**Part Nine**

"So, that was it?"

"Well, yeah."


"Wil, that's not enough?"

"Well, yeah, I mean, my mom would kill me if she found out a guy not Xander spent the night. But two nights! And he made you breakfast."

"He's a keeper."

She and Willow were in the library before classes discussing her weekend with Lindsey. An intense weekend it had been. There had been a time or two she'd almost told him to go. To a hotel. Back to LA. Somewhere that wasn't her house. She was a walking ball of hormones. Their clothes never came off, though, other than showers. Which they did not take together, as tempting as it might have been to join him while he took his.

"So, when do you think you'll talk about the fact he works for a law firm that seems to go against what you do?"

"I don't know. Soon. We're going to have to. I mean, that's a pretty big thing to be on opposing sides of. It's not like he voted for Nixon or something and I wanted the other guy."

"Wow, I'm impressed."


"You know who Richard Nixon is?"

"Yes, sarcasm girl, I've opened a textbook or two during my eleven years of school. Twelve counting Kindergarten."

"Oh well, it's just not like you to, you know, make with political references."

"Hmm, I'm not sure that should be insulting or not."

"No, no."


"So, how was it?"

"How was what?"

"Waking up to him."

"It was," Buffy paused, thinking it through. "I don't know. I can't describe it. It was scary yet thrilling at the same time. I kept waiting for him to see my hair standing in a hundred different directions or something and run away."

"Oh, Buffy, I've seen you in the morning and you look fine."

"What girl wants to look fine waking up next to their boyfriend?"

"Well, true, but I just meant that you don't look like Medusa or anything."

"Thanks, Wil."

"I'm not helping am I?"

"Not so much."

"Okay. So, scary yet thrilling. I can understand that. But nice?"

"Very nice. Too bad we won't be able to again."

"Why not?"

"My mom doesn't go out of town that often."

"You could go visit him."

"I'm not sure I could get away with that. Mom would want me to see Dad, and Dad wouldn't let me stay over there."

"You're right. It's pretty amazing, though."

"What's that?" Buffy said, gathering her books together to head to class.

"Well, all this time you've been hiding from him who you are. You know, the slayer and all, when he knew about the stuff all along."

"He didn't know about slayers."

"Well, right, but if someone believes in vampires, it's not a huge leap to believe in the rest. That's all I meant."

"Oh right, there was definitely a ‘he's not going to think I'm a total loony' element when I told him."

"And Giles is okay with it?"

"Bye Giles, see you after school," she called out to her watcher before they left the library.

"Bye, girls. Enjoy your day."

"We're going to class, Giles, but we'll try." Both girls laughed lightly as they left the library. Willow got more enjoyment out of going to class than Buffy did, though.

"Giles is okay with it, as okay as he can be. I think he's realized that the rules just don't apply to me."

"And why should they?"

"Exactly! That's what I keep trying to tell him, but he doesn't seem to buy it."



They split off when they got to the point of having to go their separate ways for class.


Lindsey was running late. For the first time since he could remember, he wasn't at the office before the sun came up. He slid his perfectly knotted tie into place and took an extra few minutes to do a couple of personal things.

First order of business was ordering Buffy some flowers. He hadn't mentioned it, and she probably wouldn't have believed him if he had, but he'd never spent the night with anyone before. He'd found it difficult to sleep last night. He'd reach for her only to find not only was she not there but that he was at home instead of on her smaller bed down in Sunnydale.

It was crazy how easily he had gotten comfortable having her next to him. Waking up with her in his arms. It was probably a good thing it was only two nights. He couldn't remember walking around in the state he had been for days since puberty. She definitely made him aware that all of his parts were in working order.

Second order of business was sending her an email. He had come up with an idea last night driving back from Sunnydale. How good of an idea he wasn't sure, but there had to be some way they could work together now that they knew about one another's secrets.

He defended his clients to the best of his ability. That didn't mean he had any fondness for them. He certainly didn't enjoy using whatever legal maneuver he could to let killers, rapists, kidnappers, and the like go free. He'd signed on the dotted line, though, and there was no going back. At the time, he'd thought it an exciting way to test just how good of a lawyer he was. If he could get the people that Wolfram & Hart defended off, he could get anybody off.

He smiled as he typed the email asking her to meet him online tonight to chat. She was getting more and more computer literate as time went on. They were able to communicate more frequently with it and she seemed to appreciate that as much as he did. He wasn't always in a position to make a phone call and now understood that neither was she. The chats were a new addition he had initiated when they both happened to be online at the same time one night.

It was just his luck to finally find someone he cared about, enough that he was willing to forego working himself to an early grave in order to spend time with her. And she turns out to be someone who not only knew about the types of things he defended but was probably the one person they were most scared of. If they felt any fear at all.

He wondered what Holland Manners would say if he knew he was dating the slayer. He could just imagine how that conversation would go. He was risking the chance the mind readers would pick something up, which meant his life was on the line. He was sure he could get around that, though, because he would continue doing his job. He had come this far, there was no turning back for him. Not that that was an option.

With that, it was time to go. He grabbed his briefcase, checking it briefly to ensure he had everything he needed for his day. One of the things he planned on doing was buying a cell phone. He had one, issued to him by Wolfram & Hart. He needed one that was his, that they didn't know about.

"Time to practice up clearing your mind, Linds," he muttered as he left his house for the day.


"He spent the night? Twice? You and him in the same bed?"

"Where did you think he was staying, Xander?"

"I don't know. The Sunspot."

"Nothing happened, Xander."

"But, Buffy."

"What, Xander?"

"He's going to expect, I mean, the next time your mom's out of town."

"I've got it under control, Xander."

"I hope so."

"Wait. I thought you liked Lindsey."

"Well, I do, but that doesn't mean I want him sleeping with you. You're the chosen one, shouldn't you be above that kind of behavior?"

"The kind of behavior that is bad because?"

"It could lead to all sorts of things."

"Uh huh."

"Fine, let him lead you down the wrong path. Stray from the goodness that is your calling in life."


"Was that a little thick?"

"Just a little."

"Okay, I'll tone it down. But, really, you've opened a can of worms, Buff. You know what the next step is."

"No, Xander, I don't. And I don't think he assumes that's the next step either. I'll see him again for Thanksgiving. With my mother. He knows that, too."

"Oh well, that's good. You don't want him to think you're easy."


"Well, not, shutting up now," he grimaced and took a drink of his milk. Buffy couldn't help but laugh.

"Good idea."

"I still think you should rethink the whole sharing a bed thing. It's just asking for trouble. Implications that I think at your young age you're not ready to deal with."

"Thank you for those words of wisdom, Xander, I'll take them to heart."

"Yeah, right. So, what's on the agenda after school?"

"The usual. I have to go home. Mom wants to do some bonding after being gone all weekend."

"Bonding with the mother. Hey, at least your mother wants to spend quality time with you and knows what the meaning of the word is. I'm not sure mine does beyond putting a pot pie in the oven for me."

"Would you like to come over for dinner, Xander?"

"Could I?"

"You can."

"Thanks! See ya at six?"

"Sounds good."

"You're the best."

"You're just saying that so I forget about the easy comment."

"Well, yeah, is it working?"

"Not yet."

"I'll try harder."

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