Notes: threesome! M/M/F sort of threesome! As in hot, sweaty, all sorts of stuff going on sex! Needless to say, this story is rated NC-17.

In The Service of the Qu...Um, Joxer.

Methos collapsed onto his couch with a sigh of pleasure. It was good to be home. It would be even better if he had some decent snacks and a beer so he didn't have to move, but that was part of life. He briefly debated getting up for the desired treats, but his tiredness won. He sank further into the leather and his eyes started to drift shut.

Strife appeared against the back of the couch, grinning down at his toy. "You can't nap yet," he said, giving his best maniacal grin when his lover opened his eyes to glare at him. "C'mon, we gotta go have some fun."

"I'm tired," Methos said patiently. "Go have fun without me."

Strife started to pout. "It's not as much fun without you," he declared, then he slipped over so he could land heavily in the middle of Methos' chest. "Come on, you can spend an hour with me."

"Give me an hour to relax first," Methos agreed. Strife grunted, poking him on the stomach. "Do that again and you'll lose that finger for at least a day," he warned. He got poked again and grabbed the offending digit, easily dislocating it at all the joints.

"You're no fun anymore," Strife complained, holding his injured finger. He'd had worse, and it hadn't hurt that much compared to some of the things he had earned in their last bar brawl. He held his finger up. "Kiss it make it better?" he asked with a grin.

Methos sighed and flipped to his side, sending his snuggle bunny to the floor. "I'll do it in an hour."

"Come on," Strife pleaded. "It'll be fun, I promise. Even the sorta fun that you like."

"Strife, I want to rest. We've just gotten home and I need a nap. You know what traveling does to me." He yawned. "Get your daughter to go have fun with you. I'm sure she'd like to help you cause havoc and hell around the city."

Strife's eyes lit up. "That's why I love ya and keep ya around," he said happily. "You get the best ideas." He bent his finger, relocating all the joints, then he stole a kiss and left to find his daughter. He flashed in just as they were climbing out of the shower. "Rain, c'mon, your other daddy won't play with me."

Blair looked at his father-in-law. "Gee, but we were just going to get some playtime of our own," he complained mildly. He didn't want to know what Strife would do to him if he ruined his plans. The pout he got wasn't the punishment he was expecting, but it did make him hug the God of Mischief. "I'll let you have her for an hour," he soothed.

Rain walked out of the bathroom, giving the hugging men a bland look. "Something you wanted to share, dear?"

"He got the most hurt look when I told him we were going to have sex," Blair explained.

Strife managed to wiggle out of the tight embrace and carefully backed away from his son-in- law. Huggers terrified and mystified him; anyone who would grab you and keep you held to make you feel better, without sex involved, was a dangerous person in his book. He looked at his daughter, who was trying really hard not to laugh. "Wanna go have fun with me? Your other pop is *tired*," he mocked.

"Sure." Rain dropped her towel and walked over to the closet, ignoring her nudity. "What sort of fun so I know how to dress?"

"Don't know, whatcha wanna do?" Strife asked, turning away from Blair before the youngling could pout. Blair pouting would lead to Rain comforting him and kissing him, and eventually he'd be forgotten while they snogged.

"Well, I have been meaning to get over to the Phi house and deal with a few of them for someone," she admitted as she pulled out leather pants and a tank top. She held it up for approval. "Good enough?"

"Great," Strife said happily. He *loved* to fuck with drunken frat boys. Or drunken former frat boys. It was as good as life got for him in this age. Some of those Yale and Harvard boys were just the most fun, especially late at night when he could send them all sorts of bad ideas to tempt them into remaking the world in their image. Some of it had gotten through Congress, but hey, that's what made life interesting. He started bouncing as Rain finished getting dressed.

"So, what did the boys do?" Blair asked as he sat down on the bed to watch.

"One of them decided to initiate freshman initiation rituals." She turned to look at him, smiling at his clueless look. "It's when they start a relationship with a virgin, break in the virgins, and then dump them immediately, all while keeping score."

"Ah," Blair said, nodding wisely. He'd heard of such stupidity before, but of course had never participated in it. "Who'd they get?"

