Kitty Alex (ex_kitty_al) wrote in bloodclaim,
Kitty Alex

Phases ~ If I Were Souled

Title: Phases
Series: If I Were Souled
Rating: R
Author: kitty_alex
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairings: Spike/Xander
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot. I bend to Joss Whedon's will and try my best not to murder his characters.
Series Summary: Spike has settled into Sunnydale and has found a place for himself with Xander. Only problem is the Anointed One has unknowingly created a major road block for them.
Chapter Summary: There's a werewolf in town. Buffy and the gang have to deal with it while Xander has to deal with his own vampire problems.
Warnings: AU
Notes: Then I'd like to thank Buffyworld for episode guides. Sorry for taking so long. Some bad things happened which made me kind of put this one on the wayside. I'm going to try and update it at least once a month, but no promises. Unbetaed, so go easy on it.
Previous Chapters: You can find previous chapters here

Opening Credits

“Hey, Oz!” Xander said walking up to him.

Oz shrugged hey back. Since the episode with the Judge, Xander had been talking to him more often. It was probably because of Willow. Xander could probably tell he had a crush on her since he had been spending more time with her. Both Jesse and Xander had been very supportive, encouraging Oz to go for it with Willow. It was kind of nice having guy friends to talk to and do well, guy things.

“Hitting on Oz too?” Larry said. “You don’t have any boundaries, do you Harris?”

Xander narrowed his eyes at Larry. Larry was the school bully. He was the jock that everyone feared. He sexually harassed all the girls and had de-pantsed most of the guys. His favorite target happened to be Xander. If he wasn’t pushing Xander up against lockers, he was attempting to stuff him in one.

“Did you come up with that on your own or did you threaten someone to come up with it for you?” Oz asked seriously.

Larry glowered at him, but walked off to go harass some freshman girl.

“So,” Xander said to Oz. “How was the date with Willow? Do you remember what you saw?”

“It was good. And movies are like-”

“You spent the entire looking at Willow, didn’t you?”


“Still no kissing?”


“Is it because of me and Jesse?”

Oz looked taken aback, “No, you guys are great. It has nothing to do with either of you. I know you have nothing to do with it. It’s just I want it to be all us.”

“Yeah, I get you,” Xander said with a sigh.

“Problems with Will?”

“Well, when he isn’t sleeping in our basement, he’s off spending all his time in cemeteries and the sewers.”

“So, he’s acting like a vampire.”

“No, well yeah, I guess. He still is on the whole ‘I might be evil so I’m punishing myself in the worst possible way’ kick. He is trying so hard to prove he’s good, that-”

“Well, maybe when he’s done punishing himself, he’ll come back.”

“But he shouldn’t be punishing himself. I just want to be there for him, but he won’t let me in the door.”

“Give him time. You can’t force him to open up to you. If he really loves you, he’ll come to you.”

“You’re cool with the whole advice thing.”

“Oh, I’m good like that. I just play a stoned high school senior on tv.”

Cordelia blushed slightly. She shouldn’t be acting like this. She had known him for what seemed like forever. She had been over him for awhile now, but still, being in the car alone with him made her feel weak. She looked over him; his sandy blonde hair was falling over his soft blue eyes. He looked tired, like he just needed to get away from it all. If he let her, she could be his escape.

“I’m just worried about what Xander will think of the real me. I’m not as proper as when I was first turned. I’ve really changed from the William that sat at his father’s gravestone writing poetry in the darkness. I’ll never be him again, but I want to be him. Does that make any sense?”

Cordelia sighed and again she was shoved aside for the eternal loser, Alexander Harris. She never got his attraction to him. There wasn’t anything special about him, but she cared too much about Will to just push him away. She had missed him terribly and any time she got him to herself, she treasured it.

“It does. Like I wish I could go back to being mega popular girl who doesn’t know a thing about vampires, but look at me now. I’m hanging out with losers, I’m dating someone I swore I would never ever date, and I carry around a wooden stake in my purse. But, you don’t see me avoiding Jesse. Well, I kind of do, but we make out all the time so it makes up for everything.”

“Are you a better person for it?”

