by Saber ShadowKitten
And Now For Something Completely Different 48

Xander put up his hands, as if he were surrendering. "Okay. Now that Spike's gone, can we please just talk about this and not get all trigger happy?"

Riley appeared quite willing to shoot, but Willow spoke up first. "Xander, did you just shoot lightning from your fingers?"

Xander nodded and gave her a wry smile. "Not exactly how I pictured telling you that I've joined the freak show."

Buffy took a step toward him. She appeared cautious, but prepared to attack. "What are you?"

"I'm Xander." Xander dropped his hands, causing them all to tighten their grips on their weapons. "Still human, with extra sauce."

Buffy looked like she didn't believe him. Willow, however, seemed more open. Or at least hopeful. "What do you mean?" Willow asked.

"Remember how you told me earlier that you messed up that locating spell? How you said 'lightning' instead of 'light'?" Xander said. Willow nodded. "Well, the spell did find me. I was hit with lightning."

Willow gasped and her hand tightened around Tara's. "Oh, no!"

Riley was skeptical. Buffy wavered between disbelief and confusion. "You were hit by lightning?" she said.

"Yeah. Twice," Xander said. "And now I have the freaky ability to do things with electricity." He held up a palm and made a tendril of visible electricity dance, as he'd shown Spike yesterday.

Had only a day passed? It seemed like much longer since he'd kissed Spike, almost lost him in the ocean, figured out he'd liked Spike, and closed the conversation on sex happening between them.

"That doesn't mean you're not one with evil," Buffy said. "You're hanging out with Spike!"

"Spike's not evil," Xander began, then shook his head. "No, that's not true. He's still evil and all soulless, and stuff, but he doesn't kill humans anymore."

"Right. He gave up killing humans out of the kindness of his vampire heart."

Xander couldn't help but grin at the sarcasm dripping from Buffy's lips. "No. I made it so he couldn't."

Buffy's weapon lowered slightly. Willow's had gone down completely, though she and Tara still held hands. Only Riley kept his rifle aimed at Xander.

"I still don't believe you," Buffy said, though Xander could tell she was wavering.

Xander pulled his cell from his pocket. He tossed it to her. "Call Angel and ask him. Or ask Cordelia or Wesley. The numbers are programmed in."

Buffy hesitated, and then gave the phone to Willow. "Call him."

Xander inwardly snorted at Buffy's reluctance to speak with Angel. He waited while Willow made the call. He did his best to keep his mind off of Spike, only hoping Spike had the sense to get far away for the time being.

"Okay," Willow said eventually into the receiver. "Thanks, Angel. Tell Cordelia I said 'hi'." She disconnected and a smile finally graced her lips. "Angel said Spike's harmless to humans. Annoying, but harmless. Something about being enthralled..." She gave Xander a questioning look.

Xander shrugged. "You're not the only one who has magickal accidents," he lied. He should tell them the truth, at least Willow, but he very much didn't want to do so. Not because of reluctance, but to protect Spike.

He really should've realized much sooner how he felt about the vampire. But nobody ever praised Xander for his intelligence.