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[personal profile] devo79fanfic
Title: The Sacrifice, part 1/2 
Author: Devo79
Rating: PG13
Summary: In an world, where demons and humans live more or less peacefully together, Detective Xander Harris is called out to a triple homicide that will change his life.
A/N: a few quotes from Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt novels are used in dialog.


“Rak’nak snp qua’tnack ‘up’lup,” the GPS navigator growled menacingly.

“Do you really have to use the Fyarl demon setting?” Harris asked and leant back in his car seat. The sound of the rain battering against the car almost drowned out Wells’ happy giggle.

“But it’s so damn cool, Xander,” he said and looked over at Harris.

“Eyes on the road, man,“ Xander demanded and then continued in a calmer voice, “Admit it. You’re just showing off.”

Wells shifted a little in his seat and nodded, “So what if I’m showing off,” he shot Harris a quick look, “Is it too much?” he suddenly seemed to lose his confidence and nervously licked his lips, “I don’t want to come off as a bigheaded dork.”

“Hell, you know me, Andrew,” Xander said, “I couldn’t even grasp Latin or basic G’latnak in High School. Anything harder than English is pure magic to me,” he slapped his partner good-naturedly on the shoulder causing the smaller man to squeak.

“So this case,” Andrew started. They finally seemed to be moving, despite the traffic jam caused by the huge troll slowly reading the walk/don’t walk light. The troll was squinting his eyes and moving his lips as he formed the letter w.

“Hmmm?” Harris turned his attention back to Wells, “Captain Olaf said it was a triple homicide, two vampires dusted and one werewolf gutted.”

“Great,” Wells sighed, “I’ll be seeing my lunch again soon then.”


Parking was always a hellish thing to attempt in LA but at least their badges proved to be worth something when Harris shoved his in a Horager demon’s face and told him to move his ridiculous little Fiat.

“Police brutality,” the demon hissed and waved its second set of arms.

“Yeah, yeah,” Xander grinned, “Just get your car out of the way, pal.”

“Human filth,” he heard the Horager mumble.

“Don’t forget the human filth has a big ass gun,” Harris just muttered back as he got in the car again, “He’s giving us his parking space.”

“Well, giving is sort of a stretch,” Wells said and started the car.

“Why the fuck would a Horager demon drive a Fiat anyway?” Harris asked, “Look at him, Andrew,” he waved a hand at the demon in the car, “His big ugly crocodile head is sticking out the window.”


They were soaked before they even reached the apartment building. The small group of zombies, shuffling slowly through the street where they parked the car, hadn’t helped one bit either.

The area around the apartment building had been closed off. Demons and humans all seemed to be drawn to the yellow plastic tape the two rain dripping officers were putting up.

”Hey, Clem,” Harris nodded at one of the officers. Clem nodded back and then took off his black uniform cap with LAPD printed on it. He shook it in a vain attempt to get some of the rain off it. Cold water was running down Clem’s face and dripped off his floppy wrinkled ears.

”Hey, Xander,” the other officer said and scowled at a bystander, who seemed a little too eager to get as close as possible to the crime scene.

”Jonathan,” Harris stepped a little closer, ”The press not here yet?”

”Naw,” Jonathan shook his head, ”Haven’t you heard? There’s this big movie thing with Will Smith and…What’s that seer’s name again?” Jonathan turned to Clem.

”Cordelia Chase,” Wells interrupted.

”Yeah,” Jonathan agreed, ”The chick that kicked ass in James Bond.”

”We’ve got a lot of guys down there keeping the crowds under control and the press couldn’t give a rat’s ass about some no-name vamps biting the dust,” Clem said and stepped back after securing the last of the tape around the railings going down to the subway.


”Oh great,” Wells said as they stepped into the hallway leading to the crime scene. The smell of decay was very evident and Harris had to cover his mouth.

”How long have they been dead,” he asked and gagged.

”Down here, guys,” a voice made both of them look down the hallway at a smiling man in a white protection coverall.

”Shit, Daniel,” Xander grumbled and stomped over to the smaller man, ”Nobody told us they’d been dead for ages.”