“I think so. I think I’m a tiny bit less shallow. As corny as this sounds, all things happen for a reason. If you’re not the same William Pratt, maybe there’s a reason for it. Maybe the new William Pratt has something to offer the world that the old one didn’t.”

“Do you really think I’m good?”

“You’re sitting in my car and you’re not yet dust. I have to say, I think you’re completely good.”

Will offered her a small smile and opened his mouth say thanks, but his eyes darkened and shifted to yellow.

“Did you hear that?”

“You’re the vampire with the super hearing, you tell me.”

Will let out a small growl, “Wolf.”

“There are no wolves in- AHHHHHH!”

Cordelia screamed as a claw burst through the roof of the car. She fumbled with the keys and Will vamped out. He sunk his teeth into the wolf’s arm. The wolf howled in pain and jumped off the roof. Cordelia finally got the car started and drove off ignoring all speed limits.

Buffy jumped down from the car roof and approached Cordelia. She had called all of them here early because she had been attacked. She was clinging tightly to Jesse, who was comforting her. Oz and Willow were there, they seemed to be acting awkward towards each other. Xander was standing off to the side. He seemed oddly lonely with his hands shoved in his pockets.

“So, what’s the verdict?” Xander asked her.

“If I had a good guess, I would say werewolf. But, you know, you can’t be too sure with these things. Also, why is there blood on the seats?”

“Oh-” Cordelia said raising her head from Jesse’s comforting shoulder. “Did I say I was alone? I meant I was with a friend. My friend bit- uh, attacked the werewolf’s arm.”

“Your friend?” Xander seemed alarmed. “Will is your only friend who bites first, screams later. You’ve seen him? Why haven’t you told me?”

“He’s still really confused. You try being a vampire with part of a human soul in you, then your sire loses his soul and then the computer teacher threatens to curse you. Damn it; forget I said he was still worrying about that, because I promised not to tell.”

“If you talk to him again, can you just tell him I miss him?”

Cordelia nodded and gave him a half-smile. It sort of threw him.

“Miss Calendar said she was sorry,” Willow protested. “He should just forgive her. She wants to make it better.”

“She knew,” Buffy protested. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s just like being involved. If she knew Angelus didn’t have his soul, then she should have told us instead of hoping for the best. Also with Will, she was just so desperate to make things up to her uncle, she attacked him blindly. How can I trust her?”

“Her uncle just died-”

“And it’s their own fault. How can I feel sorry for them when-”

She cut herself off when she saw Giles approaching with a newspaper in hand. Giles had been feeling the most betrayed. Ms. Calendar had gotten upset with him over his wild life before he became a watcher. After the discovery Willow’s investigation and some illegal hacking, led to the discovery of a long list charges, but as Giles pointed out, he had been cleared of all charges and was a better man because of it. But, if the list was still on record and the past couldn’t be erased. But still, it was hypocritical to be angry at him when she had hid things herself. Also, it wasn’t her past she was hiding from Giles, not entirely; it was a part of herself that she had hidden from him. Giles had trusted her enough to be ‘intimate’ with her and she had let him down.

“Hello,” Giles said in an overly cheery voice. “Did you read the papers? There have been massive amounts of animal mutilations!”

“And that’s a good thing?” Jesse questioned.

“Oh, well, not really a good thing. But it will serve as a nice distraction. Also, no humans were harmed, so that could be counted as a good thing if we looked at the silver lining.”

“But we don’t have to worry,” Xander said. “Next month we’ll grab our hunting gear and track us some werewolf.”

“You’re forgetting about tomorrow’s full moon,” Willow said.

“Silly Willow. There can’t be more than one full moon.”

“And you need to pay more attention in class,” Willow chided him. “If you did, you’d be able to track the moon phases and would know that last night was the night before the full moon.”

“Maybe the werewolf saw a picture of a full moon. That’s how it works in the movies,” Jesse suggested helpfully.

“I’m dating a geek,” Cordelia whined. “Why am I dating a geek?”

Buffy ignored Jesse and Cordelia, “Looks like we have some research to do.”

“Research?” Giles asked hopefully. “Yes! I will get right on that!”

