like they were nothing. I've also heard rumors that this guy actually took out a Demon Prince of Hell."

Angel releases Willy and lets him fall to the ground. He then turns and leaves via the sewer opening in the back of Willy's bar. He hurries to the factory where Spike and Drusilla are waiting for him.

As he enters the factory, Angel calls out, "Spike, Drusilla, get out here, now!!"

Both of them hurry over, wondering what has Angel so hot and bothered.

"Angel darling, what's wrong?" Drusilla asks.

"I just got back from Willy's bar. I had gone there to meet the assassins the Order of Teraka had sent to help us with our problem." Angel tells them.

"So, Angel, what happened? The buggers didn't show up. Mighty cheeky if you ask me." Spike comments.

"Oh they showed up alright." Angel replies as he hits his hand against a wall.

"So, what's the problem? The Order will take care of the Slayer's two new friends in quick order." Spike comments.

"The assassins are dead, Spike. One of Buffy's new friends killed them in Willy's bar. He shot them down like they were animals. And the *mighty* Order of Teraka will not send any more assassins to Sunnydale because they're afraid of this guy." Angel tells them.

Spike and Drusilla jaws drop. Spike is the first to recover.

"Angel, just who is this guy that the Order is scared of." Spike asks in awe.

Angel pauses before he answers, "Ever hear of a guy called Wanderer?"

"Bloody Hell, not him." Spike exclaims, visibly shaken.

Drusilla starts to whimper. "Please Angel, make the bad man go away. He hurt us in Prague. He killed everyone of Miss Edith's little friends."

Angle looks at his two brethren, "So, I take it that you've heard of him." Angel replies. "Care to tell me what you know about him?"

"Well it started in Prague, about seven years ago." Spike begins. "Me and Dru, had been in town for a couple of months enjoying ourselves, when a mortal raised the Demon Kretrag. And Kretrag promptly ate him. After that, the Demon started to gather a few of us vampires, with certain mortals, who were truly evil, together to help him. It wanted to raise a few more of it's fellow Demons and start killing more mortals. In order to do that, we had to gather a large number of mortals for a blood sacrifice."

"Everything was going fine, until this group of mortals attacked us. They destroyed almost all of us vampires in the first few minutes." Angel looks surprised at this, but remains silent, waiting for Spike to continue. "There were almost fifty vampires and a Demon Prince of Hell in that room. The only reason that Dru and I survived was because Dru got hurt and we ran. But, we saw this Wanderer bastard take on Kretrag and kill him."

"They fought for almost ten minutes. Kretrag should have killed him, but this mortal just kept taking everything Kretrag gave him, and kept coming back for more. Everything Kretrag threw at him was absorbed by his damn sword, ‘Demon Slayer'." Angel jerks at this information. "Finally, he cut off the Demon Prince's head with that sword of his and one of the other mortals, a priest, blessed the body, completely destroying it. We got out of Prague that night." Spike tells Angel as he finishes his story.

"Who were the other mortals helping him? Did you ever find out who they were?" Angel asks.

"Yeah, I did, and it scares me. One of the mortals who was helping us survived and escaped, before we drained him, he told us what he knew. He found out that the priest was a Monk of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi. Also, judging by the description the mortal gave of their uniforms, three of the warriors were Knights of the Order of the Grail. The other two were Japanese Ninjas." Spike tells him.

Angel looks at the wall, deep in concentration. After a few minutes, he turns to Spike and Dru. "So this guy is everything Willy claimed him to be. Now this presents a major problem. Tell me Spike, how many vampires do we have here in town, right now?" He asks.

"About a two hundred, maybe a little more, if any of the new vampires we made wake up early." Spike answers, "Why?"

"Because, we're going to hit them before they hit us. If we give them any time, don't you think that this Wanderer guy is going to call in his friends. And how long do you think we can stand against a small army of professional warriors lead by the Slayer?" Spike and Drusilla look really scared at that prospect. "How long do think it will take to assemble them and attack Buffy and her two new friends, as well as everybody else?" Angel asks.

"Not long. You do realize that a lot of them wouldn't be coming back from this little mission." Spike comments.

"So what? Who cares if a few vampires die to take out the Slayer and this Wanderer guy?" Angel comments.

*****

Part 27 - Sewer Scouting
(No Ralph, Norton is Not Coming With Us)

The Sunnydale Sewers are large. For some reason the designer had the construction company build them six and a half feet high and wide, making it the perfect day time travel route for the vampires. Go figure.

Buffy, Steve and Mack go back to Steve's house and change into black clothing, armed themselves with pistols, swords and wooden knives. Besides Steve's usual combat rig of Katana, Glock 21 and stakes, He carried an Ithaca ‘shorty' loaded with Dragon's Breathe shells. Buffy, in addition to her normal stakes, was carrying a Kyber Bowie she found in Steve's collection as well as the Glock 26 he had given her earlier. Mack had his saber, Desert Eagle 44, stakes and a couple of smoke grenades. Each was also given fifth generation night vision goggles.

Their first target is a group of four vampires. They hit them hard and fast, taking all of them out. Buffy drop kicks the first one into the wall, as he bounces off the wall, she stakes him, quick and dirty. The second vampire is Mack's. He is quick and brutal. He grabs it by the throat and stabs it through the back to the heart. The third and fourth vampires are Steve's. They make the mistake of attacking him at a crossing. Steve cuts them both open with a single slash of his Katana. As they fall to their knees in pain, Steve cuts off their heads.

Mack noticing Steve's style comments, with a wry grin, "Keeping in practice, I see."

As Steve wipes his blade clean, "Always got to keep up the style, Mack. You never know." Steve replies with a smile. Buffy just looks at around, trying to sense anymore vampires. "Got a lock on anymore?" He asks.

"Yeah, about ten of them, to the south of us, about a half mile." Buffy answers.

"That's quite a range Buffy. Can you always sense vampires that far away?" Steve asks.

"Normally no, but Amy used a spell to heighten my vampire sense, and it appears to work fine." She tells Steve and Mack.

"Isn't that kind of dangerous?"

"Normally yes, but we need the extra edge. So I took the chance."

Steve decides to change the subject. "Do you think they heard us?"

"No," came Buffy's short reply.

Then, in Steve's best John Wayne, "Well then Pilgrims, let's mount up and ride."

"You know Steve, Duke would have shot you for imitating him that badly." Mack tells Steve.

As they move south, Buffy asks, "Mack, did you know John Wayne?"

"Yep, I doubled for him in Rio Lobo and Rio Bravo. One of the greatest actors and gentlemen, that I have ever known." Mack replies wistfully. "That's our main curse, losing good friends and loved ones."

Buffy holds up her hand, "The vampires are around the corner, I can feel them."

