Hodges got into his car, then jumped when he saw the ghost sitting next to him.  "What do you want?"

"I wanted to come talk to you."  She stared at him.  "You know Xander's not gay, right?"

"He's bi, he said so."  He started the car and buckled up.  "Get out."

"No.  He was mine first.  I'm always going to watch over Xander.  No matter what he does, I'm always going to watch over him.  The same as my former friends will."

Hodges looked at her.  "Do you know why he left them?"

"Because they were being brats."

"The same as you were to him, Anya.  You used him just as much as they did.  You helped them ruin him just as much as those other two did.  The only one who he said treated him with respect and kindness was Tara.  Too bad she's dead."  Anya looked stunned.  "Yeah, I asked him the last time he had a few.  He told me allll about you guys.  How you used him for money and sex.  How the others used him for various things.  I'm sorry you died and so is he, but I'm not being driven out of my own house by you.  Xander loves me."

"He did that tongue thing to me first," she sneered.

"Yeah, well, you gave it up, sweetie.  You didn't like oral sex that much, too bad for you.  Now, get out of my car."

"I'm allowed out here," she defended.

"Not when I have him do the banishment again you're not.  Now, get out."  She glared.  "I don't care, Anya.  He's mine now.  He's living and he's mine.  When he dies maybe you'll get him back but until then, he's mine and all mine.  Now, out!"

The car door opened and Xander got into the back seat behind him, kissing him on the ear.  "Anya, out.  Do not bother David.  I love David and you're upsetting him.  I won't have him upset.  I'm not losing him because you're being a selfish ghost.  End of discussion.  Now, leave.  Don't make me finish the banishment."  She faded out.  "I mean fully, Anya.  I can still hear you."  She faded off and he got out, coming around to sit in the front seat.  "I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault," he sighed, giving him a real kiss.

"You like that tongue thing?" he asked with a grin.

"More often than not.  Are you heading in with me?  It's your day off."

"Yeah, but I'm still backed up," he pointed out.  "I need to go in.  Come on, we'll be late."  David nodded and backed them out of the driveway, heading into work.  Once there, he winked at Mort.  "I'm not here."

"Fine," he agreed, watching them walk back to their adjoining labs.  He shook his head and got his things for the morning meeting, then sat down to wait.  Their DNA person was late again and everyone was waiting on her. The intern who usually worked days came out looking very confused.  "Yes, that's Xander," he said before he could ask.

"He just called me a moron and told me to get out."

"Xander!" Mort yelled.

"He was running 'match the bullet's when he reloaded using shop stock," he called back.  He came out with the day's results, looking through them quickly to sort out the ones that needed to be looked at more carefully.  "Okay, kid."  He sized up the piles, then him.  "You're switching to my shift."  The intern looked stunned.  "You need more work than Crissy can give you.  We do more work on nights anyway.  So therefore you're going to learn how to become a good ballistics tech and if you're lucky and pass with me, I'll help you get a good spot in Vegas or Miami.  I think you need the hand holding.  A lot. So I'm going to work with you tonight.  How many more weeks do you have?"

"Six," he said weakly.

"Good, then for the next five weeks, you're on my schedule. Get a copy from Mort.  Now, let's go talk about these ones you did unnecessary tests on and got odd results on.  She left the stack for me to look at tomorrow night anyway.  Let's go.  Grab your soda."  He grabbed his bottle of juice and followed him back.  Xander walked into the office and shut the door, giving David a weak smile.  "All right, there's a bullet on the desk.  Position into the reader, then run a usual 'match the riflings' order."  Xander watched while he did it, then groaned.  "No."  He walked over, turning it so at least three of the grooves were showing.  "That's how you do that.  You need at least three grooves.  Then you need to input the bullet's file references.  That would be on the envelope if someone did their jobs right, like Crissy and I do."  He looked at the envelope, feeling it.  "The other one," he said tiredly.  The kid found it and sat down to type, finding a match in the system.  "Yes, you're overriding."  The kid finished typing in and Xander checked it while he saved it.  "Okay, you're missing four of the ten fields.  There's how many lans and grooves?  What sort of case was it?  Name on the case.  Type of weapon fired from.  All that's on the envelope."

"It's not."

Xander flipped it over, holding it up.  "It is.  There's not enough space.  The name on the case is still on the front."  He stepped back, watching as the kid did it, watching him correct some of the fields he had put in.  Xander came back to read it, taking the keyboard to correct the abbreviations.  "You can use more space in every field but the numerical ones."  He handed it back.  "Now, take the mouse.  Go up to the 'match' menu.  Run a rifling."

"What about the bullet?"

"Look on the front of the envelope.  See the boxes for 'reloaded in shop' and 'original ammo'?"  The kid looked and nodded.  "What does it say?"

"Reloaded in shop."  He looked up at him.  "But we still should...."  Xander smacked him across the back of the head.  "Hey!"

"Reloaded in the shop means that we used some ammo we had lying around," he said impatiently. "That means that I, since that was my case, loaded the gun with bullets from the cabinet.  Which means that you'll only come up to 'standard ammo, used in however many police departments.  It's a waste of time, energy, and good paper.  Now, the only time you run that is if you only have a bullet , you can't identify it, or there's a doubt about what type of ammo it is.  Run the rifling test now."  The intern sighed and did so, coming up with six matches.  Xander looked and then looked at the bullet.  "Uncheck the last one.  It's the wrong caliber."

"It's not."

"That's from a .38.  This bullet came from a .09 mm, kid.  That means it's a different gun."  He found the identification manual, handing it over.  "Learn this.  Read it, understand it.  It's part of the job."

"You're mean."

"In less than a year, you're going to be the one doing this job," he said firmly.  "People will go to jail and be raped and tortured by the other prisoners because of what you do and do not do.  If you fuck up this way then, you're going to be sending innocent people to prison and not getting those who actually did the crimes.  You're going to be the one giving detectives information so they can track down people.  You're also going to be losing your job if you do this poorly when you're alone.  When I was an intern, after I graduated, I ran Las Vegas's lab for nearly two months because my internship guy was out with a sick mother who had cancer."  The guy went pale.  "You'd better be trained and able from day one to come in and at least look smart, sound like you've got a clue, and able to do the work efficiently, quietly, and well.  If you can't, then you're in the wrong field."  The kid nodded, checking the others and finding one other that wasn't a match.  "No, that was a nine-mil," he sighed, rubbing his forehead.  "A Luger is an automatic most often.  Look it up in the book."  The kid flipped through the book and found it, then rechecked that box.  "Now, pull up the information files for all those cases.  You'll be printing them for the detective in charge if this were a real case."  The kid looked at him.  "Yes, we're roleplaying."  The kid did so, printing them all.  "What else do you do?"

"I file the ballistics imprint into the system."

"Typing in the information automatically did that," Xander said patiently.  "The database was set up that way."  He looked at him.  "Some departments allow for a single scan of the report.  Basically the chemical analysis page or the report from the cases.  I do real reports.  So therefore you will do real reports," he said firmly.  "Open up the Word program, get about summarizing.  It should not be longer than two pages unless you have multiple weapons in the same case.  Those can be put togther into one report but you'll have a page or two on each gun and characteristics.  It will be grammatically correct, it will be spelled correctly.  It will not waste words.  Most detectives have at least ten open cases, if not more, and the more you give them the less they can use it and get it down in their heads.  On a case like this, your opening should be about the gun.  Make, model, color, any distinguishing features, like serial number.  The next should be what you did, the test fire.  I reloaded in shop since no bullets were found in the clip.  I used such and such ammo, which is this caliber and this size, because that can make a difference, and the last paragraph will be about the bullets.  The rifling, the lans and grooves.  The other cases you found, including case numbers AND names so they can cross-reference easily and quickly.  In this case, I would be putting the other cases together in their own paragraph, just for symmetry and not having a page long paragraph. Then you grammatick it, you spell check it, and you print it, then you save it under the case name and number.  Got it?"  The intern nodded, looking scared.  "Go for it."  He pulled out a chair and sat down to watch him.  "Remember, I do ten to fifty guns a night on night shift.  Days has it easier than we do.  Speed and accuracy are what you need in the lab."