Giles hurried away in a fog, muttering to himself what books he should pull for research.

“That poor, poor man,” Xander said shaking his head. “Is it just me or does overly cheerful Giles give you the wiggins?”

“Not just you,” Buffy said.

Xander tried hard to listen to their gym teacher, but he really couldn’t get his mind off Will. He went to see Cordelia! Cordelia of all people! Alright, Xander admitted that she wasn’t so bad and she could be kind of cool when she wanted to be, but Cordelia wasn’t him. Will should be talking to him.

“Earth to Xander,” Willow said waving her hand in front.

“Huh? Wha?”

“The coach said to get into groups. We’re all paired off. You’re stuck with Larry.”

“Well thanks; it’s good to know I have friends I can rely on.”

“Don’t act like that. If Jesse had the same gym as us, I’m sure he’d be happy to be your partner.”

Xander sighed and made his way down the bleachers towards Larry. This was promising to be a fun gym class. He should really thank his friends for pairing off and leaving him with Larry, who was now eyeing Xander like he was a Chocolate Hurricane candy bar. Xander could only wonder what kind of torture Larry had in store for him today.

“So, Harris,” Larry said taking off his sweatshirt and tossing it aside. “What luck us getting partnered up together.”

“Yeah, what- Hey, what happened to your arm?”

“I was attacked by a dog. Does it really matter?”

“Yeah, well, you’re hurt. Did they catch the dog?”

“No, it just ran off. It’s really nothing,” Larry muttered. “I’ve had much worse.”

“Me too,” Oz said jumping in to ease the tension, Xander silently thanked him. “My cousin, Jordy, attacked me after I tickled him. I woke up with cuts I didn’t even notice until this morning.”

Larry shook his head, “Come on, Harris. We’re partners. Just keep your hands to yourself.”

“Excuse me?” Xander asked sharply.

“You heard me,” Larry pinched his ass for emphasis.

Xander saw red. He balled up his fist and threw all his weight into a punch aimed for Larry. The next thing Xander knew he was sprawled on the ground with his nose bleeding. He heard the coach’s whistle blowing and people whispering around him.

“Mr. Blaisdell, Principal’s office NOW!”

“But he hit me first!” Larry exclaimed.

“Yeah, that’s what you always say. Go see Principal Snyder before I call him down here.”

Larry grumbled and glared at Xander as he left the gym.

“Then everyone cheered,” Cordelia said. “And that is the story of how Xander Harris became less like a woman.”

They were all gathered around the table in the library while Giles dug around in the back for some books. Since Jesse didn’t have gym with them, Cordelia had launched into the story about how Xander had punched Larry, even though he had ultimately been knocked to the ground, a fact that she pointed out several times.

“Don’t you mean a man?” Xander asked.

“No, I mean less like a woman, weren’t you listening?”

“My mistake.” Xander felt his nose, “It’s not broken, I think.”

“That must have been so cool!” Jesse said in awe.

“My nose disagrees with you.”

Willow slapped Jesse’s arm, “Don’t encourage him! Xander where did you learn to fight? You’re not supposed to be learning to fight. You’re supposed to be letting Buffy do all the work. She’s the Slayer!”

“Why don’t we just pack me up like one of those little mules and I can carry around all your books too. Oh, then I can do your homework because I’m the Slayer.” Buffy said, clearly annoyed. “If Xander wants to help with the slayage, that’s fine by me. Less work for me to do. Then if he wants to beat up Larry Blaisdell, who am I to stop him?”

“BUFFY!” Willow explained wide-eyed. “You don’t mean that!”

“Of course I do. Xander, I give you permission to kick demon ass.”

“How kind of you,” Xander said with a roll of his eyes. “I think I’ll just stick on the sidelines until I get super strength or can take a punch without flying fifty feet.”

“Who was punched fifty feet? Did the werewolf strike?” Giles asked coming out of the back room with a few dozen books. “My research does indicate-”

“No,” Cordelia interrupted. “Xander just punched Larry and got him in trouble for something he started. I am very proud of him. He might become less of a girl yet.”

“I thought I was less of a woman?” Xander asked indignantly. “That came out wrong.”

