Xander exited the plane first and looked back, helping Greg off the last step with Horatio behind him. "Cars? Or did we forget? You do have the file, right?"
"I do," Horatio agreed. "Calm down, Xander," he said quietly, giving him a gentle smile. "They need fingerprints and DNA." He walked out beside Xander, with Greg on his other side, slightly behind Xander's hip. They rented a car and drove out to the resort after Xander cashed out the money he had on him. The drive was a pleasant one. They were heading into the hills around the crown city of the small country. It was a beautiful drive and Greg took a lot of pictures when he could. Horatio would get copies if they turned out all right. If not, he'd take them on the way back and share with Greg. They parked at the resort, getting out and took up the same positions.
Xander walked up to the registration desk. "Master Tim," he said. "Out of New York and Miami. Trained with Lady Heather."
"I have your registration packet fax here, sir," the woman at the desk offered, pulling it out. She looked at it then at him. "There was a question about the concerns section?"
"I wish to meet with someone over that. But first I have to find Lady Heather."
"She's in the bar, sir. Sign in please?"
"You're Master Tim?" a male voice said. Xander looked back and nodded. "You're said to be a whip man."
"I am," he agreed, finishing his signing in. "This is Horatio Caine and my Gregory." Name tags were made for them. He turned to look at the man. "What? Want me to prove it?"
"Please." He held out his own.
Xander felt it. "Unweighted end. Do you stand off balance?"
"Some," he admitted.
"Very fine leather," he assured him. "Well conditioned but you left some of the oil in the braid by the handle. Do we have a weighted one? I prefer them. It gives me an easier swing."
"I can find one."
"Use mine," one woman said, handing hers over.
He felt it. "Pliable, lightweight. Lightly weighted handle, perfect for your slighter figure. I can use this one." He judged the length then did a practice snap of it. He moved the one man, then looked around. "Is she taken?" he asked, pointing at one woman in a collar.
"That's Reggie's girl. Reggie?" he called. "We're going to use your girl as a test for this one."
"That's fine." He looked at him. "That's too light, boy. Try mine."
Xander handed the whip back to the owner and took that one. "Hmm, weighted about like mine. But other sided, canted off to the right. Are you left handed?" He nodded and smirked. "I'm Master Tim, Lady Heather's student, sir."
"I'm Paul. This charming young woman is Lady Emmanuelle."
"Greetings, m'lady. Behind me are my escort Horatio and my boy Gregory."
"You don't have him collared?"
"I don't feel the need to. He knows where he belongs." He smiled at Greg, who grinned back. "Good boy." He snapped the whip out and his target squeaked because he had hit the opening of her outfit just right and it had popped open. That got a clap. He nodded and handed it back to the owner. "Thank you for the lending."
"Not an issue. Are you all right, dear?"
"Just scared, sir. Am I marked?" He looked and shook his head. That got another round of applause. Xander nodded at her and took Horatio's arm, letting Greg have his free side. "Who was he?" she asked quietly.
"That is Master Tim, Lady Heather's last student," he said quietly.
"I heard he's here for a reason, Master."
"As have I. I'm hoping it comes before the group." He watched him go, watching how his 'escort' walked. "Hmm. An officer," he said quietly. "Must be something particularly bad."
"On the contrary," Emmanuelle said. "It's said his father is one and Master Tim is put into that same category."
"I had forgotten that. Then it must be really bad." That got a nod from both women. "It'll be fun to watch I'm sure." They went to watch.
Xander walked up to Lady Heather and kissed her on the cheek. "My queen."
"Tim, you are a horrible flirt," she teased back, smiling at him. "What are you doing here?" she asked. She had to officially since she was his sponsor.
"The matter we spoke of that happened when I was sixteen. He's here. I bring it before my elders."
"Good. That shows reason. I see you brought Gregory with you." Gregory bowed to her then went to his knees beside her, letting her pet him. "Good boy, Gregory. Horatio, no hug?"
"Lady Heather," he said, smiling before he hugged her and kissed her on the cheek. "Miami has been boring since you went home."
"With this one? Not from what I've heard," she teased.
"I wasn't in Miami for that," Xander teased back, giving her a small smirk. "May I please borrow a couch?"
"Of course you may, dear. Now, give me a proper greeting." He gave her a long hug and a kiss on the ear. "Thank you, my boy. Let's go up to my suite for a few minutes so I can look at what you have." They nodded and Gregory got up, following like he was her guard, Tim beside her and Horatio behind Tim. Once they were inside, Greg got a cuddle from her as well and she sat down with the file, letting Greg sit at her feet to get petted. "Xander, another one of my former students is here. You and Santiago should meet."
"Of course. I heard a lot about him from some of the people who work for you, Lady Heather."
She smiled at that. "The file is very thick."
"That's partially the FBI file and partially the one my grandsire compiled," Xander offered, sitting on her free side. Horatio sat down next to Greg. "Greg, you can talk freely with us here."
"I know. Horatio?" He got a gentle smile. "Do you pet?"
"I pet very well, Greg. Would you like some?" He nodded hesitantly and Horatio stroked through the soft, dark blond hair. Greg moaned and leaned into his hand. "Good?"
"Very," he groaned. "Nearly as good as Lady Heather's nails."
"No coming, Greg," Lady Heather instructed. She smiled when he complied. "Good boy." She went back to reading, letting Horatio have him. Right now those three needed to deal with each other. "May I take this to the seniors?"
"Of course," Xander agreed. "They wanted my aid in making sure it was him. Which means fingerprints and DNA samples. Then they wanted him. I can easily use the Codes to ask them to hand him over."
"That may be acceptable in this case," she admitted, standing up. Her long skirt slid back down her stockings. "I'll be right back, boys. Talk while I'm gone." She left them alone, heading to the meeting area. She found one of the seniors and waited patiently for him to acknowledge her.
"Don't just stand there, Lady Heather. We've heard the boy came for a reason."
"He was nearly sold to this one when he was sixteen," she said quietly, handing over the file. "The authorities want him and Tim wants him punished as well. He would be willing to see him turned over to them if that is the will of the Senior advisors."
"Who compiled this?"
"Partially his Grandsire, Raphael. Partially the FBI. He's went after my boy a few times. He worries Horatio terribly since he has tried to take root in Miami but they can't convict him of anything. The prosecutors are saying there's not enough evidence."
He snorted and handed it back. "I will ask them to convene tonight after dinner. Bring the boy back." He looked her over then into her eyes. "He was nearly sold to him by who?"
"His original parents. Fortunately two officers in his town adopted him. One is Horatio's second in command. The other is in Seattle."
"He has signed a contract with Gregory?"
"There's some issues that the three of them are working out, Master Andrew. All three have been talking to me and I'm going to use this time to make them see what they really want out of this relationship."
"Would the very stern redhead accept Gregory's place?"
"That's one issue."
"Hmm. Good luck to you, Lady Heather. I've heard Master Tim needs a keeper now and then." He gave her a look. "Stripping?"
"Gregory's idea," she admitted, rolling her eyes. "He is only twenty," she pointed out. He smiled. "He has a long life ahead of him if we can get him protected from the evils that women do around him. I think I'm one of five that he knows who don't want to kill him, just mother him."
"The boy could probably use it. I'll see you directly after dinner, young lady."
"Yes, Master Andrew. I'll bring it back then."
"What did they want? Since I know someone put the boy up to this?"
"Him. However we hand him over they can't complain. They do want samples of his fingerprints and DNA to make sure it's the right person."
"Reasonable. I'll see you after dinner." She nodded, going back to her suite while he found another member of the advisory panel with his eyes and nodded him over. He came strolling over. "The pretender is here?"
"In the bar. He heard Master Tim was here and wants him badly. They sent him to retrieve him?" That got a nod. "He's bringing it to us?"
"Through Lady Heather."
"She's a good influence and in this case it's the right thing to do."
"Twenty-seven bodies," he said quietly.
"Then it's definitely the right thing to do. After dinner?"
"Agreed. That's when it told her we'd meet with her and the boy."
"Excellent. I saw him prove himself with the whip when he signed in. I must say, he has good taste. I would gladly hold and cherish both of his toys." He walked off, going back to his chatting about how to attract new ones to the life for real, not those who wanted dinner theater or to play.
Lady Heather walked in and found Xander looking at his boys while Horatio and Greg talked. "You should be with them."
"They need to talk as well," Xander said, looking at her. "Are we a go?"
"After dinner." She sat down and he sank into her side, earning a smile. "Tired from the flight, precious?"
"A bit. Greg and I slept most of the way over." He yawned. "It's just that you're so comfy to nap on, Lady Heather. Do you think I should give Mom the loose jewels I found in my wife's things or go buy her pretty, sparkly things?"
"I think you should give her a choice," she admitted. "Jewelry tastes vary by person. I can't see her wearing what I do." Xander shook his head quickly, making her smile. "The same as I can't see her wearing delicate jewelry either."
"Good point. Whichever she doesn't want I'll give to the stepmom."
"That is an excellent idea, Xander." She stroked through his hair. "I heard my package of presents was sent."
He looked up. "That way you have something to look forward to on your first night back from your vacation." She smiled at that. "I always need a motivator after I take a few days off."
"I probably will," she agreed, patting him on the head. She looked at Horatio, who looked like he was explaining something to Gregory. "Horatio, darling, one point to consider. He would be yours when he was there."
"I'm not sure I'd be comfortable sharing him with others when he was at home. I do get jealous and guard what is mine." He looked at her. He and Greg both smiled and Greg took a picture of the mother/son duo. "I want a copy of that, Greg." That got a nod and a grin. "The concerns I have are some of the same Xander has. How it will change their relationship is still the biggest."
"That is a valid point but adding you into his life won't change their relationship, only what part of the bed he sleeps on." Greg blushed. "I know, you'd prefer between them?"
"Now and then but Xander's still unsure if he can be topped."
"Xander has more bottom in him than most people give him credit for," Horatio assured him. She looked down at the first quiet snore, then smiled at him. Greg took another picture. "Just because Xander doesn't know how good it feels doesn't mean he won't be having both of us any way we please, Greg. I'm still not sure that my being with him would suit your needs, because you do need him."
"I can go to Lady Heather when I have needs out in Las Vegas."
"Yes, but part of your needs is a lot of affection," Horatio reminded him. "I wouldn't want to keep you from dating at home but I would feel the desire to."
Greg looked at him. "Then limit me, Horatio," he said quietly. "Yes, it'll change what Xander and I have. I don't want to be there all the time. I don't have time to date." Horatio gave him a gentle squeeze, earning a moan. "You feel like safety and security. With him I get this naughty thrill of danger with that, with you I just feel safe."
"Which is good," Lady Heather agreed. "That is how it should feel when you find home, Gregory. What about when you touch Xander, Horatio?"
He searched for the right phrase. "It's like that last burst of warmth and light as the sun goes down."
"You're not that old."
"I'm over twice his age, Lady Heather."
"So? Who said love is wrong at your age?" He blushed at that, ducking his head some. "Come here, Horatio." He came over. "Can you protect Xander like he needs? Take care of him, watch his back, give him what he needs and wants in a mate?" Horatio nodded. "Can you accept that Gregory has much the same needs but needs the structure as well?" He nodded again. "Can you accept that you can do it for both of them?"
"I can but I'm still Catholic and parts of my mind and soul are screaming at me."
"Xander is a reward for a life well lived, Horatio. If you ever treat him any other way I will show you the error of your ways. Greg is like a winning lottery ticket." He smiled at that. "They would be good for you. You could stand to learn to love again and to let your circle of love grow. Now, the room on the right is yours, boys. Go in there." She let Horatio pick Xander up and carry him in there with Greg behind him. "Be very careful of him, Gregory. Xander is still in the first blush of experimentation."
"I know, Lady Heather. We'll have to see who gets him first." He smiled and closed the door, going to cuddle up with Xander so Horatio could watch them. He seemed like he'd like that. "He is very cuddly, Horatio," Greg tempted.
"You both are, Gregory." Greg shivered. "Or are you only Gregory to him?"
"With him that means I'm there with him for some treatment from Master Tim. With you I'm not sure yet."
"Which is why we won't rush this." He leaned down to kiss him, then Xander's head, making him wake up some. "Take a short nap, Xander. I've got you." Xander nodded and snuggled back into Greg's side, rubbing himself gently against his thigh. Greg moaned and stiffened up. "Not in your clothes, boys. That's nasty for whoever has to clean them." Greg undid his pants and started to wiggle out of them, getting a smile from Horatio for it. "Xander, strip down," he ordered. "You can't have those sort of dreams in those pants."
"Can, meant for it," he complained but his eyes were closed. Greg poked him and he glared at him. "Quit."
"Out of the pants, Master Tim. That way we can appreciate the view." Xander blushed but got up and stripped himself down to his briefs, letting them see anything they wanted.
Horatio looked over his body. "I do not like that many scars on a body, Xander, but you and I have talked about that." He pulled him closer, looking at him. "Do you want to see, Xander? Is Lady Heather right?"
"I nearly rubbed myself against you while I was cuddling on the way to Cyprus," he said quietly. "I couldn't with Daddy in there."
Horatio smiled. "It's best we take this a bit slow, Xander." He stroked over his back and down to his rear, pulling their hips into contact. "I want to hear the grand total of what you've seen and know about gay sex, Xander. Before we go any further."
"No, we can nap. But we will be talking tonight." Xander nodded and snuggled back into Greg's side, staring up at him. Horatio stared back. "What?"
"Your turn," Greg said quietly. "Please?" He took off his shirt and put it on top of his pants.
"If I must." He let his jacket slide off and then untucked his shirt, unbuttoning it for them, enjoying the staring going on. That joined his jacket on the back of the chair. Then he sat down to take off his shoes and socks. Those went under the chair. Then he stood up to undo his belt and pants. Someone knocked. Greg moaned. "Hold that thought." He went to answer it, finding it being Lady Heather. "I was going to put them down for a nap, did you need them?"
"No, I was checking since it was so quiet." She looked him over, then those two on the bed. "They are very pretty together, Horatio. Opposites in some ways and bookends in another." She stroked his shoulder. "Did you think on the practical matters?"
"We're not there yet."
"Good. There is a supply cabinet in the play area." She smiled at him and winked. "Including the necessary condoms and lubricant." She strolled off. "I'm going to retire for my own nap. I doubt you'll wake me up since I'm on this side of the suite." She closed her door.
Horatio closed theirs and smiled at his boys, letting down his zipper and taking off his pants. They both stared and Xander swallowed. "What?"
"You're a little bit furry. Greg's really smooth," Xander said, holding up a hand. "Come to bed and help me nap?"
"If you want." He came over, laying behind Xander's back. He stroked up his arm, then covered them up since it was cool in the room. Xander smiled shyly at him. "Rest if you want. I'm going to touch you and Greg to get used to you." That got a nod and Horatio started with Xander's chest since it was facing away from him. It also let him brush the back of his hand against Greg's chest. He shifted against Xander's back. "What have you done with a man, Xander?"
"Kissed. I kissed one of my dates and Greg once. I've cuddled with more clothes on with Greg when I had the hangover." Horatio made a quiet purring noise. "I've had dinner."
"What have you seen?" Horatio asked in his ear.
"Two men going at it in the back of a club. They were kissing and groping. I got caught staring and they invited me over but I blushed and stammered out that I was trying to figure out which way I liked it better so I was watching to see which one got me hotter. They put on a good show of groping for me. I kissed both of them I guess. Nothing intense, just soft, gentle, virgin kisses." He shifted and Horatio's hand moved down to his stomach. "During my first time on stage, the client asked me to bend over and stand with my feet wide apart so he could look at my hole. He said I was too pure for his party to do more than look at," he confessed. Greg moaned at that. "I told you about that."
"You did. Did the drag queen touch?"
"Just ran a finger over the outside of me."
Horatio groaned at that. "Did it feel good?" Xander nodded quickly, leaning his head against Horatio's shoulder. "Good boy, Xander. Relax and let me explore you. What else have you watched?"
"There was a trio in one of the clubs. Two guys kissing and their bitch on his knees blowing one." He moaned when the hand hit a spot that felt good. Horatio stayed to tease it for a few minutes. "That was interesting to watch. They treated him like he was only there to watch them do that. One of them offered to let me take their bitch's place. They didn't like me watching. I said I could try but I didn't know what to do. They said they didn't have the energy to break in virgins and told me to go find another daddy figure."
"Am I?" Horatio asked in his ear, getting a quick head shake. "Good. Because I'm not taking Speed's place in your life." That got a smile from both young men. "What else have you seen?"
"A few tapes. One got seriously kinky."
"So you do like to watch?"
"Now and then. Mom said I got too noisy when it was just my imagination." He tensed up when Horatio's hand moved lower and let out a deep moan. "You're teasing me. I'm the tease."
"You are. You tease me all the time," Horatio promised him. His hand moved back up and Xander pouted. "I'll go back to it, Xander. Right now I'm learning how you respond to my touches." Xander put his hand back down where it had been. "I felt that. Right now I want to find all the spots that make you moan."
"All over. I'm very tactilly sensitive."
"He's nearly as bad as I am sometimes," Greg admitted.
"When I first met Aiden she tried to pat me on the back and I moved away from her," Xander admitted, looking down so he wouldn't have to see their pity. "She taught me what a hug was and Timmy made me learn to cuddle."
"Then you're an exceptional student at that art," Greg assured him, kissing him. Xander gave him a shy smile. "You are. You're a champion cuddler." He snuggled back in against his front, learning and touching Xander's chest as well. Someone knocked on the door. "Can I bark?"
"No," Horatio ordered. "You can get the door however."
"Make me think with a hard-on, Horatio," he complained. But he did as ordered, finding a taller man on the other side. "Lady Heather's taking a nap."
"I heard. I came to meet my fellow student." He looked him over. "Tell him I will see him at dinner."
"Of course, Master Santiago. We'll be there."
"Thank you." He walked off.
Greg closed the dinner. "We'll be seeing Santiago at dinner." He dove back in, making Xander wiggle and laugh and then pin him to the bed. "I'm a naughty boy."
"If you are, I'll have to spank you," Xander warned. Greg whimpered. "Will this be enough for you, Gregory?"
"It will," he promised. "If not, we'll figure out something new." He stroked over Xander's cheek and Xander leaned down to kiss him. A bit hesitantly at first then deeper, with tongues playing and being sucked on. They both heard Horatio moan and Xander broke off to kiss him. Horatio reclaimed Xander to hold and play with for now, letting Greg have his back and touching rights. Greg moved down to kiss his neck and shoulders. "You taste good when you sweat, Xander," he promised. He slid off his underwear and wrestled the others' off them so they had better room to play.
Horatio pulled back to look at him. "His ass is mine the first time, Greg."
Greg wobbled then his need to be under someone came out and made him nod. "If you want, Horatio. How far are we going today?"
"Today I'm going to reenact one dream I've heard." Xander sucked in a breath. "I believe I was teaching you how to touch and suckle on me, Xander."
"Oooh," he moaned, moving down to look at him closer.
"Gently," Horatio warned. Xander looked up and nodded, looking at what was soon going to be his. "Touch it, Xander," he encouraged after a few minutes of Xander staring at him. One hesitant finger came up to tease his head. He shivered and got harder. "You can use more than a fingertip." Xander shifted and went back to the light, teasing contact. "Use more than a fingertip, Xander." Xander leaned forward and licked him. That earned a deep, satisfied moan. "Move your hips up here, Xander."
"No, that way I can touch you at the same time." Xander shook his head. "Xander, it doesn't matter if you fart or whatever you're worried about." Xander moved his hips up to let him play. He started and Xander forgot what he was doing. He stopped. "Go back to it." Xander went back to what he was doing. "No teeth." Xander tried. "Shift position, no teeth, Xander." Xander shifted back down to lay between his legs. "Fine. You can't do two things at once yet." He played a hand through the dark hair. "Further down," he said with a gentle pressure on the head. Xander went down. "Just like that. Breathe in as you go down. Swallow when you start to gag." Xander did that, going down further then he came back up. "Again, play with what you're not sucking on." Xander did that. "Good boy," he said, patting his hair. "Now go down all the way next time." Xander went down and swallowed, making him moan. He came up after a short pause. "Good. That's very good, Xander. Do it again." Xander went back down, making Greg moan. "Teeth, Xander. No teeth, please. And a bit more suction. Not that much," he said with a wince. Xander eased off on his poor organ but went back to playing and learning.
"He's very oral," Greg whispered. "He and Lady Heather used to talk about how he had pleased his girlfriends." He stroked over Horatio's stomach. "Can I help him?"
"He's doing fine, Greg. Xander, suction," he moaned, arching up. "Faster is all right," he offered a few minutes later. Xander kept on going slowly and steadily. Horatio arched up again, nearly choking him. But he changed directions and went with it. "Faster, Xander. I like it harder and faster." Xander looked up at him, licking over the tip of his cock. "Please?"
"I'm exploring and learning, Horatio. Let me learn." He went back to it but he did go a bit faster and added a bit more suction, making Horatio happier.
Horatio went back to playing with Greg. He was getting closer. "Xander, I want you to swallow," he ordered. Xander paused to look up at him. "All that you can. It'll be good for you."
"Sure. I'm all for learning about it. I cleaned up my women." He went back down and went back to playing. He watched Horatio tease Greg's nipples. "He's got a sensitive spot just above the scar on his right side." He swallowed Horatio and sucked harder, making him nearly yelp, then he eased up and went up, then went back down, trying to swallow while he had it down his throat. Horatio came and he pulled back to taste it and play with some of it, swallowing the rest. Horatio pulled him up to kiss. Xander ended up straddled on his lap, spread across his chest. He moaned when he pulled back.
"My turn," Horatio said smoothly, pulling Xander up a bit higher. "Some day soon you'll be in that position for a different reason," he said, teasing his ass. "Has anyone touched this, Xander?"
"The trannie queen teased it with a finger and it tickled."
"Tickled good or funny feeling?" he asked, doing the same.
"Odd, but I want to wiggle." He did wiggle and a fingertip slid in barely. He took another kiss. "That feels very big."
"It will but there's bigger things that will fit with some preparation." He got to work teasing and learning Xander's responses, letting Greg watch for now. He was moaning and writhing under the simplest of touches. "I think someone needs more tactile attention." he soothed. Xander yelped when he scraped him with his teeth. "That's why no teeth, Xander." Xander nodded frantically, his hips thrusting up when Horatio pulled back. "Easy, calm down." He licked a finger and slid it into Xander's passage, making him go limp under him and come. "I thought you'd make a good bottom," he teased, cleaning him up.
"Please more?" he begged, sounding breathless.
"Do you like this?" Xander nodded frantically. "You know, in some clubs, bottom boys get blown and then taken immediately afterward," he teased.
"Not tonight, Xander. It'll take some time to stretch you out so you don't get hurt."
"It'll hurt for a few minutes but then it'll feel good," Greg promised, coming over to stroke Xander's back while Horatio pulled out the first finger. He held it up and Xander gave him a look. "Get it wet."
"Then just spit, Xander. That's a thought to deal with another time." Xander spit on the fingers and this time Horatio slid in two.
"That kinda feels full and a bit tight." He wiggled his hips and Horatio slowly moved it for him. "Still really full."
"That's why we're taking time to get you used to larger things back there," Horatio agreed. He slowly played and found that one special spot. Xander yelped loudly then went limp across his body. "Feel good?" he asked a bit smugly.
"Do more or I'm biting," Xander said, his cheek pressed against Horatio's chest. He got spanked. "Ow! Meany. No spanking in bed. I will not be spanked." He wiggled off the fingers and found the lube, going back to play with himself. He moaned and groaned, watching Horatio play with himself and Greg go down to help him. It got him nearly as hot as his fingers did.
"I think you like to watch," Horatio told him. Xander smirked and went back to playing with himself. Horatio grabbed him and pulled him over Greg's back, going back to playing with him. Xander went limp, letting him do whatever he wanted. Greg had to wiggle free so he could breathe but Horatio smiled and let him play with the hardening cock. "Good boy, Xander. You too, Greg. Very nice technique." Greg grinned and went down on him, stroking Horatio. "Good boys. Very nice." Xander kissed him and moved up, straddling his lap again. "Some day soon, Xander. When two fingers only makes you ache for more, not just ache." Xander kissed him again.
"Can you put it in me this time?" he begged. "Just press it so you shoot inside?"
"I'll see what I can do but it'll hurt if I do that right now." He shifted Xander down, thrusting between his cheeks, letting him get used to that feeling. He wiggled, trying to get it where the fingers were, but Horatio held him firm. "Relax, let me do it," he ordered. He was starting to get closer, staring at his young lover. "How did it feel earlier?"
"Good. Right. Good in my mouth," he said, sitting up to let him rub in a better place. Horatio moaned and shifted so his tip was barely pressing where his fingers were. Xander pushed back some. "Please?"
"Shh, let me," he warned. Greg came down to lick him. Horatio jerked and pressed in a bit more. Xander winced but he came and some of it did make it inside to help his fingers. He spread them, working on stretching him. Xander came with a moan and went limp across his chest again. Greg cleaned them both up but Xander wiggled away from his tongue. "We'll work on that some other time, Greg."
"Sure." He came to lick up what Xander had spilled, then whimpered softly. Horatio pulled him over. "Xander, would you like to finish Greg off? Show him how good you learned on me." Xander leaned over to plaster his face in Greg's crotch, playing and teasing him until he came. Then he petted him gently until Greg fell asleep. "Good job," Horatio praised quietly. He petted Xander, getting a head tip but nothing else. "I want to treat you nicely," he soothed.
"Nothing close to spanking?" Xander shook his head. "Not even a squeeze?"
"Squeezing is fine. Spanking is not. It is a trigger and you're lucky I didn't leave," he said quietly, looking at him. "It's one of the things I will walk away for, Horatio."
"I understand. We all have things we won't do. Would you try things?"
"Now and then. I am still learning."
Horatio smiled. "Good. Then get used to your ass being my playground, Xander. I'm going to do everything in it. Am I clear?" Xander shivered but put his head back down. "Good." He smiled and tugged on Greg's arm so he cuddled up to his side with an arm over Xander's back. "There, better." Xander nodded. "You are cuddly?"
"I'm more cuddly than Greg. He likes to be petted, I like to be held."
"I like both. It'll be fine and we'll work it out." Xander nodded, going limp across him. He smiled and continued to stroke through Greg's hair and over Xander's back. Greg woke up and looked at him. "Sleep, Greg. We've got a few more minutes before we have to get up."
"Should shower. It's rude to go to dinner smelling like sex. It's like an invitation." He kissed Xander on the throat, getting a sleepy smile. "Thank you."
"I like petting you."
"I meant the blow job, Xan..." He shook his head. "Sorry."
"When I'm not actively working on you I'm Xander, Greg." Greg relaxed. "Good boy." He kissed him again. "Go shower." Greg went to shower. "We should do the same."
"If I take a shower with you, I'm going to be eating you until you scream and walk funny," Horatio warned. Xander shivered. "Go shower with Greg. Time to spend time with him." Xander got up and went to shower with Greg. Horatio basked in the afterglow. He had one very creative and willing lover that he could teach anything he wanted him to do. He had one part-time lover who knew what to do and enjoyed doing it in exchange for petting. The only problem he could see was that the two got into trouble together. The female giggling going on in the bathroom showed him that. He got up and went in there, finding Lady Heather giggling at the boys while they kissed and groped. "They're pretty together."
"They are. I need Xander back as Master Tim, Horatio." She smiled and stroked his cheek. "If you hurt my boys, I will kill you as only a Dominatrix can," she said quietly. He nodded, accepting that. "Then I'll let Grissom help me hide your body. Boys! The rest of us need the bathroom." Xander reached out to pull her in, making her shriek. "Xander!"
He grinned. "You said you needed it and we don't mind if you do your hair while I play with Greg." He turned his back on her and went back to playing and teasing Greg.
She shook her head but took the opportunity to shower off her nap and freshen up. Horatio was nice enough to leave so she had privacy. "Boys, that was not polite," she chided gently.
Xander blew a kiss back at her. "It was not. I'm not watching you shower, m'lady. Neither is Greg. We're being very polite, but they only gave us one shower." She swatted at him so he turned and gave her a hug and a kiss on the neck. "Did you know how amazing playing with your ass feels?" he whispered.
"Actually, I do." She smiled at him. "Go back to Gregory, Xander." He turned and went back to molesting his boy. She smiled but shook her head. "So it was good?"
"He only got him up to two fingers today but he has an *amazing* mouth, Lady Heather," Greg told her. "He has a mouth that drew my cum out like it was magnetized to his tongue. It was sin and pleasure. Like your nails in my hair." She turned and gave them a joint hug. "Thank you." He rested his cheek on Xander's shoulder. "I'll try to be good for them but I'll be seeing you when I'm at home. Horatio is possessive and so is Xander."
"I welcome you back openly, Gregory. You know that." She stroked over his hair. "I'm nearly done. Get cleaned up." Xander fell to his knees to bring Greg off, making her smile. "Ah. I knew he'd make a great bottom." She winked at Greg before doing one last rinse. "Enjoy, dears. Supper is in forty minutes and Horatio still has to clean as well." Greg yelped two minutes later and the occupants traded places.
Xander walked out of the dining room, smiling at the trio of men staring at him. "Sirs."
"Yes, sir." He looked at him. "I didn't know who was on the advisory panel."
"I'm not. I'm the trainee of one." Xander nodded at that information. "Tell me of this one."
"I'll do what I can. Fortunately I had two people who saved me and now mean the world to me as my *real* parents."
"He didn't have you?"
"Aiden found that my parents had accepted money for my ass to be killed. Literally. She ran them out of town and had a friend run him out. My parents ran for their lives from her. It says something when an officer is going to commit homicide. Justifiable homicide."
"That's fine." He led them out of the way. "How did you know what he does?"
"Timmy and Aiden were the detectives in Sunnydale. He called the people in LA while she paced. What he found out made her go after my parents for me." He lifted his chin a bit. "At that time we knew he had killed at least six people pretending to be a dom. We know that he started with a cane on their buttocks, he moved to a bastinado on their back, and then up to a share cropper's whip. At that time they only said whip but I looked at the files and it was a share cropper's whip by size and depth of the cut. He's not a technician with it, he went for brute strength. After he got done with the first round, he took a long break, usually had dinner he taunted them with according to the one who made it through to the initial surgery. Then he went back after he had regained his strength. Starting with rape. Then he went back to beating them with blunt instruments, ending with repeated blows to the back of his victim's head until their skull fractured and split open," he finished grimly.
"Tim found that out, Aiden went after my parents, who knew, they searched for the most brutal they could find to get rid of me, and she went after him but the LAPD was onto him and she was convinced to let them handle it. They nearly got him on trying to buy me but they wouldn't let me testify. Now he's done it to others, dirtying the name I wear proudly. I'll be *damned* if I'm going to be associated with a man who's killed twenty-seven people in such a brutal method." He paced. "I started out my training with a lot of misconceptions. There for a time, I thought he had just went a bit too far. Even seeing the files I thought this was about violence. Then my first teacher, Steven, showed me that I was there to help people. Occasionally to let some people play but mostly to help people. I've learned to honor this name. I've learned to love who I am. Going to Lady Heather was one of the *best* decision of my life." He paused to look at them.
