Anya stirred as Xander opened the car door and sat down inside, slamming it behind him. Anya blinked back the sleep, uncomprehending what was happening around her at first, and then she sat up, looking over at Xander. He was breathing heavily in short ragged gasps and his hands were clutching the steering wheel so tightly that his knuckles were now white. "Do you want me to drive?" She asked, smiling.
"N-no." He said, fumbling with the keys "I-I'm fine." He started the car, the keys jingling in his shaking hands. The car roared to life and then sped into action. Anya was smashed into her seat. The car drove off, picking up more and more speed as it went. Anya gripped the dashboard tightly.Anya looked over at Xander, fear(yet another new emotion Anya wasn't used to)creeping up her spine. She placed a hand on xanders' shoulder, keeping the other hand tightly on the dash.
"Xander, careful!" She said, looking out at the road as it went under her faster and faster. "Xander?" She asked calmly. His eyes stared vacantly out into the night. "Xander...." She said, still keeping calm. And then a break in her voice "Xander......" And then finally a fearful scream "Xander, you're scaring me!" He slammed onto the break them, suddenly. Anyas head shot forward and cracked onto the dashboard with horrifying speed. The car spun out,and came sideways on the middle of the road. Xander blinked, the panic retreating from him. He then looked over at Anya, who laid motionless, her head against the dashboard. Xander could see some blood.
"Anya?" He asked calmly, shaking her. "Anya?!" His voice began to quiver with tears. "Anya!?" He kicked open his door and ran to the other side, nearly ripping the passenger door off of it's hinges. He pulled her out of the car and laid her on the road. "Oh,god, please baby, wake up!" Tears flowed freely. He shook her, and then pulled her into a tight embrace. Then the rain began to fall. It fell in torrents, drenching the pair. He kneeled there, the rain feeling good on his skin, which had gone feverish since the incident in the diner. He cried openly, clutching Anya against him. He then heard a car horn. Xander glared through the rain, seeing a buick drive up, the headlights covering the teen and the ex-demon. The door opened and the dark haired man from the diner(the one who had been pre-occupied with the picture) walked out,an umbrella in his hand. He ran up, pulling his coat close around him. He held the umbrella over them.
"You okay?" The man shouted over the roar of the rain on the pavement.
"Yes, I mean, no..." Xander said, looking back and forth between Anya and the man. The man bent down to examine them.
"Accident?" he asked.
"Yeah." Xander lied.
"Get her into my car, and we'll drive to the next town." The man said. Xander stared up at him blankly in shock. He could tell what was being asked of him, but he couldn't keep it all together. There was Anya, and the rain, and then this man and that blasted word again: Paradise. The man seemed to understand the condition he was in and pulled the girl from his arms, carrying her to his car and placing her in the backseat. Xander got up and sleepwalked over to the car, getting in. He sat there, listening the rain drum onto the car,and watched the droplets chase each other down the windowpane, and soon fell asleep
"Uh....Mr.Harris?" Came a deep voice. Xander opened his eyes and looked into the face of the dark-haired man from the night before. The memories of the night before came back to him.
"Anya!" Xander shouted, sitting straight up.
"Hold on there, cowboy." The man said, putting a hand up in his way. Xander ignored him and got to his feet, looking around. "Mr.Harris, please calm down?"
"Who are you, the doctor?" Xander asked, not looking at him. He noticed he was in a nondescript hotel room.
"No, I'm the man from last night, do you remember?"
"Yes, I remember." Xander said "And I'll be glad to thank you till your hearts content once I see Anya." He started walking out, the dark haired man following close behind. Xander entered the hallway. "Where is she?"
"The next room." Xander opened the door and saw Anya naked. xander spun around and stared at the man. "I,uh,undressed her." The man said. "She was soaked. I also undressed you...." Xander looked down and saw he was in a hospital gown. xander blushed and looked up at the man."Hey, don't panic. There was a doctor here. It's a small town, so the doctor kind of made me his nurse with you two. Needed me to do it so he could prepare his equipment."
"Is she going to be alright?" Xander demanded. The man nodded.
"She's gonna be fine, Mister Harris. Are you okay?" The man asked, concerned. Xander nodded.
"Yeah." Xander walked into his room, searching for his wallet."How much do I owe you for the hotel rooms and the doctor?"
"Forget it." The guy said "It's taken care of." Xander did a double take.
"What?" Xander asked.
"It's all taken care of. I talked the hotel guy down about a hundred bucks. Made it seem like he was being a hero." The man smiled at his victory. "And the doc was cheap, surprisingly. And he was quite good." Xander stared in disbelief.
"I can't believe.....I mean....thank you so much Mr...."Xander asked,holding out a hand.
"Roberge." The man said "David Roberge." They shook hands. Davids' handshake was strong.
"Xander Harris." Xander said "Thank you. It you hand't come along then we'd be screwed right now..."
"Hey, don't mention it." David said warmly "Now why don't we go get your car...?"
Xander got dressed and walked out of the hotel to see a small street with a few mom and pop stores and a single gas station with a few resturaunts and diners. "It seems nice." David commented "The people are nice."
"Yeah." Xander said. He got a bad feeling about the place. "C'mon, let's get that car."
"You the guy who owns the car on the interstate?" Came an old grizzled voice. Xander and David spun around.
"Yeah." Xander said.
"It was towed in last night. It's all broken down." The old man said. The old man was wearing a stained pair of overalls and a small pair of glasses over a huge frame of a white beard. The man was overweight and very old.
"Broken down?" Xander asked. "How?" The old man beconed and Xander and David followed into a small garage. Above it on a small wooden sign with Moses' garage painted onto it. Xander followed the old man in, David close behind. Inside the garage was something resembling xanders' car. The engine inside had been busted open, as if it had exploded.
"This car went through one hell of a night, apparently." The old man said. "Everything seems to be from over use. A genuine breakdown." The old man looked up and grinned. xander saw he had about six or seven teeth in his head. "What happened?"
"I..I don't know." Xander said. He looked at David, who shrugged, confused. Davids' dark eyes surveyed the car, and then bored into Xanders' eyes, screaming that something wasn't right. Xander agreed. "How much to fix it?" xander asked.
"Oh...I couldn't give you an estimate now..." The old man said, cackeling. "Gotta give me time." Xander nodded. He turned and walked away.
"We're at the hotel. Contact us there." David said, following Xander out. Once David joined Xander outside, xander got in close.
"My car didn't look like that." Xander said quietly. ,p> "I know that." David said "What do you think happened?"
"That old fart wrecked my car just to bleed me dry?" Xander asked. David nodded.
"Yeah. Yeah, you're probably right." Then the old man came running out.
"Oh, I forgot!" Moses cried "Welcome to the town of Paradise. Make sure you enjoy your stay!"