A Son of the House
The Assistant Mayor looked around at the mess. He hated those kids. They had ruined *everything*! There had been power coming that he could share in. Blood, power, sex, money, all sorts of power coming his way. But *no*! A *Slayer* had to get involved! Well.... He paused to think. They had a weak link. An important weak link. Plus they were young.... That got him thinking and he went back to his office to check some records. That would definitely work. Now, all he had to do was to twitch a contact...
Xander opened the door the day after his parents' funeral, glaring at the obvious social worker on the other side. "What now?"
"You're how old?" she asked, pushing her way inside.
"Three weeks from eighteen." She already knew, he couldn't lie about it.
"By state law...." she started.
Xander burst out laughing. "Since when have *any* of you cared about state law?" he demanded coldly, sneering at her. "You didn't when they got reported to you about starving me for two weeks because I got an A in english. You didn't any of the times I ended up in the hospital. You haven't given a damn since the day you took your oath, lady. Now, get out of my house."
"You can't stay alone, Mr. Harris."
"I can so."
"No, you can't. It is state law that we place you with a relative."
"Well, since the mayor's people had them killed, don't think that's an option."
"Actually," she said, pulling out his forms. "We do know that he wasn't your real father?"
Xander shrugged. "Yay. I'm still only three weeks from eighteen. You can't get a judge that fast."
"I already have one." She held up the form. She smiled. "Sunnydale's courts aren't that busy."
He snatched it to read then looked at her. "Uh-huh." He ripped it up. "Over your dead body, lady." She gasped. "Now, get out of my house. I have to pack it so the nice thrift shop people can take it back. Then I have to clean up their messes so I can give the keys back to the landlord."
"Where do you plan on living?" she sneered.
He shrugged. "I'm going on a road trip this summer. I won't need to stay anywhere but a motel for a few months. I can find somewhere when I get back. Now, get out."
"No. I'm sorry." She sighed. "You don't have to make this difficult. I can call the police."
He checked the clock then her. "It's four in the afternoon. They're all home by now." He waved, opening the front door and shoving her out. Into Willow and her cleaning supplies as it happened. "She's trying to make me live with some person I don't know."
"You're almost eighteen. They can't do that."
"State law," she started.
Willow burst out laughing. "Since when has state law counted in Sunnydale? Not like you came when my parents left me alone for eight months." She went pale. "Or the time they went to Europe for a year and I was ten." She backed off at that. "Bye-bye," she said, wiggling her fingers. "Now." She fled. Willow walked in with the cleaning supplies. "Think it's a trap?"
"Goodie. Well, we knew some people wanted the mayor to succeed so they could be eaten. Pity their stupidity. Where are we starting?"
"I've already done the kitchen and the bathrooms. All my stuff's in storage." She nodded, heading to start with his parents' bedroom. He went back to cleaning up the mess in the living room. The vampires had been very messy when they broke in.
Two days later a cop tapped Xander on the shoulder when he was getting coffee. He looked at him. "I'm leaving town tomorrow."
"The Judge wants to talk to you, Harris."
"The judge can kiss my ass since he's the one who tried to buy me last year when I managed to get captured for a night." He took his coffee with a smile and a nod of thanks. He walked out, heading for his car. "Laters." He heard the unsnap of the holster and looked at him. "Trying it means I get to hit you back." The cop backed off. So apparently they did still remember what had happened a few days ago at graduation. Xander sipped his coffee. "Laters. I'll send postcards to the girls if you wanted to break in and look through Buffy's panty drawer again." He slid into his car and headed back to the house. The landlord was waiting on him with the social worker and the police chief. "Hey, you're out in the sun," he said dryly, smirking at him. "That's cute of you." He looked at the landlord. "I did most of the cleaning that I could. Their deaths led to some carpet staining but I tried to steam clean it twice," he said, letting them inside. It was much cleaner than he had seen it in years.
The landlord looked around. "I haven't seen it this clean since the year your parents moved in, Xander."
"Me either." He grinned. "Willow helped."
"She's a good girl," he agreed, taking the tour. "I think we can give you back their security deposit. I hear you'll be needing it in New Jersey?"
"I wasn't planning on heading there. Road trip certainly." The chief tried to grab him so Xander put down his coffee then attacked back, pinning him against the wall with a stake to the shoulder. For some reason he didn't bleed. Xander looked at him. "Nice spell. Willow will want to know how you did that." The cop whimpered, shifting away from him. He looked at the landlord then the dent. "I can fix that."
"Don't worry about it, kid. Maybe you should go."
"I've only got fifteen days before I'm eighteen. Why?"
"Good point." He shrugged and wrote out the check, handing it to him. "There you go, Harris. Your stuff?"
"Already in storage for my summer trip." He grinned. "Not like I was going to leave it here."
"Good idea with your parents probably." He stood up and handed the kid his cold coffee. "There you go. You might as well hear them out. They can arrest you and drag you there in cuffs."
"And I can go to the state police with all the problems we've been having here with the local PD. Because someone has them on film taking bribes, buying pros, and all that good stuff." The police chief moaned. Xander looked at him. "Interesting, huh?" He looked at the social worker. "The same as we've filed a protest for you showing up since you've been taking bribes for the past ten years." She backed off. "Now, anything else you two? If not, I'm crashing at a friend's tonight before I leave."
"Your father is waiting on you," she sneered. "He's a better man than these. A doctor. Shows it's not genetic."
Xander shrugged. "I'm happy with the way I am at the moment. Took me a long time to get this way. Why would I care?"
"If he's local, at least meet with him, Xander. Then you'll know," the landlord suggested.
Xander looked at him. "Why?"
"So you have some relatives you can complain about?" he suggested dryly.
Xander rolled his eyes. "On my own terms. Not theirs."
"Fine," the social worker sneered. "I'll have him meet you somewhere. Then he can drag you home."
Xander snorted. "Yeah, right." He took a sip. "Fine, I'll be in Palisades Park in about an hour." They left and he glared at their backs. Then he smiled at the landlord. "When I come back, do you think you'll have any apartments?"
"I might. I have two open now. Where you heading?"
"Great american roadtrip."
The landlord patted him on the back. "Not all of New Jersey is pretty but some is. It'd be on the other side of the country too." He left him alone.
Xander went to cash the check and withdraw his bank account, putting it into his wallet. It wasn't a great amount but it'd let him start off at least. He wandered toward the park, finding a guy closer to middle aged than not waiting on him with a cop. He pulled out a dart gun and shot the cop, knocking him out. Then he sat beside him. "I hate them."
"Cops in general?"
"Only the local ones. They tend to do bad things. That one there keeps breaking into a friend's house to go through her panty drawer and keeps trying to hit on the teenage girls at the high school." He looked at the older man again. "So, someone said you had bad enough taste to sleep with my mother?"
"We were drunk and it was a concert. It got us worked up."
"Ah." He nodded. "Mom said something once about tequila being her downfall. That's why she switched to gin." He finished his coffee and tossed the cup out then looked at him again. "So?"
"So," he agreed dryly, looking the kid over. Dark hair like his. Tall, toned body. "Sports?"
"No. Swimming for a few weeks but not really. Team went spastic thanks to the coach."
"Not enough winning?"
"Slimy chemicals in the sauna."
"Steroids. Okay. I can see that." He shifted and Xander spotted his cane. He saw the look. "Sports accident."
Xander shrugged. "I'm sorry?"
"No, no need to say anything, it wasn't your fault, kid." He looked him over again. "They want you to come back with me."
"My friends and I just proved there was a problem in the local system." Someone screamed and ran over. "He's only sleeping. Not dead." She glared at him. He glared back at the social worker. "He's still only sleeping. This way Buffy doesn't have to stab him tonight when he sneaks into her bedroom again." She got up and stomped over to hit him but Xander got up and put her down, then darted her. He grinned at the others staring. "Like I'm going to let myself be hit ever again." They backed off, especially the two cops. "Just sedatives. They'll be fine in a few hours. You can remove them if you want. We'd like that." The cops removed them and Xander sat down with a huff. "I really hate this town sometimes."
He looked at his son. That was not a normal reaction. Something was seriously wrong with this picture but he wasn't adept enough at people things to get it fully. Yet. "That's probably not a good thing to have done, kid. You just admitted to assaulting a social worker and a cop."
Xander looked at him. "If they arrest me, which they won't, we have tape of the chief of police committing ten homicides. We have evidence of all but one cop on the force being a bad cop and doing bad things on the old mayor's orders. If I'm arrested, it goes right to every single news outlet in the state." That got an evil smirk. "After graduation, and us being blamed for what someone else did, hell no. We were waiting for their next play to get us back for stopping the mayor."
"Why not let the police handle it?" the older guy asked.
Xander stood up. "Can you walk a bit?"
"Sure." He walked him the few blocks to the high school and around the tape to the side, pointing at something. "That's...."
"What the mayor put into the school at graduation. We had to kill that thing because it was trying to kill us. On purpose." He looked at his father. "We protected a lot of people from the bad assholes."
"Good. That's a good thing I guess." He looked confused. The boy looked certain but he was very confused. "How about this? You're leaving anyway. Come stay with me for a few weeks. It'll get you out of their way and you can plan long distance."
"If we have another assault, I'll have to."
House nodded at that. "Okay. Whatever. The judge said I have custody of you until you're eighteen, kid."
"That's in fifteen days."
"So? New Jersey's a good place to start a road trip. We have a good park and a few things near us. Nice hospital. Built to be pretty and functional. Mostly." He wanted out of this town and he wanted his son, which was still a thought that was giving him mental diarrhea, away from these supposedly bad cops. Especially since his son had shown that violence was an option that the officers were willing to allow. He wanted them out of this town before someone got his only offspring back and he lost him before he could see if he carried on the bastard genes or not.
Xander rolled his eyes. "Why?"
"Because apparently I'm a father and I'm as creeped out about this as you are."
Xander frowned. "I need to think."
"You do and they'll arrest you." Xander looked over then reached for the dart gun so the cops ran. "See?"
"Fine. Whatever. I've got my car and stuff."
"You can put your car in storage if you want. I flew."
Xander looked at him. "Give me three hours. I can dump the car so I have more funds. I can always find a cheap clunker out there." He sighed and they walked off, letting Xander make a few calls from a redhead girl's house that wasn't that far away. Xander looked at the curious looking girl and then his father. "Apparently this is my real father. The judge gave him custody for the next fifteen days."
"We can fight that, Xander," she complained. "It's not like we don't have the judge on tape trying to buy you to kill you."
He nodded. "I had to dart a few of the cops too."
"Charming. Well, they probably deserved it." She gave him a hug then stared at his father for a minute, getting a smirk back. "I'm guessing you're where his mean and evil side comes from?" Xander snickered at that.
"Could be. I'm known to not be totally pleasant when you piss me off."
"Good. Neither's Xander. You two might get along. There's things you should know but I doubt you're ready to hear." She gave Xander another hug. "We'll watch your storage area."
"Thanks. Keep Buffy out of it?"
"Sure." She knew that's where his weapons were so she'd keep Buffy from playing with them. "Are you packing any?"
"Yeah, I've got a few things I was going to take with me." He hung up and went to grab his three bags and other two things from the car. The two things went to Willow before his father saw. She winked and went to hide them for now. Xander looked at the bags. All his weapons were unloaded and able to be flown out. The smaller bag was a problem so he unpacked some of it on the trunk of the car, putting it into the other bags and switching out some of the clothes. The few things in there wouldn't be caught by x-ray and Willow came out to cast a concealing spell on them so they wouldn't be found during a hand search either. He hugged her. "Guess I'm off on my road trip."
"Send me plenty of post cards, mister." She slid in her old laptop and charging cord, plus a few new CD's in a hardside carrier. "There, now you can email me too since I got a new one for graduation." She winked and waved, skipping off. The wrecker and new owner of his heap pulled in and Xander checked, handing over everything and signing the title over to him. Then he took the check up the street to the bank. His father followed, watching how he handled things. Willow smiled. He was in for quite a shock. Xander's father wasn't going to know what rocked his world.
House sighed as he walked into his apartment. "I hate long flights."
"The plane wasn't too bad for my first one," Xander told him. The man in there gave him an odd look. "Hey. Boyfriend?" he asked his father. "Totally cool with me if he is."
"Friend. Having a future ex-wife problem." He glared.
"I came over to water your plants. You know I finally got my own place." He smiled. "Hi, Doctor James Wilson. House's best friend." He shook his hand. "You don't look much like him."
"No, unfortunately I look more like my mother. Xander."
"Nice to meet you, Xander." He grinned. "I'm making real food so you don't have to suffer through takeout."
Xander shrugged. "I've suffered through takeout many times but okay. I can eat." House gave him a look. "I'm still growing."
"Obviously. You need to be eight feet tall with the lunch you put away earlier."
Xander grinned. "I work it all off."
"Uh-huh." He went to check on dinner then headed for his bedroom. "Let me take a shower, Wilson."
"Sure, House." He pointed. "That's the couch. It pulls out if you need it to."
"Think he'd let me get a motel room?" Xander asked quietly.
"Probably not and they're really expensive around here thanks to the college. Besides, he gets HBO and Cinemax."
"Free porn, not bad." Wilson laughed. "Let me drop things in a corner." He went to do that. "So, can I help?"
"Sure, if you want." He let him into the kitchen so he could clean up and help him. "House isn't a bad guy, Xander. Just slightly snide and mean now and then when people do stupid things," he said quietly.
"I'm not exactly the prince of happiness myself. Especially since I had to sedative dart some people who tried to force me to come."
Wilson looked at him. "Why?"
"Because this was their plan to get back at us for proving the old mayor was a bastard and doing bad things. They'll get the others some other way. Probably raise the taxes on the gallery one of my friend's mom owns. Or try something against Willow's parents since they're shrinks."
"Hmm. What did your parents do?"
"Not a whole lot. Drank. Dad worked." He shrugged. "It was Sunnydale." Wilson looked confused. "Heard of us?"
"Somewhere. Something about the hospital I think." He shook his head. "It'll come to me."
"Probably about how bad the local hospital is. Or how often others get donor organs out of us."
"That could be it. Lot of accidents?"
"You could say that." He watched what he was doing, taking over grating the cheese, getting a smile for it. House came out in sweats and a t-shirt. "Feel better?"
"Much. No more stale air and chipper people trying to hit on you."
"Well, I am adorable."
"I was when I was your age too, kid. That's why I got all the women. Now, they don't like the cane so much."
Xander looked at him. "I could introduce you to my prom date. She's a nympho and wouldn't care that you limp."
"Get some?" Wilson asked dryly.
"Nearly had to call for help. She wouldn't let me recover." He shrugged. "She eased off and she left before graduation. She might be back though. Have to see what happens." He got back to it, handing over the last small chunk. Wilson split it with him, getting a smile. "Now what?"
"Now, go sit and talk with him."
"We had a very polite talk on the plane for the last ten hours. I'm sure he wants to hear someone else talk," Xander told him.
Wilson looked at him then at his best friend. "Need him?"
"I can watch." He sat down. Wilson and Xander went back to finishing dinner, which went under the broiler. He looked at Xander. "The town's cops were convinced you were the local connector on the weapons pipeline."
"No, any weapons I have came from the people who tried to hurt us."
Wilson blinked. "Weapons too?"
Xander grinned. "Yeah. Now and then they came in handy." He looked at his father again. "There's probably some things you should know about the town but you don't need to."
"You'll tell me when you relax," House told him. It was clear his son was playing tough so no one would be able to tell he was either scared or upset.
Xander nodded. "Okay." He looked at Wilson, then at him. "You sure? I can hit a motel."
"Fat chance. I don't need a judge or a cop saying I'm a negligent parent," House said dryly. "They already don't like me."
"Sounds like it's a family trait," Wilson quipped.
"It certainly is," House said, giving his son a look. "Not only did he dart a cop and a social worker, he threatened a few cops, the social worker, and helped blow up his high school from what I heard."
"I showed you why."
"You did. That's not a bad reason. You have something attacking the students, and you do what you have to do." Xander nodded his thanks at that. "Don't do it out here?"
"Hell no. No need to as far as I know."
House smiled. "Good. I'll even let you wander and explore the town while I'm working. That way you can feel like you started your road trip and we'll work out if we can be at least friends." Xander nodded at that, smiling a bit. "Good. It's burning." Wilson rescued dinner and House took his plate. Xander took his and paused then dug in when no one said grace or anything. "We're a to each their own family," he told him.
"That's cool. Do I have other relatives?"
"My mother and stepfather. You probably won't be seeing them in the next fourteen days. I haven't told them yet," he said at Wilson's odd look. "I'm not sure I want to hear that lecture."
Wilson nodded. "I guess that makes sense. Though your mother would try to spoil him rotten."
"Is she evil?" Xander asked, looking serious. Wilson laughed. House shook his head. "Then she won't like me." He went back to eating.
House and Wilson shared a look. Wilson shook his head subtly. He'd help House work it out but the kid was going to take some gentle, careful handling. Neither one had ever seen a case of 'I'm tough so you don't have to like me and I don't have to like you' as bad as this kid had. "Are you going to bring him in to meet everyone so they can be scared of him?" Wilson asked him.
"Maybe some day soon. Let him nap tomorrow and look around the town. When he gets bored I'll inflict Cuddy and the ducklings on him."
"You have pet ducklings at work?" Xander asked, looking a bit confused. "Therapy ducks or something?"
"No, my residents," House told him. "They follow me around so a nurse called them ducklings. It stuck."
"The only pet I have is Steve over there."
Xander looked then smiled. "Willow has a pet rat named Amy." He went to look, watching the rat move away in fear. "Shh, I don't hurt animals," he soothed, stroking it through the side of his cage. "I promise, I won't." The rat relaxed and let him pet it. "You're a very good pet I'm sure, Steve."