"It gave me a stepmother that I can go to with any questions, ethical or not. Sexual or not. She helped me figure shit out about myself that I hadn't even thought was possible. Then I came to Miami due to my parents trying to sell me again. He followed and tried for me again. I'm not sure he wasn't behind the beating I took that ended up with me being put back into my house and it being set on fire." They shuddered. "I'm *damn* lucky I'm still here. I only got mild first degree burns from that but it took nearly *everything* in my life. Including the business I had started. Including some peace of mine of myself and my clients. And he's still coming after me. He sent me a letter of interest of working with me sometime. The next day apparently he found out who I was and he sent the MDPD crime lab, my father works there, a death threat against me. Dad never told me but I know. I heard some of the other officers. The same as I know that he had something to do the fire because he sent me a box of matches while I was in Las Vegas." That got a shudder from one of the others. "He's still coming after me. I'm the one who got away from him. And I'll be *damned* if I'm going to wear the same title as a murderer like him!"
"Yet you hunted," the man who was questioning him noted.
"I did what was necessary to save lives," he said simply. "Until you've lived in a town where a quarter of the population will die in one year due to a creature that's the demonic cousin of a roach, until you've watched your best friends die, you don't know what you'll do when they come after you."
"How many kills did you have?"
"They weren't human and I don't keep a kill count or any souvenirs. I did what I did to save lives. Not for fun. Not for pleasure. Because it sure as hell wasn't a pleasure. I will admit I went after a few of them for stress relief. They were still hunting people who had no clue what they were."
"They were human."
"Before they got eaten. Then they made the decision to hunt."
"They hunt to live."
"Really? Then would you like to explain how some of them don't hunt? Angel doesn't hunt. Spike can't hunt anymore. They survive very well without hunting. Including using volunteers. My Grandfather and Grandsire don't hunt and they're doing just fine without killing." That got a step back. "That's right, I'm Patrick Benis' grandson. Just found out when I was in New York," he said with a proud grin. "I love my Grandfather. He nibbles on some of his staff now and then. They do it voluntarily. They're not hurt. For that matter, most vampires don't drink all that much blood. They drink enough to kill them but that's because they like it. They're doing evil things. Hell, some of them have tried to end the world! I helped stop them too!"
"Calm down," Lady Heather ordered from behind him.
"I'm sorry. My emotions are high when I'm accused of being a mass murderer for hunting vampires and keeping people safe." He calmed himself. "I don't care if you don't like what I did to save lives. I don't know you. I don't care about your opinion on my life. I don't care if you don't like that I take a therapy standpoint on how I help my clients instead of playing with them sexually. I could care less if you like this guy. I'm not going to let my own safety be compromised. If he comes after me after this, I'm going to protect myself and my family. I'll be very upset with myself. I'll punish myself for years for it, but I won't be killed by him. If he comes after my parents, I'll have him then too." That got a solemn nod.
"I'm sorry if you hate me. I don't care though. You live over here and I don't. I have a life I'm content with. I have clients that I have helped. I have clients I'm still helping and I'm going to continue to help. They need me. No one needs that man. No one wants that man. I doubt any of his people agreed to be killed in such a brutal way. I know I sure as hell didn't when my parents tried to sell me to him and I still sure as hell don't want to be killed that way now that he's coming after me for getting away from him. For that matter, all I ask is that you help us determine if it is indeed him and then hand him over to the proper people. I'm not asking you to get your hands dirty or anything. Just shun the bastard." He felt her stroke his back and stepped back. "Where am we going?" he asked her.
"The main meeting room," she said. "Thank you for letting him vent."
"I think it is a good cause," the questioning one noted. "He makes good points. Even if he is still emotional."
"I'm nearly twenty. Strong emotions and opinions are for the young," Xander said, shrugging.
"True. Come." He led the way in there. Two of the men behind him took seats. The other one walked in from another door. "This is Lady Heather and her student, Master Tim."
"Do you have a real name, young man?"
"Thank you. Your name means?"
"I honor my adoptive father."
"That is a good thing to do. Does he accept your new life?"
"He was wary but he understands that I'm not the sort who does this for shits, giggles, and sexual gratification. If I fell into any of those categories he'd be complaining daily. Since I see what I do as therapy and healing, he accepts and admires how I help others."
That got a smile. "Do you discriminate against those who use it for sexual gratification?"
"I'm all for it as long as it's not kids, pets, or dead people." That got a laugh. "As long as they consent I have no right to say how anyone has sex as long as they're not kids, pets, or dead people." He shrugged. "Why should I care? They'll take no for an answer if they come to me."
"True." The man who hadn't heard listened to the tape the other two had made, then looked at him. "You have some very good points, young man. Do you wish him to be punished?"
"They think they have enough evidence to punish him legally. If they didn't, I would say yes. I would help with it myself. I have their file if you need it."
"I have looked it over. The others?" They nodded so Lady Heather presented it. "You do grace us with beauty, Lady Heather."
"Thank you, sir."
"You're very welcome. How runs your house?"
"Very well since I had to rebuild." That got a curious look. "The last people Master Tim's parents sold him to took offense at my affection for the boy and decided to punish my house by trying to burn it."
"The allegation that this one had something to do with the fire. Can we prove that?" one of them asked.
"You'd have to ask my escort, Horatio. He heads the crime lab down in Miami."
"Have him and your toy found and brought in." Xander gave him a dry look. "He is not?"
"He is not. I don't have toys. I have never had toys," he said quietly. "I'm too old to play with toys now."
"Your parents are where, young man?"
"Dead," Lady Heather sighed. "His mother was killed by the last slavers who wanted him and his father was killed by them in Las Vegas. Unfortunately before we could meet." Xander gave her a gentle hug. "Thank you, dear."
"They weren't worth the sweat you'd give out whipping them," he reminded her. "I have good parents. They saved and adopted me."
She smiled. "You do. Aiden is a very strong woman."
"Would she make a good dom?" the one on the left asked.
"Only with vocal commands. She is very fiery," Lady Heather said while Xander giggled and shook his head. "His temper can be a lot like hers at times." Horatio and Gregory came in together. "They asked a question about his possible involvement in the fire."
"We think it is likely though most of the leads have gone cold," Horatio admitted. "We do know he was involved in the beating. The fire later was to cover it up so it is a logical conclusion. We know he did hire vampires to help him. His grandsire helped get him free of them but he was taken before he could prevent it."
"Thank you. You have proof of that?" Horatio nodded and handed over a diskette. They ran it and looked over the information then nodded. They talked quietly. Then they took their seats again. "We will not help you." Xander opened his mouth and he held up a hand. "We will also not help him. We want proof that this is the same person before any decision on his shunning or handing over can be made."
"With all due respect," Greg said. "Horatio and I are both crime scene investigators, sir. We can compare his fingerprints and DNA to the one on file with the evidence the FBI has. That would take less than a day if they can get it to a decent lab. If you could have him confined to his rooms and let us take his fingerprints and hair samples it can be done easily enough. There's a local Interpol office that would probably help."
They considered that then nodded. "We will have him confined and let you take what you need to confirm his identity," the one in the middle decided.
"Thank you," Horatio agreed. "Where might he be?"
"In the other room," the one on the right offered dryly. "We had him held and listening so he could share his side when the time came."
"As is proper," Xander agreed. "Everyone should have the right to speak in their own behalf." That got a smile from them. "Thank you."
"You're welcome, Master Tim," the one in the middle agreed. "You are continuing to see clients?"
"I am. The ones who needed me before. I'm still debating on restarting the massage and general dom business I used to run out of my old house. My grandparents bought me a new one even though I asked them not to spoil me." That got a smile. "Thank you." He bowed. "Do you need Lady Heather or can we take her to chat while they take whatever they need?"
"You can have her, young man. Go have fun. This is your first convention." Xander smiled and led her out to go see what was going on. "Do be gentle, gentlemen."
"Of course," Horatio agreed. He led Greg into the other room. "We'll need some ink and paper, plus a small plastic bag and tweezers," Horatio ordered. That got a nod from one of the guards, who produced a scene kit. "Even better." Greg got the DNA samples while he took the fingerprints. Then Horatio called the number in the file. "It's Caine. I have fingerprints and DNA from your suspect. I can do that. Get us a lab." He hung up and nodded. "Greg?" He nodded and they left to meet with their contact and be taken to the lab they were borrowing. He shook hands with the head of the lab. "Thank you for your indulgence."
"Serial killers who travel for pleasure annoy us all," she agreed. "What did you need?"
"We have hair samples for DNA and fingerprints," Horatio offered. "This is Gregory Sanders, he works under Gil Grissom in Las Vegas. He was his DNA tech for five years."
"I've heard of you and your lab, Mr. Sanders," she offered, shaking his hand. He smiled back. "This way." She let them to the various areas.
Horatio gave the fingerprint tech a polite nod and bent down to do a visual comparison. He stood up. "Greg?" He came in. "How many DNA samples did we have?"
"Four. He had three helpers at one point in time." He came in to look through the file. "They gave you the wrong set."
"Then we'll run it through AFIS," Horatio offered. The tech got out of the way, letting him run it through the system. He got a hit off immigration in the US and off, "Ah, I love the LAPD. They're on the ball this time. It's a match." He printed both matches out and put them with the file and the original fingerprints. He nodded again. "Thank you for the borrowing." He went to find Greg, finding him spinning the solution. "We have a match to the main person."
"The others are dead so I'd hope so," Greg admitted. The sample finished the first part and he worked on preparing it for the machine. Horatio watched him work then smiled when the computer spit out an answer. They compared it and he nodded. "Match," he agreed. They turned and found the head of the lab waiting. "We have a match," he agreed.
"Good. Can we help apprehend this person?"
Horatio smiled. "He's at the dom's convention." She shuddered in horror, looking sick. "I don't think we'll have a problem with that issue." She nodded and bowed. They shook her hand and were taken back to the hotel. They presented their findings over breakfast to the table holding the advisors. "A perfect match."
That got a mass nod. "Then we will hand him over tonight. After an opportunity for him to confess and for your boy to have closure."
"I can't complain as long as he can stand trial."
"Agreed. Have them come back tonight at midnight." Horatio went to tell their ride that, getting a nod.
Don Flack looked up as Mac walked into his squadroom with a package. "Aww, it's not even my birthday," he teased.
"From the trips, Xander's presents." He handed it over. Don dug in, smiling at the good coffee and chocolates that were on top, then down further to the smaller things, all making him grin at the goofy nature of the kid. One had a hand-written note attached. "He found it in Russia. It's folk magic to help you attract a good woman."
"I'll have to use that later." He held up the DVD's. "Any idea?"
"Some," he admitted. "Play the one listed as hockey." Don put it into his computer and let it run, then gaped. He patted him on the back. "We found it on her satellite dish."
"Wow," he said. "Best of both worlds. I love hockey."
"Danny said he'd learn to love it more if they played that over here."
"That would definitely revive the game," he agreed, shaking his head and stopping the show. "Wow. That's one present I love."
"He figured you might." He smirked. "There's another candy bar in there. He said he dropped his while he was working on them at the shipping place." Don nodded, coming up with the half eaten, folded over candybar. "So I guess that's yours too."
"Been long enough there's no germs," he agreed, unwrapping it to have it while he repacked his presents. "Where is the little goofball with a whip?"
"It's Monday so Geneva working on the bank accounts. They got to go to Monaco for the dom's convention because that one guy had been there."
"Which one guy?"
"The one who nearly ended up having him when he was sixteen."
"Oh, *that* guy. He's being turned over?"
"Apparently. He went to ask the higher doms to turn him over."
"Wonder what shape he'll be in."
"Not a clue but I'm glad I don't have to deal with the case," Mac offered, clapping him on the back. "Stella's still giggling that he made all the men copies of the hockey matches."
"There's more than one?"
"Apparently it's a small league." He walked off, heading back to his office.
"Yeah, they probably can't get too many women to play naked hockey," he agreed, still grinning. He fingered the doll to help him get a good woman and put it back into the box too. The guy who sat across from him gave him a look. "Remember Xander?" That got a nod and a slight grin. "Remember the story in the Times that made me groan?" That got a brighter grin. "That was Xander too. They went to clean out her places. Apparently somewhere in Europe there's a women's naked ice hockey league. He made me copies of the matches."
The other guy laughed. "Best of both worlds indeed. Must be their version of our roller derby girls." He shook his head but he was still smiling. "Aren't they cold?" Don dug out the DVD and restarted it, waving him over. "No, apparently they aren't," he admitted. "That's... That's real skin. You don't jiggle like that when you're wearing skin colored cloth." They both winced at a bit of unkind hair pulling. "Ow. That's really real."
"It is," Don agreed, grinning at him. "Xander's email said he found some freaky stuff on her satellite dish."
"I wonder if I can get that added to my package." One of the female detectives came over. "Xander found this match off a European station and sent it to Flack."
She watched. Then she snorted. "Exhibition games?"
"No, there's apparently a whole small league," Don told her. "Mac said so."
"Well, they have naked news so why not. Don't let Bonasera see that."
"She was with him when he found this. She's probably already seen it. Xander said they only had the dish in Cyprus."
"Oh. So, really European," she agreed, patting him on the back. "Turn it off, that's Monroe."
Don looked at her. "You get to see that hockey league Xander found?"
"Yes, but most girls I know aren't stupid enough to play ice hockey naked, Don. Want a suspect or are you too involved in the match?"
"No, I can work." He turned it off but left the disc in there. He'd have a good lunch later on. He took the file to look at it. "Thanks, Monroe."
"Welcome. I saw Danny watching one while supposedly doing paperwork. Stella had to take it from him."
Don snorted. "Yeah, like that'll work. It'll be fine and we'll all take them home tonight."
"Pity. Hawkes wanted to see Danny's."
"Danny's got a DVD player and a nice screen at home. He can invite him over."
"I don't think Danny's that sort of guy," she said.
Don just stared at her for a moment. "Not like it matters to most guys who's in the room for a good game."
"Pig," she said, walking off shaking her head.
He shrugged and got back to work, for now. Lunch time was coming though and he'd have some good fun.
Eric found his package on his desk and looked at it. "Did we scan these?"
"It's presents from Xander," Ryan yelled from somewhere. "From the trip. Watch out for the DVDs."
"Cool." He unwrapped it and smiled at the package that was nearly identical to Don Flack's. He did take one of the DVD's to the AV lab to see what it was. Calleigh moaned when she saw it in his hand. "What?"
"I know what's on it. Watch it at home, Eric, not at work."
"Why?" he asked with a teasing grin. "Is it sex tapes?"
She popped him on the arm. "No! Well, not quite. Depending on which one that is, possibly. I think one of the hockey matches did evolve into an orgy." He grimaced. "Women's hockey league, Eric." He brightened at that. "Naked women's ice hockey league." He looked stunned. "I'm not kidding. Really." Eric took his DVD into AV and turned it on, watching the boy strip. She giggled. "I remember the look on our faces when we saw him do that."
Ryan leaned in. "Huh. I thought the hockey matches were good."
"They were, good games at least," Calleigh assured him. "But Xander found a channel that showed amateur open pole night winners. He had three on there. He's bragging."
"With moves like that I'd brag too," the AV tech said weakly. "Think he gives lessons?"
"No," Eric said dryly. "Ask Speed. He taught him some." He shook his head, fast forwarding to a ...hockey match. All the guys stared at that one. "Oh, damn," Eric said quietly. "That's not a costume."
"No, it's not," Calleigh said, walking off shaking her head. "Frank, don't watch the DVD's at your desk," she called when she walked past the room he was in. Since it was their break room it was probably okay.
"Why not?" he said, coming out.
"Go check in AV." He went that way and stared from the doorway. She giggled. "Wait until Yelina sees you boys." She found her and nodded, motioning her to be quiet while they snuck up on their menfolk.
She stared then looked at Calleigh. "That's a regulation sport?"
"Apparently there's a small league. They showed it on their speciality sports channel along with horse jumping and curling."
She whimpered and walked in to turn it off. "This is not one of those movie houses where you get to be perverted in public. Quit or I'm telling Horatio on all of you." She glared and they slunk off, Eric taking the DVD back with him. She glared at the tech.
"It was Eric's. He slid it in and let us watch."
"That did not come out well, Cooper," Ryan taunted, walking off grinning. "I warned him to be careful of the DVDs."
"How many hours of hockey matches were there?" Frank asked him.
"Six. I got to deliver the local ones since Speed's off today and I'm a member of the Xander fanclub."
"Do I have any?"
"I think not of the hockey matches or of him stripping. I don't think he thought you'd like that."
"Can I copy yours?"
"Sure. Or Eric's since he's got the full set here." Eric nodded at that.
"Not here you're not," Calleigh complained. "You can take them somewhere to have them copied, just like Xander did."
"Yes, ma'am," Ryan agreed, grinning at her. "I wasn't going to use county property to copy a hockey game." She walked off. "I was going to let Cooper do it," he said quietly, making Frank giggle as he walked off. Cooper leaned out of his lab. "Can you?"
"Once she's gone on a call. Give me the things." He ducked back inside since Yelina was coming back. She was clearly having outraged feminist feelings at the moment. He didn't want to make her more mad at the male species.
Ryan walked off, going back to work. He glanced around when he saw Eric in a lab by himself. "Cooper will copy," he mouthed, getting a nod and a smirk. "Once she's gone." He went to Trace to get to work. Calleigh got the second call of the day but Eric had already slipped Cooper the DVDs so he copied it efficiently, making a few copies for some friends too. They'd probably pay him for them.
Xander sat Greg down once they were in the air, cuddling up with him. "Okay, this is what got found at the banks," he said. Greg read it over. "That's what you're getting because I paid the taxes. So you don't have to." Greg smiled at that. "They were not happy to do it but there were complications that they didn't want to deal with over government authority and things. They didn't have wills and no one was going to probate the estates so they had to give in when the Greek government said I had ultimate authority over her estate. Then the FBI helped and one of the doms who was in banking helped and long, involved issue while you went to play on the lake." Greg looked at him. "I didn't think you'd mind me paying the taxes before giving you your cut. That way you don't have to and it got paid at a lower rate with yours in it because she was just over the boundary of higher tax class. They said there were a few safety deposit boxes and they're sending those to Miami after they gather them. So anything in them money wise and I'll pay the taxes and give you your cut all at once."
"I don't mind you paying the estate taxes or whatever over there, Xander. That's not an issue," he promised. It was still more than enough! "What about the gold and stuff?"
"That check Daddy has." That got a smile. "He said he couriered it to your boss and he's holding it for you. It's a cashier's check so it's good and all that."
Greg nodded, giving him a hug. "Thank you, Xander."
"You're welcome, Greg." He kissed him gently. "Will you be good in Las Vegas until you can come back?"
Greg grinned. "I'll be a good boy. Besides, Grissom likes that I come to you to calm me down. He will aid and abet me getting down to Miami as often as I can." That got a smile from Horatio, who was reading. "Thank you, guys."
"You're welcome, precious," Xander said, giving him a cuddle. It had to last him for at least a few months probably.
Horatio gave them fond looks. "Behave, boys. We don't want to join the Mile High Club."
"Yes we do," Greg said with a wicked grin.
Horatio rolled his eyes. "Greg."
"What? Think about how hot he'll get from the plane's vibrations, Horatio." Horatio relented and let them lead him to the back bedroom, where Xander went onto his back immediately.
"Please? Isn't it time?"
"It is," he agreed, stripping himself. "Get up and strip for me, Xander." Xander got up and sensually stripped for him, teasing him, then teasing Greg for his pleasure. Horatio growled but it was all good. When he was done he pulled him into his lap. "I should make you do it this way so you have to do it yourself," he growled in his ear.
"I want to watch you take me the first time. Then I'll use you like the toy you are," Xander teased, smiling wickedly at him. Horatio moaned and Xander crawled up the bed to play with Greg, wiggling his butt in the air while he sucked and laved on him until he was aching and begging. Horatio grabbed the lube and started the preparation of the moving hole. Xander still had problems concentrating when he was doing it but Greg didn't seem to mind. Then he pulled Xander off and flipped him over, looking down at him. "I'm sure," Xander assured him. "Please?"
"If this is the position you want this first time." He pushed his feet up and Xander put them onto his shoulders, giving him free access. "Ready?" Xander nodded and Horatio started to slide in. "Deep breath," he soothed. Greg came over to whisper in his ear and distract him from the pain of the first few minutes. Horatio was finally all the way inside and Xander keened, arching up. "Let your body adjust."
"No! Now! Want more now!"
"You...are a pushy bottom," he teased, doing what Xander had done to him his first blow job. Slowly in and then back out, then back in, a slow, gentle, rocking motion. Xander was going insane. Greg was grinning until Xander flipped them over and shifted his legs so he could ride him. "See, I knew you'd like to do yourself on me, Xander." He held onto his hips, just steadying him so far. But Xander was lost. His face told the whole story. He was loving this and there was no going back to women for him. Greg came down to mouth the head of Xander's bouncing cock, getting a high pitched squeal and Xander came. Horatio rolled them back over once Greg had cleaned him up, going back to teasing and playing with him. He still had some time before he came and he wanted Xander to have one last good one so he could sleep the rest of the trip. That was the real beauty of being Xander's age, quick recoveries. He felt Greg tease his balls and looked back at him. "Be gentle."
"I'm always gentle." He grinned and played a sucking bite mark on his ass cheek, then went to lick his balls. Horatio moaned and sped up, watching as Xander started to thrust back and keen again. It wasn't long before they both came and then Greg came over to get his. They both pleasured him, making him come then sleep with Xander curled around him. Horatio curled around Greg's back, protecting him, one arm over Xander's stomach and side as well. The sheet barely got pulled up before they all fell asleep.
The pilot had to come wake them up for landing but that was all right. That's why people had private jets.
Speed looked at Horatio as he walked in Tuesday morning. "I see you don't have jet lag."
"Slept on the plane," he admitted, smirking at him. "Your boy is fine."
"I know he is. We've already talked." He looked him over then into his eyes. "I will have things done to you that will make your soul cry blood tears if you hurt my son, Horatio Caine. Am I clear?" Horatio nodded. "Good. Other than that I like you two together, with Greg." He grinned. "Also, Stetler's looking for you about this bit of traveling. Apparently he doesn't like that the FBI borrowed you and that we got files on some of her subjects."
"Pity. The Chief?"
"Loves you. You know that." He grinned. "He doesn't like the fact that Eric's present got copied a few times and some bought off Cooper, but he's letting you handle that." Horatio let out a small moan. "Aww, did the son make you sore?" he teased.
"Not yet but sometime soon," he said with a smile, heading to his office. "Cooper?" he called as he walked. He slunk out of AV and joined him. "Were we using the DVDs we bought you for the lab?"
"No, Horatio, my own private ones. I wouldn't use the lab's DVD's to copy those. They're marked." That got a knowing smirk. "They are!"
"I know that. How many copies of the hockey matches did you make?"
"Ten," he said weakly. "And I made it so they can't be copied off the later copies." Horatio gave him a long look. "I did."
"I'm sure you did. Did you do it during work hours?"
"All I did was stick it in the machine and change dics now and then. I didn't take work time to do more than that. Not longer than a smoke break over all, Horatio."
"I should write you up for this."
"It won't happen again," he pleaded.
"No, it won't," he agreed firmly. "Am I clear?" His tech nodded and scurried back to the lab. He headed up to his office, finding Stetler had been listening. "I'll put a note in his file that we had talked about off-duty copying of materials." He sat down to look through his messages. "What did you want, Rick?"
"There's no way that wasn't staged."
Horatio looked at him. "It's a small league in Eastern Europe. Xander's getting the satellite dish from her house in Cyprus if you don't believe me. I'm sure the season's still going on." That got a furious look. "They're young men. Of course they wanted to watch naked women doing those things. The same as plenty of young men watch the roller derby girls in New York, Rick. That sort of entertainment is meant for young men. Or weren't you interested too? I know one of the tapes was an all strip club channel showing open pole winners. Xander won three and was on there. I think Eric has copies of those, if not I know Speed does. I can have him make you a private copy?" Rick stomped off. "Let me know," he called after him, smirking at the empty doorway. Ryan leaned in. "No new presents from Monaco or Geneva."
"I wasn't expecting any, Horatio, but Greg did send a very smug email about going home." He walked in a folder. "That was left for you yesterday. They wouldn't give it to anyone but Eric or Speed. Eric gave it to me since he'll be in late today."
"I remember him saying that." He flipped it open and nodded. "That's fine. Thank you, Mr. Wolfe."
"Welcome. Can I help with it?"
"Did you read it?"
"Then probably not. What is Xander doing today?"
"Going grocery shopping." Horatio shuddered so he smiled. "For his own personal use, Horatio."
"Thankfully. Thank you, Mr. Wolfe."
"Welcome." He headed back down to his lab.
Horatio read over the folder. Someone wanted him badly. They'd have to get him then, just not how they expected or wanted.
Greg walked into the office, smiling at the guys. "I'm just running an errand," he said, holding up a hand. "I didn't have the time to shop in Monaco but I did get some pretty pictures on the way in and the way out then in Geneva. Grissom?"
"His office pretending to be the Godfather," Nick said with a small grin. "Geneva too?"
"Yeah, we had to deal with the spouses' bank accounts and safety deposit boxes too. Be right back." He headed back to the office, waving at Hodges. "I'll be back with pictures in a few." He leaned into Grissom's office. "I hear my inheritance is in here, Godfather?"
Grissom snorted. "He thinks I'm brooding." He pulled out an envelope and held it up then out to him. "You're buying breakfast."
"Sure. I'm good for that if I can get it cashed." He looked inside and purred. "That looks prettier in this form than on the forms Xander had." He grinned after he had tucked in the flap again. "We did the bank accounts yesterday so one more coming probably."
"That's fine, Greg. Something like that you can't be too careful. Take someone to guard you on the way to the bank." Greg nodded. "Come back with pictures."
"Thanks, Grissom." He grinned. "Before you ask, we worked out the difficulties, except for me being here and them down in Miami. So it's still good."
"Good. Get coffee while you're out. Your stash got found by Brass."
"Then he can take me to the bank and the photo shop, huh?" He went to find him, finding him in his office. "Since you drank my coffee, you're driving me to the bank."
"Why?" he asked with a small smirk. Greg let him see the amount of the check. He stared at him, wheezing some. "How?" he managed to get out.
"Spouse. It's setting a bad precedent, Brass. I might become a black widow in reverse. But can I have a ride to the bank and the photo shop?" He nodded and made sure he had his gun with him, walking out behind him. "Grissom said I'm buying breakfast," he said as he walked past the break room.
"Why?" Catherine called.
"Ooooh," Sarah taunted. "A few grand?" He let her see the check and she went pale.
"One of three. But thanks for asking." He smiled. "I'll try really hard to pick my next spouse better." Brass gave him a nudge so he continued on to the outside and to Brass's car. Brass got in to drive. "The one in the Luxor, please." That got a nod. "The photos are there too."
"Sure." He drove that way, shaking his head. "You have two more coming?"
"When they were ransacking her house in Cyprus they found a stash of gold bars and international currency. Since we couldn't find a lot of stuff that was my former wife's Xander said he'd give me ten percent of any money recovered. This is the first one from that stuff. There's one from the bank accounts and one from the sale of the houses."
"You know, for a screw-up marriage, you did pretty well."
"Thanks, Brass," he said with a bright grin. "Just wait though."
"Are you and Master Tim... close still?" he asked after a few more intersections had went past.
"We are. We worked out the issues we were having about getting closer. He's a great kisser. How much detail do you want? Because I mean, he's with someone down there and I'm theirs now."
"That's enough for my poor mind to make an educated guess."
Greg grinned. "We spent most of the weekend when we had alone time breaking him in. He'd never had a guy before. Gods, he's good, Brass."
"Way too much information," he noted. "Before I wreck us, Sanders."
"Sorry, Brass." They pulled in and he went in to his bank branch, smiling at them. "Hola, beautiful ones." He kissed his usual teller on the cheek. "Remember my marriage?" She nodded. "Well, first of three," he offered, signing the check and handing it over. "I need about one-fifty of it."
She looked at it then at him. "Thousand?"
"Hundred. I owe my team breakfast." She smiled and nodded, putting in the deposit for him. He put the money into his pocket and took the slip, winking at her. "See you in a few days." He skipped into the photo shop, seeing Brass had already picked them up. "How much do I owe you?"
"Nothing. They were already paid for by Lady Heather." He pointed. Greg looked then squealed and went to respectfully pounce her for a hug. He shook his head and followed with the packets of pictures. He held up the one of her cuddling Master Tim.
"I know. There's another one where he's nearly asleep on me," she said with a smile. "Captain Brass, how are you?"
"I'm okay, Lady Heather. Greg, you're embarrassing the nice lady."
"No, he's a good boy. I expect my good boys to fall to their knees wherever they see me. Even in the grocery store." She gave him one last pet then tugged on his hair so he stood up. "Good boy, Gregory. Now, go back to work."
"Did I tell you they found my former spouse's apartment in Seattle?"
"You hadn't but you mentioned you were going out there to see Aiden." He nodded. "I want you to have a good trip, Gregory. Now, go back to work, dear." He nodded and Brass followed with a smile for her. She smiled at their backs. "Gregory definitely needs more coffee." She had some sent to work for him and the others, then went back on her errands. She needed a new silk shirt.
Grissom handed Greg the coffee when he came back in. "Lady Heather sent it."
"He fell to his knees so she could pet him in the middle of the Luxor's lobby," Brass told him.
"Of course he did. All her loyal people would." He looked at Greg. "You kept out enough for breakfast?" Greg nodded. "Good. Go put it in my desk. We've got a bad case that just came in and you're going to wade through it with me."
"Sure." He went to do that, letting Catherine lock the drawer for him. Then he went to get his scene kit, a coverall, and hip waders. He met Grissom at the truck, still managing to sip his coffee. "Okay. Where are we going?"
"Ooh, not sludge?"
"Yes, sludge. There was a body found in the debris pile on the edge of one side." That got a nod and Greg put things into the back then let Grissom drive while he finished his coffee. "In the middle of the Luxor, Greg?"
"It's Lady Heather. I'm going to fall to my knees even if by doing so it means everyone in the john has a try at my mouth, Grissom."
"Good point. Next time you're wearing your LVPD Crime Lab t-shirt be a bit more discreet."
"Thank you, Greg." He drove off, letting Greg wade into the water when they got there. He needed to come back to reality and some cold water would help that.
"Grissom, we've got floating needles," he called, backing out. "No way in hell. I don't know what's in them and these aren't puncture proof. We can use a scoop, man." He checked his waders, nothing was stuck in them yet.
"That's a reasonable precaution." He got a large fish net out of the back and used it to gather the mass of needles. "What are they doing here?"
"Someone probably dumped their used box," he complained. He checked himself again. No holes. There was no water leaking in.
"Calm down, Greg. You didn't get stuck. You'd know if you had," he said calmly. Greg looked at him. "Calm down." Greg calmed himself and nodded. "I take it your new relationship with Master Tim is good?"
"Very," he agreed quietly, taking the net to get the next set after taking a picture of them. "He and Horatio have decided to make a go of it and Horatio and I worked out the differences. So I'm theirs." He smiled when he remembered Horatio pounding into him last night before he had flown home. "Horatio is very possessive of what's his. Master Tim decided he loved being a bottom slut. His words. We used the personal and private times during all that to work on that since he hadn't been with a guy before." He pointed. "That's another body, right?"