“If you lot are done, I would like to explain a bit about werewolves,” Giles huffed.

“Hairy thing, the darkest nature of man, acts on pure instinct and has no remorse about killing,” Jesse checked off the list describing werewolves. “And they come out three times a month instead of the usual once a month. I wonder if I could get movie right. I see the opening credits. A lone girl is walking, she looks behind her, and someone is following her. The man chases her; they turn the corner and RAWR! The woman is a werewolf and she eats him alive.”

“I’d pay to see that,” Xander remarked.

“No matter how grossly disturbing Jesse’s statement may be; he is completely accurate about werewolves.”

“See?” Jesse grinned. “You can learn everything to need to know about the supernatural from horror movies.”

“Do we all get our own guns filled with silver bullets? Are silver bullets hard to come by?” Xander asked excitedly.

“XANDER!” Willow exclaimed. “They’re human! No shooty the humans, right Giles?”

Willow pouted at Giles and he took off his glasses to polish them.

“Yes, I do believe Willow is right. Buffy and I will go hunt the werewolf. You four please stay out of it. We wouldn’t want a pack of werewolves running about Sunnydale.”

Jesse’s eyes lit up, “That would be so incredibly awesome.”

“We could spend all night howling at the moon and feasting on virgins,” Xander added.

“Take me with you?” Cordelia pleaded. “I don’t want to be left with these dorks.”

“Sorry, but this is a one woman job,” Buffy said firmly.

“Maybe we should have let Cordelia come instead,” Buffy said as her boot landed in another pile of what she hoped was mud.

“It is your scared duty to-”

“I’m a vampire slayer, not a werewolf slayer. If they wanted me to go after demons in general they should just called me a demon slayer.”

“I doubt that was as catchy.”

“Be careful you don’t break a funny bone, Giles.”

Buffy stepped into a clearing where a net was dangling from a tree. She stepped closer and inspected the contents of the net. Buffy couldn’t hold back a giggle as she saw it was Will.

“I think we should call Xander, tell him we captured his missing boyfriend.”

“Oh, ha. I split a side laughing at that one. Get me down. This is embarrassing.”

“What are you doing out here all by your lonesome?”

“Wasn’t alone,” Will said quickly. “Besides, we were hunting werewolves.”

“We? Who’s we?”

“None of your damn business.”

“Well, we won’t get you down then,” Giles said matter-of-factly.

Will let out a scream as the net gave way under him. Buffy glared at the man who cut him down. The man was dressed completely in brown leather with graying brown hair. He looked disappointed as Will rose out of the trap and stalked off.

“Why did you do that!?” Buffy yelled at him.

“I’m not interested in vampires,” the man said. “My name is Cain. I think I just saved your life from that blood sucking fiend.”

“We needed info from that blood sucking fiend.”

“The only thing vampires are good for are hunting, but they’re easy. I’m after big game. Now why don’t you and your lover go find a different part to be alone in.”

“What?” Giles asked completely in shock.

“Giles and me? Ew! We’re not here to do that! We’re hunting werewolves.”

Cain laughed, “Maybe you should go home and play with your dollies. Leave the hunting to the men folk. Am I right or am I right?” He called to Giles.

“I believe you’re wrong. Buffy is quite capable of-”

Cain pulled out a necklace of teeth, “See these? Each one is from a werewolf I’ve killed. I’ve got more experience than you. So, just go home and bake something.”

“I kill demons on a weekly bias!” Buffy huffed.

“Look sweetheart, demons are one thing, but what about a werewolf?”

“No, I’ve never faced off against a werewolf, but I think I’m perfectly capable of going against one.”

“And what are you going to kill them with? Those are tranquilizer guns you’ve got if you didn’t notice.”

“Werewolves are humans! We can’t just go around killing them!”

Were humans,” Cain corrected. “They’re just like vampires, once bitten, they turn into monsters. The only thing monsters are good for are hunting and selling.”

“You sell werewolves?” Buffy gasped.

“Skin them first, but if you don’t mind, I need to get on my way. Werewolves don’t catch themselves, you know.”