"Eat, kid," Wilson told him. "Play with Steve later." Xander came back to eat. Steve generally wasn't scared of anyone but rats were very sensitive creatures. It had hated Cameron the first time she met him. Hmm. Xander didn't seem to be a driven, egotistical brat. So why was the rat scared of him?
House looked at him. "Why did your friend Willow get a pet rat? I would've figured her for something fluffier."
"Amy kinda had a problem with the town so Willow adopted her when the problem got too bad and they captured her."
"A pity adoption then."
Xander nodded. He wouldn't mention that Amy used to be a human girl. His father wasn't really up to hearing about that stuff. Seeing a demon part and thinking it was a snake proved his father was going to be one of the 'know nots' that populated Sunnydale. "So, where did you meet my mother?"
"A Pink Floyd concert. She got happy with all the graphics. I was drunk and a few seats down. There were only girls between us or else you'd have two mothers probably. I have no idea why she married him."
"She had been dating him and huffed off with her girlfriends for the show. I got that once. I didn't know what show she was bitching and moaning about though. So I guess you were local, better than Tony, and good enough." Wilson choked. "Sorry, I'm a bit blunt at home. I only have tact around Willow and that's because she'll turn me into something strange."
"That's where I know Sunnydale from."
Xander tipped his head. "Could be."
"Your high school graduation, it had a gas explosion?"
"No, it had an attack by the mayor. The town said it was a gas explosion. They really don't want the FBI there. Pity since Willow called them, but oh well. You try power moves and someone's going to catch you sometime."
House nodded. "That seems to be the way it goes." He ate another bite of dinner. "What do you do for fun?"
"The Bronze. Snark at my ex. Taunt the girls?" He shrugged. "It hasn't been as much fun this last year," he admitted, eating another bite.
"College?" Wilson suggested.
Xander snorted. "Hell no." He shook his head. "Even if I wanted to torture myself and others by making myself go through more years of pointless education, I didn't apply, wouldn't have gotten accepted, and it's not my thing anyway. That's a Willow thing."
"You're a very smart geek, Xander," House told him. "You could do it."
"School is boring and torture."
"Really? Any whips?"
"Only from the last science teacher," he shot back, making his father choke. "He had his hanging up so he could pet them and tell us what made the leather. He had a few buffalo skin whips, a snake skin one that needed conditioning all too often, a few regular leather ones, a chain he said he got off some punk's bicycle at his last school." He shrugged. "They were neat to stare at when he went off on a tangent about punks and chemicals not mixing."
"Did he hurt the students?" Wilson asked.
"Not that I heard."
"That's good at least. It was only mental abuse." He shook his head. "Anyone yank their license?"
"Why? He was probably one of the better teachers in the school. The principal liked him for that and his accreditation. Then again, our principal got eaten during graduation. The little troll." He stuffed his mouth again. "I'm guessing here but you both had to do a lot of schooling for your jobs?" he asked at their horrified looks. Wilson nodded. "Well, to each their own. That's why school is a Willow thing." He ate another bite.
House looked at his son. "You could try a community college. They usually teach practical things instead of things like philosophy. That way you can do more than flip burgers. They take even D students."
"I've got my whole road trip to decide on a future path," Xander reminded him. "Plus to enjoy something other than Sunnydale."
House nodded. "You do," he agreed. "That's not a bad decision."
"Best to do it while I'm young and I can appreciate all the girls," he teased.
"Also true," House agreed with a small smirk. "Plus all the amusement parks, all the corny sights to see, all those things are best left for the young." Xander nodded. "Well, there's a beach a few hours away. Maybe we can hit it for a weekend?" Since his son was trying to get along, he would try a bit too he guessed. Plus he could use a day looking at bikinis anyway.
Xander shrugged. "Up to you. I have to find a new ride. Besides, seen plenty of bikinis. Sunnydale had a beach within easy necking distance."
Wilson smiled. "That is a good place to go. Beach bonfires and cuddling in the breeze that comes off the waves. So, last girlfriend?"
"Broke up with me because her friends decided I was a loser."
"That's not good," Wilson complained.
"We still snark at each other, only now it's not foreplay for closet time." He got some more water, holding up the pitcher.
House held up his glass to get some poured in. "Thank you. Any other girlfriends?"
"Friends who are girls. Ten minute one night stand. Anya, my prom date." He put the pitcher back and sat down again. "Nothing else noteworthy. You?"
"Not in a while," he admitted.
"No hidden stepmothers then?"
"No. No stepmothers ever," House assured him. "Probably never will be."
Xander shrugged. "Some guys aren't meant to settle down. They're meant to play the field."
Wilson nodded. "I'd give him a few of mine but he said they're not mean enough."
Xander grinned. "If you like mean I can introduce you to Anya."
"I'd never get in to see my patients if I dated someone your age."
"She's a bit older."
"Still, too much wanting in bed means I'd never get up on time to see patients."
"She might not understand the whole healing thing anyway. She was kinda more into punishing men who did bad things," he said at Wilson's odd look.
"Hmm. Sounds charming," House said dryly, eating his last bite of food.
"You learn to block it out and give in when she demands sex every few hours."
"I'm sure that's easier at your age," Wilson teased with a grin. "At mine, we want to talk to our girlfriends."
"She was talking about torture, I didn't want to hear it."
"Good point," House said. "Was anyone going to arrest her?"
"No. Probably not." He finished up. "Should I carry into the kitchen?"
"There's a dishwasher," Wilson assured him. They loaded it and turned it on. Then they joined House in the living room. The discussion lapsed while Xander watched tv. House was too. He could definitely see the resemblance now. They even slouched the same way. "I'm going to head home. I've got early rounds tomorrow, guys. See you tomorrow, House, and you in a few days, Xander. If you need things, find me and I'll see if I can play mediator for you two."
"Sure. Have a good night, Wilson, and thanks."
"Not a problem, kid." He left, going back to his apartment to do a long night of searching out the kid and his town. What he found did not amuse him. But it did make him remember an old undergraduate friend who he could call. "Hey, Beth, it's James Wilson. Yeah, me. No, I had a situation drop in my lap. A friend I work with just found out he has a son, who is from Sunnydale." Her 'is he alive' confirmed his suspicions. "He is. Xander Harris." She choked at that name. "I'm hunting rumors for my friend. The kid's a combat veteran before eighteen and he's a bit harder than I'd expect from an idyllic little town with white picket fences. I'm wondering if you can get me information so I can help the kid?
"Because he's not really comfortable and someone should know around here if something happens. Like a flashback." He smiled at her 'I'll hunt and gather'. "Thanks. Want my email or physical address?" He smiled and gave her his email and fax number at work. "Thanks, Beth. It's good hearing from you too. Still with the guy you were with at the reunion?" He laughed. "I've had three, don't feel bad." He smiled. "No, no kids that I know of. Honestly, House didn't know. Yeah, Gregory House." He laughed. "Yes, they're both smartasses. He's a lot like his father so far. Sure, I'd love to catch up with you. Send me non information emails too." He grinned. "Thanks, Beth. Have a good night." He hung up once she had. That was going to be a problem. The kid had a long rep apparently. House was going to be livid and scream at someone about his kid.
Xander spent the next morning reassembling his guns and weapons, looking them over and cleaning them. He made sure they were fully packed then took a shower and changed clothes, heading off to find out what this town had to offer. It was a college town. It had an occult shop. He looked in the window and saw someone give him a horrified look so he walked in. "The assistant mayor made my real father come get me." They all slumped. "So I'm local for about three weeks. Anything I need to help handle?"
"A few risings. Not much," the shopkeeper said from her office. "Nothing too unusual around a college town. Why?"
"Wondering. I'm trapped here until my birthday by judicial order." He smiled sweetly and they shuddered. "So, what do you guys know about my dad, Greg House?"
The shopkeeper laughed. "He's a lot like you, kid. Sarcastic, mouthy, a bastard now and then to others. He's good at what he does but he's got grumpy genius syndrome."
Xander nodded. "That makes more sense. I couldn't figure out where I had gotten it from before." He leaned on the counter. "Any idea where they are?"
"They all party down at the 1810 Pub," the shopgirl said quietly. She looked at her boss. Then at him. "There's rumors of bad problems moving to your old town."
"There usually is. Worse than normal?"
"I'll warn them later tonight then." She smiled at that. "Anything more we know?" She shook her head. "That's cool. Thanks for the head's up. I'll see what I can do about hunting those down. Any other threats, I'm with him." He wrote down his cellphone number. "I switched my tracfone on the way to the airport." He smiled. "I put more minutes on it too. Let me know." He handed her back her pen, getting a nod. He smiled at the shopkeeper. "Any girls I should watch out in case they want to date me?"
"Two at the college. One at the hospital. Rumors of a higher echelon there but not causing problems."
"Then we'll see what happens when I show up to be shown around his workplace and to scare his ducklings." They smirked and he smirked back. "Thanks, ladies." He left, going back to his browsing. He did call Willow. "It's me. He lives in a college town. I met his best friend last night. He came over to fix dinner. I asked, they both were very sure they weren't boyfriends, Willow. Browsing. Yup, a good reason. Found the local supply store. Only a few vamps from what I've heard. Know where they are, all that." He rolled his eyes at her 'stay away from there' order. "Willow, if the shop knew me don't we think I'm going to end up getting them? It's only like six according to them. It's a college town during the summer. Nothing huge going on. No, they heard a rumor of military movement toward Sunnydale as well." He listened to her swear. "Might wanna, yeah. I'm thinking that can only be a problem in the making. Sure, I changed my number. I texted it to you last night." He smirked. "Good deal. I'm looking at college stuff. He tried, I pointed out that wasn't my thing. That's your thing, not mine. Sure, have fun. Kick someone in the butt for me when you patrol later. Say hi for me too." He hung up and put his phone back, finding the vampire club easily enough. It was even open. He walked in and smiled at the bartender. "Lunch?"
"Snack menu but we're mostly a bar, sir. That means I'd have to ID you."
Xander grinned. "So I heard." The man stared at him in confusion. "Sorry, on my roadtrip from Sunnydale." The man went pale. "Here for a few weeks too." He pointed a shaking hand. "Thanks." He went that way, pulling out his thin, wooden knife from his ankle holder. A few stakings and the nine vampires were gone. He came back up and found the bartender sweating. He put the wooden blade down with a grin. "I'm a nice boy, really. So, good place for lunch?"
"Um, the deli up the street? A lot of the hospital's people eat there."
"That's cool. My real father works up there." He grinned and put the blade back. "You have any more problems with them and I'm here for a few weeks." He wrote down his number. "Got it?" He nodded. "Or anything bigger."
He swallowed. "Harris?" he squeaked, then cleared his throat.
Xander grinned and nodded. "Yup, it's me. This is their payback for winning graduation."
The bartender let out a laugh. "Pretty puny. We heard you were going to roam."
"Yeah, it makes sure I get a better roadtrip on the way home. Thanks, man." He walked out, heading for the deli. He could use lunch. It probably wasn't that expensive. He found something cheap on the menu that he could eat and settled in to do that while he watched the hospital's people. A lot of young people. Must be student docs then. A few were arguing over a case but oh well. One of the guys of that group stared at him. He grinned and ate another bite, watching the female's ass. He shook his head and moved her out of leering range without breaking into her argument. They left with their lunch, eating on the way back to the hospital. Xander snickered. It was nice how they were arguing over House's son being a threat to sanity. It wasn't like he was one all the time. To everyone. Mostly. He finished his lunch and went back to browsing around the town. Might as well. He had a few weeks to kill.
House walked in that night, finding the kid had left a pizza on the counter and was showering. "Did you get us dinner or you and some girl?" he asked when his son came out in his bathrobe.
"The girl who tried to pounce me for dinner said I could have it. It's mushroom, sausage, and onion."
"You slept with a girl for a pizza?"
"No, she tried to pounce and bite my throat. Her manager was most upset with her so she offered me the pizza that hadn't been picked up in an hour." He shrugged. "Then she fired her girl."
Xander smirked. "Apparently she thought I'm tasty."
House snorted. "Probably a mental patient."
"Could be." Could've been a succubus too but he wouldn't be saying that. "I think I saw some of your kind today. They were arguing I was bad for sanity."
House looked at him. "One mouthy blonde woman, an Australian blond guy, and a black guy?" Xander nodded. "My ducklings. They were arguing about you in public?"
"At the deli. That I had to be bad for general sanity unless my mother was a saint. The blond guy said that CPS didn't call unless there was a problem so I clearly wasn't the son of a saint. She reminded him that my parents were both dead, and that you had custody of me for my last year of kiddidom. Not her word," he said at the opening mouth. "The other guy made sure I couldn't leer at her when he caught me watching them. He put in I had to be a thug of some sort and would probably drive them nuts babysitting me to make sure I didn't steal drugs from the ER."
House snorted. "Are you?"
"Drugs are bad."
"Not all drugs."
"Drugs made me. Drugs are bad. Why would I want to make a mini-me?"
"At least not yet," House told him. "I'm still having trouble thinking about being a father. Much less a grandfather." He shuddered. "Wilson would take over for me but the horror would make me feel really unhip." He ate a piece of pizza. "Not too bad. The good place." He sat down and Xander slid into clothes under his bathrobe then got his own to nibble on. "Find anything interesting today?"
"The occult shop. They were very nice. A bar or two. A few other stores that were selling Princeton merch. Nothing too big. It's summer holidays."
"Good point. Do we need to make a place for you to do pagan things?"
Xander looked at him. "If I have to pray to any God, it'd better be an emergency," he said dryly. House nodded once at that. "Sorry if you're religious."
"No, not particularly." He ate another bite. "Nibble your spoils there." Xander went back to eating. That explained why the kids had all given him odd looks since he had shown back up this morning - they were checking him for insanity. He wasn't sure which measurement scale they were using but it looked like two of the three had decided he was. He'd have to prove them wrong. "Want to come in tomorrow?"
"Sure. I can do that. Riding double on the bike?"
House smirked. "If you want and we can find you a helmet."
"Okay." Xander ate another bite. It'd be another new experience. Impractical because he couldn't hide weapons very well on one but a new experience. House gave him an odd look. "Thinking about the future hoopdie."
"Get something a bit higher class than that, kid."
"I'll think about it. I need to save some for the roadtrip."
"Roadtrips aren't bad ideas. I've taken a few. It's a good way to see things and figure yourself out," he said, looking at his son, getting a grin back. "Of course, if we can stand each other that long, you'll be writing?"
"Of course. I'll even try to make it readable so the nurses don't have to translate."
House smirked. "Then you'd be doing better than Cameron does. That's the whiny, mouthy, blonde lady."
"I'm sure she'll be scared of me when I show up tomorrow."
"Probably. Just don't hit on her. I'd barf if I had to watch you two date."
"She's not evil, she wouldn't go for me anyway."
"Good point." He ate some more and watched the news with him. Nothing had happened today. His son hadn't blown anyone up so it was apparently a good day for the town. He was proud of his son. Who was still very strange. He looked at his jeans. "What's that stain from? Blood?"
Xander looked then nodded. "I got most of it out."
"Why not the rest?"
"Soaked in. I could only soak it an hour because Mom got pissed at the electric I was using with the washer."
"Ah. Maybe some new clothes?"
"I found a nice thrift shop. I might hop in there sometime this week."
House nodded. It was nice his son wasn't making demands or asking him for things. "I did that back in college." He ate another bite. "Anything good going on at home?"
"Heard rumors of military people coming into town so apparently the mayor pissed someone else off. Other than that, Willow warned me to stay out of the bars." Well, that one bar... But he didn't need to know that.
House looked at him. "Fake ID that good?"
"I look older. I never get carded."
"You will here. College towns are prudes about that stuff."
"Sunnydale was a college town. We had two of them."
"Yeah. Not my thing anyway. Drink to forget maybe. Drink to have fun probably not."
"Good. That's a smart choice." House shut up before he fell deeper into the nagging parent role. It wasn't his style but he had no idea how to talk to this kid. Maybe Wilson would give him more clues. "Going out tonight?"
"Nah. Summer slow down means nothings going on. There's a battle of the bands this weekend if you wanted to go."
"We'll see. I'm on call but we'll see." Xander smiled at that. "I have to go if they do call."
"It happens to the best of us, really."
"At least you won't pout about it."
"Not my style. Pouting was Willow and Buffy, not me."
"Even better." He finished up and got them both more food, sitting down to turn the tv to one of the entertainment shows. They were trashy but he needed his daily dose of white trash.
Xander looked at him. "We could've stayed in LA and watched that for a few days."
"I get enough of a white trash fix this way. Had to top off my levels after doing clinic hours earlier. Some got sucked out and into a patient."
"Somehow she and her brother had slept with the same case of the clap."
Xander snickered. "Keeping it all in the family?" He shook his head. "Not my thing." House smirked. "Don't worry, you'd hate my exes. They'd try to kill you too. You probably date women with class and skills and that stuff."
"I try. Wilson's better at dating the rich chicks than I am. Or else I'd live somewhere bigger."
Xander pointed at the piano. "Need more room for it?"
House looked at him. "I play, kid."
"Really? Wow. The only one I know who plays any instrument is Oz, Willow's boyfriend. He plays bass."
"Huh." He went to go play while he thought. It'd help him clear his head and maybe he'd come up with some insights into his son's behavior. He was still hiding something. A big something. Xander turned off the tv and got a book so he could play in peace, which he appreciated. It was polite of him. Not something from his side of the family but polite of him. Xander giggled at each wrong note. That was from his side of the family. Yeah, he was his son. His own tests had confirmed it earlier.
