"Now!" Xander called out and the graduating class of Sunnydale High threw off their robes, revealing a plethora of weapons.

The Mayor's monstrous snake form rose up as the moon moved in between the sun and the earth, allowing an army of vampires to climb out of their hiding spots, safe from the light of the sun.

"No!" Principal Snyder cried out angrily, getting in between the mayor and the crowd of students, something that actually shocked everyone that knew him.

"First rank, ready!" Xander called out, and a row of students drew back the strings of their bows while others lit their arrows with lighters.

"Fire!" Xander gave the order as a flash of golden light appeared on stage and there was a blur of motion, the Mayor's giant fanged maw being flung to one side.

There was a red blur and all the flaming arrows vanished before they could reach the approaching vampire army, then all the students weapon's vanished as well.

"Close ranks!" Xander called out, fumbling for his spare stake and a figure in a red outfit appeared in front of him.

"I've heard of school shooters before, but a school general?" The Flash asked in disbelief, easily dodging Xander's reflexive attempt to stake him.

There was a loud crash behind them and Buffy called out, "Giles now!"

"I have no idea how you-" The Flash began when there was a loud explosion as the school exploded.

"Form battle lines!" Xander called out as the speedster stole his stake with a confused look on his face before he turned into a red blur once more and the students cried out in fear and anger as all their back up weapons were stolen.

"Flash, behind you!" a commanding voice called out.

"What? Oh," The Flash said, sounding embarrassed briefly, before the entire vampire army turned to ash as he put the stakes he'd just stolen to good use in the blink of an eye.

The air turned cold as a blizzard came out of nowhere, making everyone cover their eyes and faces as the fiery wreckage of the school gained a layer of ice, putting out the fire and blowing still falling debris safely away.

"Everybody stand down!" the commanding male voice ordered and everyone turned to see a man floating in mid air, a familiar emblem on his chest.

"What the fuck?" Xander asked in confusion.

"You don't know Superman?" Harmony asked Xander, surprised.

"I didn't know he was real," Xander replied.

"I didn't think he was... except when I go on vacation," Harmony said with a frown.

"Sunnydale Syndrome," Xander said with a groan. "If we knew he was real we could have called him in and the mayor couldn't have that."

"Oh," Harmony said as the students looked around, unsure what to do.

"This battle is over," a figure with a golden helm announced, "Order has prevailed!"

Aura came over to Xander, a medical kit hanging from her shoulder. "No one got hurt, though I think I wet myself."

"If you hadn't, you'd have been in the minority," Xander said, "I'm just glad it's over and no one was killed."

"So... what do we do now?" Harmony asked.

"Collect our diplomas, change our underwear, and... celebrate," Xander said. "High School is done."

"I'll let the others know," Aura said with a relieved smile and headed for the group of students who were winding their way.

"Sure," Harmony said, before giving Xander a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks, and I didn't do that." She quickly left.

Xander chuckled and turned towards the stage where Buffy, Willow, Giles, and Oz stood with Superman, Flash, and Dr. Fate. He'd just started to head their way when The Flash and Superman vanished in a blur of red and blue followed by the others in a flash of gold light.

"Ditched again," Cordelia said dryly.

"Looks that way," Xander agreed with a shrug, continuing towards the stage.

"Where are you going?" Cordelia asked.

"To get my diploma and then... anywhere but here," he replied, post battle adrenaline rush already making him jittery.

"Good plan," Cordelia agreed, following him.

"What do you want, Harris?" Snyder asked, looking a bit lost and confused.

"My diploma, unless you want to see my smiling face for another year," he joked.

Snyder snorted. "I didn't want to see it for the last year, though at least part of that was thinking your group was behind all the school's troubles and not the ones trying to stop it," he admitted as he walked over the podium and dug diplomas out for the two brunettes.

"And I didn't expect to discover you had the balls to yell at an ascended old one like he was a tardy student," Xander said as he accepted his diploma. "Today was just full of surprises."

"That it was," Snyder agreed with a small smile as he handed Cordelia her diploma and students started lining up behind them.

"I didn't even get to use my flamethrower," Larry complained.

