Note:  Blame Mytryk.  The first idea came from her!  I thought it was going to be a trilogy.

The European GHS Dilemma.

Xander got out of the cab, using the money he had gotten off one of the guards to pay him.  "Enough?"  The driver nodded and sped off.  Xander looked up at the gate then sighed and walked through them, nodding polite at the Marines.  "I'm going to guess this is the American Embassy?  And your jacket's crooked."  The Marine fixed it quickly, giving him a nod of thanks.  "Thank you."  He walked in and looked pitifully at the secretary.  "Which country am I in?"

"Monte Carlo," she said slowly, looking at him like he was insane.  "How did you get here, sir?"

"The idiot bad guy decided I'd be his pookie slave and didn't count on me saying no or stop it or gutting him with his table fork for the salad."  He grinned.  "His guards didn't appreciate that and Interpol hated it even more.  I don't know *why* they decided they couldn't drop me off here and explain this to you themselves, but apparently they're wooses."

She just nodded.  "So you were kidnaped?"

He nodded.  "I was.  I have my wallet on me and a few other things, like hair accessories."

"Okay, let me see if I can find someone to help you get back to the US."

"Please.  Thank you."  He sat down to wait.

She called someone.  "We have what sounds like a strange kidnaping victim.  He said an idiot bad guy.  Sounds American, yes.  Where are you from, sir?"

"I live in Colorado Springs at the moment but I'm originally from near LA."

She repeated that.  "Thank you, sir."  She hung up.  "He'll be right out, sir."

"It appears I don't have anything better to do today," he said dryly, making her smile.  "I mean, how often does this have to happen before someone realizes I'm not interested?"

"Has this sort of thing happened before?"

"Yes but they weren't human."  He frowned.  "The family is not going to be pleased."  A man in a nice suit walked out and he stood up with a grin.  "Can I go home now?  Please?"

"Of course, sir.  Let's go to my office."  He walked him that way, watching how he walked.  "Sir, not to be indelicate but are you a member of any particular organizations?"  Xander opened his wallet and held up his card.  "Ah, as I thought."  He let him have the guest chair.  "We don't see too many of you around here really.  There's briefings of course but you don't usually end up in this country."

"The arms dealer thought it'd be cute if his mate knew weapons.  Pity.  Interpol should have dropped me off but apparently I scare them for some reason."

"That can happen, depending on the department."  He pulled out the correct forms.  "Do you have your license?"  Xander handed it over.  "Do you have a passport at home?"

"I think so."

"Then we should be able to get you a copy of it so you can go home."  He filled out the forms and faxed it to the office in DC, checking the time.  "It's the middle of the night at home so we'll have to wait a few hours."

"That's okay, I understand that."

"Unfortunately, our housing is undergoing some renovation work since we had a severe roof leak recently.  We can give you a small stipend to spend on a rooming house up the street if you need it."

"Can I take it and make baby money so I can stay somewhere with a tub I'll appreciate?"

He smiled.  "Gambling is not a certain thing, sir."  He handed back the license.  Xander shrugged.  "If you wish but we can only comp you one day at a time."

"I understand."  He took the small envelope.  "Thank you.  Anyplace that's got good baccarat tables?"  A card was handed over and he grinned.  "Thank you for your help.  I'll be there."

"Are you sure, sir?  Wouldn't you rather rest?"

Xander beamed.  "I'm evil on baccarat."  The man gaped.  "I am.  I won a resort in Las Vegas on a poker game too."  He stood up.  "Thank you.  I'll check in tomorrow morning since it's the middle of the afternoon there?"

"I'll have heard by then."

"That's good."  He bounced off, going to the hotel on the card.  It wasn't that far away and he could use a good walk to wear himself out some.  He walked in and stopped a valet.  "Where's the security office?  I want them to check and hold my jewelry while I play cards."  A guard was pointed out.  "Merci."  He walked that way, tapping him on the arm.  "Hi.  I need to see someone about my jewelry and about my Vegas file that says I should not play slots before I go play cards."

"Are you admitting you cheat, sir?"

Xander looked then pointed.  "That one's going to hit within a few pulls."  It hit on the next one.  "Still wants to go for more."  It hit again a few pulls later and he looked at the stunned stupid guard.  "That's why I have a file and I only play card games.  Plus I have some strange hair jewelry on me and I doubt you want it there since I'm GHS," he finished quietly, looking around.

The guard got an order in his earpiece.  "The security supervisor would like to look you up, sir."

"Please.  That's why I warn."  He walked with him, taking out all his hair jewelry but the clip holding the braid together.  "That way I don't play with it.  It's simple platinum."  He let him see it.

"Your name, sir?"  Xander handed over his license.  "Why are you in Monte Carlo?"

"Some gun running idiot decided I was the concubine he wanted to own.  I decided to gut him with his salad fork.  Interpol wouldn't even drop me at the US embassy but they gave me a few bucks so I can earn enough for a good room with a decent enough tub."

"We can cash out some of the jewelry you have," he offered.

Xander grimaced, looking at them.  "Not the pins but that one," he said, separating it out.  "That one he gave me. I knew I should've stolen his wallet."

"Do you have a passport, sir?"

"No.  Not here.  That's why I was at the embassy before here."

"Good enough."  He handed over the piece of jewelry, letting his guy exchange it for money at their in-house jewelry store.  He found the file on him and read it.  "How do you know that they're going to hit?"

"It's like they talk to me or call out to me.  That's why I always warn.  So no one gets upset when I win a lot."

"I see.  You play which games?"

"Poker and baccarat mainly."

"That's fine.  We'll make sure you're not near any of the machines."

"I can't do it that way.  All I know is when they scream at me."  He shrugged.  "Then again I won the resort in Vegas during a poker game."  He sat down, getting comfortable.  "Is my GHSness going to cause  you problems?"

"I've heard of your organization.  We've had a few that have stayed here in the past.  How high are you?"

"Ten," he said with a sweet grin.

The man shuddered.  "Your entourage?"

"Home in Colorado Springs probably freaking out.  If I knew the numbers I have plugged into my cellphone I'd call.  I can't remember the house number."

"Maybe we can look it up?"

"The house is unlisted.  My cell's listed but I can't remember it.  Hmm."  He thought for a second.  "I know.  Bobby.  Bobby runs a salvage yard in North Dakota.  I know he's listed since it's a business."

"Hmm."  He put in that search criteria.  "There's over six hundred of them.  What's the name of it?"

He considered it.  "His last name starts with an S.  Oh, damn, I hate the hormones sometimes."  He frowned.

"Narrowing it down to 'S' names brings it down to five."  He let him see.

"There you are.  Him."  It was dialed for him.  "Bobby, it's Xander."  It was picked up.  "Thank the goddess you're home!"  He listened to him complain.  "No, I'm not home.  I'm in Monte Carlo without my passport.  The embassy sent the paperwork back but it's really late there.  Oops, sorry.  In a casino.  Their housing is being renovated and I came to see if I could get a decent room.  Can I put you on with the security guy so you can give him the house number or even Steve's so we can do a long distance withdrawal?"  He beamed.  "Thanks, man.  I'll bring you back something pretty."  He handed it over.  "He's like an uncle."

The security guard listened then smiled.  "He said you're one of the most troubled nephew's he's ever seen, even Samuel."  He gave him the particulars of the hotel, taking down the numbers he said.  "That's with area code?  I can certainly do that.  Yes, he did tell us that.  No, that was most necessary.  That way we know we have to watch out for him.  I can talk to the local embassy to coordinate with them.  Does he have a passport?"  He smiled.  "It's been sent for but it hasn't come back yet."  Xander pouted.  "DPP?"

"Can't get here.  I tried."

"He said he tried and they can't get here.  That would be wonderful, sir.  Please do.  That is my number here, yes.  I'm the security manager for the afternoon to evening shift and my name is Raul Santos.  Thank you, Mr. Singer.  We found your number online.  For the salvage yard.  We can do that readily enough.  We're used to the idle rich who forget their wallets.  Of course we'll watch out for him to be taken.  We've had other members here before.  Even better, sir.  Thank you.  You have a better night."  He hung up and made notes.  The guard came back with a bundle of cash.  "Let's get you checked into a modest accommodation.  That way you can afford to buy some clothes and things before you get  your allowance from your financial manager.  How long did they have you?"

"Six days."

"I see.  I would've thought longer with the hair."

Xander looked at it with a frown.  "I know, it needs conditioned."  He grinned.  "I will smack anyone who tries to grab me by the hair."

"Agreed, sir.  We would expect you to be able to protect yourself at least some of the time."  He led him out to the desk with the manila envelope he had put the other jewelry into.  "Santi?"  She smiled at him.  "This is Mr. Harris.  He is American and got kidnaped to our wonderful country.  The embassy is working with him to get him home.  He needs a decent room with a good tub to soak away the stress in plus a safe in the room."

"I think we have one of the lesser suites available," she offered, looking it up.  "I see that we do.  They're going for two hundred a night, American."

Xander looked at his stash and frowned.  "That's a lot.  I only have six thousand."

"Usually the embassy can get you home within two weeks," Raul told him gently.

Xander nodded.  "Then I can accept that.  It has a nice tub?"

"It has a standing shower."

Xander grimaced.  "I'd like a tub if I can.  I'm kinda...."  He leaned closer. "I have rampaging hormones now and then," he said quietly.

She blushed.  "GHS?" she whispered.  He nodded.  "There's a suite that most of them like but it's presently occupied with a rock star.  Let me check for something in a similar price range."  She looked.  "We have one of the corner suites that has one.  That one goes for two- thirty a night American."  He handed over the stash, letting her count it out.  "There you, Mr. Harris."  She let him fill out all the information.  "No phone number?"

"I can't remember it."

"That's fine.  If you do, you'll put it down for us, sir."  She got him a room key.  "There you go.  All set for the next week.  Do have fun exploring our city while you wait."  He grinned and nodded, kissing her on both cheeks like they did in the movies, getting a blush back.  Raul walked him up there to help him put his jewelry into the safe then let him take a nap while he called the embassy for him.


Xander came down later, looking around the gambling area.  He stayed away from the machines, because he was a good boy most of the time unless he was picking on Dean, and headed for the baccarat area.  He found a nearly empty table and sat down, putting down two hundred dollars.  The dealer changed it for chips and he smiled, putting down his first one.  She pointed at the sign, making him add another one since it was a minimum bet table.  He didn't feel the special winning tingle so he bet on the house and lost.  "Huh.  That hardly ever happens."  He sent a prayer to his gods and did it again.  And lost again.  "How do you lose betting on the house?" he asked.  She shrugged.

He frowned and did it again, winning this time by betting on the house and playing crappily.  He got up and moved to get a drink from the bar, then felt his tattoos burn suddenly.  He nearly yelped but instead rubbed them.  Then things clarified.  Huh, he was in a neutral zone.  The same thing that blocked the DPP blocked them.  He sent up another prayer of well-being and he'd handle it for now but to watch out for the family for him please, then picked a lower priced table to not lose on.  His instincts were backward on this table so he figured it out after a few hands.  He'd be able to stay in his room for a while.  Or until whoever got him his passport or could smuggle him home.


Raul pulled his counterparts into the office the next morning.  "How did Mr. Harris handle last night?"

"I saw your notes," the overnight person said.  "He came down and didn't look pleased that he was winning on baccarat."

"I asked him this morning if something was wrong.  He said something about his gods being blocked and screwing with his usual instincts," the dayshift person said.  "I looked him up.  How does he do that?"

"He pointed one out to the guard that brought him to me and told him when it'd hit.  It did," Raul said with a small shrug.  "He said he always warns so no one gets upset with him."

"He's been good.  I've had a camera monitoring him when he's playing.  He's stayed on baccarat the whole time so far."  He handed over the desk.  "He did point at one Middle Eastern gentleman and told the dealer that if he was drinking vodka like his father he might be losing big soon.  Apparently he won a plane from him?"

"A plane, a resort, and a racehorse," Raul said dryly.  They gaped.  "Playing poker."

"I see."

"Without having his hormones involved.  That was noted in the incident log."  That got a nod.  "The gaming commission said it was a fair one since he doesn't have a head for business and lets someone else run it."

"Better and better.  Why is he here?" the nightshift counterpart asked.

"He's GHS and he was kidnaped from Colorado Springs in the US."  They both shuddered. "The one who took him was gutted.  Interpol rescued him before he had to get others.  The arms dealer apparently wanted a concubine he could speak on his business interests with.  Mr. Harris knows and has weapons at home.  He told me that when I asked last night before I left.  He did say he prefers a sword most of the time."

That got a nod from the other two.  "How long does the Embassy think it'll take?" the dayshift guy asked.

"They said it's in processing.  Hasn't been printed yet.  It's in line to be printed sometime this month.  They'll send it here to him once it is."

"How high on the scale is he?"

"Highest.  I did call the person who headed the last convention we had in town.  The one in Paris?  He said he'd call his American counterpart to let him know that the young man is here and safe."

"That's good," the nightshift guy said.  "Any problems so far?"

"I saw one of the agents nosing around him earlier," the dayshift guy said.  "I asked him why and he said he was curious, that Interpol had said something about the young man.  He was confirming the rumors.  I gave him the notes that you left, Raul."

"He's a very nice young man.  Can't remember his home phone number at the moment but fairly nice."

"That seems to happen to their sort," the nightshift guy said dryly.  "The convention had a few of them."  He looked at the cameras.  "Why is he staring at the machine like that?"

"We've had problems all day with it," the dayshift person sighed.  He went to talk to him.  "Is it calling out?"

"In pain.  It's got a virus I think.  My computer sounded the same way when Dean downloaded one from a porn site."  He went to play it and it hit, and kept emptying itself out but he didn't touch the coins.  He smiled and plucked the thing off its side.  "This is what was going on.  It should work better now."  He beamed.  "Since I'm so good, I'm going to have a sundae."  He bounced off to do that.  The dealer waved a guard over to get his winnings for him.