"It is," he agreed. He called it in. They needed a boat to reach her, especially with randomly floating needles in the water. Then he called the health department. A US Parks Service truck with a boat came up. He pointed. "We've got a more distant body and a lot of needles in the water," he told him. "We've fished out thirteen so far."
"There's more coming," Greg noted. "Could they be throwing them in right now?"
"Take the boat, boys, I'll go check," the ranger ordered. Grissom undid the trailer hitch and he pulled out in the truck. Greg documented the needles and then fished them out into the box they were using as a make-shift sharp's container. "Whoever fishes these out we'll need pierce-proof gloves."
"We have a pair in Hodges' lab," he reminded him. They maneuvered the small floating raft into the water and used the small motor to get it nearer to the body. "Well, looks like a bad night, Greg."
"It does." He took more pictures of what they could see. "How do you want to pull her out?"
"Fish out the needle next to her." Greg did that and put the net across the back of the boat. They shifted carefully and slid the body onto the small platform, Greg moving back to counterbalance them so they didn't tip. Grissom slowly slid to the middle. "Okay, see any more?" Greg nodded and pointed at something. "That's not human."
"We can't leave it in the water. What about a lasso?"
"Nick's not here."
"He can be and we'll need the better gloves anyway, Grissom."
"Good idea. Call him."
Greg made the call. "Nick, join us in the debris pit on the water side of the dam. We've got a dead moose in the water and a shitload of needles. We've pulled out seventeen I think. Yeah, with those gloves if you're at the office. Thanks." He hung up. "He'll be out as soon as he can grab them. Hodges was using them as microwave mitts again." He steered the boat carefully back and let the ranger help them onto the bank. "Anything?"
"Tire tracks. The back end of a Honda. I got a partial plate written in the truck." He pointed. "Is that another one?"
"Moose it looked like," Grissom offered. "One of our boys was a Texas boy. He can rope."
"Better than me. I came from Salt Lake City." The ME's van trundled up. Greg held up a hand and it stopped. "Problems?"
"Needle box," Greg said, pointing at it. "Besides, they'll never get that thing back up the slope." Nick pulled up too and he handed over the boat's tiller. "All yours, big guy." He pointed. "That's your trophy."
"Aw, man," he complained. "Are those needles?" Grissom nodded and went out with him to fish them out and add them to the tally. "What is going on?"
"I'm going to find out," he promised. He pulled out his phone. "LVPD Air Support," he requested.
"Air Support," came back over the walkie talkie feature.
"This is Grissom. We're at the lake side of the dam, debris pit side. We've got someone dumping needles into the water. We need a fly over to see if we can catch them."
"Gotcha, Grissom. Do it now. Debris pit side?"
"Roger. ETA ten minutes."
He hung up and Grissom put his phone back while Nick got the rope around the animal's neck and they slowly towed it back to the bank as well. The ranger took that. "We'll want a necropsy to see what killed it, Ranger."
"'Course you do. 'Specially with all the needles and stuff." He heard a helicopter flying over and looked up. It was doing a low fly. It spotlit up the bank and he smiled. "Love you guys." He headed back in his truck. Nick drove behind him.
Grissom looked at the ME. "Do all standard swabs. With the amount of needles we've found tonight it could've been anything that hit her."
"Of course," David agreed, smiling at him. "Nick had the gloves in his truck." That got a nod from Greg. "So, I hear you won the lottery?"
"My sorta spouse for a whole hour and forty-six minutes. International assassin's apprentice." David gaped and Greg nodded. "Yeah. So we did. Master Tim married her teacher so he got the greater majority but he gave me ten percent and whatever of hers that we could prove. I almost wanted the house in Brazil but it wasn't in a great neighborhood." That got a head shake. "The pictures from Cyprus were beautiful and the house in Russia was in a great spa town. Did Catherine say anything about the apartment in Paris?"
"Not a great view. Part of the lower class section of town so it looked on more buildings and a small college. She thinks the medical school but she wasn't sure. They downloaded the computers, rifled the filing cabinets, and then had a lot of great food." That got smiles.
"I sent what they brought back around to the right people," Grissom assured him. He caught Greg when he started to slide on the mud. "Careful, Greg. There's still some needles in the water." Greg moved and they got to work on the body. "Can we tell anything?"
"A few things," David admitted. "She's got a hole in the back of her head." Nick and the Ranger finally came back. "Get 'em?"
"Yup. Got her. She claims the bodies aren't hers but the office she works with dumps needles here all the time. She thinks they might've weighted them."
"I can dive or you can dive," Greg reminded him. "David said this one got shot in the head. The other looked like strangulation."
"Probably two different cases then," Nick agreed. "You're getting breakfast, right?" Greg nodded. "Okay, let me get the dive team out here. Grissom, you called the Health Department?"
"I did. I expected news vans to be out here by now since this is the source of the drinking water. Nick, go ahead and use the gloves to do the needle box."
"Sure." He got the metal coated gloves out of his truck and came over to work them into the foam Greg got him from his official SUV. Casting foam would work in this case. Nick looked at the pile. "Damn it. Remind me to boil water for a bath later, okay?"
"We have filters at the office," Greg reminded him.
Grissom looked at the water. "I'm not going to trust that this time." A Health Department van pulled in and he waved them closer. He pointed at the box. "The person they caught doing it said her office has been dumping needles here for a while."
"She thought the others were weighted," Nick told her. "I've got twenty-three here." He put the last one in and closed the top of the box, taping it up. "I sent her back in a squad car, ma'am."
"Please find the others. What's with the animal?"
"It was dead in the water," Greg told her. "So were the people." She shuddered. "We'll need unpierceable diving suits, Nick."
"I know. I'm not sure if we have any." He looked at the Ranger, who shrugged and called his boss. He finally nodded. "Divers who're qualified or just the suit?"
"Suit. Diver's off."
"Sure, what size?" Nick asked.
"Either of you could probably fit. He's a bit pudgy." They helped the ME carry the bodies up to the van and then put the moose into the back of his truck. The boat stayed and another Ranger's van showed up. "That should be them. We need lights?"
"Please. The dam lights should be enough," Grissom agreed. "David, page me when you're ready to tell me something." That got a nod and he drove the bodies off. Nick got out the heavy, dual layered diving suit to look at it. "That's smaller than either of you." That got a nod and Greg said a silent 'thank you' for that. He looked at him. "Quit."
"I'd go in, you know that, but all those needles make me nervous." Nick nodded at that. "Is Sarah trained?"
"No," Grissom said, shaking his head. "Is Archie?"
"I don't remember." Greg called him. "Archie, my man. Can you dive? Yeah, like evidence collection under a lot of water beside the dam. Actually, you'll be in a safe suit, man. Needles in the water." He heard him splutter and pour out something. "Tap water, Archie? You know better. Call out and see if anyone can. Yeah, it's about four inches shorter than I am. Thanks." He hung up. "He can't and he was drinking tap water. He might need a new keyboard." That got a sigh and a nod from Grissom. "Sorry."
"No, it's all right. He had to know." His phone rang. "Grissom. No, Brass. We're still here. Because we had needles dumped in the water. Why?" He listened. "She had a sister?" He looked at Greg. "You have a sister-in-law."
"Not according to her FBI profile."
"He said the FBI said she didn't so have her produce proof and wait. We need a diver. The only safe suit is about four inches shorter than Greg. Needles in the water, Brass. Thanks." He hung up. "He'll check too." His phone rang and he got it. "Grissom." He listened then nodded. "We're by the debris pit, lake side of the dam. Thanks. That's us. Evidence collection. Don't worry, we'll teach you how to use the underwater camera." He smiled. "That works, hurry out." He hung up. "We have one female who can dive and has dove out here. That's probably going to be a bit big on her." That got a smile from his boys. "Ranger, did you want to stay?"
"Oh, yeah. Anything that goes on out here we're supposed to watch it." That got a nod.
"I can wait or not. I will need a report and what was on the needles, gentlemen," the health department agent said. That got a nod from Greg. "Thank you. We'll put out a temporary boil water order due to the moose being found in the water." She left, going back to the office to write that up and call her superior to put that out.
A cruiser pulled up and a young woman came out with her hair already up in a ponytail. She was in bike shorts and a t-shirt. "Thank you."
"Welcome, sir. I thought it best to have a driver on the way back just in case. What's going on?" Greg pointed at the few needles in the water. "Crap."
"We've got twenty three already sealed," Nick said, handing her the gloves. "Can you use an underwater camera?"
"I can and I can stuff things into a mesh bag." She put on the wet suit and winced. "It's heavy but that's a good thing. Oxygen tanks?" They were shown to her so she could check them. "I'll need a replacement if this is going to take over forty-five, gentlemen."
"I can get you some, ma'am," the ranger agreed.
"Officer, young man."
"Sorry, officer." She smiled and put on the heavy hood and face mask. The tanks were hooked in and she held up a thumb before attaching the mesh bag to her waist. She put on the gloves, took the cameras and went down to search along the bottom of the debris pit and then along the bottom of the dam. Nick drove the platform out for her. The ranger got them another set of tanks and he came back in to get them, then flashed a light down, blinking it on and off until she came up. She lifted up her mask. "I've got another body, cutey, and the needles aren't really free floating."
"Weighted?" Nick asked, helping her change out her tanks. She nodded and tested it. "Okay, take as many pictures as you can then put the weights up here and let the body drift up. I've got a rope if we need to tow it up. Flash a light up." He handed over another waterproof flashlight, getting a nod. She put down her mask and went back down to do that. "More bodies!" he yelled. That got a nod from Grissom, who called it in. "Weighted!" The weights were slung onto the platform and she grabbed the rope. He gently pulled it up and then towed it back into the bank. Greg and Grissom got it out, Greg coming back for the weights, then he went back out. He found her back up there. "Only the one?"
"I can't cut the other. It's steel cable. I've got all the needles I could find." She put that bag onto the platform. She put another weight too. "That was down there, figured the body came free and you guy shouldn't leave it in the water anyway. What do you want me to do with the cable?" She let him have the camera.
He pointed at a loop. "Can you get that one free?"
"I tested it, it moves," she agreed. That got a nod. "Do that and tow it in?" He nodded again. "Okay. This should be the last one. It's the only one I can see. There's a few floating needles left and a dog."
"Bring it up. I don't want that in my bathing and drinking water."
"Agreed." She put back down her face mask and descended again. The rope got a tug and he pulled on it. The body came up with her guiding it. He gently towed it in with her guarding it since it was so old. They got it there and she handed up the dog, then came out. "Okay, that leaves a few needles, they'll float this way?" The ranger nodded. "You guys might want to do a small water dump. You've got a current down there for some reason." She sat down to take off the gear, handing it over and Nick got the gloves again. "Too bad we don't have to do this too often."
"Move to Miami. They've got a whole crew of divers," Greg offered, grinning at her. "It's just as warm but they have humidity."
"I'll keep that in mind. Need me for more?"
"Just write a quick report for us," Nick ordered. "She nodded. Drop it by CSI."
"Can do. Been fun, bosses. Later." She let her partner drive her back. "They're nice guys. Not nerdy at all."
"Some are, some aren't," he agreed.
Greg grinned at Grissom. "He's right. Sarah would've thrown a fit."
"Quite possibly. She's not comfortable in confined spaces or diving." He looked at Nick. "Thanks for the dog."
"I don't want that in my water. The spare weight came from down there. She thought the body might've floated free. She couldn't get the cable on the last body to come free so it's still down there."
"That's fine," the Ranger agreed. "Our boys'll be going down tomorrow I'm sure." That got a smile from them. "Send you any and all needles?" Grissom nodded. "Got it, sir. Let me know when we can turn off the dam lights. Some of the neighbors get whiny about 'em."
"Let us get these bodies out of here and they can be dimmed again," Greg told him. "Since none of these guys were dumped here." That got a nod and he called that to his supervisors, who told him the ME's van was on its way back.
David pulled in. "I love the clean-up events," he said when he got out. "Ooh, older ones."
"Very," Nick agreed. "She's fragile. The other one not so much."
"Sure, we've got her on a bag, we can lift her on that." They managed to wiggle a bag around them and then into the van. Then Grissom, Nick, and Greg headed back to get cleaned up and check for any new pinpricks. They split up. Greg went to process the needless. Nick went to do the photos, and Grissom headed to autopsy.
Xander woke up to a gentle nudge, blinking at the man standing there, then his clock. "It's already night?"
"You took a long nap," he teased, helping him up. "Come along. Your housewarming gift is here." Xander put back on clothes. He sniffed him. "Hmm, finally consummated that. About time, Grandson."
"Grandsire!" he complained.
He laughed. "Sorry but among us there's no scent secrets anyway." He led the boy down and outside, opening the garage door. He watched his face go to awe, then disbelief, then almost hurt. "You don't like it?"
"I think Daddy was looking for a bike for me."
"I'll call him." He did that. "Timothy. Raphael. We finally got his housewarming gift in. No, he doesn't want to upset you since we bought him a car." He rolled his eyes. "You still may. He'll use it."
Xander took the phone. "He bought me a jaguar. A new jag, Daddy." He smiled at the complaining. "I might still but can I continue to ride behind you? I like riding behind you. It's comfortable." He smiled gently. "Of course we will. The garage is big enough and I do have the money," he agreed. He walked inside to look at it. "It has every single option available, even seat heaters." He looked at his grandsire. "Seat warmers?"
"It was a tester model."
"He said it was a showroom model," he offered. "Yeah, I'm up. Come over and see and we'll talk about a bike. I promise. Really?" He listened to him describe it. "Hmm. Sounds fast. Think I could get Horatio on it?" He grinned. "Greg definitely. Sure. I'm up. Love you, tell him I'm thinking and maybe." He hung up and tossed the phone back then got in to start it. It did purr nearly as good as its name. Speed pulled in so he turned it off and headed out to hug him. "You know I love riding behind you best," he whispered during the hug. "I get to cuddle more that way." Speed gave him a sappy smile. "Come see?"
"I am." He put down his kickstand and got off, looking at Raphael. "What happened to not spoiling him?"
"Patrick is still ill, Speed, and he won't last another decade. This is the only spoiling we're doing this year." Xander gave him a hurt look. "What? You wanted more?" he teased.
"I'd rather have Grandfather."
"You shall for a while yet, Xander." He stroked his cheek. "Now, let your father take you for a ride." Xander drug him in there to let him try out his car and go up and down the road then park again. He smiled at the bouncy boy. He was truly happy. Even if he and Patrick couldn't understand how he could love both men.
Speed looked at his son. "Thank him then we'll go watch a movie since your dish came and got hooked up while you slept." Xander squealed and ran over to hug his grandsire, making him catch him with an 'oomph' of sound. He shook his head. Xander babbled something and he laughed, then patted him on the head and let him run inside. Speed walked over. "So why are you really spoiling him?" he asked quietly.
"Beyond Patrick, our staff, and him we have no family," he said quietly. "I was estranged from Patrick for quite a while before he told me Xander had left Sunnydale. We still partially are."
"So you're having survivor's guilt early?"
"Something like that. I'm tired of watching those I made my family die, Speed. Can you understand that?" He nodded. He patted him on the cheek. "Xander is with a very possessive man. There will probably be no issue around to tempt me to stay. It's painful to lose your children, even our way."
"I can understand. I've seen others who have lost their children and then themselves."
Raphael nodded. "Patrick is my last child. Would that Xander wanted it I'd turn but he doesn't and he's adamant that he doesn't. I'm not sure that life is worth living with Patrick gone. Xander will hold me for a while but not forever."
"It won't work!" Xander called from the house. "I think I screwed it up. Daddy, Grandsire! Help!!"
"Coming," Raphael called. He looked at Speed. "What will happen will but there is much that could be done between now and then. Do you think Eric would consent to being turned?"
"Ask him," he said with a small grin. "He might. You never know with Eric." That got a smile. "Come on before he hunts us down. Spoil less and spend more time, Raphael. That's what he wants, not the money."
"When Patrick goes so will most of our staff," he admitted as they walked. "They love and follow him as if he were his God. I don't want the things I gave him. Donny can only handle so much and so can Xander. We're still trying to work that out." He patted him on the back. "We will do what we need to." They walked into the house and went to help him with the converter boxes. Speed switched the wires and it worked, making Xander bounce over to hug him. He went to do the one in the bedrooms as well. He came back to find Raphael watching naked hockey with Xander. He smiled and used the digital camera Xander had splurged and gotten on the trip to take a picture. Then he called Eric. "He's got the dish and naked hockey is on. Who's playing?"
"Armenia and their mostly unshaved armpits and Egypt with their attempt at modesty with body paint," Xander called.
"Armenia and Egypt, Eric. Sure, bring dinner." He hung up and came over to lounge and watch, letting his son curl up against his side and pull his grandsire over after a few minutes. Eric came in with fried chicken, handing over the bucket and sitting down at the other end of the couch so he couldn't be pulled into the group cuddle. Though he did take a picture. "Egypt has the body paint," Speed offered. "Thanks for the chicken."
"Welcome," he said, staring in awe.
Frank came in with a veggie tray and put it on the coffee table then moved a chair so he could see it better. "Which one's which?"
"Egypt has the body paint. Armenia must be playing on the name with all the unshaved pits."
"After a few years of marriage you learn to ignore those things," Frank admitted, taking some chicken when it got passed down, eating it absently. Horatio walked in and kissed Xander on the head. That got a look from Eric and Frank. "'Bout time, Caine." They went back to the game. "Anytime you want me to housesit, just let me know, Xander."
"Sure, Frank." He grinned at his grandsire. "It kept me amused while they were working in Cyprus."
"As it does me and I haven't had a woman in many years."
Xander nodded. "I'm going for that record too." Horatio gave his hair a gentle tug so he smiled back at him. "Did Grandfather ask you about grandchildren?"
"He did and I told him we'd have to wait to see in a few years."
Raphael looked at him. "He doesn't have a few years, Horatio."
He considered it. "We'll see in six months. Once we're sure the relationship is solid." That got a nod. They made room for him on the couch. Raphael gave him an indulgent smile when he got between his grandson and him. It was his place after all. A lover always trumped a grandfather.
Xander looked down at him. "If you pout and sulk because I'm happy I'll spank you." His grandsire burst out laughing. "Really." He went back to cuddle, letting Horatio cuddle him this way for now. It let him hold Horatio instead of the other way around and he was relaxed and comfortable in his arms. Which was a good sign. He whispered in his ear. "Can we be noisy later?" Horatio smiled and winked at him then went back to watching.
"Hey, H, what did you bring for dinner?" Eric asked.
"I didn't come for the game, Eric. I came for other reasons."
"And I repeat, it's about time," Frank said once a commercial came on. Cooper came in with food and put it down, taking the other chair.
"Didn't you have a date tonight?" Speed asked.
"Yeah, so did Ryan. We left them together since they were lesbians anyway. He's picking up juice and ice cream." Ryan came and put boxes of juice in front of everyone then sat on the floor between Cooper and Speed. Horatio grabbed a spare couch pillow and tossed it down at him. He caught it and hugged it between his chest and knees while he watched.
"You wouldn't think Egypt could play good hockey, being in the desert and all," Raphael offered.
Speed snickered. "I don't think they're paying attention to the *game*, Raphael."
Ryan started and looked at him. "Xander's Grandsire. Hi. Ryan Wolfe." He shook his hand. "The one who probably didn't introduce himself is Cooper, our AV tech. I'm sure you've seen Frank and Eric."
"I have. I was contemplating a new child to give me something to go on for." Xander reached over to take his hand to hold. "I know you're still here, Xander. I'll go on for a bit longer."
"Better be a bit."
"It will be." He smiled at Horatio. "I don't meant to be groping you."
"I know." They went back to watching the naked women skate.
"I need the dish they had in Cyprus," Greg complained to the others over breakfast.
"More than we have?" Warrick asked.
"Did you get the gift package, Grissom?" Greg asked.
"I did. I'm not sure why I got DVD's of hockey though."
"One of the speciality sports stations shows naked women's hockey." Catherine choked at that. "It's apparently a small league over there. Xander taped all the games."
Sarah kept herself from saying anything until she didn't want to spit. "Field? I hope?"
"Ice, and fully naked. Nothing but helmets and mouth guards. Not g-strings. Nothing. There's a player from Belgrade that Xander said enjoys getting penalties for yanking hair." She winced at that.
"They don't shave them?" Warrick asked. Greg shook his head. "Huh. They shave everything else, right?"
"Pretty much. The Armenian team apparently plays on their names so they don't shave their armpits. They were betting on the finals in Monaco. Had pictures up in the resort's bookie area."
Catherine finally managed to swallow without choking. "Prove it."
"I've got the present box in the car," Gil told her. She got out and went to watch in Warrick's dashboard DVD player. She came back in looking stunned. "Was it?"
"Oh, yeah. Not fabric colored like flesh. Real flesh. Fully naked except for skates, helmets, and mouth guards." Sarah shook her head. "Why don't we hear about that sport? Vegas usually gets all the good ones."
"I don't know," Greg admitted. "He also got an open pole channel. Winning open pole performances from around the world. They had a full day's worth while they were there. Xander said all three of his were on there." They all gaped and he beamed and nodded. "Yup. He showed me the DVD's in Brazil."
"Compared to that, Paris was kinda boring," Nick admitted. Catherine nodded.
"Paris has two teams. One's a private brothel sponsored team. The other one is the city team." They all moaned at that. Brass came in. "Hey, Cap, we got you food."
"Thanks, Greg. Um, she's got a birth certificate."
"She changed her name when she was twenty-two according to the FBI." He went out to his car to get the information file he had gotten from Horatio, bringing it back to hand it over. "Warrick, Catherine left it playing." All the guys headed out to watch, Nick coming back with a blush. Warrick was shaking his head. The other guys just looked happy. "It's up to Grissom if he copies it for you guys."
"Grissom, man, we love you," Warrick said, putting an arm around his shoulders. "How much do you want a DVD?"
"We'll see how much it costs me," he offered dryly. He removed the arm. "Eat, boys. You need your strength for tonight." They all got back to eating.
Brass hung up his phone after reading a part of the file to someone. He waved it. "Can I?"
"Sure, for now."
"That's fine. I'm not sure who she really is."
"Could've been her girlfriend. She was a bit promiscuous. She was sleeping with half a gang down in Brazil."
"I wouldn't expect her to be *moral* being an assassin but a street gang?"
"Yeah, half of them," Greg agreed happily. He stuffed his mouth. "Food?"
"In a few." He went to put the file into his car and then came back. "She stomped off. When are you heading after her stuff?"
"Aiden is expecting me my next weekend off, which should be next weekend, Grissom?" He nodded. "It shouldn't take more than the two days," he promised with a grin. "It's just a small apartment. Aiden's scoped it and she said it's a little three bedroom."
"Does that mean Bobby can have more weapons?" Nick teased.
"Yeah, more than happily unless Aiden's department wants them since they'd be local." He grinned at Hodges when he came in with Bobby and the others. "Pull over chairs, guys."
"Any more presents coming?" Archie asked.
"You can ask Grissom if he'll copy the naked hockey tapes," Greg offered.
"I heard about that and saw the tapes in Brazil," Bobby said happily. "You've got one hell of a boy there, Greg." Greg just grinned back. "We talked guns for two days. The locals wanted to know if we were gunrunners after we talked about tactical weapons over dinner out. We nearly got arrested when Xander's mouth came out."
"Yeah, Danny said he had a few of those troubles," Greg admitted sheepishly. "Speed's a smartass. He gets it from him." That got some laughs. "Did I have a report waiting on me?"
"Many of them," Hodges agreed. "The Health Department's report is ready, Grissom." He looked at him. "Naked hockey?"
"Ice hockey," Warrick agreed.
"Some of the girls at home would be horrified but kick their butts," Nick assured them.
Greg patted him on the arm. "Keep telling yourself that, Nick. A few of the women that hit on the team in Russia made some of your good ol' girls look like wimps." Warrick snickered. "Sorry but two decided to prove to Mac that they were delicate and proper women by bench pressing me. One did. One could only lift me around the waist. Her friends called her a weak woman without the strength to be a proper wife. Horatio had to step in to stop them from kidnaping us and they came away thinking we were mafia. A whole new set of women came to hit on us instead, these ones wanted paid."
"The first weren't working girls?" Sarah asked.
"No, they were teenage girls in a small tourist town on the Black Sea without a lot of hopes of getting away from there. American tourists looked very glamorous. The pros were really aggressive though. Wouldn't leave Xander alone until he kissed one and made her beg at his feet. He told them all about his other work. They decided that was fine, they didn't like them that much." That got a small smirk from Grissom. "Horatio glared for a whole day at that."
"I'm sure he did," Bobby agreed. "Things get worked out okay?" Greg smiled and nodded. "All around?" he pressed.
"Everything, all the way around," Greg agreed. "We finished fixing it during the sudden trip to Monaco to catch the serial guy out of LA and Miami. I wonder what he's going to do with the plane," he said, considering it. "I'll have to write him later." That got a lot of smiles. "He's planning on coming back up here in a few months to check on Lady Heather. He got her holiday gift while there." That got some smiles. "She'll *love* it," he promised. "You can tell he dated some demanding women before."
"I heard about his last few," Catherine told him. Greg nodded. "Is his prom date still around?"
"Somewhere. Not a clue where." He shrugged and dug in again, then drank some of his coffee. He patted himself down then looked at Catherine. "You were supposed to remind me." She got up and went to make a quiet call. One of the day shift guys got Greg's wallet out of Grissom's desk and brought it over. Greg smiled. "Thanks, man."
"Welcome, Sanders. What's going on?"
"We're celebrating my aborted marriage."
"Ah. Pity, man." He patted him on the shoulder and left.
Greg grinned at Catherine. "Most of the stuff I bought for souvenirs is coming as holiday presents. Xander helped me a lot with that. It kept him out of trouble." Bobby snickered. "We were being good," he pouted at him, but he ended up snickering. "If and when he comes back, he's not allowed to go out anywhere by himself, guys. Xander draws more trouble than Nick does."
Sarah looked at him. "Is that possible?" she teased. Nick frowned at her. "You do draw some."
"While we were in Brazil, Xander and Greg nearly got taken three times," Bobby offered.
"Three?" Grissom asked. "I heard about two."
Greg smiled sweetly. "You won't be hearing about the third. There's a pact of secrecy about it, Grissom. Isn't there, Bobby?"
"Yup. Hawkes and I agreed no one else needed to know about that." Everyone stared at him. "Guys, I don't need that nightmare," he said simply. Greg waved a hand. "Anyone see Octopussy? The Bond movie?" Everyone but Sarah nodded. "Xander basically ran into them. He was out at the clubs teasing Greg while Hawkes and I watched their backs."
"They wanted to see why the last assassin wanted us," Greg agreed. He sipped some of his coffee.
Nick shook his head. "They almost took you back to their harem?" he asked.
"No, they almost took Xander back. I was considered his toy. They weren't going to play with me, just him. He made the mistake of telling them that his oral streak wasn't just for *any* woman. We ended up with them for about four hours?" Bobby nodded, groaning a bit. "Xander showed one of them how to use a whip properly. I sat and watched, talking to a few of them. They were very nice but their mistress and teacher of the academy had to approve of them sleeping with us first. The Feds got there first."
"Thankfully we decided to put a tracker on both of you," Bobby agreed. "Yours wasn't coming in, Greg."
"I'm going to have one implanted before he comes back to visit." He looked at Nick. "They're nice, small, and there's a few that can also track back to a computerized medical record. It's the human version of a pet ID chip."
"That's not a bad idea," Catherine admitted. "I'm going to look at that for Lindsey, just in case." They all nodded at that. "How deep does it go?"
"I don't know yet. One of the Feds mentioned it to Xander and gave him a pamphlet on the flight back." He ate his last bite and leaned back, finishing his coffee. "They're not so sure he doesn't have another admirer in Miami at the moment. After all, he had about twelve in New York the summer he was there."
Grissom held his head. "He's not moving here, right?"
"Only coming in to visit me and Lady Heather, Grissom," he soothed, reaching over to pat him on the back.
"Thank you, Greg." He looked at him. The young CSI's phone rang. "Work?"
"No." He answered it. "It's me." He smiled. "Hi, Eric. What's wrong?" He listened. "Find out how much it was and if I can get one put in out here at my apartment?" He smiled. "I wouldn't mind tapes of the rest of the season. No, having a happy marriage/so sorry she killed herself breakfast with the team." Warrick laughed at that. "Everything okay? Because the Feds thought that Xander might still be drawing stupid people with money?" He smiled at the assurance Horatio had it well in hand. "Then of course I would. Sure. I haven't decided yet. Thanks, man. Love you too." He hung up. "Grissom, Speed's sending out the check for the rest of my share of the gold and currency today by courier. He'll let Horatio know about any threats. I've got to see if I can get that dish out here."
"Are you gonna buy a house?" Warrick asked.
"I'm considering. I'm not sure yet." He shrugged. "It's a lot of responsibility. Almost like another job if it needs work." That got a nod from Nick. "So I'm thinking. I'll probably move somewhere large enough to set up a real library area," he offered happily. "You guys can help with that too." Everyone shook their heads. "Shoot. I was going to order pizza that day," he promised. Everyone still shook their heads. "Fine. I'll figure that out later. Xander's listed the properties with an auction company in New York since no local realtor wanted to deal with them due to their last owners. I'm wondering if we resold the F-18 and tank already," he said, thinking out loud.
Bobby moaned. "She had a *tank*?"
"In Cyprus," Greg agreed with a smile. "Along with the bars of gold she got paid in. As tall as Xander and about as wide as your lab, Bobby." Bobby moaned again. "So that check'll be okay and then the real estate check." He looked at Grissom. "He's already paid all the taxes for me too."
"That was good of him," Catherine agreed. "You'll still have to claim it this year on your taxes."
"Yeah but I don't have to pay the estate or inheritance or whatever taxes. They were kinda high and all through the Greek government." That got nods. "So, we'll see how the real estate auction goes," he finished with a sigh.
"Greg, are you going to sell your old heap?" Hodges asked. "I need a new one. Mine's about to blow up."
"I am once I get the second check," he promised with a smile. "Yeah, you can buy mine." That got a small nod. "You know, it could've been worse. There was a starlet and porn star who was in town that same weekend." They all shuddered at that. "Hey, Archie, Grissom's thinking about copying his naked hockey matches for the others."
"I can do it four bucks a disc," he offered. All the other men pulled out their wallets to pay him. "How many discs originally?"
"Six full ones," Bobby told him. "Three full of hockey matches, there's some more on the stripping one, and then a few Brit shows Xander liked." He made notes on his napkin and then put the money and napkin into his back pocket. "Is the season still going?"
"Yeah, Eric said they had all went over to Xander's to watch the Armenia vs Egypt game last night." They all moaned. "Apparently Egypt plays in body paint."
"If he's copying the new games I can copy those too," Archie promised.
"I'll see if he is," Greg promised. "He took those off her TIVO."
"That's fine. It's easily copied. I'll need the originals, Gris."
"All but the one in my car is in his gift package from Xander," Warrick told him.
"Sure. I can do that today probably." They all smiled. It was a good, profitable hobby for a young AV tech.
Xander looked up when the officer came up to write him a ticket. "Was I speeding?" he asked sheepishly. That got a nod and a frown. "Sorry?"
"You were going about ten miles over the speed limit, sir."