Xander got off the back of the motorcycle, looking at the hospital. Then at his father as he got off. "It's a nice looking building but a lot of funny glass."
"Hospitals can't be dark. The germs win." He nodded and Xander walked in with him. He looked him over. "Metal detector?" He had the feeling his son was armed and probably considered dangerous.
Xander smiled and walked around it, getting an odd look. "I've got shrapnel from an explosion recently." He showed him a few of the recent scars from debris during the explosion. That got a nod and they let him go when House nodded. "I didn't think hospitals had that sort of security."
"We had a drug wanting kid last month. Tried to take the ER hostage."
Xander frowned at him. "They make plastic guns."
House looked at him. "They do?" Xander nodded. "Hmm. Cuddy was sure that would be enough."
Xander shook his head. "Not hardly." House smirked. "Sue me, I had to learn." He followed behind his father, poking Wilson on their way past him with a grin.
Wilson watched them walk off, shaking his head. He'd talk to the kid later. He went back to charting a patient's progress. He had to do this first. Then he could deal with Xander and his rep. The nurse gave him an odd look. He pointed. "The young one is Doctor House's son. He just found out."
"Oh, God, he bred?" she demanded. House shot a smirk at her from the elevator before getting on. "Damn it, the world's going to end."
"No, his son keeps that from happening," Wilson said dryly. He finished up and headed to see his next patient. He'd get up there in time for the students to meet Xander. He hoped.
House walked into the office, finding it empty. "This is our conference area. That's my office." Xander looked then at him. "I know, I need the slinky though."
Xander shrugged. "Way more books than anyone but Willow."
"We need them. What I do is tell people what sort of strange and odd disease they have that's highly improbable for them to have."
"You probably get to enjoy poking them and making them do a lot of tests too, right?"
"Now and then they're necessary. Besides, the students poke them for blood." He smirked. "The benefits of age and rank."
"You don't usually stink," Xander joked. House smirked at that, laughing a bit as he limped into his office. Xander followed. "Looks like you spend a lot of time waiting."
"Not every case is strange or unusual. Or else it'd be normal and boring again. Then I'd have to diagnose cases of colds instead." Xander nodded, sitting down on the couch. "The three chimps will be in later and so will Wilson when he's bored and not doing anything. If you need a soda, the staff's machines are down in the caf or the gift shop. Both are expensive so try to scam it if you can. I do now and then. They'll expect it from you. Wilson told one nurse so they all know by now." He waved at the nurse staring at them as she walked past. "See?"
Xander grinned. That hadn't been horrified staring by any means. "We'll see who has to stare later. Anyone can admire my prettiness if they want. It's when they grope I get mad."
"Just don't deck anyone unless they deserve it."
"Sure." He saw a dressed-up woman stomping their way up the hall. "High class ho alert." House looked then cackled, shaking his head. "She's not? If not, she shouldn't wear her skirts that short. Really. Sends the wrong message with the fishnets."
"Don't say that in front of her. She's the one who signs the paychecks, Xander."
Cuddy walked in, slamming the door open. "I get back from a conference and I find out you took off? Do you have a good explanation?"
Xander looked at her. "Did you have to drench yourself in perfume, woman? You do realize there's people with perfume allergies in this world, who you're probably making gag?" She glared at him. He smirked. "There are. One of my friends had one. By the way, I'm the reason he had to leave so suddenly. The judge said so when my parents died. Now, who the fuck are you and why the fuck are you stinking up his office?" She backed off. He hated demon whores. He stood up and looked at her arm then at her. "Tell Abdullah I said hi. He'll know me." He patted the mark and her eyes went wide. "Out." She turned and fled. He sat down with a smile. "Sorry but I hate women like her. She'll come back later and be nicer."
"Because the guy who put the tiny tattoo on her arm is scared to death of my friend Buffy. Besides, I didn't need to gag and you don't need to stink. It's going against your aftershave too. Clashes horribly." Wilson came in. "Hi again."
"Hi. Why was Cuddy running?"
"Found a nice mark on her arm to a friend of hers who's afraid of a friend of mine. Plus she stunk with perfume. Must've spilled it on herself."
"She does that whenever she's having her cycle so we don't smell the blood," House told him. "But we'll be yelling later." Cuddy came back smelling less and nodded more politely at Xander before leaving again. House gaped. "What the hell?"
Xander looked at him. Then at Wilson. He clearly knew because he didn't look relaxed or really happy to see him. "Hi."
"Hi. Yes, I did some research."
"I tried to tell him. Showed him."
"It happens." He nodded and handed him a five. "Get me a coffee from the caf? That's down on two in the back?" Xander nodded, going to do that. Wilson shut the door. "You know about your son's combat history?"
"He mentioned that they had to fight at graduation because the mayor was attacking."
"That's not all of it, House." He got into his email from the computer in there. "A friend from my undergrad, Beth."
"I remember you dating her."
"She lives in the same sort of circles that Xander runs in." He let him read the dossier she had sent him.
House moaned. "Psych case?"
"Hell no." He frowned. "No, he's not. That lizard? Was the mayor." He got into another site and found the video again, letting him see it. He waved Xander off, taking his coffee and the change. "Your dad would've kept it."
"Dad looks like he could use it for tums." He strolled off. "I'll make sure she won't fire him."
"Up the hall to the left."
"Sure. Thanks." He grinned before walking off. He found her office and walked in, closing the door behind himself. "Sorry to panic you but demon whores do upset me."
"Who are you?" she asked calmly.
"I work with a slayer in Sunnydale." He came over to look at her arm. "I can remove that for you. I know how. It'll hurt, but I can do it."
"No one can. I asked when the director demanded."
Xander smirked. "If you ask of course they're going to say you can't. I fight things like that every few days at home. Hell, I took Anyanka to the prom." She shuddered at that. "She's human right now."
"Good to know." She looked at her arm. "You can remove it?"
"I can. I need some salt, I need my blessed knife from home, and I need a few other things. I can do it." She nodded "Let me do something." He closed her blinds and moved to the candles on her vanity, doing what he had to do to call it to him. "No one knows I've been learning over Willow's shoulder. She's not fully stable and it'd leave us without a witch sometime soon when she flaked out." He came out to lay out what he needed. He chanted the blessing over the salt then the blade. He sat on her desk, trimming the small mark off her. Then rubbed the blessed salt over it. Sealing it with wax while she hissed in pain. He held a hand over it and chanted the remove taint spell, wicking it into the wax. When he was done, he peeled off the wax and handed her the tape. "Get a piece off for me please?" She nodded, doing that while he bandaged it. "There." He smiled at her. "I'm not mean but I can't stand those who go on purpose and willingly. I'm sorry I mistook you."
"Not a problem. Thank you for your help."
He smirked, cleaning up. "It's the job. Unfortunately it pays sucky but it's the job." He cleaned up and put the dagger into his ankle holster, moving the wooden one to his back beltline for now. "Any others?"
"A few who the director demanded do it to get their current positions."
"If they need it, we can remove it for them. I'm in for a few weeks thanks to the judge who once tried to buy me to kill me."
She shuddered. "That whole situation sounds bad."
"Well, yeah. The mayor was doing bad things. We stopped him. This is his minion's ploy to break up our team. Then again, nothing happens over the summer usually and I was going on a road trip anyway." Someone knocked on the door and walked in. "Hey." He looked at her until his father hit him on the head. "Ow!" He looked at him. "What was that for?"
"Doing surgery in her office." He stared him down "Demons?"
"Yeah. There's a lot of harmful ones where I live. That's why we have a twenty- something percent death rate whenever we're not patrolling."
"Patrol?" he asked. This was getting worse and worse.
"Just what it sounds like. Pretty much nightly depending on how many are raising and what else is going on. Yearly apocalypses. All that good stuff. For the last three years. Who told you?"
"Wilson. He had a contact who knew someone."
"Hmm. I showed you and you thought it was a snake." He shrugged a bit. "You can ignore it if you want to."
"Most people don't see a reptile head and automatically think demon," he complained. "They think huge Rain Forest snake."
"The head was ten feet wide. They don't come that big even in the Rain Forest. It was also the wrong color for a snake. Had to learn in biology from the first teacher, before the praying mantis woman ripped his head off because he fertilized some of her eggs, but hey, she tried it on me and we found out bats drive them off before they get the virgins." House gaped. Xander shrugged. "I was only fifteen!"
House shook his head quickly. "Okay," he said calmly. "How many weapons did you bring?" He knew there were some. His son was way too comfortable with weapons for him to be unarmed. He had no idea which side he got that from. Had to be his mother's.
"Four guns, a few knives, some stakes, and a break apart sword like the one you saw in Highlander 1. I couldn't bring the other stuff, it wouldn't fit. It's in storage. Not that I was going to bring most of it on the road with me but Willow hid the two pieces of artillery I had just in case."
"I see." He stared at him, then at Cuddy. "What did he do?"
"He took off a mark the hospital's director made me get a very long time ago."
"Uh-huh. Is he in trouble?"
"For saving her from being a later sacrifice?" Xander asked.
"No, he's not, House. You two should probably talk though. Let me go bother someone." She fled to let them talk and yell at each other. The yelling she heard was not the sound of a happy father. She went to Wilson. "I want to know."
"It's his son, not yours." He looked at her then at her arm. "Banged it?"
"Something like that. Is he going to cause problems?"
"No. He's on vacation."
"Good." She walked off, for some reason she had the nibbles at the moment.
House was pacing. His son was an idiot. "You could've died."
"Yeah, but if I don't then others die." His father glared at him. "If it wasn't for me, Buffy wouldn't be as effective or alive. Get over it. This is my life. Yes, I've got to go back to it sometime because they'll need me eventually, and I'll have to. Otherwise more people I know and went to school with die."
House stopped pacing to look at him. "You could get others involved."
"Most everyone in Sunnydale by now has agreed the demon attacking graduation was a hallucination brought on by the gas explosion. By now they've forgotten I attacked the cop and social worker. They've forgotten my parents ever existed probably. Sunnydale is a big case of 'I don't know what's going on, Marge, but look the neighbor's house is up for sale, we can upgrade' about that stuff. I've literally seen people not care that their teenage kid died. Had been missing for six days but they let them into the house again and got eaten for it. Even after the funeral."
House shuddered. "That's pathetic."
"It's how they keep themselves from all being drunks and drug addicts. It keeps their sanity. Something about the hellmouth keeps them wanting to live there."
"They didn't tell you about the navel to hell underneath the school's former library? That's what draws all the bad to Sunnydale." He yawned. "It's what led the mayor to settle there over a century ago so he could start his ascension rite that ended up with him turning into a giant snake demon."
House nodded once. "What if you don't go back?"
"Who's going to help her? I know the Watchers would be really happy if I didn't. It's supposed to be one girl/one watcher until she dies. Me jumping in and bringing Willow upset their natural order. They hate me." House nodded once at that. "Oh well. I did CPR to bring Buffy back to life. It created a two-slayer situation but one's in a coma after going evil. She'd be Faith by the way since I mentioned her earlier."
"Your first time?"
Xander nodded. "Yup."
"She was hot after slaying. I was on my way to stop evil zombies trying to blow up the school. I saved her and she jumped me. Then I went to stop Jack and his bomb in the basement."
House swallowed. His son was worse than an action hero. "Can you make bombs?"
"Yeah." House slumped. "Want me to run out and make one now?"
"Don't tempt me." Xander grinned. "Fine. You're some super warrior."
"Oh, no. That's Buffy. I'm a normal guy who jumped in and learned what I needed to know as I went on. I'm not special."
"Sometimes giving a damn is the most special thing you can do," House told him.
Xander nodded. "Sometimes but that doesn't give you super strength or anything."
"Are you hunting here?"
"I took out the town's nine vampires yesterday. Unless one of them trots up to me, I'm on vacation. Summers are always slower in Sunnydale."
House nodded. Then he frowned. "Pizza last night?"
"Succubus who could tell I'm a hellmouth baby. She wanted the energy that infects me."
"Can't you wear it out? Before one becomes my daughter-in-law due to an EPT accident."
"It's like the Force when you think about energy like that. It's all around you, in you, all that. If you live six blocks from it all your life, go to school overtop of the clearing it's in - since the other schools were in the same area, and then spend three years researching directly overtop of it to fight its evilness, you tend to get a bit sucked up into you; more than the people who lived in the town but farther away."
House winced. "Okay. I can see that," he decided. He swallowed again. "I don't want you hunting while you're here unless it's an emergency."
"Wasn't planning on it."
"You brought weapons."
"In case I ran into something on my roadtrip. All the demons flee for cooler pastures since we're near the desert. With the hellmouth taint I carry plus the underground knows that I help her? Something's going to come for me. It was nice the occult shop knew me on sight."
"Shit," he muttered.
Xander nodded. "So I'm taking reasonable precautions but being a bit paranoid. That's why I was going to bring artillery in the car."
House nodded. "Think you'll need it?"
"Damn I hope not," he said honestly, leaning against the front of the desk. "I still have to go back."
House paused his pacing to stare at his son. "No you don't. You could stay. Go to the community college, get a real job, and consult whenever they needed you. Maybe even take care of things around here."
"Then who'll back her up?"
"Maybe someone at the colleges? They might find out and since they're not all locals they might step in."
"We've had no hint that any others have ever stepped in out there," he said honestly. "If so, I would've stepped back after avenging Jesse."
"My best male friend. He died when vampires took him. In tenth grade." House moaned. "I made myself find his killer and hunt them down. I had to make Buffy let me help do that but I did. I ended up getting him too. I was protecting someone else. If there had been *anyone* else there to help her I would've stepped back. Though it might've meant I'd be hunted by the things instead. I know, therefore that means I'm some sort of danger to them. With my possessions and the skills I've had to learn since then, I've gotten to be a bigger threat."
House sighed, looking at his son. "I don't want to go through all this to bury you in a year or so."
Xander nodded. "Not looking forward to it either. I do everything I can to make sure I don't die."
"You took a demon to the prom!"
"She made me. I'm the one who broke her power center and got her fired from her job, therefore rehumaned at eleven hundred and some years. Though yes, I did block out all her stories about how she tortured those she got called about because to her that was foreplay. To me, it was a warning and a thought that maybe I should go gay."
"Could help with what Wilson's friend told me. Mummy?"
"She looked normal. She was pretty. She was cute. She laughed at my jokes. She just had to kill to survive. When I found out, I kept her from eating Buffy so she couldn't kill her. Told her she had to try me instead. She started to then couldn't do it."
House sighed. "Okay."
"I knew this was a bad idea."
House glared at him. "It is not. Shut up." Xander gave him a look. "At least about that. It's not a bad idea for you to be here. You never know, you might find others who know and hunt like you do."
"There's a few who do it for the rest of the US. I'm heading near a few of them so I was going to see if I could pop in and talk to them. We could use more support. The rumors are saying that the military's moving into town."
"That could be good."
"It's probably not. Good and Sunnydale don't go together, House."
"You could call me Dad."
"We're both still freaked out by that."
"Good point," he admitted, frowning again and starting to pace again. "Okay, now what do we do?"
"You can forget if you want."
"No I can't. I have a very good memory."
Xander smirked. "I definitely did not get that from you."
House stared at him. "You're smarter than you think and put out, Xander. I know very well you are. So did the SAT board." Xander shrugged. "The local community college has a gun smithing class," he said calmly. Xander frowned at that. "That's creating, fixing, all that stuff."
"I can do most of that."
"So let's see if you can do that for a year? It'll give you new skills. It'll let you take something practical that can help you and keep you safe. It might lead to a decently paying job. Even if you do go back."
Xander considered it then shrugged. "I don't know yet."
"We have to finish seeing if we can stand to be in the same building," he agreed. Someone unlocked the door and walked in. "Xander, this is the director of the hospital." Who had some very bad timing. And suspicious timing by the look on his son's face.
"Hi." He smiled and waved. "How are you?"
"Who are you to remove my marks?"
Xander grinned. "Xander Harris, from Sunnydale. Son of Doctor House there." He went pale and backed up a step. "If it's willing, I'll deal. She wasn't. I asked, I offered, she let me do it. Anything else?"
"He won't be pleased. The hospital could suffer."
Xander shook his head. "Not if they're not doing the wrong things. Other hospitals manage. If he's that upset with losing one of his future sacrifices, then that's his tough luck. Because yeah, I'm here to visit my father for the next few weeks." He shuddered and stormed out. Xander muttered and flipped a finger in his direction, making his pants fall down around his ankles to trip him. Xander strolled out. "That's gotta suck," he said, helping him up with a grin. "You okay?" The man gathered his pants and finished stomping off. He looked at his father, who looked very shocked. Xander shrugged. "You met Willow."
"I did. She does...." He waved a hand. Xander nodded. "Why do you?"
"Because she's strange now and then. She'll flake out sometime and we'll have to cover her spot on the team. Or she'll accept a place in one of the ivy league schools that courted her. We'll end up short. Plus it helped me contain whatever was making hers go wrong because I was in the room."
"I'd like to hear more about this."
"You need processing time?"
"I do but I probably have a case waiting on me and I want to traumatize the ducklings with you today. I'm multi-talented; I can do both at the same time."
Xander grinned. "I'm up for some fun."
"Good. We'll talk later?" Xander nodded at that, shrugging one-sidedly. "Let's go meet the stepbrothers and sister."
"Sure." He followed him, smiling at Cuddy. "Thanks for the office lending."
"Welcome." She watched them walk off. They were a lot alike from behind. From the mouth too. That was going to drive someone nuts. She went to check on what they offered students and staff in the way of mental health care.
House looked at his son. "You can be as tough and as badass as you want in front of them. It'd serve them right for thinking I'd let them babysit you." House walked in, holding the door for his son. "Ah, my three chimps are finally in."