The forensic investigator waved his hand as if breathing in the rancid odor of long dead bodies was an everyday event. Which, when Harris thought about it, was actually the case for Daniel Osbourne. The forensic investigator stepped back so they could enter the apartment and grandly waved his hand.

”With the heat we’ve been having lately it doesn’t take long for a dead body to start stinking,” he said and moved further into the apartment. He held up a small flask of potion and both detectives let a few drops of it spill on their fingers. Harris smeared the potion just under his nose and took a deep breath. Wells did the same and smiled.

”Pancakes,” he said and looked questioningly at his partner.

”Lavender,” Harris grumbled, ”You always get the good results.”

”It’s all about imagination,” Daniel said, he pointed at his own nose, ”Hotdog.”

”Yeah, yeah,” Xander sighed, grateful the stench of decomposing bodies had disappeared.

Wells and Harris both nodded in greeting to the other people combing the apartment for evidence. One guy was on his knees mumbling chants over what looked to be a deep scrape in the wooden floor. As he finished, a small red cloud of smoke started forming just above the spot. The investigator leant forward and took a deep breath, inhaling the smoke.

”Anything?” Harris asked and crouched down beside him.

”I’m not sure,” the man said and closed his eyes, ”I see an elderly Skench demon. No,” he shook his head, ”No, this is years old. Nothing to do with this case.”

”Worth a try,” Xander stood up and followed Andrew into the living room. He passed a Deathwok demoness dusting for fingerprints on the door frame.

”Hey, Lillith,” He said and looked over her shoulder.

”Xander,” she blushed a pretty deep purple over her forehead, just under the small red horns, and smiled up at him.

”You still ready for tonight?” Harris asked with a little smirk in place.

”Yes,” Lillith turned back to her work, ”I can’t wait to hear you sing. My brother says he’d love to do a reading for us. You know, see if this could lead to something good,” she indicated the both of them with her index finger, the small dust covered brush still in her hand.

”I’m pretty sure we’re leading to something good,” Harris whispered in her ear.

”Oh, for God’s sake,” a slim vampire pushed past them, ”Get a room if you can’t wait.”

”Hey!” Xander pointed warningly at the young fledge, ”You stay out of this, Michael, and just take your damn pictures.”

”Could invite me over when you do her,” the photographer leered, ”Pretty sure you could make some good money on the internet with quality interspecies porn.”

”You’d know, wouldn’t you,” Xander snarled and brushed a dark brown lock of hair out of his eyes.

”It’s okay, Xander,” Lillith said sultrily, ”He’s just jealous.”

”Right, not likely,” the vampire scuffed and swaggered off into the living room where Wells and Daniel were studying the dusty remains.


Daniel took a step back so Michael could take pictures of the vampire dust on the floor.

”Don’t sneeze,” the werewolf reminded his coworker.

”Oh, ha hah!” the fledge said and started putting down markers on the floor next to the remains. He took several pictures of each pile of dust.

”Doesn’t look like they put up much of a fight,” Wells said and clutched his notepad a little closer as he started making notes on the state of the room. Most of the furniture were still in the positions one would expect them to be. The couch was facing an old TV set and a small coffee table stood in front of it.

”No,” Daniel agreed, ”Seems like they were surprised. We only found a few signs of a fight in here. Looks like the werewolf put up more of a struggle.”

”He’s in the bedroom?” Xander looked out the window and down to the street. The reporters had finally heard about the homicide. He recognized a few of the reporters but most of them were too far away for him to identify.

”Yeah,” Daniel nodded, ”Have to admit it makes me feel pretty good to know the guy went down while fighting back.”

”He part of your clan?” Lillith asked from her position by the door, looking concerned.

”No,” Daniel shrugged, ”Just, you know, good to see he didn’t lay down and take it.”

”Like some demons,” Harris looked smugly down at Michael. The photographer just flashed his fangs at him.

”As far as evidence goes,” Daniel continued, ”Haven’t really found much yet.”

”Think we can get an id on those two vamps?” Andrew asked and tapped his notepad against his hip.

”We’ll check the DNA database,” Michael said as he carefully used a brush to get the vampire remains into two small plastic bags.