Steve eases forward and checks around the corner. He sees the vampires, all eleven of them. They're scaring a couple of young girls, who are huddled in a corner, tied up. < Man, I hate it when someone plays with their food. > Steve thinks to himself as he moves back to Buffy and Mack.

"The vampires are there, but they have a couple of kids with them. Both are still alive. But I don't think that'll last long." Steve tells them. "I think the best way to get them is to rush them, and take out as many as possible, protecting those kids."

Buffy and Mack nod their agreement. As they start to moving forward they hear gun fire in the tunnel ahead of them.

*****

Part 28 - A Convergence of Forces II
(Sewers Are Not Just For Turtles Anymore)

Steve leans over and asks Buffy, "Is it more vampires?"

"No, something else is there, let's hit them while they're distracted." Buffy reasons.

Mack and Steve agree and they rush forward to see a man and a woman, armed with guns and swords, fighting the vampires, protecting the girls. All of the vampires have their attention, so we are able to sneak up on them and take out six of them before the rest see us. The first three are taken out with stakes in the back. The next three get the same treatment. Of the final five, three are wounded by the man and woman, and fall back to be decapitated by Buffy, Mack and me. The man and woman, seeing that the three strangers are helping them, stand their ground protecting the children, while the strangers take care of the rest of the vampires.

As Mack decapitates the last two vampires, turning them into dust, the three turn to the man and woman. They are still on guard, waiting to see what happens next. Steve puts his sword in it's scabbard, Buffy and Mack follow suit. He turns to Buffy.

"Buffy, any more vampires in the area?" The man and woman stiffen when they hear this.

"Nothing for at least a mile, Steve."

"Any of them coming this way?" Steve asks, worried if the gun shots would bring any more.

"No, I don't think they heard anything."

Steve turns to the man and woman, still standing there, on guard. "Hi there, I don't know who you are. But if it'll makes things any easier, I've always believed the expression, ‘The enemy of my enemy, is my friend.'"

The children, at this time, start to cry, the woman gives a worried look to the man. The man nods and both put down their weapons. The woman turns to the children and begins to untie them, softly whispering to them. As she unties and removes their gags, the two girls, begin to cry, "Mommy, Daddy, you came for us. We were worried."

The woman, an imposing redhead, turns to the three strangers. "Who are you people? What were those things that took my children?" She demanded.

"Well, we were just, sorta, passing through, and saw the kids in trouble, and decided to rescue them. As we were moving forward to attack, you two jumped them before we could. While the vampires were distracted, we attacked them from behind. Killing all of them." Steve explains.

"Vampires? Are you serious? They can't exist. They're only myths to scare children." The redhead stammers out. Her husband remains quiet.

"Well Miss, why do you think they disappeared into piles of dust, when we staked them or cut off their heads, but wouldn't die from your bullets?" Steve replies evenly.

The redhead is about to tell Steve where to go, when her husband lays a hand on her shoulder. She looks at him and he just shakes his head. Steve notices a strange tattoo on the husband's arm. He'd seen it somewhere before, but nothing comes to mind.

"Get your children out of here and out of town as fast as you can." Steve tells them. The woman starts to say something, but Steve holds up his hand, and continues. "Things are going to get very hot here in a little while, and we don't want any innocents getting hurt."

The man and woman just look at the three strangers, but nod their heads in agreement.

Steve turns to Buffy and asks, "Buffy, where is the closest opening that we can get to?"

"About a quarter mile north of us. But I can feel about a dozen vampires coming in from that direction. We should be able to get these people out before they get there. Then we take out those vamps." Buffy explains. The man and woman each pick up a girl and follow.

Buffy takes point and Mack does drag, and Steve stays by the family.

As they're moving out, the woman comes up to Steve and asks, "Who are you people? You three act as if you've fought these things before."

"Listen Miss..? You know, I never did ask your name."

"It's Scarlet, no last name, what's yours." She asks. "And don't worry, my family owes you three for helping us rescue our children, we won't betray you.

"I can live with that, Scarlet. Just call me Steve, the young lady is Buffy, and our associate is Mack. But as far as the vampires are concerned, yes, we've fought them before. And we probably will again. You mind if I ask a couple of questions?"

"Go ahead, it's the least we can do."

"Who are you two? Very few people know how to use swords like you two were doing earlier."

"We learned them in the Service." Scarlet replies with a straight face.

"In the Service, huh?" Steve smiles. "Just one more thing, your husband hasn't said a single thing. Can he talk?"

Scarlet looks at Steve. "Just barely, he lost his voice in a helicopter accident, saving my life."

Steve looks at her and realizes that he's stepped into a sore area. He quickly changes the subject. "Look Scarlet, when you get to the exit, get out of town as fast as possible. At night fall, go to a large hotel and don't let anyone in during the night. Vampires can't enter unless you invite them in."

"What about you three? What's going to happen to you?" She asks.

"Don't worry about us. We're going to kill as many as possible. We won't stop until all of them are really dead." Steve tells her as they reach the exit. Just as they are leaving Scarlet turns to Steve, Buffy and Mack.

"Good Luck. Snake Eyes and I will be back to help, as soon as our daughters are safe."

"Scarlet, the help is appreciated, but not necessary, the three of us are more than able to take out every vampire in town." Steve tells her. < Snake Eyes? Who the hell names their kid Snake Eyes. >

Buffy tenses suddenly. "Steve, the vampires headed in this direction, they're almost here. Get ready. Oh Damn!! There's about twenty of them. Let's get ready."

Scarlet is outside with the two girls. Snake Eyes looks at his wife and nods his head in silent communication. She looks worried, but she understands. Honor demanded that he stay with the three strangers and help them. If it wasn't for the girls, she would've stayed as well.

Snake Eyes comes up to where the three are standing and takes a stand to Steve's left. Steve looks at him and he nods his head. "Couldn't leave, could you? You and Scarlet aren't the types to leave a fight half finished." Steve replies with a smile. Snakes Eyes smiles as well.

The four stand about 200 yards from the turn off when the vampires come around the corner. They see the four people standing in the tunnel and charge, hoping to get them before they can exit the sewer. Steve quickly calculates and tells Mack, Buffy and Snake Eyes, "Form a line, and let them come to us." He then reaches for his Ithaca ‘shorty' loaded with Dragon's Breathe shells. "Let them come at us. I'll fire the gun at about ten yards. When I say ‘fire' close your eyes or you'll be blinded."

At about twenty yards the vampires are clumped together real tight. Probably hoping to overwhelm the small group. At ten yards, Steve yells "FIRE!" And lets loose with the shotgun. The Dragon's Breathe shell lives up to its name. It releases a fifty foot fire ball which engulfs the entire hoard of vampires, leaving nothing in its wake. The air is sucked right out of their lungs, but they don't mind, every vampire is gone.

Buffy, Mack and Snake Eyes are completely shocked. Buffy turns to Steve with a look of pure wonder.