The security person pointed.  "Tail him, make sure he's all right.  Get him to his room for a rest if you can."  That got a nod and he hurried after the young man.  He got two of the guards to pick up the coins while the IT person for the hotel checked the machine over and he figured out what had been put onto it.  He could learn to like that boy but he might take him home if he liked him too much.  He hoped his passport got there soon!


Xander looked up as the seat across from him got taken.  "Hi.  Don't worry, I'm not hogging this dealer."  He flipped his cards, she flipped hers.  He lost but it was a small bet.  She smiled and added it back to her tray.  She needed the chips.  "Did you want to play head-to- head or against the dealer with me?"

"How about we play against the dealer?" he said with a British accent.

"Sure."  He put down chips to start.  She dealt to them both.  He looked at his cards and the tingle hit him very strongly so he bet heavily on the other guy.  She gave him an odd look.  "Can't I?"

"You can."

"Then that's what I want to do."  He put some down on himself and the house just in case.  Turns out the feeling was back and he won.  He grinned at the guy.  "Thank you."

"You're most welcome.  I'm James."

"Xander."  He shook his hand.  "What part of England are you from?  I have a former friend who's from near Stonehenge."

"London."  They played another hand and Xander won that one on himself.  The house won the next five though so the dealer was exchanged because they both bet on her hand instead of theirs.  "Are you on vacation?" James asked.

"Not quite.  I kinda got stolen from home and taken to be a male mistress by someone rude."  He frowned at his current hand, upping his bet on the house.  The feeling hit him.  "Um, can I change that?"  The new dealer shook his head.  "Okay."  He put down some more on the other guy, getting an amused look.  "Don't ask, it's a funny feeling I get now and then.  The moon must be up again.  It's only strong at night around here for some reason."  James won and he tipped the dealer then gathered his winnings.  "I think I'll go shopping tomorrow after I reup my room."  He grinned at James.  "Have a nice vacation, Agent James."

"You knew?"

He leaned down.  "How do you think I learned to play baccarat?" he asked with a wicked grin.  "You can ask me more direct questions if you want.  I'm assuming you're a son or grandson.  You kinda look like how the author described him in the original books."

"Who had you?"

"Ask Interpol.  All I remember was his salad fork bent when I gutted him."  He straightened up.  "I'm only dangerous if you try to steal me.  But can you help me get back home sooner?"

"I can check on that," he promised with a slight smile.  "Go rest, sir.  You look tired."

"I can't sleep alone.  I at least need the dog anymore.  Bogart cuddles really nicely."  He walked off, heading to cash out and let the guard that shadowed him around know he was going to go do some shopping in the morning.  That way he could relax and have a day off finally.  That poor guy.

James looked at the guard pretending to be a dealer.  "Who is he?"

"Mr. Harris?  He's stranded until they can get him his passport.  The embassy is trying.  I know the security office talks to him about every day.  They say he's got a file from Las Vegas.  I know he goes out of his way to avoid the machines.  You're with who, sir?"

"MI-5.  I'll present myself to them in a moment.  You need a better wrist flip when you deal by the way."  He took his chips that way to check on him.  The head of security held up the notes he had.  "Interpol tipped us off that he was a weapons dealer."

"Hoarder, not dealer.  Probably for his own protection.  He's GHS."

"Ah, I see."  He sat down to read it, including the Vegas file.  "That's an interesting skill."

"He found another one that someone had tampered with the other day.  Helped us figure out who did it."

"Excellent of him."  He looked over.  "Why does he have weapons?"

"Apparently he hunted demons before the hormones hit.  We found his name linked to a few demonology sites.  I know he wears marks to a lot of the Greek Gods on his mid-section.  There's a tattoo girdle of them.  He was swimming the other day."

"Have we had any problems?"

"Not yet.  One who admired him greatly but the boy acted cold and said he had a man.  She was turned off by him being gay so she left the resort.  Fortunately he loses sometimes."

"He bets on the house a lot and bet on me a few times.  He said he has a feeling about when he's going to hit."

"I figured he does.  Maybe it has something to do with the tattoos.  No idea.  It's not a system.  Everyone says they get feelings about when they're going to hit.  I know he's bored stupid half the time.  He's been good about hiding whenever he surges to protect all of us."

"Interesting."  He gave the notes back.  "How long are they thinking?"

"Another week."

"I'll let my people know so they can update themselves.  He made a few people in the American government nervous as well but an agent put up a report that quieted them down."

"That's decent of them.  Are you going to shadow him tomorrow shopping?  If not I should have someone do that.  Just in case he gets stolen again.  Or like last week, he saves the crown prince from someone rude who wanted to drug him."  The agent gaped.  "He was having lunch up the street at a cafe.  The crown prince was walking past chatting with someone.  Someone came rushing up behind him with a needle so the boy tripped them then sneered until the bodyguards got him.  It was quite nice of him."

"I'm sure he's used to handling that sort of threat for himself."  He stood up.  "I'll watch him tomorrow for your guards."

"Thank you.  He doesn't usually go out before nine or ten."

"That's not that unusual for their kind."  He nodded his thanks and went to check in.  That report from the Americans was an unusual read but amusing.  Interpol was still nervous.  He decided to ask the boy in the morning about that.


Xander looked up from his breakfast, kicking out the chair.  "Might as well eat with me, James.  Ordered to follow me around while I'm trying on shirts?"

"I was."  He got his own breakfast off the buffet and sat down across from the young man.  "Interpol seems to think there's a few weapons dealer who would like to talk to you."

Xander finished his current bite of croissant while he thought.  "My collection is private and not for use unless there's another apocalypse that I have to help handle," he said quietly.  James dropped his coffee cup.  Xander shrugged. "I'm from Sunnydale originally.  That British friend I mentioned?  He was a Watcher."  James moaned.  "I have my reasons but I also have a friend in the Air Force who would kick my ass if I brought home more souvenirs in that class.  Pretty things yes.  Things that go boom, no."

"That's good to know."  He got up to get a refill and a sponge from the hovering waiter.  "Thank you.  Sorry about that."

"It happens, sir."  He left, going to tell his contact what the boy had said.  He was quite odd and Interpol did not like him being there.

James frowned.  "Interpol is still a bit touchy in the gut sometimes."

"Eehh, it's probably gas pains from all the onions the French eat," Xander said, making James laugh.  "Anyway, I'm going to go shopping.  I need a few new shirts and I'm falling down on presents so I don't get pouted at by anyone.  You're more than welcome to come with me if you want.  And if the sort they're paranoid about show up," he said with a nod at someone staring at him.  "We'll handle it."

"Not backed up?" he asked dryly.

"That's as much a weapon as I am."  James gaped.  "John makes sure I train daily and I've been doing katas and things to wear myself out most every single afternoon."  He sipped his coffee, getting back to the serious business of eating.  Sam would pout if he lost weight.  Dean might spank too.  They left, Xander hiring a car for the day, James deciding to accompany him just in case something happened.  Which of course it did.  They got to the first store and someone came in to kidnap them.  Xander got the one with the gun on him.  James got his own.  Then Xander got the boss with a hairpin that he threw.  The guy went down begging for mercy since he hit him on the dick.  "Pity."  He walked over to pluck it out and wipe off on a sanitizing wipe the shop girl gave him.  "Thank you.  We'll be looking at shirts in a moment please."  She nodded to get them some.  He looked down at him.  "Didn't I buy a Mark 7 off you guys?"  The man on the ground nodded frantically.  "I'm out of the business unless it attacks me.  Why follow me shirt shopping when I'm stranded here?"

"Our boss is arranging the liquidation of his assets since he's sick, Mr. Harris.  We wanted to invite you to look."

"At gunpoint?" James asked.  "That's frightfully rude of you."

Xander frowned at him.  "You sound like Giles; can you quit that before I freak out since he tried to sell me to a higher demon?"

"I can try to be less stuffy," he offered.

"Please."  He looked at him again.  "Dean and John would be very, very pissed if I brought home more weapons and Jack O'Neill would kick my ass up and down Colorado Springs.  You can ask Jack or John Winchester if I can have something new.  If so then I'll gladly come look.  If not, I'm moping because I can't get home to play with my boys or my dog."  He pouted.  "Please don't be mean to me?"  The man gave him a pathetic look and nodded, leaving with his henchmen.  Xander straightened himself out.  "There, better."   He went to look at shirts.  "I need to see female ones too.  I have to buy a nice present for Faith.  She's a friend who lives in my attic."  The shop girl gave him an odd look but showed him some.  He pointed at a size.  "She's about that big."  He held a hand up to her height.  "This tall.  She has a thing for leather pants."  A different shirt was shown to him.  "That's perfect.  She has a pair of leather pants that'll look stunning over."  He got himself a few new ones too then paid and they left, going to another store for other things.  Xander found a few odd things that he thought Danny might like, staring at them with his head tipped to the side.  "I can't read that language.  What language is this in?" he asked the store's owner.


"I can read hieroglyphics."

"This is in an earlier form of that language, sir.  You have excellent taste in antiques."

"I know an Egyptologist who needs a souvenir of me getting stranded over here thanks to a kidnaper."  He grinned.  "Think this'll work?"  The man beamed, letting him touch it.  And of course it was possessed.  "Do we have any more?"

"We have a whole set in the back."  He took the vase to lead him back there and show it off.  "That is what we have."

Xander carefully touched each thing, frowning at the bed  "That's French, not Egyptian.  Or so said the guy at the furniture store."  He grinned.  "I'm still educating myself in that stuff."  He found one piece he *knew* wasn't supposed to be in normal hands.  "Let me call my financial manager, have him do a money transfer for me.  I'll take everything but the bed, including this interesting statue."  He put it onto the table.  "My friend Faith wanted one."  That got a nod and he went to do that while Xander texted the number from the cellphone he had bought.  "Why can't I text someone in the US?" he asked James.

"You need a country code."  He put it in for him, getting a beaming smile of thanks.  "Why?" he asked quietly.

"Like Giles' stuff," he said with a point at the statue.  "I know who that was."  He finished texting it and got it sent.  Steve sent back a swear but did it anyway.  It was arranged through numerous text messages and it was Xander's.  Steve gave them the address to send it to while Xander walked off with the statue to put into the trunk.  They got into the car and headed off.  "That statue used to be a fellow student's mother," he said after a few minutes of driving.  "I thought it got destroyed when the school blew up."  James gaped.  "Sunnydale stuff."  He pointed at a store. "Is that another one?"

"It is.  Why?"

"It's fucking glowing," he muttered.  He parked and got out, leaning around the door to look.  "Hello?"  Someone in the back swore in a very British voice.  "Are you a watcher or someone else?"  He walked in, James behind him.  A familiar face came out.  "Ethan Rayne?"

"Yes.  Do I know you?"

"Xander Harris."  Ethan looked confused.  "I helped Buffy."

"Oh, yes.  Ripper's girl.  How are they?"

"He's in jail for selling me to a higher demon and she's in the military to get dried out after special girl syndrome led to alcoholism her freshman year."  Ethan gaped at that, slowly shaking his head.  Xander nodded.  "He sold me to someone on the High Council.  Why is it that no one from the DPP can get here?  And is it the same thing that's blocking my anchor's marks?"

"Anchor marks?"  Xander lowered his pants to show him one hip's worth.  "Oh, my," he breathed.  "Like Jace?"

"In a few ways," he agreed dryly.  "It's messing up my gambling instincts and I'm living on it right now  until they get my passport."

"A demon stole you?" he laughed.

"No, an arms dealer stole me."  Ethan moaned, shaking his head.  "Yeah, I know, Janus loves us chaos people but Strife loves me more."  He grinned sweetly.  "Is it the same thing?"

"It is.  It's something that was done back during the Holy Roman Empire.  I have no idea what but it protects almost the entire country from demons entering."

"Interesting.  Then why block Gods?"

"Because it wasn't the God they worshiped, boy."

"Oh.  I guess that's a good point.  Anyway.  Did you know you were glowing outside the shop?"

"I was?"

"Yeah, pale yellow, butter cream colored light."

"I have no idea why."  Xander pointed at something.  He looked the moaned.  "How do you know?"

"I serve Ares, Strife, and Cupid most of the time."

"That means you're...."  He breathed.  "You are?"

"Card carrying and I trained at a temple of Ares for a bit after a deaging curse hit me.  No, you can't have blood, urine, hair, or skin," he finished with a quip.  "John would be really upset with me and might spank."


"I was sent from Devi's to John Winchester when the deaging curse hit me."  He grinned.  "They're protecting me."

"Ah.  That makes much sense."  He considered that piece.  "I have no idea why it's here."

"Then can you bury it?  Before it creates something that I have to help handle and then John gets *really* mad at me for getting press attention?"

"I can sink it into the ocean," he decided.  "Or I could let it possess you."

"Strife said I can't be possessed unless he agreed beforehand.  I'm not going to upset him.  He's a decent guy who thinks I'm fun."

Ethan gave him an odd look.  "That's probably worse than my affiliation with Janus."

"So?"  He shrugged.  "I'm happy and if you are, then what do I care until you attack me and I have to do what Ripper would and beat your ass?"

"Good point," he decided, nodding a bit.  "Is this your keeper?"

"No, this is Agent James.  He's following me around because Interpol decided there was a reason an arms dealer kidnaped me."  Ethan burst out cackling in glee.  "Basically, yeah.  Nothing you need a hunter for?"

"No, poppet.  We're fine," he said once he caught his breath.  He looked at the boy.  "You should scurry off."

"I am.  I'm souvenir shopping."  He grinned.  "If you can get hold of the DPP or the High Council, tell Vesvold I'm okay?"  That got a slow nod.  Xander grinned. "Thanks, Ethan."  He bounced off.  James waved weakly and followed.  "He got me my second possession.  My halloween costume one year possessed me with a soldier's memories."  He got in to drive, taking them to a different part of the city to shop there.

