Characters: Spike & Xander
Rating: PG-13
Category: Spander banter with a schmooshy ending
Summary: Spike and Xander watch The Sentinel
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon: genius; me: just playing with his characters

Episodes of Attraction

Dragon's Phoenix

1 - Pilot

Spike walked back from the bar with a couple of drinks. “Here, got you a soda while I was up.”

“Thanks,” Xander replied absentmindedly as he scanned the Bronze. “Why do you think Buffy and Willow aren't here yet? It's Friday night. We agreed to meet here... Oh, demon attack. Maybe they're fighting off some demon and couldn't make it.”

“Or maybe your college friends just think this place is too boring a place to spend a Friday night.” Spike replied before taking a swig of his beer. “Maybe they think you're too boring,” he said, giving Xander a disparaging glance.

“Oh yeah, well, if I'm so boring, what are you doing here with me?”

“You're buying,” Spike replied as if it were obvious.

“I'm?” Xander patted down his pockets. “Hey, give me back my wallet, you... you thieving undead guy.”

With a smirk, Spike handed the wallet back over. Xander opened it and shouted, “And my money.” Rolling his eyes, Spike handed some cash over as well. “Why can't you afford your own beer? We pay you.”

“You don't pay me, Giles does. Besides, blood's expensive.”

A couple of blond girls stopped at the table, interrupting the conversation. Spike gave them an appreciative once over. While they were both lean and blond, the one with the shorter hair, a conservative cut that ended at her neck, wore a white top and tan pants that looked too washed out for his tastes. The other girl's longer hair was tied up into a wispy bun and at least her dress had the advantage of being short. “Hey Xander,” said the one with shorter hair.

“Oh hey, Denise. How are you doing?”

“Missed you at class Wednesday night,” Denise replied.

“Something came up,” Xander answered. Research party, Spike thought. Boring although those Sustiri demons did go down with a satisfying thump.

“I could share my notes with you,” Denise added.

“Notes. There were notes?” Xander panicked.

“Call me,” Denise called back as she and her friend walked away.

“Didn't think you were doing the college thing,” Spike said.

“Notes?” Xander was muttering to himself before Spike's words registered. “What? The boss signed me up for a welding class. And you hadn't noticed I'd been getting in late on Wednesday nights?”

Spike shrugged. “Been glad to have the time to myself,” he muttered before asking, as he watched the girls join up with a group playing pool, “The blond's taken up welding?”

“An aunt of hers worked as a welder during World War II. Denise picked up the interest from her,” Xander replied before musing, again, “Notes? It's a hands on class.”

Listening in on the two women, Spike heard the other blond, the one wearing the short dress, ask, “Would you go out with him?”

“Yeah,” Denise replied. “I'd go out with him. He's adorable but he's never asked me.”

Adorable? Spike thought. Gawky, bumbling... That line of thought dried up as he really looked at Xander. Girl's got a point. Now that he's past that adolescent puppy-dog stage... Taking a swig of his beer, Spike added, and those muscles he's built up working construction don't hurt the eyes, not at all.

“What?” Xander asked, catching Spike staring at him.

“Don't know much about women, do you pet?” Spike smirked, figuring he could work this to his advantage.

“Huh?” Xander asked.

“She's interested in you, although I can't imagine why. The notes bit was just a way of breaking the ice. Want to know what she said about you?”

“She's talking about me?” Xander said, trying to see where she'd moved off to.

“Get me another beer and I'll tell you,” Spike answered.

“No,” Xander replied.

“What?” Spike asked. “Your kidding me, right? One beer's not all that much.”

“It's not the cost although, since I've already bought you a beer...” he shook his head. “Anyway, it's not that. It's a private conversation. Not fair to her to listen in.”

“Fair?” Spike blinked as if the concept were foreign to him. “All's fair in love and war, pet.”

“No,” Xander replied stubbornly.

“Fine,” Spike said, putting his empty down on the table. “I won't tell you she thinks you're a dork.”

“Dork?” Xander asked. “Wait a minute. You're the one who said she was interested.”

