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“You know, once in a while I would like it if there WASN’T any murders for a day in Sunnydale…just ONCE! But no, the dead boys never get their beauty sleep.” Xander sat down with a sigh. Giles had just gotten through reading an article from the Sunnydale newspaper. Woman found dead. Two punctured holes in neck. Oh, the possibilities.

“Yes, well, they must feed sometime Xander. I imagine that sleep is not their concern, neither is beauty.” Giles removed his glasses and began whipping them off. “Speaking of concern, where is Buffy?”

“I was wondering the same thing.” Giles and Xander turned as Willow and Oz approached them. “I thought she should be in here already.” Willow said, sitting by Xander.

“Yeah, well, you know our Buffster.” Xander replied.

“What’s that about me?” Buffy entered the library wearing a short black skirt and a purple top that had a v-neck, showing what Xander always enjoyed seeing. Even though dating is a big no for them, he still had a soft spot for her. And her outfits.

“Never mind that Buffy. We have more important issues at hand. There seems to be an enhancement in the vampire population. The obituaries in the newspaper seem rather larger than usual. You should patrol tonight longer and expand your search. Perhaps there is some important happening or some power calling them here.” Giles held out the paper to Buffy.

“Wow, your not wasting any time Giles. Straight to the disaster topic. Remember to breathe though next time between sentences.” She took the paper from him, glanced at it, and set it down. Vampire deaths never surprised her anymore. Or seemed to be a threat.

“I’m sorry to cut our visit short, but I gotta go. Literature class reading assignment. Loads o’ fun. And yes, Giles, I will be careful on my patrol tonight.” Giles did a double-take. Buffy smiled. It was always fun to take the words right out of his mouth. Buffy turned and walked out just as Cordelia entered.

“Oh, leaving so soon Buffy? I was hoping you’d stick around, you know, so I can offer some fashion tips?”

“No thanks Cordy. I’m not really into the hooker-thing this season.” Buffy smirked at her and left.

“Funny, I was just going to say the same to her. Hey, I need a book for some history project my teacher is forcing me to do. How rude.” Cordelia walked to the table and stood impatiently.

“Yes, those horrible, horrible teachers! How dare they make you learn?!” Xander gave her a look.

“Nobody asked your opinion, since it’s worthless anyway!” Cordelia returned the look. “So what new world-ending project is Buffy on now? Is it the never-going-to-get-a-boyfriend-with-a-beating-heart mission?”

* * * * *

Whoosh! Dust erupted from the staked vampire. Another charged at Buffy, throwing a punch. She caught it, kicked the vampire in the chest throwing it back, and turned just in time to stake another advancing at her. Buffy flipped onto the vampire she kicked down and drove Mr. Pointy right through his heart.

“Wow, they didn’t stand a chance.” Oz stood observing from the end of the alley, hands in pockets, head cocked to the side.

“Oz…what are you doing here? Not that I’m not happy to see you, but I never usually see you out.” Buffy walked over to him.

“Well, I was just going for a walk. Deep thinking time.”

“Mind if I ask what about?”

“No. Well, sort of…come to think about it, I guess not.” Buffy smiled at him. Oz could be confusing, but he always had his head on straight. She’s never known to see Oz out by himself. Must be something serious he’s thinking about, Buffy thought.

“Well, if you want to spill the beans, I’ll be here to collect them.” Oz smirked. An emotion.

“It’s just that, well, ever since the Xander and Willow incident, Willow just seems to be treating Xander like he has burning skin. No touching of any kind. Makes me feel bad. I don’t want their relationship to be affected. I can understand why, but you know, still feel bad.”

“Oz, it’s not your fault. Willow just cares a lot about you. She doesn’t want to hurt you again, or make you think that there’s any serious loving between them. You should talk to her. Let her know its ok for contact with Xander. Just not in the…intimate sort of way.”

“I already know.” Willow had somehow snuck upon them while they were walking through the alley ways. Oz turned toward Willow and looked down.

“Hey.” Oz said softly.

“Hey.” Willow held her hands together and walked towards Oz. “I never knew you felt that way. It’s not your fault Oz. I just, well, you know, want you to see that I’m an Oz-only kind of girl.”

“I know. Just want you and Xander to be like you were and not so distant.”

“We are working on it.” Willow gave him a reassuring smile.

Buffy drew in a breath and pushed them away. “I’d hate to interrupt your moment, but…duty calls!” Vampires ran towards them. Or was it vampires? A black triangle tattoo was in the middle of the brow of the vampires advancing, and rectangular shapes under the eyes. One of them swung a sword at Buffy’s head. She ducked, pulled a stake from her pocket, and drove it into the heart. Dust bunnies now. Yep, they were vampires. After the battle, Buffy was surrounded by dust. Willow and Oz had already taken off. Wait till Giles hears about this.
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