Ethan went to sink that particularly strange artifact into the ocean.  He did not want it in his shop if it brought such strangeness to his life.  Though he did wonder if he could go taunt Ripper a bit.  It'd make his bloody life.  Then he went to pray to Janus for the headache that boy must cause him and Strife.


On Olympus, Strife looked over as someone stomped his way.  "How's it hangin', Janus?"

"One of my priests met with yours."

Strife sat up.  "Xander okay?"

"They chatted.  He said to tell you he's sorry the boy gives you headaches but he's fine.  Being followed by an agent since they believe he was taken by an arms dealer for a reason."

"Unc's throwing a fit 'bout that.  That's why I'm *here*."  Janus smirked at him.  "But he's good?"

"Ethan seemed to think he was.  He told him what happened to Rupert as well.   A few minutes ago I got another one from Ethan begging me to help the boy get home since he was upsetting the locals by being himself. Apparently some rich little girl wanted to own him and he said no.  It nearly started off an international incident.  The agent got her to her embassy, got Xander back to his hotel room, and locked him in with the instruction to order dinner in that night.  Then he went to have a drink.  It wasn't even my doing."

"I know.  It sucks.  Okay, let me talk to his family and then it'll be better.  They said  his passport will be there tomorrow."  That got a nod and a smirk.  "I'm not holdin' it up.  Really.  I want him where we can find him."  He walked off shaking his head.  Sometimes Xander was really fun, but sometimes.....


Xander ran into James fighting his way out of the arms dealers' meeting, panting as he leaned on him.  "I'm tired of this shit.  Can't I just blow them up?"

"That might be a problem.  One might have a chemical weapon."

"Fuck."  They ran off together, James getting him into the car and taking him back to his hotel.  It only took a few hours.  Xander walked past the desk, taking the envelope the desk girl handed over.  "Thank you.  I'm taking a shower."  She nodded at that.  "If anyone who's not my family is looking for me, just say no and warn me so I have enough time to run?"

"Of course, sir."  She watched him go, wondering why he was dirty, sweaty, and his hair was sloppily braided.  She pointed at one of the security guards to follow him.  Just in case.  They learned to like that phrase around Mr. Harris.  She hoped that was his passport.  He was winning too much in the casino.

Xander walked into his room, stopping at the man standing there.  "Bobby!"  He gave him a hug.  "Is everyone okay?"

"They're fine.  John had to go beat some demon ass to get Sammy back."  He looked at the boy.  "Why are you so nasty and sweaty?"

"Arms dealers."


"Don't ask.  They thought I wanted to join their club.  Thank god there's a British agent following me around right now."  He went to take a shower.  "Your present's in the closet."

"Sure," he agreed, sitting down to wait.  This story he wanted to hear.  When the boy came back out he dialed John on the cellphone that was on the desk, getting him.  "Here, give about the arms dealers, Xander."

Xander sat down on the foot of the bed to tell him, not realizing John could hear every word of the story.  He even got to babble about seeing Ethan, the presents, saving the prince, ducking a princess, and a few other things.  Then he pouted and said he wanted to go home.  Bobby tossed over the envelope, letting the boy hug his passport then log online to get them tickets home if Bobby hadn't.  Bobby did though so it was great.  He packed up, shipping things off through the security office, then they headed for the airport with Bobby being a very fussy bodyguard that didn't want him to eat at the airport.


John hung up and sighed, shaking his head.  "Expect Interpol to come ask about him, O'Neill."

Jack looked over.  "Why?"

"The first guy who took him was an arms dealer and they decided Xander might be too.  They had a British agent following him.  Thankfully since he just helped him rescue himself from a meeting of arms dealers."

Jack's head thumped on the table.  "You guys wear him out the minute he gets into town."

"Yes, sir," Dean said with a smirk.  "Always happy to help."

John swatted him.  "He's been wearing himself out.  He's probably too backed up.  I know he was too backed up to remember the house number."

"It's programmed into his phone.  He probably never memorized it," Sam said.  "I know I didn't."

John looked at him.  "Then we'll do what everyone else does to four-year-olds when he gets back, Sammy.  You can both memorize your name, address, and phone number."

"Thankfully he remembered Bobby's last name so the guys at the hotel could call him," Dean quipped.  Jack let out another moan, shaking his head.  "By the way, he already shipped some stuff back.  It's for Danny in care of us.  It showed up last night before we got taken again."

"Wonderful!" Jack said.  He sat up.  "I don't care how you do it but make him calm down for at least a month?"

"We'll try our best but we gotta sleep sometime," Sam said dryly.  "Are they flying back commercial, Dad?"

John nodded.  "We bought the tickets.  It's not a full flight and Bobby's got the outside seat in first class.  Xander has a window.  He'll probably nap like he did on the last flight.  There shouldn't be any new love slaves when they get back here."

"We hope," Jack amended with a dirty look for John.

"If so, they're probably evil so we'll end them," Dean said.

"I still think it was nice he stopped the guy trying to drug the prince," Sam said with a grin.

"He doesn't want anyone else to go through the same thing he does," Dean countered dryly.  "Do you need a nap too?"

"No, I'm just fine," he said with a chipper grin.

"You're both taking naps once we get the stuff to Jackson," John ordered impatiently.  "That way you're rested for when he gets back."

"Are we talking a vase?" Jack asked, sounding a bit hopeful.

"Who knows, but it's in a huge set of crates," John told him.

Jack moaned but paged Daniel to go with them.  The crates were in an unused room with the dog staring at them.

"Did it try to talk to you?" Sam cooed, petting Bogart's ears.  The dog barked and bounced around, hiding behind John while growling at the crates.

"I think that's a yes," Daniel said dryly.  He and Blair found the shipping manifest, then opened the first crate.

Blair sucked in a breath, pulling out the canopic jar carefully.  "Oh, man."

Daniel looked then tapped it, feeling the stuff inside shift.  "Jack, I think he found some missing snakes."


"Well, Xander does draw trouble," Strife called down.  "Yes, he found 'em with a possessed cheerleader statue too.  Said he thought it got blown up in his high school."  He appeared, looking in the crates then at the anthropologists.  "That's why you got spoiled," he said with a cheery grin.

"It's nice of him.  I'll see if Hammond can reimburse him for some of it since this stuff is so dangerous."  They called down a truck from the base with the general, letting him see the vase they had uncovered while the others went to find straps to tie Xander down.  That way no one could take him without them knowing - mostly because he'd stop whining about being tied down.

It'd give the scientists on base a lot of work for the next few weeks.  How nice of Xander.


Xander stumbled off the plane, wincing at his sore back.  "Layovers might have a reason," he told Bobby when he joined him.

"Maybe," he agreed.  He yawned, walking the boy down the ramp.  "This is Denver, right?"

"Yeah.  That means it's about an hour or so to town."  He looked around.  "They're not here?"

"No one can get this far in these days, kid."  He walked him to gather the three bags they had with them.  He grunted at one.  "You sure this is yours?  I don't remember it being this heavy."

Xander looked at the tags.  "It says it is but it's moving.  I know I didn't pack a person."  He got a guard over with a wave.  "This is my bag so where's the stuff that was inside since my clothes didn't used to move?"

"Step away from the bags please, sirs?"  They stepped back and sat down in easy talking range.  The guard called in a code and waited for backup then they scanned the bag with a meter before unzipping it.  He pulled the young woman out, looking at her.  "I know they x- ray bags in Europe so how did you get in there, ma'am?"

"I don't know," she said, looking around.  "Where am I?"

"Denver," Xander called.  He stared at her.  "I don't know you.  So you're not a Sunnydale thing."

"Demonic?" Bobby asked quietly.

"No.  Not that I can tell.  Where did you get on the plane?"

"New York.  I remember being in New York so I'm guessing there?"

The guards checked the bag.  "There's still some stuff in there, sirs.  We'll call New York to see if they found the rest," the head guard said.

"Please.  At least that wasn't the souvenir bag."  He looked at her.  "Do you have a name?"

"Eliza Dorris."

"Hi, I'm Xander."  He got up to shake her hand.  She tried to pull him closer and grab him around the throat but he got her down and stomped on her chest, sneering down at her.  "Why were you snuggling up to my underwear, lady?"  She stayed silent.  He put more pressure on her chest, making her gasp and scream in pain.  "I'm in a truly foul mood, lady.  I just flew in from Monte Carlo pretty much non-stop.  I'd tell me before I get mean."

"Sir, let the police handle this?  Please?" the guard asked, moving him off her.  She bounced up and Xander spun, kicking her in the jaw to knock her out.  "Wow," he breathed.

Xander pushed his braid back over his shoulder.  "I don't like mean people.  They suck."  He went to sit back down beside Bobby to sulk, arms crossed over his chest while he glared at her body.  "I don't know why she picked my stuff," Xander said.

"Yours was one of the bigger bags on the flight probably," a guard said.

Xander shrugged.  "I had to buy clothes.  They stole me."  He looked around.  "Can you see if our family is here?"

"I can," he agreed.  "What's their names?"

"Winchester, John, Sam, or Dean," Bobby said.  "We'll be right here."  They went to page them.  No answer to the page.  Bobby scowled, calling them.  "Where are you three?  Denver."  He smirked at the woman waking up.  "Because someone snuck into Xander's bag and he had to kick her ass.  Sure, we'll get a ride back."  He hung up.  "He said to catch a ride home somehow.  The bus goes there."

Xander looked at the guard.  "Any idea how much cab fare is to Colorado Springs?"

"About fifty bucks."

Xander checked his wallet then nodded.  "I have it."  He stood up with a sigh, grabbing the bags.  "Will you send me the rest of my stuff if you find it?"

"Of course, sir."  He took down his information, checked the other two bags for him, then let them leave.   He went with the police to make a report.  "He's got a good spin kick on him.  But he's a bit evil from the long flight," he told the arresting officer.  "He stomped on her chest so she might have broken ribs."

"That's reasonable.  You said she attacked him?"

"Yeah.  She was playing helpless.  He came over to shake her hand after introducing himself."  That got a nod.  The security tapes had sound and picture.  One guard was watching the guys get into a cab to head back to their hometown.  Someone ran up on them with a gun and the older one smacked him on the head.  The younger one got him down and threatened to let the cab run over his head.  The cops went to get them a ride home since they were not happy travelers at the moment.


Dean opened the door at the knock.  "Officer, did my stray bitch cause a problem?"

"Some guy ran up on them with a gun, sir.  Do they live here?"

"They do."  He let them inside.  "They in trouble?"

"No.  Even though he did want to let the cabdriver run over the guy with the gun and he broke the ribs of the woman who stowed away in his bag in New York."  Dean moaned, shaking his head.  "We'll let the local department know if there's a problem with her."

"Thanks.  And for bringing them home."  He shook his hand.  "Need some coffee for the drive back?  We just started a new pot a few minutes ago and Dad hasn't drank it all yet."

"Please."  He got his cup and got a refill plus Sam made him a large sandwich since he was cooking anyway.  "Thank you, gentlemen.  I'd let them nap.  They're a bit...tired."

"After he pets his pouting dog."  The officer smiled, heading back to make his report.

Xander looked at him, getting free of Bobby's grip on his arm.  "He ran up on us."

"It was the long fight, it made him grumpy," Bobby said.  "How's my dog?"

"Good.  She's on our bed.  Bogart, daddy's home."  The dog came running out to bounce around the daddy until he fell down to cuddle and love on him.  "Awww."

Sam smiled, handing Xander food, then Bobby food, then Dean food before sitting down with his own.  They looked over at the snore, finding Bogart had eaten the sandwich for him but that was fine.  He was cuddled around his dog.  "How bad was it, Bobby?" Sam asked, taking a bite of lunch.  "Dad, they're home."  Eris came running out to greet her master, getting petted and loved on by Bobby.

John came in from outside.  "How bad was it?"

"I got notes from the agent who was at the airport."  He handed them over.  "Your boy tried really hard to be a good boy."  Xander let out a massive belch, getting licked by the dog for it before they shifted and curled up better on the floor.

Dean looked at him.  "The gas medicine comes in dissolvable strips," he said quietly.  They smiled at that.  "Long layover?"

"Nearly no layover in New York.  We were on the plane for about nineteen hours all told."  They winced at that.  "Only an hour in New York and that was mostly customs."  He ate another bite, slipping his dog a bite of ham.  "Good girl, Eris."

"She was very helpful when we were moving the possessed stuff he got Daniel," Sam assured him.

"Possessed stuff?" Bobby asked.

"Stuff from their job," Dean said.

"Oh.  By the way, that cheerleader statue?  Found out more about that.  Heard of a mother/daughter cheerleading incident that got one imprisoned?"  Sam nodded but Dean shook his head.  "Well, anyway, that's the Ma."  Faith bounced in and hugged him.  "Afternoon, Faith.  Have a good morning?"

"Not too bad."  She looked at Xander then at him.  "How much spoiling am I going to have to protest?"

"New shirt and a few trinkets."

"That's cool then.  He lose big at the tables?"

"Nope.  That should be in the stuff being shipped that'll get here tomorrow."  She smirked at that.  John moaned, shaking his head.  "Nothing too huge, John.  A few books, a movie or three.  Looked like anime for some reason.  Should've shipped the clothes too I think."  He ate another bite, ignoring the begging.  Faith fed Eris though so she was a happy dog.  "He doesn't seem too backed up but I have no idea why someone snuck into his gear at the airport in New York."

John shook his head.  "Who knows."  Someone knocked on the door.  "Faith?  Can you?"

She went to answer it.  "Hi, Officer Doug.  What's up?"