"What was that thing you used to make the vampires disappear?" She asks in awe.

Steve gives her that devil may care grin, that tends to piss women off. "It's called a Dragon's Breathe shell. Think it lives up to its name?"

"That it does, that it does." Mack replies with a smile. Snake Eyes just nods his head and grins.

"Buffy any more vampires in the area?"

"Yeah, about ten more coming this way from the same direction as these guys were coming from."

"Okay, don't forget the plan. We have to let these guys hurt us bad enough to get the rest of them to come after us in force." Steve turns to Snake Eyes, "Snake Eyes, you cover the opening and protect it. It'll be our means of escape." Snake Eyes didn't like that, but he would do it.

As Buffy, Steve and Mack move to attack the vampires, the vampires see them and rush the group. Steve takes out his first vampire with a straight stake thrust to the heart. Buffy, slams a fist into her first vampire's throat and a stake into its heart. Mack has side stepped his first attacker and cut it's head off with his saber.

After this, the three let everything go to shit. Steve's second vampire is able to grab his arm and break it. Buffy stakes her second vampire, but another one hits her with a lead pipe shattering her collar bone. She goes done and Steve rushes over to help her. Steve uses his last knife to stake the vampire with the pipe. As he helps Buffy get up, another vampire attacks them, Buffy uses his support to kick it's face in. Meanwhile, Frank is holding off the rest of the vampires. Steve reaches for his communicator with his good hand and calls Cordelia to come and pick them up.

"Cordelia, can you hear me?"

"Yes, Steve, we hear you, and have you located. We'll be at the entrance in a couple of minutes. Get out now."

Steve grabs Buffy by the waist and starts to the entrance. Seeing this, Snake Eyes, moves forward to help Mack fight the rear guard action. At the entrance Xander reaches down and grabs Buffy with her good arm. Steve pushes her up to Xander's waiting hands. Then he climbs up and calls to Mack and Snake Eyes. As Steve reaches topside, Xander leans in with a huge sprayer and let's loose on the vampires who immediately retreat back. "Holy water." Xander replies. The holy water allows Snake Eyes and Mack a chance to climb out of the sewer. As Mack is climbing out, one of the vampires, braving the holy water bath, stabs him in the leg with a large knife. Xander and Snake Eyes pull him out and over to Steve's Blazer.

"Everybody in and let's get back to the library." Steve yells out hoping the vampires hear him.

As they rush to the Blazer, Scarlet pulls up next to it. Steve turns to Snake Eyes, "Look, thanks for the help, but get out of town. I don't want your kids growing up without both of you."

Snake Eyes glares at him, but his children make their presence known. "Mommy, is Daddy coming with us to Grampa's. I'm scared." They hear.

He looks to his car, where his wife and children are waiting for him. "Go," Steve tells him. "Be a father to them, not a memory." He goes, not willingly, not because he has to, but because Steve wants him to go.

Steve then climbs into his Blazer. Cordelia peels rubber getting them out of there. As they head to the library, they see Scarlet enter the freeway, headed out of town.

*****

Scarlet turns to her husband, "Carl, I know you didn't want to leave, but those people knew what they're doing. < I hope. > Besides, they told you to go, it's not like you deserted them." She tells him. Snake Eyes just nods his head. "One other thing darling," Scarlet's voice pulls him out of his dark mood. "While you were busy helping our new friends, I called Tommy. He said that he would have the rest of the clan by my father's house by tomorrow night. Then, along with my brothers, we are coming back here to do a little payback. I hope our three friends survive the next two days." Scarlet adds.

Snake Eyes sees something written on the pad between the chairs. He lifts it up and gives Scarlet a questioning look about it.

"Oh, that's that Blazer's license plate. I figure we could get Jinx to pull up the owner's name. Even if it isn't one of them. It will probably lead us to them." Scarlet explains. Snake Eyes starts to smile for the first time since this morning.

*****

As the Blazer heads toward the library, Xander asks, "Steve, who was that Ninja guy that came out of the sewer with you?"

"Don't know Xander. Ouch" Steve replies as his arm pops back into place. "But he calls himself Snake Eyes, his wife's name is Scarlet, any more than that, your guess is as good as mine. They were in the sewers to rescue their children. That's something that I could understand." Steve replies, as he turns to Buffy, "How's the shoulder?"

"Fine, a little sore, but fine." She replies.

"Mack how's the leg?"

"Already healed up. Are we going to play the sick and wounded at the Library?" He asks.

"Yep, we want to give these vampires a real show. So let's make it good, people."

"You know guys, I can never get over how you just heal like that." Xander comments.

"Sure saves a bundle on medical insurance. But the clothing cost is a bitch." Mack replies with a grin.

*****

Part 29 - The Walking Wounded
(We Ain't Gonna Win Any Oscars)

When they get to the library, Steve gets out of the car and helps Buffy inside. Xander helps Mack inside while Cordelia covers them with the Super Soaker.

As they're walking, he whispers to Buffy, "Any vampires lurking around?"

"Yeah, six of them. No, make that four, two of them just left in a hurry." She replies with a smile.

When they enter the library proper Giles is standing there with a worried look on his face. "Is everything alright?" He asks.

Steve lets Buffy go, reluctantly. She walks over to Giles and gives him a hug.

"I'm fine. One of the vampires shattered my collar bone, but it healed in about five minutes. Steve had a broken arm and Mack was stabbed in the leg. Both of them are fully healed as well."

"My word, this is incredible." Giles stammers out.

"The good thing is that the vampires think we're wounded and will be easy game. They're probably on their way back to Angelus now. Now, the wait begins." Steve comments.

*****

Vampire's Hidden Lair

The two vampires rush into Angelus' presence. They see him talking to several wounded vampires. Both approach and wait until Angelus is finished talking to a second group of vampires.

"Alright, so you know the plan. You are to attack the orphanage and hold those kids hostage until I say different. Do you understand?" Angelus asks. The vampires nod and leave the room, going to do as they were told. As he finishes, he sees the two waiting for him. He calls them over.

"You two were part of the group I sent to watch the library. Why are you here?"

The first vampire speaks, "Angelus, we were at the library when the Slayer and two men came in heavily wounded. We could smell fresh blood on all three of them."

Angelus starts to smile. The previous vampire had informed him of the fight in the sewers. And how Buffy and her two friends were seriously wounded. "Go back to the library and inform me of any changes." Angelus tells his scouts. < Now the fun can really begin. > He calls to Drusilla and Spike. "Spike, how many vampires are here now?" Angel asks.

"About a hundred and fifty." Spike answers.

"Good, because we're going to kill the Slayer and her friends at the library right now." Angelus tells him.

"Oh goody, we're going to have a party." Drusilla exclaims, clapping her hands together and jumping up and down. "And the Slayer is going to be the main treat. Oh, may I have her friends, Angel darling? Miss Edith could use some company."