“Can't you lot remember I'm evil? Well, if I'm not going to get another beer out of this, I'm out of here. Coming?”

Spike watched the thoughts fleet across Xander's face: his friends weren't coming, they probably had better, college type, things to do; the girl from class didn't like him; Spike had been his only company all evening.

“Yeah, fine. Let's head home,” Xander said dejectedly. Spike suddenly felt uncomfortable. This Xander baiting hadn't been as much fun as he'd expected.

As they were just a few steps from the door, Xander resolutely not looking at Denise as they passed the group at the pool table, when Buffy and Willow walked in.

“Xander, not leaving so soon, are you?” Buffy asked.

“Soon?” Spike didn't quite sneer. “Not like it's early.”

Willow gave him a confused look. “Um, Spike. Being a vampire and all, wouldn't this actually be early for you?”

“Yeah, whatever,” Spike replied. “Look I'm heading out. Harris, you going or staying?”

“Oh, he's staying,” Buffy replied.

With a smile Xander added, “Yep, staying. See you later Spike.”

“Yeah, later,” Spike said as the trio walked back into the bar. Spike noticed that Xander didn't look back at him, not once.

2 Siege

“I thought I smelled blood,” Jim said as a police car pulled past them.

“Oh ho man, you are good! I sliced myself cutting a bagel this morning. That is great,” Blair exulted. Spike's attention was drawn to the police car where, in the trunk, he saw the head of a corpse emerging out from under a blanket. Blood pooled down from a bullet hole to the corpse's temple. One of the cops pulled the blanket up to completely cover the corpse, before closing the trunk.

“Lovely,” Spike said to himself since Xander had class that evening. “Not even two minutes in and we've already got a blood-covered body.” Since he had the place to himself, Spike lit up a cigarette as he settled in to watch the show. He was so absorbed by the tv that he actually jumped up, startled, when Xander came galumphing down the stairs about twenty minutes later.

“Spike, and what are you still doing here? Shouldn't you be out, oh, I don't know, stealing candy from babies? Oh wait. Chip. You can't.”

“How'd your class go? Did that bint from the Bronze give you her notes?” Spike asked.

Xander deflated. “No, apparently there weren't any notes. I think I did something to upset her but I don't know what,” he trailed off. Spike smirked. Didn't call her, he thought. Dork.

As Xander's gaze was drawn in by the tv, two men aimed a rocket launcher out a window. “Hey, did they just blow up that building with a rocket launcher? What is this?” he asked, sitting himself down on the couch next to Spike.

“It's called The Sentinel. Beautiful bit of brutality. This paramilitary group took over police headquarters and massacred a bunch of people right off the bat. Guns, not my thing, but still a nicely violent show: bloody body in a trunk, killed off all those people I mentioned, shot some detective in the leg while he was trying to escape and even tortured him a bit on top of that. They're saving this group here,” he added as the tv showed the hostages in the squad room, “for snacks. Making me feel right at home, it is.”

“Snacks?” Xander asked.

“Fine, they're thinking of them as hostages,” Spike replied. Pointing to the tv, he added,” This guy? Name's Kincaid. He's damn good at the casual torture. Hell,” he added with a smirk, unable to resist taunting Xander, “they even had the good guys wandering through the sewers, like you lot do.”

“Shh,” Xander said.

Jim and Captain Banks entered the lobby with guns at the ready. Stepping into the open elevator, Captain Banks hit a button. “They've killed the elevators,” he said.

“We're taking the stairs,” Jim replied.

Trying and failing to open the stairwell door, Jim shoved against the door with his shoulder, to no avail. As Captain Banks said, “I've got the key,” Jim's hand moved down to feel the door.

“No, no, it's been welded shut. It's still warm,” Jim replied. “Come on,” he added, moving back towards the garage.

Captain Banks felt the door. “It's not still warm,” he muttered.

“What's up with those two?” Xander asked.

“That Jim guy's a Sentinel. He has hyper aware senses, sort of like a vampire, except he's still alive and can go out into the sun and all,” Spike replied.

“Hyper aware senses?” Xander asked.