"Making sure Xander's all right, Faith."  She let him see him napping with the dog in the kitchen doorway.  "That's fine."  He handed over something.  "That's who was in his bag and the guy that he had to threaten with being run over at the airport.  You might want to warn the others."  Dean leaned back to look at him.  "They were having a marital spat about who wanted to claim Xander as theirs.  Also, that's got a comprehensive report from MI-5 and Interpol.  They faxed it to us late last night.  I thought I'd bring it over at the same time when we got the FBI one this morning."  That got a moan from Faith.  "Anyway, he should be okay.  They used it to bust a few other arms dealers."  He smiled.  "Be safe and keep him inside for a few days?"

"If we can."

"Sure."  He walked off smiling.  Faith was a nice girl most of the time. Even if she had stopped a bar brawl by throwing someone through a flimsy wall the other night.

Faith walked the reports back to the table, sitting down to steal Sam's food to eat while she read.  John plucked the reports and gave her his extra sandwich.  "Thanks, John."

"Welcome."  He read over what had happened.  "It was an arms dealer who took him."  He kept going, making a pitiful noise at who had tried him earlier.  "An assassin."

"A married set," Sam corrected.  "The officer said a marital spat."

Dean took them to read over since Sam had read over their father's shoulder.  "It's nice they used the ones that wanted to keep him to bust a few others."  He kept going, shaking his head.  "At least we're warned."

Bobby nodded.  "Bet the agents are having a drink too."

"Probably not.  James seemed like a nice enough guy and he said I wasn't that much trouble," Xander said tiredly.

Dean got around Faith to pick him up and look at him.  "Want to go to bed or want lunch?"

Xander hugged him.  "Bed?"

"Sure."  He walked him that way to tuck him in with the dog.  Xander pulled him down to cuddle so he let him.  Xander fell asleep being comforted and it was good enough for him.  The dog tried to get loose a few times so Dean had to intervene before the poor dog wet on the bed.  Xander flipped over to cuddle him instead.  Sam came in to give him something to eat since Faith had stolen the rest of his and climbed in on the other side, holding Xander so he could be cuddled too.  That meant Dean could get up for a bit.  Fed Ex got there a few hours later and they had a grand unpacking party.

Faith looked at the statue.  "B told me the story about the Madisons."  She put it onto a shelf.  "We can let B guard that one."

"She's in the statue?" John asked.  He leaned closer to get a good look at it.  The eyes blinked so he knew it wasn't normal even for Sunnydale.

"Yeah.  Took over her daughter's body to relive her glory days as top cheerleader in the state since she said her daughter was slacking.  Blinded a few girls, sealed one's mouth shut, that stuff to get onto the team.  Nasty temper too," Faith said with a grin.  "Amy's not a bad witch but the last I heard she was a rat thanks to the burning at the stakes thing."  Tara walked in.  "He's back, T."  She squealed and went to hug Xander, being pulled into a sleeping cuddle pile with him and Sam.  Faith smiled.  "It's good for her."  She found her bundle of presents in the second box, looking at the shirt.  "That'll look kick ass over those maroon leather pants."

"That's probably why he bought it for you," Dean teased.  He found his own.  A few books.  "Huh?"  He looked through one and had to blush.  He put them carefully aside.

"Do I need to take a marker to make clothes on the pictures?" John asked patiently.

"No, Dad.  Might ruin it since they're ancient smut."  He didn't know there was dirty books in Latin.  He found another one with his name on it, looking inside with a moan of pleasure.  "Damn!"

Faith looked at the note inside the box.  "The boxes were left for him by a suitor.  Human, rich, and wanted to own him," she read.

"Interesting," Dean agreed, closing the jeweled cock ring.  The one for Sam would be a better handcuff bracelet.  Xander had a few more of those in there and then they found John's on the bottom.  Dean handed it over.  "What'd you get, Dad?"

He looked, smiling and stroking the top of the new journal.  "A new journal and it looks like a few demonology books."   He opened one to look.  "Hmm.  On the history of the one we wasted for getting Mary."  Bobby leaned closer to look.  It gave them all they had needed to know for years.  "I wonder where he got these?"

"Probably an ancient library," Dean said.  "Did we finish it off?"

"I'll need to read it over to make sure," John said.  Dean nodded at that.  The other one was on succuba.  "Why did he get me a book on succuba?"

"Because two like to follow you around when we're out," Faith said.  John groaned, shaking his head.  "Sorry, John."

"Not a problem.  It can only help."  He set them behind him and they got the box put aside.  Eris decided to use it as a puppy house.  "Sure, you do that."  Eris barked at Miss Kitty but the cat strolled into the box by walking over her and flopped down next to her.  The dog growled.  She hissed.  Eris barked.  Miss Kitty hissed and swatted.  Eris fled the box.  Miss Kitty got up to turn around then get comfortable.

"C'mere, Eris," Bobby said.  She made him grunt when she flopped down into his lap.  "We'll let you have the box later.  She'll get tired of it soon."  Dean tipped the box up, making her flee it.  Eris sniffed then went to sleep in it again.  Bobby stared at the cat.  "You can learn to get along, cat.  It's not nice to pick on the dogs."

She  went to sleep in the sun instead. No matter who wanted the comfy spot on the couch it was hers by right of being a cat.  Bogart got free and came out to lay with her.  She let him but had to shift when he tried to use her as a pillow.

The humans shook their heads.  They didn't understand cats.  Especially not that one.  Tara was so nice, so why was her cat such a grump?


John watched Xander flit around the house.  "Did you make the reservations for the convention in Miami?"

"No.  Oops."  He went to the office to do that through the GHS website.  Sam had the laptop doing some research for his father.  "Are you coming with us, John?  They only have two bedroom suites."

"No, someone needed some help so I'm heading off tomorrow to do that," he called back.  He leaned into the office a moment later.  "I can trust you to be good for Sam and Dean?"

"Yes, daddy," he said in a little kid's voice, giving him a look.  John stared back.  "I don't try to get into trouble."

"I know that.  You can try to stay out of it a bit harder though.  You will in Miami?"

"I will.  It's a convention.  They'll mask me some."

"Good."  He went to do laundry and pack.

Xander made the reservation and paid for it, then found his members book to call someone he had met at the last few conventions.  "Hi, Tim.  It's Xander Harris.  I was wondering if you'd like to have lunch or something during the convention?"  He grimaced.  "No, I know how evil a department could be if they found out.  How about not at the convention but still lunch somewhere?  That way I can spread all the good gossip to you?"

He beamed.  "I can make reservations.  I'm sure."  He looked in his contacts list.  "I do have your email.  Of course I'd understand if you guys were running a bit late due to cases.  How about one-ish?  Any cuisine I should stay away from?  I know Tara has a shellfish allergy.  Tara's a friend.  She lives here with us while she's going to school and working things out with Willow.  Yes, that Willow.  The military's been good for her."  He leaned back with a grin.

"How are you two?"  He nodded.  "That's pretty cool.  No, I just made our reservations.  Monte Carlo stopped me.  No, I was taken by an arms dealer out that way.  Anyway, I'll make one and send it to your email address because I'm sure you guys are always busy with crime stuff.  I'll see you then, Tim.  Laters."  He hung up and looked up restaurants in Miami.  Since he said he didn't care that was an okay thing.  He found one he might like and called to make a reservation.  "Hi, I'd like to make a reservation for the 31st please?"  He frowned.  "You only do celebrities?"  He snickered.  "I guess you're going out of business then, huh?"  The man on the other end was rude.

"Dude, I'm worth over ten million and that's just what's sitting around my house.  You're so screwed when I find the owner and buy him out.  Because I am a vindictive bitch today."  He hung up and considered how to do that.  He hated rude people.  Especially since he had been trying to be nice and polite.  And hey, he was having a cranky day.  "Huh.  The building's up for sale."  He checked on an account then put in a bid for it.  Full asking price, cash today.  The realtor got back with him and he told her why.  She moaned and said it could be done.  She also gave him a nice recommendation but they were packed that day due to a wedding.

He found an invitation on his desk asking him to try their restaurant and country club while he was in town for the convention.  He guessed they catered to GHS members so he set up a dinner reservation there and faxed down his invitation to them when they asked.  They faxed back a confirmation and a nice time for dinner in the restaurant overlooking their jumping arena for horses.  That sounded good so he confirmed and left it there.  When he got the papers for the building faxed, he did them and sent them back with an offer for the owner of the restaurant he now owned the building of.  That way the rudeness was solved.


Steve got the notice that Xander had given Dean a legacy gift and moaned, taking a tums before opening the email.  It wasn't too bad.  The offer he had sent was attached.  He could go to Miami and check on it for a vacation he guessed.  He made reservations and called Xander.  "How rude were they?"  Xander repeated the conversation, even doing voices.  Steve moaned.  "Okay.  I can handle that.  Did you set up a trust for the taxes to be paid?"  He smiled.  "That's fine, Xander.  It says there's open condos in the building, can I bum one for the fees?"  He laughed.  "That's great, thanks, Xander.  No, just for vacations.  That'll let me pop down to check on them randomly."  He smiled.  "That'll work too.  I'll be down next week.  Sure, I can take that long.  I'm only doing money management for a few of you and I can do that beachside as long as I have internet access.  Thank you, Xander.  How's Blair?"  He smiled at the good report he got.  "Excellent news.  I'll see you during the convention."  He hung up and banged his head on the table.  But hey, a free condo he only had to pay monthly fees for.  That was a benefit.  He made sure it was all set up and handled when Xander sent him the paperwork.  That was great of him.  Dean was going to be spoiled rotten soon.


Steve walked into the restaurant.  "Is the owner in please?"

"We're not hiring at the moment, sir," he said respectfully.

"I'm the building owner's financial manager."

"Oh!"  He nodded.  "We were most happy to comply with the new rules he set, sir.  Let me find him for you."  He went to do that.  "Bob, the building owner's financial manager is here to see you."

He grabbed a jacket and walked out to smile at Steve.  "Mr. Ellison?"

"I am."  He shook his hand, switching his briefcase to his other hand.  "I thought I should check in and see how things are going before Xander and I have lunch tomorrow."

"Of course.  My office is back by the kitchen."  He walked him that way.  It let him have a good look at a lot of plates.  He closed them in the office.  "We've made the changes he wanted.  It was good for business.  Especially that twenty percent discount to the police, firefighters, and EMS staff.  That gave us a whole new branch of people and the menu was diversified to include more normal dishes."  He got him a copy of it.  "That leaves about ten percent and the daily special for the chef to be exotic with."

Steve looked it over, nodding some.  "It looked good on the way back here."  He handed it back.  "The portions are at a good size?"

"They are.  I agree, painting food on the plate is worthless to hungry people.  We did downsize a few dishes to a more human sized level or kept a few as a shared dish."  Steve smiled at that.  "The rudeness problem was cured the same day I heard.  The chefs don't seem to mind."

"Excellent."  He handed him something.  "Xander gave me one of the condos upstairs for when I was in town.  That's my number when I'm not and it should still reach me when I am."

"Are one of you going to be checking in often?"

"Xander doesn't micromanage anything.  Unless there's a problem you'll only see him in for dinner now and then.  He doesn't with the resort he owns and he won't here."  That got a smile and a nod.  "You'll probably see me every few months to check and make sure there's not a problem brewing.  If there is, please call as soon as you can."

"Of course.  The reduction in rent is fantastic for us."

"That's what he thought you'd need most."  He smiled and stood up.  "Are there any current issues due to the demands he made?"

"No.  Not in the least.  Is he coming soon?"

Steve grinned.  "Did you see the three young men last night?  One with very long hair?"

He swallowed.  "That's Mr. Harris?"

"It is.  Though he put the building in his boyfriend's name.  We've already set up a trust to pay taxes so you won't have to worry about that stuff."

"How rich is this guy?"

Steve shrugged.  "Some of it's in hard assets so it depends on the value of gemstones that day.  Truthfully, Xander doesn't micromanage because he doesn't have a head for finances or business decisions.  Though he is teaching himself how to cook from the food network." That got a laugh.  "He's not bad.  I love to eat at his table."  He shook his hand.  "Xander and I will be having dinner tomorrow night to officially check.  I haven't heard anything bad and I would have if something had been horrible last night.  I heard Dean nearly swooned at the steak and it's his building now because he likes to eat."

The owner nodded.  "I can handle that.  Thank you, Mr. Ellison."

"Not a problem.  Xander drives me nuts sometimes doing things like this but they usually turn out okay.  He bought his other boyfriend a bookstore they fell in love with recently."  That got a smirk.  "Sam likes books.  Dean likes food."  He shrugged.  "Anyway, I'll be having an official meeting with him tomorrow."

"You have a reservation?"

"I do.  I heard you've been near capacity recently."

"That discount helped that a lot.  It lets some of the officers and that sort bring in their lovers and wives for special occasions.  Plus try new things. We even booked for their banquet this year."  Steve beamed at that, nodding a bit.  "Thank him for me."

"Of course I will.  He's in town on a convention so he's on a goofy high today."  The owner laughed and they shook hands so Steve could go back to check on his condo some more.  Someone was painting it for him today.  They'd redo the kitchen while he was back in Cascade for a few months.  Being in Miami certainly made him happier than being up there in the winter.

The owner went to tell the staff the good news, making them happy people who would not be rude to anyone else who might try to ruin them for it.


Xander was shown into the dining area, smiling and tipping the hostess.  "Thank you."  He sat down across from Speed.  "Hi."

"Hi.  This is nice.  Are you a member?"

"They sent me an invitation to check it out during the convention."  He gave Horatio a hug.  "Are you okay?  You look kinda depressed."

"Family stuff, Xander."  He smiled at the young man.  "How is Colorado?"

"Cold."  They both laughed.  "Even Tara and Faith said it's cold."

"Tara?" Speed asked.  The waiter came over to fill their water glasses.  "Is there a lunch special?"