Cameron looked up and spluttered. "New student?" Chase asked.
"My son. You're not that stupid, Chase, quit pretending to be," House ordered as he sat down. "Boys and girls, this is the new one of you, Xander. My son."
Xander smiled and waved. "Hi. You know, insanity is only a side effect of being around me, not a direct effect. Not like I try to cause it." He stared at Cameron, who blushed.
"You were in the deli yesterday," Chase said.
"Very good, Sherlock," Xander said with an evil grin.
"You were leering at Cameron," Foreman said.
"You guys were talking about me, of course I was staring." He sat down. "So, do you guys want to drive him nuts today or is it my turn?"
"Yours," Chase said. "No new cases yet."
Xander grinned at him. "Where on the island are you from?"
"Small town. Not on the maps."
"Willow had to do a report on Australia a few years back. That's how I know. That and Crocodile Dundee movies."
Chase laughed. "Not all of us are that tough or carry knives." Cuddy walked in and put one down in front of Xander, giving him a look. He grinned so she walked out. "Um...."
"I came to see him last night and found some idiot threatening a nurse. So I got him in a non-fatal, painful spot with it." He tucked it into his pocket.
His father stared at him. "The ER thing last night?" Xander nodded. "Thank you. I know they wondered who had thrown that knife."
"She was cute."
"She's married," Foreman said.
Xander looked at him. "Just because I said she's pretty doesn't mean I want to date her. Only evil women like me." His father coughed and tried not to laugh at that. "Really. My prom date was a nympho who liked to torture men who upset their girlfriends." He shuddered. "I wasn't going to upset her and it was good sex." Cameron squeaked. "I'm a practical person," he told her. "And a bit blunt." He grinned sweetly. Chase snickered. He grinned at him. "So anyway, nothing to drive him nuts?"
"Not yet," Chase told him. "Where are you from? I can't place the accent."
"Sunnydale, out by LA." Chase raised an eyebrow. "Heard of us?"
"Heard about a graduation out that way recently."
"Mine. Then my parents died but the state got pissy about me being three weeks under eighteen." Wilson walked in. "Hey, Wilson. Do you get many Denice the Menace jokes?"
"I stopped your father from doing them, I can stop you too, Xander." Xander just grinned.
"If I didn't already know, I'd know now you were House's son," Foreman told him. "You smirk the same way." Xander beamed at him for that. "Going to college this fall?"
"Hell no. School sucketh ass. Hard."
"Wouldn't that depend on how involved you were in your studies?" Cameron asked. She gave him a dirty look. "Your father had to do a lot of education to get where he is."
"Which is great for him but damned if I wanna see insides or guts." Chase smiled and nodded a bit. "It's a decision we all must make. For me, lecture classes make me want to hurl."
"Paperballs?" Foreman taunted.
"Depends on the teacher. The science teacher with the whips on the wall? Not so much. I'd have to throw things that would knock him out if I did that in his class." Cameron gaped. "He was a replacement after our original one had his head ripped off and the sub tried to sleep with a few of the younger guys who hadn't touched the girls yet. She had a thing for virgins."
"Was your school inner city?" Foreman asked.
"No, just hardcore," he said with a grin. "Only the librarian and the science teacher had weapons." Wilson snickered. "He did. I learned proper weapons maintenance off the librarian."
"That's hardcore if your librarian has to have weapons," Cameron decided, shaking her head.
Foreman looked at him. "What sort?"
"A few swords, a few crossbows, a few guns that I added. Some artillery that we had to use once." Wilson gaped at him, looking horrified. He grinned. "Buffy got to use it."
"The blonde, airheaded one?" House asked, looking confused. Xander nodded. "I'd expect it to be too heavy for her. Where?"
"In a mall."
"Way more hardcore than anywhere I've ever lived or visited," Foreman decided. "The reason for the CPS call?"
"Parents got attacked by the bad guys my friends and I found in the mayor's office. It's their great plan to break up our team by sending me out here since I was planning on going on a road trip anyway."
Foreman snickered. "Really big bad guys."
"Well, the mayor had run gangs, drugs, money laundering, and a few other nasty things in the town for decades. All the police department is corrupt. I sedative darted one of the cops who liked to sneak in to go through Buffy's panty drawer." Foreman whimpered. "The judge that signed the order on their orders once tried to buy me to kill me. So yeah, their evil planning sucks but it's Sunnydale. We don't expect them to be too bright if they went to school there too."
House shook his head quickly. "Let's move onto happier topics. Do we have a case or can Xander give us all migraines?"
"Hey, I could go date," Xander said dryly.
"Only if you want to explore how spanking is going to work," Wilson shot back.
"But the one girl down at the pizza place liked me," he said with a grin.
"She liked him so much she attacked him in the pizza place and had to be fired. We got free pizza last night," House told him, grinning at him. "Now I know why."
Cameron swallowed. "Your son's cute, but I don't see why she attacked him."
"That's because you're not evil enough. Chase, you don't feel like pouncing, right?" House asked. "You're as close to evil as he'll get in the hospital since Cuddy's now scared of him."
"No, not at the moment. Give us time to get to know each other then we'll see," he said dryly, shaking his head.
Xander kissed him on the cheek. "I'm only here for a few weeks. Decide fast." He got up. "I'm going to go wander around. Call me for lunch?"
"I can do that. Go wander outside. You've got to be missing sun." Xander nodded, going to do that. He looked at his ducklings and smirked. "Yes, my brilliance was carried on, even if he can't stand lecture classes and schools."
"Not too many kids can make bombs at his age," Wilson agreed.
"Or weapons," House agreed.
Foreman moaned. "Is he going military?"
"Can you see anyone in the military putting up with him?" Cameron asked dryly, giving him a dirty look. "Should we expect you to need time off for a trial?"
"No. His friends got pissed about this semi-evil plot and turned everyone into the FBI for it." She moaned, shaking her head. "So we're fine." Xander came jogging back in and patted him down. "What?"
"You took my pocket knife." House handed it over. "Thanks. By the way, the guard's fine." He went jogging back out, Chase jogging to catch up to him to see what was wrong. Xander stabbed the creature that had tried to eat him and it died. Then they finished the bandaging job he had started. "There, that should be fine," he soothed, getting a fast nod. "Come on, calm down. Deep breaths. Just calm it down and it'll be okay. You don't want to pass out. I promise they'll panic if you do." He got the guard breathing better then let Chase call someone. He spotted Cuddy and pointed. "That thing bit him three times that I know of. It's dead."
"Thank you. Is someone coming from the ER?" Chase nodded, hanging up the phone. She looked at the bandages. "Good job, Xander."
He grinned. "It's a practical skill." He looked at the thing then at her. "They tend to run in small packs. Three to five. Like dark spots. He probably got attacked when he checked the duct," he said, pointing at the open one.
"I'll have someone check through it. Do an air test?"
"Could blow it around," he agreed. "Check the basement and any other typically dark spots too for a nest."
"What kills it?" Chase asked.
"Silver or silver nitrate. We found out that half the things that're killed by silver will be killed by silver nitrate," he told her quietly, getting a quick nod while she went to hand out orders. House showed up with the others before the ER people got there with a gurney. "He's fine. It shouldn't have anything like rabies." The gurney and staff got there and he helped lift him since he was a bit hefty. "There you go. Look at the stories you can tell," he offered with a smile. The guard smiled and squeezed his hand before being walked off. He wiped his knife off on his thigh then closed it and put it into his pocket. His father stared. "I caught it trying to eat him. It's dead."
"Good. What is it?"
Xander looked then at him. "A lot like a demonic dustball?" He shrugged. "They're pretty harmless unless you go near a nest. Killed by silver or silver nitrate."
"Uh-huh." He looked at the man being checked over on the way to the ER then at his duckling. "Bandages were a bit awkwardly placed." Chase pointed at Xander. "That's something I can teach you then," he decided. It could only help his son stay alive longer.
Xander shrugged. "I have the basics but if you want to hype my medic skills that's fine. Can you teach me how to stitch in a better line? I pull half too tight and I have problems spacing them."
House blinked. "You've done stitches?"
"Yeah, our hospital at home is for crap and a procurement center for the residents."
House shook his head quickly, walking him back to his office. He did look up the hospital on the yearly certifications. That one... "Hell," he muttered. "You weren't exaggerating."
"They get you?"
"Not in many years. Willow played nurse from the textbooks."
House blinked. "She was how old?"
"Ten, nine, around then." He shrugged. "Came in damn handy in my life."
"Uh-huh." He pointed at the monitor. "The hospital by his house."
Foreman looked. "Why aren't they shut down?"
"They make people money, including some researchers and research centers. If you're worse off than a sprain or needing small stitches, you're probably going to end up in a tube somewhere as parts."
"Eww," Chase said.
"Yeah, well. It's Sunnydale. They're like that." He shrugged. Then he grinned at his dad. "I'm starving. You?"
"I could eat," he decided. "We're going to the caf."
"I'll join you," Wilson said, following them out. He was having a lot of fun watching Xander confuse, distract, and annoy the ducklings and confuse House so badly. It had been years since anyone had gotten House back for all the stress and mental strain he caused. Xander was good payback for that. Or you could call him a bite from Karma. House glared at him. "What?"
"You're too happy. Suck someone's gas?"
"No. Enjoying all the confusion he's causing."
"Foreman's going to be researching Sunnydale if I read him right," Xander said. "He had that 'need to find something' look Willow gets."
"Chase didn't seem scared," Wilson pointed out.
"He might know some. Don't know. Cameron's just confused. Too much Miss Clairol?"
"Could be," House agreed. They went to eat, him smirking at his son for only getting a little lunch. He added more to his plate and then his own, letting him pay for it. They sat down with Wilson to talk about what skills Xander had learned in the medical field already. What he knew wasn't a lot but they could both up that within a few weeks. They clearly needed to so the kid would continue to live.
Cameron looked over at Chase as he hunted something on the office computer. "Did you find anything?"
"Very little. Foreman?"
He looked up from his hunting on his laptop. "Hardly anything. Think the kid was lying?"
"No," Chase said. "He stabbed the creature and didn't even look at it funny. Just stabbed and bandaged. That speaks of skills." They went back and Chase got a bright idea, getting into a site one of his girlfriends used to lurk on. He found a whole chatroom devoted to Sunnydale. "Hmm." He read the threads that were going on and found a familiar name. "Buffy, wasn't his friend named Buffy?"
"Yup," Foreman said, coming over to look. "What is that?"
"One of my exes used to lurk on here." He found an address. "Was one of his friends a Willow?" That got a nod. He wrote a message to that account. A few minutes later he got back a response, basically a 'who're you' sort of response. So he wrote who he was. He got back a giggle and a bit of information. He wrote back what they had already heard and she sent back more. He looked up one word and that one was not a good thing. Though he found a video of a graduation battle. It was dated a few weeks back so he opened it to watch, blinking hard at it. "Guys!" he said and they came to watch. He pointed. "Is that not the miniature House with the battle axe?"
"It is," Cameron said, staring in horror. "What is that thing?" They watched as the giant snake snapped up a person and bit it in half. "Um... Theatrical performance?"
Chase let her see the original page. "From her graduation. Her parents' film." He looked at her. "I doubt they were playacting." He sent a message back to Willow, getting an honest answer. "Yes, it was their graduation. A few weeks ago." He got another one from her and he read it then printed it and closed it, clearing the browser history as well. "I'm going to lunch." He walked out, heading down there. He sat down across from Xander, sliding the papers over. "Found Willow."
"Not that hard. Did she hack here?"
"Found the witches' chat room my ex used to lurk on."
"Ah." He read it over, snorting at part of it. He pointed at a section, staring at him. "We had smoochies. Then suddenly I was donut boy and blamed for it all. Special girl syndrome."
"Hmm. Can you combat that?"
"I'm pretty sure I did with graduation. If not, well, there's been days I wanted to let them be eaten. I do it because people I know and went to school with die if I don't."
"Good. At least you're not trophy hunting." Xander shook his head. "You scared Foreman. He's a former street brat," he said quietly.
"Sorry. He asked."
"True. Try to calm it down?"
"I'm on vacation."
Chase smirked. "That works even better." He patted him on the hand. "I thought you should see that." House snatched it. "His friend Willow sent that."
"I met her." He read it over then looked at his son. "You need better friends."
"We're a team."
"You still need better friends. My friends appreciate me, even for my bad sense of humor. Yours should too, son."
"Gee, Dad...." Someone at the next table choked. He looked back at her. "Didn't hear the gossip?" he asked with a bright grin.
"Yes, I spawned and I'm trying to talk him into giving me grandchildren soon too. That way I can make them doctors." She grabbed her chest, starting to cry. "Handle her, Chase." He checked her over and got her to the ER too. He looked at his son. "You need better friends."
"I know. But it's all I've got."
"Maybe one of the other hunters you know about can take your place?" House suggested.
"We'll see. I don't know. They're probably all busy. Most of us hunt because we have to not because we want trophies."
"I'll try. If not, think I could teach Chase? He doesn't seem like the fainter type."
"If he wants," House sighed. "As long as he's in shape to do rounds and all that."
"Thank you." He smirked. "Now eat." Xander dug in and ate. He let Wilson have it but Xander took it and balled it up, tossing it out. "Nice shot."
"Practice with homework." He ate another bite. Chase came back. "You okay?" He nodded. "Want to learn how?" he asked with a grin.
"I'd try to heal any of the ones that I hurt," he admitted.
"Pity. Could use you. Buffy would leer but we could use you."
"Your local hospital could use Cuddy," House said dryly.
"I'm not sure if that's mean to her or the hospital," Wilson said.
House shrugged. "Neither really. Their certification was so far below passing they should've been locked while the investigative team was in there."
"They had them eaten. One managed to live and emailed her report from the hospital. They make a lot of people happy by selling things," Xander told him. "Before you ask, yes, Buffy found them and yes that one had to heal in our hospital. So they know very well."
House shook his head quickly. "If you go back, I might have to go work my usual magic out there." He ate a bite of his lunch, waving his fork at Xander, who went back to eating. Wilson ate too, shaking his head. "Go ahead and tell her if you want," he said with a grin.
"I should." He texted that to Cuddy and she came down to swat him in person.
Then she stomped off. "You have clinic hours today, House."
"Yes, mom," Xander called.
She shuddered. "Oh, god, bad mental image," she moaned, holding her head, going to find something for her headache.
House nudged his son with his elbow. "I have taste."
"So?" He grinned. "You didn't once."
"I was drunk. It's excusable."
"You were drunk?" Wilson asked.
"He met my mother at Pink Floyd concert. She was out with the girls to get away from the idiot she ended up marrying. They were both drunk and mom said she was high."
"So that's how you came to be," Chase said.
"Remind yourself not to do the same so you don't have one of me in eighteen years," Xander quipped.
"No, if I have children I'm marrying their mother," he assured him smugly. "Even if she does protest we're going to be having the child and I'll raise it if I have to." He leaned back. "You do remember the last line of that email was Willow offering to help you have grandchildren?"
"She's got a boyfriend. She was talking about twiddling her nose and doing it that way, Chase." He gave him a horrified look. "She did it to a friend's cat. She wanted kittens." He finished his lunch and took his tray to the dropoff spot. Then he came back to get his father's too. Wilson was drinking some milk he had gotten. House too. "Hey, I could've knocked up Anya."
"Hell no," House said firmly. "Never, ever joke about that. I will not let her be my daughter-in-law and if you did, we'd have to move you and the baby here so we could counteract the mother's bad tendencies, Xander." Xander giggled. "Please don't joke about that?"
"If she shows back up, don't sleep with her again?" Wilson suggested.
"It'd be easy sex."
"It's bad for you," Wilson said. "Dragging you down. A good woman would help you, not make you hurt."
"I didn't catch anything off her," he said, looking confused. "I knew she had been with half the football and disease pouncing team so I used a condom."
"Good!" House said grimly. "Continue that and put her on the pill?"
"She's doing it magically."
"Uh-huh," Chase said dryly. "It doesn't always work. No method is foolproof."
"Yeah but she's cute." He pulled out his wallet to show him. "That's Buffy, Willow, Giles, our librarian, and Anya. That's Cordy, my last ex." He turned the picture back. "That's Faith."
His father looked. "She's cute. Still, son." He pointed at Anya. "No."
"Thank you." He patted him on the back. "Now, let's let the two other ducklings moan in peace. Go find something more fun while I do clinic hours. I'll call if I'm going to be late. Try to get another free pizza without the pouncing."
"Yes, dad." He punched him on the arm then winked at Chase. "Any ideas?"
"The carnival in the next town?" Xander's face lit up. "The bus even goes there." Xander bounced out, happy with that suggestion. "He's not all danger at least." House smiled at that. "But he's burying it behind the tough guy mask so you don't have to worry about him or get too attached." He stood up. "Want Foreman to go do clinic for you?"
"Sure. It'll help calm him down."
"Fine." He went to tell him that. He found him already doing clinic hours. "House said to do his too. It'll help clear your mind."
"Yeah, a bit," he said, sounding tired. "Where's the kid?"
"The carnival in the next town."
"Good! It's a normal thing, I like that!" He went to see the next patient. Because otherwise he'd think and give himself a worse headache.
Chase stopped Cameron. "He decided to pick on Cuddy and called her Mom." She full body shuddered and turned to bang her head against a wall until she heard House's cane then she walked off in the other direction rubbing her forehead. "Foreman's already doing clinic hours and Cameron gave herself a headache."
