Dawn walked into Rimfire's room, not even bothering to knock.  He was still huddled miserably under his covers so she curled in behind him, giving him a hug.


"Bite me."

He pulled his head out and looked at her.  "That's about the only thing I didn't do!"

"Bet me, wanna see the bite mark?" she asked sarcastically.

"You hate me."

"Have I said I hate you?"  He hid back under the blankets and she took them off him, tossing them onto the floor so he couldn't hide.  Then she forced him onto his back and sat on his stomach.  "Have I said that I hate you?"  He shook his head but he looked miserable.  "Do you think that I would have protected you last night if I hated you?"  He shook his head again.  "Then why would you think I hate you?"

"I hurt you."

"Yeah, but I think having sex that many times is probably going to hurt anyone.  Since you were gentle enough not to *really* hurt me, I'm not foreseeing the problem here."  He pouted so she gave him a small kiss, leaning down to get into his face.  "You were as gentle as you could be with the demon going through your system like Limburger was setting the sewers on fire," she said gently.  "If you hadn't been gentle, I'd be dead by now.  Fucked to death, but still dead," she added with a small smirk.  He groaned and she kissed him again.  "Now, you were as gentle as you could be.  I don't blame you.  You did good.  You were fine. You were wonderful, but if you *ever* pull my hair that way again I'm going to shave you bald.  Got it?"  He let a small grin come up and nodded, looking hopeful at least.  "Good.  Now make with the cuddling, I'm still too damn sore to be sitting."  She laid down on top of him, getting her cuddles.

"Want me to find you some juice?"

"No. I'm juiced out.  Besides, I don't want to pee.  It hurts."

"I'm sorry."

"I know, it wasn't your fault. If it were your fault, you'd already be dead."  He nodded, nuzzling her gently.  "Ah!  Not allowed.  Not for a whole week until next Monday.  If I can sit by then."  He chuckled softly.  "You may not think it but you guys are a bit bigger than the average guy.  I'm sore.  I'm rubbed raw sort of sore.  So let's not do more than this, okay?"  He nodded, hugging her tightly to his chest.  "Yeah, this is nice."  She sighed.  "Why did I throw the blankets on the floor?"

"To be impressive."

"Hmm."  She concentrated and they cam back up and tucked them in.  "There, better."  She hugged him tighter, getting comfortable on her stomach.  "Much better."  Within minutes she was asleep.  At least until Throttle made the bed bounce off the wall and that made her shriek, which made Rimfire start since he was falling asleep and he moved her back onto the bed so he could check it out.


Xander stopped Throttle from moving and hurting himself.  He was still tied down.  "That was Dawn but she's fine," he soothed, untying as fast as he could.  He got both hands and one foot before she yelped again and the last foot was still tied.  Throttle tried to go protect her and fell, dislocating his ankle in the process.  Xander untied that one.  "I said to wait!"  He hopped up and went to find out what was wrong.  "Rimfire?"

"There was a loud noise and she shrieked, I put her back into the bed," he offered, looking around.  "What was the noise?"


Vinnie came down the stairs, looking at them, then shaking his head.  "Xander, go check on Throttle, he's swearing.  That's not like him."

"He wouldn't let me finish untying him," he complained, going to check on him.  "Vinnie, we need ice."

"Getting it."  He looked at Rimfire, then in his room.  "She okay?"

"Yeah, she was using me as a pillow.  We fixed it."

"Good."  Vinnie went back upstairs, coming down a few minutes later with an ice pack and a towel to cushion it.  He walked into the couple's bedroom, helping Xander put Throttle back onto the bed and looking at his ankle.  "That's not a sprain."

"I know that," he said, snatching the ice so he could baby it.  He frowned at his lover.  "I told you to wait!"

"She was yelping and shrieking!"

"You two hit the bed on the wall and that startled her," Vinnie retorted.  Throttle groaned, covering his eyes. "She and Rimfire made up at least."  He looked at the ankle again. "Let me call Enamel, let's see if he can pop it back into place. Then someone can wrap it and stay off it for a few days."

"That's not happening."

Xander sat on his chest, staring down at him.  "You will take care of yourself.  You didn't let me untie you, you didn't wait for the last one when I forced you to let me untie you.  You cracked the headboard," he said, noticing that.  He frowned at him.  "So not happening.  If you're injured, you're being good, even if I have to bring you to work with me every day."

"I'm not your kid, Xander."

Xander leaned down to kiss him. "So?  You're hurt, that's my job to baby you.  The same way Rimfire does Dawn.  Now hush!"  He looked back at Vinnie, who was smirking.  "You, call, now?"  He nodded, going to do that, still smirking.  He looked down at Throttle again.  "I don't want you hurt."

"I know.  It was my own fault," he promised, stealing another kiss. "Nearly as good as pain killers."

"I think that's because I'm sitting you," he offered, getting off him.  He saw the wince and went down to look at his leg, noticing that his knee was swollen too.  "Looks like you twisted this one too."  He moved the ice pack up to let the ankle rest.  "Any other places?"

"Not yet."  He looked over as Modo leaned in. "What?" he asked, sounding cranky and surly.

"Vinnie can't get hold of the doc.  You wanna go to the ER?"  Throttle shook his head but Xander nodded.  "You might want to decide that.  It's about to hit the evening rush from bar brawls."

Xander looked at him. "If he can't come, you're going."

"I'm not."

"You are or I'm carrying yo to my car and then into the Emergency Room.  I won't have you hurt because you wouldn't let me untie you."

Throttle moaned, covering his face.  "Fine. If we can't get hold of Enamel in an hour, I'll let you take me to the stab lab."

"We're not going to the blood bank, you're not a vampire, honey."  That got a small smirk under the hand. Xander found his keys and then his jeans and sneakers, grabbing a shirt to put on.  He found Throttle's cut off sweats in the drawer and helped him into those, then into a shirt and one shoe.  He picked him up in a fireman's carry, heading out to his car, then got in to drive him off to be treated.  He could ignore the muttering going on, he was sure he was calling him all sorts of vile and dirty names but this time it was necessary and he wasn't going to give up on this point.  At the ER he got out and walked around, again picking his mate up and carrying him inside.  The receptionist gave him an odd look.  "He fell during sex and dislocated his ankle and twisted his knee."

"Sure.  Have a seat.  It shouldn't be too long, we're not that busy tonight.  Need an ice pack?" Xander held up theirs.  "Okay, if you need anything before we take you back, let me know.  Want a wheelchair for him?"

"He's not that heavy," he said with a grin, going to sit down and put his lover in his lap.  He turned him so he could stretch out across the chairs, putting the ice pack back in place, then grinned at him.  "If you're a good boy and don't fuss, I'll buy you an ice cream cone."

"I don't like ice cream that much."

Xander gave him a nibble.  "I'll buy you a ten pack of hot dogs with everything and wait hand and tail on you."