Cain walked off leaving Buffy and Giles alone in the forest. Well, they thought they were alone. They didn’t know that the next clearing over held two arguing vampires that just so happened to be Spike and Will.

“Bloody Hell!” Spike said between snickers. “I ain’t ever seen anything so bloody hilarious!”

Will glared at him, “I’m glad you enjoyed it. Remind me why I helped you heal again?”

“For puppies and Christmas, your own humanity, oh, plus you know you can take out a werewolf by your wee little self.”

“Glad I have you here to remind me about that last bit,” Will said resisting rolling his eyes. “But thanks to the bumbling hunter and the slayer, we lost it. Now where are we going to look?”

“Aren’t you supposed to be the smart one?” Spike asked.

“I would think better if you were a bit more supportive.” He bit his lip and thought. “Werewolves are drawn to uh… how to put it politely?”

“They like sex and blokes rubbing their hard aching cocks against-”

“That is not putting it politely!”

“Save your humanity, I know where we’re going.”

“And where’s that?”

“You’ll see,” Spike said with a grin.

“It’s not that I don’t like Jesse. Jesse is great. Really great,” Cordelia rambled to Willow.

Willow glared off into space; somehow she had gotten roped into meeting Jesse and Xander at the Bronze, only to get stood up. They said they had a surprise for her, but when she last called them, they had lost the surprise and was now looking for it. It was probably Oz. They were trying so hard to set her up with Oz.

“But, Will, he’s like mature. Completely mature, he’s a Victorian. It’s just when I’m with him, all he seems to do is talk about Xander. Xander did this, Xander did that. Xander, Xander, Xander! It feels like he doesn’t even see me at times!”

“Yeah, I know how that is,” she said thinking of Jesse and Cordelia.

“Then when I tell him he’s talking about Xander too much, he gives me this look like he’s sorry, but then he goes right back to talking about Xander!”

“YES! And I’m sick of hearing about Cor-uh, Will. Because that’s what I call Will, Corawill, because it’s um, cooler.”

Cordelia gave her a look like she didn’t believe her, but continued on her rant anyway, “It just feels like I’m settling. I’m Cordelia Chase. I don’t settle. I get what I want.”

“I know. Like how they keep trying to set me up with Oz. I like Oz, but I’d like to decide for myself if I want to date him or not!”

Cordelia was about to say something really nasty to Willow about where she could stick her Jesse obsession when the werewolf from the other night came crashing through the skylight and into the Bronze. Both girls screamed as another figure fell through the skylight, seemingly in a fight with the werewolf.

“WILL!” Cordelia shouted.

He looked up only to be knocked back by the werewolf.

“Sorry!” She called out again.

The werewolf attacked again, Will kicked it knocking it backwards. Buffy and Giles rushed in after realizing where the werewolf was headed next. They stared oddly at the scene.

“Can anyone say bad horror movie in the making?” Buffy asked.

“You could, you know, help him,” Cordelia said snidely.

“Oh, right.”

Buffy was about to step forward when the werewolf leapt off Will and broke through the nearest window and into the alley. Will laid on the floor, bleeding from a bite in his shoulder. He inspected and sighed.

“Thank the Powers That Be that there can’t be vampire werewolves.”

Buffy and Cordelia rushed over to Will who seemed to be glaring up at the broken skylight. When Buffy looked, she didn’t see anyone where.

“Are you alright?” Cordelia asked him.

“Just bloody peachy, damn wanker.”

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

“What were you doing tailing that thing?” Buffy asked.

“Wanted to finish it off,” Will said standing up and checking his wound again.

“You can’t kill it!” Willow exclaimed. “It’s a human!”

Will raised his unscarred eyebrow slightly, but didn’t say a word. He just turned around and jumped through the window the werewolf broke, disappearing into the night.

“You have to admit,” Cordelia sighed dreamily. “He has style.”

The next day, Buffy had the displeasure of telling everyone that last night, Giles and she heard on the radio that one of their classmates, Theresa, was killed by an animal attack and both of them thought it was the werewolf’s doing. The Scoobies fell silent, none of them talking as they stared at each other from each of their corners at the table in the library.

“Hey guys,” Oz said walking into the library. “Why the long faces?”