"I still say you're being mean."

"You'd better learn to get used to it, kid.  You're mine for the next five weeks.  At the end of that time, you'll go for a week back with Crissy and she'll do a before and after evaluation.  That evaluation will be the basis of you finding a good internship after school.   My in-school one was with a military academy and their lab for the military testing range.  My scores were excellent both before and after.  I got Las Vegas, one of the best labs in the US."  The kid shivered.  "I'd work faster.  After this, we've got another ten to do.  I'm backed up because earlier this week we had a gun runner with two cases of weapons."  The kid moaned.  "I did all the test fires that night, got everything marked in and started the processing before going home.  Crissy finished up that morning, that same day you came in.  Then I got to do hers.  When she comes in tomorrow, the only thing she should see is the stuff that comes in after *we* leave."  The kid nodded, looking around.  He moaned and held his head.  "The gun is in the box with the name of the case and number on it."  He got up to look on the shelves, finding it and bringing it back.  "You can break the evidence tape.  Just initial it on the top of the box that you broke it and when you retape with the date and time and why."

"Should I put roleplaying?" he asked snidely.

"Training exercise because you need it."  He stared the kid down and he got back to work.  Xander got up to check the other cases, finding out where he was.  She had to do mostly processing.  She had two test fires to do, he'd save those for last.  With his luck, the kid would misload and shoot his hand off.  He sorted them and sat down again, watching him type slowly.  "Time's ticking, junior.  Hurry up.  I can type twenty words a minute and I'm faster.  If you need a style sheet, pull up one of the files from earlier in the week."

"Can I pull up this one?"

"As long as you don't copy it."  He searched for it using the 'find' option and then opened it, reading it over.  He grinned and started to type quickly. "Good, you can type.  That's always an asset.  I'm popping next door to Trace.  It's my minor.  I'll be back in a minute."

"You took a minor?"

Xander looked at him and nodded.  "Plus the mandatory fieldwork classes and two optional ones so I could deal with it in the field when I had to.  You finish up.  I'll be back in ten minutes, I'll expect you to have that one finished and laid out properly, including the box."  He went next door, closing it behind him, and leaned on his mate's shoulder.  "Gods, why me?" he moaned quietly.

"Because otherwise the kid'll go out and someone will get hurt," Hodges said, rubbing his back.  "It'll be fine.  Five weeks with you should enable him to know *something* by then."
He smiled at him.  "Call Crissy.  She's probably having a headache thinking about everything she'd have to redo."

Xander sat down at the desk and pulled the phone closer, dialing her cell.  "Cris?  It's Xander. I'm taking the intern, he needed help.  I'll take him for the next five weeks and let you do the before and after.  No, he was running 'match the ammo' when it was reloaded in the shop.  No reports printed in most cases.  I have no idea.  I was better trained before I came in, honey.  Yeah, I know you hate me calling you that.  I'm sorry."  He rubbed his forehead.  "Yeah, he'll be keeping my schedule.  No, just popped in for lunch.  Sure.  No, he says I'm mean.  I've had him redoing one of my ones earlier this week to show him what it was supposed to be like."  He heard a shriek and groaned, shaking his head.  "I don't know.  Laters."  He hung up and slid open the door, looking at him. "What were you doing?" he asked, coming in to take the cigarette and put it out.  "You don't do that in the labs.  There's explosive chemicals across the hall and next door.  Get back to work!"  He cowered and got back to work, copying and pasting.  Xander smacked him again.  "Your own, junior.  No cheating.  That's against the law and will get you kicked out of your program.  Feel lucky you have me.  You'll be expected to do this all by yourself by the time your six weeks is up.  We're supposed to give you a night alone in the lab and then check over your shoulder."  He blanched and got back to work.  Xander sat down behind his desk, looking over at David, shaking his head.  "He's going to be keeping our schedule, dear."

"That's fine.  What did you want for dinner?"

"Aspirin."  The kid glared at him and he glared back, making him flinch.  "Not involving you."  He looked at David again.  "Wherever's fine.  Maybe Libyan? I'm in the mood for meat and sauce.  Middle Eastern maybe?"

"Sure.  I'll order from the Thai and Pakistani place tonight.  The usual?"

"Meat with sauce and bread, maybe some veggies thrown in if they're grilled.  Whatever's good."

"Sure."  He smiled at him and went back to work, closing the door.

"Children, we might as well start," Mort called.  "She's apparently not coming in."

"Coming," David called, marking his place with a piece of tape and heading out.  "Xander's decided he's taking over the intern.  The kid's calling him mean."

"Wonderful," he said grimly.  "Crissy's opinion?"

"He called, he didn't sound like she was protesting.  We're ordering from either a Greek or that Thai and Pakistani place tonight if anyone wants to order with us."  They all nodded, going to dig out that menu to look it over.

Mort got up and walked down the hall, tapping on the door.  "Xander, would you please be so kind as to go see what's keeping our DNA tech?  She hasn't called in yet."

"Sure.  Give me her addy.  I'll take the new kid here with me.  Maybe we'll run into a scene or something so he sees that too."

"I can't do field work, sir," he said stiffly.

"I can, you can."  He stood up, going to get the address.  "Come on, junior.  I'm about eight years older than you, you should be able to keep up."  He walked out, going to his car.  The kid followed a few minutes later.  "In."  He got in, looking over at Stan when he saw his smirk.  "The new ballistics intern," he mouthed, shaking his head.  He got in and checked the address, then rolled down the window.  "Hey, Stan!"  He came back.  "Where's Pershing?"

"Up by the university, across from the library if I remember right.  Or at least that's part of it."

The kid looked at the address.  "She's apparently about three blocks from there, headed this way, sir."

"Thanks, kid."  He waved at the detective.  "This is Detective Kowalski. You'll be seeing him with Detective Vecchio and the Mounties usually.  Get used to him, he brings us a lot of stuff."  He started the engine.  "We're ordering Middle Eastern tonight."  He backed out, heading toward the university.

"How long ago did you graduate?" the kid asked once they were on the main street in this area.

"Two years and a bit.  I did mine at UCLA."

"What about the Academy?"

"Vegas didn't require it for interns and I asked here.  I took the two tests they wanted me to take and I passed with pretty decent scores so they let me bypass it. Since I didn't really want to do more than occasional field work and I adamantly didn't want to be a cop.  I was pure lab tech and they knew all about what I could do and my prior combat training."

"You were military?"

"Not quite."  He turned the corner, using his signals, and waved at Tracy as he roared past.  "That was CSI Tracy.  He's a field tech.  I'll be making you do a shooting scene with him so you get used to the ballistics in the field and trajectory stuff.  Also the residue issue and all that.  Expect it within the next week, the next time they get a shooting."  The kid nodded.  "Which way?"

"East."  Xander turned again, frowning when lights came on behind them.  He pulled over and the kid snickered.  The officer walked over.  "Sorry, officer, I distracted him by giving him directions."

Xander looked up at the cop.  "The new ballistics intern.  I'm going up to check on our DNA tech.  How's the wife and kids, Pearly?"