They moved into the bedroom, leaving Michael in the living room. The tiny hallway, leading to the bedroom, was dimly lit by an old lamp in the ceiling. The smell of lavender, filling Harris’ nostrils, got stronger as they moved to stand outside the bedroom, a good indicator that the stench had gotten worse.

Daniel opened the door and stepped back.

”That’s just wrong,” Wells gagged.

”Someone really wanted the poor jerk dead,” Xander didn’t enter the room but just stood in the doorway, ”Guess we’ll have to get in contact with one of our necromancers.”


The necromancer put his bag down and shook hands with the coroner and then Harris. The second the necromancer turned his back to the detective, Xander dried his hand off in his pants and the coroner grabbed a tissue to clean his claws.

”What have we here?” the short man asked and leant disturbingly close to the body on the metal dissecting table. The necromancer stared directly into the empty eye socket and hummed a little under his breath, before he straightened up and looked at the coroner.

”We’re done with the autopsy so he’s all yours,” the coroner grumbled and his scaled tail swished back and forth across the white tiled floor. He was clearly agitated by the necromancer’s presence.

”Good, good,” the man nodded and then reached for the bag he had put on the little metal counter, next to the dissecting table, and started unzipping it.

”What we need to know is what happened around the time he was killed,” Xander started, ”Who were the vampires he was with? Were they suppose to meet someone there at the apartment? Did he get a good look at the killer?”

”So perhaps two hours before he was killed?” the necromancer licked his lips.

”Two hours seems like a lot of time, Warren,” Xander pointed out and frowned when the shorter dark-haired man seemed disappointed, ”Just an hour maybe half an hour before he was killed. That should do,” Xander pointed at Warren, ”And no funny business, got that?”

”Funny business?” the necromancer asked innocently.

”Don’t try that shit with me,” Xander crossed his arms over his broad chest, ”I heard what you did with that dead victim in New York. It’s one thing to like your job but reviving the dead so you can bang them is taking things a little too far.”

”Well,” Warren shrugged, ”You didn’t see her,” he moved his hands to illustrate a curvy female body, ”So beautiful.”

”Yeah, well…Her family was pretty pissed off,” Xander pointed out, ”Just give me a chance to talk to the deceased and fuck off out of my case.”

”Yes, yes,” Warren mumbled and started setting up a few small silver bowls and black candles on the counter.

Xander watched as the necromancer started mumbling spells and fill the bowls with what seemed to be blood, wine and water. Then Warren stepped back and spread his hands out on what would be the dead werewolf’s chest, if the body hadn’t been so mangled. The detective took a step back.

”Wake up,” Warren whispered in the werewolf’s half torn-off ear. A shiver ran through the body and a slow, quiet whine started filling the room.

”Calm down,” the necromancer said and caressed the werewolf’s cheek gently, ”Do you know who you are?”

”I’ll do the asking if you don’t mind,” Harris stepped closer to the body on the dissecting table. Warren held up his hands, stepped away from the table and leant against the counter instead.

The werewolf started gurgling and tears were streaming down his cheeks. Xander swallowed and forced himself to carry on.

”Do you remember your name?” he figured he should start out with something relatively simple.

”Cha,” the werewolf began and then coughed up a small flood of blood, ”Charlie,” he finally managed to get out. Xander had to look away. He could see the werewolf’s vocal cords move in the big mess of blood and skin.

”Your whole name,” Xander demanded.

”Charlie…” the werewolf tried to frown but the left side of his face had more or less been ripped off. The movement of the exposed muscles made Xander swallow convulsively.

”It’s okay,” he said, ”Charlie, tell me what you remember happening to you just before you…died.”

”I…It hurt,” Charlie’s voice made a strange clicking noise and he closed his eye, ”It hurts.”

Xander turned and looked at Warren, ”Can you take the pain away?”

”I can try,” Warren nodded and started mumbling under his breath until Charlie exhaled and relaxed against the cold dissecting table, ”That should do it.”

”Charlie?” Xander asked.

”Yes?” Charlie answered and tried to look at Xander with his one remaining eye.

”Who were the vampires you were with?” Xander held his breath and waited for the answer.

”Aurelius,” Charlie shivered, ”Came…”

”Shit,” Warren mumbled and Xander could do nothing but agree.