"I have it, Tim.  Order whatever you want," Xander promised with a smile for the waiter.  Horatio found something he wanted.  Tim got his.  Xander ordered and the waiter left.  "Tara is Willow's former girlfriend.  They broke up because of her issues.  Tara was the last one of us left in Sunnydale so I brought her to Colorado to protect her.  She's kinda gentle and sweet and stuff.  I was worried something would attack her because she dated Willow.  Now she and Willow are talking again since Willow's working with Blair and Daniel because of her issues.  Buffy's on the same base helping out too to dry out."

Horatio hummed.  "It sounds like it's helping them."

"A lot.  Buffy's sober and training.  She's doing good according to Jack.  She apologized.  Which is nice of her.  Joyce apologized too."  That got a smile.  "Willow apologized for having us attacked.  She's been watched for bad skills and the scientists in there told her if they caught her using more magic they'd be using her as a test bunny to figure out how."

"That sounds like she's under control then," Tim agreed.  He smiled.  "How's the convention going?"

"Pretty decent.  After that one guy who wanted to own us all got taken care of, it went better."  He beamed.  "He didn't even want me.  I'm so happy and Sam teased me about that all night long."

Horatio shook his head, but he was smiling.  "We heard about him."

"He was a meany."  Their orders were brought and he sniffed.  "Good work.  Thank you."  The waiter smiled and left.  He looked at them.  "Have you ever been to Monte Carlo?"

"I've seen it on travel specials," Tim offered, taking a bite with a moan.  "Oh, that's good."  Horatio smiled, digging into his own.  "Thanks, Xander."

"Not a problem.  I liked you two when we talked the last few conventions.  Some of the others give me looks like I'm pitiful for being me and one gave me an odd look for having my boys."  He dug in, humming happily before taking a second bite.  "Monte Carlo is very pretty.  Some of the buildings look like you'd find in Spain, some don't.  The hotel I was in while I waited on my passport was very nice and understanding.  Apparently they had a convention there a few years earlier.  Well, not that hotel but in the city nearby.  After I talked to them and I tripped someone with a huge needle going for some young guy they made sure I had a guard that shadowed me when I was in the open.  The agent MI-5 sent to see what Interpol was scared about was very nice too.  Very helpful when more arms dealers came to try to woo me to their lives."  Horatio choked and Speed moaned.  "I'm okay.  I got free and he helped me escape when I ran into him on the way out."

Speed sipped his water, looking at the boy.  "How did you get to Monte Carlo without a passport?"

"The usual way only not demonic.  But I gutted him with a salad fork for stealing me.  He wanted a concubine who could talk back to him about his weapons dealings and who wouldn't whine when business got in the way of special events."  He ate another bite.  "Pity but the fork bent really strangely."

Horatio sipped some of his water.  "Arms dealers, Xander?"

"I was Buffy's gear and weapons person," he said more quietly, glancing around.  "I still have a nice collection that Jack weeded out before the Boston convention.  Which is why those two FBI guys were there and are here now," he said with a point at them.  He smiled and waved.  "Is Interpol still scared?"

"More confused than scared, Mr. Harris.  They said thank you for getting the ones who annoyed you that way."

"Not a problem."  He grinned.  "See, good me.  I even found some stuff that Daniel and Blair need to work on and gave it to them as souvenirs."

"That's not a bad thing.  Did you take pictures?" Tim asked.  Xander nodded, pulling them out of his bag.  They flipped through them together.  "It is pretty country.  Maybe we should plan a vacation there, H."

"Possibly.  It looks and sounds relaxing."

Some guy walked up to the table, sneering at Xander.  "You brought cops here?"

"Yes.  I like and respect them.  We've met at a few conventions and they're very nice people who are excellent in their chosen field.  I respect anyone that good."  The man glared at him.  Xander ate a bite of dinner then swallowed.  "Did you have a problem?  By the way, who are you since you were too rude to introduce yourself?"

"That is the General, Xander.  He's an ambassador and a suspected drug dealer," Horatio said quietly.

"Hmm.  Pity drugs are pathetic.  That's not a sin I can stand around me.  So do you mind?"  He smiled sweetly.  "Before I have to get mean and do something my boys will yell at me about later?"

The man stomped off to complain about cops being there.  The owner told him what they knew about the young man.  A sealed Las Vegas file but he still owned a resort.  Weapons knowledge that got Interpol, the FBI, and MI-5 to look at him oddly, but they had to let him go, and he had a love of gems.

"I didn't realize the thug contingent had their own country club," Tim said dryly, eating another bite of dinner.

Xander shrugged.  "Maybe because they can't get in at the other ones?"

"Could be," Horatio agreed, handing back the pictures.  "What new gossip has been going around?"

"I think my dancing is going to become as popular as the Time Warp dance," he said proudly.

Speed gave him an odd look. "It does have a pelvic thrust and a few steps to the right but I can't see the dances you learned for self defense being that cultishly popular."

Horatio shook his head quickly to clear that image.  Whole conventions of people who dressed up in harem gear with swords or long braids to dance the dances?  "Needs a movie attached."  Tim pinched him.  "It does."

"It'd be too highly rated," he countered.

Xander giggled.  "I'll suggest that to Sam."

"John in too?" Horatio asked.

"No, just my boys.   John's off hunting someone with a friend who needed help."

"That's fine.  Did Faith come?" Tim asked.  He shook his head.  "Couldn't get permission?"

"She and Tara are being girls for the week. They said this way Tara can do girlish things without four confused guys staring at them.  Only the dog could give funny looks and he was fixed so no longer a guy."  They smiled and got back to lunch.  Xander paid and they left, heading out to take him back to the hotel since he was taking a cab.  He chatted about the case in Monte Carlo and they talked about some of the people they knew in common.  Tony DiNozzo looked like hell when he had shown up so Xander was going to baby him later with a spa treatment. Blair and Daniel had showed up together and were being cute in the seminars.  It was good for them  to reconnect.


Later that afternoon Xander felt someone watching him.  He checked the light and felt it getting ready to change so he had to sigh in displeasure.  Shopping in Miami wasn't as fun as shopping in Las Vegas.  He spotted the guy watching him, shrugging a bit.  "You can't have it.  Don't even drool about wanting it."

"I'd like to talk to you about a job offer, young man."

"I don't work anymore."

"I've heard that."  He looked the younger man over.  "I have a confused computer system that could use your gentle touch."

"I can't program and that stuff.  All I know is when lights are about to hit."  He pointed at the one that had.  The man stopped him.  "Remove it or lose it," he snarled.  The hand was removed quickly.  "Thank you.  I'm sorry but you must have me confused with someone else, sir.  I don't do things like that."  The light turned again and he groaned.  That meant he was stuck there unless he wanted to be hit by a car.  The man stepped closer and Xander pulled his gun.  "Do not try it.  I'm fanatical about my personal safety.  I will not hesitate to waste you."  The man stepped back, swallowing hard.  "Like I said, you have me confused with someone else.  I hope you find what you're looking for but it's not me."  He put the gun back and walked off, coming back for the bag he had dropped then hiking back to the hotel.  He ran into a cop, who was staring at him.  "He was trying to get me to fix a computer system for him.  He grabbed me."

"I saw the gun, sir.  You have a permit?"  Xander put down his bags and pulled it out for him.  He looked it over.  "Why are you in Miami?"

"Convention.  I'm at the Conquistador."

"I heard we have one in town there.  It's for....?"

"People with a hormone condition that seems to attract people who want to kidnap us.  That's why I have that."  He took it back and put it back into his wallet.  "Can I please go hide before he decides he wants me to fix another computer system?"

"Why would he want that?"

"Because I have a way of knowing when lights are going to change or slot machines are going to hit."  He pointed.  "That one's going to get a person running it because it's changing awfully fast."

He looked.  "The police car waiting has a switch, sir."

"That's cool."  He grinned.  "That explains why it went to red suddenly and the blue mazda ran it and is going ..."  He winced at the crashing noise.  "Shit."  He grabbed his stuff and went to see if he could help.  "They need an ambulance.  She's moaning but unconscious."  The officer called it in and helped him with the people who needed it.  The ambulance got there a minute later and Xander backed off, taking his bags with him.  He had to come back for that same bag.  "Sorry, it keeps running away.  It's a mean present."  He walked off, smiling at the officer.  "Watch out for that one guy.  He's still watching."  The cop looked, glaring at the older gentleman.  He got a sneer back and the guy went back to his car.

"Mr. Harris, let me give you a ride back so I can get a report," he ordered.  Xander nodded, settling in against a store front to wait on him.  He said something to the responding officers, getting a nod.  He walked him off to take him back to the hotel and get more information from him.  He could see why people wanted him.  He asked him why they thought they wanted him and the boy told him a story about arms dealers and Monte Carlo.  He groaned mentally but took note so he could check on that.  The boy gave him a short hug then bounced inside with the bags.  He had made sure he had the 'running away' bag this time.  The officer got to make the report to his boss.  Who probably wasn't going to like it.

Dean saw his boy getting out of the cop car and moved to intercept him.  "What happened?"

Xander gave him a kiss with a grin.  "Some rude guy wanted me to fix a computer system for him.  I told him no and he had me mistaken with someone else.  He tried to grab me so I pulled my gun.  He backed off and I got away.  A cop saw though; he asked to see my permit.  I showed him.  He asked what happened so I told him.  Then there was a car crash so I helped a bit.  Then he drove me back to see what was the real reason and I told him about the file from Las Vegas."

"Okay.  I guess that's reasonable.  Everyone okay in the car crash?"

"Yup."  He took another kiss.  "Did Tony get to his spa treatment?"

"He looked very confused but he did.  Sammy walked him down to it."  He escorted Xander back up to their room.  "Did I need more presents?"

"I was mostly picking up stuff for Faith and Tara.  You and Sam have one in the leather binders on the desk."  He took a deeper kiss, getting a moan.  "I'm going to the cuddle pile room."

"Sure," he said, watching him bounce out.  He glanced inside the binder on top.  "He bought a bookstore?  Geek!" he muttered, going to watch over his boy.  Even if it did mean he got pulled into the cuddle pile.  He'd never admit it out loud but it felt kinda nice in there.  Sam came in a few minutes later, then walked over to where he was being cuddled.  "Xander's in here somewhere."

"I saw him."  He grinned.  "I got the most interesting call from the ones he had lunch with."

"He said some guy tried to grab him so he'd go fix a computer system."

"They explained it better to the officer.  The officer identified the guy as a local mob boss."  Dean moaned and the one cuddling him gave him a squeeze.  "Horatio said we're to dog him the rest of the weekend."

"I can do that."


"He left us major presents on the desk."

"I saw that.  I have no idea why he bought a bookstore and a restaurant's building."  Dean gaped.  They both looked at Xander, who was being put off to the side because he was asleep.  "I'll call Steve and ask."  He went to do that.  He ran into Tony in the entryway.  "Feeling better?"

"Much.  Where is your long-haired spoiling goofball?"

"Just fell asleep in the cuddle room after having to diss a mob boss to get free."  Tony moaned, shaking his head slowly.  "The officer who saw it happen knows why so it's all cool.  We're to dog him later on if he goes back out."

"Please do.  Why do they want him?"

"Remember the tales of the Vegas convention and his gifts with the slot machines?"

"Yeah," he said slowly.

"The guy wanted Xander to *fix* a computer system."

"Ah."  He shuddered.  "Xander would be really bad if he turned evil."

"He would be but we're making sure he stays good.  Most of the time.  Now and then he goes evil while in a spoiling mood."

"That sort of evil I can take," he said, clapping him on the arm.  "I want him in self-defense tomorrow so I can use him as an example."

"Sure.  And remember, if you need us, we're in Colorado Springs.  Our local department's very nice to us."

"I can do that."  Tony smiled as he walked off.  That trio was so cute sometimes. A bit naughty but oh well.  They were GHS.  He ran into Xander before dinner and gave him a hug while thanking him for the massage.  The boy beamed and told him he looked better now, then invited him to eat dinner with them.  It was sweet of them.  They had adopted him as some sort of strange older brother.


Tony walked back into work Tuesday morning.  "I'm back."

"You're late," Gibbs noted coolly.

Tony checked his watch.  "I'm ten minutes early, boss.  I took yesterday as vacation time for a convention."  He looked at him.  "Was there a problem?  You didn't call."

"You had your phone turned off."

"Yeah.  But I checked it every other hour in case something happened and I needed to get back up here.  Did something happen?"

"Yes."  He stared at him.  "I had a very interesting talk with an FBI agent about your convention, DiNozzo."

"It's still a hormone condition, boss.  I have mine mostly under control or I'd be an airhead flittering around doing six million things at once. I'm also on the retrieval team if they have to find a member local to where I am and I'm one of the main self defense instructors the society has."  Gibbs gaped, just staring at him.  "I've been a member since college and I do mostly have it under control.  Even though one of the guys did treat me to a massage because I looked like hell according to him."

Gibbs closed his mouth.  "A hormone condition?"

"Yes.  Specifically one that raises pheromones and their output.  It leads to us being stolen a lot."

Gibbs pointed at the elevator.  "Conference."

"Sure."  He walked that way, shaking his head at Kate's odd look.  "Don't ask."

"Bad convention?"

"No.  Not at all.  Very good convention."  They walked into the elevator and Gibbs shut it off to stare at him.  "What did he tell you I was doing?"

"That it was a gay man and horny women convention."

"A lot of the male members are bisexual.  Sometimes it helps more to wear them out."

"Wear them out?"

"That's the only way to get pheromones and hormones to lower, Gibbs.  How did you think we did it and why did you think I date so much?"

Gibbs scowled.  "That's why?"  Tony nodded, leaning against the other side of the car.  "Since college?"

"Yes.  I'm actually one of the highest rated who works in law enforcement.  There's another one that works in a lab environment but the mental challenge helps him wear some of his out.  There's one higher but his lover's the national head and a worse case so he keeps worn out.  Plus danger pushes it back down for the immediate crisis."  He crossed his feet, giving him a happy look.  "How was your weekend?"

"Sore are you?"