“Yeah, he can see things too far away for an ordinary human to see. Senses of hearing, smell, touch, all stronger than normal.”

“Huh,” Xander said as they watched Blair take deep breaths saying something about clear kundalini breathing. “And this guy? Is he meditating?”

“Blair. He's the sidekick. Supposed to be not much use, much like you, but he's already taken out two of the paramilitary troops.”

“Hey, I'm not a sidekick,” Xander exclaimed before pointedly turning towards the tv and ignoring the vampire. Spike took a long look, thinking, good thing I turned that blond bint off of my Xander. Now, how do I lay siege to... Wait. MY Xander?

Turning back to the tv to distract himself, Spike heard Kincaid say, “Get down there and kill whoever's in my building.”

“Love this guy,” Spike said. “Look at how bloodthirsty he is.”

“You know he dies, right?” Xander asked.


“He's the bad guy,” Xander started to say.

“Hey, I'm evil and I'm not dead. Well, no, I am dead but not like I'm about to die,” Spike exclaimed.

Xander smiled in response as they continued to watch the show.

“That guy – what's his name, Jim? – he's hanging from a chopper? I love this show,” Xander said.

“It does have it's moments,” Spike replied, surreptitiously watching Xander. “Not as good as the earlier violence, but I can live with it.”

As Jim turned to leave, Blair stalled him asking, “Great, great. There's just one more question that I've got to ask you.”

“What's that?”

“This wasn't, like, a typical day for you, was it?” When Jim didn't immediately respond, Blair shook his head from side to side, in a please tell me it wasn't motion.

As Jim chucked and walked away, Blair turned and asked, “Well, is it?” Shouting, “Come on,” he ran after Jim.

“I'm missing this for school? I must be growing up,” Xander said.

“Yeah, you're really mature, pet,” Spike replied.

“Pet? Oh no, I don't think so,” Xander said.

“Just a nickname. Unless you'd like me to call you,” Spike started.

“No. No nicknames,” Xander interrupted. “As a matter of fact, no nothing,” he added as a clock caught his attention. “Some of us have to work in the morning. Out. Go kill demons or whatever it is you do when you aren't mooching off of me.”

Spike rolled his eyes but left Xander to his sleep. Feeling oddly uninterested in fighting, he ended up sitting on a tombstone, letting his thoughts wander where they would until they came up with something unexpected.

If I look at him, my heart burns
yet not to look at him...
My soul is besieged

“My soul is besieged? One, I don't have a bloody soul and two, it's not being besieged by some goofy oaf. I don't care how adorable he... Bugger. That bint from the Bronze, it's all her fault. If I hadn't heard her call him 'adorable', I wouldn't have even looked. Bugger. Bugger. Bugger.”

3 Killers

Spike turned on the tv just in time to catch the name of the episode. “Killers, eh? Promising title.”

A bit of Jim and Blair banter. OK, come on with the killing already, killer. Dude on a motorcycle. Spike sat up and leaned towards the tv. Looks like Jim and cycle-guy are about to fight. No, wait. Hugging? Damn mislead, he thought as he relaxed back into the couch. When does somebody get killed? This is boring. Even Xander wouldn't be watching this.

Here we go; this is getting better. One guy down but shot in the back,
he thought disappointedly. No blood. Spike sighed but continued to watch.

It's been seventeen, no eighteen minutes, Spike thought, looking at his watch. Shouldn't Xander be back? Spike wondered as Jim followed the impossibly boring assassin into a warehouse. Maybe I'll just peek outside and see where's he's at, he added, raising himself from the couch. He peered out the door, not wanting to get caught watching for Xander. There was no Xander. Spike lit a cigarette and paced by the door. Where the hell was he? He definitely should have been back. If some demon had gotten it's claws into Xander...

Bugger. He didn't even know where Xander's class was. Couldn't even go looking. Could call the Slayer and tell her Xander was missing. Yeah, cause the big bad's all about watching out for the white hats. Not going to fly.

Three more cigarette butts lay at Spike's feet before Xander drove up in his uncle's car. “Just where have you been?”

