The Scoobies were in the library studying the arcane books for clues of how to stop Angelus. It seemed strange to all of them that a night of blissful passion with Buffy had turned the (more-or-less) gentle Angel into the monster he had been. That was not the way they thought a night of sex would turn out.

As usual, Giles and Willow were deep into the books while Cordelia was sitting there, bored but oh so hot.

Xander felt that he was not really contributing to the Scooby gang. This make him feel inadequate, which is not the most comfortable emotion for a teen-aged boy. He felt that if he could do something useful, really useful in the vampire hunts, he could:

Feel better about himself

Get more respect from the rest of the gang

Get Cordelia (or maybe Willow) to get the hots for him, like he had for either or both of them (the possibilities were intriguing).

Willow comes across a passage in a book saying that vampires had an odd obsession about being distracted by any large number of things on the ground in front of them, but it had to be lots of things, the more the better. Xander jokes that all they need to do is drop a bunch of marbles in front of them and they would be safe. Willow says no, that the things have to be something living. Xander comments that he guessed that, having been in graves, vamps were distracted by grubs, maggots and worms. The girls looked at each other and went 'Ew! Gross".

Giles commented that he recalled something from another book saying it did not have to be animal, that beans or rice had been known to work. Cordelia asks, 'So you want to make vamp sushi?" Willow comments that Buffy had told her once that you had to tenderize them and then turn them into a dust-kabobs.

Xander thought about the idea of rice. You could have an awful lot of rice in a small package.

Xander Harris steeled himself as he watch Angelus walk towards him, an evil grin on the vampire's face. While he'd read about this in some of Giles' books and had the man, and even the vampire coming towards him (when he was in possession of his supposed soul) confirm the generalities of his theory, he wasn't at all sure that it was going to actually work. Saying a quick prayer, Xander did a check to make sure that he had what he needed to make his plan work. As he was confirming, Xander addressed Angelus as the vampire got closer.

"Visiting hours are over." Xander stated, as he straightened up and turned to face the vampire.

Angelus, who was now standing face to face with Xander, chucked in respect at the boy's bravery and daring, before responding.

"Well, I'm pretty much family." Angelus stated, as he got into Xander's face.

To Angelus' surprise, this didn't seem to faze, Xander. Instead, the boy reached into his pocket and pull out a brown paper bag, the size you might keep penny candy in and handed it to Angelus. The vampire to the bag in surprise and suspicion, mocking Xander while he did.

"Well Harris, I wasn't aware that we were at the exchanging gifts stage of our relationship," Angelus started sarcastically. As Angelus held the bag, from the top, bringing it towards him, Xander flicked out a dagger and cut open the bottom of the bag, letting grains of rice spill forward.

Thinking that whatever happened was a feint to give Xander a chance to attack and try to kill him, while believing himself to be more than prepared for any plan the boy could think up, Angelus looked down.

Upon seeing the rice, Angelus immediately bent down and began to start counting the individual grains, compulsively, not paying attention to anything else.

Seeing that his plan was, shockingly, working; Xander dove into his sweater, pulling out a stake, which he quickly plunged into the Angelus' back, causing a brief man-shaped cloud of ashes, before it all sunk to the floor.

Looking around and seeing that no one had noticed what was going on, Xander reached down and grabbed the paper sack he had behind his feet. Opening it up, Xander pulled out a small broom and dustpan, the kind that someone might keep in their shop to sweep off the top of their workbench. After he finished sweeping up the ash and rice, Xander poured it into the bag and stuffed everything back into his sweater.

Walking over to the nurses' station, Xander peripherally noticed the nurses on duty quickly stop talking and straighten up in their seats. Figuring someone important was coming up behind him, Xander hoped to get his business done quickly.

"Excuse me ma'am, I was hoping to use your phone and call my friend for a lift. I was staying here in the hope that my friend in the room that I was sitting out of, would wake up and if that was the case; I thought that she would want a familiar face around. Given that there doesn't seem to be any movement or general response from her so far, I figure that I can go home and come back with my friends to see her when I'm more refreshed." Xander said with what he hoped was a winning smile.