"We'll see Drusilla." Angelus tells her as he turns to the mob of vampires before them. "The plan is simple, we will all go to the school, right now. We will kill everybody there, but the Slayer. Now hear this, I want the Slayer alive. She is my personal property. Anyone who tries to kill her, will answer to me. Am I clear? Good. Now any of her friends are fair game. You can kill all of them." Angel tells them.

Angel points to one of his scouts who's just came in. "What's going on at the school?" He demands.

"They've moved the Slayer and her two friends to the nurse's office in the gym. I over heard one of the Slayer's friends complaining about the blood on her clothes." The vampire tells Angelus.

< That would be Cordelia. > Angelus thinks to himself. "Alright, this is it let's move out in small groups. I don't want any of you stopping for a snack. You can do that later, first the Slayer and her friends, then the rest of the town." Angelus exclaims. The vampires cheer.

They move through the streets in groups of ten or less. All of them fixated on a single point: Get the Slayer and her friends.

*****

Part 30 - Showdown
Sunnydale High School Gym
(It Ain't the O.K. Coral, But It'll Do)

Steve doesn't know which is the worst part. The waiting or the fighting. Buffy is nervously flipping around a stake as they wait for Angelus to take the bait. Mack is checking and re-checking his weapons. Steve, he's constantly checking all of the exits, his watch and his weapons.

Xander calls from the south side of the building, "Guys get ready, I see a major bunch of vampires moving in. From the south, about forty of them and from the west, another forty. Angelus is leading the pack from the south. Drusilla the west."

Joe calls from the north and east sides. "Man, Wanderer, what'd you do to get them this pissed off? There must be at least fifty vampires coming in from the north and another thirty from the east. A blond haired guy looks like he's leading both groups."

"That would be Spike." Buffy comments.

"Alright everybody let's get ready. It's show time." Steve quietly tells his friends.

Steve hears the soft clicks and scraps as weapons are readied and unsheathed. He hears Aaron, softly praying, Casey, checks everybody's placement, making sure they're not visible to the vampires outside. Joe Dawson and the rest of Buffy's friends are on the track above the Immortals, hiding, ready to do their part, in this trap. They're being guarded by Brother Aaron, Nick Raven and Frank. The doors leading to the track has been spell warded by Amy and Brother Aaron. No vampire would be able to get through to them.

The doors on the ground floor level have been locked, but not spell warded, yet. After all they can't make it too easy now, can they? They wait for the vampires to come to them. Buffy, Steve and Mack are armed to the teeth and it looks like they're making their last stand. Going done hard all the way.

All three doors are smashed in at the same time. Angelus, Spike and Drusilla lead all of the vampires inside. Steve recognizes Spike and Drusilla from Prague, almost seven years ago.

"So, I see you two made it out of Prague." Steve tells them.

Spike, looks at Steve, surprised that he remembers his face. "Yeah, we made it out of Prague, just barely. It'll be a pleasure to kill you tonight."

"I see you brought some of your friends. What's the matter, can't fight on your own? You have to have an army backing you up, like the last time. Well at least there's no Demon Prince of Hell to kill." Steve comments. Buffy stiffens next to him and gives Steve a what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about look. "I'll explain later." Steve whispers to her.

Angelus is looking at Mack intensely. Then it hits him. < This isn't the same guy who shot my leather jacket to pieces. It could be his brother, but not him. Oh Shit!! This is a trap. > Angelus thinks to himself. He turns to Spike and Drusilla, "Spike, this is a trap, we've got to get out of here, now!!" He tells them.

Then suddenly, the doors seal themselves shut. trapping all of the vampires inside with the three Immortals.

Steve sees one of the vampires in the rear try to open a door and he gets blasted into dust from the magic ward guarding the door. <Ain't magic wonderful? > Steve thinks to himself.

Angelus turns to the three Immortals before him with a hiss. "You three are going to die. I'm going make sure of it."

Steve smiles as he pulls out his Ithaca ‘shorty' shotgun. Buffy and Mack follow suit. "The only things that are going to die, are you and your vampires, Angelus."

"Are you insane? You're outnumbered a hundred and fifty to three. And if you think those shotguns are going to help. Think again. Buffy should have told you that bullets can't kill vampires." Angelus tells Steve.

"Angelus do me a favor and just stand there." Steve tells him, as he points his shotgun directly at him, Buffy and Mack point theirs about 30 degrees away from Steve in different directions.

Angelus, Spike and Drusilla, sense something is foul, and duck. The blast from the three Dragon's Breathe shells takes down three wide rows of vampires. Cutting down the odds from a hundred fifty to less than a hundred odd vampires.

The shotguns are the signal for the rest of the Immortals to attack. The battle is joined by the Immortals against the vampires on the gym floor. Buffy's friends start to spray the entire gym with holy water. Steve moves to the side and stakes one vampire and cuts off another's head. Buffy is in her element, killing vampires with abandon and glee. Finally getting some payback for the last two years. Mack moves to the side and starts to lay into the vampires with his saber. Cutting off heads left and right. Casey and the rest of the Immortals move in and start staking and cutting as well.

Xander, standing on the running track, turns to Cordelia and says, "Man, I can't believe what's happening down there. I'd never thought, I'd say this, but, I'm glad that I didn't volunteer to be down there."

Cordelia just nods her head and keeps on spraying the holy water down onto the vampires.

Joe Dawson turns to Giles, "Giles can you believe what is going on down there?"

"No Mr. Dawson, I find this situation to be something beyond my experience. I don't believe in the entire annuals of the Watchers that this many vampires have been killed by a Slayer and her allies, ever. I must say though, it is most refreshing to be slaughtering them, rather, than them slaughtering innocents." Giles replies.

It is a dance of slaughter on the gym floor. Immortals are stabbing and cutting into the vampire host with reckless abandon. Most of these vampires have never seen a sword before, let alone faced true blade masters. Mulder and Scully work as a team, cutting down vampire after vampire while covering each other's backs. McCallister lives up to his reputation, any vampire the comes within five feet of him, winds up dust in seconds. He is remorseless.

Casey moves with the grace of a leopard, using strokes and slashes that could only be seen in ancient frescos in the Roman Coliseum. Regan Cole is using a wooden knife as a Main Gauche, slashing with her sword and stabbing with the knife.

Bolan is working like a machine, cut, chop, lob. Taking out vampire after vampire. Remo Williams moves through the ranks of the undead like a scythe, cutting them down with sword and ax. Richard Blade, using a medieval English sword, is a proper terror. Hammer lives up to his name. He hammers the vampires down with his sword or fist and cuts off their heads.

Kyra, Cara and Katherine are working together as a team, doing sweeper duty, making sure no vampires can attack the rear of the Immortals. Methos, Duncan and Richie are rolling up the other side of the gym driving the vampires into massed Immortals' blades.