"You're learning how to be evil very well, Chase. Go do something less constructive for humanity," Wilson told him. Chase jogged off to go over something he had been working on. "You should come in and say that you're going to be a grandfather tomorrow," Wilson said quietly, cracking House up. His beeper went off so he looked. "Patient waiting on me. Have a good afternoon torturing them."
"You too." He smirked as he watched him go. "Ah, the young Sith's training goes well," he said as he walked back to his office and his gameboy. "Soon he'll surpass the master and gather ducklings of his own to torture."
It had been a few days since House had found out how screwed up his son was. Because no one could do what his son did and be *normal*. Then again, he was his son and therefore exceptional in at least one area beyond annoyance. This was apparently his area. He was watching his son flirt with some girl in a club he had been dragged to. His son decided he needed to hit on women for some reason. Maybe it was a hint he was being too uptight. Or maybe his son just wanted laid and knew that if he didn't get him laid, he wasn't going to get any either. Though, he had blinked and his son had disappeared. He looked around.
There he was. Being very unrhythmic on the dance floor. The girl with him was giggling. House moaned. He had good rhythm; apparently his son had his mother's. That was pathetic. The boy bounced over to get her a drink then back to her, making her a happy future man-slave owner. He'd have to teach his son what 'cool' meant. He saw Cameron there and sighed. He texted Xander to watch out for her. He only smiled and waved, making her flee. "Good," House muttered, finishing his single drink for the night. His beeper went off while he watched his son ... apparently have a seizure on the floor and consider it dancing. At least the man-slave owner out there thought it was cute enough to giggle at. He called in.
"Better be good. Had a beer actually, why?" He listened to the case. "Why can't they figure that out? We've had thirty cases of that in the last...." He listened to the atypical symptoms. "Sure, I can do that. I'll even cab." He hung up and waved his son in, making him jog over. "Got paged," he said over the music, getting a nod. He handed him the bike's keys. "You scratch her and you die. I'll do all sorts of illegal tests on you. Agreed?" Xander beamed and nodded. "Good." He got up and walked out, his cane tapping with the beat of the music. He nodded at the bouncer. "Cabs?" The bouncer waved one over. "Thank you." He climbed in. "Princeton-Plainsboro." The cabbie nodded, taking off. He settled into the back, a lot more comfortable now. He even beat Cameron there. He walked in and looked at the two boys. "No ditz?"
"She's off drinking," Chase said.
"She looked pretty sober when she showed up at the same place the mini-me and I were." He looked at the symptoms already listed. "What makes you think it isn't two diseases together?"
"His tox report has an unknown entry," Foreman said, sliding it down. "That's as close as they can break it down."
House looked at it then at him. "Should I have brought the son?"
"Hopefully not. This guy's a fifty-year-old priest."
"Interesting." He got a call. "Yeah?" He listened. "Yes, Officer, I am letting my son borrow my motorcycle since I had to come to work and had been drinking. I took a cab." He shrugged at the continued voice. "He's my son. Yes, I know he doesn't have my last name. You know what? Do you have a reason to stop him? Then I gave him the keys and he can borrow my bike tonight. You don't like it, I'll write your captain a note tomorrow." He hung up and looked over the toxicology report again. "There's no way. That should be registering." He looked at the symptoms again. "Any ideas other than a saline overdose?" Wilson walked in with a form. "What's this?"
"Secondary bloodwork. The nurse said to give it to you. Where's the clone?"
"On my bike hopefully not using it to sex up the future man-slave owner. Though the cops did not like that I gave him my keys."
"You know that one's after you."
"And I know my son's a bit of a thug," he agreed dryly. "So if I have to bail him out for hitting that cop.... Well, I might appreciate that." He looked at the new one. He slid it down to them. "She figured it out. How a nurse did better than you two I'm not sure but maybe I should hire her to follow me around and make stupid suggestions." They groaned. Saline and another water soluble compound had been found in his mouth.
"That wouldn't account for the fainting," Chase pointed out. "Or the vomiting. The saline might but there's no way he ate that much salt on his own."
"Drank holy water?" Wilson suggested. "I know the priest my mother used to see used salt in his."
House looked at Chase again, who shrugged. "They never said it was a criminal scene. You still can't drink that much saline solution without puking it back up immediately. That's nearly a quarter of a cup of salt. That means you'd have to have at least a quart of water and it'd be foul brine even then."
House nodded. "He drunk?" They shook their heads. "Hmm. Anyone bring him in?"
"Someone called the local police but no one was with him by the paramedic's report," Foreman said, sliding that down. House looked at it then slid it back. "Should we call them?"
"Probably. Treat for the saline overdose and remember to check his blood sugar. The iodine he also took is not good for it." They nodded, going to do that. House looked at Wilson. "Help me find my bike?"
"You have a GPS chip on it."
"So I do." He went to call it up on his computer, finding it still at the club. "He's probably still arguing with the cop."
"I'll drive. How many have you had?"
"One beer. I cabbed just in case." He followed him out, shaking his head. "Saline overdose and some iodine added on top. About a quarter cup of salt."
"That'd be hard to swallow."
"They're making sure the cops can check it out," House called back with a wave. "Gave the son the bike's keys. Going to save the city."
"It must run in the family," Wilson teased.
"It might." They got onto the elevator and came down to find Xander parking with the cop car behind him. "Good, now you can go upstairs and make sure the priest that got fed a quarter cup of salt did it on his own," he told the officer.
"Sir, this young man has your motorcycle."
"He's my son. I should hope so since I gave him the keys."
"You don't share...."
"Oh, whine," House said dryly. "I don't share his name. Well, if he wants to change it from the shitbag his mother married's to mine that's fine with me. Until then he's still my son and he's still allowed to drive it if I say so. Now, there's an older priest we just got in who looks like he was assaulted and made to drink enough salt to kill him. Would you mind going to check *that* out since it's really a crime?" The officer walked that way. "He's up on three if it matters." He looked at his son. "The man-slave owner didn't like you?"
"She decided I was too geeky to bed. Pity." He shrugged. "I learned things from Anya that make all the girls squeal."
"Do they involve torture too?"
"No, that I'm going to do to Buffy," Xander said dryly. He held up the keys.
"I've still had one. I shouldn't drive," House told him. "Follow us." Xander nodded, starting the bike. "Smoother than last time I'm sure."
"Yeah, I forgot this kind had a clutch. Standards aren't my best type of driving." He grinned. "Home?" House nodded so he put on his helmet and pulled out, going carefully that way.
House watched him go. "He's cautious about something?"
"He is," Wilson agreed. "You'll fix that I'm sure. Having him breaking all the speeding laws and common sense. Get in." House got into the car, letting his friend take him home. "Think that cop came up to him?"
"I think he tried yesterday. Xander asked why the one was bugging him and reported him for harassing him for no reason. So we'll see what happens." He smirked at the cop car outside his house. "Interesting." They parked and he got out. "Son?"
"I have no clue," he admitted from the hood of the car. He was leaning on it in handcuffs. Fortunately right side up.
"Sir, this young man is wanted for prostitution. An officer said he propositioned him earlier."
"I doubt my son did that," House said dryly. "Especially since he's het." The cop gaped. "Let's get this settled. Xander?" He popped the cuffs and the officer reached for his gun.
"Try it, junior. I'll sedate you." He handed back the cuffs and sat on the hood of the police car. He kept his hands in plain sight. He didn't want a jumpy cop. "Get the officer who made the allegations here, please? I'm going to sit right here until he says it to my face."
"He said this is your pimp."
"This is my biological father," Xander said dryly. "And there's a cop in your department who has decided to harass me. I filed a report about that yesterday. Now, I want Internal Affairs here or I want a higher officer here. Because there's no way I'd break my het leanings for the ugliness patrol some of you guys are. Oh, and shut off the lights, kid. They can cause seizures." The officer shut off the lights and requested a supervisor from inside the car. He wanted backup and he wasn't sure what was going on but it was clear this one could hurt him and had decided not to. Xander looked at his father. "I didn't scratch it. He did."
"I can see it. He'll be fixing it with his tongue too," House assured him, leaning beside him. "Bi?"
"Don't know, was going to figure that out this summer too."
"It's a good time to do it. Just don't make me give the sex talk, okay?"
"Not an issue. I got the clinical one from Willow." Another officer pulled up. This one in a K-9 marked vehicle. "Can I pet the dog?" he called.
"No, sir, it's against regulation. What's going on?"
"Sir," the officer said as he got out. "I was told this young man has propositioned an officer earlier." The kid didn't look like a pro to him. He wasn't showing off his body and he was dressed in a shirt that would make people avoid going near him.
"You guys are the ugliness patrol and I'll be damned if I need to pay for it or sell it," Xander said dryly. "I also reported an officer yesterday for harassing me because this nice man here is my biological father and apparently this officer decided he didn't like the way my father treated his illness. By the way, dad, someone broke into the house. My wallet was missing this morning. Thankfully I got it all back." He pulled it out and held it up, showing him something. "It was in my bag with my registered handgun. Packed in the bottom of the bag and I never let anyone into the house. How would this happen?"
The cop looked at the evidence tape and initials on it. "That's one of our CSI. How did you get this back?" Xander gave him a look. "B&E is still wrong." Xander muttered and the dog's door opened, letting him out. "Oh, shit, you're like that store," he muttered.
"Not usually. Actually, I'm a hunter of bad things like that bad type at the store."
The higher officer slumped. "So you summoned it back or whatever that we'll never be able to prove?" Xander nodded. "Your gun?"
"Was still where it was. My sword wasn't and I would like that back. That thing set me back a bit. Especially since I didn't know anyone had a warrant for his place."
"So I want Internal Affairs. Because I'm not the nice one in this family. My dad's a hell of a lot nicer and I already had enough shit this year thanks to my town's mayor going bad and trying to kill us at graduation."
The guy swallowed. "I heard something about one with an explosion."
"Yeah, it had to be so we could kill the thing he sicced on us. I helped make sure everyone got out of the way. I don't believe in collateral damage."
"Good to know. Let me get the boss down here."
Xander looked at him. "There was a bigger guy, about six foot, black, no hair but a few gray ones coming out of his ears, one huge one on the mole on his nose, the start of a no- exercise/used to have muscles there gut. That's who I made my complaint to."
"I know him. I can call him," he agreed, doing that from his car. The dog came over to sniff them.
The dog sat down in front of Wilson. "I'm an oncologist at the hospital, guys. A few of my patients use it medically." They nodded and the dog got pulled away but went to stare at Xander. Xander leaned down to let the dog sniff him then got licked on the hand.
"Good puppy," he soothed, patting him on the head. "You're a good puppy and you do very good work. We like good puppies like you." The dog barked and went to hop back into the car, laying down to watch him. He sat up again, grinning. "Quarter?" The officer nodded. He grinned at his dad. "Quarter hellhound and they like me."
"Not really sure. They could think I'm surrounded by bitches they might like to mate with." House snickered at that. He shrugged. "Who knows." The other cop came to a stop near them and got out, storming over. "Not the one you called for. Where's my sword?"
"You broke and entered, dug through my suitcase to find it, and then tried to say I was a pro. Aren't you fucking dumb?" he sneered. The other cops backed up. The officer stared at him. "For your information, sparky, I'm from Sunnydale. I've seen more death than you ever will. Hell, I've planned battles and seen more death than you ever will. Come near me and my dad again without proper cause. I do so dare you." The cop backed up, slowly. The dog growled. "No. My pack's toy." The dog laid down again. "Thank you for the offer though. That was very nice of you to offer." He got off the hood to pet him.
"Good boy. Thank you." He walked back over. He did stop to look him over. "Who in God's name would proposition you? You're fat, sweaty, you stink, and by the way, I work with the Council's girl." He went pale. "Heard of me?" He shook his head. "Hi, Xander Harris, White Knight of Sunnydale," he sneered, holding out a hand, looking very happy when the man backed up against his car. "You were going to try *what* against me? Because you know, sending me to my real father, Doctor House there, was the semi-evil plot of the wooses in Sunnydale." He sat on the hood of the cop car again, and his father patted him on the back. "Sorry, every now and then I have to break bad. It's part of the rep."
The captain pulled up and got out. "Mr. Harris. Again?"
"Oh, so much more. I found my wallet and a sword missing from my suitcase when I got home from talking with you. My wallet magically came back to me. My sword's still missing and it's worth about a grand." He held up his wallet so he could see the tape and initials. "He had to dig in my suitcase to get that or my sword and for some reason bypassed my legal handgun." The captain sighed. "Then he told another officer, that one, or had him told, that I had propositioned one of your boys. I'm sure most of you guys are very nice but most of you guys are also on the ugliness patrol and I'm pretty muchly het. I don't need to sell it or buy it and I'd go for geeky and cute. Like me." He grinned.
"We'll be finding your sword, son. What does it look like?"
"It's in six pieces, well, five, I found the ball from the pommel in the bag. Like the one the bad guy in the first Highlander used only the sections are each about a foot long. Plus the grip and the crossblade guard. Silver, black handle. Leather wrapping on it." That got a nod. "The cross guard has a scroll or ivy leaves etched on it but it's been cleaned so often it's not real clear which it is."
"I'll have it found, son. Boys?" They pulled him over to talk to him, earning nods. "Put the tapes on my desk," he ordered. They nodded. He looked at him. "Doctor House?" He looked over. "Your bike was reported earlier?"
"I let my son have the keys since I had to report to the hospital on a case of a priest who had been made to swallow a quarter cup of salt."
"Eww," Xander said. "Holy water?"
"Had some iodine in it."
"Really ick," Xander said. "Damn he had to be puking."
"He wasn't when he was found. I told the officer who couldn't understand that my son didn't share my name to investigate that instead."
The captain nodded. "I can see that. You did let him ride it?"
"I had to go and I'd had a beer."
"Good choice then." He looked at his man. "Go wait in my office." He stomped off, driving off in a huff. He looked at him. "Anything I should be warned about?"
"My best friend just recently turned every single cop in my town into the FBI for doing bad things after the mayor fell," Xander said dryly. "Sending me to my biological father is their idea of an evil plot to break up my team."
"On the hometown protection patrol. I'm from Sunnydale, out by LA."
"I've heard of your town's stats. Really bad." Xander nodded. "Them?"
"The old mayor and them. Though the mayor ingeniously tried to blame us. Especially when he attacked my graduation and we had to defend ourselves and blow up the creature he tried to have eat us."
"The gas explosion," the regular officer said. Xander nodded. "Bomb?" Xander nodded. "Necessary?"
"It was and I led the kids helping get the civvies out of the way. So there's no telling what you'll find in my official record. Though I'm not eighteen for another week."
The captain laughed. "I can see that. This is official?"
"Yeah, they got the judge that tried to buy him so he could kill him to sign off on it," Wilson said.
The captain laughed. "Wonderful."
"The putz apparently knew. I stated my rep and he got really shaky."
"Good to know. Thanks, son. Needed a night away from the wife and kids." He looked at the officers. "Go now." They nodded and House and Xander got off the hood. "I'll drop that sword back by here."
"If I'm not, give it to dad at work. He's not that hard to find and the nurses will all run in horror if he has a sword." He beamed. The captain snickered all the way back to his car. He looked at his dad. "So, not a critical case?"
"We've had them before. Nothing too unusual. I deal with things most doctors have to look up." He put an arm around his neck and walked him inside. "We'll deal with the scratch tomorrow."
"I'll pick up a paint pen."
"Thank you." He nodded at Wilson to follow. He came up to watch a movie with them. Xander did calm so much better after a few weeks off. House wasn't going to interrupt it to ask more questions. His son had a nickname with the bad guys? That meant they really did know him. He watched his son fall asleep against his friend's side then looked at him. "You okay?" he asked quietly.
"I'm good. He's fine." House nodded, going to play his piano and think while Wilson finished the movie on closed captioning and lowered the volume. Xander was snoring into his arm. It was kind of comfy for them. Until Xander had a nightmare then House had to come over to smooth down his hair and say something in his ear until he quieted and went back to snoring. "Flashbacks?" House nodded, going back to his piano. Wilson shifted to cuddle the boy instead, it'd be better for him. More comfortable.
House looked over an hour later, smiling at the two snoring lumps on his couch. He turned down the tv further by pushing the button on the tv since Wilson had the remote in his hand. Then he went to bed. He'd wonder about his son tomorrow.
Xander got the email he dreaded the day before his birthday. "Well, fuck," he muttered. He opened it, reading it slowly. That was not the right source to call him for help. What had happened? He reread it, waving his father over from the kitchen. "I have no idea why a vampire wrote me an email for help."
House read it with a frown. "What are you thinking?"
"I'm thinking they're dangerous and something has to be done."
"That could get you into trouble if they're really military personnel."
"Unless they're the National Guard, they're not supposed to be working inside the US. Neither is the NSA and they're one of the sponsoring agencies from what I've seen." He wrote an email to Willow but it bounced. "No way," he muttered. He wrote one to Cordy, who sent back one an hour later during dinner. She had no idea but she'd snoop for him. He called her from his cellphone. "It's Xander. I tried to email Willow and her account bounced. Yeah, I know she's always checking her mail. There's no way she's got a full inbox either. Yeah, exactly. I don't know. All I had heard was that the military was heading that way for some reason and then Spike, of all vampires ever, Spike wrote me to say that they needed me back in Sunnydale, that things were going to hell." He listened, eating a bite of dinner.
"Having dinner with my real father. It was the evil genius play of the assistant mayor to get me out of the way and break up the team for the summer." He smirked. "Good to know. He's a doctor. Diagnostician. He finds out what funky disease you have and tells you, treats the strangest ones." He listened to her. "Um, yeah," he mumbled, swallowing quickly. "Haven't heard from her either. I tried to call her mom's house and got a no such number yesterday. I figured the lines were down again. Or maybe she had changed her number to get away from the demons doing prank calls like last summer. No, I'm sure they're not dumping me, Cordelia. But thanks for that. I'm sure they got Spike to write me too, huh?" He smirked at his father. "She said she thinks they wanted to dump me anyway."