"The Flash was an idiot," some other student complained, "and he better return my sword, it was an antique!"

"Sunnydale," Cordelia said, smacking her forehead.

"Hey, the assistant librarian is unconscious," someone called out, "I think he fainted back here."

"I better go check on that," Cordelia said. "Later, Xander."

"Later, Cordy," Xander said. He'd thought the gang would meet up for their usual after action report for Giles' journals, but it didn't look like that would be happening now.

A late arriving vampire climbed out of the sewer and turned to ash as a red blur passed it.

"Guess they're doing clean up," Xander said, feeling a bit more charitable to the scarlet speedster as anyone who spent their time dusting vamps got a pass for occasional stupid decisions in his book.

"Hope he gives Giles back the sword he loaned me," he said with a sigh, waving to various students as he walked to the parking lot.

Half an hour later

Xander set down the last box of his personal possessions in the basement with a sigh, his parents having insisted he moved down there before he left and informing him they were going to be charging him rent.

"Well, two months rent in advance certainly cut into my road trip fund," he muttered, collapsing on his bed. "Where can I get a large amount of cash in a short amount of time?"

"Boy, telephone!" his dad yelled down the basement stairs.

Xander sighed and got up, making his way up the stairs to meet his father at the top.

"You're going to need your own phone line," his father said gruffly before shoving the cordless phone into his hands.

"Thanks," Xander said as he accepted the phone and held it up to his ear. "Hello?"

"Mr. Harris?" a cultured voice with a strange accent asked.

"Alexander Harris here," Xander replied.

"Good afternoon Mr. Harris, I'm calling you on behalf of the Terakans as a courtesy to extend our offer to you for reclaiming some of our property."

Ice water seemed to fill his veins as he listened. "And the offer?"

"Three of our agents fell in Sunnydale and we hold no ill will to the individuals involved, but we would appreciate the return of their rings, as leaving them as trophies of their failure is not in the best interests of our organization," the voice explained.

"I can agree with that," Xander said slowly, going through his memories as to where the three rings would likely be. "I have possession of one of them, I might be able to locate a second one or direct your agent as to where it might be, but the third was sent to the Watcher's Council and is out of our hands."

"That's fine," the voice said, "we can see to its retrieval ourselves. What form would you prefer your remuneration in? Cash, gold, weapons, or a Cayman island bank account to avoid governmental scrutiny?"

"Remunerations?" Xander asked, surprised.

"Of course, Mr. Harris," the voice said with a chuckle. "Our services are so highly valued because we follow our contracts to the letter, thus we deal fairly with contractors and targets. For the return of each ring we will pay you a hundred thousand dollars."

"And suddenly I'm extremely motivated to find that second ring," Xander said.

"And the form of payment?" the voice asked with amusement.

"Twenty percent cash, eighty percent account?" Xander asked.

"I'll see to it," the voice said. "A local agent will contact you with payment in... six hours."

"Do I need to be by the phone?" Xander asked.

"No, if they're so incompetent they couldn't locate you, they wouldn't be working for us," the voice replied.

"That's a nice combination of reassuring and terrifying," Xander said without thinking about it.

The voice chuckled. "That just means I'm doing my job, Mr. Harris. We'll be in touch."

Xander hung up the phone and put it back on its base before hurrying downstairs and digging through his things, suddenly happy his parents had made him move into the basement as it meant he currently knew exactly where everything he owned was.

"Bingo!" he said as he opened the small box that contained the contents of his desk, pulling out the Terakan's membership ring.

"And my road trip is back on track," he said with a grin before sliding it in his pocket and looking around for his metal detector.

He was pretty sure he knew where he'd put the metal detector he'd bought when he was thirteen, even if he needed to get new batteries for it, so that and a shovel meant he would soon have over two hundred thousand dollars for his roadtrip fund.

Well... that or end up in a shallow grave, but considering the day he'd had so far... he was willing to take the chance.

Three Hours Later...

Xander sighed as he pulled yet another silver candelabra out of the dirt and ashes of the burned down church. "How many of these have I found?" he asked himself with a frown.

"From the looks of things, probably about a fifth of how many there are, vampires are always drama queens," a female voice offered.