"My grandsire just bought it for me last night. First time I drove it." He took the ticket with a shrug. "Sorry. I'm heading to the DMV anyway so I'll pay it." That got a nod and the officer walked off. Xander looked at his speedometer. "You're getting me in trouble." He pulled out carefully and tried to not speed this time. He had to pull over because there was a car chase. He did not want to be hit by anyone. He saw something get tossed out and looked around, then got out to look. He pulled out his twinkies, using the plastic to pick up the gun. Then he carried it back to the car. It went onto the other seat. He called his Dad. "Daddy, it's me. I nearly got creamed by what looked like Ryan in a car chase with three cruisers. They threw a gun and I picked it up. Plastic from the twinkies I'm having," he promised. "I didn't touch it. I'm still in the same place I was." He looked around. "In front of Farvella's Five and Dime?" He smiled. "Yup. Nope, got a speeding ticket." He looked in his mirror. "Hmm. There's an officer pulling up behind me. 1312. Yup." He looked at the officer when he came over. "I'm on the phone with my father."
"Is that a gun, sir?"
Xander handed over the phone. "It got thrown from the car chase. Dad's sending someone to pick it up."
"Sir?" he asked into the phone. He blinked. "Sure, CSI Speedle. I don't have any bags but he's got a twinkie wrapper on the trigger guard." He smiled. "I can do that." He hung up and handed it back. "He's muttering."
"I didn't want someone else to pick it up since Ryan was just chasing the guy who threw it."
"I understand. Did you know your dealer's tag is expired?"
"No," he said, looking at his last ticket then at him. "The last guy didn't say that. My grandsire just bought it for me last night. I'm sorry. I'm heading to the DMV. I really am."
"That's fine. They can get you another one." He smiled as the hummer came back. "Him, sir."
"Of course him. Xander," Ryan said patiently.
"I saw him toss it."
"I saw him toss something."
"It was a revolver, sir. He used a twinkie wrapper to pick it up."
"That'll work and the cream probably won't do anything *really* bad to any fingerprints." He came over to gather it, looking it over. "Not too bad." He smiled. "Next time, call first and then pick it up."
"There were kids in the park, Ryan," he said, pointing.
He looked then nodded. "That's fine. Thank you, Xander. Go to the DMV, your tag's expired."
"I'm going there now." That got a nod and both the officers waved as he pulled out.
"He's a good kid," Ryan said. He just had to smile.
"He seems like it. Already got a speeding ticket too."
"He's twenty. Of course he did." That got a smile and the officer went back to his car while Ryan went to see if anything else had gotten thrown out of the car the cruisers and he had lost. The gun was bagged and so was the pill bottle he found. It might not be related but better to not leave it out there. He headed back to the office, handing Eric the gun once he had logged it in. "Xander picked it up with a twinkie wrapper."
"I was wondering what the white stuff was," he admitted.
"I'm not sure anyone knows what the stuff in the center of the twinkie is," he noted dryly. Eric smirked at that and nodded. "Anyway, he said he saw it be thrown during the car chase. He used the wrapper to pick it up."
"Where was the wrapper before then?"
"Didn't ask. If we have to, we can weed out his pants pockets or whatever." That got a nod and Eric got to work carefully removing the wrapper and extra creamy filling. "I found a pill bottle in the same general area but I can't be sure if it's related or not." He put it down. "Page me?"
"Of course. Go away." Ryan nodded and left. Eric got back to work after a look at the pill bottle. It had a refill left for a narcotic. Someone would find a way around the system to get the drugs if he had left it.
Ryan ran into Horatio. "He saw a gun being tossed."
"Xander." Horatio shook his head. "He did good. He used a twinkie wrapper to pick it up."
"Good," he agreed, looking at him. "Where was he going?"
"DMV. His tags are expired already."
"I'll keep that in mind." He smiled at him. "Anything else?"
"He already got a speeding ticket."
"The engine on his car is very powerful," Horatio agreed. "That was a showroom model with all the extras." Speed went jogging past. "What happened?" he yelled.
"Calleigh!" They went chasing after him, finding her holding her hand. "What happened?"
"Misfire," she said, still holding her wrist. Ryan got Alexx coming while the two guys got her up and over to a sink. "It didn't seem blocked. I don't know what happened."
"I'll look," Horatio promised, going to do that. "It's got a thin piece of dark plastic," he said, frowning at it. "It's pierced but it was probably enough to make it misfire that way."
"It's all right," Speed assured her. "Just some powder burns it looks like." Alexx came in. "Misfire injury."
"They happen." She took Calleigh's hand away from him and rinsed it again, looking it over. "Not too bad. Some bandages and cream for a few days, sugar," she soothed, handling that for her.
Horatio carefully cleaned out the area after taking pictures then put it back. "Go ahead and go home. It's fairly late in the afternoon anyway, Calleigh." She nodded, letting Speed walk her to help her with her locker. That was her writing hand. He looked at Ryan. "Your suspect?"
"Lost him with the cruisers. One of the cruisers rearended a bus that didn't move fast enough." Horatio moaned. "No injuries but I lost him moving around the wreck and the other cruisers stayed to handle the wreck."
"As they should," he agreed. "We'll get him again, Ryan."
"I'm hoping Eric finds something underneath the creamy filling."
Horatio let out a small smile. "Sugar can turn into a glue that will hold fingerprints," he admitted. He went to check on Eric. "Calleigh's fine."
"What happened?" he asked, frowning at him.
"Misfire. There was a thin piece of dark plastic that she didn't see and it caused some powder discharge."
"Ow. She home?" He nodded. "That's fine. I'm still cleaning off icing. Xander needs to lick his wrappers better." Horatio shivered at that. "I don't need to know, H. Really." He grinned as he got back to work. "The same as you don't want to hear about mine."
"True. Thank you for that. Let me know as well."
"Sure. How did he lose him?"
"One of the cruisers hit a bus."
"Oh." He nodded. "That'll do it," he agreed, then shook his head quickly. He let out a small sigh and went back to removing twinkie cream. "We'll need to check Xander's pockets to see what fibers we can rule out."
"Of course. I'll have Speed do that when he heads over tonight."
"You're leaving him alone tonight?"
"I have dinner with Yelina and my nephew."
"Telling him?" Eric teased.
He shook his head. "I'm telling her tonight."
"Good luck with that," Eric encouraged. "Really, H."
Horatio walked out shaking his head but he wasn't unhappy.
Horatio looked at his sister-in-law, sipping his wine. "Yelina. I think we should talk a bit while Ray clears the table." His nephew groaned and started on that. "I'm in a relationship," he admitted quietly. She smiled at that. "With Speed's son." Her glass broke on the table. "I thought I should tell you before you heard rumors."
She stared at him, then cleaned up the mess her glass had made, sweeping it onto her plate. Her son came back out to look at her, one eyebrow going up. "I'm all right."
"You sure? You hate glass shards."
"I know, it was a mild shock, that's all." She smiled at him and he nodded, taking the plate and going to get her a sponge. She looked at him. "Really?" He nodded. "Why? Or since when?"
"I knew that there was something before the fire," he admitted quietly. "We worked it out officially during the trip and then in Monaco." He finished his wine and took his plate and glass into the kitchen, coming back out to help his nephew clear the rest of the food. She joined them a few minutes later, rinsing off the sponge. Then she looked at him. "Before you ask, he is keeping his private clients, the ones who *need* him."
"The second floor ones?" He nodded. "Why?"
"What he does for them is like therapy," he admitted quietly, looking at her. "One of the things we had to work out was Gregory Sanders. He came to him for a few other reasons and was the other object of his affection. He still is. We've figured out that I'm just as good at what he needs as Xander is. He lives in Las Vegas still however." She frowned at that. "I'm not asking you to be glad, Yelina, just to accept for now and take the time to think."
She nodded. "I will." He relaxed at that. "What does Speed think?"
"He thinks we're good together," he admitted with a small smile. "Xander makes me play more often and I'm a steadying influence that holds Xander when he needs it. His past isn't pretty."
"I figured as much with what little I've heard." She looked at her son, who snorted. "What?"
"Mom, if Uncle Horatio is with a guy, that's perfectly fine with me. It's not like he's going to pick some scuzzy bastard who'll hit on me. Or you."
"You've seen pictures of Speed's son, correct?" Horatio asked. Ray grinned and nodded. "I'm with him, Ray."
"Cool. He's a nice guy. Speed said he's a goofy guy. Is he still a dom?" Horatio nodded. "Just not for everyone?"
"When he's doing that he sees what he does as therapy," he explained.
"I don't see how anyone can have fun being spanked or whipped," Ray said with a shrug. "It's none of my business if you help him do that or not, Uncle Horatio. As long as he treats you well and makes you happy."
"He is so far," he admitted. "It's still very new, Ray. But I do thank you."
"Welcome. Are we keeping this secret from the stupid bastard my mother was dating?"
"Ray!" his mother complained.
"Ray, Rick Stetler is all that and more, but that language is not appropriate," Horatio chastised gently. Ray shrugged. "No, at this time he does not know, Ray. Nor am I looking forward to when he does find out. I'm not sure which one of us will end up hitting him when he starts to make cracks but I'm sure one of us will end up suspended for a few days over it."
"Probably," Yelina said dryly. "This Gregory?"
"The CSI who came with Lady Heather?" Ray asked. Horatio nodded. "He's one of Xander's subs?"
"He is. He's now both of ours," he admitted. "I could come to care greatly for Greg but those two are very close. They're trouble buddies."
"Every young guy needs a trouble buddy," Ray agreed. "Can we meet him?"
She looked at him. "We'll see."
Ray snorted and looked at Horatio. "When's the usual team and family dinner to introduce new boyfriends and girlfriends and is Speed going to announce he's in one?"
"Everyone knows. It's not a subtle secret by any means," Horatio agreed, smiling at him. "As for the dinner? He's doing a housewarming in a few days. You and your mother are both invited to that. We will not be letting him turn on the satellite dish to anything other than music stations."
"Why?" Yelina asked.
"Last night a few of the boys in the lab came over to watch the newest game in the hockey season," he said blandly. She rolled her eyes and went to the fridge to pull out some ice cream. He looked at his nephew. "You don't care?"
"Why should I care? As long as he keeps making you happy I'm good with it. You could use someone to make you happy again, Uncle Horatio." He gave him a hug. "Can I have the blue flowered bowl?"
His mother gave him a look. "No. You don't need that much ice cream." She handed him a normal one and he went out to sit in the living room. She handed one to Horatio. "Thank you for telling me in private."
"I'm sure the rumors were going to start soon, plus you are family," he said with a gentle smile. "Do you mind?"
"I don't know what to think yet," she admitted. He nodded, taking his ice cream to go talk to Ray about school and things.
She added extra ice cream to her bowl, then licked off the spoon. She was going to have a lot to think about tonight in her hot bath. She went to join the boys, sitting in her usual chair to put her feet up.
Yelina found Speed at her crime scene the next day with Ryan. She looked at Ryan. "I'm going to do the possible ways they got here," Ryan offered.
Speed looked at her. "I could've used him, Yelina. We could've talked over dinner."
"No, this is more private." She looked at him. "You don't mind Horatio and your son?"
"No. For the simple reason that Xander likes him a lot and is protective over him." She smiled a bit at that picture. "He'll hover over Horatio like he does Lady Heather and me. Xander cares very deeply about both of them."
He shrugged. "It works and if Horatio gets another stick up his ass Greg will win him for good." She nodded at that. "He's not a bad kid, Yelina. He's a good boy. He's a naughty boy but he's a good boy." She let out a small smile again. "It's all right. You can grin, we do." She grinned at that. "Just watch them. He hovers and protects Horatio the same way Horatio does to him. If you put Greg and Horatio together, without the science, you get Xander. It's a beautiful thing." She nodded and he got down to work. "You can come back, Ryan."
"I would but this guy with the gun said I can't," he called a minute later.
Speed hit his emergency switch and got up, going that way with Yelina. "Freeze, MDPD."
The guy with the gun on Ryan glared at him. "You," he sneered. "You corrupted that which was pure by showing him *love*," he spat, pointing the gun at him instead.
Speed thought quickly. "Someone had to show the boy love. He deserves love and affection. Didn't make him any less dangerous." The man continued to sneer. Speed was having the life flashing feeling and saw him tense so he ducked and someone shot him.
"Shit," Ryan said in awe.
Yelina checked Speed. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah, I'm fine." He stood up and looked over himself, then at the guy. "Okay, who did that!" he called. No one came forward. Another hummer and cruisers pulled up.
"We have an unknown shooter who just took out our hostage-taking stupid person!" Ryan called, pointing. "That way!" They went to look. Horatio came over to check on them. "He didn't like that we showed Xander affection and treated him like family. That we were tainting him from his patron saint." He sat down, looking at them. "I want a drink."
Speed nodded. "Me too." He nodded again, looking at Horatio. "I got the life flashing before my eyes feeling and I ducked out of the way. Someone shot him before he could hit me."
"It's all right. We'll find out who," Horatio soothed, checking him over. "I want you and Ryan back at the station."
"We just started on our scene," Ryan said, standing up. "Send Speed back, Horatio. I'll stay to do this." Horatio looked at him. "He went from me to Speed, boss. He accused him of tainting and ruining Xander by showing him affection."
"That's fine, Ryan. I can agree to that. Speed, go sit in my hummer." He nodded, heading that way with Yelina guarding him. "Why didn't you push your button?"
"It's in my pocket and my hands were caught in the open. He was ranting about Xander being his patron saint and angel." The officers came back with a bagged rifle, holding it up. "They found the weapon." Horatio looked then nodded. Ryan swallowed. "I'm going to go back to our body." Horatio gave him a look. "Has to be done." He headed that way, looking at the path. It was the easiest way for the body to have gotten here. He found some evidence and had to come back for his camera to take pictures of it. He found a few more officers were assigned than normal but it didn't make him feel that much safer. Even the realization that the sniper could've gotten him if he wanted him didn't make him feel that much better.
Horatio watched Ryan work for a few minutes then went to check on Speed. "You okay?"
"I'm down to nauseous and worried. I called Patrick and he said all his security guys were there with him, Horatio. That Raphael was heading out for a few more days of Angel taunting." That got a nod. "I called and woke Xander up. His car's garaged until he gets his new tags." That got a faster nod. "Then who in the hell shot him?"
"Hopefully the rifle will give us some leads," he offered. "Do you want to work the scene?"
"I'm wondering if there's a cult to Xander."
"Not as far as I've heard. Did Patrick seem very calm?" He nodded. "Then I'll see if he knows." He patted him on the shoulder. "You can work it or go back with me."
"No offense, Horatio, but I'm going back with whoever's heading back first." That got a nod and Speed slid out with his case, going to hitch a ride back to the office. They even let him carry the gun in to ballistics and Calleigh. "Someone shot the guy who was holding me at gunpoint with this rifle, we think," he told her. She dropped the one she was working on. He bent down to scoop it back up. "He started with Ryan, then switched to me for showing Xander love and affection. Said he was his patron saint." She sat down, staring at him. "Then someone shot him, sniper shot." She took the rifle to start on fingerprints for him. "It's all right."
"Any idea on the shooter?"
"Not a clue. He was gone by the time our backup appeared. Those emergency switches give us a three minute ETA. They got there just after the guy was shot."
"I'll remember that." She came over to hug him. "Are you all right?"
"Just a bit dirty from where I ducked." He gave her a cuddle back, relaxing finally. "Thanks."
"Welcome." She pulled back to look at him. "Did Patrick's guys do it?"
"No, I called him first and he said all their guys were out there getting assignments since Raphael was going to LA for a few days. I called Xander and woke him up. Told him I just wanted to check on him. He gave me a sleepy sounding happy boy babble about good dreams and started to snore before I hung up." She nodded, relaxing some. "He had Ryan first." She gave him another squeeze. "Thanks. I'm okay. Just process that, okay? I want to know who I have to thank." She nodded, going to reglove and change lab coats, then get back to work. He sat and watched her work. Though he did flinch when Frank walked in. "Don't sneak up on me for a while."
"Sorry. What happened?"
"Some sick bastard had him and Ryan hostage," Calleigh said, looking at him. "He didn't like them showing Xander love."
"Then a sniper got him right before cruisers got there," Speed said, looking at him. "That's the sniper's rifle we think."
Frank patted him on the back. "The usual suspects?"
"No," he said, shaking his head. "I woke Xander up. Patrick had all his guys at home going over the week's duty roster." That got a nod.
"It's still got a serial number," Calleigh offered. She ran it through the system. "Huh. It's one of the ones Xander went missing in New York." They both stiffened at that and she called Horatio. "It's me. The serial number comes back to one of the guns that was listed as stolen from Xander in New York. Yeah, the serial number is listed as stolen off collector Alexander Harris during Federal Case... And a number." She looked that up and nodded. "The kidnaping case," she agreed. "So that means that the stupid people who tried to buy him had it or Sassone." He said something. "I'm finding a few in unusual places. Cleaning ones instead," she agreed. "Nothing on the trigger or ammo that I could find, Horatio. Thanks." She hung up and printed off the report. "The plot thickens."
Speed nodded. "I'll wake up the kid if we need it."
"Horatio probably already has," Frank pointed out. He patted him on the back again. "So we have three possibles then, right? One of Sassone's gang, one of the slavers, or someone who got the gun off them?"
She nodded. "Yeah. I'm calling Mac." She found her number for Stella and called her. "Stella, it's Calleigh down in Miami. No, we're all good, well mostly all good. We had someone shoot the guy who was holding Speed and Ryan hostage with one of the rifles that you guys had to mark as stolen from Xander. No, he was in bed." She nodded. "Yeah, Speed woke him up. Patrick's guys were all at the house. Not a clue," she admitted. "I'm finding cleaning one and I would be surprised if they weren't Xander's. Of course I am. That rifle, yeah." She said something to Mac, who growled something. "Okay. So most of Sonny's guys are in jail. Then how did it get down here? And who would've shot the guy who was holding Speed and Ryan hostage?" She nodded. "Exactly. No, Speed said he woke him up. Got sleepy babble then Xander went back to snoring in his ear. Yeah, if you can. Thanks." She hung up. "They have *no* idea what Sonny did with most of the guns."
"Charming," Speed told her blandly. He pulled out his phone and called Xander again, getting a yawn. "It's me. Wake up and come see me at work. Because one of your former guns was the one that was used to shoot the guy who had me hostage, son. Yeah, one of those. Thanks. No, if you don't have the tags, cab." He hung up and looked at her. "Lift the prints." She nodded, going to do that. Eric came in to help hold it for her. "Did you hear?"
"Yeah. That's freaky. Where's Xander?"
"On his way in. It turns out this is one of the guns that got stolen off him in New York when he had to escape the slavers," she told him. Eric blinked at that. "Yeah, exactly."
"This is getting twisted," Frank offered.
"Ya think?" Speed asked sarcastically. "I'm starting to wonder if he has a cult of psychopaths, Frank."
"Calm down. Your son's like teflon in this, Speed." He looked over as Horatio came in. "The boy's coming in."
"Good. Was he not asleep?"
"It was his gun that was stolen in New York," Calleigh reminded him. "I called Stella, she'll try to see where Sonny dumped them but she's not sure it'll do any good."
"It may not." He came over to look at the fingerprints. "They all look similar but let's run them."
"Xander's got his in the system as a firearms collector," Speed offered. "Plus for his new license."
"That works," Eric agreed, heading to fingerprints with them. "Busy?" he asked as he walked in.
"You heard about Xander's former gun collection in New York?"
"That it got stolen when his parents tried to sell him."
"One of the rifles ended up saving Speed's life. These are the prints from it." He handed them over. "None on the trigger."
"Crap." She started them on her secondary running system, letting them run separately. "Stock comes up Sonny Sassone." She put that one aside with that report. The next few came up Xander. Then one came up unknown. "The one from inside the barrel. Unknown." She handed it over with that report and the enlarged view. Then she handed over the other piles. He smiled and nodded. "Is he coming in?"
"Yeah, Speed called to tell him. Thanks." He met Horatio and Ryan in the halls. "Some Xander's, one of Sassone's, and one of an unknown inside the barrel."
Horatio looked at the labels. "All in places he'd have to use to clean it, aren't they?" Eric nodded. "Was he at home?"
"Speed said he got sleepy babble then new snores," Eric offered. "You can't think Xander did this, H."
"I don't but I think someone wants us to."
Ryan coughed. "Up the street from him is a speed trap. Everyone but the middle of the night is caught there. Let's check to see if they got his car for the expired tags."
"Very good idea," Horatio agreed. "Who's doing it?"
"Pierce. They got me the other day," Eric admitted. "They're mean too. Not even my badge got me out of mine and I was two miles over the limit, H." He went to call them, get their ticket log. Plus the neighbor's gate video for the last day. Just in case.
Xander walked into the station, finding Speed pacing and waiting on him. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine. You went out for a cheeseburger?"
"And fries. I was craving fries. Excuse me for being a late teen, Dad. It was two in the morning and I knew the speed trap was down by then."
"No, that's fine. Come on. Sign him in," he ordered. The receptionist did that and handed over a badge. He got them into the elevator and looked at him. "Your prints were still on the gun."
"Then no one cleaned it?"
"Maybe not." They came off and found Horatio waiting on them. "He went out for a burger and fries last night."
"I heard." He frowned a bit. "We found someone watching his gate but I'm not sure who it is," he admitted, leading Xander back to AV to show him that picture.
Xander walked up to the screen. "No color?"
"No," Cooper told him.
"Hmm. I'm no good at identifying cars. I know Paul and Thomas use the purple one when they watch me. Steve and the rest of the guys usually use the rust colored one. Both of them are newer sedans, the ones with shortened trunks." A picture was pulled up. "That's the rust colored one. It's got the thing on the mirror."
"Okay," Horatio agreed. "Is the other one in that style?"
"Yeah. Only it's a medium purple. A bit darker than Barney purple."
"Good to know," Speed agreed. "Do you recognize the person?"
He looked again and shook his head. "Not from this angle."
"Then let's try some AV magic," Cooper offered, finding a good side-view of the guy's face. He enlarged it and mirrored it. Xander started to frown. "What?"
"I... Scars. He's got one and I don't know who he is but I saw him when I was getting milk the other night, again after the speed trap went down so I didn't get busted for the tags." He frowned and traced a line. "Scar was here looking at him. I remember thinking that had to hurt about as much as the dual one on my side."
"Can you say if it was a straight one, curved?" Speed prompted.
"I was at the Piggly Wiggly by your place. It was last Wednesday at about four in the morning." Speed nodded, going to make that call. He shrugged at Horatio's look. "I don't like shopping around a lot of people. I always feel like I'm being measured." He went back to the image. "He had," he shut his eyes. "Kinda lighter brown hair, kinda shaggy. Like if Mac's grew out and he didn't get a haircut for two months." He opened his eyes and found hair styles going past. "No, shorter." It was shortened. "Not that organized. Like a military crew cut grown out." Horatio selected another one. "Like that only just a bit more wild and pointy. He still had some strands that were short enough to spike on their own. Bad cowlick like I have in the back." That got a nod and Horatio adjusted it, getting a bright smile. "Like that." He looked again. "He had green eyes I think." They were popped in. "I remember he stared at me for a few minutes and I got caught. He had a stare like Gibbs did when he caught me fondling the handgun, Horatio." That got a nod. "Then I ducked into the ice cream and he walked past me."
"Any scent memory?" Cooper asked.
Xander sat down, closing his eyes again. Then he slowly shook his head. "No. Store smells. They were working on the floor a few aisles over in the pasta. He didn't smell dirty or nasty to me," he offered. "But if there was cologne I didn't smell it."
"That's more than we had, Xander," Horatio promised. Speed came back nodding. "We can get the tape?"
"We can. I told Dispatch to have a guy bring it in." He looked at the picture. "I saw him recently."
"Were you at Piggly Wiggly at four for dairy goodness too?" Xander asked.
"Actually I was out at Walmart for a new t-shirt. My last few got eaten in the washer. It was about two in the morning. He was staring at me."
"Okay, does that look accurate?" Horatio asked.
"Yeah. Only his hair was more pointy. More wild, like after you let go of the light socket or the balls that do the static discharge. When it's deflating from the static."
"That's what I remember too," Xander agreed. "But I didn't get a dangerous feeling. I got the measuring feeling and I got a feeling like he approved. I didn't get the feeling that he was dangerous to me or in general," he offered. "And hey, I can read dangerous people."
"You can," Horatio agreed.
"He almost... It was like when Ryan met me. That sort of measuring and coming up to standards he had set." Horatio nodded at that. "Could he be former military or an officer? I get that a lot more from them than I do the normal person. They more look at the package and my crotch." He sat up. "I was breaking in the new blue leathers that day, Dad. I wore them to the store because they were on the couch in the bedroom. He didn't look at my ass. At all. My arms, my chest, my back, my hair, but not my ass. He looked at my hands too. That's when I caught him staring."
"You're right, when he stared he didn't check me out either," he admitted, looking confused. "That's not a usual thing for me."
"Hmm." Horatio looked at the picture. "Can we run it through the face recognition in the DMV?" he ordered.
"I am on another screen, no matches yet, Horatio," Cooper offered.
Ryan walked in and stared. "I know him." They all stared at him. "I don't know where but he pinged."
"Store?" Speed offered. "Staring guy?"
"No. I don't remember the people who check me out at the store. I ignore people when I shop." He frowned then shook his head. "Not an officer. College maybe?"
"I'll start it through their database too," Cooper promised. Something beeped a few minutes later. He smirked at Ryan. "Thou are right, sir." He put it up beside the other picture. "Washed out of the academy in Ryan's class."
Ryan looked then nodded and grinned suddenly. "He started having screaming nightmares one night. Woke the whole dorm. We had one of those situations where you borrowed cadets to go looking for stuff in the park. He didn't find anything but he started to have screaming nightmares. After four days he asked to be dismissed."
"Maybe he was having visions," Xander offered with a small shrug.
"Most of us don't scream at them and they don't exclusively come at night."
"He had one when he fell asleep in class one day," Ryan admitted. "During a test. Made us all jump. Teacher nearly beat him to death for it."
"Okay, that means we can get a name and information on him," Horatio said. "I want that as soon as we get it, Cooper."
"On it, boss." He smiled. "Good job, Xander."
"I'm used to watching people. People are dangerous. Speaking of, Dad, I may need to head back to Sunnydale."
"Fuck no," he said firmly. "I don't care if they are facing down a military group." Xander raised an eyebrow. "I heard from Willow. She wanted to know if you could plan things from a distance."
"I can if I have tapes and schematics and things," he agreed.
"You have tactical abilities?" Horatio asked.
"I told you I changed Giles' plans for graduation, Horatio. Then I led the battle." He stood up and smoothed his shirt down. "I'll call Willow. Do we need a new set of fingerprints to compare to?"
"No. We need to know who the unknown print came from but I want you here," Horatio warned. Xander nodded and let Speed take him to the breakroom.
"You're not to go back, ever, Xander. The Powers said so," he hissed as they walked. "Ever. Never ever."
"I heard, Dad, but chill! They need me."
Speed grabbed his head then his arm. "No." He took a few calming breaths. Then he looked at him. "If you do they're going to use you as an experiment to get Buffy."
"Can I plan from a distance?" he asked, looking concerned. "And should I warn someone?"
"Warn someone," he agreed. "They found Spike again."
Xander nodded, dialing his cell. "Buffy, me. Yeah, not now. They found Spike again. The Initiative, Buffy. They have Spike again. Is that... Oz?" He frowned. "Buffy, evacuate him now! And send me the diagrams you have. Buffy, we know that they torture others. Put Oz on." She hung up. He called Willow's phone, getting Tara. "Get Oz out of town now, Tara," he ordered, heading for the parking lot. "Right now! Because the Initiative will get him. They have Spike again. Now! Tell Wills to send me the schematics and things. Thanks." He hung up and looked up. "Yo, not letting them keep my friends," he said grimly. "Even if I do get caught too." Then he stared out at the trees. His phone rang a few minutes later. "Harris. Oz, get out of Sunnydale. Because the Initiative are a group of torturing military bastards! Now! Right now! Before they get you! I don't care, Oz, and my Grandfather's heard that they don't care if you're harmless or not. They've taken kiddie and harmless demons. Get out of Sunnydale. Go see Angel and Wes. Now! My grandsire's out there. Go take refuge with him."
He considered it. "Go to Angel, tell him you need to see Raphael, Father Benis's sire. The one who taunts him. Him. Yeah. Now. Right now! Because they're onto your ass probably, Oz. Now. Right now." His simple 'going' made him relax. "Tell them to send me schematics and I'll help them get Spike free. Yeah. I'm still in Miami and the Powers said I'm not allowed back. That's why Timmy sent me away, man. Thanks. Yeah. I'll call Grandfather and have him pass it on. Be safe, Oz, and don't stop even if it is a cop. You don't who's involved and Buffy was dating one last I knew. Yeah, Riley. Farmboy as Spike called him. Be safe." He hung up and called his grandfather. "Is Grandsire out there yet? Because the Initiative has Spike again," he sighed, starting to pace. "No, I'm having Oz evacuate to Angel and having him ask to go to him. If they have Spike what're they going to do to a were?" he asked quietly.
"Exactly. We know they're torturing freaks. Yeah, well, I need schematics if we're going to free Spike. Because I wouldn't leave Angel with them, Grandfather. They're torturing freaks. Period. It's wrong to leave anything, even the most harmful things, with them. Send it to me. I'm at the station. No, the guy who shot the guy who was holding Ryan and Daddy hostage used one of my guns from New York," he admitted. "So I'm here. Thanks." He hung up. Then he looked up. "Your move sucked," he told the Powers. He went to find the bag he had given his father. "My emergency laptop, do you have it?" That got a slow nod. "I need it. Oz was back in town. They have Spike again. They're not keeping him. I wouldn't leave my worst enemy or Angel to them. Oz is going to Grandsire through Angel." He called the number he had for Cordelia. "It's me. Not happy. Quit bouncing." She did. "Oz is coming. I ordered him out of Sunnydale, Cordy. It's important he get to Raphael. The vampire who taunts Angel like I did. Yeah, the one who taunted him about me. Because the Initiative is military and they're torturing freaks who did that chip thingy to Spike. Tell Angel they have Spike again. I need information and I can plan that," he assured her.
"Get it to me and make sure Oz gets to my grandsire. Yeah, he turned my Grandfather and I like the guy. He's nice," he agreed with a smile. He listened to her babble. "Yeah, that's me. No, my father walked away because my grandfather joined the Church out of grief, Cordy. He saw his inheritance slipping away. Why he ended up in Sunnydale is still a mystery no one understands. Yeah, they're really nice. They love and protect me, Cordy. Make sure Oz gets to him. Thanks. Tell Angel that they have Spike again. Buffy's got her head so far up Riley's ass that she can't see that they're torturing those they're chipping and experimenting on. He just left so driving distance. If not, let me know. Immediately. Got it?" He smiled. "Miss you too. No, I'm doing pretty good here in Miami." He smiled. "I've got a boyfriend," he offered. She gasped. "Yeah. He's a great guy. Daddy's down here and his team loves me. Sure. I've got a spare room and a satellite dish," he said proudly. "Plus a massage license." He grinned. "Sure, Cordy. Talk to you soon. Pass those on. Grandsire should be landing just at dark. Take care of Oz for me, 'kay? Thanks." He hung up and sent up a silent prayer that Oz would be okay.