Angelus and Spike are trying to rally their vampires to fight back. Drusilla is cowering between them, in terror. They are slowly backed up to the wall in an ever tightening circle of steel and wood. The number of vampires is rapidly declining and they can't do anything about it. Spike turns to Angelus, "How could this have happened? Who the hell are these people?"

"I don't know. But it looks like we'll have to use the alternate plan." Angelus tells him. Spike nods his head.

"You think so?" Spike sarcastically replies as he gets up on a bench and yells out, "ALRIGHT EVERYBODY, *JUST STOP*. *STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING*."

The remaining few vampires, about twenty of them, hearing Spike's command immediately stop fighting and hug the wall. The Immortals stop killing them and ease back a bit, but keep their guards up and ready.

Angelus sees Buffy standing next to Steve and smiles. "I see you've got yourself a new boyfriend. Too bad you can't give yourself to him like you did me." Angelus snickers.

Steve gets pissed. < No one, not now, not ever talks about Buffy like that in my presence. > He moves suddenly forward and stabs Angelus in the gut. While the wound is not fatal, it's painful as all hell. Angelus falls to his knees in agony.

"Now was that necessary?" Spike comments.

"Yes, it was." Steve tells Spike, pointing his sword at Spike's throat. He can feel the magic in the blade.

"Just asking, is all mate." He replies holding up both hands.

"Now, what do you want vampire? If it's mercy you're looking for. Don't." Steve tells him.

"Well, we have this little option for you. Our lives for the lives of the children of the Sunnydale orphanage." Spike tells the assembled Immortals.

"Would you please clarify your last statement?" McCallister asks.

"Simple, we are holding the children hostage at the orphanage. We will release them, alive and unharmed, if you let us go." Spike explains.

"I find it hard to believe that you would keep your word on anything." Steve tells him.

"I can be quite honorable, when I have to be." Spike replies smiling.

Casey steps forward and says, "Listen here puppy, most of those here are far too old to fall for that kind of scam."

Spike takes exception at being called a puppy. "Listen here mortal, I've been a vampire for over a hundred and fifty years. While you've probably not seen more than forty years." Spike replies.

"Pup, I've walked the earth for two thousand years. Compared to me, you're still a wet behind the ears child." Casey tells him.

"You are delusional man." Spike replies.

Before Casey can reply, Drusilla speaks up. "Spike, darling, that nasty man is not lying. He is speaking the truth. I can sense it. None of these people are mortal. They are something else. Even the Slayer."

"What are you? You're no vampire." Spike asks, worried.

Casey grins. "I'm the Roman Legionnaire who stabbed Christ when he was crucified. He cursed me to stay around until his second coming."

Spike is scared, this is something that he wasn't expecting. < The man who actually killed Christ? What the hell have we gotten ourselves into? > He thinks to himself. He looks to Angelus, who is getting up, his wound is healed, but he is a little unsteady on his feet.

Steve makes a decision, he raises his sword and yells, "Everyone of them, but the three stooges." The Immortals know what to do. They kill every vampire, but Spike, Drusilla and Angelus. Within about 30 seconds, they are standing alone, against the wall, surrounded again by steel and wooden blades.

Spike can't believe what has just happened. The shear brutality of the Immortal's action is not lost on Spike. It's something that he could respect. "Bloody hell, you people are truly ruthless, aren't you. But, I can respect that." Spike replies with a smile, "Well listen to this. One of my vamps has a suicide bomb with him. The bomb is armed with a deadman's switch. If you make like the Light Brigade, he will blow up the orphanage, children and all."

"Alright then, here's what's going to happen." Steve tells him. "Xander, did you hear everything?"

"Yeah, I did." Xander replies grimly.

"Take Casey and his group, as well as Robert, Kyra and Cara and get to that orphanage. Make sure that vampire leaves the children alive and whole." Xander's group leaves immediately, not wasting a minute. Steve notices Cordelia going with him. < I hope he knows what he has in that girl. > Steve muses as he turns back to Spike. "I take it you can communicate with your boy at the orphanage?" Spike nods and pulls out a cell phone. "Alright here is my deal. You three will walk out of here, on my personal word of honor, when that vampire leaves the orphanage. You'll have a one hour grace period, then I start hunting you. Do we have a deal?"

"You've got a deal man. Just let me say this, next time we meet, I will kill you and suck you dry." Spike tells Steve.

"The feeling is mutual, pup."

Everyone waits in silence for close to ten minutes. Xander finally calls back on the radio. "Steve, this is Xander we are at the orphanage. We have the vampires in sight, there are four of them and they have the children and social workers in the main living area. One of them has a plastique vest with a deadman's switch. The bomb guy is standing in the middle of the children." Xander reports.

"Alright Spike, make your call." Steve tells him.

Spike opens his cell phone and dials a pre-programmed number. The vampire at the other end picks up its phone. "Spike is that you?" It asks.

"Yes, it's me, you dolt. Who else would be calling?" Spike replies. "You are to leave the orphanage immediately. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT harm any of the hostages."

"But Spike, we're hungry." The vampire complains.

"You can eat later. Now go." Spike orders. As Spike closes up his cell phone. He starts towards the door. Steve's sword goes to his neck. He doesn't go any further. "Ah, I think that I'll just stay right here, until you tell me to go." Angelus just glares at Buffy. Drusilla is softly humming.

Steve reaches for his radio, "Xander, have the vampires left the orphanage?

"Yes they have. We are moving in to check on the kids right now." Xander replies.

"Have Casey take out the four vampires, as soon as they're clear of the orphanage."

Spike can't believe what he has just heard. "Man you are one ruthless Son of a Bitch. You're almost as ruthless as a vampire. I like that in a man." Spike tells Steve with a smile.

Steve just gives him an evil grin. "Don't worry Spike, the only thing keeping you three undead is those children. Anything happens to them and you all die."

"Oh, I don't doubt it for a minute, mate." Spike replies.

Just then Xander radios in. "Steve, Casey just blew up all four vampires. No one is hurt. The children and the social workers are safe. Repeat, the children and social workers are safe."

"I read you Xander. Tell Casey and rest we'll meet back at my place." Steve tells him. He turns to Spike. "I gave you my word, you can leave. You have one hour, better make it good vampire. Because I'm coming after your head."

"Right mate, I'll be seeing you." Spike cheerfully replies, as he, Angelus and Drusilla head out of the gym.

As they reach the exit, Drusilla pulls back. "Spike darling, the exit is spell warded against vampires. If we touch it or try to cross it, we'll be destroyed."

Spike angrily turns to Steve. "You Bastard, you Son of a Bitch. Let us out of here!!" Spike yells out.

Steve smiles an evil grin. The same grin is shared by everyone in the gym, but the vampires. "I said I'd let you go. I never said that I would remove the wards on the doors. You now have fifty eight minutes and counting." Steve tells them.