"You need better taste in friends and exes if that's yours."
Xander pulled the phone away from his ear. "I need the hearing in that side, Cordelia. Because you're meaner than he is. Let me know? If I can. Thanks, dear." He hung up and went back to eating. "This is good."
"Got the recipe off Wilson."
Xander grinned. "Are you sure he's not the secret boyfriend?"
"I pay too many hookers every year for him to be my boyfriend, Xander."
"Oh. Pity. He could use it. Then he wouldn't be working on wife number four."
"True. And he does cuddle." His son blushed. "Comfy was he?"
"Very. You should try it. It might make you less grumpy if you slipped it to him regularly."
"I'll tell him you suggested that tomorrow."
"Thanks. Really." He went back to eating, making plans. His phone rang an hour later and he sighed. "It's Xander." He listened to Willow babbling and the code phrases she worked in. "Cordy get you? Because your email bounced, Willow. That's not like you." She babbled something else. "Hmm. I'll see you in a few weeks then if you're sure nothing's going on?" He listened with a head shake, starting to write things out. "Sure, I gotcha. Lovies, babe." He hung up and went to his laptop, writing a message to a friend from another account. Then he looked at his father. "I need to get to Sunnydale without letting them know I'm there."
"Because they tried to shut down the town and started to take up demons. They got Willow and Buffy for knowing what was going on. She thinks they'll be on alert for me."
"So you're going to do what? Get your ex and that Angel guy?"
Xander shrugged. "Whatever I have to do, Dad. That's who I am." He stood up and looked at his bags, then smirked. "Airports." He sat down to research that. "Interesting. I didn't know we had one there." He logged onto their site and saw the memo saying they were closed by the order of the TSA while they dealt with maintenance issues on some of the tower equipment. Xander searched the other methods and suddenly smiled. "That'll work." He booked his ticket. "I'm leaving the day after my birthday." He looked at him. "And I promise I'll be as safe as I can."
"They're the military, Xander."
"I'll have Feds with me, Dad." He gaped. "There's a few we know and trust. After all, you fire a piece of artillery in a mall in the US and the FBI usually hears." He nodded, sending him an email warning and forwarding Spike's to him. He was not going to be happy. Oh well! He got up and came back to finish eating. "It'll be a longer trip but I can do that."
"Yup, I'm sure. It'll give me time to talk to a contact I kinda almost have in Illinois."
"Kinda almost have?"
"We've emailed a few times but nothing else."
"Will she know you?"
"Yeah, she'll even know I'm coming." He smirked. "She's like that."
"I can get you help."
Xander shook his head. "There'll be Feds helping."
"I alerted one. They're regular military backed by the CIA, NSA, NID, and Area 51. They're so screwed. They knew what they were doing was wrong." He finished his dinner. "Can I do some laundry?"
"Go ahead. Still want to do dinner tomorrow?" He had promised himself he would not tie Xander up in the closet to keep him from leaving or going back to his old life. He wouldn't. He was more sneaky than that and had found an injectable GPS chip for humans. Then he'd go retrieve his son and tie him in Wilson's closet. He'd be nicer and feed him better food while they deprogrammed him.
"Please," he agreed with a grin. That got a nod and House went to make a few calls but Xander did his laundry and got onto various sites to try to track down where the idiots were. He'd need to know that to know how to plan.
Xander got off the train and looked at the man waiting on him. "Hey. You find them for me?"
"I did. It's a bad thing." He shook his hand. "You sure?" Xander handed over what he had gotten his friend to find for him. Including who made what rules. "Crap," he muttered.
"Exactly. Airports nearer to there are all closed. Roads in are guarded."
"I tried to get in to talk to Joyce Summers. They stopped the car and told me she had moved. I asked why he knew that and he told me it was classified. I went back to the office to check up on him and he's listed as dead."
Xander nodded. "Very interesting but expected. They know they're doing wrong. What's my leeway?"
"As little as possible. It's under the college." He handed over a disk. "Mostly underground."
Xander grinned. "Love you for it. I'd head, I can hear scent dogs." He nodded, heading off while Xander got his two bags and took his carry-on out to the cab stand. "Hi, I need a ride to the Restview Arms." The cabby gave him a horrified look. He grinned. "Closer than home." He showed him his ID. That got a nod and the cabbie took him there. It was a demon place. They all knew it was a demon place. It was a common rest stop on the way to Sunnydale. He walked in and looked at the old man behind the counter. "They here?"
"No. We're all paranoid they're coming though. Who are you? I don't recognize your scent."
Xander smiled. "I'm Buffy's Xander," he said quietly. The man went stiff. "Coming home from vacation to some wonderful news I hear." The man nodded then shuddered. "Relax, that's why I'm back from vacation so early." He grinned sweetly. "Can I get a room?"
"Xander, dude. I'm not formal." He signed in and paid for the night then went up there. He sat down to plan his assault, calling Cordelia. "Hey, it's me. Coming your way soon like a bad B movie, baby." He smiled since she had remembered the code and said she was clear. "You sure? You could be tapped. After all, they tried to stop the FBI from what I heard." He nodded at her assurance. "Where are you?" He listened.
"No, I won't. Have him watching and tell him it'll be messy and probably lead to a mass evac. Yeah, I'm sure. It's under the east side of hell. Thanks, Cordy. Yeah, Dad did say that. He wants me to date a nice girl who'll make me quit hunting." He laughed. "I do not need to. I'm perfectly fine. Thank you, dear." He hung up and went back to his planning. He was sure she was tapped so giving her the wrong location would work in his favor. They already knew he was going to come and his rep said he liked the heavy stuff. Pity about them. Really.
Xander looked at the demon then at the two with him and the three things he had next to him. "We're sure it'll get me there?" They nodded. "Then let's go. It's time." He popped his shoulders and wrists then grabbed the first two weapons. They would be taking out the power grid. The demon ported them in and he shot the power grid with one, then dropped it as he brought up the other one to shoot the people in the command center. Wounding only. He wanted them in jail. He dropped that one since it was out of ammo, picking up the other one.
He walked out taking out anything that moved. Still wounding. He saw Buffy making their escape attempt and whistled, tossing her a stake. "Let them free. Angel's expecting them." She nodded, going to get a demon to open a hole to the outside. They had some that could do that. He felt one of the bullets rip into his leg but oh well. He stumbled and used a wall to brace himself until he ran out of bullets. By then, he had also nearly run out of soldiers. Someone came at him with a weapon so he took it from them and used it on him then the others trying to charge him.
"DUCK!" Buffy shouted. Xander did and a demon did something at the soldiers. They got plastered to the wall with a fast drying slime. "Xander?" She jogged up to get him, walking out with him. She handed him to a vampire. "Let's go." He nodded, and the demons formed a pretty good unit.
"East entryway, it's the college," Xander said, wincing as he tried to put pressure on that leg. "They're under a frat house." They nodded and he looked around. "Everyone out! The base is going in thirty minutes!" he shouted. "No exceptions!" He hobbled out with help and Buffy went back to make sure they all got out. Even the most dangerous things. Even the vampires. Especially her watcher. Willow found him and sat down to work on his leg. "Bandage me please, Wills?" He grinned. "I learned how to do that better from my father. He said it'd help." Buffy came out. "They clear?" he asked. She nodded. "The idiots?"
"I don't care. They were torturing Giles."
Xander tapped his earring. "Guys, they're clear of demons." The ground trembled and he held on. They didn't cave in. He grinned. "Hi."
"What was that?" Buffy asked.
"I brought two earth and construction demons with me." She gaped. "Not like I want them in my town." He tied the bandage tighter than she was. "Thanks, Willow."
"Welcome." They helped him up and she looked at all the demons and the vampires trying to hide from the sunlight. She cast a spot of darkness for them.
"Hide. Then leave," Buffy ordered.
Xander looked around and switched to the most common demon language. "Angel is expecting most of you to leave for LA until it's safe!" he yelled. "He's got demons set up and waiting to treat injuries and help make sure families are getting back together properly." Most of them lumbered off. He looked at Buffy. "Your mom is...."
"Don't know. She doesn't have a phone."
Buffy called her pager, getting an out of service message. "I've got to find out."
"Go," Xander agreed. "Take Giles. He could use an ER." She nodded, walking him off. He looked at Willow again. "Hi."
"Hi," she said weakly. "Are you really all right?"
"Yup. And I hear sirens."
She frowned. "Everyone scatter, there's sirens," she called. She helped him limp off. He gave her a nudge and she ran off, leaving him there. She watched the agents come rushing over and him put his hands up. Well until one tried to hit him then he took him out and shot the others in the leg too. He was not a happy camper.
Xander used one's phone to call the agent he knew. "We're clear. The base is down. Their targets are loose and out. Shot in the leg." He smiled. "At the college. By Braden Hall, just past their Lowell frat house." He hung up and called his father. "I'm okay." He hung up and tossed the phone back down. "Thanks for the lending. I called the FBI on myself." He leaned on a car and held his leg because it ached. "If dad lives with pain like this, I'm sure why he has vicodin." More cars came screaming up. "Hey," he said, waving at one. "They tried to shoot me. Pity."
"You need a medic," one said, looking at him.
Xander looked at him. "I know that. Could use pain killers too, Agent Obvious. Anything else I didn't notice?" The agent they had worked with stepped in between them. "It's down."
"Good. Their computers?"
"I disrupted the power grid before I opened fire in the command center," he said quietly. He heard a mewling and looked, limping over to look at the child stumbling toward them. "Get me some water and a bandage, guys! Now!" They ran to get him a first aid kit and someone handed over her bottle of water. "Here, drink, sweetness." He helped her drink it then got to work bandaging the injuries. "They skinned her," he said, letting them take a picture of one that was deskinned and burned. "Poor baby." He finished up then looked around, calling something. No answer. He called something else and a demon lumbered his way. "She's an infant, take her to a healer? They took the skin off her and tortured her." The demon nodded, taking her carefully to carry her off. He looked at the agent, accepting the help off the ground. "That's why they went," he told the staring agents. "She's a newborn. They confiscated everyone in town, no matter who or what. As far as I know, we got everyone out of there." They nodded. He pointed at the hole. "That's the hole we made."
"We can check," the female agent said, moving over to look at it. "The floor caved but not the ceiling. It's in chunks."
"Let me get someone," the male agent said, calling someone. "It's me. Could use help. That situation I got warned about? It got caved in. The problems are wounded and others were released." He hung up and they let him lean against a car for now. One of the agents came over to check his leg. "Get him attention."
"Not the local ER?" Xander said hopefully.
"We want you to live so we can ask you questions, kid," he assured him. He drove him to the nearest hospital outside Sunnydale, staying with him while he was treated. They had to remove the bullet and stitch him, and he'd be in overnight.
A general stomped into Xander's room. "What did you think you were doing, boy?" he sneered.
"Stopping the people that were torturing others for fun," he said blandly, making himself sit up better. "My government doesn't do that." The general moved closer and Xander pulled up the needle he had...liberated from a nurse without her realizing it. "Try it." The door opened and his favorite agent walked in. "Get him out of here? Before I become irrational."
"Sir, you're trying to interfere with an active FBI investigation." He checked his nametag. "By the way, someone in Homeland is looking for you, sir. They put out a request to find you." He called it in. "I have the general here in Mr. Harris' room."
"He asked me what I thought I was doing," Xander said.
"He was trying to get information," the agent said, taking the needle from the boy's hand. He glared at the general when he tried to move. "I'm here, come get him." He hung up and put the needle down then pointed at the door. "They're waiting on you, sir."
"They won't win, boys," he sneered.
"Really? Looks like I already did," Xander quipped, waving at him. "Otherwise your base wouldn't be a big hole. Huh?" The general moved toward him but the agent stopped him and cuffed him. "Aww! Can't I play with him?" he whined.
"No," the agent said, walking him out. He came back for the needle so the nurses could have it back. "Keep that." He handed him over at the elevator to one of the Homeland agents coming off with another general. "Have him. Harris wants him as a toy."
"I'd like to talk about Harris," the Homeland agent told him.
The FBI agent shrugged. "What did you need to know? We've had to deal with him since his team had to take out a threat in a mall for us."
"We didn't hear about that."
"We heard from the news, don't feel bad."
The free general coughed, looking at them. "Let's all sit down and talk about this boy and his team. We clearly need to know more." They nodded and dragged the one general out in cuffs so they could sit at the Federal building and talk about Harris, Summers, Rosenburg, and Giles.
Buffy leaned into Xander's room. "We're good."
"Of course we are. We learned practical things instead of book learning. It was easier." He grinned. "Your mom?"
"She's good. She was under house arrest. She had a few bruises but we're good." He grinned. "You okay?"
"I took a forty-five to the calf. I'll live."
"Good." She came in to give him a hug. "There's agents all over town."
"I figured there would be."
"They're not happy with them or us."
"What did they want us to do? Roll over and die until they got off their ass?"
"Probably." She smiled. "They're Feds, they're like that."
"Not all of them. Visitors," he said with a nod at the door. "How's Giles?"
"He'll be okay. He needed some serious stitching. I saw the baby you bandaged. She'll be okay too." Xander beamed. "You can come in and quit lurking," she called. The agent who they knew walked in. "Did they actually expect us not to fight back?"
"Yeah, they're Feds, we're like that," he assured her with a smirk. "Now...you're not in real trouble since you were in custody and fighting your way out. Your helper there brought artillery across state lines?"
"No, I bought inside the state. Barely."
The agent sighed. "Where?" Xander wrote down the town's name. "Got an ID on the dealer?"
"Okay. And?" Xander wrote that down too. "We'll look into it. Is he dealing to others?"
"He deals to the ones who do equipment for gangs. Mostly demon gangs."
"So he's a supply station?" Xander nodded. "How did you know?"
"I asked a contact. He said he didn't care if I turned them into goo. The guy tried to cheat him on a bullet count."
"Good to know." He wrote that down. "You blew up a classified military base. You shot military personnel. You're not in trouble for that since you had a damn good reason." Xander nodded, smiling some. "You're still in deep shit for graduation."
"We tried to tell you. You were out of town on a case," Buffy told him. "We had to handle it."
He sighed, locking the door and coming over. "The government hates this team. Fully hates you guys being together. Agencies got together to form a support group in their mutual hatred of your team yesterday, kids."
"Yay us," Xander said. "They wanted to step in and do it? Go right ahead. My dad wants me to retire. He also wants me to find girls who actually like me as friends, who don't treat me as a snack hopper, and girls to date who aren't evil."
Buffy scowled. "I do not!"
"Want me to find my last email from you?" he countered.
"That was a joke," she pouted.
"Dad's seriously pissed at you two."
"You kissed Willow."
"She kissed me. Not like I tied her down and forced her. Cordy and I were already on the outs. She and Oz weren't." She slumped. "It also sucked that she got forgiven and treated like I had tied her down and raped her mouth." He looked at the agent again. "Long dead hurts."
"I can see that. The government would like to break your team up with the understanding that we will be putting someone here who does know and can help. Not the guys from earlier but we know there's other hunters. There's a guy in Sacramento who trains them. He's going to move this way and bring his students to help the area."
"I have to stay," Buffy told him. "Willow too. She's holding the hellmouth closed."
"The spell can go anywhere," the agent told her. "I asked Mr. Giles. He likes this trainer." He handed her the letter in his file. "From him." She sat on the foot of the bed to read it.
"I'm getting two new girls and a boy to hunt with me, plus the trainer guy but I've got to let you and Willow go," she told Xander. "He wanted you two to retire and have a happy life."
"There's another complication." He sighed, sitting down in the visitor's chair. "These guys didn't spring up today." Someone tried the door then knocked. "I'm interviewing for the federal report." They went away. He looked at Xander. "There's other complications we have to talk about later. Beyond that, you're going to be limping for a good few months, kid. Can you stay with your father until people calm down?"
"I probably could."
"Good." He looked at Buffy. "Technically we'd like you to not have to be there too. Unfortunately we ran into a Mr. Travers." She snickered, nodding a bit. "Then we arrested him and told MI-6 about them." She gaped, mouth open, shoulders slumped. "We got tired of that very quickly. He lost." He smirked. "So you may be getting a real vacation. He's got two other students who'll be joining him. That way you don't have to worry so much or maybe you can travel instead. You and Giles can decide that once he's better in a few weeks." She nodded at that. "Willow's gotten an offer to work in an office that she really shouldn't refuse since we found their files on you guys. Hers mentions what she's hacked recently. The local admin is very pissed at her for that by the way."
"Shouldn't they be in jail by now?" Xander asked.
"They're on bail. So we're not listening to them. I do know that you three together make them *very* nervous. Your team makes the whole government nervous."
"I'm not sure if I should be proud or not," Buffy said dryly, pushing back her hair.
"Be proud, you did your job so well we want to do it for you now that you've shown us how." He patted her on the knee with a smile. "They want you to take a long vacation and let the hunters try to do it for you. We won't fully succeed. We know that. At which time we want to come to you and Willow as consultants, Xander, and then have Buffy training them."
"I could train them to be me."
"Warp them to be you?" Xander teased. "Why not us coming back here?"
"There's a good reason for that. Willow's getting dangerous with her magic." She sighed, shaking her head. Xander nodded. She scowled at him. "What did you catch her doing?"
"I caught her in the start of the 'magic cures everything' loop. She was using it to shave her legs."
She sighed. "Okay, that's maybe a bit too much. I'm sure we can hook her up with other witches. Giles must know some."