"He'll be fine," Ryan said from behind him.
Xander looked at him. "Not if they get him. They're doing experiments that would've made Nazi's shudder, Ryan." He looked out across the parking lot again, then called Willow back. "I've got the emergency laptop. Make sure Oz makes it out of town." He smiled. "Good. No, I sent him to Angel and then to a contact I have out there through him. He'll be safe. Timmy said I can't, Willow. Ever. Give me the plans. Where are they? The frat house?" He frowned and considered it. "Underground?" He nodded. "Get me the plans. Then hack 'em, Willow. Like I care if they're the military. Yay me. I'll let someone I met through Daddy know. Yeah, Miami's good and I just talked to Cordy to warn her Oz was incoming and needing refuge. Willow, think," he demanded patiently. "Can you really leave Spike to them? Or anyone?"
He nodded. "Exactly. Send me shit, Wills. I've got a contact that helped with my very brief wife's stuff since she was an assassin. Didn't read the New York Times?" he joked then hung up. He took the laptop from Ryan's hand. He found the emails coming in and forwarded them with a note to Abby. Then he called her. "Look in your inbox. The stuff I sent you is from Sunnydale. It's a multi-military group operation that's torturing others. Some of it is hacked but they're about to get stomped. Sure. I'm in Miami and being pissed at them. They went after cohorts and friends. Thanks, Abby." He hung up and got to work, drawing on the paper Speed got him. He ended up with his back against the building working on the plans. Then he suddenly smirked and sent back a detailed email to Willow. She sent back an 'okay, got it' and something new, which he forwarded without having to read it. It was video files from their system. She had marked it that way. She was a great hacker and someone was going to be pissed. He looked up at Ryan with an evil smirk. "I should find a music file of _Another One Bites The Dust_ to play."
"That's overconfident," Ryan warned.
"Not this time. They don't expect Buffy to turn. She's dating one of them and being programmed more gently. It'll go." He stood up and got his notes, heading inside to hand them to Horatio. "Just in case it becomes necessary for Gibbs."
"The Initiative struck again," he said simply. "They were going to get Oz, they have Spike." He walked off, going to get himself a soda and some snack cake goodness from the machines while he waited on more information. He deserved it.
Abby looked at the files, patting her phone until she heard a familiar growl. "My lab, now," she demanded. "I just got stuff from Xander you *have* to see, Gibbs." She hung up just as blindly and got back to work. She was unzipping the video files when he came in so she ran the first one. Then she went to get sick.
"What is that?" Gibbs demanded. She waved a hand at her computer so he looked at the other emails. He called down to Miami. "Caine, what is that the boy sent?" The phone got handed to Speedle, who told him. He groaned and sucked in a breath to calm himself. "No, it's bad. What did he do?" He nodded slowly, then he smirked. "He can plan battles and disarm bombs?" He heard the quiet 'he planned graduation' and nodded. "That wasn't too bad. Who do they have going in?" He nodded at the small number quoted. "They're trained?" His 'not like you are' didn't make him happy. "I'll be there tonight. Tell them to hold off." He hung up and watched another one while he called his boss. "Come to Abby's lab. Now, yes, that was an order," he said grimly. He hung up and stared. Then he looked at the other stuff the boy had sent. Another file came in from a different source. "Who's that?"
She came over once she had quit gargling water. "The source code for the first ones," she admitted, opening that email. The 'who are you' got answered very simply as "NCIS, Xander helped us with an assassin recently and we like him'. They got back an immediate request for a video chat. She clicked it on. "Hi. I'm Abby. This is Gibbs. He's a team leader at NCIS."
The redheaded girl looked at them. "Military cops?" Abby nodded. "Why?"
"Xander sent us the stuff you sent him."
"He trusts us," Tony said as he walked in. "Miss Rosenburg. He mentioned you a few times. What's going on?"
"He's uber-worried about the Initiative stuff."
Tony typed that into a database then looked at her. "I would be too. They're NSA and Pentagon sponsored. Who do they have?"
"Spike," she complained. "They already put a chip into his head that made it so he can't hurt humans."
"Spike's a what?" Abby asked.
"Vampire," she admitted. "We have a lot of them out here." Abby smiled at that. "This is the hellmouth, sweetie. Why did Xander tell you?"
"Because we can clean it up," Tony said simply. "Do you think you can wait for backup?"
"No. We're not so sure Oz made it out of town. Xander got *real* frantic to get him out of here and, well, Buffy's dating one of their team leaders." Someone else walked in. "Do you trust him?"
"Usually," Gibbs agreed. He reran the tapes they had. The director went pale. He pointed at Tony's screen. "It'll take us a few hours. Do you have more than you and her?"
He squeezed his eyes shut. "The guy who sent Xander all his guns because he didn't like them?" She nodded. "What did his plans say?"
"Get Angel's crew up here for the assault. That'll take a few hours."
"Do that. We'll be there by tonight, Willow. Until then, lay low. Especially if they know you're onto them."
"We all knew Buffy was being led by them. You're sure?"
"I'm sure," Tony agreed. "People like this often make others disappear in unpleasant ways."
"Sure." She hung up and looked at the girl beside her. "Go. Now." She nodded, picking up her backpack and heading off to do some shopping somewhere more crowded and a bit farther away. Willow went over the plans, calling Giles to come see her. "I've got Xander plans for extracting Spike," she offered. "Please. Call Wes. That was the first point he made. We'll need help and we've got other help coming tonight." She hung up and downloaded it, printing it and leaving it somewhere Giles would look. That's why she didn't resist too much when they came for her. "You'll never get away with this." They tasered her and she managed to scream. Security wasn't going to take on commandos though.
Xander got the alert from Buffy and groaned. "Mother fuckers," he hissed, glaring at the screen. He sent back one to look in her usual spots. He had sent extraction details. She sent back an 'okay'. He looked at Eric. "She didn't even apologize for her bad taste in men. Or knowing that they're torturing the vampire she has a protection pact with." He called LA. "Cordy, me. They took Wills. Do you need a copy of the plan and did Oz get there?" He nodded. "Good. No, he's not. Her girlfriend Tara is hopefully hiding. She's a gentle witch. Exactly. Now, Cordy. Buffy's going in after her and she's been up their ass far enough to lick their prostates. Yeah, her boyfriend," he said grimly. "Thanks, Princess. Do you need the plans?" He smiled. "That works. Good job. Have fun back in Hell. The Powers forbid me to come back. They told Timmy. Thanks, Princess." He hung up and put his head down. "I need to be there."
"You can't," Eric reminded him more gently.
Xander looked at him. "I'm still needed."
"Gibbs is going," he pointed out.
He called Abby. "It's me. They have Willow. Yeah, the redhead. I figured she did. They have her now. Buffy's got the plans. Cordelia has the plans too. She forwarded them to her. Agreed. Watch out for their love of strange things. If he finds something large, blue, and scaley, do not let it out until they leave. They eat souls. Otherwise let out the hounds as a distraction and means of dealing with them. Thanks. Of course I am. I'm not allowed back by heavenly decree, Abby," he said grimly. "Otherwise I'd be on a plane. Be at ease, it'll be fixed one way or another." He hung up and went back to his watching his email. He sent one to Gordon to update him, getting one back saying he'd tell his grandfather and warn Raphael to watch for Oz for him.
Xander was woken up that night by Speed, who stared at him. "Sunnydale?"
"College just fell in," he said quietly, sitting next to him. "Gibbs and everyone got out fine. They got Willow and Tara out." That got a gentle smile. "Oz did make it to LA. Your grandsire loves Oz. Calls him neat. Up there with Eric for him." That got a happier smile. "Everyone's fine, even Spike. Gibbs got there in time to extract the first team." Xander curled up on his chest so he stroked through his hair. "They got statements from Willow and are sending her down here for recovery time." That got a nod against his chest and another yawn. He smiled and continued to pet his son, watching him fall asleep. "Good job, Xander," he praised when he was out. "Very good work. Gibbs thought your plans were great." Xander smiled in his sleep and wiggled so he was straddling his leg and squeezing his lower chest, with a head on his shoulder. He called Calleigh, then took a picture to send to her. She sent back an 'okay, I won't wait up' text and hung up. He petted his son until he fell asleep too.
That's how Willow found them in the morning, her giggle woke them. "You're so cute!" she cooed, pinching him on the cheek. "Someone named Horatio called and said you have to be in by ten so you get the late shift today." Speed checked his watch then nodded. "Poke him, I usually do. By the way, I'm keeping the picture."
"I want a copy and so will a few others," he offered. He stroked over the back of Xander's neck, getting an unhappy grunt. "Xander?" he called quietly.
"Poke him, Timmy."
"That's mean, Willow. I'm not mean to my boy." Xander lifted his head to blink at him, looking very confused. "You did good, everyone got saved in time, and Gibbs said your plans rocked," he offered quietly, stroking over his hair. "Willow's here." Xander grunted again and put his head back down. "I've got to shower and change soon, Xander," he pointed out patiently.
"I've got clothes you can borrow. Even clean undies in the package," he mumbled into his chest. He felt someone else climbing in. "That had better be Greggy or Horatio."
"No, it's Willow."
"Eww, girl. Out of bed, girl! Out!"
"Fine, I'll go start breakfast, sleepy," she teased, then headed down there after another picture. She found someone knocking on the door and went to look. "Hi, who're you?"
"Better question, does Xander know there's a woman in his house?" Ryan asked.
"I'm Willow. Gibbs sent me down for R&R."
"Oh. Okay. Speed, your bike's wet!" he called. Speed came jogging down the stairs, making him get out of the way. "It rained last night."
"I couldn't get the garage open," he complained, taking off his shirt to wipe it down.
Xander came down the stairs and grunted at him. "Ryan, Willow. Willow, Ryan. He's nice. I approve. Date him," he grunted, heading for the pool.
"Eat," Ryan called. "Now!"
"Tough, eat." Xander trudged into the kitchen to make himself some cereal. "Make some cereal for Speed too, Xander." He came out and handed over his bowl then went back. He handed it to Speed, who grinned. "He was heading for the pool."
"I'm sure he was. He does most days." He ate his breakfast while he checked his baby over. Then he took his cereal inside to take a shower and bum clothes. He came back down with damp hair, his sunglasses on, and a pair of Xander's tighter jeans, plus one of his silk dress shirts with a dark t-shirt underneath. "Only type he has and I have court," he complained. "Xander, I'll come over for dinner tonight," he called. "Do not attempt to do more than order."
"Good boy. I've got your black dress shirt."
"Not like I wear it."
"Good." He climbed onto his bike and put on his helmet, heading to work.
Ryan looked at Willow. "So, you're his friend Willow?" She smiled and let him inside the house. "I took Speed's place on the team until he came back."
"That's kinda cool. I'm more of a techno geek than a science geek." She led him into the kitchen, finding Xander stretching and still naked. "Can't you wear clothes?" she complained.
He spit at her. "My house, wench." He headed out to the pool, diving in to do some laps. It was better than soda or coffee for him.
Ryan grinned at her. "At least he doesn't do it in public pools." She giggled and swatted him on the arm. "I was told to come get a report from him about how Sunnydale went down."
"I can do that. I did for Gibbs and his cutey Tony last night."
"Sure." He led her to the office so he could use the recorder in there.
"So, who are Horatio and Greggy?"
"Um, Horatio is our boss and Xander's boyfriend. Greggy is ... Well I guess he's Xander's sub or secondary boyfriend. I'm not sure of their dynamic. It's good for them all. It makes them happy." She went bright red and eeped. "He's happy, Willow. After he married an assassin for an hour and a half, it's better for him."
"Assassin?" she squeaked. He nodded. She moaned and sat down. "That is such a Xander thing to do."
He grinned. "He and Greg were given some very evil alcohol they couldn't detect. It was her idea." He smiled when Horatio walked in. "Speed just left after borrowing clothes. Xander's naked in the pool, Horatio."
"That's fine. He does it most mornings. Miss Rosenburg I presume?"
"Doctor Livingston?" she joked, holding out a hand.
"No, that's our boss," Ryan teased her back. "I was going to get a statement on what went on."
"That's fine. Go with Eric to find the shooter and have a talk with him, Mr. Wolfe."
"Agreed." He stood up. "It was nice meeting you, Willow. Maybe he'll bring you for lunch later." He smiled and headed out.
She looked at him. "Do I have to have the shovel talk with you?"
"Unlike others, I have no intention of hurting Xander, Willow," he said quietly. She flinched at that. "Am I going to have to have the shovel talk with you?" he asked, smirking some.
"No," she said, starting to pout. "I'm down on vacation."
"That's fine. Xander could use some fun. I know he has a job interview tomorrow." She nodded at that. "Good girl. Now, let's go over what happened out there. Just in case it becomes pertinent." She nodded and handed over the letter Gibbs had given her. "Thank you." He sat down to read it, nodding at a few points. "Buffy?"
"The Gibbs guy suggested Xander spank her. I didn't know Xander spanked people."
"He's a fully trained Dom, Willow," he said blandly, looking at her. "He's a very good one who does therapy for his clients." She slumped at that but let out a small shudder. "There's nothing sexual about what he does." Xander wandered in and gave him a deep, loving kiss. "Good morning to you too. Go dry off. You're dripping." Xander nodded and went to do that. He smiled at her. "He is one very special young man."
"Then who's Greggy? He said I had better be you or him when I gave him a hug."
"Greg... Well, the easy answer is that Greg is our other lover but he lives in Las Vegas." He smiled when Xander peeked in. "Yes, that's Willow."
"Hey, Wills. Sorry, sleep puttering." He disappeared and came down showered and changed into jeans and a t-shirt. He smiled at Horatio. "I'm sorry I made Daddy late."
"That's fine. I figured you would and Ryan took the early call this morning."
"He seems to do a lot of that, Horatio." He sat in his lap. "Why doesn't Eric?"
"Because getting Eric up in the mornings is nearly as hard as getting you up," he said with a fond smile. "His women tend to get possessive."
"Oh. Okay. I thought you were being unfair to Ryan."
He considered it. "He does take more than his fair share," he admitted. "I'll try to make sure it becomes more even." Xander smiled and teased his shirt buttons. He swatted at the hand. "You still have company."
Xander looked at her. "This is Horatio. I gave up evil women for him." She giggled at that. "I did." He looked at his lover again. "Are you on this weekend or off?"
"Off, but you have that job interview tomorrow. Which means you should find something appropriate to wear."
"I have the suits I got in Vegas, Horatio. I'll be fine. I just need a different shirt to wear with it." He stole another kiss. "Should I make coffee while you two talk?"
"I'm fine. Willow, need some coffee?"
"I never eat or drink anything Xander makes," she said seriously. "If you do, more power to you and you're obviously strong enough to keep Xander safe."
"Is Spike okay?" Xander asked.
She nodded. "He'll be fine. They were using subsonics to drive him batty again. They had just pulled him out to do more 'what happens if I do this to you' experiments when we broke in. He backed us up and told us what to release and then Gibbs got there about an hour later as an official type person and shut their hineys down." She smiled proudly. "He's a good hunter."
"He's a former Marine," Xander told her. "He should be."
"Good. Even if he did want to spank Buffy."
"Not such a *bad* idea," he admitted. "Did Daddy say Oz got to my grandsire safely?"
"He did; Raphael called and told me he loves Oz," Horatio soothed, patting his back. "No cuddling in front of her, she's embarrassed," he said quietly. Xander slid off his lap and into his own chair. He smiled at him. "He said he's offering Oz a job handling his LA business interests and the Angel taunting for him."
"He could use that sort of stability," Xander agreed, smiling at him. "Grandsire's neat but I think I get my scatterbrained tendencies from him too."
"Patrick said that came from your grandmother," Horatio reminded him. Xander grinned. "I know. Sometimes he's like your grandmother."
"Patrick giggled at that," he agreed happily. "Grandsire huffed and promised to send me coal for the holidays. Oooh, I have to finish my holiday shopping."
"Well, you said you needed a new shirt," Horatio offered. "Are your new plates in yet?" Xander shrugged but went to check the mail. He looked at her, seeing the fond, yet slightly sad smile. "He's happy, Willow."
"I want my Xander back," she pouted.
"Speed said he can't go back to Sunnydale."
"Damn it. Stupid Powers," she muttered. She frowned. "I guess we'll just have to move down here to watch over him then, huh?" she decided.
"We have a whole lab full of people who watch over Xander with us," he offered. She gave him a look. "We do."
"If you did, he wouldn't have been married."
"He was in Las Vegas at the time."
"No wonder," she said grimly. Xander came in with the box from the DMV. "License plates?" He nodded, breaking them open to show Horatio, who snickered at the 'CaneBoy' plate. She looked and rolled her eyes. "I doubt they want to know that much, Xander."
"His last name is Caine," he told her.
"Oh." She shook her head. "You're being cutesy and you used to gag at me when I did it."
"Yeah, and?" He shrugged. He smiled at Horatio. "So we'll go shopping. Should I bring her for lunch?"
"You could. Or an early dinner. Remember, the Solstice exchange is in a few days," he warned.
"I know. I have to go pick up the presents I ordered and things. Which means I'm going to be broke until I sell those houses. They go on the third I think." He shrugged and hauled Willow up. "Love you, Horatio. Be safe today." He blew a kiss and led her out to the garage.
"That's a jag," she said in awe.
He looked at her and nodded. "Yup. Grandsire bought it for me. It was a tester model so it's got every single perk in existence, even seat warmers," he said proudly. He slid his new plate on and hitched it in place. Then the front one. Then he went inside to get his wallet, keys, and special bank book and card from the office, stealing another kiss. "I'll be good today but what am I getting you and Daddy for dinner?"
"Whatever you want, Xander. Not Cuban food please. My stomach's a bit upset." Xander smiled and kissed him again, making his vision gray out for a few minutes. When he opened them he found a set of keys in front of him hanging off a miniature whip. They went into his pocket with a smile and the letter went back to the office with him. He saw Willow staring at the hummer when he got in, nodding at her. He didn't care what she thought of the hummers.
Xander got finished with the last present being wrapped and brought them out to the car again, Willow trailing with her lemonade. "Sorry."
"That's okay. It's good to let the charity wrappers do it for you." She smiled. "So, how are you liking Miami?"
"It's neat. It's warm. It's friendlier than New York was. They were always too busy up there to pay attention to me." He grinned. "Which they might be for dinner too. We might have to wait."
"I don't mind. Are you sure we should just show up at the station?"
"I bring Daddy lunch all the time."
She looked at him. "You're still calling Timmy Dad?"
"Most of the time. Ooh, you'll get to meet the stepmom too. She works with them." He smiled. "You'll like Calleigh. She's a bit like me. She's from New Orleans. I wish I could introduce you to Lady Heather."
"You know a Lady? Like lives with a knight?"
"No, like the domme who trained me. She's like a stepmom too."
"Whoa," she said, holding up a hand. "You really spank people?" He nodded, looking at her. "Why?" she demanded a bit loudly.
"Because I help them let go of the traumas they're holding onto," he explained quietly. "I do therapy with my clients, Willow. Officers who had to shoot in the line of duty and those things. I help them let it go and process, then move on with their lives. I love being a dom. It all clicked for me when I started working in a bar in New York and I learned what it was about. It's all consensual. I'm not one of the ones that it gets sexual for. Can you open the car door?" She got the backseat open and leaned on the side, staring at him. "I like my life. I'm sorry if you can't accept it. I'm happy with it." He closed the door once everything was on the seat. "Did I have anything else to pick up?"
"I go somewhere else for that and a good place to pick up dinner is near there." He walked around and got in to drive, letting her in. He drove them that way, parking and locking the car, plus turning on the alarm. Then he led her inside. "Hi. I need a new shirt to go with a dark green suit." That got a nod. "It's stylish but not too hip and I have a job interview tomorrow."
"Of course. Tie as well?"
He smiled. "What sort of position are you going for?"
"Masseuse at a club." That got a nod and he led him to some lighter green ones and then a few darker ones. He pointed at one. "That's the suit's color." That got a nod and he was measured then one was handed over. "Should I go with black? I mean, all the same shade?"
"Masseuses at clubs are there to blend into the background," he offered. "They're not there to be flashy and showy. People come to spas to relax and relieve themselves of life for a bit."
Xander nodded and picked out the light green one then the black one. "I've got a red suit too." That got a smile. "Thanks." He checked the sizes and put the black one back then pulled out another one. "There. I think this should do it. I don't need a tie, right?"
"No, I probably wouldn't. Not for that sort of position." He led them to the register. "Now, if it was in a bank...." That got a smile and a head shake. His card declined so Xander sighed and handed over the other one. That went through. "Busy day shopping?" he asked.
"Very. Presents." That got a smile and a nod and the bag of shirts once he had signed the slip. Then they left. He looked at Willow. Then at his wallet. "Well, dinner's going to be cheap." He put the shirts into the back seat and locked it again, heading down to the restaurant. He got dinner for them all and came out with Willow carrying the second bag. He got them into the car, letting her have it all, and drove to the station, finding the others standing outside. He got out. "Am I late?"
"Right on time," Frank said with a smile. "Get enough for me?"
"Probably. As long as Eric isn't a bottomless pit today."
"We can get a pizza too," Ryan said as he came over to help carry. "Willow, so we meet again."
"We do. I've been following shopping boy. He proved today that he learned how to shop from Buffy."
"No, I ordered it all online and then had to pick it up," he defended. He dug into the presents and arranged them, coming out with two bags of stuff. Those he carried up to Horatio. "Can I stash the presents in your office so I can't forget them?"
"If you want," he promised, smiling at him. "Should I keep Speed from peeking?"
"His is at home," he said with a grin. "So is Mom's and stepmom's." That got a smile and a nod. They carried them inside, Ryan showing Willow to the breakroom so they could set out dinner and order a pizza to cover any gaps and fussy eaters today. Xander glanced around then snuck a kiss. "I was a good boy even if I am broke until the third."
"I'm sure it'll be fine and you'll get the job tomorrow," Horatio soothed. "Did you remember a new shirt?"
"I did but I'm not sure if I should wear the same color, lighter green, or black tomorrow." They walked back down there together, him pouncing Calleigh to hug her from behind. "Your present and Dad's present are at the house with Mom's." She smiled at that. "So you have to come over that night or I'll bring it over to dinner."
"Sure." She took his arm to walk him that way with a smile for Horatio. "We're adding onto the lab?" she asked, catching Willow and Ryan talking about computer gear.
"No, I'm Willow." She shook her hand then stared at her. "So you're his stepmom?" She smiled and nodded. "That's fine. At least you're not an evil woman I have to beat with a shovel."
"No, not today. Xander gives very good presents so I won't have to turn into a big grump." She smiled at him. "How did the picking up go?"
"Fine. I had to borrow shirt money from Grandfather."
"Not like he'll pout since it's for your interview," she reminded him.
"Doesn't mean I like having to do that."
"I know." She gave him a hug. "Let's sit and eat. Eric!" He came out of his lab. "Food? Dinner?"
"Ten," he called, heading back inside.
Speed came out a few minutes later and strolled in. He kissed Xander on the head. "Everyone likes me in your jeans and shirt."
"Including me," Calleigh agreed, smiling at Xander. "He'll give it back in a few weeks."
"I got a new black dress shirt so he can have that one," he promised. "The jeans I might need back but he can have the undies."
"That's fine," she promised, smiling at him. Then at him. "Did you get to see Willow was in?"
"I did, she woke us up this morning. How did the shopping go?" he asked her.
"Okay. I guess. I followed him like I do Buffy when she shops."
"I only had to pick up," Xander defended again. "Otherwise we'd still be at the mall. Fortunately I found a lot of stuff overseas when I went."
"You...went overseas?" Willow asked, looking confused.
"Someone had to clean out the wife's stuff and hand it to Interpol and the FBI." He looked at Speed. "We did send Greg that check, right?" He nodded. He sighed and smiled. "Good. Because I'm broke again." Speed patted him on the back. "But I have everything I might need for the next little while. Including gas because I filled up the car first."
"Good." He smiled down at Calleigh. "She took a picture of him curled up on my stomach to sleep."
"Awww. I want a copy."
"Sure," she agreed, looking a bit confused again. "You guys all like the Xander?" Everyone in there nodded and smiled at her. "Wow. That's kinda odd."
"We're family," Ryan told her. "Of course we like Xander. He's Speed's son and he gives us a non-boring life sometimes. He married an assassin, he's got a small cult to him. Someone sent him a ruby necklace today." Xander whimpered. "Not a clue why, Xander."
"That we're still tracing," Eric offered as he came in with it. He opened it and let him see, then Xander let out a low moan. "It's beautiful."
"It is. If I didn't have something for Lady Heather's present I'd use that." He hit himself on the head. "I still have to send hers out I think."
"You sent it with Greg's," Speed soothed. "Quit stressing." Xander relaxed and nodded. "You can call Greg to make sure he got both theirs." Xander smiled and nodded. "And whatever you got Bobby."
"More hockey tapes." That got some laughs and Eric closed the lid. "Any idea who sent it yet?"
"The store won't say. It was done anonymously. We're not sure if it's your small cult or not."
"Cult?" Speed asked.
"Uh, yeah," Ryan admitted. "The staring guy started one. Apparently he's the messiah here to preserve and protect life. He also helps them purge their sins by self beating and things. They sucked another young dom in to help them purge themselves to be worthy." Xander slunk down. "But that does explain the staring guy and he was the one who shot the guy who had me and Speed hostage at the scene," he offered.
"Good," Xander said weakly. "What about the rest? Are they going to snap?"
"Horatio talked to them," Ryan offered. "I'm not sure. Horatio?"
He came in. "Sorry, had to talk to my nephew. What's going on?" He saw the necklace box. "Anything yet, Eric?"
"Store said it was an anonymous cash purchase. They gave up video to see if we could figure it out. He was wearing sunglasses and a hoodie." He shrugged. "We're trying, H."
"That's fine. Ryan?"
"He wanted to know if the cult was going to snap."
"No. They've decided that a life of devotion is a quiet life and they're very happily doing that on the other side of the city from you, Xander." Xander relaxed and nodded, making him smile. "It'll be fine. Which suit are you wearing?"
"My green one."
"What color shirts did you get?" Willow asked.
"Um, a lighter green in the same mix of blue and yellow. Like when you move the bar in the composer program up sort of lighter shade. A black one and one that's the same shade. The guy at the store suggested that."
"We'll see which one works tonight," Horatio promised with a smile. That got a grin back because that meant he was getting sex tonight. He was a happy boy! "Thank you for dinner, Xander."
"Welcome. Eat, people. Don't make me call Grandma."
"Alexx is doing her last autopsy and then she'll be up," Ryan promised. "I already paged her." He got the paper plates and they dished out the food, then Eric went to get the pizza to fill up the rest of the plates. Yelina, Ray Junior, and Alexx all came in later and got the rest, making everyone happy.
Willow looked at him. "So, you're a CSI like Timmy?"
"I am," he agreed happily. "I'm in the same area too. My speciality is Trace."
"Okay." She ate a bite then looked at him. "Is it hard?"
"Not really. A lot of science. Police work. You have to go to the academy." She nodded at that. "I was in patrol until got here. Calleigh too." She nodded at that since her mouth was full. "It's a good and rewarding field. What are you majoring in?"
"Apparently Buffy's sex life." She shrugged. "I'm in the humanities at the moment but I still love my computer stuff. I just do it for stress relief anymore. Then again I may have to transfer schools since the battle caved in half the campus." She ate another bite.
"It was that large?" Xander asked. "I thought it went into the forest."
"It did but she had tunnels leading to the humanities building and the science building, plus the main entry under Lowell House. So the stupid frat boys who Buffy likes are gone but they imploded their base after Gibbs shut them down and we were gotten out. All the guys in Lowell are gone. Half the teachers were employed by them so Gibbs has them in interrogation and probably heading for arrest. Someone in the Pentagon is not going to be happy. Especially since I sent a very nice 'don't come back to Sunnydale again' message to someone really high up." She smiled sweetly then ate another bite of pizza.
Xander snickered. "I'm sure he'll yell about that, but yay." He shrugged and dug in again. "How's everyone else?"
"Buffy's Mom's okay. Giles is still drinking a bit too often," she admitted. "The store's going okay right now though. He just bought the Magic Box. Anya is working for him. She found her second love, money. Ranks right up there with orgasms for her." Yelina moaned. "Sorry but that's how she talks about it."
"Oh, she so does," Xander agreed. "You should see the letter she sent me."
"She was asking Spike if she was too subtle, Xander. We heard it already." He shrugged and dug back in, making her shake her head, looking at Yelina. "You have to experience Anya to get used to her."
"I'm sure Eric's dated women like that," she said dryly.
"A few," Eric agreed with a grin.
"Yeah, like half your black book," Speed taunted. Eric spit at him. "You have nearly as bad of taste in women as Xander does, Eric. Turn gay. Please?"
"Grandsire wanted to know if he'd be his next childe," Xander offered with a grin.
"My mother would not approve and would sic my sisters on him. That's a torture no one deserves," he retorted, smirking at him. "You know, I almost missed the picking on me while you were gone."
Speed smirked back. "If you weren't the manwhore CSI you wouldn't have to hear it, Eric."
"Who's calling him that this time?" Calleigh complained. Yelina let out another moan. "It's only about the third time," she offered. She grinned at Ray. "He's a bit of a dating connoisseur. If you need a number, he's got half of Miami's somewhere."
Yelina laughed but shook her head. "Ray's not ready for that yet. When he is, I'm going to tell him why doing what Eric does is wrong for a nice Catholic boy like him."
Xander looked at his stepnephew and grinned. "Could be worse. You could date women like I did."
"I heard Cyprus was pretty."
"It was," Xander agreed happily. "So was Rio. So was Russia. Doesn't mean I'd wish the ones that came before the assassin on anyone. Well, maybe Anya. Hey, Eric, Anya wants a nice guy who can give her as much sex as she wants. You seem to have a good handle on that. Can I set you up?"
"No thanks. Read her letter. She sounds a bit unstable."
"It's where she wasn't normal for a few years," Willow assured him. Ryan snickered. "I take it you've heard?"
"I've seen her at work in the past," he admitted. "That's why nothing that Xander can tell me about your former town surprises me."
"My former town?" she asked.
He looked at her. "You said you'd have to move to keep an eye on him."
"I did, didn't I?" She looked at Xander, who shrugged. "I should transfer down here with Tara, mister, just to make sure you're not being naughty."
"No, when I want to be naughty I put on good clothes and go tease everyone by doing an open pole night at a gay strip club," he assured her, sounding like it was an everyday thing.
"Isn't that how you attracted the assassin?" Yelina asked when Willow just gaped.
"Um, yeah," he sighed. "She saw my one when I was out training and got a little tiny bit fixated because I looked a lot like her lover, who's still in a Turkish prison for life. They were carrier pigeoning back and forth." Willow let out a small squeak. "What?"
"You're kidding right?" she asked, nodding a bit. He shook his head. "Then you're taking this gay thing a bit far! I mean, this whole story is so preposterous it can only happen in a book, Xander! Besides, you can't dance at all! Therefore you can't strip and why would an assassin like you? I mean I know bad girls like you but an assassin?"
"No, it happened, Willow," Speed assured her. "All of it." She whimpered and started to shake her head. "Really. And he dances better than I do sometimes now."