"Good.  The kid's in music classes again.  I really should ticket you."

"He distracted me and I'm mentally arming myself to deal with the snotty bitch."

"Ah.  Her.  I was hoping you were talking about the other one.  Have fun, CSI Harris."

"Thanks.  Wonderful fun," he agreed dryly, starting the car again.  "Nice night.  Thanks for not turning me in for having sex in the park with my husband."  He grinned and waved, heading off.  "Really nice guy.  Has two kids.  Just transferred down from SWAT because it got too much for him."

"Do you do that too?"

"I'm on call for explosives and construction sort of stuff. I used to do it in my old life."  He used the blinker and turned the corner, finding the address in the middle of the block.  "You armed, kid?"

"I have a name."

"I'm horrible with names.  I called David Angela last night."  He got out, looking up at the building.  "Fuck."  He headed for the security gate, finding her buzzer, and pushed it.


"It's Xan, from the lab.  Mort sent me to check on you since he thought you were due in tonight?" he called.  "Need a ride?"

"No, I called off."

"He never got the message."

"Oh.  I'll call him again.  Thank you, Harris."

"Not an issue.  It's my night off."  He heard a scream and winced.  "Was that you?"


"Let me in, that was a scream of horror, not of rage."  The gate buzzed and he walked in, hand on his gun.  "Chicago PD," he called, heading up the stairs nearest him.  He heard another scream and headed that way, finding a woman being attacked.  He pulled his gun.  "Freeze!  Chicago PD!"  The man with the knife froze.  "Put it down!" he yelled. "Now!"

"What's going on?" their DNA tech called from her door.

"Call Dispatch, we have a stabbing victim and an attacker."  The guy tried to run but the rookie jumped him and knocked him down.  "Good enough.  Hold him there.  You got cuffs?"


"I don't carry cuffs," Xander said, giving him a dirty look.  "Now, dear," he ordered.  She ran to call 911 and he got down to check the victim.  "It's all right, ma'am.  You'll be fine.  Those aren't in fatal areas and you'll be just fine.  I'll ride to the hospital with you if I need to."  He heard running and looked back, finding a guy with a 'security' jacket on.  "Got cuffs?"  He nodded, handing them over.  Xander tossed them to the kid.  "Cuff him to the railing.  He can still run while cuffed.  Pat him down, put any and all weapons and pocket contents just out of reach of his foot.  The CSI will need to bag them if the cops answering don't."  He looked at the security guard.  "He's our new ballistics intern, can you help him?"  The guy nodded and came over to help while Xander continued to put pressure on the wounds.  "See, it's all right.  You'll be just fine."  He saw the cat and smiled. "Inside, shoo," he ordered, waving a hand at it.  It ran back inside and he edged the door closed by the bottom edge.  He heard more running and looked back, finding patrol officers.  "Hey, I was up checking on our DNA intern.  I heard screams, I was chatting with her on her comm, I had her let me in, I followed the screams and found that guy attacking her.  He tried to flee, the new ballistics intern tackled him.  They're working on patting him down.  The cuffs belong to that nice security guy."

"Thank you, CSI Harris.  How is she?"

"Stabbed at least three times that I can see."

"Ambulance is on the way," the other one reported, going over to help with that guy while his partner dealt with the victim.  He knew he had a weak stomach.  He looked at him.  "Harris, I always wondered.  Why don't you have a badge?"

"I wasn't required to go to the academy," he said dryly.  "I came in as a lab tech with minor field training and only had to take some tests with the training I took in Vegas from the SWAT guys out there.  That and my prior combat let me pass it but I can't carry a badge."

"Think you ought to with what you get into?" one of the guys joked.

"Hell no, then I'd get called in to do more SWAT."  He frowned at him, earning a chuckle.  "Besides, then I might have to actually *arrest* people instead of doing the fun stuff and just shooting them and questioning them."  He grinned at the woman, who had let out a light laugh.  "I have had to.  At some scenes, some rookies don't clear it well enough.  I've had guys coming out to kill me for working the scene."  He stroked her hair back.  "It's all right. You'll be fine."  He looked at the rookie.  "This isn't a ballistics case, kid.  David and Gena will get this one.  Now think about what I was saying earlier.  What if he wasn't here and they did what you were."  The kid shivered and nodded, watching the patrol officers.  He looked at the cops and shrugged.  "He's still in school.  He's mine for the next five weeks."

"I hope you can turn him into another like you, Harris," the second officer offered.  "Listen to him, kid.  He's better than he has to be, but he doesn't brag.  He doesn't shove it in our faces.  We get along well with him because he's so damn good and just does his job.  He helps out where he can and does what he can.  He never does things he knows he can't do and he'll admit when he's clueless.  Turn out like him and you'll be an asset to any department.  Turn out like an asskisser like his mate can be now and then, and you're about fucked for life.  That's a rep that'll haunt you."

"David's very concerned about his career, guys.  He's not an asskisser.  He just points out when he's done good and gone the extra mile.  When we go the extra mile, we make it easier on you guys and he deserves recognition for that. He's a great guy.  He's definitely not an asskisser."

"Fine, sorry," the first officer offered.  "Tell him we apologize for thinking he was."

"Sure."  He smiled at the paramedic coming up the stairs.  "Three stabs that I can see.  Two are barely bleeding, the one I'm holding was gushing a moment ago.  Looks like a big carving knife."  He wiggled out of the way and stood up.  "Did anyone think to call the field guys?  I'm not on call tonight."

"Not yet," the second officer offered.  "Let me do that."  He pulled his radio off his shoulder.  "Dispatch, this is Hurvis.  We need field CSI here as well.  Harris is not on call tonight and he's got an intern."  He let it go.

"Routed on their way, Officer.  CSI Miller en route."

"Thank you, dispatch," he replied and put it up.  He stood up, bringing the guy up.  He had replaced his cuffs already.  He did another pat just in case, adding a few sticks of gum to the pile, then smiled at the intern.  "Nice tackle.  Think about going the academy route, kid."  He walked the perp off, following the paramedics down the stairs.  He nodded at the CSI pulling up.  "His possessions are on the walkway in a pile.  I didn't have a bag with me."

"Sure.  Harris?"

"He was checking on the DNA person. He's got the new ballistics intern with him."

"Ah.  He heard screaming and ran inside?"  That got a nod.  "Decent."  He skipped up the stairs, grinning at them.  "My people.  What's up?"

"Kitchen knife," Xander said, pointing at it.  "I heard a scream, got Sheila to let me inside. I heard another on the way up, tracked it.  He was in the doorway, she was being attacked.  I ordered, I pulled but did not fire."

"That's a switch," he joked.

Xander hit him on the arm. "Shut up, Miller."  They shared a grin.  "The rookie there pounced him when he tried to run.  Very nice tackle by the way.  He patted down, the security guy offered his cuffs for a few moments, then apparently he left.  I'm assuming he lives or works here."  He looked at him.  "Sheila called dispatch, they came.  I had them call for you guys.  I'm heading back with him."  He pulled the rookie up.  "Have fun.  Pretty open and shut."

"Decent."  He watched them go.  "He'll get that kid straightened out," he decided.  "If anyone can, he can."  He got to work on the doorway.  He knew Xander wouldn't have touched it really.  If anywhere it'd be somewhere he wouldn't compromise it. He smiled at the cat.  "Hey, kitty.  Give me a minute and I'll check your food dish and water for you.  Your human will be out on bail within a few days probably.  The system sucks that way."  The cat sat down to stare at him, watching him as he fingerprinted the door.