Throttle cracked at that image.  "Fine."  He stroked him a bit, smiling.  "Thanks, Xander."

"You're welcome.  I'm sorry I couldn't get that last knot undone before you jumped."

"I can't believe she shrieked like that from the noise," Throttle said casually.

"We'll just have to desensitize her," Xander said with a wink for the nurse coming out with the wheelchair. "I can carry him."

"I'm sure you can but hospital policy says that he has to use the wheelchair," she offered with a small grin.  "Come on."  Xander nodded, putting him into the chair and then following along with them.  The nurse got them checked in and on a table, gently probing the areas to assorted hisses and growls. "I'm sorry.  How did this happen?  I noticed the ligature marks."

"We were playing and the bed thumped against the wall and it scared our adoptive daughter, who was in with her boyfriend, so she shrieked, and he jumped," Xander said dryly.  "I didn't quite get the last tie undone."

"Okay.  So he basically tried to leap up and fell instead of flying, right?"  He nodded and Throttle groaned. "It's all right, we've seen worse sex accidents.  You haven't lived until you've pulled out a toy from someone's intestinal tract."  They both shuddered at that.  "Let me get the doctor to authorize x-rays and then we'll see if you need a cast or not."

"Not!  No cast," Throttle vetoed.  "Air cast maybe but no real, plaster, heavier-than-my- bike casts."

"Sure," she agreed.  "If we can get away with it and you don't need pins."  He shuddered and Xander stroked his stomach for him.  "Give me ten minutes, we're not that busy at the moment."  She went to check with the doctor.  "I've got a large male presenting with a dislocated ankle and a twisted knee.  X-rays?"  The doctor signed the form after glancing over it.  She pointed at something, continuing her eating.  "Remember the really pale, furry guy from last year?  It's his spouse.  He fell out of bed when their adoptive daughter shrieked and they didn't get to untie the last cord."

"Hmm," the doctor said, then choked. "More than I needed to know.  Send 'em to x-ray and hopefully he'll be fine."

"Thank you."  She went back and made the call, then got the boys from their room and took them up there.  "Here you go.  The first stop."  She patted Throttle on the shoulder.  "I'll be back in twenty minutes, don't bring him back without one of us."  Xander nodded, and she left them there.

A few minutes later another nurse came out.  "Throttle Harris?"

Throttle looked up. "When did I take your last name?"

"I can't pronounce or spell yours."  He pointed at his mate.  "Him."

"Of course."  She smiled and came over to get him. "Have you had x-rays in the past?"

"Only when someone was doing evil scientific experiments on me," he said seriously.

The nurse chuckled.  "I'm sure it seems that way.  Do you have anything metal on you?"

"Ocular implants."

"Okay, then we'll just lead drape you from the waist up, all right?"  He nodded, letting her lead drape him from mid-thigh up, then listened as a big machine was put into place.  "All right, I'm doing to set it to do your knee.  It's like a big camera but it takes pictures of bones.  All right?"  He nodded from under his blanket.  "One more minute."  She retreated to the shielded room and pushed the button, noticing the sound made him flinch.  She came out and changed the film. "One more, just in case, try to lie perfectly still."

Xander came in and got under the lead draping, kissing his mate until he heard the new whir noise.  "It's blurry if you don't lay still," he said with a grin.

"Good, Mr. Harris.  Let me set up for your ankle.  It's basically the same procedure."  She set one to take a side view, taking it while they kissed, then a top view.  Finally she came in and took the lead covering off them, smiling at them.  "All done."  She got him back into his wheelchair and back into the hall, calling downstairs.  "Mr. Harris is done.  Come and get 'im.  They are so cute!" she cooed to her friend downstairs.  She slid the films into the developing machine and notified the radiologist that there were new films to read.


Xander helped Throttle back into the lair and up the ramp, letting him down down with his foot propped up on Vinnie's lap.  "One dislocated joint, one severely twisted knee.   Plus much cooing about how cute we are."  Vinnie snickered at that.  "So he's got an air cast, they wanted a real one but he nearly socked a nurse. I pointed out his main mode of transportation was a bike and they relented.  So he's on bed rest for the next four weeks."

"Bet me," Throttle snorted. "I'll be up and biking again tomorrow."

"Only if you want my foot up your ass," Xander said sweetly. He got up and went over to the bikes, leaning down to get close to his lover's.  "Baby love, darlin'.  Throttle's hurt his ankle and his knee," he said quietly.  "He's only supposed to ride in emergencies for the next month.  So don't let him go too often."  He gave her a long stroke down her side. "If you help me, I'll detail you and wax you tomorrow."  The bike leaned against him and beeped contentedly. "Thanks, baby love."  He gave her another gentle pet.  "You go back to your scheming to ride them instead of them riding you.  I'm going to be over here."  He went back to his seat.  "Do we need more wax?"

"You bribed his bike?" Vinnie asked.

"You won't keep him sitting down."

"I'd try," he defended.  "You didn't even try to bribe me."

"What did you want for a bribe, Vinnie?" he asked with a grin.  "Massage, some spoiling?  What's your price to help me."

"Do it and I'll make you go on patrol while you're sick," Throttle warned. "I'll make you go through the sewers and put out all those remaining fires.  I'll make you do it during the heat of the afternoon!"

Vinnie considered it and looked at Xander. "You give really good backrubs, right?"  He beamed and nodded.  "We're talking like professional quality?"

"Nearly as good as our fearless leader's," Modo offered.

"You traitor!" Throttle complained.  "I let you ride with a *broken* leg."

Modo patted him on the back. "Which is why I'm stopping you, bro, before you really hurt yourself.  Remember how many ditches I ended up in?"  Throttle groaned and hung his head.  "Let your baby spoil you.  He obviously wants to and he's very good at it."

"I don't want to be spoiled, it's uncool."

"Speaking of losing cool points, I think you're about to hit bottom with this pout," Vinnie warned. Throttle glared at him.  "You made me rest when I got injured. You made Modo rest when he got injured.  Now we're making you rest since you're injured or I'll steal Xander and make him spoil Charley instead."

"It's his fault!"

"I told you to let me finish untying you.  You didn't!" Xander defended.  "I'm going to talk to Charley."  He got up and headed over there, looking upset.

Throttle groaned.  "Why me?"

"Because he loves you," Modo reminded him. "Spoiling you makes him a happy mouse."

"I don't want to be spoiled."

"Need pain killers, bro?" Vinnie asked dryly.  Throttle glared at him.  "You sound like a cranky kid."

"Fine.  Sorry!"  He got up and tried to hobble down the ramp, but it wasn't working.  He nearly collapsed on the first step and Modo had to catch him.  "I'm fine."

"You're not fine."  He picked him up and put him on the couch, propping his aircasted leg up.  "Stay there."  He walked off, going to find Xander, who was outside throwing a screaming, jumping up and down, fit.  Charley stopped him before he could interrupt. "He didn't mean it."