Spike grabs Angelus and smacks him across the face. "Get out of it Angelus, we have to get out of here. Is there another way out of this place?"

Angelus shakes his head, clearing his foggy mind. "Yeah, a sewer opening, no one knows about, in the equipment storage room. It's under the basketball cage. Let's go." They make their way to the equipment room and enter the sewer.

Steve turns to his friends, "They have fifty minutes left." Steve tells them. They understand that I had to let them go. Innocent children couldn't be sacrificed. If we had let the children die, then there would have been no difference between them and the vampires. There would always be another day to catch those three.

*****

Part 31 - Aftermath
(Vampire Massacres Don't Come With Maid Service)

Steve, Buffy, Giles and Frank survey the damage done to the gym. It is a little extensive. Parts of the floor have be charred, some of the walls have smoke damage. And there are large piles of vampire dust all over it. Steve turns to Giles, looking at the dust on the floor. "Giles, can this much vampire dust be harmful to humans?"

"Mr. St. Wolf, I don't think that there has been this much vampire dust in one spot ever. I just don't know."

"Okay," Steve reaches for his cell phone and dials an old acquaintance.

The phone is picked up after three rings at the other end. "Garibaldi here." The voice on the other end says.

"Jack, Steve St. Wolf here. I need a favor. Do you still own a lead paint abatement company?"

"Steve how are you? And yes, I still own Garibaldi Abatement. What's up?" Jack asks.

"Listen Jack, you remember those things that killed your daughter, Gina?"

"You mean the vampires that no one believed me about, but you and my wife, Rita? Yeah, I still have nightmares about it. Why do you ask?" Jack replies.

Steve goes into what happened at the gym. And his concern about the large amount of dust being hazardous to anyone. After Steve finishes his conversation, Jack is silent for a moment. Then Steve hears sobs on the phone. Jack quickly gets control of himself.

"Steve, don't worry about the cost. I'll pay for everything in memory of Gina. My cousin Frankie will be coming as well to make any repairs that need doing to that gym. Thank you for calling me. I'll have a crew out there tomorrow morning, around ten o'clock. Tell your friends thank you from me and God bless."

"Thanks Jack, give Rita and Carla my regards and good night."

"Good night, Steve, I'll see you in the morning." Jack tells Steve as he hangs up his phone.

Steve turns to his friends, and explains. "Jack Garibaldi was attacked by vampires about a year ago. He lost his oldest daughter Gina in the attack. He wanted to me to say thank you for doing this." Steve explains. Everyone feels a lump in their throats. People like Jack were worth fighting for, and everyone of them knew it.

Garibaldi Residence - East Oakland

Jack puts down the phone and starts to openly cry. His wife Rita, hears him from the living room.

"Jack, what's wrong, honey?" His wife asks.

"Remember Mr. St. Wolf?" Rita nods, thinking back to the leader of the mercenaries who had rescued their daughter Carla and a group of her friends, from a group of White Slavers in Libya. Jack explains what had just occurred in Sunnydale and the request that Steve had made. Rita sits back and crosses herself and offers a quick prayer of thanks to God. She then reaches for the phone and calls her cousin Frankie and explains the situation. He will be there in the early afternoon with a crew to do the repair work. Gina was his god daughter and he felt the pain of her death as much as his cousin and her husband.

Rita then calls Father O'Brien. She tells him about what happened in Sunnydale and what her husband was planning on doing in the morning. He immediately asks to join in the cleanup. He would let Father Ricci handle the Sunday Masses. He would meet Jack by his office at 7:00 am.

Jack then calls his chief supervisor, a man named Albert Mendoza. He tells Mendoza that the request is from Steve St. Wolf. After Mendoza finishes talking to his boss, he pulls out his phone book and calls the men he needs. Some of the men balk at having to work on Sunday, but when told who had asked for the help, they immediately plan on going.

*****

The Sewers

Angelus, Spike and Drusilla are running for their undead lives in the sewers. They can't believe that Buffy and her allies had managed to destroy most of Sunnydale's vampires in one trap. But the worst part was who had helped Buffy. How the hell did she find the guy who had actually killed Christ? Let alone get him to help her. It must be her new boyfriend, that Wanderer guy. That bastard must have set up this trap and gotten the extra muscle. And who the hell still uses swords these days?

They make their way to the garage that houses Spike's car. He checks his watch. They still had twenty minutes left of their grace period and four hours of darkness. Angelus is sulking in the back seat.

"Cheer up Angelus old man," Spike tells him. "We got away. And now we're getting out of town, while the getting's good. We'll be back. Bigger, stronger and ready next time."

Angelus just growls. He can't stand it being beaten by that little girl. He should have killed her when he had the chance. But no, he had to play games. Now he was running from her and her friends, and he doesn't like it one bit.

Spike checks his get-a-way funds and turns to Angelus, "How does Chicago or New York sound to you?" He asks.

"Just get us out of town Spike, before Buffy and her friends find us." Angelus replies as their car leaves Sunnydale. "I want to start rebuilding our numbers as soon as possible. And then, I want to come back and destroy the Slayer."

*****

Sunnydale H.S. Gym

Steve checks his watch, the grace period is up. He turns to Buffy, "Buffy, can you locate those three?"

"No Steve, I felt them pulling away really fast. I think they grabbed a car and vamoosed out of town."

Steve takes a deep breathe and lets it out in a sigh. "Okay everybody that's it for tonight. Let's get back to my place and then you'll go to the motel to get some rest." Steve looks to Aaron, still standing on the track. "Aaron, can you give this place a heavy blessing before we leave?"

"But of course. Give me a moment to prepare." Aaron tells Steve. Then he begins the blessing. Those Immortals who are Catholics, kneel, holding their swords in front of them, point down on the ground.

As Aaron finishes, Willow steps forward and offers a Talmudic prayer for the safety of the living. Aaron smiles and gives her a nod as he tells her. "It's always a good idea to cover all your bases."

After the prayers, everybody leaves the gym.

*****

St. Wolf Residence

Pop! Goes the champagne bottle. Steve had broken open a couple of bottles of 1984 Don Perigon Champagne when they came back to the house to celebrate their victory. Everyone has a glass for the toast.

"To Victory." Steve lifts his glass. Everyone takes a drink.

Giles is next, "To a battle that will go done in Watcher history." Joe Dawson adds, "and in the watcher chronicles."

Robert McCallister is last, "To friends old and new, new beginnings and to hope for the future."

Everyone drinks to that.

After the toasts are done Steve asks if any one feels up to a barbeque tomorrow to really celebrate. Everyone agrees. So, Steve sends everybody to the motel. Frank, the motel guy, is waiting for them with enough rooms for everybody. Mulder, Scully, Aaron, Robert and Frank stay at the house with him. As everyone goes, Buffy and Steve stand by the door to wish everyone a good night. All of the Immortals congratulate Buffy on a battle well fought and won. Buffy's friends are the last to go.