Xander walked back into the lab, stopping for a kiss.  "The two patrol officers earlier are sorry that they called you an asskisser and when I corrected them they said it was only human of you to brag now and then when you went extra far and deep for a case."  He stole another kiss and went to check on the kid, who was finishing up his statement for earlier, then finished up the report, spell and grammar checking it.  "Good.  Now print, put together, and move on.  We've got another ten to go tonight, it's a light night."

David grinned at him.  "You defended me."

"I love you, of course I did," he sighed, smirking at him.  "You're not an asskisser, you said you wouldn't do that."  The kid blushed.  "I'm married to him, I can say dirty things to him in the lab, we just can't have sex in here.  Get back to it."  He smirked and winked at David.  "Small stabbing."  Mort came to the door.  "She said she called in and it's not her night tonight."

"Bull," he said dryly.  "What was it?"

"Stabbing.  Kitchen knife."

"His ex-wife by what we were told on the fact sheet," Mort offered, waving it a bit.  "Apparently the divorce wasn't going well.  It was his apartment."

"If he doesn't get bail, he's got a cat."

"I'll alert someone to make sure someone knows."  He smiled at him.  "Thank you, Xander."

"Not an issue.  Rookie here tackled him."

"I still have a name."

"He's horrible with names.  He called me Angela last night," David said sarcastically.

"You fried my brains," he joked with a small grin.  "Hurry up so we can have a longer lunch."

"I need help if I'm going to clear tonight."

"Let me make sure he can and I'll come over after lunch to help," he promised.  David grinned at that and went back to work.  "Love you."

"Love you too, Xander.  Get back to work."  He shut the door between their labs.  He also shook his head, even though he was smiling.  Xander was very unique. Very, very unique.


One of the patrol guys stopped Xander on their way out.  "So, threesome now?" he teased.

"No," David said patiently.  "What makes you think I'm that bored with him?"

"He was out on a date with Thatcher."

"Ah."  David looked at Xander.  "You can explain.  I'll go warm up the car."

Xander snickered.  "He's gotten this a few times in the last few days. She had one of those event thingies and her date had a broken leg.  Since I can dance, she knows I talk well most of the time, and I wouldn't hit on her, I was a safe escort for her.   She flirted with the Russian ambassador all night and bragged about the consulate and how efficient they are.  Turnbull got flowers the next morning from a new admirer."

The officer shook his head.  "That's no fair.  You go out with a pretty woman and don't even *try*, man."

"Why would I need to try?  I've got David and he's more than I can handle."  He leaned closer.  "You guys think I've got energy?" he suggested smugly.  He winked and walked off.  "I'm headed home and I was never here."

"Sure, Harris.  Take all the fun outa my life," he called after him.  "Now who will I fantasize about?"

"You can still dream about me," he said, turning around to grin at him.  "But get the other person right, honey."  He turned around and ran into the Chief of Detectives.  "Sorry, sir, verbally jousting with an officer."

"You are?"

"Harris.  CSI.  Ballistics and Trace."

"I see."  He looked at him.  "Badge number?"  Xander snorted.  "You have to give it if I ask."

"No, because some of us are *lab* techs, we didn't have to go to the academy.  I only do the field once or twice a month to keep my training current.  That is in the rule books, sir.  You can ask Lieutenant Welsh if you want."

"Walk with me, Harris."

"Sir, my husband is waiting.  I'm not even supposed to be in tonight."  He got glared at and sighed.  "David, it's gonna be a few," he called.  He followed him up the stairs, glaring at his back.  He looked at Welsh.  "He thinks it's odd that the rules say I don't have to be a cop too."

"I always thought that.  I'd prefer if you did, it'd give you a better chance when you're in the field and something happens."

"I don't think I need more teaching in that area, Lieutenant.  Isn't what I already have enough in the survival arena?"  David came up the stairs and he looked at him.  "Welsh thinks I should go to the academy now."

"No.  I don't want you in uniform or available for SWAT to pull more often.  There's no way."  He looked at the Chief of Detectives.  "Those of us who are lab techs aren't required unless the majority of our work is in the field.  Since it's not...."  He shrugged.  "He doesn't have to.  He passed both the tests they gave him well enough.  That's more than enough for the people in the Central building, it's good enough for us."

"I'd still like him to do some field training," Welsh offered.

"Hell no.  I don't want to go into the field that often," Xander told him. "No way in hell, sir.  I'm a ballistics tech with a minor in trace.  Try to force me and I'm going to never go into the field again."

"You do SWAT?" the chief asked.

"I'm on call for demolitions.  I did construction before I went to college.  I have my license for that and I've been learning the others now for a few years.  I decided to spread out into a few areas so I'd have a better chance of landing in a good department."  He stared the older man down.  "I'm not hitting the academy.  The rules say I don't have to and I don't want to.  I don't want to be a cop and I'm inadmissable anyway.  I'm missing an eye."  He shuddered.  "So therefore no, I'm not going.  End of discussion?"

"I've been trying for years to get that loophole closed, CSI Harris."

Xander walked him into the office and slammed the door.  David could hear the yelling and sighed, leaning on the side of Stan's desk while they went at it.  Xander came out and he was glaring.  "You okay?"

"Can I shoot someone?"

"No.  What do you need to do?"

"Shoot someone."  Xander glared back at the office.  "Even if you wrote a personal letter, you can't make us go.  Most lab techs won't pass the physical or the mental evals.  I'm one of three in the office down there.  Region one is worse and Region three has a number of people on canes and with artificial limbs due to that bomb a few years back.  You can't make us and if you try we can and will sue you.  The rules when we were hired say that we don't have to be academy graduates.  I'm not, nor will I ever be.  Get used to it or go home crying to mommy.  I can still out-think and out-perform you on any street in this city or any other.  I grew up somewhere that was much worse and then moved to LA because it was *easier*.  You get me into a uniform over your dead body.  Maybe you should take the hint."  He stomped off.

David looked at him.  "By the rules, only field techs do have to be academy graduates.  Those of us who stay in the lab do not.  Nor would we pass.  He's right about that.  I can't get in, I have flat feet and I don't meet the weight or the height requirement.  None of our staff do but Xander.  And he's handicapped so he's not allowed.  You can't make it go through and if you do, you'll lose every single CSI in this city.  Then what'll your detectives do?"  He walked off, going to gather Xander.

Xander had stomped right downstairs and right into autopsy.  "Head's up," he said coldly.  "The Chief of Detectives wants us all in the academy.  Starting with me.  I'm no longer open for field work.  I want that rookie to be at a shooting scene before he leaves my care, but I'm not going."

"If you wish, Xander," Mort agreed quietly.  "Are you all right?"

"Hell no!" he said bitterly.  "None of us could go!  Who in the hell does he think he is!  I've faced a hellgod, he's a bitch-sucking nothing in my book and I nearly, I came so damn close, Mort, to shooting him.  I wanted to so bad and Welsh was the one who stopped me.  I'm going home."  He turned and stomped off, running into David coming down the stairs.  "Home?"

"Home," he agreed quietly, watching his mate throw a fit.  He looked at the officers staring at them.  "The Chief of Detectives wants us all in the academy."

"He could go," the desk sergeant offered.

"He's missing an eye."

"Oh.  Never mind."  He shrugged.  "What'll you guys do?"

"Xander said he'd sue 'em if he tried.  I'd probably go along with him if they tried to fire us for it.  You might want to gossip about this point."  He headed out, going to shove Xander out from behind the wheel, but he was in the passenger's seat, holding his head with the seat tipped back.  "Headache?"