”Did anyone else join you at the apartment?”

”Master…” the werewolf’s tongue clicked.

”Who did this to you, Charlie?” Xander tried to get eye contact again but the werewolf’s eye wasn’t tracking anymore.

”Slayer,” Charlie gurgled and started shivering so hard that the table he was on moved a little.

”You only have a few minutes left,” Warren said from his position by the counter.

”Charlie?” Xander put his hand on the werewolf’s shoulder, ”Did you see her? The slayer?”

Charlie opened his mouth but only blood streamed out of it and one last shiver ran through the body before it fell still. Its eye going milky white.

”Well…fuck,” Warren said and stared from Charlie’s dead body to Xander.

”Not one word about this to anyone,” Xander stared at the necromancer.

”You know me,” Warren said and before he even had a chance to blink Harris had grabbed him by the neck and pressed him, face first, against the cold tiled wall.

”You tell anyone what you heard here today and you’ll be trying to revive your own cold cadaver,” Xander whispered in Warren’s ear. He tightened his hold on the necromancer’s nape.

”I won’t tell,” Warren groaned, his nose pressed painfully against the wall, ”I won’t!”

”You better fucking not!” Xander let go of the man and walked out of the room.


”Bad?” Wells asked when he saw Xander sitting at their desk.

”That obvious, Andrew?” Xander asked and pushed away from the table and stood up.

”You don’t normally look that pale,” Andrew patted his arm, ”Want to go get a drink?”

”I’m going to have to cancel my date with Lillith,” Xander rubbed a hand over his face.

”Look,” Andrew shook his head and sat down on the corner of the desk they shared at the station , ”The two of you have been planning this date for weeks. You should still go.”

”I doubt you’ll say that when you hear what the dead werewolf told me,” Xander put his hands on Andrew’s narrow shoulders and gave him a sad smile, ”Shit’s about to hit the fan. Big time, Wells. And with our luck we’ll be standing right in front of it when it happens.”


”Holy shit!” Wells exclaimed and stared at Xander as if he was crazy, ”I mean…Fuck, this is the kind of case that can get us killed, Harris.”

”I know,” Xander stared at the ducks waddling around the little lake in the park, ”So the question is…Do we actually get involved? Talk to the Aurelius clan and try to hunt down a Slayer? Or do we forget about all this and make sure the case ends up as cold as a Walakya witch’s tit?”

”We’ll be dealing with some pretty powerful people,” Andrew threw what remained of his hotdog into the lake. A huge ugly Cluoty demon fish snapped it up, before the food even managed to make a ripple in the water, ”The slayers have been a pain in our butts for a long time. Last I heard they took out an entire Brachen clan. Women, children…didn’t show any mercy.”

”Hmmm,” Xander bit his lower lip, ”But if we tell the Aurelius that a slayer killed two of its people… we could have a genuine war on our hands.”

”Is it possible to contact the slayers?” Andrew asked.

”Without getting killed?” Xander gave Andrew an uncertain look, ”Chances are they’ll kill us and fedex us to the station.”

”Do we go to Captain Olaf with this?” Wells emptied his bottle of water and scared a few ducks away when he waved the empty bottle around.

”What worries me is the fact that werewolves don’t have masters,” Xander said.

”That leaves us with the possibility that one of the dusted vamps was a Master vampire,” Andrew shivered slightly.

”From the Aurelius Clan?” Harris asked, ”How many master vamps does that clan have?”


”Harris,” Captain Olaf said when the two detectives entered his office, ”Wells.”

The large troll sat in his chair and motioned the two humans forward and pointed, gruntingly, at the chairs in front of his desk, ”Sit,” he ordered.

”So?” Olaf reached up and pulled thoughtfully on his red beard.

”We have some information that…” Xander coughed, ”You know me, Captain. I have never stretched the rules or looked the other way even when it might have been the healthiest thing for me.”

”Never doubted your honesty, Harris,” Olaf frowned and leant closer causing his desk to groan alarmingly. Andrew pushed his chair a little back. Olaf smirked at the much smaller human and then sat back in his chair, ”So what happened to make you…consider doing it?”