Xander turned around and found himself facing a nondescript young woman who looked like she probably attended the local college, a pleasant smile on her lips, her long black hair tied back in a ponytail and her white pantsuit completely spotless despite their surroundings. He blinked and shook his head. "Really? Nondescript, dressed like that, and with those curves? That was kind of a dead giveaway that a spell is involved," he said in disbelief.

She shrugged. "It works on the vast majority of the population and keeps me from getting hit on everywhere I go. Even without the fact that it is invaluable in my work, I'd use it for that alone."

"I can agree with that," Xander said. "Terakan?" he asked, just to be sure.

She nodded. "While I have no doubt you'll find the last ring within the next three hours, I thought I might speed things up for you."

"Magic?" he guessed.

"The rings are magically linked," she replied, "tie a length of string to one and you can use it to dowse for another."

"Which is a lot quicker than using a metal detector," Xander said. "Have any string on you?"

She reached up and pulled a couple of long black hairs loose, quickly weaving them together before handing them to him. "Try this."

Xander pulled the Terakan ring he had on him from his pocket and tied one end to the ring, letting it dangle from one hand while he rested his shovel on his shoulder and slowly walked the burned out ruin where the church had stood. "What should I call you?" he asked.

"I'm the Lady in White, so Miss White is the standard," she replied.

"It's nice to meet you, provided the voice on the phone was honest and you're not here to kill me," Xander said.

"No, I'm strictly sent against child abusers," she told him.

"Like Halie," Xander said with a thoughtful nod.

"Halie?" Miss White asked curiously as she followed him.

"My prom date's best friend, she grants wishes to abused children," Xander replied, pausing for a second and moving the ring back over an area before continuing.

"Who did you take to the prom?" she asked curiously.

"Anyanka, patron saint of scorned women," Xander said, "it was... an experience."

"How are you still alive?" she asked in disbelief.

"I really have no idea," Xander said honestly. "Either someone above really likes me or someone below really hates me," he guessed. "Or it could just be the disaster that is my life is too entertaining to let me die yet."

"Then I'm glad I'm here for a simple retrieval mission," she said.

"Huh," Xander said, waving the ring back and forth over a spot on the ground. "I think I found it."

He dug down less than a foot, finding the ring and a dagger, though no body. "And we've struck gold."

"No, that was the rather large lump you found near the altar," she said, accepting both rings and snapping her fingers, causing all dust and ash to vanish from them.

Xander nodded. "And that's two rings delivered as promised."

She nodded and pulled a black leather wallet from her pocket, passing it to him. "The wallet contains a new driver's license, social security card, a copy of your birth certificate, an ATM card connected to your overseas account, and of course a folded space containing twenty thousand in small non-sequential bills."

Xander examined the wallet, surprised they'd done all that and winced when he looked into the fold where the money was, feeling a bit disoriented.

"I got bored while waiting," she explained. "You should only get dizzy the first time you look in the fold," she assured him.

"I'm guessing magic is your thing," he said, relieved everything had worked out.

"Practical magic," she said proudly. "My card is also in there, if you discover a child abuser who can't be legally handled, give me a call."

"I'm not sure I can afford your rates," Xander admitted. "This finders fee is more money than I've seen in my life."

"I don't work for the Terakans because they pay me," Miss White said, "I work for them because they find me my preferred targets."

"Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life," Xander found himself saying.

She gave him a blinding smile. "Precisely. Call me if you ever find me a target." She snapped her fingers and he was suddenly clean. "Toodles." Another snap and she was gone.

"Even for me this has been a weird day," Xander decided, "but a profitable one." He smiled and retrieved his metal detector and the last silver candelabra he'd found, finding it and everything in his car absolutely spotless. "I may have to see if I can learn that," he said, placing them in the trunk with the melted remains of the Du Lac cross and a couple dozen solid silver candelabras.

He slid behind the front seat and turned the key of his behemoth of a car which started with a throaty purr unlike its usual grudging growl. "Check that, I have to learn that type of magic," Xander decided as he drove off, ready to start his delayed road trip.

Typing By: Abyssal Angel

Beta By: Abyssal Angel and Mist of Shadows