"It's stress relief.  He needed it."  She shrugged. "How is he?"

"Being macho."

"I thought Vinnie was bad when he was sick or injured."  She shook her head.  "Xander, want some ice cream?"

"No!" he shouted, heading off into the night. "I'm going for a walk."

"No, don't," Modo complained.  "You'll just worry him."  Xander gave him the dirtiest look. "It's how he is."


"You're not going to change that one, Xander," Modo said patiently.

"I don't want to!  I just don't want to be blamed for him jumping up when I told him to give me a minute!  I could tell she wasn't in danger!"  He stomped off, heading for a long walk.

"Xander," Charley called.  "Come back!"

"Later!  When I'm not ready to yell!"  He disappeared, heading out to hide for a while so he could destress in peace.  Otherwise he'd kill someone.  He realized this about himself and he knew it was better if he wasn't around vulnerable people, like Modo.  Because nothing was going to stop his temper before it was exorcized.  He found a bar first, unfortunately, and went inside, going to get a drink.  The bartender took one look at him and held out his hand for the keys.  Xander put a fifty in it and shook his head. "I'm walking or cabbing later."  He checked his wallet for more cash, then put it down his pants.  That way, no one would be stealing it.  The bartender gave him an odd look.  "No one's going to roll me for it," he said dryly.  "Tequila?  With the usual compliments."

The bartender put down two shots and put the fifty in the register, writing down how much was left in shots.  He was betting that kid wouldn't be walking out of here.  He looked over as another newbie walked in, giving him the evil eye.  This one looked like trouble.  He nodded at Xander before sitting next to him.




"I don't have hay, don't want hay, and I'm here to forget a fight with my lover."

"Oh.  Okay."  He looked him over.  "You don't look like the usual sort to be living in this neighborhood."

"I live about six blocks away," he admitted.  "Over the by the Last Chance."  He slammed his next shot and grimaced.  "Eww.  Another?"  One more was put down in front of him.  He pushed away the salt and the lime juice.  "I'm good now.  It just tastes nasty."

"Maybe you should slow down," the bartender suggested.  "Want me to call someone to pick you up, maybe take you home so you can beat in the walls?"

"I'd have to fix 'em if I did that," Xander said dryly, staring at him, not in the least bit drunk.  "You'd be surprised."  He shot that shot and shuddered again.  "Beer me?"  One was poured and handed over. "Thanks. I'll stick with these for the rest of my tab."  He looked at the stranger. "Who're you?  Most people don't walk up to me in a bar and start a conversation for no reason."  The guy smirked and Xander narrowed his eyes.  "Who are you?  Next time I'm asking it at the end of a pool cue.  Which you'll be mounted on."

"I'm Leonard Jeffers."  He held out a hand.  "I want to be your friend and guardian angel."

"I slew one of them once," he noted, shaking his hand.  "Xander Harris."  He smirked at him.  "You're either very brave or out to get me.  Which one?"

"Well, I think you could use a buddy.  This neighborhood isn't the greatest."

"And you say this seeing that I'm a big man with big muscles and that I've downed a quarter of a bottle of tequila without slurring my words."  The man looked surprised. "In fact, I'm actually reasoning better at the moment due to some unfortunate history in my past.  So, are you out to get me?"

The bartender coughed.  "Please don't fight in here."

"Not an issue," Xander assured him, giving him a small smirk.  "I can throw him outside."  The bartender smiled at that so Xander beamed at the person.  "The answer is?"

"This isn't a safe neighborhood, Xander.  You don't know what could get you."

"Actually, I do know what could get me.  I used to fight what could get me."  He looked at the guy.  "I'm a combat veteran from the streets near LA."  The man winced.  "The only bar in my town housed a bunch of beings that were much tougher than this one.  Plus I'm not one of the nicest beings myself."  The man shivered at the cold, logical tone in his voice. "This neighborhood isn't that bad compared to where some of my friends grew up either.  Talk about street warfare."  He saluted him with a his beer. "It don't come no prettier than LA."  He chugged the rest.

The man nodded. "Sure, I get that.  You sure you don't need a protector?"

"Nope.  None needed."  The man shrugged and took a swing at him and ran into Xander's empty beer mug.  He screamed as the glass shattered in his hand, then as Xander picked him up and walked him off, tossing him outside.  "I told you I'd throw you outside.  Now go play with the little kids.  And I don't mean in a bad way, because then you're a bad guy and I get to hunt your ass too."  The man got up and ran off.  Xander went back to his barstool.  "Sorry about the mug.  Do I owe more for it and can I have another beer?"

The bartender smirked at him.  "You're a punk."

"I've been told that before," he said happily.  "Usually along with the line 'you're either very dumb or very brave'."  He smirked.  "Most of the time they guess wrong.  I like to change it now and then to keep things interesting."  The bartender laughed at that.  He heard a bike go past and groaned.  "Sorry, friends of mine probably wondering where I am."  He finished off the beer.  "Owe you anything?"

"No, not a thing," he said gently.  "Don't drop your wallet."

Xander undid his zipper and stuffed it down his underwear, where it wouldn't move.  Then he zipped back up and smiled. "Thanks, man.  Have a nice night.  I hope he won't bother you again."  He winked and strolled out, checking around first.  He walked out and into an ambush of the broken hand guy's friends.  Two jumped him and he knocked one out, threw one into another one and then a third one jumped and he got him in the middle of the chest, flipping off him to land on his feet.  He looked around.  "Yes, I am magnificent.  You still can't blow me for less than three thousand."  He strolled off, heading to find somewhere more quiet and peaceful.  For now.  Maybe later he'd find another fight.  Tequila always made him strange.  He ducked into a shadow when he heard another bike, watching Modo go past again.  "Huh.  Doesn't look worried, must be out for a fun ride," he decided, heading to the lake.  It was only a few miles away and it was a nice night.  He had to avoid Modo three other times, but that was fine too.  He ran into the cop and grinned at him.  "So, which parent was the sex demon?"  The cop looked stunned.  "I'm from Sunnydale, honey.  I've seen plenty of them. I used to date Anyanka."  The man shuddered and backed away.  "Now I'm with Throttle. It's a better match," he said with a winning grin.  Officer Timers backed off.  "You do know that you can shield yourself so you don't have to pick up smut anymore?  It's like a radar signal for you, man.  I've got books back at the lair to help if you want to borrow them."

"How did you know?" he asked quietly.