”Two dead vampires who might be from the Aurelius clan and a possible slayer on the hunt,” Xander answered bluntly.

Olaf breathed deeply, ”The Aurelius?”

”Yes, Sir,” Xander nodded and waited patiently while Olaf ran a hand through his messy hair. The hand ended up wrapped around one of his large horns.

”Go talk to the Aurelius,” Olaf finally said when the silence in the room seemed to become uncomfortable, ”They’ve had a truce with the slayers for some time now. If the slayers have violated it the clan needs to know.”

”They might already know,” Andrew said.

”Yes,” Olaf agreed, ”Even more reason for us to keep this by the book. We really don’t need the clan on our backs.”


The Hyperion Hotel loomed over them. Parking on the other side of the street gave Wells and Harris a chance to check out the building. The cream colored exterior belied the power and viciousness within.

”Two guards on the doors,” Xander leant across Andrew’s seat and tried to get a better look, ”Daylight so not vampires.”

”Humans?” Wells asked and grunted when Xander’s weight against his chest got to be too much.

”Sorry, man,” Xander patted Andrew’s shoulder, ”Looks like it. Or maybe they’re of mixed breed.”

”Maybe,” Andrew rolled down his window and stared up at the building, ”Doesn’t look like much from the outside, does it?”

”That’s the thing with the Aurelius Clan. They play nice, officially. Unofficially they’ll maim and kill anyone who gets in their way. Angelus dusted his own sire to become the clan leader. He’s a cold hearted bastard,” Xander got out of the car and waited for Wells to do the same.

”Is his childe around?” Andrew slammed the car door and looked at Xander over the roof of the car.

”Drusilla?” Xander shrugged and walked around the car to stand next to Andrew, ”Last I heard she was in Europe with her own childe.”

”Shall we?” Andrew waited for Xander to take the lead.

”Just remember,” Xander said as they crossed the street, ”Even if it seems like it, a master vampire can’t read your mind. He just likes you to feel like he can.”


”Yes?” a small mousy woman asked when they entered the lobby.

The room was lavishly decorated, a large red and round ottoman stood in the middle. A small fountain filled the lobby with the tinkling sound of falling water. Xander noticed several security cameras hanging almost unnoticeably on the walls.

”Detectives Xander Harris and Andrew Wells, LAPD. We’re here to see Angelus Aurelius,” just saying it made Xander go cold.

”Mmmm,” the secretary looked down at the very sleek looking laptop in front of her. Xander was pretty sure she didn’t need to check the clan leader’s appointments. She could probably rattle off his schedule for the next month or so without even peeking at the laptop, ”I don’t see you listed as having an appointment with Master Angelus.”

”Let’s just say,” Xander leant across the secretary’s desk and whispered, ”Let’s just say, that it might be in everyone’s interest if this meeting didn’t get noted down anywhere,” he looked at the woman’s golden nametag, ”Winifred.”

”He is a very busy vampire,” Winifred closed her laptop and gave both Wells and Harris the once-over.

”I know,” Wells said, his voice uncharacteristically firm, ”But he’ll be a very angry vampire, if he finds out later that we came here and you told us to leave.”

”Everything okay, Fred?” A large black man asked and flashed his fangs at the two detectives.

”It’s fine, Gunn,” Winifred reassured him with a tight smile, ”I was just about to call Harmony and see if Angelus had time to see these two gentlemen.”


The waiting room outside the clan leader’s office was spartan compared to the splendor of the lobby. The room had only four chairs, with dark blood red leather upholstered seats, situated around a mahogany table. The walls were painted a dark grey and not a single picture graced the walls.

It was the kind of room that made you whisper.

”The Aurelius Clan is on Forbes list of billionaires,” Andrew murmured.

”Really?” Xander looked around the room. If that was true, he would have expected the waiting room to look fancier and the hallways to be lined with guards.

”Number 127,” Andrew continued.

”Really?” Xander drawled, ”With all that money you would have expected them to be on top of the whole slayer problem, wouldn’t you?”


Angelus just stared at them when they were finally let into the office by a human guard. The vampire was all in black, his suit made him look like the CEO of a powerful company. Angelus nodded at the two empty chairs in his office and then turned his attention to his guard.