"Yeah.  My head's pounding with my pulse.  My blood pressure is obviously up."  He looked at him.  "I can sue for that, right?"  He nodded.  "You'll stand with me?"

"Sure.  I know I'm not eligible.  Most lab techs don't have to go.  There's a few state police who require it but they prefer their guys to get and education and retire to the labs instead from what I've heard."  He started the car.  "It'll be okay, Xander.  We do good work for this city.  If not, I guess we'll sell the house and move to Canada."

Xander gave him a weak grin.  "Thanks, Dave."

"Welcome, babe.  Now buckle up.  Need the hospital?"

"No, I need to meditate."  He buckled himself in, growling as the man came out of the station.  "Let's go before I'm tempted again."  He went back to cradling his head.

"If this continues I want you to see the doctor," he said quietly, pulling out of the lot.

"Yeah, sure."

"I will handcuff and drag you there," he promised.  Xander nodded but didn't say anything.  Usually that got a protest from him.  He looked at him and sighed.  "Xander?"  Xander looked at him. "Hospital?"  He nodded quickly, going back to rubbing his head.  "Had to happen with as many as you've sent by screwing with their heads."  Xander let out a choking laugh at that.  "Just hold on."  He sped up once the light turned green, heading for their usual place.  He pulled into the ER lot and parked, then got out and came around to help his mate.  He walked him inside and up to the desk.  "I'm not sure, but he just suddenly had a blood pressure spike and pains in his head.  We were ambushed at work by an idiot."

"Does he have a heart condition?"

"Not that I'm aware of.  I'm his husband."

"All right.  Let's get him checked in.  Can I take your temperature, sir?"  He nodded, flopping down into a chair to let him do that.  The blood pressure cuff came out at the same time and the guy did it, wincing when he had to reinflate it and do it again at a higher level. "I'm going to move him back to a room immediately."  He went to tell the nurses, getting one with a wheelchair right away.  "Here you go.  Name?"

"Harris," David told him.  "Xander Harris. He's been here before for a gunshot wound and a stab wound.  Might be in the police section if you have one."  He followed and the nurse gave him an odd look.  "I'm his husband.  I'll be frisking him because I know he's armed."

"That's fine," she agreed.  "What happened?"

"The Chief of Detective ambushed him.  He went off.  He went to tell our boss, then headed outside to wait in the car once he was done.  I came out and he was holding his head.  He said his blood pressure was up."

"It was three-hundred-and-two over one-ninety.  I'd say," she said dryly, putting him into a room.  "Here, get him onto the table, frisk him, and I'll be right back with the doctor."  She hurried off, going to tell someone.  If his head was hurting, they could only hope it wasn't a stroke.


David walked up the stairs the next morning, handing Welsh a note.  "I'm going to kill the mother fucker if he ever comes near me or Xander again.  You can pass that onto him if you'd like," he said grimly.  Welsh looked stunned.  "Xander nearly had a stroke last night.  I'm not letting him hurt Xander and I will sue his ass.  He has to wait two days and go back to make sure his blood pressure is coming down again with the new medicines he's on.  That's his excuse.  They faxed one to Mort last night.  If they try this shit, we're both leaving."  He walked off, going downstairs.  He looked at their boss.  "You got it last night?"

"I did.  How is he?"

"I checked it before I left.  It was nearly normal.  It was back down to about one-ninety over seventy-five."  Mort nodded.  "Last night it was three-oh-two over one-ninety.  They can find another damn way.  We both passed those tests."

"I agree.  We're already discussing it with the mayor and the city council, plus the union reps.  Relax.  Let us handle it."

"Xander told him he'd sue 'im.  I'm going to follow him in this."

"I agree, David.  Just calm down."  He looked around.  "Where is Sheila?"

"Not in, boss," Steven called from AV.

Mort growled and went to call her, making some threats of his own to her.  Then he called the head office to chew someone up there a new one.  This was totally unacceptable to do to his people.  He came back and sat down, looking much calmer.  "Shall we?" he suggested.  David took his usual spot with his bottled water.  "Did you check on him?"

"Just to make sure he was lounging on the couch," David agreed.

"That's fine."  He looked over as Sheila hurried in.  "We're starting, sit down."  She sat, taking off her jacket once she was sitting.


Xander looked over as the doorbell rang.  "Who is it?" he yelled.


"Use the key.  David said he'd beat me if I got up."  The door opened and Stan walked in, handing him a bag.  "I can't have grease.  Or chocolate.  Or salt.  Or anything good and tasty.  So what's that so I can hide it and eat it later?"

Stan smirked.  "A salad with chicken.  Turnbull said Thatcher likes it."  He sat down beside Xander's feet as he dug out his salad.  "How you feel?"

"No more pounding headache.  It's a nice change."

"What happened?"

"The Chief of Detectives wants us all in the academy."  He ate a bite and grimaced.  "Lettuce, yuck."

"Eat it anyway.  If you're good they'll let you go back some."

"Fine."  He ate another bite.  "Anyway, I pointed out we didn't have to go.  He said we should have to go, he's trying to get the loophole closed.  I pointed out that none of us are eligible to go to the academy, he started to say it was necessary and that I wasn't good enough to go out onto the streets without it.  He sneered when I pointed out I had more survival training than he did.  So I lost it in the office.  Welsh kept me from shooting him for pleasure.  Then I told Mort I'm no longer heading into the field while this shit is going on, and I went to have a near-stroke in the car."  He ate another bite.  "Want some?  I'll share my lettuce."

"No thanks.  I only like lettuce in my burgers."  He leaned back.  "You better now?"

"They put me on medicine for it and it's bringing it down.  I was nearer to normal before David went to work."  He heard a car door slam and looked outside.  "But I'm feeling it going back up by the second.  Go shoo off IA for me?"

"Sure."  He got up and went to the door, staring them down.  "Harris is presently on bed rest for his blood pressure.  He don't need this."

"I know.  I only want to ask him about his former girlfriend who died."

"He was here when she died," Stan told him.  "I was with him."

"How did she get out?"

Xander got up and came to the door, resting against Stan's back.  "She said she learned a lot about security systems watching me work on Wolfram and Hart's in LA.  Did you guys find my stalker too?"  They shook their heads.  "That's fine.  I'm dizzy, I'm going back to my couch.  Can't this wait?"

"We really do need a statement."

"I was here when she died," he called as he trudged back to his salad.  "Ask the coroner how she died."

"She died by being bitten by something."

"Then ask the people who deal in the X-Files cases."  He laid down and covered his lap, pulling his dog up to see if she wanted some of the lettuce.  She licked off the dressing and settled in for a nap, letting him eat it.  "Damn."  He flipped the channel and picked back up his salad, eating that bite.

"Dogs don't like lettuce," Stan said with a smug look.  He nodded behind him as the door closed.  "Sorry."

"Not an issue.  You can stay, right?"

"For a few more. I'm headed back after a call."

"Sure."  He ate another bite and looked at the Internal Affairs guys.  "What?"

"Are you all right, CSI Harris?"

"No," he snorted.  "I got into it with the Chief of Detectives and nearly had a stroke."

"Why?" one asked patiently.

"Because the rules say that we lab techs only have to pass two tests, we don't have to do the academy.  He wants to force us to, even though none of us are really fit to go."  He ate another bite and calmed himself down.  "I had a good yell at him and it raised my blood pressure."

"I thought all field techs had to go," the first officer asked.

"I'm not a field tech."

"Oh.  We've seen you in the field and questioning someone."

Xander stared him down.  "I only go into the field once or twice a month to keep my skills updated and current.  I'm a ballistics tech with a minor in trace and the mandatory classes for field work plus two electives.  I thought it'd come in handy.  It has.  I'm not going into the field again thanks to him.  You won't have to worry about it."