“Whoa. Take it down a notch, why don't you?” Xander replied.

“Do you know what time it is?” Spike yelled before realizing what he looked like. Going for nonchalant, he added, “I mean, you have work in the morning and shouldn't be getting in so late.”

“Hey, I was just grabbing a beer with some of the guys from class. The boss is looking to hire and I was sounding them out. Dave's a bit of a slacker but I think Tony and Bill would fit right in. Actually, Tony's been working construction since he was a kid, helping out his Dad and uncles in...” Xander said.

“Beer,” Spike interrupted. Since he couldn't say, I've been driving myself crazy and you've been out tossing back beers, he took a drag and looked off into the distance before asking, “That Denise bint wasn't there, was she?”

“No,” Xander flushed.

“What happened?”

“Happened?” Xander asked. At Spike's glare, he added, “I just wish I knew what I did to upset her. She was totally friendly until that night in the Bronze and now she acts like I killed her kitten.”

Good, Spike thought. “Women,” he disparaged. “I've lived over a hundred years and I still don't get them.”

“Great, good to know there's no hope whatsoever,” Xander replied, opening the door. “You in or out?”

“In,” Spike said. “Getting a bit late. Slayer'll have gotten all the good demons already.”

4 The Debt

As Spike sat down and turned on the tv, Xander stepped out of the kitchen. “Hey, what are you doing? I pay the bills, I pick the show.”

Spike gave Xander a confused look and thought about asking what that had to do with anything but instead said, “Shouldn't you be at class?”

“Finished as of last week. Now give me the remote,” Xander replied as he sat down in the middle of the couch.

“No way I'm missing The Sentinel. You've been busy for the past two months, what do you care?” Spike asked.

“Two months. Thought you hadn't noticed when I wasn't around,” Xander smiled. “Sentinel, huh? That the one where they blew up a building?”

“Yep, right across from police headquarters.”

Xander sighed. “I know I'm going to regret setting the precedent but OK.”

Walking in with a camera, in a case, and a tripod base, Jim handed the base off to Blair. “Who is this?” Jim asked looking at a small monkey, that was wearing a diaper, in a cage.

“Larry,” Blair replied before introducing them. “Larry, Jim. Jim, Larry.”

“I met up with these guys in the jungle,” Jim mused, gazing at the monkey as Blair walked past with the camera's tripod base.

“Don't stare man,” Blair said, giving Jim a smack on the arm to get his attention. “They take that as a sign of aggression.”

“Right, right.” Jim pulled the camera out of it's case and asked, “All right, where's your subject matter?”

Blair points to the cage and replied, “Larry.”

“You mean the chimp?” Jim asked.

“He's not a chimp man, he's a Barbary ape,” Blair replied as Larry reached out of the cage and grabbed himself some popcorn.

As Larry munched on the popcorn, Spike complained, looking towards Xander who was happily chowing down potato chips, “How come the chimp gets a snack but I don't?”

Xander tossed the bag of chips over to Spike, saying, “Not a chimp. Haven't you been paying attention? It's a Barbary Ape although why it's wearing a diaper...”

“Never had a pet, have you, pet?” Spike asked.

“Are you kidding? Let my parents get their hands on some poor innocent? And don't call me pet,” Xander replied.

“Whatever you say, pet,” Spike replied, taking a swig of his beer.

The young black man walked up the metal stairs to join another who was watching a security screen. They both wore blue. “LeRon and Tyrell? What are they doing here?” The second man, sitting before the screen, shrugged. “Better let them in.” Heading towards the car as it pulled in, the first man walked past an open area where about a dozen men, also wearing blue, were working.

As the passenger door opened, the first man said, “You guys aren't working tonight.”

A man, also dressed in blue, stepped out with an automatic rifle and shot him.

As bullets rifled through the man's body, Spike said, “This right here is the main disadvantage of the show. No blood.”

Xander glanced over with an 'I don't want to know' expression so Spike continued. “All those bullets in him and no blood dripping down? Come on.”