"This'll give her a good time to do that," the agent told her gently. She nodded at that. "This is a very slippery slope. She has a lot of power. Considering we caught her hacking the Pentagon for information magically instead of physically...." She groaned, leaning forward to cover her face with her hands.
"That's a skill I wouldn't mind having," Xander said dryly.
"Magic is not for Xanders," Buffy said, glaring at him. He muttered and snapped his fingers. Her hair was now back to its original shade, making her whimper. "How?" she said weakly. He changed it back. "Xander?"
"I've known Willow since the first day of school, Buffy. I knew she'd get lost. The same way she did in hunting until she found magic. She ignored Oz and sex to play with a new spell before graduation."
She nodded. "I guess." He nodded. "Fine. We can use it to give her time to train. What'll you be doing?" He pointed at his leg. "Yeah I guess. Doesn't your dad limp too?"
"He had a sports accident that killed some of the muscles in his thigh," Xander told her quietly. "His is permanent. Mine had better not be."
She nodded at that. "Good to know. What'll you be doing?"
"Dad wanted me to try to torture myself with the local community college there. It has a gunsmithing option." Someone knocked on the door after trying the handle. "Ten more." They knocked again. "Damn you're persistent. The agent's still in here." They knocked again, harder this time. Xander stared at the door. "Five bucks says that's my dad."
"No way," the agent said, getting up to open the door with his badge and ID out. Sure enough he had to pay Xander five bucks. "We're going over why he makes the government nervous."
"Because he has thirteen pieces of artillery in storage?" he guessed. Buffy stared at Xander in horror. Xander grinned and wiggled his fingers. "Let's see the leg, Junior. Foreman didn't want you to be that much of a clone. He thinks I might start to do dangerous things too."
"I got shot in the calf with a forty-five, Dad, not a sports accident on my thigh." His father stared at him so he nudged Buffy with a foot so he could stretch out again. His father looked and nodded, rebandaging him. "Antibiotics?"
"In your IV," he told him. He checked the rest of him over, frowning at the grazes. Xander frowned at them too. "If you *ever* do that again I'm making you date Cameron and Cuddy."
"You need them to be more evil?" Buffy asked. "Don't they work with you? That would be mean to the patients."
House looked at her. "Quit. Now. He can date good girls if there's any around." She blushed, looking down. Xander shook his head. "You can."
"No I can't. The succubus still wants me."
Buffy snickered. "Well, better than Anya."
"Not really," House told her. He patted him on the head, looking at the agent. "When can I take him home?"
"Two days." He came back over to his seat. "I still need to talk to him. Can I have a few?" They nodded. "Buffy, I'll be there to talk to you and your mom tomorrow with that trainer."
"Sure. Get better, Xander." She gave him a hug. "We want you better so we can come visit while your dad's got you grounded." She slid off the bed with the agent's help, waving. "Have fun being grounded." She left. House took her spot, making her smile.
The agent closed and locked the door again. "There's another complication. Like I said, they haven't been here forever but close enough in Sunnydale terms."
House blinked. "I'm a grandfather?"
"How did you make that jump in logic?" Xander asked. "There's no way that's Spock or even Cameron logic. That's not even soap opera logic or Buffy logic."
"The look on his face, Junior."
"He's right," the agent said, handing over the rest of the folder. "They're even on your side of the country."
"Excuse me?" He read the folder, then sighed, handing to his father. "I have no clue. You?"
"Interesting how they did it. How long has Anya been back?"
"Um, about a month before prom. Yeah, that's a bit fast."
"We have no idea. We found the file. We found the kids. That's all we know." He shrugged. "They're mouthy and clearly yours." He patted him on the head. "The government is very embarrassed about them."
Xander and House shared a look. Xander knew what that meant. Someone had wished. Apparently his father had done some research because he realized it too. Xander looked at the agent again. "Are they going to give me a nanny? Or should I mention my parents and what I saw about raising kids?"
"No, but we're negotiating on your behalf."
"I can," House said.
"We're meaner. They're the military." He looked at Xander. "You have artillery?"
"In my storage area."
"We'll confiscate that when we move you, Mr. Harris."
"They really want this team broken up that badly?" House asked.
"This is the third time they've had to step into situations that we should have been handling. Xander's in a lot of trouble for the explosion at graduation, even though it was necessary. He said in his interview after the one in the mall that he wouldn't do it again unless he had to. He could've called other agents. That's the boss's word. He's paranoid now."
"If it happens in LA, Angel just moved there with Cordy."
"We've talked with her. We talked with both mothers first. They signed away their rights and were given a small settlement so they don't go on Oprah." Xander snorted. "We're being vindictive in your case. We've already pointed out a few things. Want to give us more ammo to use against them? They aren't scared of you yet. I can't tell them half of what I know because it's classified."
Xander took his pen and wrote down and address and a codephrase. "Mine." He handed that and the pen over. "If that doesn't scare the shit out of them, nothing will. The soldier I got the used BDU's for used to be special ops. Those were his while he was a private but I got *all* his memories. Including about certain operations in Greece, Oakland, and in San Diego before he died."
"Aw, shit," the agent muttered, writing that down. "I'll pass that on." He smiled. "What will you take?"
"The national budget of Ecuador. The kids have to go to college since he doesn't want to," House told him.
"Plus a hundred grand a head for each one I can name in the Spook'rific terrorist group," Xander added. The agent gaped, then let out a soft moan. "I know of at least ten. That's the reward being offered for them."
"I'll tell them. They want to know. How did you find them out?"
"One likes Willow and Oz didn't make him go away. I sent a letter bomb." He grinned his best shiteating grin. "By demon so I didn't get in trouble with the USPS. Spooky Agent Fred is no longer bothering her."
"You know real names?"
"Yeah, of at least ten. That's all in storage."
"We'll be helping you move." He smiled. "I'll let them know." He left, going to tell them that information. The general over the negotiations smirked at the online coded journal until he put in the password. The last entry did not make him happy since it noted he had run into another agent in that cell. Which brought it up to eleven that the kid probably knew about. He went back and found the soldier's memories recorded in one long entry. He read it over and had the grace to blush because those meant some other people were in trouble. A lot of trouble. A whole lot of trouble. Special Ops weren't supposed to work inside the US either. Aw, shit. He found the listing for the artillery the boy had and whimpered. The agent smirked, laying out the demands. They spent less on new stealth bombers so they'd write him up as one. They did agree to help him move to New Jersey as well. That way they could go through his stuff.
Later that night, House and Xander settled onto his bed with the chicken wings House had found and smuggled in. They turned on the tv to their mutual favorite white trash show, letting Xander finally relax since it was all done with. House smiled at his son's snore. He had some plans he had to make and House knew just who to get to do that for them. Xander started to have a nightmare so he put off planning to soothe it. He could get to like his son when he was calmer. Him in danger mode was scary. Him in normal guy, hurt guy, or even terrified of the future mode wasn't too bad. He could stand any of those Xanders. He stroked over his hair, glaring at a nurse when she came in. "He's fine."
"You are, sir?"
"Visiting hours." He held up his hospital ID and she winced. "Is he in medical school too?"
"I'm trying but not yet. He's fine. His vitals are good and he barely managed to fall asleep." She nodded. "You might put a warning that he was just part of a violent encounter that got him shot because he was trying to save someone."
"I can do that. That way we knock before coming in," she agreed. She looked at the box of bones and sighed. "Did he eat?"
"And drank milk."
"Good." She took the bones to toss out and made that note in his chart. He was doing okay. The doctor would start screaming for or at them if something happened. She looked his hospital up and found they had a webpage so she looked him up. What she saw amused her. They had a 'grumpy' warning on it too. She let the other nurses see. "Harris' father."
They all smiled and nodded. They'd leave the doctor alone for a bit. He'd extra surly be grumpy about his son being in this condition.
House called home. "It's me. He's good. Shot in the calf with a forty-five. A few grazes, bruises, and scratches. Big news though. Somehow, there's a possibility of kids." He smirked at Wilson's complaining noises. "I know. He's sleeping right now." Xander made an inquisitive noise. "Wilson, Xander. I'm making some plans for when we get you home."
Xander blinked at him. "Apartment, enough room for us, we'll have the money by then." He yawned, taking the phone. "Hey, Doctor Wilson. No, I'm okay. Dad fed me chicken wings for dinner. I'm good. Really." He smiled. "Yeah, the agent told me there might be one on the way. So I can't hide on his couch for very long. Please. They're saying two days. That's fine, just find me somewhere and we'll make plans about furniture and all that stuff in a few hours when I wake up. Thanks, man." He hung up and handed back the phone, snuggling into his father's arm again. "Tired."
"We'll make plans later." Xander nodded, letting him pat and soothe him back into a good nap. You needed rest to heal. He better than most knew that.
Wilson met the two guys at the airport, smiling at them. "Aww, you match," he said happily, hugging Xander. "You really are a clone."
"Can't be, I'm not going to medical school. Nor am I as sporty. And hey, I even got to have kids earlier." He looked at his father. "Are you sure the apartment's set up? There's no way we can all share your couch."
"I had Cuddy make sure. She's scared to death of them already. Let's go, Wilson. I'm exhausted and he needs to stretch out."
"Sure." He walked them off, letting them get their bags from the luggage go-round. Then outside to the car. "I heard Cuddy say something about a kid."
"Twins," Xander said. "Kinda."
"In storage, right? She said they're in storage and might be carried soon by a surrogate?"
"Let me drive," House ordered.
Wilson gave him an odd look. "That bad?"
"The military wanted to use my sperm to make better soldiers," Xander said with a grin. "So they used Cordy and Anya's eggs to do that. I'm told they're both very mouthy boys."
"I'm not really sure," Xander admitted. "Just the wacky that is my life." He slid into the car. "Did they confiscate all my artillery?"
"Yup," House assured him, starting the car. Wilson got in and looked back at Xander. "They're very mouthy. One called me Grandma."
"It was his second real word," Xander defended. "He called me fridge."
Wilson laughed. "You're joking, right?" Both Houses shook their head. "Oh, damn."
"Yup," Xander said with a grin. "You didn't *wish* being a grandfather on him, right?"
"No. Cameron might've though. I know she was talking about wishing you two had kids just like you to torment you the way you torment her."
"That's probably how," Xander sighed, shaking his head. "Damn wish demons at times." He sighed. "But hey, they had to pay my ass to keep me out of Sunnydale."
"Why?" Wilson asked.
"That was the third time they stepped in when the government should have," House said. He backed out of the parking spot and got them moving forward. House paid the toll at the booth then they were off. "I can't believe I find out I'm a father one month and a grandfather a month later."
"No you're not."
"It means I won't have to date any evil women for a while."
"Not helping," Wilson assured him. "How's your leg?"
"Mostly healed. Just sore. I'm working on it. I'll be back to running after things shortly."
"If you want to become an officer, you have to go to college," House said in a sing-song voice. "Then the academy. More school."
"I wasn't thinking about it. Maybe a security guard." He grinned. "In the ER so no more dirtbags make it in."
"Cuddy might like that," Wilson told him. "She threatened to shoot the last one."
"They all hang out in the same area. Why hasn't Vice gotten them?"
"No clue," Wilson admitted.
Xander shook his head. "Don't even think about it," House ordered. "I'm not raising the mini yous."
"Are they cute?" Wilson asked.
"We've only seen pictures and video chatted the once," Xander told him. "Physically they're adorable. Messy but adorable."
"That's good. Normal really. So, are you going to bring them in soon?" Xander smirked and nodded. "I'm sure they'll freak out."
"Maybe," House agreed. He got them into the town and headed for his block. "His is on the same block, right?"
"Cuddy found him a very nice four bedroom condo on your street. On the corner above the market. I wasn't going to speculate how he afforded it but it's very nice and a corner one. It's got two balconies. We'll have to watch that with the kids I guess. It's also near the park, as you very well know. It'll be fine."
"We hope," Xander said.
"No, it'll be fine. Cuddy will make sure everything is as perfect as she can make it," Wilson assured him. "Because the demon that was helping the hospital's director decided to call in his favors before you took more of them and she was spared. The others disappeared."
"I offered," Xander said quietly.
"I know. They didn't believe and now they know." He patted him on the arm. "Can you handle them?"
"Dad's staying over tonight. You can too," Xander said, nodding quickly. "I'm not scared of much but they scare the crap out of me."
"Every father feels that way," he promised.
"I heard I had you and got scared you'd be some Mormon who'd try to convert me from my fun lifestyle," House said lightly. He parked in front of his place and they walked up to Xander's once he had put his bag down in his own place. They walked in and found Cuddy tied up and the two kids giving them innocent looks. "Who tied her up?" he asked the twin boys. They grinned and giggled, hugging his legs. "Hi, kids. Who tied up Aunt Cuddy?"
Xander looked at the card on her. "The old nanny. She said it'd save her. The kids never terrorized anyone who was tied up." He got her undone. "You okay?"
"I'm fine. They've been mostly good. You have no more cookies in the house though." She looked at the kids then at him. "I thought they were going to be born soon."
"I have no idea where they came from," he said dryly.
"Need that talk?" Wilson teased.
"No, I know where usual babies come from. These two are extra special baby Xanders so they might've come from space." He sat down and opened his arms. "Can I have a hug?" They ran over to pounce him, knocking him down. "Ow, but okay." He cuddled them until they wiggled free and ran to look out the windows again. Xander got helped up by Wilson. "Thank you." He grabbed his cane and limped to the sofa, flopping down. "Ah." One of the twins ran over to stare at him. "What? Cuddle?" He patted his lap. The baby pointed. "Give me a minute to sit down then I'll come look. The booboo on my leg hurts." He ran back there. Xander caught up with his pain and went over to sit and watch with them. They were nice, large windows. "Wow, that's a nice view. And horses."
"Mounted patrol?" House asked, looking over their heads. "Nope, wedding carriage." He looked at the kids. "That's so someone can get married." He sat down and put his feet up. "No stereo, Cuddy?"
"The stain resistant furniture was more expensive than he had budgeted."
"He's got the national budget of Ecuador in the bank. We can get that later," House decided. She gaped. "The military found them on that special project he had to go stop from torturing people."
"Dad, please. Not in front of the kids? I don't need to resee the one I bandaged on the scene," Xander said quietly.
"We've got good therapists on staff, Xander," Cuddy offered.
"I can't stand their profession. Willow's parents are too."
"No, mine would get fired if they left their daughter alone that way," she assured him. "One has been in combat." He nodded at that wisdom. "If you need it, I'll give his name to House." She looked at him. "Are you okay with this?"
"Not like the stork takes return shipments," he told her.
"They're adorable," Wilson said. Xander and House both grinned at that. "I know, every male of the line is. That and mouthy."
"I told Dad I didn't mind if you were his secret boyfriend. That's all good with me. Really. You two don't have to pretend; just don't do more than mildly grope in front of my wonder twins."
"I wouldn't care either," Cuddy assured them, standing up and dusting herself off. "Think you can handle it, Xander? I didn't get groceries."
"I can do that. We probably have to get them clothes and a stroller."
"She left their stuff in their room." She pointed. "Yours is on this side since it had the attached bathroom. Because giving that to them would mean they'd get up and play all night in the sink." Xander grinned, nodding at that wisdom. "You'll be okay?"
"Between us we should be able to handle it. If not, we'll call Foreman and Cameron."
She cackled. "Those poor people. Not Chase?"
"I like Chase. He never overreacted in front of me. When Willow tried to trash talk me he came to me without letting others see it first. He earned my respect. I'll let him have good uncle status if he's nice to the boys."
"Fine." She smiled and left them alone, cackling all the way down to the car. Those two boys would drive House nuts. It was ample payback for the times he had done it to her!
House looked at the boys, who were yawning. "Looks like their sugar rush ran out."
"I used to run until I napped too." He gave them cuddles, getting stereo looks. "Want a nap?" They shook their heads. "We all could use a nap. Even me." He nodded. They pouted. "We can nap together." They beamed and ran for the big bed. He got up with a groan. "Dad, no porn on the tv."
"Cable's not hooked up yet," Wilson said. "That's tomorrow." He watched them head in to nap. "Pain killers?"
"He's not on any," House said. "Which means I really should dig up his mother and beat the shit out of her." He sat up. "Want to get groceries?"
"No, we can go with them. That way we make sure he can handle stress." House cackled. "It's a good idea. Let me run home to get a cookbook and we'll figure out dinner."
"We'll order dinner and then go grocery shopping. You shouldn't shop on an empty stomach," House told him with a grin.
"Sure, we can do it that way instead." He headed home to check his messages anyway, and the mail. He was expecting something important. He got the postcard and wrote back, writing to his friend about all that had happened recently. He put it in the mail on the way back. All three boys were curled up on Xander's king-sized bed. One boy on each side of their dad, snoring into his body. They were apparently very happy with him. He went back to the couch. House was making a list. "Stuff he still needs?"
"Yup. Including more than the bare basics of furniture." They shared a look. The kid needed art, lamps, and other things to bring gloom to the furniture she had chosen that was a bit more modern than he thought Xander's tastes ran toward.
Wilson pointed. "Can Xander play a piano?"
"The kids will be able to. It'll be good for them to learn. I'm sure they'll try to bang on mine whenever they're over. You did." Xander limped out in his boxer shorts and t-shirt from earlier. "Shouldn't you be dressed?" Xander gave him a confused look. "Bathroom's in there, Xander." He nodded, going that way, still limping. "I definitely need to dig up his mother and beat her. He's barely limping. It's only been four days. That's too high a pain tolerance."
"We'll calm him back down to normal life," Wilson soothed. Xander came back out, giving them a confused look. "He's making a list of what other things you need."
"Instead of just going to the store and pointing at stuff?" he asked. House nodded. "Why?"