”Drinks,” Angelus ordered and the guard disappeared out the door in a flash.

”I’m afraid we have…” Xander began but was interrupted by Angelus.

”I understand, you believe you have information of a sensitive nature,” the vampire said, ”Information that I might not want others to hear.”

”That’s right,” Xander looked over at the door when it opened again. The guard walked in, followed by a girl in a blue dress. She was carrying a tray with two glasses on it. Her feet were bare and she shyly looked at Xander and Andrew. Her eyes were drawn to Angelus when the vampire spoke,

”Serve them, Karen.”

The girl handed both Xander and Andrew their drinks before she walked around the table. Karen was about to kneel next to Angelus’ chair when the vampire tutted. He smiled kindly down at her and patted his lap. The girl blushed and slipped onto his lap.

The vampire pulled back her blond hair, exposing an old bite mark. Angelus pressed his nose against the girl’s neck and breathed in, ”I know it’s decadent,” he said to no one in particular, ”But virgin blood…” he made a quiet humming sound and then vamped out. His teeth dragged over the girl’s pale skin only to sink slowly into it.

Andrew looked away and sat very still. Xander on the other hand didn’t take his eyes off the two of them. Karen shivered, her breath audible in the office. Angelus looked right back and Xander could swear the vampire was grinning at him.

Angelus disengaged himself from the dizzy girl. The guard immediately stepped forward, picked the girl up and carried her out of the room.

”You were saying?” Angelus prompted Xander.

”Two vampires who might have been from your clan were found dusted in an apartment yesterday,” Xander started, ”A werewolf was also killed at the same time. I consulted with a necromancer.”

”A necromancer?” Angelus tilted his head and licked a drop of blood off his lower lip, ”Which one?”

”Warren Mears,” Andrew answered and then looked uncertainly at Xander.

”Twisted little fuck,” Angelus stated with a look of distaste on his face.

”But still the best necromancer around,” Xander continued, ”The werewolf’s body was extremely damaged and I wasn’t able to get much out of him.”

”You’re here,” Angelus said spreading out his arms to indicate his office, ”So I’m thinking you got something out of the carcass.”

”I did get one very interesting word out of him,” the detective breathed deeply before he said, ”Slayer,” and watched as the vampire seemed to grow even paler than he already was.


”Well,” Wells said, ”That went…”

”All the way to hell,” Xander finished.

”This is going to turn nasty, isn’t it?”

”You saw the look on his face,” Xander started the car and moved it into traffic, ”Like he’d been stabbed in the back.”

”Think he’s unprepared?” Andrew looked out at the world slowly sailing by them as they drove back to the station. The streets were filled with shopping humans and demons carrying bags and packages.

What looked like an entire kindergarten, made its way across the street. A large Kailiff demon was herding the giggling and laughing children along. A little blue skinned girl fell and the demon swept her up and carried her the last few feet to the other side of the street.

”He’s the clan leader,” Xander said and drove down into the precinct’s underground parking lot, ”He’d be dust by now if he wasn’t prepared for everything the world might throw at him.”


”I want you to find them,” Angelus said to Gunn, ”Tell them to get their asses home right now. We could be looking at a war.”

”Last time they called in, two days ago, they were in Paris,” Gunn said and looked over at the corner where Karen lay, her neck broken and her eyes staring unseeingly at the wall.

”I need them here, now,” Angelus growled, ”Spike and Dru need to come home.”

”I’ll send the jet for them, sir,” Gunn hurried out of the office.


Olaf was polishing his hammer, the oiled rag moving over the huge head of the weapon. Xander’s eyes were drawn to the notches on the scuffed handle.

Andrew cleared his throat.

”I was expecting a little more than that, Wells,” the captain said and stood up so he could hang the hammer on its hook by the window.

”Angelus was pissed,” Xander added.

”Rightly so,” Olaf opened the drawer in his desk and dropped the rag in it, ”So, all out war or…”

”I’m not sure,” Xander sighed and closed his eyes for a second, ”Was it a mistake…telling Angelus?”