As the scene shifted back to Blair's apartment, where they were watching an old cop drama, Xander replied, “But look how the shooting on the tv drowns out the shots from next door.” Spike raised an eyebrow. “That's good tv,” Xander finished, taking the chips back from Spike.

As the driver tossed gasoline over large cannisters, the passenger grabbed plastic bags full of white powder and threw them into a carry bag. Lighting a rag at the end of a bottle, the driver tossed it to the floor where it caught on the gasoline; the ensuing flame raced towards the cannisters. The two men dashed back to the car and tore out of the place. The fire hit the cannisters, which exploded.

Back in Blair's apartment, Jim shouted, “Get down!” They leaped to the floor and the wall behind them exploded into the room.

“Now there's an idea. Could blow this dump up,” Spike said. Xander ignored him.

As Jim carried a couple of suitcases out of Blair's devastated apartment and tossed them into Blair's car, he asked, “You mean to tell me, in all the time you lived here, you never once suspected the group next door was running an ice lab?”

“Ah man. I swear that place was deserted. I mean, last week I did start hearing some strange noises in the middle of the night.” Larry reached down from the top of the cage, already in the car, to rest his paws onto Blair's shoulder. “But I could have sworn it was just the plumbing,” Blair complained before turning with an affectionate, “Hi, Larry.” He continued back to his previous track with, “Or like the rodents or something. I don't know.”

“Is this all your stuff?” Jim asked.

“Yeah, it's most of it,” Blair replied dejectedly.

Jim held his land out to Larry who slapped at it in a friendly manner. “I'll have to try to come back tomorrow and put the rest of it in storage.” Jim slaps Blair comfortingly on the shoulder. “This... this is just the worst. Where am I going to stay?”

“I don't know. Hotel, hostel, something,” Jim says backing away towards his car.

“That's fine for me but what about Larry?” Blair replied, gesturing back towards the Barbary Ape.

“Put him in a kennel. You'll figure it out.”

“I can't do that to him.” Jim turned to step over some of the building that had exploded out that far. “I mean my project's due Friday. Unless...” he trailed off hopefully.

“No no no. No. Forget it. Just forget it,” Jim argued.

“Come on, Jim. Please. Please. Please. My back is up against the wall here. Come on, man. I've got nowhere else to go.”

“I'm just not a big fan of animals in cages,” Jim tried.

“Larry? Look, he's no problem man. No trouble at all. I mean, he's been around people his whole life. Heck, he's more human than some of my friends.”

“That's supposed to reassure me?” Jim asked.

“Jim. One week. One week. And I promise, I promise,” he added more emphatically, “we'll be out of your hair. Come on. One week man.”

“Hey, look. He's begging for a place to live, just like some other loser I could name,” Xander said.

“I don't beg. You lot offered because I help out with demons,” Spike replied.

“Looked in the mirror lately? Besides you've tried to kill us how many times?” Xander asked.

“Doesn't count; this is more recent,” Spike replied.

“That's your definition? You haven't been evil recently so you're good?” Xander asked, astounded at Spike's reasoning.

“Hey, I am not good. Why can't you lot remember I'm evil?”

“Probably has something to do with how cute you look when you're floating your Count Chocula marshmallows in blood,” Xander replied.

“They taste better that way,” Spike replied with dignity. “Wait. Did you just say I'm cute?” When Xander didn't respond, Spike added, “You did. You think I'm attractive.”

“No way, blood breath,” Xander muttered.

“You know, I'm already beginning to regret this,” Jim said as he picked up the suitcases and moved them to his truck.

“So, Jim and Blair are moving in together, eh. Wonder how long it'll be before they're shagging,” Spike said.

“What? Eww. In case you hadn't noticed, two men.”

“Two men who are living together,” Spike replied.

“I'm with Jim on this one. Seriously starting to question why I let you live here. And don't think your living here means that you and I are ever going to...” Xander trailed off.

Spike gave Xander a leer. “You're protesting a bit much, don't you think? I mean, if it had never crossed your mind, you wouldn't be getting all hot and bothered about it.”

“I am not all hot and bothered,” Xander shouted before shaking his head. “Just watch the show.”