"No.  Not in the least.  I didn't get laid.  I got a full body massage.  I taught self defense.  I got into the cuddle pile a few times but I didn't visit that room this time."

"That room?"

Tony nodded.  "We have a room for those of us who're backed up.  By the way, Ducky knows.  He knows the whole history and all the precautions, all the group herbal allergies, all that."

"Group herbal allergies?" he asked, starting to look really confused.  "Does Abby know too?"

"No.  Well, yes about me, about that no.  We're all allergic to a few different herbs.  They can weed out a backed up state but in too high of a dose they can kill us.  Like I said, Ducky knows all that and warned me last year when an herb showed up on a case."

"I see.  Does this affect your work?"

"Only if I'm backed up and those days you yell, I go take care of it, and I come back better for a few more hours.  At my level there's not that much interference."


"We grade ourselves by level of output of the problem pheromones.  Which is what gets us kidnaped and why we have absolute secrecy about other members.  We're seen as a status symbol to own, boss.  That's why I can't tell you about any other member anywhere in the world."

"There are?"

"Yes.  All over.  And about six hundred are presently being owned by the current estimates.  The ones we can rescue, we do.  If one's found here, the retrieval team is Special Ops and if they need help, they'll call."

"Who do I call if you get taken again?"

"His name's Paul and his number's in my desk along with the National Head's phone number.  Abby knows them and so does Ducky.  Call them if it doesn't look case related or if I suddenly disappear off the street or out of my apartment.  That's the most usual scenarios they seem to use."

"Fine.  Levels?"

"One to ten.  I'm a level seven.  Most of the guys my level only work from home and have a housekeeper.  If I was a bit worse, most level nines have more than one lover at a time to keep them worn out.  Almost all level tens have at least two and at least one bodyguard.  The one who spoiled me with a massage has a set of brothers who do that and their father protects them along with a few girls in the house.  Plus his dog."

Gibbs shook his head quickly.  "That one, was he the one I got warned about being a weapons dealer?"

"He collects, Gibbs.  He doesn't deal."  He straightened up and stepped closer.  "Have you ever heard of a town called Sunnydale?"


"He's from there.  He was helping handle the bad stuff that went on as the main person's gear and weapons person.  He has a slight collection now because he has an Air Force Colonel that jumped down his throat and made him weed it out after he gave him something when he needed it.  The rest of the collection is under careful watch.  Now, because of what he used to do, some arms dealer in Monte Carlo recently wanted him as his concubine and stole him from the US to have him.  He gutted the guy with a salad fork.  Interpol got involved after that.  He had to wait in Monte Carlo to get his passport so Interpol got nervous because they can't classify some guy who knows but doesn't sell them as being harmless, especially when one of the main Middle Eastern arms dealers tries to own him for his skills."  Gibbs nodded slowly at that.  "So they called in MI-5 and the FBI gave over a report they had from where the Colonel weeded out his collection.  He only collects.  Mostly for his own safety since people try to take him all the time.  Some guy snuck into his hotel suite to get him last night."

Gibbs shuddered.  "He's not dangerous?"

"No.  He would only use it in case of an invasion or to get himself free, boss."

"What if they use it as a ransom?"

"Some of the guys who've wanted him gave him jewels."

"Like chains?"

Tony pulled something out of his pocket.  "He gave me this for Abby.  It's a true bloodstone. A crystal that's been impregnated with blood used for dark magic rites according to him.  In the same box it came out of were seventeen diamonds and a lot of stones that looked like rubies and emeralds, plus a few sapphires."  Gibbs gave him a dirty look.  "It was a hint by a suitor who wants his attention.  He tried to send it back but the guy didn't listen and he gave him dinner too.  D... one of his keepers got pissed at him. The guy tried to take them all but he got him in the ass with a shotgun; they got sent back but the asshole left the jewels as an apology present and sent him chocolate."

"That's insane."

"Yeah but it happens to us.  I don't get many of those because the better worn out I keep it, the safer I am.  Until someone outs me and then I'm at a high kidnaping risk and I'll let you implant the GPS chip this time."

"You're having it done today."

"Okay, I can agree with that.  How widespread is this knowledge?"

"Not.  The agents who wrote the report Interpol saw told me and Fornell.  They said they have one working under him."

Tony nodded.  "In the Philly office," he agreed quietly.  Gibbs nodded at that.  "I worked with her keeper.  He's a nice guy."


"Boyfriend or lover with extra special powers and duties to keep us worn out and not kidnaped.  As opposed to a protector, who protects us."

"You have... which one?"

"A lot of dates."  He grinned.  "It helps."

"So all those confused, playing around, can't sit still days?"

"I'm backed up.  I go handle it during lunch and I'm usually better."

"If you're backed up undercover, DiNozzo?"

"I can take a little bit of the herb mix to cure that but too much and I'm dead from it.  It'll suck us down into lethargy and then kill us that way."

"I should've heard about this long ago."

"You shouldn't even know now, Gibbs.  The more people who know, the more likely I am to wake up in the Middle East or Asia in chains and castrated to be someone's pet."  Gibbs shuddered.  "By the way, can you please erase all the surveillance tapes for this talk?"

"I can.  The director isn't in yet."

"Oh, we're going to have a problem."  He pulled out something else.  "My buddy in Miami found it online and warned me."  He handed it over.  "There's a buy order on me."

"We're getting that chip installed today," he said, turning on the elevator and pushing the right button.  "I'll deal with the tapes."  Tony grinned.  "Give that to Abby.  I'm sure she'll squeal."  He let DiNozzo get off to do that while he went to the security office to have them erase the tapes and forget they heard it.  The head of security handed it over as soon as he walked in.  "You knew?"

"My niece is a very low level two," he said quietly.  "Did you see the website?"

"I did.  Thank you."

"Welcome.  Guard him well, Gibbs.  Some people can use this to get intel."

"She'll die," he countered.

"She's huffing up the stairs.  Does she usually listen to a discman?"

"No."  He went to check it on her and then destroyed it.  "Don't even think about touching DiNozzo, Director.  I talked to their retrieval team and I know some of them can destroy us all.  After all, pissing off the paranoid people gets us hurt."  He walked off, going to check on Tony's insertion.  Ducky was covering the small cut.  "We good?"

"Abigail's making sure," he said with a smile.  "You do look well rested."

"My buddy said I looked like shit and got me a massage," he said with a grin.  "It helped."  Abby came bouncing in.  "It work?"

"It so does.  What did you bring me?"

"Well, I got you something and my friend gave you something because he didn't want it around his house in case someone tried to steal it from him."  She bounced a bit, looking pleased.  "In my bag on my desk is yours and Kate's present from there.  McGee's is being shipped today to his desk.  The other one...."  He held it up.  "Is a genuine impregnated blood stone."

She took it to look at then hugged him.  "Your buddy is the bestest!"  She bounced off to check it out and do the DNA to see whose blood it was.  While that ran she petted her new stone all the way upstairs to dig into Tony's bag.  She tossed Kate hers then took her own. "Yours is being shipped, McGee."

"Where is Gibbs?" Kate asked.

"Ducky's office."

"Did we miss a case?" McGee asked.

"No.  We had to put the GPS chip on Tony again."  She bounced off with her t-shirt and new pet stone.  The DNA came up no match but that was fine with her.  Better really because it meant it wasn't sacrificial blood.  Less evil that way.


Dean reached over from his bed to snag the phone.  "Yeah?" he asked, blinking sleepily at his ceiling.  "What happened?"  He sat up, concentrating on the words.  "Okay, Jack, just calm down.  What was he exposed to or eating?  It has to be one of those.  Get him down here, we can do that."  He nodded.  "Yeah, bring whatever it was too.  We can check the list.  There's some things that don't naturally appear here that can make us surge if we're allergic to them.  I'm up.  Sure."  He hung up and went to wake up Sam.  "Get the special tub ready for Blair?  He surged badly in the commissary on base."


"Need me?" Xander mumbled.

"No, you rest.  You can hug Blair later.  Once he's back down."  Xander nodded, cuddling the dog instead of Sam.  The dog licked him so he let him a bit more free.  Sam and Dean went to get things ready.  Dean found the list of surge/allergies while Sam set up the tub to help bring him back down. Sam set up the testing kit on the counter in there so they could do a quick one.  Dean let him in and walked Blair back.  Sam nicked him quickly then put him into the tub while the test firmed up.  "That looks like a level eight," Dean said.

Sam nodded.  "It does."  He looked at Daniel.  "What was he doing?"

"He bought this little inhaler of gas that was supposed to help you suppress it."  He handed it over.  "That's their website so you can get an ingredient list.  Or he was eating cake."  He held it up.  "From a mix."

Sam took it to look at, tasting a bite carefully.  "No, not the cake."

Dean let some of the air out of the inhaler and nearly swooned.  "Definitely this.  He's running about a level eight, Daniel.  Do whatever you gotta do to bring him back down."  They opened up the cabinets to show him what they had stocked in there then left.  Sam brought in juice and something to nibble on later plus some fruit since Blair ate healthy stuff.  Then they left them completely alone.

Daniel looked at the man in the tub.  "We haven't gotten there yet, Blair."

"I don't care!" he moaned, pulling him down to kiss him.  "We'll talk tomorrow.  For right now, solve it?  Please?" he begged.

"Sure.  Whatever I can do to help, Blair."  He got the lube and condom he'd need, sliding in next to him to tease and play with him until Blair gave up and came for him.  Then he could work on his backlog.

Dean called Chicago.  "Adam, Dean Winchester.  Someone at the convention was selling little inhalers of air?"  He listened.  "It's important.  Blair just surged badly.  He's reading a level eight.  Just sniffing the air made my head swim.  Yeah, that stuff.  The logo on the inhaler is a happy face.  It says it's happy gas."  He heard a squeal of pleasure.  "Blair sounds worse than Xander right now."  He listened, taking notes.  "We put him in a tub with his boyfriend and all the toys they could want plus some food.  I wasn't sure if the herbs could be given for this.  Yeah, that's them.  Sammy, come find their ingredient list?"

Sam moved around him to get into the website and find it for him.  He grabbed the phone.  "Got it, Adam.  Let me email it to you."  He did that.  Adam snarled something.  "That's what we're worried about.  No, Xander shopped Miami, not the convention's tables for the most part.  Thanks, man.  What do you want us to do?"  He nodded.  "That's reasonable.  Thanks, Adam.  Let's hope we can stop this guy before it happens to more of us.  You know, we could use a group wide chemist."  He smiled.  "Isn't there one in Las Vegas?  He was at the convention.  Xander gave him tapes."  He nodded.  "That may work.  Thanks, Adam.  Have a better night."  He hung up.  "He'll send out a GHS wide alert on that stuff.  Then he'll look at malicious wounding charges with Ray's ex-wife, who is a prosecutor."

"Guess he likes them smart and deadly like Adam is," he quipped back. "Now what?"

"We let them go at it," Sam told him.  "You go stop Faith since I can hear her moving around.  I'll check on Dad."  That got a nod and they went to do that.  John was up and giving that direction a dirty look.  "Did you see a guy selling inhalers of gas in Boston?"

"One came on the last day but no one bought from him.  Why?"

"It sends you into a surge. That's Blair."

"Poor guy.  He okay?"

"He's fine.  Adam said don't give him the herbs.  The inhaler's in the office.  Adam's sending out a society wide alert on the crap."  He left, going to check on Xander.

Dean walked up the stairs, tapping gently on Faith's door, getting her.  "Did Xander bring back any inhalers of happy gas?"

"One."  She got it for him.  "He told me to hold it in case he surged in public."

"It's going to make him surge.  The noise is Sandburg."

She swallowed, making herself close her mouth.  "He good?"

"He'll be fine.  Adam said no herbing him tomorrow or tonight but to keep that stuff away from us."

"Agreed.  Are you okay?  You're sweating."

"I sniffed a bit to see if it was that.  I'll go wake up Xander in a minute."  She nodded, smirking a bit.  "If you hear from Jack before we're up, let him know they're in the special bathroom."

"I can do that.  Night, D."

"Night, Faith."  He went down to hand his father the inhaler.  "The one Xander brought back and gave to Faith, just in case he surged in public."  He went to wake Xander up to get some action in.  Xander snuggled in and stroked him while half asleep.  It was nice of him and the dog got to get free so he could go outside for a few minutes.

Faith came down a few hours later when someone knocked.  "Um....  I know you from somewhere," she said.  "Who're you?  Because it's nearly three in the morning."

"Are my anthropologists here, Miss Lehane?"

"Yeah.  Oh, that's right, you're Jack's General guy."  She let him inside, taking him to the kitchen so they wouldn't wake anyone up.  "Dean said he got exposed to something that made him surge.  Something about the gas some guy was selling to keep them down made it skyrocket really high.  Danny brought him down apparently and they're in the special tub wearing it out."

He stared at her.  "Do we know why?"

"No clue.  I can wake up Dean but he said he got it from Adam, the national head guy.  He's sending out an alert to everyone."

"I see."  He frowned.  "This gas?"  She led him to the office to show him what it looked like and found the website still up.  "That is handy to know.  Do we have any idea which element caused him to surge?"

"Nope.  Not my thing to be sciency."  She printed it off and wrote the website address on the top.  Then she got into the household email, deleting all the male enhancement ads.  She finally found the alert.  "That's what Adam sent."  She got out of the way.

"Crud," he muttered.  "No current chemist in the society?"

John walked in.  "General."

"Mr. Winchester.  Any idea how this happened?"

"Dean sniffed to see if it was that and said he got fuzzy minded," Faith said.

John looked then pointed at something.  "This is on the surge list.  That's on the surge list too for some individuals," he noted quietly.

The general sighed.  "I'd like the surge and allergy list if I may."  John got it and copied it through the fax machine for him.  "Thank you, Mr. Winchester.  Will my anthropologists be able to report for duty tomorrow?"