”Trust me, son,” Olaf grumbled, ”Not telling would have been worse. I have it on good authority that Spike and Drusilla are out of the country and Angelus will have to deal with this on his own.”

”The press will sniff out the story soon,” Andrew warned them, ”This kind of thing? It doesn’t stay buried long.”


Andrew was intently staring at his computer screen, his fingers flying over the keys as he worked.

”I’m going home,” Xander announced to his partner and got a silent nod in answer, ”You working on something?”

”Just checking something out,” Wells pointed at his screen, ”I’m looking at the airlines. I requested they send me their passenger lists and any private planes that landed in the last week or so.”

”Why?” Xander sat down in the chair next to Andrew’s.

”Well, we know there aren’t any slayers here in LA,” Andrew explained, ”At least there aren’t supposed to be. That’s what the truce was all about. Angelus wouldn’t hunt the slayers and they would stay out of LA and his business.”

”So they came from out of town,” Xander concluded, ”They didn’t have to take a plane to get to Los Angeles.”

”I know,” Andrew sighed, ”But right now this is all I have.”

”Want me to stay?” Xander asked.

”Naw,” Wells smiled and shook his head, ”You have the kids coming over tomorrow. You should go home and get at least a few hours sleep.”

”Thanks man,” Xander stood up.

”I almost forgot,” Andrew opened the drawer in the desk and took out a saran wrapped plate. On it were a dozen small cupcakes with brightly colored frosting.

”Hey, snacks!” a long tentacle reached across from the opposite desk where detective K’h’t’b was working on three different reports.

”Tentacles off my cupcakes!” Xander slapped K’h’t’b’s yellow tentacle and received a tentacle gesture that could be a ’fuck you’ or a happy wave. Xander was pretty sure it was the first.

”You ever heard about sharing?” K’h’t’b’s partner, a gangly female vampire asked.

”What do you care, Lucia?” Xander asked, ”You don’t even need to eat food.”

”Doesn’t mean you need to be rude,” the vampire snarled.

”Just calm down everyone,” Andrew opened another drawer. He pulled out a larger plate with more cupcakes on it, ”I made enough for you guys too.”

”Yummy,” another tentacle moved past Harris and fiddled with the saran wrap. The flimsy film got stuck on one of the tentacle’s suckers and Xander left just as Andrew started pulling at it.

”Thanks, partner,” he waved at Andrew over his shoulder and Andrew waved back.


Xander unlocked his front door and walked into the hallway of his small apartment. He didn’t bother turning on the light. He made his way into the kitchen, put the plate with the cupcakes on the counter and opened the fridge. He blinked when the sudden onslaught of light almost blinded him. Xander grabbed a beer and opened it. Taking a deep breath he leant against the kitchen counter and pressed the cool beer bottle against his temple.

The Aurelius case would be the death of him. It they were lucky the press wouldn’t figure things out for at least another 10 hours at least. Unless Angelus decided to kill a slayer. Last time that had happened, it made all the news channels, national and international, and had caused so much trouble that he still had some paperwork lurking on his desk from that incident. He hated paperwork.

He hadn’t gone home as he’d told Andrew he would. Instead he asked a few snitches as many questions as he could. But each and every one of them were uncharacteristically quiet.

He toed off his shoes and wriggled his tired toes. Walking into the dark living room he took his first drink of the beer and slumped down on the couch.

It was a damn ugly couch and lumpy as hell. But it was also the only thing he’d taken with him when he left Anya. He’d lived in abject fear the first few months, sure that she would cast a spell on him. She had threatened to make his dick fall off, after all. But he figured the alimony checks and the fact that he hadn’t missed a single of his weekends with Josh and Sara had calmed her down.

He sighed and reached out to turn on the light, by flicking the switch on the wall right next to the couch.

Xander bolted back, his startled scream filling the room. Right next to him sat Andrew, his blond hair a mass of rusty red caked blood. The beer bottle slipped out of Xander hand and hit the floor with a hollow thud. Andrew’s face was crisscrossed with deep wounds, his hands resting lifelessly in his lap.

He closed his eyes tightly and then opened them again, only to see Andrew sitting there on his couch, with his sky blue eyes staring at the wall over the TV. He was dead, there was no doubt about it.