Spike smirked to himself.

Antoine Hollins, leader of the Deuces, is roughhousing along the street with Earl Gaines, a young detective. After a produce vendor complained about them tossing around a cabbage, they started walking down the street, side by side.

“Talk to me 'Toine. I know the Deuces didn't do that lab.”

“Tell it to the 357's,” Antoine replied.

“How bad is it?” Earl asked.

They stopped and Antoine looked upwards. “It's all falling apart,” he said as the turned to look at Earl. “You know how hard I worked to make that truce.”

Earl nodded in agreement before asking, “Who did the hit?”

“What kind of a gang leader is this guy supposed to be? Truces and peace,” Spike sneered.

“So, let me get this straight. This gang leader and the detective are supposed to be cousins?” Xander asked.

“Yeah, pet,” Spike answered, rolling his eyes. “White hats and... well, white hats if he's all peaceful, getting along. Who could have imagined such a thing?”

“It's going to be bad,” Antoine said before pulling his cousin into a quick hug. “Say hello to grandmama,” he added backing down the street.

“You tell her yourself. Sunday. Five o'clock,” Earl replied before turning towards a hot dog vendor.

Antoine chuckled as he walked away until a masked man walked out of a doorway, aiming a gun at him. “Yeah, you ain't so wild now. Huh?” The man shot Antoine twice in the chest before running off.

“At least they killed him off. Maybe we'll get some decent violence now,” Spike said.

“Violence? They've already killed all the men in the drug lab, blown up a building, and shot a guy down in the middle of the street. How much more do you want?” Xander asked.

“Oh, lots more,” Spike said in a suggestive tone of voice but, since the comment was ambiguous, Xander ignored it.

Entering his apartment, Jim saw that it had been ransacked: popcorn spilled off the table, couch pillows and papers had been tossed about; a coffee table was overturned by the door. Pulling out his gun, Jim scanned the area. At a noise from the second level, he aimed his gun upwards and shouted, “All right. Put your hands where I can see them. Now.”

Xander said, “Looks like my place after you're done with it.”

“I don't trash our place,” Spike replied.

“My place,” Xander said. “And you leave your towels all over the floor.”

Jim lowered his gun. “What the hell happened here?” he asked Blair.

Walking down the stairs, Blair replied, “Larry and I were watching The Wild Bunch, right. And he just... I opened the cage to give him some popcorn and he just freaked out. He like tried to bite me and he took off. I thought I had him upstairs in the closet but he gave me the slip.”

“So, the monkey's in the closet. Much like Jim and Blair. Tell me you think that was accidental,” Spike leered.

“Spike, how many times do I have to tell you? They aren't gay!”

Relaxing and putting his feet up onto the coffee table, Spike replied, “I keep coming up with concrete evidence. All you've got is hollow assertions.”

“You'd better go find him but warn the neighbors first. Come on. Out,” Jim told Blair. As Blair headed towards the door, Jim said to Animal Control, on the other end of the phone line, “Yeah, I'd like to report a lost Barbary Ape. No, he's not a gorilla, he's an ape.

“Oh ho,” Spike exulted, “Check out that look on Blair's face. Looks like we will get to see some shagging soon.”

Xander just glared in response.

“Come and get it. Eggs are almost done, scrambled, firm, just the way you like it,” Blair said.

“See?” Spike asked. “Blair's making him breakfast. Sharing food. Bonding. He even said the eggs are firm,” he said, giving the final word a suggestive leer. “He's only been living there one day and he already knows how Jim likes his eggs. You know they've been doing it.”

“He likes his eggs scrambled, just like your brains,” Xander replied.

“Oh, come on. Jim even called it a 'courtship ritual.'” Spike said.

Xander turned towards Spike and yelled, “Will you just give it a rest. They. Are. Not. Shagging.” Glaring, he turned back towards the tv and missed Spike's look of satisfaction.

Detective Gaines, gun on the driver who had blown up the ice lab, dragged him into an alley. Seeing an opportunity, the driver knocked the gun out of Gaines' hands and they started to scuffle. Gaines, grabbing the driver's arm, punched him three times in the torso.