"You drove by my site the other day and made half of my crew hard.  You're emanating and I can usually tell.  Like I said, I've got experience in that area."  The cop groaned. "I don't care what you do with it as long as you're not hurting anyone and I don't have to save anyone.  I'm like that.  I'm too tired to fight permanently. It sucks, but there is it."  He shrugged, leaning against the building.  He watched as Modo rolled past again, this time looking around.  "He's good," he said fondly.  He looked at the cop again. "If you want, I can lend you those books.  I'm one of those possessable people so I had to use them too.  It sucks, but then it's safer.  With the way you put out, you're going to end up chased some day and probably attacked."  The cop nodded, looking pale. "A sister?"  He nodded again, swallowing.  "They couldn't control it.  She didn't deserve it and neither do you.  Come see me tomorrow night before your shift.  I'm in the building beside the Last Chance Garage.  Ask for Xander, I'll probably be hiding."  He patted him on the arm. "Beside, think about how much happier you'll be if you're not interrupting the billion couples having sex in this park right now."  He walked off, heading to one of the favorite hiding spots he'd found.  He saw Lil' Hoss in a clearing and paused.  "Not a real try," he called.  "You'd never leave your bike alone, Modo.  You'd panic and freak out on Vinnie."

Modo stepped up behind him.  "Throttle's in bed."

Xander looked back at him. "Good, he needs to be in bed.  He's injured."  He turned and smirked at him.  "Wanna watch the water with me?  I don't spend very much time with you."

"Sure."  He shrugged and let the boy lead him to his favorite spot, a nice nest among some rocks by the lake.  "I've never been out here."

"I found it my first time here and was really happy that it'd been left alone.  Of course, I had to clear out the critter living in it, but that was fine too."  He nudged him gently with his shoulder.  "Did they send you?"

"No, I thought maybe you'd like to talk.  Like you said, we never spend time together."  He nudged him back.  "Were those thugs you?"

"Yeah, I get odd and clinical sounding when I do tequila.  He wanted protection money.  Slammed his fist into my beer glass too," he said, shaking his head with mock sorrow.  He looked back at the bike.  "You can come closer. I know there's two demons around here."  She rolled closer, getting nearer to her rider's body.  "Good girl."  He heard a growl and hopped up, punching one of them and then kicking the other in the head.  "Bad demons!  Bad!"  He hit them both and knocked them out. "Be thankful I don't have something sharp, pointy, and metal."  He sat down again.  "Sorry about that."

"You're good."

"Only when I'm drunk on tequila," he admitted.  "Like I said, I become clinical.  It's better this way."  He grinned at him.  "How many tries did it take to make him go to bed since he refused pain killers."

"Vinnie was practicing his 'daddy' act on him and it wore him out," Modo said with a small grin. "You should've seen it.  It was cute."

"Vinnie's always cute.  He's just built that way." Modo chuckled, patting him on the back.  "The same as I am."

"At least you see that now and again."  He gave him a hug.  "He doesn't want you to go, Xander.  He was just being macho and in pain."

"I've been there, he told me to let him spoil me.  Turn about's fair play!  I was waiting for him to get the flu."

"We don't, usually," Modo offered, grinning at him. "We need to hang out more often.  No wild stuff like you and Vinnie do," he said when he saw the wicked look pop into being.  "No jumping off high stuff, nothing like that.  Do you fish?"

"Not very well.  I'm always afraid I'll catch a former swimteam member."  Modo stared at him in shock. "You never heard that story?" Modo shook his head.  "Back in high school, way back when, we were having a problem with some sea creatures torturing students.  We figured out it was somehow related to the swim team so I joined.  I'm a good swimmer, I made the team easily. Not the highest of high standards and nowhere near Olympic caliber, but it was kinda fun, if a bit embarrassing since I was in this *tiny* speedo. Then the girls showed up and giggled and stared.  I swear I spent half my time that day covering what little I was showing."

"Little?  I've seen you naked."

"I've grown since I changed," he said proudly. "Nearly a whole inch."

"Still wouldn't make much difference. I bet the girls all stared because you were packing some major heat," Vinnie said from behind them.  "This is your spot?"  Xander nodded, scooting over to make room for him.  "It's a pretty view."  He grinned at Modo.  "He won't fish either.  He'll catch one of his teammates."

"I was telling him that story," Xander said with a pinch.  He looked at Modo again.  "Anyway, we figured out that it had to be from the team and that it had to be something that they were all getting. I was thinking steroid cocktail with an added ingredient.  Turns out it was in the sauna we all took together, in the steam.  Little, tiny bits of mermaid going into our pores and into our lungs to infect us and turn us into a sea monster.  We lost most of the team but we managed to flush my system mostly."


"Yeah, well, let's just say I have better breath control now," he said a bit darkly. "Shh, don't tell Micah, he'll make me take SEAL training too."  Modo chuckled and hugged him.  "Thanks, big guy."  He gave him a squeeze.  "Anyway that's why I don't fish, in case I catch any of them.  Then they might try to tempt me to join their fun and orgy games on the bottom of the sea.  Xander of the sea just doesn't sound right."

"I can't see you being a sea creature.  You'd never eat the people, they'd taste like hot dogs," Modo joked.

"Ooh, let's talk about that," Xander said, holding up a hand. "At the vampire club, little midget vampire, maybe three feet high, takes a bite out of Throttle's tail, said he tasted like hot dogs.  So I punted him."

Vinnie snickered.  "They say you are what you eat."

Xander patted his tummy.  "Then we should be seeing some interesting changes from the little beast that makes you eat like Charley and Switch, huh?"

"I am not!" he defended.  "I have too good of abs to be pregnant."

Xander beamed. "They'd come back with some work."

"Fat chance, Xander."

Modo chuckled. "I could see him talking about his aching back and trying to do a jump like that," he giggled.

"Uh-uh!  If anyone's getting pregnant, it's Xander so there can be little Throttles and little Xander's to play with my kid," Vinnie said indignantly.  "And yours when you start dating again."

"I'm happy, bro."

Xander gave him a look.  "Modo, you're not happy.  Your bike is a babe but there's no way to interlock parts with her.  She can't give you a hug when you need it, and even though she's always there for you, she can't kiss the boo-boos and make 'em better."  He gave him a hug.  "She'll be a bit jealous when you find a nice mouse, but maybe she'll let you give her rides."  He looked at Modo's bike.  "Wouldn't you like to see him dating a nice mouse?  Someone his momma would like?"  She beeped excitedly.  "There is?"  Modo stared at him. "What?  She said it!"  He looked at the bike again.  "Where, baby love?"  She popped up a map and he took a look.  "That's Shell.  She's with Enamel."  He stroked her.  "But she'd be a good choice.  She's a major babe and a half."  Vinnie rumbled an agreeing sound.  "Tell ya what, find another one and we'll gladly take her on.  'Kay?"  The map popped up again. "You're sure?"  The bike beeped. "Sounds like we've got another stranded one, bros.  We should go rescue her."

"Really?" Vinnie asked.  "Any danger?"  He looked at the map.  "That's by Enamel's house.  Not much danger."

"Bet me, there's a demon street gang in his neighborhood."  Xander got up and stretched.  "Who do I get this time?"

"Me," Vinnie announced, standing up and pulling Modo up too.  "Come on, let's rock..."