“The werewolf,” Willow pouted. “It-It-It-” She couldn’t even say it.

“It didn’t bite or hurt anyone did it?” Oz asked, his mellow tone was gone replaced by one of worry.

“It bit Will,” Cordelia said. “But he’s already a vampire, so we don’t have to worry about him going all wolfy.”

“Super,” Oz sounding a bit relieved.

“IT KILLED THERESA!” Willow finally exclaimed.

Oz seemed alarmed for a second before melting back into his mellow and indifferent attitude. He leaned against the card catalogue trying to look cool.

“That’s shocking. I’m sorry.”

“It’s my fault,” Buffy said hanging her head. “If I would helped Will sooner, we could have killed it and it wouldn’t have gotten away. Theresa might even still be alive.”

“Buffy, stop blaming yourself,” Jesse said. “We all are a bit to blame. We just waited until this thing transformed. We haven’t been looking for it in its human form. If we all look for it, then maybe we can stop it before it transforms tonight.”

“It’s happening again?” Oz asked, his voice on the edge of alarm.

“Yeah,” Willow said. “Three times a month.”

“And I’m going to make sure I get it this time,” Buffy said confidently.

“You just need to find him,” Oz said.

“How do you know it’s a ‘him’?” Cordelia asked him suspiciously.

“It went after a girl, therefore guy,” Oz shrugged.

“What if it’s a lesbian werewolf?” Jesse asked practically drooling.

“In your dreams!” Cordelia exclaimed.

“It doesn’t matter,” Buffy shouted. “We have no way of finding this guy before he turns again!”

“Leave it to me,” Xander said. “I know what it’s like to have those blood thirsty urges that you just can’t quench.”

“Because you were a hyena for a few days?” Jesse asked.

“And also because I was turned into a vampire a few times,” Xander commented almost proudly.

Cordelia snorted, “Alright animal boy, let’s hear it. Who do you think is our werewolf?”

“Alright, I’m a werewolf. I’m a werewolf. I am a werewolf.”

“Will you get on with it already?”

“These things take time,” Xander said with a glare. “Now where was I?”

“You were the werewolf,” Buffy pointed out.

“Okay, I am the werewolf. I’m cool. I’m confidant. I am the pack leader. I prowl around looking for my next meal. I fit in easy; no one spots me until it’s too late. I’ve got it!”

“Who?” Oz asked trying to fain disinterest, but failing.

“It’s Larry! It has to be. He’s always picking on everyone and he got that bite mark, remember? Exactly where Will bit the werewolf.”

“He’s right!” Willow exclaimed. “I saw it too!”

“I understand the most. I’ll go talk with him.”

Xander walked out of the library and made his way for the locker room. Larry always hung out in the locker room after school. It was like he was the mega jock or something. Xander entered the empty and saw Larry halfway dressed, digging through his locker.

“Larry,” Xander called to him.

Larry jumped a mile and turned around to face Xander, “Xander, what are you doing here? Uh, after school in the boy’s locker room.” Xander gave him a look that suggested he was a boy and Larry continued. “You know, because geeks usually hang in libraries after school.”

Xander shook his head, “Look, I know.”

“You know?” Larry repeated confused. “Oh… I thought I was doing so well at hiding it. Damn it.” He slammed his fist against the locker. “I just want to be normal.”

“It’s not your fault, okay? These things just happen. But you can’t go around hurting people because of it. I know how you’re feeling. Believe me, I’ve been there myself on plenty of occasions.”

“It’s not that I want this. I don’t want this. Trust me, Harris. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t be…” Larry trailed off, looking sad. “It’s different for you. You can be open about it.”

“Hey, trust me, there a lot of people who don’t know. Like my boyfriend, Will, he-”

“Will?” Larry cut him off. “I thought you were dating Jesse. I thought I had a chance.”

“Wait, what?”

“Sorry, it’s just you two are always so close. Then with the eggs. What’s Will like? Is he that kid in the AV Club?”

“No, he’s kind of older.”

“Damn it! How can I compete with an older guy? Then you knowing I have a crush on you.” Xander’s eyes widened comically. “But, I guess now that you know we could be like friends. Right?”