"Don and Danny helped with my lack of rhythm when I first got to New York."
"Good. At least they were watching over you sometime." He ate another bite of pizza.
Willow whimpered. "Then I definitely can't move down here. You'll taint Tara and she's a nice witch. If you taint her she won't be the same gentle witch I love and I can't have that because then she'll be a grumpy or a fangirl witch and I might not like her that much."
Ryan patted her on the back. "I promise, he hasn't tainted anyone yet, Willow."
"But he has because you don't think it's strange he married an assassin and now he's dating a Horatio... and a Greg." She gave him a pitiful look. "He's already warped you all."
"That just means he'll fit in Sunnydale better," Calleigh teased.
Speed nodded. "He probably could." He finished his dinner and looked at her. "Willow, I promise, we were already like this before I brought Xander down here from New York. We've even seen a lot worse than Xander."
"Mostly dead," Yelina admitted, "but we have."
Speed nodded. "We're going to avoid that problem with Xander for a very long time."
"I feel the exact same way about you, Daddy," Xander assured him with a sweet smile.
"Good. Then neither one of us will do stupid shit anymore," he agreed happily. Calleigh looked at him. "What?"
"Does that mean you won't go out with Eric anymore?"
"No but I'll quit letting him make me dance with his castoffs."
"That might be a good idea, yes," she agreed dryly, smirking at him.
"Ooh, someone's getting spanked in the non-fun ways," Xander teased. "I just got a new paddle, stepmom. Need it?"
"No, honey, I've got other things I can do to make sure he learns that lesson." She smiled sweetly at him. "Of course, Horatio went into the room full of your cult of psychopaths today without backup."
"Really?" Xander asked, looking at Horatio. "I thought it was my job in this 'ship to do stupid stuff, dear."
"It is. I knew they wouldn't hurt me. I was keeping you pure."
"Hmm. We'll see later when you help me pick out a shirt?"
"I can do that," he promised with a smile. He smiled at Willow. "See, we've calmed Xander down a bit."
She snickered. "No you haven't. He's still just as bad as before. I'll have to give Tara the Xander crash course before we come down."
Xander looked at her. "Willow, dear," he said patiently. "Don't make me spank you."
"You wouldn't," she said, glaring at him. He raised an eyebrow and she saw it in his eyes. He would and he'd use those new skills on her poor body. "I'm still sore from yesterday."
"Then we should get you home so you can rest," he soothed, patting her on the back. "Should I tape tonight's hockey game?" Everyone nodded at that. "Okay. It's a regional final match. This one feeds into the match for the Iron Curtain versus Free World match which is the finals in four weeks." All the guys and Calleigh smiled at that. "Then we'll have to see what they put in place of naked hockey. Oh, Eric, the same channel is showing Miss Nude for this year. Am I taping it?"
"Please," he agreed.
"Sure. Anyone else?"
"We can make copies off his," Ryan assured him with a grin. "Anything good in curling?"
"I don't know. I feel asleep halfway through the last match. Greg and I were talking during it and he had a rough day. His first day back and they had to clean a body out of the lake behind the dam. They found floating needles, a few more bodies, and a moose. Plus a dead dog that had been sunk."
"Ow, that's going to be a tough case," Speed complained. "Someone dumped a moose too?" Xander nodded. "Why?"
"They're not sure. The bodies were all from various sources. He said they found four. But they did get the person who was dumping needles in the lake. They got a very hard slap on the wrist and lost their medical license for endangering so many lives. Since she testified against her bosses, they closed the clinic too. Most of them lost theirs for at least a little while too." That got some smiles. "He had to use the morgue showers for three days because they had filters."
"I don't blame the boy," Alexx assured him, smiling at him. "Good choices for dinner, Xander." He beamed back. She smiled at Willow. "I'm sure you'll get used to a happy Xander soon enough, sugar. He's always like this." She smiled at Speed. "You go right home and sleep tonight."
"I slept last night. Xander curled up on me after I told him what happened."
"He did," Calleigh sighed. "I go the cutest photo sent to me of Xander using him as a body pillow." She pulled out her phone and found it, showing it to her, getting an 'awwww'. From the others too.
Horatio looked at him. "You make a good pillow."
"I do and a great father." Xander beamed and nodded. "But I think tonight it's your turn to baby my boy so I'll head home. Calleigh, done?"
"Nearly." She finished up and got up to hug and kiss their boy on the cheek. "Be a good boy, Xander. I'll see you in a few days." He nodded and they left. "I had to take a cab this morning," she said as they walked out. "Can I have a ride home?"
He smirked. "Of course you can. You know you're more than welcome to ride on my bike whenever you want, Calleigh." She hugged his arm as they left for the night.
Eric shook his head. "They're so cute and high school sometimes."
"It's good to cuddle up to his back during a ride," Xander told him. "I find it very soothing and comforting."
"We saw after the fire," Frank assured him with a grin. "You looked adorable riding behind your father." Xander blushed a bit but grinned. "Okay, Miss Rosenburg, will you be okay at his house tonight?"
"Sure. I can sleep through most anything now. I had the skanky, loud, ho for my first dorm roommate before we found out Buffy's was a Celine Dion listening demon and banished her. Then I got to listen to her and Riley." Eric snickered at that. "Not quite as loud."
"Probably not," he agreed. "You'll like the dorms down here. They just built some new ones that're a lot nicer than the last few." She smiled at that. He cleaned up his mess. "I'm heading out for a night in the clubs."
"Be safe, use condoms," Willow told him.
"Every single time," he assured her. He headed out with a stroll/strut that made the other men shake their heads.
"That boy's gonna have it fall off some day," Frank complained.
"Only if Xander's ex gets hold of him," Willow said dryly, smirking at him. "I can call if you think he deserves it."
Xander pulled her into his lap and spanked her a few times. "Bad witch!" He sat her back down and glared at her. "We do not pick on Eric because he's a bit of a slut. He's a guy, a lot of us are like that as long as you women say 'let's go to the bathroom'. No calling Anya."
"Yes, Xander," she said weakly, staring at him. "You really do spank hard."
"Of course I do. Be thankful the whip's in the office," he said dryly.
"They made Horatio take it home," Frank told him with a grin.
Xander looked at him. "I got a new one if you want one of the others for the office."
"I kept getting in trouble. Every time I was using the couch to wear out stress, Rick Stetler happened to be around," he said blandly.
"Hmm. Isn't he the one you apologized to by sending him my cookies?"
"That poor man," Willow sighed, shaking her head. "We all know not to let Xander cook, right?" They all nodded. "Oh, good."
"His jerky isn't too bad," Ryan offered. "After that first week. I still can't use his breath spray though."
"I used it in interrogation," Frank said proudly. "Worked like a charm."
"Mac got told to quit using it," Xander told him. "The judge up there called it cruel and unusual punishment and nearly threw out his confession." He looked at Horatio. "Did we ever figure out the gun thing?"
"We did. He stole them off Sonny's crew," he admitted. "Since they were yours they're keeping them in a shrine. I did make note of what they had to the violent crimes and anti- terrorism task force. Plus to the bomb squad." Xander grinned at that. "Ready? I'll follow you two home."
"Sure." He cleaned up his mess. "Willow, want to stay and talk to Yelina and her son or Ryan or Frank?"
"I'm sure I'll see more of them soon," she offered, heading off once she had cleaned up her mess and the tables.
"Look, a woman you could appreciate," Frank teased at Ryan.
Ryan looked at him. "She's definitely smart and pretty enough, she likes to clean somewhat, but she's taken, Frank. I don't poach."
"That may change. Her girlfriend might not want to move," Yelina offered.
"Did she have a boyfriend before?" Ray asked.
Ryan nodded. "I heard about him from Xander. He was a guitarist. Fairly quiet." He finished his dinner. "Until she's not taken I still don't poach." He shrugged and cleaned up his mess and the other's messes. Ray had to grab his plate and got a smile. "Sorry, I'm a cleaning person." He left, going to change out and head home.
Yelina smiled at her son. "Things will calm down soon. She'll get used to her new friend."
"I hope so. She seemed a bit panicked until he spanked her." He finished his dinner and tossed out the plate and plastic fork. "Should we go home or do you need to finish shopping?"
"Did you finish yours?"
"I'm still debating on Uncle Horatio's present," he admitted.
"Then we'll go see what you were thinking about," she offered, taking him off with a smile at Frank.
Frank shook his head but he was smiling.
Xander got help carrying in the presents while Horatio got the shirts, then he led Willow up to her room. "Don't touch the TIVO. It's set up for the guys." He led Horatio to his room then went to his office and came back up with an envelope. He put it inside his jacket pocket. "For the present exchange." He smiled. "So I can't forget."
"I know you won't."
"I usually do." He took a kiss. "At least one present." He took a kiss and stroked through Horatio's hair, over the back of his neck. "Let's look at the suit?"
"We can do that," he assured him, sliding out of his jacket and shirt, then pants and shoes. His socks came off last while Xander pulled out his suit and arranged it. "Is that a stain?"
Xander looked then frowned. "I don't know why it would be. I didn't spill anything on it." He looked at the shirt next to it and pulled it out, tossing it toward the laundry. "That had something on it." He sighed and pulled out his other one. "The black shirt?"
"You probably should," he agreed. "Can you get by without the jacket? If so you could wear the other one."
Xander shook his head. "I shouldn't." He put it and the black shirt together somewhere safe. "It'll look bad to the future bosses." He strolled over, pulling off his t-shirt. Then he shimmied out of his jeans and kicked off his sneakers. "You are just as comfortable to sleep on as Dad is and you know you are more than welcome to stay over anytime you want, Horatio." That got a smile and a nod. "You can watch my water, nap in the hammock, watch dirty shows on my tv, anything you want."
"I know. I had plans to stay over the holidays." Xander beamed at that and he felt his heart warm. "You'd like that?" he teased. Xander nodded and leaned into his chest, ducking his head to nuzzle and kiss his throat. He tipped his head back. "Want the couch or the bed?"
"Couch. Open the doors." He led him over there, tossing the clothes off it, Speed's, into the wash with a sheepish grin. "Sorry. I'm not Ryan."
"I never expected you to be," he promised, opening the doors fully so they could see the sunset over the water. Then he laid down on the couch, letting Xander get on top tonight. "I do have to work tomorrow so nothing too energetic."
"Yes, Horatio." He moved down his chest, licking, sucking, nibbling on the skin, even if it wasn't a spot that usually make him moan. He left little sucking marks all along his torso and down onto his thighs, then found his treat. Horatio moaned, spreading his legs for him. "I'm being a good boy."
"Can I play, Xander?"
Xander looked up at him. "Depends on what sort of play."
"I want to teach you about rimming." He grimaced and shook his head. "When I stay over, would you let me try it?"
"We'll see." He went back to his playing.
Horatio arched up, biting his bottom lip. "It's just as pleasurable as that is. You'll definitely like it. It's another way to stretch you out for later play."
"But it's still my ass."
"If you want I'd clean it first."
Xander leaned on his stomach, his cock under his chin, looking at him. "Do you like that?" Horatio nodded. "Is it your version of my oral fetish?"
"Then I'll let you try as long as you stay over at least one night."
"I had plans of that whole week," he promised, pulling him up to kiss him, pressing up against him, letting Xander thrust down to tease him. He even got the teasing grin. "Some day soon you'll see why I love it so much." He kissed him and Xander moaned and thrust down against him. "I want to take you tonight."
"I thought you said nothing too long," he teased, playing with his nipples.
"I did but I suddenly want to bury myself in you." He sat up and Xander wrapped himself around his waist. "I was going to get us up and take us to the bed."
Xander got off him and rested against the arm of the couch, wiggling his butt. Horatio went to get the lube, coming back to prepare him.
Willow looked out from her room when the noise really started. She huffed. Then she sighed. She was a guest, she couldn't tell Xander to shut up and that it was wrong to be that noisy. She snuck down to the phone to call Timmy. "What do I do with Xander? No, he's loud." She held up the phone when the moans got louder than it had been then put it back against her ear. "No. I can't go tell them to stop whatever they're doing, Timmy." He suggested something. "Are you sure? Thank you. Of course I'll leave a note." She hung up and left the note then grabbed her bag and headed down to meet him at the gate.
Willow ran into Ryan the next day and she was still blushing. "I should find a hotel."
"Why?" he asked. He nibbled on his fried veggie spears.
"Because they're loud and it's wrong," she said, looking defeated. "Love is supposed to be quiet and soft and gentle. Not noisy! Xander's noisier now than he was the time Aiden picked on him. I swear you could hear them outside. And it's not supposed to be like that."
He looked at her for a minute, just chewing. Then he shook his head. "Sometimes lovemaking is gentle and soft. Sometimes it's not. Some people don't do gentle and soft. The fact that Xander got noisy just means he liked it. The same as Calleigh getting noisy probably meant the same."
"Speed bellows. Xander sounded like a bad porn soundtrack and Horatio's nearly as noisy and I still don't think it should be like that."
"That's because you dated gentle people, Willow. Sometimes you get loud and fast because it's almost a need to touch them right then. Or it's because they do more than lay there and take it. I'm sure Xander and Horatio have a very active, exciting sex life that means they both get loud on occasion. The same as I'm sure Speed and Calleigh are very satisfied with what they have. I know he makes Horatio nearly dance in joy. He came in this morning smiling and happy. He was nearly humming." He patted her on the hand. "Just because it's gentle and soft with Tara doesn't mean it's wrong that they get loud and noisy and make the bed rattle."
"I didn't hear the bed. I couldn't hear it over those two. Those two I heard outside. It sounded like bathroom sex in a cheap club."
"But even that can be good." He smiled gently at her. "Trust me, I've had a few girlfriends. With them they still got to be loud sometimes." Eric sat down. "But if you want, you can have my couch, Willow. That way you don't have to be so embarrassed."
"Get too loud?" Eric teased. She blushed bright red and nodded. "Just means it was good."
"She's with a gentle, shy young woman, Eric."
He shrugged. "It's always good when they moan and wiggle. It means you're doing it right." He stole a veggie spear. "We have the afternoon watch on the cult of Xander."
"I know that. It time? I thought we had an hour for lunch."
"We do. You get done with court early?"
Ryan smirked. "Took a deal halfway through mine. We had a two minute recess because the judge got sick. He begged."
Eric grinned. "I love the sound of begging. Especially in court." Willow squeaked. "Sorry. Forgot you're a nice girl, like my sisters. I can ask my Mom if you can have her spare room."
"I've got a good couch, she can borrow it," Ryan promised. "That way she doesn't get fussed over by your mother." Eric grinned at that. "She feed you again? You're not stealing half my lunch this time." Willow snuck one of his veggie spears. "Trying to keep me from getting fat?"
"I'm sure you have plenty of ways of managing your weight."
"Well, yeah." He grinned. "Come on, I can finish in the car." Eric took the rest of his lunch. He took half of it back and walked her off nibbling. "All I ask is that you don't make a mess. I'm a bit OCD."
She gave him a pat on the arm. "I understand. My parents are shrinks."
"Thanks." He drove her over and let her in, then headed back to the stakeout to take his spot. Eric joined him with Speed. "Three of us?"
"I'm going in to talk to them in a few. I got invited," Speed offered. "Have you guys seen Willow?"
"She said something about squeaky noises and bellows," Ryan told him. Speed shrugged. "She's on my couch."
"Hey, it was good. I'm not going to be quiet just because she's a prude."
"She's only known gentle lovers," Ryan protested patiently. "Not like Tara sounds like a beast in bed."
"True, but you don't have to be a beast to get loud," Eric reminded her. "I've never been that rough on anyone and most of my women get loud. Some more than others."
Ryan looked at him. "I have this feeling it's different when it's a shy young woman and that one. She was talking like cuddling was their sex."
"Possibly," Speed agreed. "Tara's supposed to be a very sweet young wiccan. From down in Calleigh's country." He got up. "We clear?" Eric and Ryan both checked then nodded. "Then wish me luck." He got out and headed over there, looking at the two men who met him at the gate. "You wanted to talk to me?"
"You are our Saint's father."
"Adoptive but yes."
"Adoptive?" one asked.
"His original one is dead after the last time he tried to sell him to someone," he said blandly. "When he was sixteen he tried it for the third time so his adoptive mother and I ran them out of town. Before we killed them for hurting the boy again."
That got a smile. "Which must be why he's still pure," the other agreed, letting him inside and escorting him. "This is his adoptive father. He saved our Master Tim from his biological parents, those who hurt them."
Speed's phone rang and he looked at the number then flipped it open. "Bad timing," he said blandly. He listened to him. "No. No. I'm telling Horatio. No. Argue with me and I'm strapping you down myself." He listened to him make sense, for once. Then he sighed. "No! And I mean no!" He hung up. The he looked at them. "We're going to have a long talk before you guys get anywhere near my boy." They nodded, sitting around him. He almost felt like he was in some demented kindergarten speaking to the class. "What did you want with my son?"
"We wish to learn how to be pure from him," he offered.
Speed looked at him. "What makes you think he still is? He's had to protect himself in the past. He had to stab someone in the past to protect himself." Xander walked in. "I said no."
"Dad, this is too important this time," Xander said calmly, walking in. "Besides, I can protect myself and you better than you can protect yourself." He gave him a look then looked at him. "He's right. I lost my blood innocence at twelve. I had to so I wouldn't die." They all nodded. "What makes you think I'm still pure?"
"We would be killing for pleasure," one told him.
Xander nodded. "I hunted vampires for stress relief." They all stared. "Dad made me stop."
"But you have renewed your blood innocence?" one asked.
Xander nodded. "I have. After I made a very bad decision. Dad helped me and so did Horatio. You might say love healed me." He gave them a gentle smile. Then he sat down beside his father. "What keeps me pure now is knowing that Dad, Horatio, and a lot of others would be very disappointed in me for slipping back into my old life. I had help climbing out and getting help is the most important thing. Now, I know very well that no one will ever be able to help you from outside. I know there's not a shrink in this realm that can help you get over whatever traumas you have. There is help from each other. There's help if you find someone special, someone who's willing to understand, to be there for you. That's what helped me." He smiled at them.
"The best thing you can do now is help each other. You guys appreciate what you've been through better than anyone else ever. You guys know what it's like to go through torture, mental, physical, and possibly sexual. You guys know what it's like to be blamed for shit that you have no way of helping. I got yelled at once for crying when I scraped my knee. I was four." That got some nods. "But the best thing that can heal you is each other and finding a reason to stay pure. For some, they find it in a person. I did. Some, like my grandfather, found it in religion. Some found it in a reason to stay on the outside so they could finish their research or help others. You have to find your reason and work on your healing. No one, not even me and my Dad, can make you or do more than listen to you. And if Dad does it, he might have to arrest you if it was really bad."
"You still use violence," one said softly.
"I use limited violence in ways I had never used before to help others who need the release. I do what I do as a form of therapy, helping those who need to let go of things. Or the ones who have a desperate need for tactile contact that they're not getting. I never used what I do now before. That's one of the reasons I don't slip. Though I am told I'm a very hard dom to be under now and then. When I break someone they break fully. I don't let them get away with a halfway point. Again, something Lady Heather helped me see and ease off some."
That got some nods and a few smiles. "Would you take us on as clients?" one asked.
Xander looked at him. "If I did that, you would be broken before me. You would be confessing everything you've ever done or been through to me. I would make you face every single thing you've ever done or been through," he said honestly. That got a shiver. "Now, I can recommend someone who would go more gently and slowly if you feel you need that sort of treatment. I know a few others who have. Lady Heather has two right now who go to her for that sort of thing. I know there's an officer locally who would do that. I will caution you to put everything under confession vows. That way they can't turn you in. But if we catch you slipping we'd have to find a way to prevent you from hurting someone." That got nods. "Am I clear?" That got nods.
"Then I can gladly suggest that you go to a certain place tonight at, oh, around eight and talk to a man named Dawsburg. He's a great officer, he's been in the life for years now. He knows almost everyone locally and he's pretty good at making personality matches. You'll have to be very honest with him. Tell him you're coming to get over past traumas, that you feel the need to act out and that you're trying to prevent it. Tell him what you feel you can without compromising his own vows as an officer and let him help you find someone." That got some nods and a few smiles. "But going to a dom isn't for everyone. I know that and so do all of you. So, once you find your reason to stay clean, it'll get easier."
"It always gets easier when you find your reason," Speed agreed. He petted through his son's hair. "I do not want you guys to drag Xander down. That's why I didn't want him here," he said, staring down at his son.
"I'm not going to ignore someone who needs help, Dad. I'm not like that." He stood up. "I've never been able to ignore someone in pain. Not back in Sunnydale, not here."
"Point." He looked at him. "I'm still yelling tonight."
"Sure. You have that right, Daddy."
"Good." He smirked. "Out. Now." Xander nodded and waved, heading out. He looked at them. "Figure out what does it for you guys. That is the best advice any shrink, me, Horatio, my son, anyone can give you. Once you have a reason it gets easier. Okay?" They nodded. "Any other questions?"
"Are they good to him?" one asked timidly.
Speed nodded. "Very. They're very good to him. Though I think one will be helping me yell at him later they're very good to him. I like them together." That got a small smile from him. "Anything else?" No one said anything. "Okay, then two things. Four of the things in that shrine of yours are illegal. As in we can arrest you for having them in here. Second, we're going to be watching to make sure none of you slip at the moment. Okay?" That got nods and he pointed at the four things in the center. "Those go to Calleigh. Today. Or else we'll have to get a warrant since I did see them. Have a good day and think, guys." He walked out, going to find his son, who was talking with Horatio. Who didn't look too pleased but he looked like he understood. "I'm going to spank you until you scream and beg for mercy."
"Dad," he started.
"I know why you did it. I know it was a good thing that you did do it. You still risked yourself in a way that is going to give me gray hair." Xander hugged him and he hugged him back. "I refuse to see you in danger, son. Ever. Am I clear?"
"Yes, Daddy, but sometimes you have to so you can help others."
Speed pulled back to look at him. "We could've brought you in a few days from now, when we're sure it was safer. Plus, I can protect us just as well as you can."
"Yes, Daddy," he agreed quietly, sinking back into his body. He sighed and shook his head, just patting and holding him. "I'm sorry."
"I know. You went back into action mode and it's giving me and H gray hairs."
"I understand why he did it today," Horatio admitted. "I do wish he had been armed." He got a sheepish look from Xander. "They could have hurt you both very badly, Xander. I want that just as little as I want your father hurt again. Am I clear?" Xander nodded, giving him a hug. "Thank you. Now, go find Willow and do something less constructive for humanity."
"She's hiding at Ryan's. Apparently we both got too noisy for her puritan's soul," Speed offered.
Xander looked up with an impish grin. "Did you get noisy too?" he teased. "Mom never said you were where I got the noisy tendencies from."
Speed spanked him and walked off shaking his head. "Make my son sane if you can, Horatio. He's slipping back into the bad parts of his mind."
Horatio smirked at him. "That is where you get it from. Calleigh complained about being deaf the other morning to Alexx." Xander giggled. "Would you like to come to my place tonight for dinner?"
"I'm eating with Grandfather but you can come out. Then we can go make out on your couch."
Horatio considered it then nodded. "I could go with that," he decided, smiling at him. "Interview?"
"Crap!" He rushed off, going to head home and change.
Horatio went to check on his boys, smiling and shaking his head. "He's heading for his interview," he told Speed.
"I forgot about that."
"So did he. Then again he claims he'd forget presents if they weren't strategically placed. Speaking of, weren't you supposed to pick up his mother?"
"Crap!" He rushed off for his hummer.
"Like father like son," Ryan said, smiling just a bit. Eric just swatted him and shook his head. "Willow can have my couch, Horatio."
"Thank you. Apparently she wasn't very comfortable with Xander last night."
"We heard," Eric assured him. "So, how noisy were you?"
Horatio looked at him. "I heard about your near miss of a ticket last night, Eric."
"Public intox?" Ryan teased.
"No, sex in the fountain in the park," Horatio said dryly. "I thought you would've learned the last time, Eric. When Ryan nearly busted you." Ryan cackled and nodded. Eric gave him a horrified look. "Didn't realize it was him?"
"No," he squeaked.
"At least she was pretty, man. It could've been much worse." He went back to listening. "They're debating calling Father Benis in to talk to them."
"That is not such a bad idea," Horatio admitted. "He's used to mentoring people and it would give him something to look forward to, other than spoiling Xander and Don." He heard someone moving outside the van and looked out. "Yes?"
"Would you know how to contact Father Benis, Lieutenant Caine, sir?"
"I would. I have his personal number in my phone. I can tell you it'll only be at night that he can come out." That got a nod and a small grin. "You know?"
"We do. A few of us would like to talk to him."
"Then I'll gladly call him and have him come down. Probably not tonight, he has dinner with Xander tonight." That got a smile and a nod, then he scurried back inside. He called out to the house. "Gordon, Horatio. The cult to Xander...." He had to wait through the choking. "Yes there is. They would like to talk to Father Benis about things that could help them heal from their assorted traumas and keep straight. I think it would be good for him and them," he admitted. "Yes, that one, Thomas. They did. Xander walked in today after they had asked to speak with his father. They've already had a small talk about that." He smiled at the assertion his grandfather would be having another one tonight. "Also, he invited me out before we went back to my house to walk on the beach tonight. Would I be an imposition?" He smiled. "Thank you. Of course I'll try to be there on time. He just rushed off for his interview and Speed rushed off to pick up Aiden. He's in a hummer. Thank you, Thomas." He hung up. "I have a dinner date, gentlemen. Let us know if you need time away from Willow, Ryan." He nodded at that and smiled a bit. "Then again, you could be very good for her." He walked away, heading back to the office for the rest of the day, hopefully.
Speed found Aiden waiting and kissed her on the cheek. "Sorry, talking to the cult of Xander."
"Excuse me?" she asked dryly. "Oh, Flack's down. His grandfather's guys just grabbed him and left, leaving me here."
"Sorry." He got her into the hummer and back onto the road again. "Did he tell you about the guy who shot the guy who was holding us hostage?"
"Yeah," she said slowly. "Why?"
"He was the founder of the cult to Xander. They consider him pure and wanted to be like him."
"Oh." She just nodded then thumped her head on the headrest. "They okay?"
"He and I both talked to them today. Which means he's probably going to be late to his interview today." She shook her head at that. "He's interviewing with a spa. Less overhead."
"True." She looked over at him. "You good?"
"I'm extremely good. Are you staying with me or Xander?"
"Okay. Fair warning, he and Horatio have been getting noisy recently. Willow had to get rescued from the happy noises and then claimed I was too noisy so she's hiding at Wolfe's on his couch."
"You were never that noisy to me," she said dryly, shrugging a bit. "It good?"
"Very." He grinned. "Made me a happy boy this morning. Horatio came in humming."
"Those three worked it out while they were in Monaco getting the guy who we saved him from."
"Monaco?" She looked at him. "Okay, I got lost at Russia. Where in that group of trips was Monaco?"
"The dom's convention."
"Oh, he did babble a bit about that being neat and he had his new whips shipped back or something."
"Yup, should be here soon. Last I knew it was in Customs." She nodded at that. He turned onto the road for Xander's house. "He told you his grandfather bought him a new house?"
"He did. Is it nice?"
"Very and he needs to cut the grass," Tim admitted. "His grandsire bought him a car. It's a showroom model so it's even got seat heaters." She moaned at that. "He complained but they wanted him to be safe. He said that's all the spoiling they're allowed this year and next."
He pulled over and looked at her. "He doesn't want them to spoil him, Aiden. He's been very firm on that. He does love them though and they knew he needed a safe haven, somewhere to call his own. Plus, busses don't come out here so the car was practical. Even though I wanted him to get a bike. He said he still might get a bike, he's not sure yet. He said he likes riding behind me more than riding itself." She grinned at that. "He cuddles."
"Of course he does. So, he worked out the thing with Horatio and the Greg thing?"
"Greg is theirs." She stared. "Seriously. He's still in Vegas though so he's only theirs when he can get enough time off to come down and be theirs. It's kinda cute. Greg likes to be petted."
She whimpered. "I knew I should've invited myself along on those trips."
"Probably," he agreed with a grin. "Cyprus was beautiful. He's got pictures somewhere."
"Sure. He be home tonight?"
"No, he and Horatio were making plans for dinner with his grandfather then a long cuddle and stuff at Horatio's tonight. Horatio apparently stayed over last night at his place." That got a small smile. "Which was why Willow needed saved from the noise. Oh, don't touch the TIVO or Eric will skin you if you hurt his naked hockey matches." He went on while she laughed. "Not kidding. There's a small European league. They're in the championship part of the season." She stared in horror. "Really. One of the semi's is tomorrow so most of the guys are coming over to watch it after the present exchange." That got a whimper and a head shake. "The rules state they have to bring food or else Xander will be forced to cook. So you'll get to laugh at all the drooling idiot men." He pulled into the gate and got out to open it, then got back in to drive through. He dropped her off, giving her his key. "That's mine and I want it back."
"Of course." She looked at the house then the lawn then back at the house. "It's pretty."
"It is," he agreed. "He had his grandfather's help picking out the furniture but it's all his style. Get comfy. The blue room next to his is mine whenever I'm in. If the noise of gay sex is going to bother you I'd take the one on the end of the hall. Because Xander enjoys being on the bottom. He's a pouty, begging bottom boy." She blushed at that and went inside with her bag. He left, having to close the gate on his way out, but it was a nice day for the short trip. He texted Xander's cell, letting him know she was there. Then he went inside. He found a happy Horatio. "Good news?"
"He got the job. He left you a message on your voicemail at home." That got a smile. "Aiden in?"
"Her and Don Flack. So it'll be a family dinner tonight."
"That's fine. I don't mind in the least. Did you warn her about Willow?"
"I did and why she's on Ryan's couch," he agreed happily. "He didn't tell her about more than the dom's convention. Oh, isn't his shopping due in soon?"
"Today actually. I had it sent to my house since he wasn't sure of his address. My neighbor accepted it earlier." He walked off, still happy and smiling. Even when he ran into Rick Stetler. "Pretty day, isn't it?"
"No," he sneered. "Are you really sleeping with Speedle's son?"
"Ask him yourself, Rick. I'm secure enough in my manhood that I don't have to brag." He walked off, still smiling but a bit happier for other reasons now.
Speed snickered, walking off back to his lab.
Xander walked into his house. "Mom?"
"Upstairs, baby." He jogged up the stairs and pounced her for a hug. "Good interview?" she teased.
"Happy you're here but yes. I have the job, I start the twenty-seventh." He hugged her tighter, making her squeak. "Come see the house?"
"I have been but I left the dining room alone when I saw the leather you're treating." He nodded, leading her out back to let her look. "It's a beautiful view, baby." She sat down in the hammock and he curled up beside her, giving her a cuddle. "Good boy."
"Welcome. Don's down."
"I know. We're having dinner tonight. Then I'll get to see him again on Christmas morning. You two can hang out while I'm puttering and at the gift exchange tomorrow if you don't want to come. Of course, you're more than welcome to come up Christmas morning too."
"I might do that one." She stroked over his back. "I need to switch jobs."
"That happens sometimes." He looked over as someone came in through the house. "Steal Grandad's keys?" he asked.
"Yup," Don agreed, smiling and taking a picture of them. "You look comfy."
"She gives good cuddles." He grinned. "Was Grandad upset that I had to use the emergency card for three shirts?"