With an oddly knowing look on her face (being part of an ER on a hellmouth, all of the long term residents had some knowledge of things that went bump in the night. Besides, given how often Xander had found himself in the ER, most of the nurses were willing to look the other way, as long as he wasn't seriously breaking the law, hospital rules.) , that slightly freaked out Xander, the nurse handed over the phone. Quickly calling Giles had transportation taken care of.

When Buffy came to, later in the week, there was no mention of a confrontation late at night outside of her hospital room. After she was healed from her sickness, Buffy went out looking for Angelus, but none of the demon population knew anything about the master vampire, although the rumor that Buffy learned after she 'leaned' on Willy was that the master vampire was had been a culture shock from how much things had changed since he was a soulless creature of the night and had got killed by not paying attention, but aside from that, no demon clan was taking credit, not wanting to get killed by either Drusilla, Spike or their minions; or the Slayer's group.

Dru and Spike were listening to report from the vampire's that had aligned themselves with the Order, under Angelus' command. While Spike hated the way his afterlife had been going, ever since his Grandsire had shown back up, he had to admit that the force that Angelus had brought together would be good to take over the Hellmouth, once he got said Angelus out of the way. As he started sinking into his plans, ignoring what was going on around him, Spike was brought out of his scheming when Dru let out a keening wail and started to toss their underlings around. Instantly the vampire's attention was on his beloved.

"Dru what is it, sweets?" Spike tried to get through to the tantrum throwing vampire, who had killed three fledgling in her histrionics. After a moment Dru started speaking.

"It's all gone wrong, my kitten's dealt daddy his death blow, now both grand-mummy and daddy are dead!" Dru wailed.

Spike tried not to show his glee, but didn't hide it quick enough for Dru not to pick up on it.

"This pleases you! You wanted daddy dead!" Dru shrieked right before she attacked Spike, scratching at his face.

Spike grabbed onto Dru wrists to keep her from scratching at him. As he continued fighting with his mad sire, Spike slammed Dru into the footboard of the bed, trying to pound some sense into her as it were, this caused a chip of wood to break off and pierce her heart from behind, leaving Spike with a cloud of ash in his hands.

Once he realized what he had done, in grief Spike pounded the footboard that had so recently killed his beloved. Hearing a crack, Spike looked down and saw that a piece of wood had broken off and was laying on the bed. Realizing that the wood had a point, Spike picked it up and centered it over his no longer beating heart.

"I hope wherever I end up, you're there also Dru, and that you're willing to forgive me and take me back." Spike said, before he plunged the piece of wood into his heart, ending the Order of Aurelius.

Buffy got better a couple of days after that. As she was doing better, the doctor permitted visitors. One of the first ones after her mother, was Willow.

"I hope things haven't been too bad for you guys out there, while I've been stuck in here." Buffy said to Willow as the redhead flung herself upon her, making her wince. Before Willow could reply, Buffy continued.

"The doctor said that my condition has taken a turn for the better. I should be out of here in the next few days, if everything stays the way it has been." Seeing the fact that Willow looked like she was about to burst into tears, Buffy knew something was up.

"Wills, I thought you'd be happy, but you look like someone killed your dog." As Buffy winced at her poor choice of words, which Willow didn't notice, the other girl took a deep breath, sat down on the slayer's bed, took her hand and spoke.

"Giles and I went to Willy's yesterday, the rumor is that Spike staged a coup on Angel and killed him then was killed by Dru in revenge for him killing her sire. In the fight, it seems that Spike also killed Dru while she was killing him. There seems to be a demon civil war going on at night, Giles has forbid Xander, Oz, Cordelia and I from going out and doing any sort of patrol, even info gathering, until things calm down." Willow stopped her report, as she noticed Buffy was sobbing in her bed. As she leaned forward and reached out to comfort her friend, Willow was interrupted by a nurse coming into the room.

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave." Seeing the mutinous look appear on Willow's face, the nurse continued.

"I don't know what you've been telling her, but it's not good for her." The nurse stated, nodding her head towards the monitors, which were going off the charts.

As Willow begrudgingly left, she was surrounded by Xander, Oz, Giles and Cordelia.

"What did you do?" Cordelia asked bluntly, before anyone else could speak, ignoring the exasperated look on Giles' face. Willow, still in shock slowly answered her childhood tormentor, and crush thief.