"And Ride," Modo agreed, getting into the spirit of things.  "Any girl who needs saving needs a gentleman to lend a hand."  He got onto his bike.  "Okay, let's head out, girl."  He sped off with her, Vinnie and Xander not far behind.  He noticed Xander didn't have his helmet on but he'd let Throttle yell at him for that.  After all, it was nearly two in the morning.  They found the place where she was doing a standoff against the demon gang and waded in.  He knocked one out of his shoes with a clothesline.  Xander had hopped off and was kicking tail manually.  Vinnie was shooting at them like they were ducks in a shooting gallery.  A few got away and he sped off after them, running over the first and launching his bike after the second to take it out from above.  It was a bit big after all, only ten feet. It went 'sploosh' under his bike and he laughed.  "Hey, Xander, will you help me detail my sweetheart after you get done with Throttle's bike?  That one was nasty."

"And it stinks," a female voice called.  A mouse walked out of the destroyed building next to them, looking at them.  "Who are you?" she asked, pointing her blaster at Xander, who she considered scarier.  "I want an answer," she said when they didn't.

"I'm Vinnie Van Wham, this is Modo," he said, waving at Modo.  "The most gentlemanly mouse you'll ever find.  That is Xander, who's a new addition to the Chicago home team. You?"

"You're Trigger," Xander said, looking at her. "Modo's momma said something about you going missing on a patrol."  She looked stunned and so did Modo.  "It was while she was babying your sniffles, Modo."  He patted him on the arm.  "Welcome to Chicago, been here long?"

"No, I just got into town.  What sort of aliens were those?"

"Those are demons, Trigger, most of them were native to this plane but the big one Vinnie got was a higher level.  Apparently you've already pissed off the wrong people.  You okay?"

"I'm fine.  I have to get back to Mars."

"Carbine's due in a week.  You can stay with us."  Xander held out a hand.  "Come on.  Got your bike or do you need a ride?"

"She broke," she said flatly.

Modo gave her a strong hug.  "I can't even imagine," he said quietly.  "I'm so sorry."  He slowly let her go.  "You can ride behind me.  There's more room and Vinnie does stupid stuff now and then."  She nodded, going to get her things and then climb behind him.  He watched as the two white mice took off, shaking his head.  "Chaos."


"My gray furred momma used to say one bored white mouse was bad, two is an army of terror, and three or more is a planetary emergency.  Those two prove her right."  She laughed and gave him a gentle squeeze so he took off.  "You've got everything?"

"Everything I have left.  When my ship crashed it hit a volcano and was eaten.  My bike got me out, but then it got hit with a stray bolt of lava and it died saving me."

"Then it's a hero and should be honored," he said firmly.  "Any bike wh gives up her life for yours should be honored as a tragic loss to the cause."

"That's what I consider him. It's been nearly a month so I'm starting to get over my grief."  She stroked Modo's bike. "I don't know that I could bond to another bike, but yours seems very nice."

"Oh, she is.  She's the sweetest darlin' on Mars.  We've got a great relationship."  He smiled as they pulled up in front of the lair.  "We're parking around back but it's a bit bumpy with the new construction.  If you want you can follow."

"That's fine.  I rode a trail bike."  He grinned and drove around, heading inside and up the ramp.  Where Vinnie was bouncing around to wake up Throttle.  "Let 'im sleep, Vinnie. He's tired.  Xander wore him out."

"They're together?"  She got off and took off her helmet, shaking out her short hair.  "Wow, this is nice.  I heard you guys lived in a scoreboard."

"We did until it got bought, and then Xander designed and built this place," Vinnie said proudly.  "That was before he was furry."

"He's not a natural mouse?  Karbunkle did it to him?"

"No, we're not sure why," Xander admitted as he came up the ramp.  "I asked Dawn and she said you could crash in her room.  She might wake you up when she comes in to change in the morning.  She's the limping, hissing one."  He patted her on the back.  "Hungry?"

"Famished," she admitted.  "But I can wait until breakfast."

"Oh, please," Xander chuckled.  "We've got junk food out the ass around here."  She smiled a bit at that.  "Chips, chocolate, hot peppers, pretzels, popcorn?  Soda? Root beer?"

"Root beer?"  Vinnie went to get her some and a bag of chips.  "Thank you."  She took her first sip and looked at it.  "What is this?"

"Root beer.  It's nice," Vinnie told her.  "Not too bad on the palate, no caffeine."

"How many of those sodas did you drink this time?" Throttle complained.

"Forgive him, he dislocated his ankle and wrenched his knee," Modo said with a gentle smile.  "Throttle, this is," he said, getting out of the way.

"Trigger.  Carbine and Modo's momma mentioned you. You okay?  Where's your bike?"

"Lava got her and my ship."

"I'm sorry," he said honestly.  "You okay?"  She nodded. "You sure?"

"It's been nearly a month," she admitted.  "Some sort of strange beam got me and pulled me down.  Some sort of magnetic interference thingy."

"Yeah, that sounds like what they used on Sunnydale before they pulled it up," Xander admitted, scratching the back of his head.  "That's what disrupted Willow's shield so they could get to it and knocked her out.  I'm wondering if she's eating ghostly popcorn on Plutark laughing her ass off as they fight off the vampires they brought up."

"Could be," Vinnie agreed. "She's a strong girl."

"She was," Xander agreed.  "As a nature spirit she's even more stubborn and twitterheaded."  He rolled his eyes. "Sorry, old friend of mine.  She blew through here like a hurricane a few times."

"Small redhead, female, pixy face, always grinning and happy?" Trigger asked.  Xander nodded.  "She's not on Plutark, she's on one of their processing worlds.  One of the slaves reported her as a hallucination and the thing that let them out of their cells to rebel a few times."  She stared at him.  "She said to tell you she was sorry she couldn't do it all the way."

"That answers that question!" Xander said happily.  "No demons!"

Throttle looked at him.  "How much did you have to drink, how many fights did you get into this time, and do we owe for more property damage?"

Xander smirked at him.  "About a quarter bottle of tequila, yeah, when I was jumped, and nope.  They decided I didn't need their protection in their supposedly bad neighborhood."  He grinned and then grinned at Trigger.  "Forgive him, he's a grumpy man at the moment.  He needs drugs."

"Someone asked me to hold their pot stash if it'd help," Dawn called before coming up the stairs on Rimfire's arm.  "Hey," she said to the new mouse. "I'm Dawn.  This is Rimfire, Modo's nephew and my guy."  She looked at Xander, then looked him over, noticing the blood on his pants and his scraped knuckles.  "Demons or humans?"

"Both."  He shrugged. "I'm going to go clean up."  He nodded at Trigger.  "If you need anything, just yelp our way."  He headed down the ramp for the bathroom, finding a bath being drawn. "Dawn!"


"Fine."  He headed to his room, using some baby wipes to clean off his hands, and the pants went into the basket instead.   He climbed into bed, wiggling to get comfortable on the big, cold surface, then sighed and flipped onto his side and curled up in a ball.