"Because this way we hit the right stores."
"No, good stores, Xander. Especially for things like the stereo."
"I liked mine. Where did it go?"
"It had explosives in the broken speaker," House reminded him. "They confiscated it."
"Oh, yeah." He nodded, sitting down beside his father to lean on him while he looked at the list. "Groceries?" He wrote that down. "More toys?"
"We'll see what they have first. Then we'll get them more clothes and toys." Xander nodded, yawning and closing his eyes. "The boys kick you out of your bed?" he teased. Xander nodded, falling asleep again. Wilson got the throw off the back of the couch to cover him. One of the twins peeked out. "We're still here." He came out and crawled under the blanket with his father, cuddling up to him. His twin came out ten minutes later rubbing his eyes. He curled up on top of the blanket-covered huddle. "I can move that so you can get underneath." The boy shook his head. "You sure?" He pouted but nodded. "Okay." He patted him on the head.
"No, I'm Grandpa, not Grandma. Wilson is Grandma." He grinned at the baby's shy grin. "Grandpa. Can you say that?"
"Grandpa!" he said happily.
"Good boy." He patted him on the head. "Will you be good for us tonight when we have to pick up stuff?" He gave him an awed look. "We'll try." He gave him a hug, patting him on the back. "Good boy. Why did you drive your father out of bed?"
"Pointy toes in the kidneys," Xander mumbled. His son fussed. "No pointy toes in my dick either, son." He let his son down onto the floor and got pouted at so he uncovered himself. "Sorry but your foot doesn't need to play with that." He got stereo pouts. "Quit. Now." They quit. "Thank you. Hug Grandma." They both hugged Wilson. Xander stretched. "We should go eat, huh?"
"Probably. Kids this young usually go to be around eight so they can get up at dawn."
Xander looked at him. Then he snorted. "They can keep my hunting hours." He looked at the list. "Why am I buying a piano?" He looked at his father. "Are you teaching me to play?"
"I can. Did you want to learn?" Xander shrugged. "Then we'll start with a keyboard. It's a good thing for the boys to learn."
"Okay," he said weakly. "I'm going to be broke soon, huh?"
"You didn't spend that much, Xander. I promise. You're still using the money from turning in that terrorist cell you heard about. That leaves this year's stipend from your trust in the bank." Wilson moaned. "He was having fun with some of their procurement people."
Xander nodded. "Turns out I knew more than I thought I did."
"Damn," Wilson muttered. The boys giggled. "I know, I shouldn't swear around you two. I'll try not to." One sucked on his neck. "Hungry? Let's get you changed and we can go eat." They wiggled down and went to their room. Xander followed to change his first diapers. He had gone over the book the agent had given him as a happy father gift. House went to make sure he wasn't traumatizing them. Wilson smirked. Those kids were going to cause merry hell at the office.
Xander pushed the stroller off the elevator, waving at Cuddy. "Dad wanted to introduce them."
"They're behaving. Why?" She frowned. "Are they sick?"
"We just had an hour in the park. Bribery worked wonderfully on me as a kid." She smirked at that. "Dad working?"
Xander pushed them that way, pulling open the door and holding it with a foot while he pushed the stroller inside. "Should we wait on lunch?"
"Give me ten, Xander. Hi, boys." He smiled then at the ducklings. "My grandsons, Anthony and Timothy."
Cameron whimpered. "Grandkids too?"
"Yup. The military made them for me," Xander said with a bright, happy grin. "Timmy's mommy was Anya. And the Tony's mommy was Cordy."
"Your friend Willow thinks they should become endangered species."
"If she tries I'm going to kill her ass," Xander said bluntly. "She knows this. Oz is fixing her." He smirked. "Oz likes the boys." Both boys ooohed at that name. "See?" He settled them in a corner. "Let's sit here while Grandpa is brilliant." They climbed out of their seats and went to hug Grandpa while he took ideas. Then they went to investigate. Cameron got a sneeze. She wiped Tony's nose and mouth for him. "Thanks."
"Must be my perfume."
"Probably your shampoo; he was trying to get your hair." He watched his kids as they went to look at Chase, getting stereo stares of confusion but he hugged both boys while giving his idea so it was good for them. One boy cooed and petted his hair.
"Not a bunny rabbit," he said quietly.
"Grandma!" one said with a happy smile, patting him again. Xander shook his head but he was laughing. "Poo!"
"No, he's not going to go poo," Xander told him. "That face means he's confused. Not that he's in the bathroom. Remember, big boys use the potty."
"Poo?" the other one asked him.
"Maybe later," Chase said, giving them another squeeze. House was trying hard not to laugh. They went to look at Foreman and one tried to grope, making him laugh when the guy jumped up protectively cupping that area. "Boys," Chase chided.
"Boys, he's potty trained. You do not grope adults to see if they're wearing diapers," Xander said firmly. "Like you couldn't grope the trannie in the park, you can't grope him. Get off Uncle Foreman." They pouted but went to cuddle Chase some more. "Hand them back, Chase." He did that and Xander got them a juice box to share. His father looked at him. "Bribery worked wonders on me. It kept me from being a heathen."
"Uh-huh. I'll remember that." He at the still standing Foreman. "He won't do it again. What do you think it is that's undoubtedly wrong?"
"Lead poisoning. She's got a high lead count."
"Six of the symptoms don't go with lead poisoning. How do you attribute those to that?"
"I'm flustered! I lost my train of thought!"
Wilson leaned in. "Hi, boys."
"Grandma!" they squealed, running over to hug him.
"Such good boys." He gave them hugs.
"No they're not!" Foreman complained. "One groped me."
"One tried to stand on his father's last night," House said dryly. "They're kids. They're fascinated with that body part. Let Grandma go, kids." They did that and went back to their juice box. He pointed at the list.
Wilson looked. "Toxemia from a cancer treatment and lead poisoning?" he guessed.
"Is she a cancer patient? It's not in the notes."
"I think the one she listed is an oncologist." He looked then nodded, pointing at him. "That's an oncologist. She didn't list cancer though."
"No, she didn't. Trial?"
"When she's not sick?"
"Who knows with some researchers," Xander pointed out. They nodded. "We can ask."
"Do that, Foreman, since you're still standing." House looked at the boys. "Were they good?"
"Except for trying to grope the trannie in the park and petting the blind woman's dog, yeah. We even got them more clothes and toys. They fussed a bit since I didn't buy everything in the store but a bribe worked there too." House smirked at that. "By the way, the new car sucks. Why did I let you talk me into that model?"
"Enough room for the kids. Safe."
"Engine sucks. Braking sucks. I spun by the dealership and they're replacing the brakes."
"It was used. They should have."
"They didn't and they are now. I pointed out I had no chance to stop." He grinned. "They'll have it done by five." He stopped Tony from running out the door. "No. Stay in here with us." His son pouted. Xander looked at him. "I do that look better, son." He grinned and hugged him then went to pounce Cameron and make her shriek too. She'd probably do it prettier than the guy. Yup, she did. "Tony!" Xander snapped. "Come here please?" His son pouted all the way over. "Sit," he said, putting him into the stroller. "No groping. That was your third warning, son. Next time it's home and no seeing anyone for a day."
"That's too harsh at his age," House said quietly.
"He was doing it to torment. He can be grounded. They'll learn grounded means no going to the park."
"That's acceptable," House agreed. "As long as it doesn't stop others from popping in to check on you."
"Shouldn't. You have my spare keys."
"Good point." He smirked. "I'll have another set made."
"Thanks." He looked at the still-free roaming son. Then around for him. "Timmy!" he bellowed. He came running back followed by a janitor. "What did you do?"
"I was trying to get him to stop him from wandering, sir." He closed the door with a smile.
"I said stay in here," Xander told him, putting him back into the stroller too. He looked at his dad then Foreman as he walked back in, reaching over to shut the door again. "Just in case."
"Probably a good thing," he agreed. "Well?"
"She's taking a test dosage to make sure it's not harmful to the body's systems as a control subject."
"Isn't that a faulty thought?" Cameron asked.
"Some researchers are stupid," Xander said, pointing at the boys. "Like the ones who're hiding because they made me sons."
"I thought it was very nice they taught the boys not to pick on people who were tied up," House said dryly. He looked at the board. "The lead?"
"They've been stripping the old paint in their house. Back to the original wood wallboards." House moaned. "Ten layers so far she said."
"That's the lead exposure then," House decided. "Let's treat her for the lead and we'll let the researcher know."
"Oh, let me," Wilson said with a smile. "Do we have his group's name?" Foreman handed it over and he walked out with a wave for the boys. "I'll meet you at lunch in a few minutes."
House snickered. "He's going to have fun. Okay, let's hit lunch, boys." They settled back into the stroller when Daddy stood up. "Good boys. Well trained." Xander grinned and waved, heading out with them. "Chase, if you wanted to you could show up again. Let those two recover." He walked out to follow his son, smirking at a nurse giving him an odd look. "My grandkids. My son just got custody of them."
She whimpered. "There's three generations of you now?" He nodded. Xander smirked and nodded. The boys waved. "Oh, dear. Is your son in medical school?"
"I hate school," Xander told her.
"Thank you, God," she whispered, going back to her paperwork.
"The twins will follow in my glorious footsteps," House assured her. "There'll be two then. When they have kids I'll expect three to go and on down the line until all the medical schools are filled with Houses."
She let out a small, hysterical sounding laugh. "Two Houses?" She went to cry in peace. They'd have to convince one to be a dentist or something.
Xander looked at his father once they were in the elevator. "That was mean, Dad." The doctor in there with them spluttered. Xander grinned. "Yes, I'm a Son of House and those are Grandsons of House, who'll be his clones some year." The doctor got off at the next floor, going to whine to his secretary. He grinned. "Think they'll try to push one to be a vet?"
"Maybe one will be a plastic surgeon. By then I might botox a wrinkle or two. They can give me a discount so I can pick up women half my age."
"Sure, I'll hand off my leftovers, Dad." They got off the elevator with House laughing and the watching nurses all shuddered in horror. Then they looked down and saw the two adorable twins. Xander beamed. "I just got custody of my boys. Aren't they cute?" he asked one. "They already want to be just like Grandpa." One burst out crying and stormed off. "What?" he called after her. "They can be like Grandpa. Or maybe Grandma."
"Come on, son. You're clearly starving. You're being silly. They'll be better than I am. It's a hard notch to make but I'm sure they can." They went to the cafeteria and got the mini thems food and the adults got to finish what they didn't want to eat. The boys even flirted their way into cookies without having to pay for them. The dads appreciated it very much and so did the boys when they got one. Cuddy stormed in and one of the boys grabbed her to hug, making her squeak in outrage.
"Son, no groping," Xander reminded him. "Let Auntie go. Now!" he snapped when his son pouted. "Right now." His son let her go and gave him the puppy eyes look. "Keep it up. Stay home tonight, tomorrow, and the next day." The kids settled down to nibble on their cookies. "Sorry, Cuddy. They made Foreman jump too."
"I heard." She looked at the boys then at them. House was giving her an innocent look. "At least *they'll* grow out of it."
He snorted. "Why? I didn't. It's fun. Not that you're my type or anything." She stomped off again.
"You know, Dad, Buffy thought you were handsome. Maybe I could have a sister," Xander said with a grin.
House looked at him after hearing Cuddy break a plate and a few others whimper in fear. "That thought is too evil, even for me, son. Go home and take a nap with the boys. Take something for your leg too."
"I mean it."
Cuddy came over to look at him. "He's not on pain killers?"
"I haven't been since that first night," Xander told her. "I got beaten up plenty on patrol. I learned how to manage pain."
She stared at him. "Teach your father?"
"He's in a lot of pain. I only got shot, woman. Don't go after him." She backed down. "Tony," he warned. He quit reaching for her. "Thank you. No more groping, son."
"Poo?" he asked with a point.
"No, she'll crap later. Behave." He nodded, stealing a bite of his grandfather's lunch with a grin. "Sure, have some salad. It's good for you." He looked at his father. "She did. I could use a sister."
"Not in my plans, son. But if I get the chance, I'll ask."
Xander grinned. "Just think, if you do it soon they can all go to the same grade school."
"That's truly evil," House said, considering it. "I'd want someone with better brains than her. She's hiding hers and I don't like that. That means I'd have to take fully custody."
"Don't you dare," Cuddy warned.
"Grandma!" the boys squealed, raising their arms so Wilson would hug them.
"Hi, boys. You'd think you missed me," he teased. He gave them each a hug and a kiss on the head. "Let me get my lunch." He went to do that and came back, letting them steal food off his plate. He looked at Cuddy then at the two reasons for her constipated look. "What's wrong with her?"
"Poo!" Timmy said. He nodded. His brother nodded to agree with him.
"Oh, is that it? I can write you something if you don't want to take the generic," he offered.
"We were talking about my son's desire for a sister."
Wilson cackled. "That'd be one tough girl, Xander. If he does, we can get her into medical school so she can go with her nephews. Maybe we'll have another set of twins too." Xander beamed and dug in. He looked at Cuddy. "Need me to write a scrip for you?" She stomped off, going to cry. "Okay, let me know," he called after her with a grin.
"She cut your budget again?" House asked.
"Trying to. We got the dreaded 'count how many sheets of toilet paper you're using' memo again too. I already used that."
Xander giggled. "That's kinda sucky."
"The director isn't here to allocate funds and they're not sure who's doing that. It'll settle in a few weeks."
"It always does," House agreed. "I didn't get that one."
"Maybe one of the Ducklings was desperate," Wilson offered, feeding the boys a bit of broccoli to suck on then eating some himself. They decided it must be good and gnawed on their pieces until it was gone.
"So that's how you do that," Xander said in awe.
"Pretty muchly," Wilson agreed. "How well do you cook?"
"We'll work on it now and then, Xander. That way you guys don't live on takeout. It's bad for them."
"We had cereal for breakfast. And snacks."
"That's usual kid fare," Wilson agreed.
"Really? I'm used to leftovers for breakfast. Usually of takeout the night before."
"I'm going to dig her up and kill her again," House told him.
"So why the constipated look on Cuddy's face?"
"She told me to teach dad how to have a higher pain tolerance."
"We can let the boys torture her." He smiled. "The next time they get the flu bring them to be checked over."
"I can do that," Xander promised with a grin.
"I'm sure you would anyway. Most parents do their first time," House agreed. "I saw one last week during my clinic hours. Came in even though her kid had stopped vomiting to make sure that was normal." Wilson smiled. "Gave her a flu shot too. Just in case." He handed the boys a bite of carrot then ate his. They nibbled it and Tony spit it out. Xander looked at him so he licked it back up. "Thank you. It's not nice to spit in public." They both grinned at him. "We've got to teach daddy how to brush your teeth too." Xander moaned. "Tough."
"Good." He smiled. "Did they play with the keyboard?"
"That's why we went to the park. Tony decided sitting down on the keys made the best noise." House laughed. "Timmy shoved him and nearly broke it. So we went to wear out some energy after getting new clothes and some toys."
"Good job," Wilson praised. Cameron walked in and over to them. "New case?"
"No. Checking to make sure they weren't going to grope anyone else."
"He tried it with Cuddy but he knows better."
"Good." She handed him something. "That'll help them sleep when you need them to." She walked off.
Xander looked at it. Then showed his father, who took it and put it into his pocket. "We're going to yell?"
"Yes I am. Then I'm going to wish triplets like each one of the twins on her some year soon." He finished up. "See you guys tonight." He headed back upstairs. "Boys, scram. We need to talk with Cameron." They ran out. They knew that look. It was not a good look. It was a look that usually got someone hit with the cane. "How dare you," he snarled. She backed into a corner. He followed. Because this was not allowed. This was going to be a long, satisfying rant.
Cuddy leaned in a few minutes later to break up whatever was going on. "What happened?" she asked over the growled yelling and whimpering going on.
"She kindly wrote my grandchildren a sedative prescription and got it filled," he said grimly. "In the wrong strength," he said, looking at her. She cowered further down. "Get out of my sight. Stay out of my sight until I'm no longer mad." She fled. He handed the bottle over to Cuddy. "You can give that back to the pharmacy."
"Crap," she muttered, going to deal with that. She found Cameron and pulled her into the office to talk to her. That was against policy.
House settled down, looking at his male students as they came in. "She's in deep shit, don't make the same mistakes."
"What did she do?" Foreman asked.
"Wrote the boys a sedative prescription and had it filled for Xander."
Chase moaned, sitting down. "They okay?"
"She handed over the bottle and said it was to help them sleep. Ten times stronger than they needed even if they did need it. She didn't figure up their weight." Foreman shuddered. "It will not happen again."
"Of course it won't. That's wrong!" Chase told him. "Xander didn't ask, the boys don't need it, and that's unethical."
House smirked at him. "Running for office?"
"Hell no. My exes might like that."
"Did you date Anya too?" he asked dryly.
"One like her, but not her. As far as I know." He smirked back. "She was exciting. She was tiring. She was very bad for me." He sighed. "Thankfully I made sure I used protection or else I'd have kids and have married her." Foreman shook his head, walking off to do that.
House looked at him. "If you wanted to court Xander, go for it. I'm not standing in the way. He could use someone subtle with taste. He bought a lava lamp."
Chase smiled. "Not my type but good to know. Thank you." He stood up. "They headed home?"
"Good. They need to be away from the people with little sense around here. I'm going to do clinic hours." He went to do that.
House smirked. Maybe he'd talk up that relationship to his son. It'd be better than either baby's momma he already had. And hey, Chase could use the money probably. He always said his father had money, not him. So maybe... The boys liked him a lot. He could put up with all the Houses' senses of humor and dry wit. Hmm. Maybe.