"Nothing, I was just letting her know about the rumor about Spike and Angel so that she could be ready to help us look for Angel when she gets out of here." Willow stated indignantly.

"Wills, let me get this straight, you went in there and told someone, who from everything I've read, shouldn't be able to get sick that the being she was in love with got killed and you're surprised at what happened." Xander said, incredulously. Ignoring the glare he was getting from the redhead, Xander opened his mouth to continue to point out where Willow went wrong, when Giles cleared his throat and interrupted.

"Perhaps this is a discussion better had somewhere else." The Watcher suggested. Getting a belligerent nod from Willow and agreeable nods from everyone else, Giles told them to sit down as he went in to check on Buffy.

As they were waiting for Giles to come out, Willow was even more annoyed by how Xander was ignoring her as he carried on a whispered conversation with Cordelia. Oz sat next to Willow holding the fuming girl's hand, as he waited on Giles, wondering how Buffy would deal with the loss of Angel, and how he would deal with the loss Willow if something similar happened, or even worst, if he broke out during the full moon and made it so Willow had to kill him to save herself.

After a while, Giles came back and reported that Buffy was in such a state, that they had to medicate and knock her out. This caused a variety of looks to be shot towards a blushing Willow. It was decided that they should all go home, and try to come back and visit Buffy in a day or two.

As Xander left the hospital, with his arm around Cordelia, he noticed the some of the staff on the hospital floor was giving him nods as he passed them. Not wanting to either think about what it meant, or more importantly bring it to either Willow or Giles' attention, Xander stared straight ahead as he tried to work out the best way to deal with the worse fallout from this that he could imagine happening.

Wincing slightly, Xander shook his head a Cordelia when she looked at him, before helping her into Oz's van, as they got ready to go get burgers before doing a patrol. Looking back at the hospital, Xander was sure that everything was going to go right, now that they didn't have that vampire hanging around. Feeling Cordelia snuggling into his side, Xander decided to let go of what he couldn't control and focus and the person next to him, as they drove off towards the residential part of Sunnydale.

A heartbroken Buffy, when she heard about something killing the patients in the children's ward, convince Willow to let her be infected so she could test her theory that it was a demon that attacks ill children. While Willow wasn't enthusiastic about this, in the back of her mind wondering if this was some sort of way for Buffy to commit suicide to be with Angel, she was so sycophantic she went along with it. Luckily, Buffy was able to pull herself out of her funk and do her duty, saving all of the patients in the children's ward. After this Buffy pulled back and cut herself off from spending time with her friends, ending with her dying at the hands of some random demon, one night.

Willow was crushed by the death of her best friend. When she tried to get some comfort from Xander, he told her that maybe it was for the best that Buffy died, as her heart didn't seem to be into it, sarcastically adding that now she had her wish of being together with Angel forever. Willow slapped Xander and stomped off, swearing to never speak to Xander again.

Xander, without Buffy, Willow or Angel holding him back, excelled at his school work. This initially got him brought in front of the principle, after his teachers accused him of cheating, but after he explained that he had decided to focus more on his school work after seeing how he had been hurting his chances of getting into a good school after high school, the teachers decided to take a wait and see approach.

Xander quickly proved himself, rising to the top of the class across the board, beating even Willow's score seven times out of ten. Having the last person she'd ever expect to cause her this much trouble academically, pretty much killed any lingering threads of Xander and Willow's remaining friendship. Willow got expelled from Sunnydale High after she was caught hacking into the schools records, looking at various students grades, in the library at lunch time.

Xander and Cordelia, moved to LA and became famous, With Angel dead, Jasmine's plan was ruined. Cordelia first in soap operas, then in normal TV before finally becoming a movie actress and big star. While it happen just before her twentieth High School reunion, Cordelia was able to proudly brag about being cast in a movie with Meryl Streep when she and Xander went back to Sunnydale.

Xander, initially got a job as a set carpenter. When a producer saw him running lines with Cordelia to help her practice, Xander was coerced into doing an audition for the studio. Within three, Alex Harris was the new big name in Hollywood.

When Xander and Cordelia looked back on the journey that brought them to this point, they were surprised to realize that they remembered their time in High School more fondly than they expected.

A/N: Please review.