"If you'd wait, I'd sleep with you," Throttle offered from the doorway.  He walked in and shut the door, limping over to climb in behind him.  "Just don't kick it."

"I can't promise that."

"Okay, try," he said with a grin.  He gave him a hug.  "Feel better?"  Xander nodded.  "I'm not going to get onto you about drinking tonight, babe.  Vinnie chewed me a new one for not letting you spoil me like I did you when you had the flu."  He pulled Xander back against his chest, cuddling him.  "How many did you take out?"

"Five humans and six demons.  Vinnie rode down a few and landed on top of one.  I've got to help him clean his bike out tomorrow after I do yours."

"No work?"

"Tomorrow's my usual day off.  Trish said so.  She needs me there most mornings but I get the afternoons off.  I stopped to call while I was out.  She said to take tomorrow off and so did the boss, who thought I should be out finding you a dealer for pain pills."

"I'm good on pain," he pointed out gently, giving him a squeeze. "Pain and I are old friends."

"We're on casual sex terms personally but I still like my pain killers," Xander said sarcastically.

Throttle chuckled. "I'll be fine by the morning, Xander.  It was more embarrassment than pain. You're really strong."

"I have to be.  You're not a tiny guy."  That got another chuckle against the back of his neck, which caused a shiver.  "You're going to be in more pain if I act like I want," he warned.

"I know what you want and what you need," Throttle soothed, stroking his stomach.  "Your boss was right, you do need more definition.  You need to be studlier than Vinnie so he quits bragging all the time."

"I'm not sure I can be that studly.  I like to wear shirts."  That got a third tremor-inducing chuckle and this time he had to grab onto the mattress to keep himself from pouncing.  "Maybe one of us should sleep on the floor so you don't get hurt worse."

Throttle hummed against the sensitive flesh of the back of Xander's neck. "Maybe, but you made promises and a true mouse always keeps his promises, especially the personal vows like you made to me when you said I'd be screaming your name in pleasure."  Xander moaned and shifted back against him.  "This time, Dawn won't be yelping.  She sound- proofed their room.  Trigger is being fawned over by Modo.  He's star struck badly."

"She's supposed to be pretty nice according to his momma."

"Modo's momma has good taste in women, but I think she wanted to introduce him to Rocket.  She's a bit more like her.  But then again, you never know when love'll hit.  Modo's a great, gentle man.  That's why we like him."

"That's why I like him too.  He actually frowns at me when I belch."  Throttle smiled, he could feel it against the back of his neck.  "Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I'm sure.  You're not drunk, right?"

"Hardly," he snorted, flipping over quickly and pinning him to the bed, careful not to touch his injured leg as he mauled his mouth with a strong, sensuous kiss.  He felt Throttle shift and pulled back to watch what he was doing, not wanting to hit the cast.  "What?" he asked when he saw the position he was getting into.  "You don't want....."

"I want to break this bad streak.  The first time we did this to me we ended up having a long talk. This time I got injured.  Third time's the charm."

"No, you're the charm," Xander moaned, kissing him again.  He got up and found the soft, quick-release cuffs, the ones that Throttle swore he could break himself out of in case something happened, and used them on his wrists, avoiding the cracked part of the headboard. "There," he said smugly.  "Nice and tight?"

"Very tight, but good tight," he agreed, relaxing.  He heard the spell start and winced. "Dawn's soundproofing us again."

"Hopefully it'll be a good thing," he agreed, looking at the serious expanse of flesh at his disposal. "What should I do with all this naked fur?" he mused.  Then he decided, he leaned down to nose through it to find the skin underneath, licking at it.  Little licks, like a mother cleaning her kitten.  Not anywhere particularly arousing, but just down the middle of his chest.  Throttle was arching up and trying not to giggle when he hit a ticklish spot, so he moved to a more heat-making zone, up around his chin and throat. Throttle moaned but tipped his head back.  It was all he could do.  Even when he was the one tied down, Xander was still pleasing him.  His baby was meant to make pleasure and take pleasure, but he was so much more and that complexity was what drew Throttle to him.  He suddenly had to stop thinking because the licks were over his adam's apple and on one hand it felt like he was in danger but on the other he knew Xander would never hurt him.  He could, easily, but he wouldn't.  He knew he wouldn't.  He could see it in his eyes and the way the mouse fussed over him.  He shifted to get the tongue to move and it did, going down to nibble on his collarbone for a few minutes.

His mind was screaming at him where he wanted that mouth to go, how he wanted it to work him, where he wanted the next touch.  Xander wasn't very predicable, but he knew his mental chant of 'nipples, nipples, nipples' would be answered soon enough.  Xander loved to play with his chest and it showed.  He moaned, "Nipples," when they were found, arching up into the gentle tongue and teeth.  When he was younger he had wondered why males had them, but then someone had taught him why.  Now he knew for sure why his boy liked his.  He was feasting on them, rolling and plucking the unsucked one, making them harder and making him gasp.  The thought that he had been in this spot earlier when they had been interrupted crossed his mind but didn't stay for long.  Xander was already forging ahead, making more than this simple pleasure happen. He was down rooting around on his stomach again, tugging gently on the base of his fur, licking and nibbling the skin he exposed.

He suddenly moaned and arched up when Xander discovered a new area, one that was tender but felt nice anyway.  That spot was attended to until he wiggled away and then Xander went back to his searching, finding one on his side.  Finding another spot that made him so hot he growled on his upper thigh, around an older scar. He could feel Xander's ear brushing him while he teased and played with that scar, and it was too much. "Please," he broke.  "Now?"  Xander looked up and then went back to what he was doing.  "You want me to beg?"

"I like to hear you beg.  You have a beautiful voice all the time, but when you're ready to fuck me stupid, it gets even better."

"Babe, never use that word."

"Sorry."  He kissed him and then slid across his body, careful about his leg.  He slid back and forth, messing up both their furs this time, getting in some gentle friction.  "What should I call it?  I was told that hard, fast, denting the wall sex was that.  Making love was gentle, tender, sharing, and touching sex.  The rest of it was just good."

"Drawl that word out and you'd have it just perfect," Throttle teased.  "To me, fucking is meaningless.  Like having sex in a club bathroom just to scratch an itch. That hard, grinding, pounding sex between real lovers isn't in a special category.  That's just the way I like it sometimes."  Xander beamed and kissed him before sliding down again.  His brain shut down at the touch of that warm, wet, rough tongue on his cock, and that was all he could feel.  He couldn't feel his straining against the cuffs so he could guide his lover's head. He couldn't hear the headboard cracking again, or feel it come apart on one side.  Xander moaned as he went down, like this was his favorite thing in the world to be doing.  Throttle knew his favorite thing was when he slid home, all the way in, and stayed there for a few minutes, but apparently that would be for tomorrow morning. Or actually this morning. Or possibly this afternoon since they could sleep in.  Instead, he could just barely feel a finger teasing him and knew it was his turn, still.  Not that he minded.  Xander was a pretty decent top, one who liked to play.