"They might be a bit sore," Faith offered with a grin.  "No clue otherwise.  They've been here for a bit over an hour.  They're not being noisy anymore though."

"That'll work.  Tell them to call me when they get up please."  They nodded.  "Thank you and can I have his email address?"

"Danny has it and so does Blair," Faith said firmly.  "It's the first rule.  You don't compromise another member."

"I get that, Miss Lehane.  It's reasonable with those sort of problems.  I'll get it from them."  He smiled.  "Thank you and good night."  He left, going back to base.  Jack was gotten up easily enough, he had the number.  His head doctor too.  Then they called Adam, who was a bit grumpy but agreed they could go over it to minimize the risk of Blair being taken in the field or exposed to something in a lab.  This was information they needed and they may be able to help them with a good scientist recommendation.  It'd help everyone.


Blair woke up and moaned, starting to shift then he cramped up.  "Ow."

"Shh," Daniel whispered, working on the cramp in his thigh.  "I've got you."

Blair looked at him.  "Thank you."

Daniel smiled.  "I would've liked it to have been more romantic but I'll take that for next time."  He took a kiss.  "You okay to get out?"

"I think I can.  Want to share a shower?"

"If you want but I'm not going to be pushy.  Next time you'll come to me and tell me you want it."

Blair grinned.  "I have wanted it, Daniel.  You're too polite to take the hint."  He took a better kiss.  "Scrub my hairy back with me?"

"I can do that."  They got out, letting out the water.  A shared shower was nice and they got to the level of handjobs before getting out.  They found bathrobes outside the door waiting on them.  "Thanks, guys."

"Not an issue," Faith called.  "Call the general guy."

"I can do that," Daniel said, smiling at Blair's blush.  "It's not your fault.  The guy said it would help keep you down."

"We found three things on the surge list in the ingredients," Sam said, walking out with cups of tea and coffee.  They took their morning potion of choice.  "Xander said you guys could bum clothes.  He's out back doing katas."  They nodded, going that way to bum clothes for the day.  Sam went back to making breakfast, finding Xander helping.  He grinned.  Xander gave him a kiss and they got to work together.  Blair came out first.  "Eggs?"

"Please.  No pork stuff?"

"No sausage in the house," Dean assured him.  Blair grinned, taking his plate.  Daniel got his own and sat down next to his boyfriend.  "Called in yet?"

Daniel grabbed the wall phone to call the base.  "It's Doctor Jackson.  Where's the general?  He wanted me to call."  He waited and ate while on hold.  "Sir," he said with his mouth full.  He swallowed and took a gulp of coffee.  "We are up."

Blair took the phone.  "I'm sorry, General Hammond.  I had no idea it'd do that."  He relaxed at the 'it wasn't your fault the guy advertised it wrong'.  "Thank you.  We are.  We borrowed some of Xander's clothes."  He ate a bite, chewing slowly while he listened.  "We can talk to him about that.  I know one of us is a CSI somewhere.  Another's a lab tech."

"I have the membership guide," Xander offered.  "And the online profiles can tell you that."

"Xander said the online ones have jobs.  I can talk to Adam before I report tonight, sir.  I'm sorry if I freaked anyone out going into kitty heat.  Yes, it basically was."

"Yowling and all," Faith teased.  Both men blushed.  "Not as loud as Sam is," she offered.

"Gee, thanks," Sam said dryly.

"You do, Sammy," John said.  "You're fine to recuperate here, guys."

"The general wants to have Janet redo my bloodwork this morning and check me over," Blair said.  "Thank you, guys.  It helped."

Xander gave him a hug around the neck.  "You're a friend, Blair.  You needed it."  He kissed him on the head.  "Now eat.  You need food to withstand being stuck by all the needles."  He went back to making himself a snack.  He goosed Sam with a grin.  "What?" he asked innocently when Sam gave him a dirty look.

"We don't have ghosts in the house, Xander."  He took a kiss.  Blair hung up and finished up.  Daniel did the same.  "Have a good day, guys."  They waved and cleaned up the bathroom before heading off into the daylight.

"No kissing over the food.  Not all of us need to taste your spit, boys," John said.

"They're hot," Faith told him.

"So?  I still don't need to see it."  He shot her a look. "The same as I don't need to see you and your current boy toy that you jog with in the park making out."

"Oops," she said with a happy grin.  Xander nearly pounced but she ducked.  "It's not that serious yet.  Calm down.  Go pounce Tara.  She had her first day of classes."

"We need to make her a special dinner," Xander decided, grabbing the SUV's keys.  "Sam, grocery shopping?"

"Sure, we can do that."  They headed out.

Dean got the dog when he came back in.  "You have fun, Bogart?"  The dog panted and laid down next to him.  "Good boy.  The bouncy father will be back soon."  The dog fell asleep against his leg.

John leaned over to look.  "He sick?"

Dean tested his nose, nodding.  "It's dry."

"I'll find us a vet," John said, going to find the phone book.  Faith grabbed the spare cash and Dean grabbed some more coffee to take with him.  It probably wasn't that serious.  The dog had been playful and bouncy last night.  But Xander would be destroyed if his dog got sick.

Whoever had given the dog antifreeze was going to be hurting badly when the boy got done with them.  If they were lucky the cops would arrest them.  They called Xander to have him come to the office once they knew for sure who it was.  Sam dropped him off, taking the groceries home then coming back with Tara too.  She did a healing spell that helped.  The cops went to talk to the neighbors.  Colorado Springs did not need Xander on a vendetta rampage.  They might have to close the city.  Fortunately the new neighbor was arrested long before they got back to the house.  For their own safety of course.


Tony woke up in a very pale room.  He looked around, then checked himself.  Not tied down.  That was a nice change.  He heard a groan and lifted himself up to look at the floor beside him.  "Xander?"

Xander blinked up at him.  "I feel like shit."

"Yeah, me too."  He helped him up onto the bed to check him over.  He saw some blood but no cut.  "Maybe you got one.  Are you still whole?"

Xander felt himself.  "Yup.  You?"  Tony checked then nodded.  "Now what?"

"We get free one way or another."  They got up to search for weapons.  Xander found a sword, giving it a test swing.  "Xander, that might have a live edge," he complained.

"Tony, I know how to use a sword very well."  He looked at him.  "Fair warning, I'm a berserker.  Just get out of my way if I lose it."

"Sure, I can do that."  Someone knocked and walked in with a bowl of steaming water and then a tray of fruit was handed in.  "I demand to know who took us," Tony sneered.  "This is not where I'm supposed to be and my boss is going to be livid."

She looked at him.  "I know nothing.  You'll have to take that up with the Master."  Xander got in her way.  "Please, sir.  It is not for proper women to have to be alone with men."

"You're English."  She stared.  "Hi, Xander Harris.  Out of the US.  Are you one of us?"  She nodded, looking down.  He snatched off her veil.  "How long have you been here?"

"Please!" she said, looking around frantically.  "They'll punish me."

"No they won't," Tony said.  "Because they won't get you.  I'm a federal agent."  She gave him a horrified look.  "You know something?"

"Your boss is why you are here," she said quietly.  Xander gave her back her head veil.  "Thank you."  She put it back on.

"His boss Gibbs?" Xander asked.  "Or some other boss?"

"No, I heard a female voice."

"I'll fucking kill her," Tony growled.  She cowered.  "Not you.  Who has us?"  A guard stomped in.  Xander knocked him into the wall and took his weapons, tossing Tony the gun.  "Thanks, Xander."  He looked at her.  "We're not staying."

"The Master will not be pleased," she said, nearly begging.

"The only masters I know are Ares, Strife, and Cupid," Xander told her.  "I sincerely doubt they want me here since they like my present boyfriends."

"You were to go to the Shieka."  They both shrugged.  "She is of age."

"I don't care, women turn me off," Xander told her.  She let out a high pitched whining noise.  "Tough."  He checked her over.  "Any boobytraps we should know about?"  She nodded, pointing at her arm.  He looked then he opened her arm, making her shriek in pain.  But the small chip came out.  He checked his.  Nothing.  Nothing in Tony's either.  "Good.  You can be a cooperative hostage or not.  Which way to the outside?"

"I cannot.  He'll punish me!" she said frantically.

"Not if he's dead," Tony shot back.

She gasped, sitting down on the floor.  "You cannot.  It is forbidden!"

"So is kidnaping."  Xander hauled her up and out into the hall with them.  Guards lunged but he got one and the other's gun with the sword.  She got free and ran off.  "Okay, we'll get her later."  He got another one.  Tony shot one.  They frisked the bodies for ammo and other weapons then moved on.  They came to a secure door.  With a passkey.  Xander found one and a keypad came down.  Xander shorted it out with the sword then magiced it open.  Tony gave him an odd look.  He grinned back.  "I'm a man of many talents."  They came out into a waiting selection of guards.  Xander let loose and guarded the more vulnerable human.  He got winged a few times but those guards ended up in chunks.  Tony stopped him from going after some women that were fleeing and pointed him at the other guards coming their way.  Tony reloaded and moved to help.  By the time no more guards were coming, Xander was fully gone.

Tony looked around then got Xander into a closet for a bit.  Someone leaned her head around the wall.  "You can help us leave or I'll release him to finish off everyone in this compound," he said.  She said something in Arabic.  "Phone?"  She got one and he called the office.  "Kate, put me on with an Arabic speaker please?"  She did that and he put it on speaker since the phone had one.  "Tell this one that either she helps us leave this compound or I will let the berserker with me finish destroying every single person left alive.  We did not want to be kidnaped and I did not want to be sold by my director."

Kate gasped.  "She can't have, Tony."

"Bullshit.  Just repeat that."  The person with her said that.  Tony smiled because that was Gibbs sending orders to trace the call in the background.  "Tell her I want any and all documents they have on how we got here and who gave our names to us."  The translator said that.  "And I do mean now."  The translator repeated that.  The woman ran off.  The closet door thumped.  "Xander?"  Another thump.  Tony went to peek and Xander growled.  "Until you calm down because I don't know how to bring you back."  A man came rushing up and he let Xander free, letting him slice and dice that guy.  "It's better than any action movie I've ever seen," he decided.  He knocked Xander out with a neck pinch then shot the next one coming in the leg.  "I want documentation on how we got here, who gave you our names, and where the fuck we are.  Or we will finish taking down this compound.  Xander does know explosives and I know enough to make car bombs."  The man stuttered, holding his leg.

"He said the Master would not like that," the translator said.

"Bring this Master here, we'll get him too," Tony shot back.  The man wailed.  More men showed up.  Tony shot at them.  One grazed his side.  He yelped and held it but Xander was just awake enough to jump back in.  "Damn, someone taught that boy well."  He finished taking down the men, leaving most of them alive.  Xander leaned down, panting, holding his stomach.  "Xander?"  The boy looked at him.  "You more back?"

"Yeah.  Slightly.  I'm not happy."

"You blocked me."

"That's because I heal faster," he said, straightening up.  "I'll crack later.  We need to find out who sold our asses since the first one said your female boss did."  The voice on the phone gasped.  "Yours?"

"Mine," he agreed.  "My direct boss and he's probably not happy either."

"Me either.  But hey, maybe he'll be sorry later."  He turned and shot someone running up the hall in the stomach.  He walked over, staring down at him.  "Pray to Allah you have the information we want or I'll make you meet him," he said in fairly bad Arabic.  The man stuttered that the Master was waiting on them with their bride.

"Hell no," Gibbs said loudly.  "My agent is not allowed to be married off."

"Gee, thanks," Xander called.  "I'm kinda gay, don't want some bratty little bitch anyway."  He glared at the man.  Who was clearly dying.  "Rest in peace in heaven."  He walked over him and headed out there, taking aim and firing on the group waiting on him from cover.  "Never though the memories from the soldier would come in *this* handy."

"Huh?" Tony asked from his spot.

"Back in high school I was part of a group that fought demons."

"I heard."

"In one case a chaos sorcerer turned us into our halloween costumes."  He turned and got the one coming up behind them.  Then he went back to firing on the guards around the head guy.  "I went as a soldier.  The guy who the camos belonged to used to be special forces.   Hoo-yah."  He picked up something and threw it at one.  "I'm down to two clips."

"Me too," Tony admitted.  They ducked up to count, then back down.  "Boss, could use the Marines!" he called.  "Today!  Like now!"

"There's a helicopter ten minutes away, DiNozzo.  Just hold on," he called back from the phone.

"That'll work," Xander agreed.  They shared a look.  "I'm too far down to use it offensively."

"I can't do that at all."

"I can teach you.  Adam taught me."  He fired at one coming toward them.  He went down.  Xander tried some summoning magic, giving himself a headache but he had more ammo.  He tossed some to Tony and they settled in to defend their territory.

Tony looked back at the body behind them then at him.  "Hey, boss.  Is the director there?" he called.

"No.  She's at a conference in Paris."

"Bet me."  He fired on the guards trying to rush them.  They were about down to the 'master', his daughter, and a few females.  Most of whom were armed.  "What I wouldn't give for a hand grenade," he muttered.

Xander looked up and said a long, rant filled prayer to Ares for some artillery.  Even some from his own collection?  "Please?" he whispered.  "Running out of ammo here."  A case dropped next to him out of thin air.  "Praise the Gods," he called.  He looked at Tony, who nodded he'd cover him.  Xander dove for the box, opening it and taking aim from the ground.  The stand the wedding party was standing on went up in a howl of noise, sand, and wood bits.  Xander panted, looking around.  Tony checked.  "Thanks, Ares or whoever.  Needed that!  Badly!"  He dropped it and relaxed then let Tony help him up.  "Let me go pee in a corner?"

"Go for it.  I'm going to the office."  He walked off with the body dragging behind him.  He found what he wanted in the office.  "Boss, faxing to you," he said calmly.

"How did you get artillery?"

