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by Gypsy Gray

Xander stood on the balcony watching the sky. The heat was almost
oppressive, but he didn't feel it. He hadn't felt the swelter of New Orleans
in August for almost two years. Since the night he'd caught a stray horn in
the stomach. The wound had been deep, the blood had flowed too quickly to be
stopped. Spike had solved a potentially fatal problem in the simplest of
manners. The transition to vampirism had been a smooth one for him; his Sire
was already his trusted and beloved mate. The fact that Oz and Wes were
already vampires only made it easier.

They'd been home from Sunnydale for less then eight weeks when a
werewolf hunter came to town. The hunter's luck was the only thing they hadn
't anticipated. A stray silver bullet had gone through Wes' back and come
out his long. Oz had ripped the hunter into unrecognizable shreds while
Spike turned his mate. Oz had barely waited for Wes to wake up before
demanding to be turned. After that, they had very few problems with anyone.
There weren't many stupid or ambitious enough to tangle with a master
vampire, a were-vampire, a vampire warlock, and a sorcerer.

Xander had made it another seven months before being turned. Poor Riley
had been the only human in a house full of bloodsuckers. But the ex-soldier
had handled it all very well. He'd quickly put aside the prejudice against
anything non-human that the military had drilled into him. His loyalty and
help had proved invaluable. Xander still missed him. It had been so
comforting to stroll into the kitchen and find Spike and Riley bickering
over a poker game, while Wes and Oz laughed at them from the chair they were
sharing. Riley had become so much apart of their family that Spike had made
it clear that if the ex-soldier were injured he would be turned. The only
real fight the five of them ever had was when Riley asked Spike to promise
that he would let him die.

The first Christmas after Xander was turned was an eventful one. They'd
kept in contact with the L.A. group as more of a professional courtesy than
anything else. Xander wasn't surprised when Tara called to tell him that she
and Cordelia were moving in together. He was caught off guard when Faith was
released from prison and the two of them went with her to Sunnydale. The
three of them were very happy together, and they were even more effective in
their work then the Scooby gang had ever been. Tara had become a powerful
witch. The magic had shaped her into a skilled fighter and a fierce
protector of innocents. Cordelia's visions proved to be an invaluable tool
in their work. The two of them served as a grounding influence for Faith,
and the once unstable young woman had become one of the most effective
Slayers in history. Her reputation as "The Slayer" had already surpassed

Tara's phone call had been quickly followed by one from Doyle. The
Irishman was delighted to inform them that they had an Uncle. When Doyle had
been injured Angel had followed Spike's example and turned his lover. It was
through Doyle that they learned of Giles' return from England. It was also
Doyle that made the call for their help when Wolfram & Hart raised Darla.
The time in Los Angeles had put the final touches on what would become a
solid working relationship, and Xander had had the pleasure of watching
Giles be pursued by the Host. The older man had never been chased before.
Even with Ethan he had done the chasing. They were an odd couple, but Giles
was happy. His eyes were no longer full of shadows, and Lorn's charm and
patience had chased away the specter of Ethan Rayne in no uncertain terms.

The biggest surprise had been watching the sparks fly between Riley and
Angel's newest "employee" Gunn. It had been hate on sight, or so it was to
hear them tell it. Vampire senses told a different story. With the amount of
pheromones they'd put off it had been everything Angel could do to keep the
others from forming a pool to bet on when they hit the sheets. Xander hadn't
been surprised when Riley stayed in L.A.

Cool arms circled his waist. Soft lips brushed the side of his neck.

"Come inside Pet. The sun will be up soon."

"Not for another hour."

"Still, you should get your rest. You're not gonna be getting much

"We're not doing anything tomorrow but sleeping late and staying in
bed. You said it was the perfect way to spend a weekend off."

"So I did. Come inside...I'll show what we can do when we're not

Xander's laughter followed them into the house. Their love and happiness
followed them into their dreams. When they slept...several hours later.

The End