And play he was since Xander was teasing him now.  This time he heard the headboard crack and he didn't care.  His hands wrapped themselves into that soft, white fur, and made the teasing stop.  He couldn't take it anymore.  He groaned and arched up into the welcoming mouth, wincing a bit as the finger slid into him.  His thumb, so he was looking for an intense, slow, hard ride this time.  Next it was two fingers and the mouth was still going on.  Xander was a wonderful preparer.  He could almost forget all about the stretching because the boy's teeth were scraping him just a bit in the right spots.  He felt himself open wider and relaxed, then the slick stuff slid in and then the blunter cock.  Xander paused, another indication it was going to be long and slow.  He felt himself being turned onto his side and Xander slid out for a moment, making him whine, but then he was back and it was better.  No worrying about his leg and foot.  Just his tail got in the way but Xander was playing with it so it was behaving.  He didn't normally like this position receiving but this time it felt good and perfect.  Next time it would have to be Xander on top.

"Pay attention," was whispered, and Xander did something that was driving him insane!  What was he doing to his tail this time!   It was like he was stroking it with something scratchy, but at the same time he was making it feel so good! "Tweed," he said smugly. "I knew there had to be a use for it in the universe.  Besides date body armor."

"Date body armor?" he murmured, going with it.

"Yeah, you wear tweed, you don't get a date.  It fends them off like Jewish garlic soup does vampires."  He nipped him on the back of the neck, making sure his baby was moving just right as he slid in and out of him, going faster than he knew Throttle was expecting.  He didn't expect him to stay awake this long so he must be running out of time to give him nature's little pain killer. He sped up a bit more, going deeper and harder now.  Throttle moaned and pulled his arm around to play with his fingers for him.  Xander appreciated that enough to lunge in when the first one was sucked on. He slammed in hard, pressing in once he made it, grinding him into position.

Then the pressure was gone and Throttle panted, coming down a bit before Xander returned to his assault.   It built again and this time the fabric teasing him was softer, silk, and it was nicer.  He came when Xander went back to going harder, liking it more with the teasing he was doing.  He felt Xander come and he went limp.  "I can't feel either foot," he said in a sleepy, happy voice.  "Thank you."

"You're welcome."  He kissed the back of his neck again. "Go to sleep and I'll baby you tomorrow."

"It is tomorrow."

"When we get up. You know what I meant."

"Yeah, I did."  He pulled Xander closer, making him cuddle him.   "What're we going to do to Vinnie the next time he gets sick or injured?"

"I'm not going to bury myself in him like I just did you," Xander teased.  "I can see myself being nice though. You?"

"Usually I just pick on him about whatever accident caused that.  It keeps down the bragging about how cool it was."

"You know, you may be Mr. Cool and Casual, but you're still going to have to limp," Xander teased, poking him gently in the side. "How're ya gonna do that and be so cool?"

"Easy, I'll stroll.  They gave me a cane, I'll still look cool.  Just more like a wounded vet for a few days."  He patted the arm over his waist. "Let's nap, okay?"

"Sure.  I'm sorry I picked on you."

"That's not picking on me, I'll be getting more of that tomorrow."

"I'll stick up for you."

"Nope, let the boys play. It'll make them feel like they're helping."   He stroked the soft fur.  "If he gets too annoying, make some jokes about over compensation."

"Sure."  He kissed the back of Throttle's head.  "Now you sleep."

"You sound like my mother."  Xander pinched him.  "Ow!  Can you at least take the handcuffs off?"

"Sure, if you fix the headboard," Xander said dryly.  He reached over before Throttle could gnaw one of the cuffs open and released him.  "Fine.  But you should still be the one who fixes the headboard.  You're the one who broke it."

"Did you know your room echos over here?" Trigger called.

"No but it doesn't surprise me knowing Dawn," Xander said dryly, making Throttle chuckle. "You rest. Sleep, Trigger."


"Fine," Throttle agreed, closing his eyes, but he was smiling.  Xander was something else.


Throttle strolled up the ramp with his cane the next morning.

"Looking casual, Hopalong," Vinnie teased.

"Yeah, we expected more of a Timmy impersonation."

"I'm not that cheerful if we're talking about the Christmas movie and I'm not in a wheelchair if we're talking South Park," he said smartly, sitting down in his place.  Trigger came out of the kitchen and moved her plate.  "Shoot, I was hoping someone was cooking."

"I am," Carbine yelled.

"Good, fix me up some food, woman."  A cup came flying out and hit him. "Ow!  I'll make Xander get you back for that."

Carbine came to the door, looking at him.  "I doubt it."  She noticed the cane and the aircast.  "What did you do *this* time?"

"Tripped and fell getting out of bed," he said smartly.

"Yeah, because Xander had you tied down," Vinnie teased.

"You never would have let me do that," Carbine sniffed.

"That's because I knew you were going to shoot me," he shot back. "Any pain killers?"

"I'll find them," she complained. "I'm not the maid."

"You said you were cooking."

"I am, I'm very hot," she said snidely, finding them in the bathroom and tossing them at his head on her way back to the kitchen.

"Consider it a punishment for coming back early," Vinnie joked.

Xander came out of the study. "Bad news, folks, you're going to be deprived of the super couple today.  Unfortunately I'm being recalled to work."

"When?" Throttle asked.

"In about four hours.  So that means I've got time to do your bike, Vinnie's bike, then suck up to Trigger a bit so Modo can blush and growl at the same time," he said with a grin for him.  "I figured since it worked so well with Vinnie, it might help you too."

"Ah don't need it," Modo drawled. "Women like us polite men."

"So *that's* where Vinnie went wrong," Throttle taunted.  "No wonder it took him so long to catch Charley girl."

"Listen, Auntie Mame, I'm doing well with her.  You and destructo-boy there butt out," he said defensively.

Xander hugged him. "It's all right, we know she picked you because she needed someone who could make her laugh."  Modo tried to hide his snickers.  "Well, he does!  He tells her such neat jokes, and then he brags."  He grinned at Vinnie.  "We were talking about you last night after having sex."

"See, I am the greatest," Vinnie said smugly. "They talk about me after they're done having their mediocre sex."

"Bet me it was mediocre. Worked better than the painkilers," Throttle said dryly.  "By the way, Xan, instead of *fixing* the headboard, why don't we *buy* a new headboard."

"Sure, but this one had better last.  It's our third one, Throttle."

"Fine, we'll try to find one made of real steel this time."

Xander shrugged.  "As long as I like the style.  I could learn to like a canopy bed.  Many, many more bondage options."

"I don't need ta know that," Modo said in a sing-song voice.

"Yeah, that's right, Modo's a good boy who only likes the lights off," Vinnie taunted, smirking at Modo.  "Need pointers, bro?"