”Warren?” Xander pressed the phone hard against the side of his face, ”I don’t give a shit if I woke you up,” he growled into it, ”I need your help. Don’t give me that shit, Warren. I need you to come to my apartment. Right fucking now!”


Xander was sitting on the floor, opposite the couch, when someone knocked on the front door. He reached out for his Glock and pointed it at the dark hallway.

”It’s open,” he yelled croakily. His hand was shaking a little and he blinked the last few tears away.

Warren was standing in his hallway. His little leather bag in one hand. He looked from Xander to Andrew on the couch and hurriedly took a step back.

”If you walk out of here…” Harris warned, ”I swear to God, I’ll hunt you down. And I’ll kill you and get someone to revive you so I can kill you a second time.”

”I-I’m not going anywhere,” Warren Mears said and held up his free hand in a calming gesture.

”Good,” Xander said quietly and still managed to fill the small apartment with his voice.


”I need you to get him back so he can remember the last four or five hours,” Xander said and helped Warren set up the silver bowls.

”Five hours?!” Warren gulped, ”That’s a lot of power, Harris. A whole lot of power.”

”You saying you can’t do it?” Xander raised one eyebrow disbelievingly.

”No,” Mears shook his head, ”I can do it…but it’ll take some time.”

”I’ve got time,” Xander sat down on the floor next to the couch. He put his hand on Andrew’s knee, ”I have nothing but time.”


”Andrew,” Xander pushed Warren out of the way and put his hands on Andrew’s shoulders, ”Hey.”

”X-Xander,” Andrew coughed, his eyes weren’t tracking right and Xander steadied his partner’s head with a hand pressed against Andrew’s cheek.

”Right here, Wells,” Xander could feel something soft and slimy run over his fingers but didn’t as much as flinch.

”What…” Andrew closed his eyes for a second and then swallowed, ”What happened?”

”I was hoping you could tell me,” Xander whispered, ”Look at me, Andrew.”

Andrew opened his eyes but the left eyelid seemed heavy and the eye stayed half hidden. The wounds on his face had started bleeding again, ”I was at work.”

”I remember,” Xander reassured him, ”You said you wanted to look something up. You wanted to make sure we hadn’t missed someone coming to town by plane.”

”Am I,” Andrew lifted his hand and touched his blood soaked blond hair, ”Did I die?”

Xander looked over his shoulder at Warren but the necromancer simply shrugged and pressed his back harder against the wall he was leaning against. He looked pale.

”Yes,” Xander looked Andrew in the eyes and nodded, ”Yes, Andrew. Someone killed you.”

”My head,” Andre looked at his bloodstained hand, smearing the red tacky liquid with his fingers, ”Someone hit me…my head…hard.”

”Andrew,” Xander could feel his resolve evaporating and pressed his forehead against Andrew’s, ”Tell me who did this to you.”

”Spike and Dru...Drusilla,” Andrew’s voice trailed off and his eyes focused on something in the hallway, ”Mom?” he asked groggily.

”His brain was damaged,” Warren said from behind Xander.

Xander forced Andrew to look at him, by moving his head so he was looking directly at Xander, ”Did they do it? Spike and Drusilla. Did they kill you?”

”No,” Andrew snorted as if the thought amused him, ”I told Olaf that Spike and Dru…they’re in town.”

”You told Olaf?” Xander let go of Andrew’s face and the revived man slumped on the couch, ”How much more time?” Xander turned to look at Warren.

”Not long…a few minutes,” the necromancer answered.

”I’m sorry this happened to you, partner,” Harris knelt in front of Andrew and took his now limp hands in his own, ”I’m sorry,” Xander rubbed his eyes against their joined hands, ”This is fucked up, Andrew.”

”That’s,” Andrew’s voice was faint, ”my life in a nutshell…”

”Andrew?” Xander asked when his friend grew quiet.

”I think he’s gone,” Warren said, uncomfortable with the whole situation.

”Hammer,” Andrew croaked out, eyes wide with fear, when Xander tried to pull away from him, ”He used his hammer,” Andrew’s hands felt like steel bands around Xander’s fingers, ”…his hammer.”


Part 2

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October 2016


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