Steve takes Buffy on the side and tells her, "Buffy, I want you and your friends to help with the barbeque. This way you stay away from the school tomorrow. I don't want you or your friends to be associated with what happened there. I'll see you all here at 9:00 am."

"I understand, Steve. We won't show up, but is it alright to call and check up with you?"

"Yes it is, you have my cell phone number, use it."

As Buffy and her friends leave. Steve has a feeling that the quiet wouldn't last too long in this town. He turns to his house guests. Friends, old and new, and bids them a good night.

*****

Epilogue I - Sunnydale H.S. Gym - 9:00 am The Next Day
(Your Momma Doesn't Slay Here, So Clean Up Your Messes)

Everyone wakes up early the next morning. Steve calls Giles up and he confirms that everyone will meet by the school in about twenty minutes. Originally Steve thought of taking only Frank and Aaron, but Mulder, Scully and Robert decide to go as well. Buffy and her friends come by then and Steve gives her his credit card and she goes with Willow, Oz and Xander to get the barbeque stuff. Jenny, Cordelia and Amy stay behind to get everything started.

Jack Garibaldi and his crew is already waiting by the school. Frank and Steve recognize most of the men present. They were the fathers, brothers and uncles of some of the girls they had rescued in Libya. Security on this work site would be tight, and none of these men would talk. Aaron notices the priest and goes to talk to him.

Steve reaches Jack and shakes his hand and introduces him to Mulder, Scully Robert and Giles. He is glad to see Frank and Steve again. He calls over his supervisor, Albert Mendoza, and Steve explains what the dust was. Albert upon hearing what the dust was, calls over an older man. He introduces Steve's group to Enrico Vasquez, a mystic, from Albert's home village in Mexico.

Steve explains to Albert and Enrico what happened the previous night. And after Enrico gets over the shock of what the dust is, Albert orders his men to done the self contained breathing equipment and Haz-Mat Suits. Enrico's knowledge of folklore is extensive and agrees with Albert's precautions for his men and with Steve's plan to dispose of the dust in smaller amounts, rather than disposing of it as a single load.

The idea is simple. They would use the HEPA filter equipped vacuum cleaners, fill them up completely and dispose of them whole in drums. The Haz-Mat Suits would be disposed of, as well. The drums would be labeled a different hazardous material and so each would go to a different dump.

"Jack that's going to be expensive as hell. At least let me pay you for half the cost of this clean up, and the other expenses." Steve tells him.

"Don't worry about the cost, Steve. I'm doing this for my little girl, Gina. Those things took her away from my family. This is my way of paying them back."

Albert and Enrico come back from where the crew is donning their equipment. Albert tells Steve. "Senor Garibaldi, Enrico and I have informed the men what the dust is. None of the men wish any payment for their work today. Those ‘things' have been preying on our people for generations, and all of us have lost family to them." He then turns to Frank and Steve. "Senors, when I last met you, I thanked you for bringing back my daughters to me. And I, and many of those men over there have prayed for your safety after that. Today, I and these men thank you again for this noble deed."

Needless to say Steve and everyone of his friends have lumps in their respective throats.

The cleanup takes about three hours to complete. Aaron and Father O'Brien have blessed each barrel as it is brought out and sealed it with holy seals. The barrel is then put into hazardous disposal unit which in turn is sealed and welded shut. After the crew leaves the work site, they inspect it and approve of the work done.

As the crew files out the door, each one gives their thanks. Giles is speechless. He had never thought that normal people would appreciate the work that he did. But, as each man shakes his hand and gives thanks, he feels a little prouder. The last man to leave is Albert. Steve reaches into his back pocket and gives him an envelope and tells him. "This is for the men and their families."

He looks into the envelope and sees a large number of hundred dollar bills. He hands the envelope back to Steve. "We can't take this. The work done here today was God's work."

Father O'Brien steps forward, "Albert, take the money and share it with your friends. Take your families out tonight and lift a glass to the men and women who fought here last night and to the memory of those who were lost."

Albert nods his head. "Si, Father, it will be done as you say. Gracias Senor, I and my men thank you again." And walks away. The crew picks up all of the remaining equipment and stores it in the truck taking the six barrels of dust for disposal.

Jack's cousin Frankie arrives just then with his crew. Jack introduces him. After handshakes all the way around, he goes into gym to access the damage. He comes out a little while later and gives his assessment.

"You guys did a number in there, but most of it is superficial. The floor will have to be sanded down and re-varnished in spots. Certain spots, that have bubbled up will have to be replaced, but that's all do-able. The walls will have to be cleaned and repainted. The entire job will take about four hours. " Frankie explains.

"Go ahead," Steve tells him. "Whatever it costs, just get the gym ready for tomorrow."

"Don't worry about cost, it's on me and Jack. Gina was my god daughter, I owe you for putting paid to those things."

Buffy calls Steve at one o'clock to see how the work is progressing. He gives her a quick run down and she's surprised at how quickly things are getting done.

"Buffy how are the preparations going for the party?"

"Oh, everything is going fine. Everybody is here already, and helping. Xander and Casey are cooking on the grill out back. And Kyra, Katherine, Nick and Cara baking in the kitchen. Everything should be ready by the time you get back here."

"Good, we'll see you in about two to three hours." Steve replies and hang up.

Two and half hours later, the work is completed and as Frankie and his crew prepare to leave, Steve hands him another envelope. He looks inside and offers it back. Steve tells him. "Look, split this among your crew, as a bonus, for a job well done. They did excellent work."

Frankie just grins, and hands the envelope to his supervisor and tells him, "Carmine, split this among the men, and take a share for yourself. It's your bonus, for a job well done."

Carmine looks into the envelope and his weathered face splits into a grin. "Thanks boss." He turns to Steve. "And thank you, sir, for the bonus." Carmine then heads back to the crew, who have just finished putting away their tools and equipment and starts to count out equal shares, giving each man their share before taking his. The crew, from what Steve sees, likes the bonus.

Jack turns to Steve, "So Steve, what are your plans now?"

"Simple Jack, I'm having a party at my house, want to come. Frankie and Father O'Brien are invited as well."

"Sorry Steve, I've got an early meeting in the morning. I'll have to take a rain check." Frankie explains.

Jack and Father O'Brien also back off. They want to make sure nothing happens to the drums containing the vampire dust. But they do request that Steve extend their thanks to the rest of the group.

*****

Epilogue 2 - Party Time

As Steve parks his car, he can hear the party going already in the large backyard behind the house. Everyone is there. Casey and Xander were handling the barbeque. Everyone was just sitting around enjoying themselves and the food. The day was sunny and warm, just made for this party. Buffy was moving around, acting as the hostess, making sure there was plenty of food and drink to go around.