"What about that serial case?" the second one asked quietly.

"One of my rare field times was a domestic call," Xander told him.  "When he died in the hospital that night, I was called back because everyone assumed it was the same case.  I'm the one who found the second body and I called in someone more senior and acted as his second since I was already involved and I have a decent feel for serial killers now and then."


"The girl who died was one," Xander told them.  "That's why she was in the institute for the criminally insane.  Her and my stalker, who apparently talked with her a lot."  He ate another bite and put it down, wiping his mouth off with his hand.  "Thanks, Stan."

"Welcome, Xander."  He looked at the officers.  "Anything else?"

"No, sir.  We mostly needed to know the connection between the two."

"She was my ex-girlfriend who was going around killing people like my former friends to work her way up to killing them.  I caught her.  I helped stop her.  She came to see if I was really happy and if David was helping me."

"What did your friends do?"

"None.  Of.  Your.  Business," Xander said firmly.  "That's my past life.  They were there when I got the combat experience listed in my file.  Anything else?"  They shook their heads.  "Then thank you, gentlemen.  You didn't raise my blood pressure that much."  They nodded and left.  Xander took his blood pressure with the new checky machine and wrote it down with why he was taking it off schedule.  He looked at Stan.  "Not too bad."

"Good.  You need anything?"

"I'm good."  He grinned and kicked at him lightly.  "Thanks for the food."

"You're welcome.  Turnbull suggested you might need to nibble tonight."  He got up and stretched. "I'm off to deal with Vecchio some more."  He headed out, going back to the station.  He stopped in downstairs.  "David, I brought him a salad with chicken.  He was questioned gently by IA about that girl who was his ex, he said it didn't raise his blood pressure any."  David looked at him. "I stayed for it. They were nice and calm about it."

"Thank you.  A salad?  Xander?"

Stan grinned.  "Sarah wouldn't eat it for him and it was the only food he had beside him."

"That's fine.  I'll get him a good sandwich for lunch.  Thanks, Stan."

"Welcome, buddy."  He headed up the stairs two at a time, smirking at Welsh.  "Xander's still fine.  I brought him a salad."

"He eats those?"

"He had to.  Doc said he can't have anything good, salty, chocolatey, or fattening.  IA was there about the freak woman.  They were calm and gentle so I stayed for that."

"I don't mind.  Where are you standing on this debate?"

"He's not a field tech, he shouldn't have to.  Besides, if anyone doesn't need it, Xander don't.  He's proven he won't have a problem."

"Good point.  The union's talking about a sick out by the CSI if they try this.  That would about cripple us."

"Maybe," Stan agreed dryly.  "Some would still get caught for a while, but we'd never see our desks through all the paperwork."

Welsh nodded.  "That was my thinking too."  He went back into his office to think.  He wanted his people to be trained but the academy wasn't going to help most CSI.  Gun safety and survival and shooting lessons maybe, but not the full academy.  Most of them didn't want to be cops, that's why they were lab techs.  He decided to call someone who could advise him.  After all, if Xander went to Jim Brass for advice, he had to know something.  He called him, leaning back in his chair since it was on speaker.


"Jim, it's Lieutenant Welsh in Chicago."

"What happened to Xander?" he asked, sounding really worried.

"Basically?  A blood pressure spike.  The Chief of Detectives all but ordered him to go to the academy.  He's trying to get the rules changed.  Xander threw a fit and I caught his eye before he could shoot him but he was taken to the ER by David because his blood pressure was in the three hundreds."

"Ouch," he hissed.  "He okay?"

"Fine.  They put him on meds.  He's on his couch eating a salad Kowalski brought him.  David's downstairs.  Xander assured him he would sue.  The union's going off.  I was hoping you had an idea about a sidestep.  Since Xander comes to you for advice and all."

Brass made a humming noise.  "Make it non mandatory, but make some classes mandatory.  Like the field tech's classes."

"It's all the same here."

"It mostly is here too but they still get a few classes in that alone.  Look at what you think is necessary and make it so those who are already hired have three years to complete them.  The gun safety lectures, the field processing, and the lectures in basic street survival should be more than enough for all of them.  They have to pass the tests anyway, right?"

"Yeah, and Xander did.  He also pointed out most of our people couldn't go to the academy, they wouldn't be accepted."

"Neither would most of ours," he agreed.  "Work around it sideways and make it so they only have to take a few things.  It'd be good for the union and your people get shot at enough, the same as ours do.   Oh, tell Xander Sanders is fine.  It was only a minor graze this time."


"Same person.  She escaped and came after him."  He chuckled.  "Grissom is giving me a dirty look for those suggestions."

"What does he suggest?"

"The field processing and the ones for basic survival.  He said he didn't want to think about all those angry techs with guns."

Welsh laughed at that.  "Thanks, Brass."

"Welcome.  Tell him I said to get better.  I want a letter soon."

"Sure.  I'll check on him later anyway.  Bye."  He hung up and called his union rep.  "I just talked to some CSI and detectives in another city and I got a suggestion from them.  No, Vegas since we're tied so closely."  He raised an eyebrow.  "You mean like how they filled in during our manpower thing?  Or how Hodges and Harris came from there?  Or how we borrowed two of their people for that last serial thing?"  He smirked.  "I thought so.  No, I talked to Jim Brass and he was talking with Gil Grissom, who's graveyard supe out there.  They suggested that if something does happen that the lab techs get the field processing lectures and the basic survival stuff.  Brass suggested basic gun safety stuff too but Grissom thought they might use it on us when they get frustrated.  They suggested for those who've already been hired, give them about three years to comply.  The new ones get it automatically."  He listened while they talked.  "How about lectures?  Continuing education crap?  The detectives could use it too and the academy can run it between classes."

He smirked.  "I thought that'd overjoy you guys.  No, he's fine.  Now.  He had to go to the ER, his husband thought he was having a stroke.  Yeah, husband.  Yes, he's male.  Yeah, I knew Xander was gay.  I went to his wedding.  I saw him when he and David were trying to stay just friends.  He's still a good guy and he's the sort who doesn't need the lectures.   Ask the SWAT guys about that.  Or better yet, go find his file with SWAT, it should be very informative."  His smirk got meaner.  "Sure.  Thanks.  No, her date broke her leg.  She knew Xander could dance, was charming, and she was safe with him.  What attempted kidnaping?  Oh, that.  Well, at least they foiled it.  She offered to make him Canadian with the added enticement of Constable Turnbull to be his if he wanted.  Nah, we don't have a problem with him being gay.  Most of us here went to his wedding and we've seen those two bein' mushy in the halls for lunch.

"Yeah, well, Xander's a bit unique and his husband David is good.  They're the best investment this city has ever made.  He's almost always up to date, he's fast, he's accurate, and he's more than willing to do overtime now and then.  He's got skills in multiple areas and he's now teaching an intern from what I hear.  Sure.  No, he's great.  His first year evaluation was excellent.  Eighty percent."  He grinned.  "Yeah, well, better'n half my guys who're straight.  I almost suggested it to some of them.  No, no problems.  One guy got popped in the mouth for it and he said he had started it.  Another guy tried something and Xander proved he was the better CSI by doing his job and his own.  So no, we've got no problems with it.  The mayor likes him too."  He hung up on the laughter in the background and the shocked silence from his rep.  "Yeah, we need to keep that kid.  He makes others insane but do their jobs well. Maybe the duck brothers could use some encouragement to date.  Kowalski's work has gotten better since he started dating too.  Though I don't think I'll suggest just that particular method.  I can't see those two going out."