"Xander is a high priest of Ares.  I don't give a damn at this moment," he said bluntly.  "I'll start praying myself."  He set the fax number.  "I'm sending it to the main fax line so get Cynthia off it and I'll bring back the director's body."  He sent it through then folded up the originals.  He heard a copter and sighed in pleasure.  He found a few more things.  Xander came out of another room.  "What's that?"

"Loot so we can get home.  Be damned if I'm going to spend half a month in Monte Carlo this time.  I freaked out Interpol last time."  Tony laughed, hanging up as soon as the chopper landed.  "Nice Marines.  Thank you for rescuing us."

"Special Agent DiNozzo?" one snapped.

Tony waved a hand.  "This is my fellow captive, Mr. Harris. He lives in Colorado.  This is my former director's body.  She sold us here."  They gaped.   "There's other captives hiding.  We tried to keep it at guards only."  They nodded, going inside to search the compound.  He and Xander carried the body to the chopper, flopping it inside. "Someone will want her body," he told the pilot.

"Perhaps," he agreed.

Tony looked.  "Ari?  Now?"

"What better time?"  He pointed a gun at them.  Xander bit him, making him scream in pain and shake him off.  Then Xander punched him.

"I'm feeling overly aggressive.  Don't make me give Ares another headache, asswipe."  The Marines came back with a few others.  "We know he's not a Marine?"

"He's a liaison agent with the Mossad."

"He's a terrorist that shot my boss," Tony corrected.

"No other pilot, sir."

"Fine.  He tries to do anything bad and I'll let Xander have him."

"Gee thanks," he said dryly, giving him a look.  Tony looked at the healing injuries.  "Long story but it's why some demons love me."

"Charming.  I'll be wanting to hear it later."  They squeezed in and were off.  Tony handed the Marine leader the loot.  "So we make it home without having to hit a cruiser back."

"That's reasonable, sir."

"My motto is screw them because they wanted to screw me," Xander said tiredly, leaning against the wall of the chopper.  They gaped at him.  He grinned.  "My protector's a former Marine."

"There's no former," one told him.

"Well, retired to be a dad."

"He keep in shape?"

"Yup, and he's going to whip my ass for being out of breath by that fight."

They smiled.  It wasn't that long back to base once the Marines had multiple guns on Ari.  Tony got Ari arrested on the spot as soon as they landed.  The base's commander protested until he told the NCIS officer on base.  Who checked and found the warrants.  They agreed and the NCIS agent on base took their statements while were checked over by the medics.  Xander balked but Tony gave him a dirty look.  The medic called in someone and it wasn't someone that made Xander happy but he told him how to avoid it.  That got a nod and they settled in to tell them what had happened.  The base commander laughed at Ares but he told him to explain how it got there any other way.  They decided it was good enough and let it go with that.


John walked off the elevator, looking at the man pacing.  "Special Agent Gibbs?"  He stopped pacing to look at him.  "John Winchester.  Xander Harris' protector.  Where are they?"

"They're landing in a few minutes.  They'll be taken by copter to the roof in about ten minutes."  He shook his hand.  "Is it always this insane?"

"Xander attracts demons."

"Never mind.  I did a check on him.  Gave myself a headache.  What about DiNozzo?"

"Xander said Tony had proof he got sold."

"I saw that.  The SecNav was not happy."

John shrugged.  "I'm retired.  I don't care who's happy."

"Good point."  He looked up at the sound of a helicopter, leading the way to the roof.   They got there in time to see them off-loaded.  "DiNozzo."  He looked him over.  "Injuries?"

"Few grazes, boss.  I'm fine.  No concussion this time."

"I hate concussions," Xander said, moving around him to hug John.  "One of the guys from Monte Carlo?"

"One of the ones who wanted you in Miami for the same reason.  It gave their guys a good way to bust a lot of weapons dealers, son."  Xander grinned, resting against his side.  "You good?"

"I lost it on everyone I could.  I wasn't picky in my targets.  I'm sick but I know it was necessary.  I'll get over it like I did the last time I saw a war."

"Last time?" Gibbs asked.

Xander looked at him.  "Relax the tighty whiteys, Gibbs.  I'm a level ten and the highest one they've found in decades."  That got a shudder. "Tony's nowhere near my level. It's almost exponential or whatever that word is."  He looked at John.  "Can we go home?  I miss the boys and the dog."

"We can go tonight.  They want to do another debriefing."

Xander grimaced.  "Not Tony's fault she sold him for info on a single arms dealer."

Gibbs groaned.  "Any other cheery news, DiNozzo?"

"Ari was piloting the chopper that picked us up, boss."  Gibbs smirked at that.  Tony pulled him out of the chopper, handing him over. "All ours."

"Thanks, DiNozzo.  This is a good present; better than a t-shirt."  He handed him over.  "That's the one who shot Ducky's assistant and me last year.  He does not *move* without you shooting him."  The guards nodded, moving him out of the way.  The casket was offloaded.  "We're positive?"  Tony handed over his copy of the forms.  He read them over.  Including the agreement.  That hadn't been faxed.  He tucked it into his shirt pocket.  "You two did good."

"Thank you," Xander said quietly.  "We rescued a few other hostages as well, Gibbs."

"I heard."

"Two were like us so we've called the national head.  He's gotten them hooked up with a facility to help heal them," Tony told him.

"That's fine."  He walked them back inside.  The guards with Ari walked him down to the cells and put him in one with high monitoring and a steady guard standing just out of reach. Gibbs walked them to the conference room, nodding at the other people in there.  "They carried her to the morgue."

"That's fine," the Secretary of the Navy said.  "Boys."  They nodded.  John saluted as soon as he saw him.  "Down, son.  You're retired."  John relaxed again.  "What happened?"

"The first we knew, we were waking up," Tony told him.  "They sent in another captive with water to bathe in and fruit.  We got intel from her, got the guard, and made a stand starting there."

"Good.  Are you all right, DiNozzo?"

"Some grazes, sir.  Xander heals faster than I do.  He took most of the injuries for me."

"That's one thing I was wondering.  Are you immortal, son?"

"A high priest of the Greek Gods.  It's a blessing on me," Xander said quietly.  That got a few funny looks.  "You explain it then."

The SecNav stared at him the nodded.  "I once knew a young man named Adam Pierson.  Wonderful researcher.  Saved my butt a few years back."

"I like Adam," he said with a grin.  "He taught me a lot."

"Good."  He looked at Tony again.  "Son, do you feel you can continue working here?"

"I'd die for Gibbs, sir, but she's no longer a problem.  As long as this hasn't gotten out and my security isn't compromised I was handling it all right."

"I agree.  You're a credit to your team. No one else puts up with Jethro the way you do."  Tony grinned but shrugged.  "That's fine then.  Only the people in this room know what truly happened."

"The Marines might.  We were a bit loud," Xander offered.

"Marines learn the value of discretion, son.  They won't say a word."  That made him finish relaxing.  "Why did they want you?"

"I used to be on the protection patrol in Sunnydale, by LA, sir.  I was her weapons person."  The SecNav gave him a horrified look.  "The hair's longer and I have better taste in clothes."  The other men gave him an odd look.  "I was there when the Initiative fell.  Then I went on a second road trip and found myself."  He grinned.  "As for my *current* collection of guns and knives and stuff?  Colonel Jack O'Neill watches me to make sure I don't buy any more since he weeded my old collection out."

"I got that report.  Were you stocking up for an invasion, Mr. Harris?" Gibbs asked.

"If the aliens come I'm there," he said dryly.  "But mostly it's for my own protection.  Things like this happen less if they think you can protect yourself or you're in a protected spot."

"That's a good reason," the SecNav said.  "He knows everything you currently have?"

"No, I love my babies," he said with a small pout.  "John's sons do.  If they find me getting something too big as a present, since I can't buy anymore without Jack jumping all over me, then they'll tell Jack."

"It's strange but in our line of work," John said quietly.  "Sometimes it comes in handy."

"I saw that when I did the background on him and came upon footage from your graduation."

"Was it that or the thing in the mall that got the Initiative sicced on us?" Xander asked.

"The mall."

"Thought it was too fast to set up an underground base."

The SecNav nodded.  "True."  He smiled.  "Are you retired?"

"Half of them want me to be their purr kitty.  I'm backed down to personal defense instead of city or world defense unless there's an alien invasion."

"Good.  I can agree to that.  Do tell Jack I said hello."

"I can do that," John promised.  He looked at the boy.  "Did you take the herbs?"

"They gave it to us while we were out," Tony said.  "Coated our clothes in it too.  You'll need to make sure he eats.  Otherwise the lethargy can be bad and he'll stop."  He looked at them.  "Are we in trouble?"

"Hell no," Gibbs told him.  He handed over the information to the SecNav, who read it over, especially the stuff he hadn't seen before.  That got tucked into his jacket.  "We need a protocol put into place in case someone else heard," he said.

Xander grinned.  "We had a talk with one who snuck into the tent we were borrowing late last night over there.  They wanted us too.  Pity and they'll pass it back that I'm a badass little fucker who'll make them beg for mercy before I steal everything from them and treat them like they wanted to treat us."  The older men all smirked.  "When I'm not herbed nearly to death, I can bring a good sized area to its knees, sirs.  I can use it offensively and I was teaching Tony last night so he knows how to in case it's necessary."

"It's a last ditch effort," John told Tony.  "Or a way to drag someone to help you."

"I understood that."  He looked at them.  "What more do you need to know, sirs?"

"Ari?" the SecNav said.

"In the jail," Tony said.  "He was on the chopper flight.  Pointed a gun at me.  Xander bit him."

"Charming.  Okay.  Winchester, are you and Harris staying in town tonight?"

"No, sir.  We want him to be safely at home where he's got good security and his dog plus his boys."

"Agreed.  How are you getting there?"

"Private flight."

"Good."  He looked at Tony.  "Do you want counseling?"

"I'm pissed, sir.  I want to know what she traded me for.  I rationalized long ago that people want to own me as a pet."

"It appears she had a vendetta against an arms dealer.  She sold you to get intel on him," Gibbs told him.  Tony growled.  "He's already down.  After the incident in Miami and Monte Carlo he was on the high priority target list.  The CIA won."  Xander smiled.  "We got a lot of them in conjunction with MI-5, Mr. Harris."

"They were stupid to steal me in the first place.  Tell Agent James I said hi."

"I can do that."  Xander grinned.  "Let me get you two escorted to the airport."

"We can drive," John promised.

"No.  We'll get you an escorting car," the SecNav assured him.  "There's too many in town who might want the boy and we'd hate for him to have to deal with them too.  He's got a bit of a reputation for screwing over whoever wants him."

"Then next time, don't steal me," Xander said dryly.  "I have a good set of keepers and I'm keeping them."  Vesvold's guard appeared.  "Is Vessie okay?"

"He's a bit ill today.  He wanted to make sure you're fine."

"I heal.  Why is he sick?"

"The flu.  One of the clan's children gave it to him."  Xander grinned.  "Relax and head home."

"I am."  He smirked.  "Tickle him for me?"

"I'm not that brave, Xander."  He disappeared to report what he had  heard.  They were finding many places they couldn't go thanks to Xander's recent kidnapings.

Xander looked at John.  "Ice cream on the plane?"

"Ice cream when we get home," he countered, giving his head a nudge.  "Tara was nearly swearing."  Xander blushed.  "With your leave, sir?"  They nodded, letting them go down to the truck and head off with an agent tailing them to the airport.  "We've got to find a way to hide more weapons on you."

"They took my hairpins," he said with a frown.  "I couldn't find them."

"The investigative team did.  They gave them to me earlier."  Xander hugged his arm.  "It'll be fine, kiddo.  We'll go home so they can baby you and fuss over you."

"Is Bogart okay?"

"Just fine.  He's back to being bouncy and that neighbor moved quickly."  Xander beamed.  "You bought Sammy a bookstore?"

"Yeah.  He loved that bookstore.  Dean likes to eat and that restaurant had been rude to me.
So he got that one.  They're very good now.  We ate there the night before we left."

"Good.  That'll give him good profits to live off of.  Make the hunting easier when we go back on the road for a bit."  Xander pouted.  "No.  Not right now."

"The next time Jack gets retired?"


Xander laughed.  It was a good plan.


They walked in and Dean stuck Xander with something.  "That way we can't go missing you again."

"The healing will force it out."

"We checked, it won't because it's organic," Sam said, giving him a hug.  Dean stole him for his own.  "Okay."  He hugged them both.

"You and your chimp arms off me, Sammy."

"Shut up, Dean.  You stole Xander from me."

Xander looked at the dog.  "You want a hug too, Bogart?"  He barked so Xander got down to give him a hug.  The others gathered around to make sure Xander was okay and staying.

The Goddess Discord appeared.  "Who did you thank for that weapon?"

"Ares.  I thought he sent it."

"Nope.  Me, Xander."

He pulled her down to kiss her.  "Thank you, Lady Discord.  I needed that."  He gave her another one.  "I'll send up a good prayer to you later."

She smiled.  "Sure, kid."  She disappeared, going to cool herself off in a cold shower.

Dean swatted Xander.  "It's not nice to give goddesses wet panties."

Xander grinned.  "She's a naughty goddess.  Naughty ones should have them.  Especially since we were running out of ammo."

Dean gave him a pat over the hair.  "That needs worked on badly.  Get a brush?"  The dog ran to get his and Xander got his off the table.  John got the dog with Tara.  Sam and Dean got Xander's hair.  Faith snapped a picture and sent it to Jack.

"Tell him John said the next time he gets retired they're going to go hunting and leave me with him again.  Oh, and the Secretary of the Navy said hi."

Faith laughed but Tara shook her head.  "Naughty John."  She pinched him on the arm and got back to loving on the dog.  Faith sent the email and came over to help with the hair from Xander's dreams.  It was a good way to make sure he stayed there.  They could wind all sorts of GPS strings into it.  Because the next one got the full family in his face.

The End.