"No. Didn't say a thing about it. Interview? I noticed the suit." He nodded. "Then don't worry about it."
"I don't want to seem like I'm imposing or asking to be spoiled."
"It's a shirt, Xander. I doubt he minded." He patted him on the head then Aiden, getting bitten. He yelped and waved his hand. "You're mean."
"I'm being good," she said with a grin. "So, how's my city?"
"Good. About the same as normal. We've got some guy up there picking off bike messengers recently. Otherwise pretty normal." She smiled at that and he drug a chair over, enjoying the view. "I like this, Xander."
"Thank you. The grandparents have good taste."
"They do." He looked at him. "You let them buy you a house and you're angsting over a few shirts?"
"They bought the house after the fire and told me about it while I was recuperating. I did complain but they said I needed somewhere safe and they were right. Now I'm safe and it's good." He shrugged a bit, which made the hammock move. "I bought the shirts with the emergency card."
"I used mine for beer and wings the other night and he said it was a good decision to take Danny out since he was sulking." He put his feet up on the edge of the hammock. "So, what's up for this afternoon?"
"Resting," Xander said with a yawn. "I was up kinda late last night."
"Speed said you got noisy," she teased.
He looked at her. "Yes, I did," he agreed with a bright grin. "I enjoyed the hell out of it even if Willow thought being noisy was wrong." He put his head back down on her shoulder and got comfortable again. "I should change."
"You probably should," she agreed. He groaned and got up, ducking under the hammock and heading inside. She looked at him. "Your Dad didn't mind?"
"Ma didn't. Dad threw a fit and Ma about smacked him with the frying pan again. Solved that fight really quickly." Xander came out in a pair of sweat shorts and a t-shirt, climbing back in over Aiden. "Comfy?" he teased.
"If you had cuddled her when you had the chance you'd know she's a great cuddle and a very comfy pillow," Xander said smartly, smirking at him.
"Next time I'm offered I'll have to take her up on the offer of cuddles or getting noisy." Aiden blushed at that. "I remember we were both drunk." She nodded at that. "So, kiddo, pictures?"
"Office," he said with a yawn. Don got up to find them, coming back with a stack of them.
Aiden poked him on the side. "Don't you dare have a dream on me that makes you hard, son. I don't need to know that much about gay sex." He nodded and snuggled in better. "Good boy, you nap," she soothed, stroking through his hair. By the time Don got back he was fully out.
Don sat down with the first ones. "So, what did he tell you about her?"
"Almost nothing. That it happened, nothing else."
"Well, he had good taste. She was a pretty snake." He held up a few pictures. "She had good taste in weapons too."
"Guns aren't my thing." Someone knocked. "'Round back!" she bellowed. Xander shifted and snuffled but stayed asleep.
"Awww," Calleigh said as she walked around the house. "That's adorable." She smiled at her. "I came to see if you wanted our spare room after all but I guess you can handle him getting noisy."
"Ask me in the morning, I might take you up on that," she offered back with a smile.
"I heard they'll be at Horatio's tonight."
"That's fine then." She stroked over her son's head, then wiggled free. "Don, let him nap on you so I can talk to the new wife and see what the man gets into down here."
"Sure." She got free and he climbed up and Xander frowned but flipped over and rested his back against him. "Just me, kiddo. Didn't expect you to wanna cuddle me anyway." Xander grunted but fell back asleep. Calleigh giggled and nodded, taking Aiden inside to tell Stupid Speed stories and cute Daddy Speed stories. Plus to hear what he got into in Sunnydale.
Horatio made it to dinner and found Don there, smiling at him. "I heard you were in," he offered, shaking his hand. "Are sure I'm not an imposition?"
"No, Patrick's feeling puny and wants his family around anyway."
"I swear to fucking God, Grandfather, just take a damn pint and eat!" Xander yelled from the kitchen. "I am not having your ass die today. I am not ready to lose you yet so bite someone!"
"He's had a migraine so hasn't been able to feed recently," Don offered.
"I doubt him yelling is helping."
"No, I sent him in there to make him eat."
"Put that down, Xander."
"You either take a few sips off me or I'm cutting my arm and making you lick it to save my damn life."
Horatio and Don went that way, finding Xander with a knife. "Xander. Please?"
"He's being stubborn and he'll die from this," he pouted, giving him the pouting, just kicked his puppy for loving him look.
Horatio gave him a hug and let Don take him out. He sat in front of him. "Patrick, I won't go into hysterics the way Xander will, but it's clear you do need to eat. You look like Bella Ligousi." That got a weak snort. "Now, you are more than welcome to some of mine. I know very well you won't take that much."
"You won't. I have every confidence that you won't. Besides, I know if you ate Xander it'd be like... Never mind. Bad analogy. Nibble on me. Do you prefer necks or wrists?" He leaned over to kiss him on the forehead then guided his head closer so he could feed on him, making Horatio sigh at the feeling of being bitten. It wasn't too bad. Patrick pulled back and he was a bit dizzy. "There, now don't you feel better?" He nodded, wiping his mouth.
Gordon knocked then came in. "Good, someone got you to see sense." He handed over a glass. "Drink it all. It's a blood bag. Drink!" He tapped a foot, staring at him. He did gulp it. "Thank you!" He rolled his eyes. "You nearly made Xander panic that you were leaving him already. Don't do that to the boy or me!" He huffed off.
Horatio smiled. "We all have a bit of drama queen in us."
Patrick laughed. "I know they do it because they love me. Even when they do overreact."
"Good. Now that you've fed, take a token amount from Xander after dinner," Horatio ordered. "It'll make him feel better." He stood and helped Patrick up. "Come on, he'll be pouting at Don and it's not the season for that."
"No, it's not. It's the season for family. I will spend at least this Christmas with my entire family." He looked at him. "You are my grandson's mate. There is no imposition for family, Horatio." He walked off with him beside him, not quite hovering but there if he needed him. "Thank you, Grandson."
Xander hugged him. Then he looked at him. "If you ever quit feeding again I'm dropping a feeding tube. You're not ready to die yet. You still haven't found someone who can spank others for you."
Horatio smiled and Don took a picture. "Gotta say, you do look better, Patrick."
He patted Xander until he let go. "I do feel a bit better. I might even have more after dinner, boys." He smiled. "Are we ready?"
"If you are." They walked inside, Patrick getting the head of the table, Xander his left, Don his right, Horatio properly on Xander's other side. Don smiled at the cute couple after Grace was said. "So, Xander, what's your schedule like?"
"Tomorrow's the PD present exchange. I'm going to the Solstice celebration they're holding in the park after that. I'm here Christmas morning, then Calleigh and Dad are doing lunch so I'll be there." He looked at Horatio. "Are you on?"
"We're all on-call but I don't expect anyone to actually be in the office, not even Ryan." That got a small smile. "I usually hit one of the buffets since Yelina doesn't really like to cook big, traditional meals like that. We usually go for lunch."
"You are more than welcome to come pick Xander up and come here," Patrick offered gently. "You are his mate, Horatio." That got a small blush. "The same as I know how you soothe that which inhabits my grandson." He looked at him, seeing the shocked look. "It takes someone very special to appreciate my boy. You do have it in you to do that." He smiled at Don. "Do you have *any* prospects?"
"I've been on a few dates but nothing great."
"You'll find someone, Don. You have a lot of love to offer the right person."
"Sorry, Uncle Patrick, but it'll be a girl."
"I know. Perhaps you should try for Stella?"
"I can't poach the one thing that could make Mac happy. If she ever gets around to smackin' him on the head."
"Grief can change your life," he sighed, nodding. Xander squeezed his hand and he smiled at him. "Then again it can lead to good things." His sire stomped in. "You came back?"
"Of course I came back. I heard you hadn't eaten in days and it's the holidays! Dumbass!" He kissed Xander on the head. "I like your friend Oz. He's very neat. He's going to be my assistant Angel taunter." Xander giggled at that, turning to give him a hug. "Good boy." He looked at his childe. "I see someone made you see sense today."
"I had another of those migraines."
"I heard." He sat down and leaned to the left. "Cook, may I have something too?" he called. She hurried out with a plate, a glass, and a hug for him, then went back to the kitchen. "Thank you, dear." He dug in and smiled at Don. "Yes, I'm his sire."
"Xander's said some nice stuff about you."
"Good. Is he still complaining about me spoiling him with a car?"
"No," Xander said with a pout. "I haven't done that since the first week. I do love my car."
"I knew you would." He smiled at him. "No mother?"
"She's eating with Calleigh and Speed tonight," Horatio offered.
"They already warned her he wouldn't be home tonight," Don admitted.
"That's true. We did have plans to go walk on my beach." Xander smiled at him. "After dinner and some time with your grandparents."
Xander nodded and looked at his grandfather. "I'm sorry I used the emergency card for my new shirts for my job interview."
He waved a hand. "I wanted you to look nice, Xander. If you absolutely feel you must you can pay it back when those houses sell. Because I'm sure they will." Xander smiled and nodded, digging in. "Did you get the job?"
"I did. I start on the twenty-seventh." That got a smile from everyone there. "They give us uniforms and offer reimbursement if I want to back to learn more styles."
"Excellent," Raphael agreed. "Where is this spa?"
"By the yacht club."
"Hmm, the small, square building where they're doing all the planting?" Xander nodded. "Are you going on salary or customer by customer?"
"Customer by customer but he said I wasn't responsible for advertising, that they would. It's still pretty new so I'm not anticipating great paychecks for a while but it looks like it could get off the ground." That got some nods and a smile from Horatio. "If not, Dad wanted me in school for language stuff."
"You're already picking up Spanish," Horatio reminded him. "Plus you do know Latin already. It shouldn't be that hard of a transition."
"You can get degrees in Latin?" Xander asked. Everyone at the table nodded. "What would you do with it?"
"Translating stuff in the Church or other old things," Don admitted. "Not a lot of call for it." That got a nod. "But you could take Latin as your minor since you can already read it so well."
"It also formed the base of the Romance Languages," Raphael admitted. "Which does include Spanish." That got a smile. "I think some college would be good for you and we could help you through your other mandatories."
"There's not that many for language degrees," Horatio said. "Speed's been looking at the ones offered at the local University and the smaller colleges. He thinks the University would be the better choice. They also offer a few of the Asian languages, Xander."
"Really? So I could do anime without the dubbing?"
"You could," he agreed, smiling at him. "I'm pretty sure they've got an anime society on campus." Xander smiled at that. "I think some schooling would do you well as well." He stroked over his hair. "Growing it out again?"
"Cut it," Horatio ordered, smiling at him. "I like the short hair." Xander blushed but nodded and gave his hand a squeeze. "Now, eat. I know you didn't get much lunch today before you went to talk to your cult." He looked at Patrick, who was giving him a horrified look. "Some of them did want to talk to you as well, Patrick. He told them that the best way to stay pure was to find something to make you want to stay clean for."
"I wouldn't mind," he admitted.
"Then you'd better eat more," Xander ordered. His grandfather gave him a look. Xander stared back. "I'm not saying that they'd try to hurt you but a few might. I'm not sure that they're all very accepting of gays. A few of them didn't look all too thrilled when someone mentioned Horatio and Greg. I will not have you hurt or else I'll have to hurt them." He stared at him. "And we both know I can do it."
"I do," he agreed, sipping his blood. "I will agree to talk to them when I'm feeling a bit stronger, Grandson." Xander smiled. "Even though you are pushy."
Xander beamed and nodded. "Thank you." He dug in again while Don laughed.
"Family's supposed to look out for you," Don reminded him.
"You'd expect to watch over him and nag him if he was having migraines and not eating," Horatio agreed. "He's doing the same to you."
"I don't need to be babied."
Xander looked at him. "Daddy says everyone needs babied now and then. I learned long ago comfort was a universal need. You're still part of the universe and if I've got to be a bully to make sure you stay part of the universe for a bit longer I will." His grandfather smiled at that.
His Grandsire burst out laughing. "He is exactly like you, Patrick. Exactly. You are not going to win this argument so I would simply give in and take a few sips off the grandson as well to make him feel better."
"I will after he's eaten." Xander got up and sat in his lap, giving him a hug and tipping his neck off to the side. He moaned and bit in, taking just a little bit. He pulled back and cleaned him off, then patted him on the back. "Thank you, Xander. It's a very special gift." Xander gave him another cuddle, making him smile and feel warm and fuzzy things again. He patted him. "Enough mush. Go cuddle your man, dear." He moved back to his seat and Patrick finished his mug of blood. He looked at him, realizing what had happened. "That jerky," he said.
Xander nodded. "I had some for breakfast, Grandfather. I usually do." He smiled. "Should I go eat more?"
Patrick groaned and got up. "You boys talk, let me go get some more." He went to nibble on someone else, hoping to dilute it before it got too bad.
"Thank you, boys," Raphael said with a smile. "I should send some of that to Angel."
Xander looked at him then gave him an evil, wicked smirk. "I already did. Along with a note saying it helped my grandfather stay strong even though he was living out of baggies too." Raphael burst out laughing. "It does."
"It provokes blood lust so it does," he agreed. "Though I'm not sure who would shag that boy for the other lusts it inspires." He saluted him with his wineglass. "You get the sneaky genes from me, Grandson. Now, how did you get here today?"
"Stepmom dropped me off. We have plans of going to walk on Horatio's beach in the morning and he can stop by my gate on the way in tomorrow since it's on his way."
"It is if I take the back way in," Horatio agreed. "That way usually leads to less traffic." He smiled at him. "No gas?"
"No, preserving the gas for my first day of work."
"You've totally emptied your bank account?"
"I think I have twenty left, which was why the shirts wouldn't run. Then again, I ordered everything a while ago and I'm not sure where it all went," he said, frowning a bit.
"We can look at that for you, Grandson," Patrick said as he came back. He looked very healthy and full. "That was mean, boys."
Xander grinned. "But you feel better, right?"
"I do," he admitted. "Thank you, Grandson." He smiled. "There was a questionable withdrawal from your account and I'm still tracking it down."
Horatio cleared his throat. "There may also be a small problem. Someone sent him a very nice ruby necklace at the station. Today he got a diamond rolex." Xander gaped at him. "To Speed again." Xander just blinked and he nodded. "Same store. Same guy in a hoodie. We can't be sure who it was or why he's doing it."
"Well, maybe he'll come in for a massage," Xander offered, shrugging a bit. "I'm not looking to upgrade my boyfriend to a limitless wallet, Horatio. You're not getting rid of me that easily. If you try I'm going to Vegas to pout to Lady Heather and let her beat your ass."
"I would never think about pushing you away," Horatio soothed, squeezing his hand.
"Well, we know the person's got too much money," Don offered.
"Yeah and he doesn't really expect to see it back either," Xander agreed. "A diamond rolex is how much?"
"That one was about fourteen thousand," Horatio told him. "After taxes."
"Hmm. So not as bad as the guy who sent me two million...." He looked at his grandparents. "I had the house insured for more than that." They all looked stunned. "I had it insured for replacement value. There's no way the stuff we bought for the house came up to three quarters of a million dollars. Nor could I have spent that much. I like things but not that much!"
"I'll have Gordon go over your accounts tomorrow and find out where it went, Xander," Patrick soothed.
"I'll let him borrow Willow," he offered. "Oh, Giles isn't getting weapons from the Watchers anymore. I don't know why," he said blandly, "but that's okay because I'm still translating stuff for Toby."
"Aiden and I went to look in the basement," Don agreed.
"We'll have to stack the magic books on their sides to have enough room soon," Xander admitted. He smiled at them. "I've been busy translating some of the Stephen King collection into the two most common demon languages," he said proudly. That got some smiles from his grandsire. "I read one of the shorter ones to them, the one with the princes and the poison. They went into a breeding orgy. Toby was quite impressed."
"How much are those magic books worth?" Don asked.
"Depends on who you ask," Patrick said, looking at his grandson. "He has things in there that someone would kill for."
"Ethan's still doing the potty dance about that one book," he agreed happily. "I'm considering giving it to Giles for the holidays." That got some snickers from his grandsire but Patrick looked horrified. "What? Then they'd have to talk."
"You can't let that book go to the hellmouth, Xander, it might activate the demon trapped in it."
"Pity. Don't want to do that again. The last time it wasn't a great thing when Willow put a demon on the internet." Don snickered at that. "She did and it thought she was his perfect mate so he animated some mainframes and came after her. Miss Calendar quit nagging Giles to put his books on the computer after that." Patrick did laugh at that one. "But yeah, if you say I can't send that to Sunnydale I might consider putting it back in the open."
"Ethan would adore you if you would," Patrick offered.
"Ethan already adores me. I told him where Giles keeps his journal." That got another round of laughs from Raphael. "Hey, gotta help the path of love since I've got some now," he said happily, smiling at Horatio. "He's been teasing and tormenting Giles for years to get him back."
"I've heard," he admitted, smiling at him. He kissed him. "Be a good boy, Xander. No more tormenting tonight."
"Okay." He dug in and finished his dinner. "Granddad, need more?"
"No, Xander, I'm fine now." He smiled at him, shaking his head. "The next time I can't bring myself to feed I know what to do."
"You're getting some for Christmas too," Xander assured him happily. He looked at Horatio. "The stuff from Geneva?"
"Should be in about when you start work," he admitted. "They've finally cut through all the red tape to hand those over to you two. I know that'll make Greg happy since he said the apprentice's apartment looked like a disco brothel with guns." That got some snickers. "Or so he said."
"No, it did. He sent pictures," Xander offered. "She had a disco ball for lights." Don snickered at that, dropping his fork so he could laugh. "Guess that's why she was wearing silver lame in the wedding video." He ate another bite. "Warrick invited me back to Vegas, he said they've been bored."
"No," Horatio said firmly. "Not without bringing someone to watch over you two."
"Send Eric?" Raphael teased. "That way his mother would quit nagging about him getting married?"
"I told Eric he had to quit using Xander as a cover," Horatio assured him. "But if you two still want him...."
"The things I could've done for that boy if I was younger," Patrick sighed, shaking his head.
"Don't you mean to him?" Xander teased.
"That too," Raphael agreed. "But we definitely would have dressed the poor thing."
"Ooh, you missed it. His father had to borrow clothes, Sire. Came out wearing some of Xander's jeans, which were a bit tight, and his black silk shirt." He got up to get the picture, letting him see it. It had Speed on his bike at the station, stopped but not quite getting off. Raphael smiled at that picture. "I sent that one to Angel so he'd have a picture of the family members."
Raphael smiled at him. "That's so sweet of you. I got one of Xander swimming that I gave him."
"If Angel comes out here to try to take me I get to stake him, right? Buffy or no Buffy?" They all nodded at that. "Good. Just don't let Oz get fixated."
"He went 'huh, naked Xander is hot' and put it back," Raphael assured him. "You will adore Oz, Patrick." That got a smile. "I'll bring him back after the holidays since he said he wanted to spend them with a few friends. Plus Cordelia."
"Ah, the beauteous Miss Chase. How is she?" he asked, sipping another glass of blood when it was brought in to him.
"Turned. She nearly died and asked Angel. Wesley snapped him out of it in time so he did turn her."
"Oh, good." He took another drink. Then he put it aside. "Thank you, boys," he called.
"Welcome," Gordon called.
Horatio smiled. "They do adore you, Patrick. Just like your grandson does."
"Yes, and they're just as pushy but more subtle."
"They had lives that led to subtle. I didn't," Xander said with a shrug. "I learned to be blunt and then Mommy made sure I knew what blunt really was."
"Yeah, Aiden could be a bit blunt," Don teased.
Xander looked at him. "I nearly couldn't have sex after Mom got onto my case about being noisy one night. She was saying people down the block heard and things. Dad had to spank her. Still took me days."
Horatio smoothed back some of his boy's hair. "It'll be fine, Xander. I like it when you get noisy for me." Xander blushed but smiled. "Finish up." Xander went back to eating and he finished up as well. He looked at Patrick, who smiled and made a 'shoo' motion. "We'll see you on Christmas morning, gentlemen."
Xander hugged them all. "Behave and don't do things I wouldn't."
"I'm wondering if he thinks we're that kinky," Raphael said.
Don looked at him. "He's still learning," he pointed out.
"True. Shows good future promise." Patrick finished his glass of blood. "Don, excuse us, but I think the jerky has had the usual side effects."
"Did it to me too. This time don't call Danny's name, please." That got a smile and a wink, and he drug his childe up the stairs to take care of him. He had to let him now. He could kiss Horatio for that small plan of his.
Horatio walked Xander back inside the house after their long walk on his beach, suddenly nervous. He hadn't really done a lot with his house over the years. Xander smiled though and it was good. He knew his decorating style was more modern than Xander's tastes, but that seemed to be okay. Though he didn't like his uncomfortable reading chair he definitely was lounging on his couch now. Horatio strolled over, taking a kiss. "Want something to drink?"
"Yes, but you're still clothed."
Horatio snickered. "That's a horrible pickup line, Xander."
"So? It's still true. Having hin nibble made me want you." He pulled him down for another kiss, letting Horatio stretch out across him. "There, better."
"I felt a bit vulnerable too," he promised, taking a kiss.
"He bit me on that same spot you like to nip," he teased. Horatio moaned before kissing the new mark, then his lips again. "Please?"
"Of course." He smiled down at him. "Want to try a few new things tonight?"
Xander looked at him. "Like what?"
"I was thinking about cleaning you out so I could have you bareback."
"Isn't that unsafe?"
"I know you're tested regularly. I'm clean and I know I'm clean. Cleaning you out takes care of the threat of a UTI. That should take care of things."
Xander looked at him, playing with his shirt. "Those tests can miss things for months, Horatio, and I don't want anything I might have accidentally gotten exposed to at work to hurt you."
"Hmm. Did you get exposed?" He shrugged. "You don't know?"
"No, I don't. There was some blood and come floating around the bar in New York, plus Lady Heather's place. I don't know if I got any of it on me and it might've soaked in. I know tests were mandatory but they can miss stuff for sometimes a year." Horatio growled at that. "That's why I get tested every few months."
Horatio looked down at him. "Have you ever gotten anything like that?"
"Um, once, from Anya. It cleared up after a week of pills. Something bacterial. She was kinda a ho."
"Hmm. Nothing since then?" Xander shook his head. "You get tested how often?"
"Every two months."
Horatio looked at him. "You are a worrywart."
"I don't want to end up hurting you or ruining this because I managed to get exposed to nasty things on the job."
"I can agree with that, Xander, but you're worrying for nothing." He took another kiss. "I want you to be mine tonight. Fully mine. You don't have anything and I can show you my last fifteen tests if you want." Xander shook his head. "You sure?" He nodded. "Then we're good?"
"I still don't want to take that small chance," he said quietly.
Horatio stared down at him. "We'll go get new tests tomorrow," he decided. "Both of us. If it is clear...."
"You can come over on Christmas and it'll be part of your present," he teased with a small grin.
"I would like that present," he agreed, kissing him. "Would you still let me clean you out tonight?"
"Will it hurt?"
"No. Does it hurt when you did it to others?"
"They all said I got the water too warm."
"I won't do that." He got up and pulled Xander into the bedroom, then into the bathroom from there. He got everything ready and sat down, putting Xander across his lap once he was naked. He gently inserted the plug and stroked Xander's back while he let the water into him. "Just relax. It'll feel good in a few minutes. Just relax for me." He continued to stroke his back while Xander shifted and wiggled through the enema. He got him up to release it and let Xander play with him while he did that. He realized that he couldn't concentrate on letting it out while he was sucking him and pulled back. Xander pouted. "Let it out, Xander. It'll still be here after another round." Xander pouted but blushed and he smiled. "It's a natural function and I want to watch you, Xander."
"I feel like I'm potty training."
He leaned down to whisper in his ear. "I'm training you to like it and later my tongue," he whispered. Xander shivered and more came out. "Good boy. Keep going and we'll do another round, Xander." He finally helped clean him up and then let Xander back over his lap, shivering at the soft skin of Xander's chest hitting his thighs, feeling the hair scratching him. He reran the bag and made sure it was the right temperature then inserted the hose and plug again. Xander slid off his lap and went on all fours, making him turn around so he could have his cock again. Horatio let him do whatever he wanted. Xander was happy and it meant he'd get to have some fun with him. He tipped Xander's face up when the bag was done. "I don't usually get more than one a night."
"You will," Xander promised. He winked and went back to it while the water sat.
Horatio moaned and let him. Maybe he'd feel very young tonight and get two tonight. If not, he was definitely going to make sure Xander passed out from other sorts of pleasures. His worrywart nature be damned! Xander let out a small whimper so he helped him up and removed the plug, letting him release the water. "Let me go unmake the bed. I'll be right back. Wait for me." Xander nodded quickly so he went to untuck the bed and make it more sex friendly. After all, he had plain cotton white sheets on the bed. Not that sexy.
"Horatio, I don't care if they're disney sheets," Xander called, making Horatio laugh. "Come help me."
"That's promising," he agreed, coming in to help him get rid of the rest of the water and clean up. He got them into the shower and slowly washed each other. The suds felt great against his tenderized skin. All he needed was a bit of incentive and Xander was going to be lapping up what he was putting out. "Can I?" he whispered, kissing him. "Please?"
Xander looked at him. "Can you what?"
"Get my Christmas present early." He turned Xander around to wash his back. "Relax for me, Xander." Xander leaned against the wall but he had to move him so he wasn't in direct line of the spray. "Don't want to drown," he whispered in his ear, then he went to his knees, kissing gently. Xander pulled away. "Relax. It's clean, remember." Xander was still tense but he didn't pull away from him. It only took a few minutes for his sex kitten to relax under his tongue and kneading hands. Xander was pushing back a few minutes later, and it was great. He was keening and begging, his hips thrusting on his tongue, making him one happy guy. He finally got done and kissed the back of his neck. He found the oil he had put in there a few weeks back, using it to slick himself up and slide inside the slightly stretched hole. Xander moaned and clutched at the tiles, trying for a handhold, anything to help him hold on. "You're so tight and you taste good," Horatio moaned in his ear, working himself harder and faster. Xander whimpered, thrusting back at him. "Let it go, Xander. I want to see you let it go and come for me." Xander came and he had to follow, panting against his back, stroking his boy's stomach while they both calmed down. He had to turn off the water because they were shivering. Then he went back to cuddling his boy. "Thank you."
"Welcome. Brush your teeth?"
Horatio laughed. "I can accept that request. You liked it?"
"I did. It felt incredible, like you were ...." He shook his head. "I can't explain it."
"It's a very intimate act and I do like to play that way." He kissed him on the back of the neck again. "Every part of you is mine, Xander. Everything of yours I want to see you give me." Xander leaned back against him. "This is between us. Greg gets the other stuff but I'm only going to do this with you," he assured him. One of Xander's arms went around his neck. "Bed?"
"Can't walk yet."
"Don't want to let you out of me."
"Hmm. If I can get it back up I'll be back in there soon." Xander shifted and he fell out, earning a small pout. "I am older, Xander."
"It'll come back. I have faith it will." He turned to cuddle him. "Bed?"
"Bed is good." He got them out and dried off, stopping to brush his teeth as asked. Xander smiled and kissed him once he came out, going to stroke and tease him some more. And damned if his body forgot the meaning of the words 'recovery time' because he was going to react soon. He could feel himself coming up again. He watched as Xander went onto his knees beside him. It was a picture to make him growl and the possession he carried growl in pleasure. He moved over to drape himself across Xander's back. "Are you sure?" he whispered.
"You said I'm yours. If you don't prove it my hyena will make me claim you this way, Horatio." Horatio growled and nipped him on the back of the neck. He slid back into him, trying for slow and deep but he got lost when Xander wiggled and pushed back against him. It was a short battle for dominance but he won and Xander's panting got harder and more rough with each stroke. He started to pound into him, biting him on the neck again. Xander yelped and tipped his head back, making him purr. It was good. It was great! Xander was his! He came and felt Xander whimper so he finished him off with a quick stroke or two. Xander collapsed under him, and he followed to hold him. "I'm yours," Xander whispered. "All yours."
"All mine," Horatio agreed, stroking his stomach. He flipped them onto their sides, spooning with him. Even after he slid out of his body he continued to cuddle him. He looked at the bite marks. "Can you wear a turtleneck tomorrow?"
Xander gently slid around until he was facing him. "No. Don't own any." He took a kiss. He wiggled some and looked at him. "I thought we agreed on condoms until we did another test."
"You're a worrywart," he reminded him. "I know nothing's going to hurt me." He took a kiss and pulled him closer to cuddle and hold. "You're mine."
"What possessed you?" he asked quietly.
Xander purred. "Pretty kitty." Horatio pinched him, making him yelp. "They are. Hyenas aren't pretty. They're kinda straggly and ugly."
"They are not. They're very dynamic and great hunters. They're also very strong pack animals."
"I know that now. I was the pack leader." Horatio looked at him. "Yes, I know that means I got possessed by a female spirit."
Horatio smiled. "That doesn't bother me. But you're still my girlfriend." Xander spanked him and he grinned. "Now, now. None of that in bed unless I get to do the same and you said no spanking."
"Can't take that, sorry," he admitted quietly.
"We all carry traumas, Xander. Yours are just a bit deeper than some other's. It doesn't matter to me and you only have to set a boundary." He kissed him. "Now, you are going to need to nap. That way you can be awake for the celebration tomorrow."
"Can I have you in the morning?"
"If you wanted to. As long as I'm still able to work tomorrow." Xander looked at him. "I do bottom on occasion. You're more than welcome to flip me over now and then. As long as I can still work without a lot of pain."
"I won't be that mean to you," Xander promised with a small smile. "After all, I can still sit."
"I'll fix that later," Horatio promised. He got a wicked smirk back. "I will." Xander grabbed one of the baby wipes off the bedside table to clean him off then went down to pleasure him again. "Xander, I haven't gotten hard three times in one night since I was your age," he groaned. Xander just sucked harder and he felt the miracle of miracles happen. He pushed up. "I should make you unable to stand," he warned. Xander nipped him on the thigh and he flipped him back over, diving back into his body with his tongue. He wanted his boy to be insane when he took him. Xander was wiggling and making begging noises. Of course he heard someone knock and growled. "Go the hell away!" he called. "Before I find my gun and badge!" The knocking stopped and he heard a car back out and go away. He slid himself into his boy's body, making him whimper. "You wanted to be unable to sit?" he teased, pushing in harder. He was going to give Xander the ride of his life for teasing him that way. Even if he did die of it. Because him having three in one night was unheard of. Xander wiggled and called and squealed and then screamed and went limp. Horatio let himself come and cuddled up to him again, pulling the sheet over them and wiggling them back so Xander didn't have to sleep in the wet spot all night. It was nice of him, Xander would appreciate that in the morning.
Ryan walked in and found Willow napping on her side on his couch. He found a single bowl, spoon, and cup out but otherwise things were clean and it looked like she had fallen asleep mid-dinner. He cleared up the small mess and went to read in his bedroom for a while. He heard her wake up. "I put your leftovers in the fridge," he called.
"That's okay. I wasn't going to make you starve." She peeked in. "We're doing the gift exchange tomorrow. Did you want to come?"
"I wouldn't mind." She came in and sat on the foot of his bed, looking around. "This is much less Old World than Xander's house."
"It is. Xander has very artistic tastes and I went for cleaner lines." He smiled. "Did you call Speed?"
"I did. He claims I'm a Puritan."