“Uh, uh… uh…” Xander stuttered, not really over the fact that Larry had a crush on him.

“You knowing about my crush, it kind of makes me realize how obvious I’ve been. I should just come out and say it. I’m gay. I’m gay. That feels really good.”

“I bet it does.”

“Thanks for being so honest with me, Xander. You really let me down gently. If it doesn’t work out between you and Will, maybe there can be an us?”

“Uh… uhhhhh… sure…” was all Xander’s brain was able to come up with, then it remembered to add. “But, me and Will, going strong. Mega strong. There is no uh, relationship stronger than ours.”

“That’s too bad, but I’ve got my hopes up.”

“Can you not-”

“I promise I won’t mention Will to anyone. You and him can go public when you want to.” Larry smiled at him. “Thanks again, Xander. You really don’t know how much this means to me.”

Xander watched as Larry pulled on his shirt and left the locker room. He blinked, then blinked again as if trying to jump start his brain. The bully who had picked on Xander since kindergarten was gay, had a crush on him, and was waiting for Xander to break up with Will so they could date. Xander slammed his head into a locker; his life honestly couldn’t get any weirder.

Buffy was walking down the hallway with Willow, listening to Willow rant about Oz. Oz, who seemed just fine with dating her before was now avoiding her like the plague and it was making her angry. Buffy was about to ask her what happened to her crush on Jesse when they bumped into a startled Xander.

“Uh, hey! What’s happening?” He said, sounding strained.

“I have to go,” Willow said, leaving the group and hurrying down the hallway.

“Was it something I said?”

“She’s just being a teenage girl with a crush.”

“Oh, one of those,” Xander said. “I hear that species is extra aggressive.”

“That’s what I hear too. So, what happened with Larry?”

“Nothing happened with Larry!” Xander yelped while jumping out of his skin. “Why would anything happen with Larry? He’s Larry, good old Larry. Nothing going on with him.”

“I meant if he was our werewolf or not.”

“Nope!” Xander squeaked. “Not our werewolf. Not anywhere close to a werewolf. So, how’s the weather? I think it’s rather balmy out, don’t you?”

Buffy rolled her eyes and opened her locker, “It doesn’t matter. Looks like Jesse’s plan was a bust. We’re not going to find this wolf until after he transforms.”

“We’ll get it before it hurts someone else.”

“That’s the thing,” Buffy said. “I just came from the library. Giles was doing some digging and he doesn’t think it’s a werewolf attack anymore.”

“He doesn’t?”

“No, I have to go to the funeral home to investigate.”

“You don’t have to go alone. Mind if I come too? The lonely, untriangled members of the Scooby gang unite?”

“I thought you were caught up in a love triangle,” Buffy chuckled.

“It’s on hold until further notice. So do you mind?”

“Nope, all lonely Scoobies are welcome.” Buffy sighed. “We must seem very depressing hanging out in cemeteries and funeral homes all the time.”

“Nah, it just adds to the mystery.”

When they arrived at the funeral home, everyone had already left, including Theresa’s parents. It was bit sad that death was so common that the people of the town all knew they had to be home before sunset or suffer the same fate.

“She doesn’t look mauled,” Xander said inspecting the intact body.

Buffy moved the scarf that had been used to decorate her neck. Underneath was a single bite mark from a vampire. At least that proved it wasn’t the werewolf.

“It’s my fault,” Buffy whispered. “I’ve let so many people die.”

“You can’t protect everyone. If we could, that would be great, but there’s always going to be something out there. That’s why we always have to be ready.”

“When’d you get so smart?”

“It comes with the heartbreak and being dumped constantly.”

“Ah, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay I’ll- VAMPIRE! Theresa is a vampire!”

Buffy twirled around to see Theresa leap out of her coffin. They landed on the ground with a thud. They struggled and wrestled on the floor. Theresa was overpowering the reluctant Buffy. Xander looked around the room until he saw a floor arrangement on a wooden stand. He grabbed it and stabbed it through the vampire’s heart.

Just before she turned to dust, Theresa said, “Angel sends his love.”