Xander answered the door, looking at the delivery guy.  "What's that?"

"Xander Harris?"  He nodded, taking the held out bunch of flowers in the crystal vase.  "Sign please?"  He let Xander put down the flowers and sign the pad.  "Thank you, sir.  No tip needed," he said with a smile.

Xander closed the door and picked up the flowers, taking them to the kitchen table.  He looked at the card, smiling at it.  "Hey, my union rep's okay with me being gay.  That's good."  He called David, getting a breathless panting.  "You all right or are we making Stan's threesome a foursome?"  David laughed and explained he had run back in there to answer the phone.  "No, our union rep said it was good that we're gay and that he congratulated us on our wedding.  He sent us flowers.  They're in the kitchen.  On the table," he replied, rolling his eyes.  "Sure.  Have fun.  How's my rookie?"  He grinned. "Good!  Wonderful even!"  He beamed.  "I'm being good.  I promise.  Yes, I'll try to make Anya go away again.  Love you too."  He hung up and went to grab the stuff for the purification ritual, heading out to the garage.  He saw the other spirits and shrugged.  "Got a good way to get rid of Anya?  David's getting mad at her again."  They both shrugged.  "Huh.  Let me go look online.  Maybe I can find something."  He went back inside to go surf the web, checking his email as well.  He found one from Dawn and grinned, it was a few days old so he answered it.  She was doing well in the Vo Tech she had chosen.  He was very proud of her.  He asked her about the ghosts too.  Maybe she'd know.  She was a witch after all.


Xander walked back into the station, pouting a bit.  He looked at the desk sergeant.  "I hate blood pressure medicine."

"Well, don't throw so many fits and you won't have those problems."

Xander snorted.  "It's not my fits that cause it, it's other's fits of stupidity."  He headed down the stairs and Mort looked at him, smiling a bit.  "Yes, I'm back.  I am wonderful, but I'm switching medicines or not taking them after next week.  The side effects suck."  He walked back to his lab, looking around.  "Hey, we're clear," he said happily.  His intern walked in. "Pull the ten cases you were most unsure about and let me see the reports and the bullets.  That way I can do a check."

"You're sure you want them?"

"Yup.  That'll be what I'll do until we get new stuff tonight."  He sat down with the repots and the bullets to check over his work, nodding at most of it.  After the third one he looked at him.  "A bit wordy on the reports.  Try to make it simple, plain English.  Most of the detectives don't want to read a textbook, even though most of them can.  Some of them can't though."

"I eased up later on," he promised, watching him read and check notes.  Xander put two aside and he frowned.  "What did I do?"

"That depends on if you messed up the bullets now or then."

"Now," he admitted.  "All those were gunless cases."

"That's fine, kid."   He went back to reading and looked at those, checking them extra carefully.  They were correct and the reports were correct.  They had just been put in the wrong order.  "Good work.  Again, a bit wordy, but you'll get used to that.  Remember, detectives are overworked and they live on caffeine.  Write like you're explaining to a stupid person instead of to Fraser."

The rookie nodded.  "I can do that.  Smaller words?"

"Yeah, just generally more readable.  Which isn't a problem.  I had it too," he promised with a faint grin.  "You'll get better with more practice.  Just remember, some cops were football players and some were smart.  You have to make it so the dumb ones can read the reports too."  He beamed and nodded at that.  "Good work though.  How were your days by yourself?"

"I called Crissy a few times and she walked me through a few things I wasn't certain of.  How do you distinguish by sight what a gun is?"

"Usually they've got the name on them.  Also, you'll find a lot of grips are different by company in the same class.  It's something you get a feel for as you get deeper into the field.  I used to take my manual to the pawn shops and work on the identification stuff in there.  It made a lot of them laugh and a few get pissed but I pointed out I didn't care if they were hot or not, just what they were. I went to gun shows and did the same thing, making many mistakes but the guys mostly laughed it off when I told them what I was working on.  A few of them suggested Brewer's manual instead of the FBI one, it was more readable with better pictures.  It's also about a three hundred dollar book."  The kid nodded.  "That you can order through almost any bookstore but if you do it online you might be put onto a watch list by the FBI.  If they ask, tell them why."

"Yes, Xander.  Can I use your first name?"

"Sure, Paul."  The kid smirked at him.  "Don't forget, I'm horrible with names.  I'll probably call you Ray within a few days."  He looked over as Mort and David came in.  "I'm not taking it anymore.  It's being bad to my body."

"It's not," David said impatiently.

"I wasn't hard when I got up.  It is."

David quirked an eyebrow up.  "I'll call the doc tomorrow to see if you can get it changed."  He gave him a gentle kiss and Xander smiled at him. "How are you feeling?"

"Better.  Why?  You've got that devious Snape look that draws me like honey.  Or possibly a Malfoy."

David laughed.  "They reached a compromise.  We can take some lectures and do it without the academy."

"I have time for lectures?"

"There's a weekend of them," David said patiently.  "We can go to four of them and have fun with it.  You can probably sleep through gun safety but I can't."

"I can teach you that, honey."

"I know.  We'll do it anyway.  There's only ten lectures and we can get them done within a year.  They're mostly one night things."  Xander nodded at that.  "Is that a good compromise?"

"I'd prefer more than a year."

"We only have to take them every five."

"Then I'm satisfied," he admitted.  He stole another kiss, then a longer one.  "Paul here did very well while I was gone."

"I checked over his shoulder.  He had to," David said smugly.  He backed away.  "You're clear?"  He nodded and beamed. "Good.  Wanna come help me?  I've only got a few tape lifts to do."

"Sure."  He grinned at Mort.  "Did I miss the meeting?"

"No, almost no one's in tonight."  He shrugged.  "It was a slow day and it's dry cleaning day it seems like.  They'll be in later.  Go help David if you're clear.  Paul can take dictation for me."  He tugged the rookie up.  "Unfortunately I can't type worth a damn.  So you all get to rotate out."

"That's fine, sir.  I don't mind.  I type about sixty words a minute."

Xander went to help Hodges, happily going back to work.  "Only ten lectures?"

"Yes, only ten.  Six are on field processing.  Gun safety, and three on basic survival and safety."

"Huh, that's good.  I can pass all those with my eyes closed."

"Just no pulling a Tackleyberry in gun safety."

"Yes, dear. I won't bring in the pretty and big gun."  He beamed at him.  "Did you pick up my paycheck?"

"I did and it's already in the bank.  Your raise started this paycheck."  Xander beamed happily.  "I've also paid the mortgage and set it up on autodraft.  I got my raise as well."  Xander squealed and hugged him.  "I'd ask to celebrate but with that happening..."

"I can still make you happy," Xander assured him, "and you can be on top."  He gave him a deeper kiss.  "I'm so proud."

"Thanks.  Now back to work.  No snuggling in the lab.  You know better."

"Yes, dear."  They both looked up when they heard the scream.  The floor still wasn't fully fixed on their side.  "Huh."

"Yeah," David sighed.  "Going to run up there?"

"Why?  Do you know how many cops are up there?"  David gave him a look.  "I'm not giving him any added incentive to try to send me.  I'm not going to the academy.  I don't like it, I don't need it, and I certainly don't need PT."

"You're in very good physical shape," David agreed happily.  "I appreciate it quite a lot."

"Would you fags shut up, you're making me sick," drifted down through the ceiling.

"I'll be right back," Xander said quietly, heading up the stairs.  He came up the top, looking at the officer coming out of the bathroom.  "Was that you who was so rude?" he asked politely.  He sneered and Xander got in his way.  "Was it?  I'd hate to hit the wrong person."