"He said that earlier," he agreed. "Right before going to talk to the cult that's been built around Xander." She gaped. He nodded. "They're worshiping him because he's not a serial killer and they could be."
"Oh." She just nodded. "Women?"
"No, men. I haven't seen any women during the stakeouts yet."
"Is the whole world gay and I'm just missing it?"
He shook his head. "No. Then again...."
She pouted. "Tara won't transfer out here. She wants to go to New York."
"We have a few friends in the lab up here. Including Xander's cousin, somehow, who's a detective." She gaped. "Don Flack. Patrick married his father's sister as his second wife and Xander comes from his third marriage."
"Wow. So maybe I can get him to watch over Tara?"
"You can ask. They watched over Xander a little bit for Aiden. Bring her down for the holidays and introduce them."
"I could do that." She blinked at him. "She still broke up with me."
"That happens to the best of us, Willow."
"Which I'm not always."
He looked at her. "Every human being makes mistakes. Sometimes worse than others."
"I used to ignore Xander because I could do magic."
He gave her an understanding look. "Sometimes growing up means you have to move outside of your former comfort zone."
She sighed and nodded. "I nearly cheated on Oz with Xander because of that. We had smoochies. He was not happy with me."
"It happens," he reminded her. "Everyone makes stupid mistakes in their youth."
"Even me. Even Horatio."
"Oh." She looked at him. "Did you turn your best friend into a dog and the other into a lizard?"
"No," he admitted, smiling a bit. "I was never into the magic stuff. I did date my best friend's girlfriend and lost his friendship. I cheated at a few card games and a few role playing games to get back at him because she came to me not the other way around. I dated a reporter and now I can't seem to learn to shut up in front of her." She smiled a bit at that. "It's not too bad but it caused a lot of panic. Which was pretty bad." She nodded, giving him a hug. "It'll work out, Willow. Life has a way of working out to the benefit of someone."
"Yeah, but Sunnydale people aren't often the someone." She pulled back with a small blush. "I don't mean to whine to you when you're just back from work. Can I make you dinner for letting me crash?"
"I'm good on dinner. I grabbed a burger on the way home because it was so late tonight. We're trying to get clear for the holidays. We're all on-call Christmas day but we don't have to appear unless there's a scene." She looked at him. "Arguments over turkeys and hams often lead to bodies in the parks and water. What about your old holiday plans?"
"My parents are in Germany I think. Either that or they're in Baltimore." She shrugged. "We had Buffy fixing Thanksgiving and it wasn't too bad but Giles hovered a lot. We had a small problem with former Native Americans and I think my problem with the holiday may have brought them, but we managed it and they're at peace and Anya quit having ghostly VD." He looked stunned. "Things are like that in Sunnydale."
"Stay," he ordered.
She blinked at him. "Someone's got to watch over Xander. Timmy's letting him run wild. Stripping?"
"I saw the tapes of it. He's not bad." He smiled at her. "Stay anyway. I think you'll like Miami. We're pretty laid back down here." She shrugged and nodded. "Plus there's some great colleges. You might even be able to get in for this upcoming semester."
"I can live on my trust fund. Grandma left me a small one. I've been living off that and my parent's contribution for a while now."
"When was the last time you saw them?"
"Um, graduation. Why?"
"I don't know. I think prom. They considered it a right of passage so they had to be there so I wouldn't be screwed up for life."
"Summer holidays I think. They were traveling to promote the newest book and doing the college lecture circuit."
"Ah." He nodded. "Can we have some of Xander's psychos go hurt them for you?"
She giggled and swatted at him. "They just ignored me, Ryan. Nothing at all like Xander's parents. Though I did learn a lot going on his rescues. I'm wondering if it's that ambiguity from his grandfather that draws the psychos."
"No, they said it's because he's like a pure version of what they are," he said quietly. "Even if he has fought and hunted and other things." She stared at him. "Somehow sixteen Mala Noche members got eaten by something that ate souls."
"Oh." She nodded slowly. "At least it was a nice death. Much better than being eaten by vampires." She shrugged. "I'm sure he didn't plan it. He's not that good."
He patted her on the head. "He planned the one that got you sent down here."
"He did," she realized. She slumped. "I'm doing it again, aren't I?"
"It seems that a lot of people underestimate Xander," he said quietly. "I know every now and then he even manages to surprise his father, like today when he walked in to talk to his cult against orders."
"Xander hates to see people in pain." She looked at him. "I suck as a friend."
"You can make that up to him."
"I can," she agreed, straightening up. "Thanks, Ryan. I didn't want to unload on you but you have this 'confess to me' air that makes it really easy to talk to you. I bet it's a great help on the job." She gave him a hug and went back to her couch. "Are you sure I can't make you something to eat? I'm a really good cook and I make excellent cookies."
He smiled. "Cookies are nice. Go ahead and make some for the gift exchange tomorrow if I've got the stuff."
She looked then sighed. "Not exactly but I do at home." She found a candle and went into the bathroom to pull stuff from her home. And Giles' house because he had her cookbook and spellbook. She had combined them. She looked. "I thought I had chocolate chips." She concentrated again and a new bag plopped down next to her. "I hope that came from home," she sighed, looking at them. Then she shrugged. Not like she could put them back. She went out to make cookies, making him look out at her. "What?"
"I know I didn't have walnuts."
She smiled. "I did at home." She went back to finding her recipes. "Hmm. Did he unsort my book?" She found her phone and called him. "Do you have my recipe and spell book? I got my plain spell book when I summoned it." She listened to him chastize her. "I'm making cookies for the gift exchange at the station where Timmy works, Giles. No, but Xander's down here. No, I'm on Ryan's couch. He works with Timmy. Because Xander was getting really noisy with his boyfriend last night and Timmy got just as noisy with his girlfriend today." She could hear the blush, she swore she could. "So can I have the other books and my vanilla extract? I forgot that."
"Second cabinet next to the stove," he called.
"Thanks, Ryan. Never mind, just my recipe and spell book please." She smiled. "I don't know. Ryan thinks I could get on down here, Giles. Because Timmy let Xander strip a few times. He's got a cult of psychos to him who think he's pure. Plus, he's dating a redheaded guy named Horatio and somehow there's a guy named Greg in there." He hung up and her book appeared a few minutes later. "Thank you," she called, flipping through it to find her favorite cookie recipes. He came out to look, looking at the one on the other page then at her. "It comes in handy and potions is like cooking," she said as she washed her hands and got to work.
"I'm sure it is," he agreed. Even though the recipe was deadly if ingested. "You're not supposed to drink that one, right?"
"No. That you throw on certain types of demons and they bubble up and scream like the wicked witch as they melt. Makes a gooey mess like grilled cheese," she said happily. "Buffy keeps getting it on her shoes. Makes her an unhappy woman but she gets to shoe shop and drag me along so it's better then." She checked her recipe and added in the vanilla extract she found.
He sat down to watch her. She wasn't making a great mess. It was nice. Plus the cookies were good when she handed him one. He was having strange, warm and fuzzy thoughts about the very strange young woman in his kitchen. She didn't even complain when he came in to do the dishes and she made a second type of cookies around him, stopping to give him a hug during it. He had to control these thoughts. He wasn't like Eric, he would not molest a guest while she slept on his couch. Even if she did make excellent cookies and then went to bed in a long t-shirt and a pair of men's boxer shorts after everything was cleaned up and wrapped for the next day. He went to his own bed, stripping down to much the same outfit. He heard her sniffle a few hours later and got up to check on her. She was crying in her sleep. He came out to stroke over her hair and she calmed down, but grabbed his hand. "Willow, you're having a nightmare," he said quietly. She didn't wake up. So he patted her with his free hand. She pounced. He found himself pinned to the floor by a small redhead. He went for the harder torture, tickling her. That made her wake up. "Hi. You were having nightmares and I came out to wake you."
"Oops, I'm sorry." She got off him and helped him up. "I didn't mean to pounce."
"It's all right. Are you okay? Want to talk?"
"You have to work tomorrow."
"I know I do. I can spare an hour. I'll sleep in instead of going for a run." She stared at him. "What? Don't think I jog?"
"Are you one of the stupid joggers who runs in the snow with shorts on?"
"No snow in Miami, Willow. There hasn't been any since a freak storm in the fifties." She blushed at that. "But no, I wouldn't be." She gave him a small smile. "Want to talk?"
"No, I'll be okay." She kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you, Ryan. I'm sorry I pounced you."
"Not every day I have someone as small and delicate as you knock me down."
"Which is a shame."
"Well, yeah, but Eric takes all the women in town. They'd never settle for me after him."
She pinched him hard on the arm. "That is not the way to think, Mister. Not every woman likes him. I'd never go for a man like him. I like my boys nerdy." She tapped a foot. "You get that thought right out of your head, Ryan. All he is is a slut. You're a better man and plenty of women realize that."
He gave her a gentle smile. "Thanks."
"Welcome. Now, you should be in bed. All I have to do is talk to the college tomorrow. You have to chase down people who do bad things." She pulled him back into his bedroom and tucked him in. Then she kissed him on the forehead. "Have good dreams, Ryan. Win the lottery or something since dreams can come true." She went back to the couch.
He listened to her settle in. "That is some woman," he said quietly, turning onto his other side. She had tucked him in just right. Not too tight or too loose. He could get used to having her on the couch since she didn't make a big mess.
Speed looked at Xander when he came in with the presents he had stored in the office. He watched him walk, then he smirked. "Hmm. Was it good?" he teased.
"Very," he said, blushing some. "Hi, Daddy." He gave him a one-armed hug.
Speed gave him a squeeze and noticed the bruising. "He was a bit rough."
"He claimed me," he said quietly, glancing around to make sure they were alone. "It was good," he said with a slightly manic grin.
"Then I won't do more than tease you because you probably can't sit."
"Not really comfortably." He put his presents under the tree. "Yours and Calleigh's are still at home along with Mom's. Horatio has his." He looked. "I forgot Yelina's. I knew I was going to forget one." Speed nudged it closer with a foot. "Oh, good." He sighed and put it under there. "Did I forget someone?"
"You're stressing, Xander. They'll love them. Did you remember something for Ray Junior?" he asked. Xander nodded. "Then you didn't forget anyone." He patted him on the non-bruised side. "Sit, or try to sit. Should I get you a pillow?"
"Not funny, Daddy. I'm sure the stepmom has days she can't sit too."
"Yes and then Eric gets to pick on her." He gave Eric a smug look when he came in. Ryan walked in with Willow and the cookies. "Hey, the cookie fairy arrived."
"Yes it did and they're very good, even if her cookbook is a bit scary," Ryan agreed, helping her lay them out.
"Combined it with your spell book?" Xander asked her. She nodded, grinning and handing him a cookie. "Thanks, Wills."
"Welcome. I'm officially transferred down here. UC Hellmouth sent down my transcripts so they got me admitted and everything. They expected a lot of us to flee the UC system after the campus fell in. They said with my grades I'm good to go and my trust pays for my classes so I don't have to worry about financial aid. So I'm starting here in January." That got a few claps from Speed. "Thank you."
"Welcome. Where are your parents?"
"Either Germany or Baltimore. Not a clue. I'd have to check their site to see where they're lecturing this week."
"What do your parents do?" Eric asked.
"They're shrinks," Xander told him.
"They wrote a book on dealing with gifted children when I was younger," Willow filled in. "They're lecturing shrinks now, going around to talk about educational things and how to manage a spirited, gifted child."
"Yet they let you run all over town at all hours and then they basically left you an orphan at fifteen," Speed said dryly.
She shrugged. "Their premise that we geniuses mature faster was one of the big points in their last book. I pointed out the fallacies of their argument but they said I wasn't that trained in their field yet. When I was I could write my own to counter them."
"Switch to science or pre-med," Speed ordered patiently. Aiden was led in with Don. "Hey."
"Hey. We saw Xander's presents at home." She looked at him. "I wasn't going to wait, baby."
"I understand. That's fine. Did he find his at Granddad's?"
"I can wait," Don promised with a grin. "I did copy down the newest hockey matches and sent DVD's to Danny, Greg, and have Eric's copy." He handed it over. "There, now you can copy it since the TIVO was full." Eric grinned at him and gave him a manly, back slapping hug.
They all watched as Aiden came over to hug her boy. Then when she noticed the bruises. "Was he hungry?" she teased.
"It was good, Mommy."
"I'm sure it was. Need a pillow, baby?" she teased.
"Mom! Don't pick on him in front of his team," he complained. "Please?"
"I won't. Sure you don't need a pillow?"
"No." He gave her another hug.
"You might want earplugs," Willow offered. "I didn't even hear anything that noisy in the dorms."
She laughed and came over to hug her. "It's all right, Willow. Some day soon you'll find someone who makes you make high pitched, squealy noises of delight too."
"Why would they make me make Buffy shoe shopping noises?" she asked. Speed and Xander both cackled at that. "She does."
"She does," Xander agreed. "It depends on the emotion. I was never this loud with Anya, Willow."
She blushed. "Didn't need those details, thank you. Really. Don't need to know how two guys have the sex. Figuring out how two girls have the sex was a lot of fun but don't need to know about gay guys. What's on the DVD, Eric?"
"Oh, Xander found a naked hockey league in Europe."
"Gay?" she asked timidly.
"No, naked women," Ryan promised, smiling at her. "Cooper, he got the new matches!" he called.
"He may not copy them in the lab," Calleigh called back. She walked in with her presents. "Hey, the cookie fairy arrived. Thank you whoever stopped to pick up cookies."
Willow pouted. "I baked cookies. I make very good cookies."
"Good. I like cookies too," she agreed, smiling at her.
"Are you related to my ex Tara?"
"Not that I know of. Is she from New Orleans?"
"A bit up the state but you look a lot like her. You're blonde, cute, tiny, and sweet." She pouted. "She's moving to New York."
"I'll make sure she's all right, Willow," Don promised. "Send her to me and I'll introduce her to some nice folks."
"She's really shy," Willow warned.
"That's okay. Stella could use a new cub to growl over and Sheldon will help her be a good girl and do the good girl things. He's like that. He's a former doctor." She smiled at that. "Now he's a CSI."
"Why?" she asked.
"We're not really sure," he admitted. "But he likes it." He shrugged. "Got pictures?" She nodded and pulled one out. "Wow, she does kinda look like Calleigh."
She looked and frowned. "I know the guy next to her. He's my cousin and we're all shunning his stupid hind end for being an asshole."
"Yup," Willow agreed. "They told her she was a demon and had to come home to take care of them to hide it. We kicked his butt good."
"Good! Wait until I tell my Momma! Her Daddy's gonna get his hind end killed this time. My mother believes in shotguns for abusive parents and spouses." Horatio gave her a look when he walked in. "I just found out her recent ex Tara is one of my cousins."
"Interesting how the world works that way."
"Mac says everything's connected," Don offered, shaking his hand. "I'm butting in since Grandfather's doing something strange with his medical person Ethan and Aiden wanted her present now."
Willow looked at Xander. "Ethan as in the Ethan plague?"
"He's making sure Grandfather survives for a bit longer and I'll like him for that much alone," Xander said firmly. "Do not hurt the Ethan until my grandfather dies, Willow."
"Okay," she said slowly, shifting away some. "What's wrong with him?"
"Some sort of tumor that carried over and still grows a bit each year somehow," Don told her. "Ethan's helping drain it."
"Oh. Then I won't bother Ethan as long as he doesn't do mean things around me or to me," she decided, smiling again. "After all, I got to see his last two stunts."
Speed snickered. "You didn't like Buffy as the seventeenth century spoiled rich girl?"
"Well, no, not really, but I guess she liked shoes even more since then." Xander nodded at that. "I'm sorry we dragged you to the mall and made you help us shop, Xander. I promise I won't do it down here and make you go bra shopping again. Or ask for opinions on clothes or bathing suits or anything." He looked up and said a quiet 'thank you' which made her laugh. "Behave, Mister. I still have to decorate my new dorm room. I can drag you to do that since it won't be clothes."
He looked at her. "Go live in that really nice motel by the college, Willow. They're used to students and you'll get cable. I heard the local campus doesn't."
"Have to pay extra for it," Eric told her.
"Oh." She nodded. "Then maybe I will. How expensive is it?"
"About the same as your dorm room," Ryan said, smiling at her. "I lived there a semester. It's not too bad. Especially if you go to the converted one on the other side of campus. They've even got a spa in there."
"Maybe you should work there, baby," Aiden offered.
"College students never tip," Xander said, looking at her. "Sorry. Rich women tip even if they do hit on you."
She snorted. "You can fix that easily enough, baby. I promise you can. A few more hickeys...." Speed smacked her on the head. "Ow!"
"Quit picking on our boy. I'm happy he's finally found someone *nice* and *decent* to see. Or would you rather have him date and then marry another assassin? Maybe have baby assassins with her?"
"Yeah, then I like this new guy too. I think he's a cutie and he's very upstanding and honorable. I like that about him. Doesn't mean I can't pick on him for being noisy and having hickeys."
"Hickeys?" Eric asked. "Really? I thought that was more my style than yours, H." He smirked at him. "I should tell Frank."
"Eric, remember, I like high powered weapons and picking on my boy means that all your women will get to baby you when I shoot you in the ankle," Xander reminded him, staring him down. "I'm sure three-quarters of Miami's women will come rushing to baby you." He backed down at that. "Pick on Horatio about other things."
"Yeah, we can pick on him about the hickey on his throat," Calleigh teased.
"He sucks in his sleep," Aiden and Speed said in unison. Everyone laughed.
"He does," Willow agreed. "Every now and then he does. Sleeping in the same room as Xander is an invitation to be cuddled and sucked on. He sleepwalks when he's having nightmares and goes to find someone to cuddle. Then he sucks like a vampire. Spike thought it was cute the time he pinned Buffy to the couch to do it to her."
"Spike would," Xander said dryly. "Let's not talk about that, she-who-meows-and-goes- into-heat-some-nights, okay?"
"Oops. Sorry, I'll quit picking on you, Xander." She smiled at him. "Buffy said I didn't do that all semester."
"That's good. How much of the semester did she actually spend in her room?" She blushed harder. "Thought so. I should ask Tara."
"No, please don't," she begged. "She claims I set off Miss Kitty Fantastico's first heat."
"You have a cat?" Ryan asked.
"No, we had a cat but Tara's claiming custody of the kitty," she said with a small frown. "I had fish."
He gave her a gentle hug. "It'll be fine. We can get you new fish or a new cat if the place allows it." He patted her on the head and they turned back to the group. "She's starting down here this semester."
Most everyone clapped at that. Speed looked at her. "Majoring in?"
"Computers at the moment."
"Good," he agreed. He smiled at Aiden. "See, you were a good influence."
She huffed. "I wanted her to be a future CSI."
"I couldn't take the uniform. I look bad in uniforms," Willow assured her. "Plus, you know, the whole *rules* thing now and then still gets to me."
Aiden sighed but nodded. "I can accept that. Are we having other food? If not, I'm calling for pizzas."
"You can pay for part of them since I already did," Horatio promised. "We're only waiting on Yelina and my nephew, then Frank." That got some smiles. "Frank's in court."
Xander looked at Speed. "Do you think I got the right thing for Frank?"
Speed giggled. "Yup. I do." He reached over to stroke through his hair. "Thank you for trimming it."
"I got asked to," he admitted with a small blush. That got some smiles from the group. "So, Eric, you have how many dates for New Years?"
"Just one. Someone new."
"Going with the theory that whatever you're doing at midnight you'll be doing all year?" Ryan teased. "You'll have to start dating retirees soon." Eric glared at him but he grinned.
"Leave some for the rest of the guys," Willow agreed. "After all, Ryan's very sweet and should have a good woman."
He looked at her. "Then you date him. You're too young for me."
"I'd never date a promiscuous guy like you anyway, Eric. I might like the taste of the other girls on your lips." The others laughed at that and she smiled sweetly. "But Ryan does need a sweet, nice girl."
"I don't do sweet and nice girls. He can have all he wants," he assured her, leaning back in his chair.
"Doesn't your mother complain about that?" Calleigh teased.
"Yes but she wants to adopt Xander so she's hoping for grandkids from him."
"Um, you haven't told her I'm with a guy?" Xander asked.
"Yes but she's praying that there's hope."
"Sure, the next time someone drugs me I'll try for one, Eric, just to soothe her ache for grandkids," Xander joked, smirking at him.
"I would hate to have to kill whoever did that to you," Horatio said, looking at his boyfriend.
"I wouldn't doubt it. Not like it'd happen voluntarily."
"Point. No more going out with Greg alone, Xander. You two get into too much trouble."
"Not when we're down here. We need someone out in Las Vegas to watch us have fun and Lady Heather's too busy to watch us be hot on the floors."
"Hmm." Horatio looked at him. "The next time you go out for a visit I'll send Ryan or someone with you."
"I was going out my weekend off in February," Xander offered. Horatio smiled at that. "You can come if you've got it off."
"I'll see what I can do to synch our schedules that way." He stroked through his hair. "Thank you for getting a trim."
"Welcome." He leaned on the table so he could snatch another cookie, then handed it to him. "She makes good cookies."
He nibbled and nodded. "They are good, Willow. Thank you." She beamed at that praise. "Since you're moving down perhaps you can move into one of those places this week. That way you have a place to call your own."
"I was going to look tomorrow."
Ryan looked at her. "The big white building that looks like a hotel. It's cheapish, about the same as the dorm, has a caf, pool, spa, hair dresser, free cable, internet, and local calls, and it's basically the same as a hotel room with a mini bar kitchen."
"That might be nice as long as I could import my microwave and toaster oven. Fortunately my dorm was protected." That got a smile. "Most of my stuff was in Tara's room anyway. The other dorm room fell in so Giles has to replace some of Buffy's weapons." She looked at Xander. "Giles was not happy that you had the fire and had to turn over yours."
"Not his fault someone drugged him, beat him, then put him back into his house before setting it on fire," Speed told her. "You can quote me to the alcoholic."
"I will." She pulled out her phone to call him. "It's me," she said happily. "No, I'm transferring down to Miami, Giles. Well, I have found Xander. He's sitting across the room from me. He's doing very well and his boyfriend is very nice. Aiden and Timmy are both here because they're doing the department's secret santa thing." She listened. "No, Timmy said he was drugged, beaten, then put back in the house before they set it on fire, Giles. I don't think he had a choice in giving up the weapons that time." Calleigh shook her head. "His stepmom said no."
Horatio took the phone. "Mr. Giles. Horatio Caine. Yes, Xander's Horatio. Actually, Speed works for me," he said dryly. "To clear up any misconception, the house was too damaged and we did force Xander to give up all the projectile weapons we found after the fire. That did include the things he got for translating at one of the local bars and other things. Yes, exactly. We're very lucky the whole neighborhood didn't go up with how bad the fire was. Completely destroyed his house. No, he still has the storage area but his grandfather helped him find a new place."
"Which is nice, Giles, it has a lawn," Willow said, taking the phone back. "He's got a really pretty house down here with a lawn and views of trees and water, Giles. Yup, fully decorated. Looks kinda old worldy but that's okay. It suits him and his satellite dish gets naked hockey games. No, women's hockey, Giles. He's gay but that's just icky." She smiled at him. "No, he's happy being gay. He's running a bit wild because Timmy let him strip a few times but ... Well, actually I heard that's how he married the assassin, Giles. Yeah, her. Which one?"
"Lady Death," Ryan said.
"Ryan said Lady Death. No, Ryan works with Timmy and Xander's stepmom Calleigh, who plays with guns all day for a living and Eric, who's a playboy and part-time slut like Anya is, only he's cleaner and doesn't talk about it like she does, and then there's Horatio who runs the lab. Yeah, the redhead in Timmy's picture. Giles, if you keep drinking you'll die before you get a chance to be mean to Ethan."
"Actually, Ethan said to wish him a Happy Christmas if we spoke to him," Xander offered. "Tell him Oz is happy with my grandsire."
"Xander said Ethan said Happy Christmas and that Oz is happy with his Grandsire." She looked at him. "Grandsire?"
"Grandfather's sire. Or as we joke, Grandpa's husband," Xander offered.
"Oh. Yeah, Father Benis's sire, Giles. He's apparently met him and they've got a joking and friendly relationship too. He called him his grandfather's husband. Yes, Xander is very gay, Giles. I promise he is. Giles, he *matches*. He's gay," she told him. "Gayer than I am gay, Giles. I mean he *really* matches. Even his shoes go with the outfit and they're sneakers."
"I do that and I'm not gay," Eric complained.
"Yes, honey, but you're a lot like Anya only you don't call it orgasms instead of the sex and you don't talk about it constantly. Like every few minutes complaining that no one else has Xander's oral fetish complaining. It's only talking about money that makes her stop talking about the sex."
Xander nodded. "Definitely," he agreed. "Sorry she can't find a guy with wisdom teeth coming in." He shrugged. "Tell her to date another high school senior. That way she can have that sort of stamina. Richer's probably a senior by now, right? He had good stamina and a good rep with the ladies the last I knew."
"He aid to tell Anya to find Gary Richer and date him," she told him. "He's a senior this year, Giles. He said it'll be about the same for her. The same stamina too and she won't have to talk about it anymore. Just brag like she did with Xander and complain that he wouldn't do some things to her. Oh, Giles, when I was at Xander's, I found magic books."
"They're fees for translating, I'm keeping them out of the public eye, Willow. No, you may not borrow them."
"He said he's hiding them and he got them for some translating work. Translating what?"
"One of the demon bars has a few literary clients. I translate popular fiction into the two most common demon languages."
"Ohhhh. Think I could help?"
"Don't know. I'll ask the next time I go in next month." She nodded and went back to babbling at Giles about how gay he was. He shook his head and looked at Ryan. "Make her shut up?" he mouthed. Ryan gave him a look. "Please?" He nodded toward the hall and where Stetler was hovering and listening. Ryan got up and whispered in her ear. She glared at him and he was a lizard. "You might wanna get him a bright lamp, guys. I remember being cold when she did that to me." Calleigh rushed to pick him up while Horatio pulled her to the lab to make her undo it. He looked at Speed, who was groaning and shaking his head. "Love you, Daddy."
"Love you too, kiddo." He pulled Xander closer to give him a hug. "I'm glad I adopted you and let Aiden have her." Aiden smacked him on the arm and went to yell at her girl. "I never want daughters," he complained. Xander grinned at him and kissed him on the forehead then handed him a cookie. "She'll be making guilt cookies tonight, Ryan. Watch out for the liquor she'll use."
"I can help her with that," Xander said sweetly and innocently.
Everyone stared at him then burst out laughing. But they all shook their heads. He wasn't going to be allowed.
They came back and dug into the pizzas and the presents. "Remember, I got most of yours overseas and a few locally," Xander warned. Aiden slid over hers and Calleigh's presents she had brought in from his house. "Mommy, you have a choice. You can have this one or some of the stuff I got off the former wife. They're loose though so you'd have to do something with them probably."
She looked at him. "I'm not sure if I should worry or not."
"It's mean to give someone a present they have to spend money on," Don complained.
"I'm not sure she would like it," Xander told him. He looked at her. "Up to you, Mom."
"I'll take this one. Give the other to the stepmom."
"That was the idea." He got checked her package and then Calleigh's, handing them over. "Ladies. Daddy, yours is still in the garage." He got a look from Speed. "What?" he asked innocently.
"What did you do?" he asked. He pulled Xander into his lap, ignoring the wince and hiss. "Tell me." Xander whispered in his ear and he gaped in awe. "You got me a what?"
"I did." He kissed him on the forehead with a grin. "I planned for it to go with the jacket. It's hanging in the garage with leather conditioner on it to soften it up so you can have them tonight and take stepmom for a ride because she's about to squeal and pounce." He got out of the way and smiled at Horatio. "Did you forget yours?"
"No, it's in my pocket," he admitted, pulling his out to look at it. He smiled at the free pass to do whatever he wanted for one whole night to Xander. Plus the free massage coupons for his new place. He smiled at him. "Thank you." He put them back and Xander grinned at him. "Pass out the others since you're up and bouncy."
"Feeding him chocolate does that," Willow said, looking at him. "You'll learn. That and serious sugars and regular coke together make him high and fuzzy feeling."
"Yeah, I use that when I strip," he admitted, handing out the other presents. Eric got two. He beamed. "I drew your name."
Ryan opened his and smiled, laughing at the book on home remedies and cleaning solutions. "Thanks, Xander. I'll like this." He flipped through it. "Hey, they've got an herbal bleach in here."
"They do," Xander agreed. "I thought you might like that better than clorox. You can make it by the drum and it smells better."
"Thank you." He kissed him on the cheek. "I do like it." Calleigh was still staring at hers. "What did she get?"
Speed looked then at her. "Some of the loose jewels that we found in the trunk of bearer bonds."
Aiden opened hers and stared then squealed and pounced her boy. "I love the sparkly stuff."
"You should have stuff that sparkles like you do. Let go before Don takes a picture." She let go and let him put it on her. Don took a picture of that. "It looks good on you, Mommy."
"It does." She smiled and beamed at the others. "My son's great." She looked at Calleigh's then nodded. "I chose good. I like diamonds better than rubies and emeralds." Calleigh looked at them and burst out crying, hugging Xander. "Awww."
"It's all right. You deserve sparkly things too. You can do whatever you want with them, Stepmom." He patted her on the back, then pulled back to look at her. "I let Mom have first pick because she's Mom."
"I love them. Thank you." She wiped off her cheeks and hugged him again then kissed him on the cheek. "What did Lady Heather get?"
"We found some heavier bronze and opal, plus some heavier silver and obsidian jewelry in Russia," Eric told her. "She got those." That got a grin from both his local moms. "What about Alexx's?"
"She's out sick today so I had someone send hers over. I had my former neighbor paint her kids for her." That got sweet smiles. "She was saying she needed more pictures." He handed over the rest of them. "There, all but the one in the back of the tree I can't reach without toppling it." Willow stared and it floated out. "Oooh, mine?" He sat down to look at it, smiling at the new whip. "Thanks, guys."
"Welcome," everyone agreed, smiling when he moved off to try it.
"Damn," Willow said, then covered her mouth and blushed. "Sorry, didn't mean to swear."
"No, he's known for having a good hand with them," Eric agreed. "We had to ask Speed what he still had after the fire."
"I never had one this long but it's wonderful," Xander said happily, stroking it. "It's even already softened and conditioned." He hugged everyone then sat down, only wincing a bit. "I love you guys." That got a mass of smiles for him.
Lady Heather looked up as Greg walked in with two boxes and sat at her feet. "What are these?"
"Yours and my presents from Xander," he said, handing her hers. He smiled. "We all thought that it would be perfect for you when he found those in the Russian house. Mine I have no clue."
She smiled and opened hers, touching the jewelry. "These are beautiful. She may've had a blackened soul but she had wonderful taste." She picked up one of the bronze and obsidian ones, holding it against her throat. "That is beautiful work."
"That one has a tracking chip in it," he admitted. "So does the opal and silver choker. Grissom put them in." She smiled and stroked through his hair. "Can I open mine? It's been driving me insane."
He opened his and smiled at the photo album. It was pictures of them on the trips and it was perfect for him. At the end was the second check and he smiled, squealing a bit when he showed her. "The bank accounts and things." She smiled at that and he let her see all the pictures, going over where they were taken. One he decided to have copies made and put into his locker. It was just the perfect gift for when he missed Xander.