Chapter 6: Welcome to Paradise

David sipped at his coffee and looked across the table at Xander, who was nervously sipping his own. There was silence between the two. David watched the dark haired teen drinking his coffee, his hands shaking and his face white. "Xander,buddy, you okay?" David asked, concerned. Xander kept staring off into space, and then shook his head as if awakened from a trance.

"Hm? Oh. Yeah." Xander took another sip, spilling a few drops onto the table.

"Xander, I know this is odd, but there has to be an explanation..."

"Yeah. That woman was chanting Paradise, David. I don't think that's a normal part of conversation, do you?" Xander snapped. David stared at him and took another sip. "How's your car?" Xander asked.

"My car?" David asked, suddenly alarmed. "Haven't checked it...." He sat straight up "Check please...."

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The pair walked up to Davids' car. The outside seemed okay, it was still an old beat up Buick. David popped the hood and found that it was okay. He breathed a sigh of relief. "Well, it's fine." He said, smiling. When he saw the angered look on Xanders' face. "Sorry." he grinned apologetically.

"I need to find a phone." Xander said. He started walking away.

"Where do I go?" David asked from behind him.

"Home." Xander said, walking back over "Look, I think something is wrong here, and you've done more than enough for us..."

"I'm not going anywhere, Xander." David said "I'm way too damned curious to just leave." He smiled "I guess you're stuck with me." Xander stared at him a moment, and then nodded.

"Okay. Then this is what I would like you to do. Would you mind going to the hotel and keeping an eye on Anya?" Xander asked. David smiled and nodded.

"Sure." Xander started to walk away "Hey, Xander..." Xander turned around."This Anya......she your girlfriend?"

"Not officially." Xander said "We're...uh....sort of....she likes me." He finally spat out. The words seemed alien to him. A girl liked him. He turned and walked away

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David sat around in his hotel room next door to Anyas'. The hotel was one of those ones that all led outside, with a railing facing the road. The road it was on was a main street, and it was more modern than some of the other streets he had seen. There was a small gas station across the street, and a few other select buissnesses. It was a typical small town. Until it got really dark. Then the area lit up like a full blown city, and began to be covered with people. More and more teens flooded the street, playing loud rock music. Cars flew by, speeding. David began to worry about Xander, but he figured that the teen could handle himself

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The first thing Xander did was call Giles back. When he finally found a phone he could use, it was almost dark. He went to the payphone, dialed the number and heard it ring twice, and then, "hello?"

"Hello,Giles?" Xander asked.

"No, this is Oz." Oz said, his voice surprised. "Xander,that you?"

"yeah,man, I've got trouble." Xander said.

"Hmmm,us too. We've got us a demon that actually burrows inside of people. It's really gross." Oz said "What's your trouble?"

"Way too complicated,man. Is Giles around?" Xander asked hurridly.

"Uh...hold on." Oz said. There was silence for a few moments, and then,

"Xander?"

"Giles, defcon 4 man! What's up with Paradise?" Xander asked quickly, barely breathing.

"Nothing." Giles said "Besides the normal biblical references of Heaven being Paradise, there's nothing. I think you were dealing with some insane woman, xander."

"Look, I'm in a town called Paradise! And my car was smashed up over night! And Anya's hurt..."

"Anyas' with you?" Giles asked.

"Yeah, and this guy named David. I had an accident, and Anya was hurt, but the car was fine. The next morning the car was totaled." Xander said.

"Interesting. Do you know where you are?" Giles asked.

"Uh.....not really. No idea what state I'm in. I'm lost, and I don't want to ask directions. I have a bad feeling about this place." Xander replid.

"Hmm. Even if we knew where you were, I'm afraid we're busy with normal Hellmouth duties to send any back up....." Giles said.

"You mean I'm on my own?" Xander yelled into the reciever "How in the hell am I supposed to survive here?"

"Look, I'll try to locate a town called Paradise and when we can we will send help, but until then...." Giles said.

The phone then went dead.

"Giles?" Xander asked, hitting the reciever handle and checking for sound. He then heard a noise behind him. He spun around and caught a kick to the face. Xander hit the ground hard, and started to get up.

"Welcome to Paradise, pretty boy." Came a thick voice.

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In her room, Anya stirred in her bed. She looked around and saw it empty, and that she was naked. She then looked up and saw the shadow in the corner. It didn't move, just stood on the edge of the moonlight. She breathed heavily and groaned. But the fear was creeping inside of her. Someone was in the room with her. But who? "Xander?" She asked. No response. Not that she wasn't surprised. "You're not real." She said hurridly "You're just a trick of the light. Just my imagination." There was silence for a moment, the shadow not moving at all. She breathed a sigh of relief, content with her victory. And then the shadow moved. It just walked around the bed and to the door. Her breath caught in her throat, and she just stared, open mouthed, at the shadow that moved. It was a tall man(or at least she assumed it was a man) and he wore a dark robe with a hood over his head. It stared at her from it's place in front of the door, and then opened the door with a creek and exited. The door swung slowly through the air and closed with a click. "Xander?" She whispered, too low for anyone to hear her.

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Xander got punched again, this time being smashed back into a car. He lunged for his opponent, swinging a backhand. He caught the man on the left side of his face, but the man straightened and brought a knee into his stomach. Xander began to choke and dropped to his knees, clutching at his guts. He heard some wheezing, like an old man who needed oxygen. "Fucking kid." A deep hacking voice said.

"What do we do,Peter?" Asked a thick stupid voice, like one that would come from a body builder. it was this man who had been beating the crap out of him.

"I don't know, Paul." The man called Peter replied. Xander looked up and saw that Peter was actually a man in his thirties with a bald head. He wore a nose ring that connected to an earring with a long chain. His eyes were covered in dark sunglasses. He wore a tight net shirt and leather pants. His feet were clad in combat boots. Next to him was a large guy with a brown sweatshirt and jeans and a pair of work boots. His hair was short and messy brown. This must have been Paul. He was huge. Behind them were two more men: One with long dark hair and a leather trench coat, and another sported a goatee and a small black jean jacket with blue jeans. He was flicking a switchblade in his left hand, and occasionally he would cut into the tip of one of his fingers on his left hand. Xander heard yet another man behind him. He turned and saw the most normal looking one among them; a younger guy with blonde hair. His eyes were blue and he wore a sweater and kahkis. He seemed out of place with the others.

"Who are you guys?" Xander gasped, trying to catch his breath. His only answer was a punch in the face from Paul.

"This is a warning." Peter said "The Nightcrawlers run this town. We don't like outsiders. Leave."

"Can't. Car ruined." Xander gasped. Paul grabbed a hold of his neck and lifted him into the air. Xander kicked wildly, but feel short with every blow. He was then slammed down onto the hood of a car. The wind just slid from his lungs, and he began to gasp wildly. He never thought he'd miss having Buffy around this much. Peter filled his vision.

"You've been warned." Peter turned and walked away. Xander began to lose concioussness, and then he saw a pretty face look down at him. As his eyes closed, he felt himself being lifted.

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