"It wasn't but I agree."

"Harris!" Welsh snapped.

"Proving a point on manners, Lieutenant," he said cheerfully.
"Vecchio, go get the other moron and bring him in here with that one," Welsh ordered.  "You too, Xander."

"Yes, sir."  He walked that way, leaning on the filing cabinets.

"You need ta sit?"

"No, I'm pretty decent, I just hate the side effects."

"Why, can't get it up?  Is your AIDS medicine wrecking your raping lifestyle?" one sneered.

Xander looked at Welsh.  "Permission?"


"Yay."  Xander glared then casually backhanded him.  "No, honey.  I'm not sick.  Though you know what they say about homophobes and the closet. You really should come out soon."  He looked at the other one.  "As for you.  You wanna back up his insults?"  He shook his head quickly.  "You sure?  After all, I'm a ballistics tech, not a real cop.  I'm sure you think you can take me since I'm on blood pressure medicine."  The cop got up and took a swing at him so Xander pummeled him, following him down onto the floor.  Ray came in to pick him up and he stopped, then calmly leaned on the filing cabinet again.  "Now then," he said as politely as before, even still smiling down beatifically at them.  "How does it feel to have your asses kicked and nearly killed by a gay man?  Did you enjoy it?  Because my brothers and sisters that make up ten percent of the population are quite strong enough to keep going if you need to.  Remember, we teach your kids."  They glared and backed out.

"Oh, no, get your asses back here," Welsh ordered coldly.  "I do not allow this shit!"  He glared at Xander.  "You know better."

"I feel much better now."

"Wonderful," he said coolly.  "Aren't you on bedrest?"

"First day back and look what happens.  Oh, David said my raise came through.  Thank you.  Only a month later than expected."  Welsh glared some more and he beamed at him.  "I love you too, Lieutenant."  He looked behind him as the head of SWAT came in.  "More for me?"

"Nope.  I'm under orders not to ever bother you again."

"I can still do bombs," he complained.

"Not if you're having blood pressure problems."

Xander glared at him then pointed at the cops.  "Do they look like I am?"

"Well, no," he admitted, looking at them.  He sneered.  "Made fun of him for having a husband who makes him more normal?"  They whimpered and moaned.  He looked at Xander again.  "You okay?"

"Small spike due to the Chief of Detectives.  I'm better now and I'll be off my meds soon."

"I doubt it," Ray told him.

Xander looked at him.  "I didn't get a morning hard on.  I'm not taking them any more."

Ray blinked a few times.  "More than I wanted to know, Xander."

"Yay," he offered with a bright grin.  "I'd rather die than give up sex."  He looked at the idiots.  "So you know, I've had women, they were boring.  I've had women that could have been sexual demons and they were still boring.  They don't like it as hard as I do.  Then again, David's a wonderful man.  He makes sure I don't step over the line and kill bigots like you two.  You should really send him a card.  Really."  They whimpered.  "So, do I get tonight off too?" he asked Welsh.

"Hell no!  Go back downstairs and stay there."

"Yes, sir.  I'll go help David."

"You're not backed up?"

"No, the intern did okay.  I'm clear," he offered with a grin.  "I did a random check of ten and they were correct."

"Good, go over this one with him," Welsh said, handing over a file.  "I want verification before the DA makes a deal."

"Sure."  He walked off, reading the file, listening to Welsh tell them how stupid they were.  He saw the shift supervisor looking at his watch and around. "If you're looking for the two who sucked the moron signal tower into themselves to ride the hard way, they're being yelled at and handed ice packs," he said as he walked past him.

"What did they do?"

"Picked on David."  He gave him a look.  "Made fun of my blood pressure medicine too.  I stopped."  He smiled.  "They really should send David a card for keeping me sane and on the side of good."

The supervisor nodded.  He'd heard about this one and his temper, and how he taught manners to some very unmannerly people.  "They should," he agreed.  "Thank you, CSI Harris. I'm sure they've learned their lessons after being beaten by a gay man."

"Technically bi, but I like David more than I ever did any woman.  He suits me and keeps me sane," he sighed happily, heading down the stairs.

The Supervisor went up to help Welsh yell, slamming the door after walking into the office to put in his own two cents about why you did not do that in *his* precinct and especially not to Harris.


David looked up as he got a card and a nice plant, taking it and signing for it.  "What's this for?" he asked the officer bringing it down.

"I don't know, sir.  Is it true you and Harris are married?"  David nodded.  "Congratulations, sir.  We like you keeping him sane.  It's a good job you do for the city.  We all appreciate you helping him be normal and sane."  He smiled and left.

David sat down at his desk to check the plant, adding a bit of water to it since it looked dry, and opened his card to read.  He looked at the connecting wall.  "I'd run, Xander!"

"I'm a good boy."

"I doubt it.  I'd run!"  He heard Xander take off and groaned, going to hand the card to Mort and chase his errant spouse.  He would make him sane some day soon, before more things like this happened.  The officers all pointed the way.  "Thanks.  He's running to save his ass this time."

"No sex in the parking lot, CSI Hodges.  Try the left side, there's a nice shadow there," one suggested.

"I'm not planning on giving him pleasure.  I'm going to spank him."  He walked out and saw Greg, raising an eyebrow at his crutches.  "Back again?"

"I hate life."  He pointed.  "He's hiding in my back seat and I locked the doors.  Electronic locks."  He handed over his keys and smiled.  "I'll wait downstairs.  We had one of yours come our way so I'm here to pick up stuff."  He hopped that way.

David got into his car, going to pull Xander out and spank him this time.  "Why am I keeping you sane?"

"Because you're so good at it," Xander said, trying to wiggle away.  David spanked him and he yelped, getting away finally, rubbing his butt.  "I'm going to tell Ray."

"How many chocolate frogs did you eat?" he demanded, getting out and shutting the door, but then going back for the dog and carrying him with him while the keyring remote locked the doors.

"Four," Xander said hesitantly, backing away.

"Try again."

"Teen?"  He turned and ran back inside, heading down to cower in Mort's office.

David stomped back inside, shaking his head.  "Too much chocolate.  He can't have any more."  He walked in and slammed the door, handing Greg his dog.  "Here.  Where is he?"  Greg pointed with a small grin.  "Fourteen frogs!"

Mort came out of the autopsy room.  "He did what?"

"Fourteen chocolate frogs."

"Xander!  Go to the gym and wear it out," he ordered, pointing when Xander slunk out of his office.  "I mean it."  He nodded, going that way.  Mort sighed and looked at Greg.  "Another injury?"

"Car crash."  He pouted. "One of yours came our way.  I'm here to pick up case files."  He handed over the paperwork.  "Should I hold him for David?"

"No, I already spanked him once," David said dryly, glaring at the doorway.  Stan walked in and then walked back out.  "You, how many chocolate frogs did you have?"

"One," Stan said, eyes wide.  "Xan?"


"I'll go find him and help him wear that out," he promised, going to do that.

"With friends like these, who needs enemies?" David complained.  "Stan feeds him chocolate, Ray lets him get upset, and Welsh about cranks it up until he dies."

"You know, I always thought that saying was about enemas, not enemies," a female voice said from the doorway.

David turned and pulled out the gun Xander had given him, shooting her in the stomach.  "Dumbass," he snorted, then glared for a moment before getting back to work.  He hated stalkers.  Especially Xander's.  Xander was his, all his, and how dare any woman try to keep him.  He felt the urge to let out an evil chuckle but suppressed it.  He couldn't let anyone know that he had these sort of urges, they'd start to think Xander had tainted him too.

The End.

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