“Yeah, finally. A spot of violence,” Spike said.

“I'm more curious to see what's up with Blair and the cop's grandmother,” Xander replied.

“You would be.”

Earl Gaines' grandmother was sitting with Blair, in her apartment, listening to an old Blues record, when somebody banged on the door. “Yo. Mrs. LeCroix. We've got to talk to you. It's about your boy, Earl.”

While she stood up, Blair removed the needle from the record and then stood. “I... I'll get this,” he told her, patting her shoulder reassuringly. “You OK?

“If worse comes to worse, I'll be hearing my late husband sing the Blues again,” she replied.

“Let's,” Blair put up his hands in denial, “Let's hope not.”

As he opens the door, two thugs, members of the Deuces, barge in. “Yo. You're going to have to come with us ma'am. We're going to take you to him.”

“I know that voice,” she said reaching out to the young man. Her cataract covered eyes showed clearly as she put her hands on his shoulders and added, “That's Sylvia Hayes boy. Marcus.”

“Come on, come on. We ain't got much time,” the other thug said, visibly upset.

“Just a minute. I need to take my medicine.” Blair and the thugs exchanged nervous glances as she walked across to room to an open entryway. She nodded and a crowd of people followed her out of the back room. Another crowd gathered at the doorway to the apartment, which had been left open.

“Gentlemen,” Blair said. “I'd like you to meet the Roosevelt Garden's Safety Committee.”

The second thug tried to make his way out the apartment but was blocked by an old man standing in the doorway. Backing up, he held his gun to the old man's chest, shouting, “Out of my way, you old fool.”

Marcus aimed his gun at Mrs. LeCroix. As she held her hands out towards Marcus, the old man exclaimed, “You gonna shoot me? You gonna shoot all of us.”

The second thug put his gun away and bolted out the door. “Now... where are you going?” Marcus shouted, turning towards his fleeing partner. Mrs. LeCroix grabbed the gun and turned it on him.

“We're not scared of you Marcus Hayes. We ain't scared of your punk friend neither.” Marcus inched nervously from side to side. “Now git.” She shook the gun at him. He fled. “Git.”

Blair looked out the window and then turned back, clapping. “Congratulations.”

As everybody started clapping, Mrs LeCroix waved the gun in the air saying, “Watch out. I'm in a feisty mood.”

“You know, that guy's grandmother is pretty cool,” Xander said.

“Yeah,” Spike agreed. “She'd have made an awesome vampire. She has a lot of...”

“I don't want to know,” Xander interrupted.

“Drive and determination,” Spike finished. “Good qualities for a vampire.”

Xander didn't reply. They watched the rest of the show in silence until the very end.

The bad guys were caught or killed. Earl Gaines had been vindicated. Time for the happy ending. Captain Banks and Jim accompanied Earl as he went to check on his grandmother. Stepping out of the car, he grabbed her into a hug, saying, with a huge smile on his face, “Hey Grandma.”

Hugging him back, she replied, “What you've been up to, boy? You're all skin and bones.”

Stepping up to Blair, Jim said, “Good work, Sandburg.”

Blair replied, “Oh no. It wasn't me, Jim.” Turning towards Mrs. LeCroix he added, “Jim, I'd like you to meet Mrs. Leila LeCroix.”

“I've heard so much about you,” Jim told her. “Your grandson is a good man.”

“Mr. Sandburg,” she said. “I want you and your friends to stay for supper.”

“Oh, of course,” nodded in agreement. “Of course. We'd love to.”

“I want you to stay too,” Earl told Captain Banks.

“Hey, it's Granny again,” Xander said.

Spike grabbed the chips from Xander, only to find out the bag was empty. No wonder he gave them up so easily, Spike thought. He was about to say something snarky when Xander added, “Man, she's inviting everybody over for dinner.”

Spike noticed that Xander sounded disappointed, like he was being left out. He carefully didn't look at Xander as he headed to the kitchen, to toss out the empty bag, while thinking about the lack of real food, as opposed to snack food, in Xander's cupboards.

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