As Steve makes his way through the crowd, Buffy comes around and gives him a hug and a kiss. As she's hanging from Steve's neck, she tells him, "Steve, I haven't felt this happy in two years. Thanks for everything." Then she kisses him again.

As Steve gazes into her eyes, he suddenly feels a little self conscience. Everybody is staring at them. Robert and Aaron are just standing there grinning from ear to ear. < If they break into the wedding march, I will do them bodily harm. >

The rest of the party is going great, people are mingling and enjoying themselves. The atmosphere is relaxed and the pressure from the last couple of days is gone. Steve notices Giles, Jenny and Joe Dawson approaching him.

"Buffy, Steve," Giles begins. "Mr. Dawson has just offered Jenny and me the job of being your watchers."

"You mean for Buffy, don't you?" Steve asks.

"No, for the both of you. If you should ever split up, Jenny and I would become Buffy's exclusive watchers." Giles tells Steve.

Steve turns to Joe. "Joe, is this your way of getting even with me for the last three watchers you assigned to me?"

"You bet, your ass, it is." Joe gives Steve an evil grin, knowing that he finally has him.

"Joe if I didn't like your music so much, I'd be tempted to tell you what I thought of that idea."

"Speaking of music," Duncan begins, handing Joe his guitar, "here's your guitar Joe, how's about a little blues to celebrate the occasion?"

Joe begins to sing a slow, bluesy toon just right for slow dancing.

Steve turns to Buffy and they begin to slow dance to the music. Everyone who has a partner begins to dance. Those who don't just stand there listing to the music.

Steve looks down into Buffy's eyes and drinks them in. She tilts her head to the side and we kiss. The party goes on for hours, but they hardly notice the time. Before long, Steve's bidding goodbye to all his guests and quite a few neighbors who came when they heard Joe's singing.

As Buffy leaves with her friends, she pulls Steve to the side. "Steve, I'm glad I met you, but we have to take this slowly. I've just lost Angel, and I don't want to be hurt again, so soon." She tells him.

Steve smiles as he takes her into his arms. "Buffy, we're Immortal, we have all the time in the world. Take all that you need."

As she turns to go, Steve asks one final question, "Buffy, before you leave, have you decided whether or not you want me to teach you?"

She walks back to him and whispers in his ear, "Of course I want you to teach me. How else am I going to get to know you better."

Steve smiles as she leaves. Frank walks up to him. "That's some girl Steve. Think you can handle her?"

"Oh, I think I can. But let's see what the future holds." Steve replies with a smile.

As Frank and Steve start to clean up the mess. Mulder, Scully, Aaron and Robert join in. Steve turns to them. "You don't have to do this. Frank and I are more than capable of cleaning up here."

Aaron turns to Steve and says, "Steve, none here are strangers to work. And as the saying goes, ‘Many hands make work short'."

The back yard is cleaned in a few minutes, and all of the garbage is put out for pick up the next morning.

Steve turns to Mulder and Scully, "You know Mulder, I want to be there when you tell that little pissant principal off tomorrow."

Mulder smiles an evil grin, "Yeah, that's going to be real fun."

*****

Epilogue 3 - The Principal's Office
(Snyder Gets His)

Mulder and Scully, accompanied by Frank and Steve walk calmly into Snyder's office. As they walk up to Snyder's secretary, Mulder asks. "Is Snyder in?"

The woman smiles and asks. "Yes sir, he is. Do you have an appointment?"

Mulder grins as he walks past her. "No."

The woman reaches for the phone to warn Snyder, but is stopped by Scully flashing her badge. "FBI. Snyder is expecting us." The secretary quiets down and says nothing as they pass her.

Steve and Frank just grin and follow Scully inside. Snyder's voice could be heard coming out of his office.

"I don't care who the hell you people are. You can not destroy my gym and get away with it." Snyder angrily tells Mulder as Scully, Frank and Steve walk into the room. Mulder calmly sits down and Snyder can't stand it. No one treats him like a nothing in his own office. "I will call your superiors and have you fired."

Mulder grins, "What damage are you talking about, Snyder."

A pissed off Snyder looks at Mulder and tells him. "You people ruined my gym. I stopped by on Sunday morning to see what happened, and I found a war zone. Now, I don't care how you do it or how much it costs, but I want my gym back."

Mulder calmly gets up and tells Snyder. "Let's go see this damage that you're talking about."

"Very well then." Snyder testily replies.

As the group walks over to the gym, Buffy comes around the corner, late for class. Snyder immediately picks up on this and yells. "Summers, you have detention for the next week for being lat. . .Umph."

Before Snyder can finish, Scully slams him up against the wall and tells him, in a low, threatening voice. "Don't you DARE to take out your bad temper on her. If you have a problem with us, then you take it up with us. Not your students, not your subordinates, US. Or aren't you man enough?"

Snyder looks away from Scully's piercing glare and sputters. Any type of reply is lost as Snyder attempts to regain his composure, but before he can regain it or reply, Scully dumps him on the ground. He gets up from where Scully dumps him and straightens up his suit. He glares at Scully and starts to say something, but Mulder, Steve and Frank immediately back her up. Snyder does the only thing he can do. He shuts up. Snyder, knowing that he is outclassed, leads them to the gym. As he enters, he quietly feels a sense of power over these four people. But as his eyes scan the room, he sputters in disbelief. "How? This place was a disaster. No one could have fixed it up in less than twenty four hours." Snyder cries out in anguish, his power base gone. He turns to the foursome and demands. "How'd you do it? How did you get this place repaired so quickly?"

Mulder just grins as he tells Snyder. "Repaired what damage? This place looks the same as when we were standing here on Saturday."

"This place was practically destroyed on Sunday morning. No one could have fixed all this up in that short a time. No government agency would have bothered to fix the damage that quickly. I demand to know who you people are?!"

Steve easily pushes himself away from the wall and stands in front of Snyder. "Mr. Snyder, when you think about all of the intelligence agencies in the United States, the FBI, CIA, NSA, as a family. Think of us as the uncle no one wants to talk about."

Snyder takes a deep gulp and asks. "What do you want from me?"

"Simply this: You never saw us, heard of us or know what we look like. Am I clear?" Steve asks.

"Crystal clear. What does Summers and her friends to do with you?"

"The helped us. What they did or helped with is none of your business. Anything else?"

"No, that's enough. I'll lay off them." < For now. >

"That's good to know." Steve replies as they leave Snyder standing there, shaking in suppressed anger.

As they leave the High School, Mulder and Scully head to their rental and say good bye to Steve and Frank. As they watch Mulder and Scully leave, Steve turns to Frank, "You know, this was kinda fun. Think we should do it every year?"

"What, hunt down a large number of vampires?"

"No, scare the hell out of Snyder." Steve replies with a laugh.

"We should." Frank agrees with an evil gleam in his eye.

The End

Back

Home