Buffy sighed and laid on the floor for a few minutes more before slowly getting to her feet. She sighed again and shook her head.

“I guess we all have our little love triangles,” Buffy said.

“It’s high school. I think for us, this as normal as it gets.”

Buffy snorted, “Normal evil vampire love triangles.”

“Gotta admit, it’s never boring.”

Buffy laughed and they left. They needed to switch gear and hunt the werewolf now.

“Are you sure this is where you tracked the werewolf?” Will whispered, looking into the window to see Willow and Oz conversing inside.

“Of course. He smells like a wolf, so he must be a wolf. Didn’t you notice when you were hanging out with them?”

“I don’t really hang around them anymore.”

“Shame they lost such a do-gooder like you.”

Will snorted and continued to watch them argue. Willow seemed to be pissed at Oz for some reason. Will felt really out of the loop watching the scene unfold, especially when Oz dropped to the floor writhing in pain.

“Oh, bloody hell!” Spike swore behind him. “The stupid bint needs to run!”

They both watched as the boy transformed into a werewolf with Willow looking onward, not exactly sure what was going on. Both Spike and Will screamed when the wolf popped up and tried to attack the girl. They both fell backwards, toppling onto the ground, as the werewolf chased Willow outside and down the street.

“We have to kill that thing!” Spike exclaimed.

“We can’t! That’s Oz! He’s a friend of Xander’s!”

“You saw him! He’s a werewolf now! If we don’t kill him, he’ll just end up hurting people.”

“Why should I listen to you? You just want to kill things!”

“It don’t matter, it’s getting away!”

Will had to agree, Spike had a point, so the two vampires sped away, chasing the scent of the werewolf.

Oz sniffed the air. He had lost the girl, but at least he lost those two vampires that had been chasing him. They’d figure out he left them a false trail eventually, but now he was free of them. Whatever they wanted, maybe they’d give up when they found out the trail was false.

He scented the air again, he could smell it. It was something raw and something bloody. His mouth watered and he changed course trying to find it. It was a dead rabbit caught in a hunter’s trap. It was Oz’s lucky he night.

He bent down, ready to tear about his meal, when he heard a sharp thud and a loud sound that hurts his ears. Oz howled and prowled towards the source of the noise. A man and a girl were fighting. The man smelled like wolf, but dead wolf. It enraged him, but the girl’s scent. It enraged him more. He picked up and tried to bite her, but she used a stick to block him. He tried again, but before he could get close, he felt something pierce his skin.

The werewolf looked dumbly at his arm to see some kind of dart then looked to see the girl he was hunting before hold some kind of stick similar to the one the other girl had been using.

Oz heard, “Bloody hell! Did you kill him?” Then, “N-No, I don’t think so. I hope not. It was just a tranquilizer dart!” Then it went black.

The next day at school felt off. Oz was glad no one was really mad at him, but he couldn’t help notice the extra attention he was getting from Willow. He was Xander walking through the hallway and flagged him down.

“Hey, Ozman, what’s up?”

“Are you noticing anything odd about Willow? She suddenly not so, well,” he tried to explain what he meant, but came up short.

“She’s suddenly completely into you?”

“Yeah, it’s weird.”

“Girls are just weird. You can ask Jesse when Cordelia and him come out of the closet. Closets seem to turn girls on. Closets and superheroes. That’s why Superman and that game ‘Seven Minutes In Heaven’ is so popular.”

“I never thought about it that way.”

“You never do until you’re not interested in them anymore.” Xander gulped and he saw Larry heading his way. “Speaking of…”

“Do you want me to stick around and get him off your back?”

“Nah, it’s okay. I can handle it.”

“If you’re sure,” Oz said with a shrug.

He walked off and Larry approached Xander. He smiled brightly at him.

“I told my folks,” Larry said to him. “They were a bit pissed, but when I explained that I was sticking in football and nothing changed about me, just that I liked guys, they seemed to ease up.”

“That’s great, Larry,” Xander said with a smile, honestly happy for him.

Xander’s good mood lessened when Larry winked at him, then returned to talk with some of his friends. Xander was honestly sure he liked it better when Larry was sticking his head down toilets.

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