"I could swat you but it'd be a waste of energy."  Modo leaned back.  "So, why were you two talking about the ego egghead?" Modo asked with a smirk in Xander's direction.

"Well, we were comparing thoughts of, well, compensation.  I got razzed by Trisha that my car was until I proved it, and Throttle thought that maybe other people did the same thing. You know, fast cars, little dicks. Lots of weapons, little dicks that blow sooner than you want them too.  Lots of bright colors to hide an inadequate form or draw attention away from nasty body area."

"You forgot lots of loud speech to draw attention to the compensation so that others don't miss it and actually notice what the guy's compensating for," Throttle told him.

"Excuse me?  I'm the studliest and most well-built mouse in this room!" Vinnie defended.

"I'm going to puke," Carbine complained, heading back into the kitchen.

"How soon before it's time for food," Throttle called.

"I can hit you with this hot skillet if you're in that big of a rush."

"No, that's okay, I can wait."

"I can prove to you that I'm better and bigger and more studly," Vinnie defended.  He stood up.  "Come on."

"That wouldn't be fair to you," Xander said smugly.

"I've seen yours, it's not that good," Vinnie sneered.

"Ha!  You saw me out of a cold shower or a dip in the lake maybe," Xander shot back.  "After all, I used to make my living showing mine.  You probably couldn't."

"Bet me!" Vinnie protested.  "I could easily make it as a porn star, I'm just not that easy."

"Oooh, really?" Xander asked with a smirk.  "Then you should know Dawn found your little black book and she's going to call every woman in there to tell them that you claimed Charley."

"When is she spending that year on Mars?" Modo asked.

"Year?" Xander laughed.  "She must be doing college up there through her doctorate."  He undid his belt. "You think you're bigger, then let's do this, Vinnie.  I'm more than bigger than you and I'm still just a baby mouse."  Vinnie growled and undid his belt, lowering his pants and boxers.  Xander dropped his and saw Vinnie stare, then shake his head.  Xander looked down.  "Throttle, didn't I tell you no more magic markers? Just for that you're *fixing* that headboard until you break it permanently."

"Sorry, I couldn't resist. He looks so much better with the blaster and mustache."

Modo burst out in cackles, swatting at Throttle.  "You're so bad."

"I know," he joked.  "Hey, Carbine, we need someone to judge a fairly close contest. Come see which one's better."

Carbine came to the door and paused, looking at them.  "I don't want to know," she said, going back to fixing breakfast.  She really didn't want to know that much or why Xander had drawn on his.

"I'm thinking about a tattoo there, whaddya think, Carbine?"

"If you do that to yourself, I will spank you," Throttle said calmly.

"You know, the only way to really figure this out is to measure them," Modo said.

"Not at the table, that's disgusting!" Carbine shouted, storming out. "Put the miniature guns away, gentlemen, before I rip them off."

Xander was putting his back in.  "You touch mine and we're going to go round and round, Carbine.  I don't cheat."

Vinnie snorted, looking down at himself.  Then over at Xander.  Then at Throttle, who shrugged. "Fine, you decide then."

"Memories don't make good judgement calls," he said smartly.  "You're taken, I'm taken, can't happen, bro."

"Maybe you should hand him to Xander, that way he dies in bed," Carbine said bitterly, heading back into the kitchen, slamming things around.

"I only did that twice," Xander complained, sitting down to pout. "We'll just have to pull out the measuring stick."

"You've got a tape measure," Vinnie agreed.

"Hard or soft?"

"Hard, it's only fair.  Soft you can be squished."

"No more of this discussion, there are women present," Carbine complained as she brought out Throttle's breakfast, noticing Vinnie was staring at them.  Then at her.  "What?  I'm female, dipshit."

Xander smacked her.  "Don't insult my big brother.  That's my fun!  I'll have to do mean things to you in retaliation, like give my boss a headache so you don't get sex."  She growled and stomped into the bathroom, slamming the door.

Xander looked at Throttle, who smirked and gave a sideways nod.  So he leaned closer to Vinnie.  "I know you wanted to compare fairly. You can touch if you want to touch, just this once.  Just be aware that I'm not held responsible for anyone getting addicted.  Touch at your own risk."

Vinnie shook his head.  "That would be going *way* too far."

"Go ahead, see what else you've missed over time," Throttle offered. "Bragging cost you that package."

Vinnie consider it and then decided and reached over to touch him gently.  He was definitely just as wide.  Probably just as long, but Xander was definitely not as cute as he was. He wiped his hands off.  "We're going to have to go full measurement."

"Fine," Xander agreed. "Come get me when you're ready."

"Do I want to know?" Charley asked from the ramp.

"Throttle and I were discussing last night whether or not Vinnie's bike is a touch Freudian."

"Ehhh, I'm not going to touch that comment.  I don't want to know how you solve it either."  She sat down, shaking her head.  "Carbine, can I have a soda?"

"Of course."  She brought it out and found Xander grinning at her.  "I'm not cooking for you."

Xander beamed.  "That's all right."  He got up and headed into the kitchen.  "Charley?"

"Don't mention food."

"Sorry.  Vinnie?"

"Eaten.  So has everyone but you two and the other couple."

"Cool."  He made a bunch of clinking and clanking noises and ten minutes later came out with french toast and bacon.  Throttle looked at the extra-large stack and then gave him a look.  Xander beamed.  "Only if you come to work with me so I know that you're not off hurting yourself more."

"Limping as I go?" Throttle taunted.  Xander cut into his first piece and ate it with a small moan, then cut into another one, holding it out to him.  "Fine, I'll go watch you do paperwork."  Xander fixed him a whole one and handed it over with a few pieces of bacon.  "Thank you, Xander."

"Not a problem."  He grinned at Carbine.  "Not to diss yours."

"No, you're trying to tempt him into doing something, it's a time honored tradition," she admitted.  "I had to a number of times."  She sipped her soda, looking over as Dawn and Rimfire came up the stairs.  "What happened to you two?"

"Succubus attack," Dawn groaned as she sat on Rimfire's lap.  It was softer than a pillow any day.  "Don't ask."  Carbine nodded, leaving it there.  "Food?" Dawn asked pitifully.  Xander fixed a few slices and handed them over.  "Thank you, Xander."

"I'm surprised you're eating solids," Charley told her.

"My stomach hurts.  It wants real food.  It wants this food."  She dug in, eating the first one then sharing the next with her very sleepy boyfriend.  "If you want, you can go back to your nap."

"I'm not sleeping without you around for the next few days," he said through a yawn.  "To protect the both of us."

"I protected the both of you.  Go to bed, kid."  Rimfire, nodded and handed Dawn to his uncle before heading back down to bed.

Dawn looked back at Modo.  "You're nearly as comfortable as your nephew is. Hand me my plate."  It was handed down and Modo just had to accept it because he'd never move her.  That was the sort of guy he was.

The End.

To part 28

To Index