"One of the GA's in the Education department." She sprayed some perfume around her neck and stepped into her favorite three inch heel ankle boots. "She's really torn up, came into the Graduate Student Government meeting crying and wouldn't stop." She held out her arms. "Done, daddy."

"Cool look," Strife agreed. "C'mon, let's go." He grabbed her, letting her get one quick kiss, then he took them to go torment the stupid boys.

Blair sighed as he let himself flop backwards on the bed. His wife might as well be the God of Graduate Assistants some days, but he had wanted to lick her! He felt the tingle around his dick and shrugged, determined to have fun whether or not she was there. That *was* what masturbation was for. He sent a happy thought to the teenage caveman that had discovered the joys of self-loving. Hey, the dead probably could hear you and he'd probably appreciate it. His eyes closed as his hands did just what he wanted. Yeah, that was good.


Cailleach looked down into the stone bowl of water, frowning at the blurry picture. "I can't see," she complained.

Corra, the Scottish Celt's Goddess of Prophecy, sighed in frustration, waving her hand to make her elder move back. "Let me." She looked down into the bowl, ignoring the warm body trying to crowd her out of the way. "She's happy," she said finally, looking up at Cailleach. "Her husband was a good match for her, and she got to hunt him all she wanted before they joined. Her job's going well. The only problem is what we all felt running through the worlds."

"Then it's not our problem?" Fea, the War Goddess who was the present representative of all the War Gods, asked glumly. The other War Gods and Goddesses were becoming bored with no real battles to fight. "Will we have to act?"

Corra shrugged. "What we felt is odd, and wrong. It's released all of the secrets back into the world that it could." She looked down in the bowl again. "It will get worse before it gets better. The strangeness has barely started and our Protector is caught in the middle of it."

Cailleach gripped her hands together so tightly her knuckles turned white. "Will she be hurt? Killed?" She held her breath until the head shake came.

Fea patted her on the back. "She'll be fine. She's been trained by the best."

"And she's working with her father," Corra pronounced. She smiled at them. "Strife coming back wasn't the cause, but it makes her happier."

Fea snorted. "Strife needed a good spanking from what I remember."

"He still does," Corra said with a naughty grin. "And I'd love to be the one to give it to him, but that's Methos' job."

Fea spat on the wooden floor. "Him I'd like to disembowel. His plans nearly got my whole army killed."

"But you did win the war," Corra said quietly. "That's what he was there for. You knew it wasn't going to be all good news before you sought him out." She looked at her elder again. "Cailleach, is there other I can tell you?"

"Will she have children? Is she happy? Do we need to intervene?"

"Someday, yes, and not yet," Corra declared firmly. "Her priority isn't having spawn for her husband, which is as it should be while she's working for us. When she does, Scáthach will go help train the children."

"Children of War?" Fea asked hopefully.

"Her husband's like her," Corra reproached. Then she smiled brightly. "But Ares will make sure the children know of their grandfather's heritage."

Fea laughed. "Good. I'll go report. Will you tell us when we have to intervene?"

Corra nodded. "For now, tell Medb and Andraste that they'll need help from someone more magical. Send a dragon to them if possible; one of those young knights that's been listening to all the old stories and dreams of becoming a real knight."

Fea snickered but she was happy as she walked out.

Corra looked at Cailleach. "Your daughter is fine, for now, and will only suffer a little at the hands of this prophecy. It lies within her to help fight it, and to fix it will take a friend of theirs. She's the only one who treated that boy well enough."

Cailleach sighed. "Thank you, Corra. Call upon us if you need anything and we'll come immediately." She walked out into the woods, heading for her home. She had much to think about now. And possibly something to plan.

Corra poured the water out of her scrying pool slowly, watching the images as they started to fade. She smiled when she saw one of them. Yes, that young God would help them muchly. He would draw some of the group closer.


Xander looked up as a man appeared in front of him. "Hey," he said, waving, not moving from his chair, or his onion rings. "What's up? You with Ares and them?"

Joxer snickered. "Yes, I am. You might say Aphrodite and I are *close* friends." He looked the boy over. "Speaking of close, wanna go have some fun?"

Xander looked him over. "Hey, if you think you can keep up," he said as he stood up, wiping his fingers on his jeans. "When and where?"

Joxer gave him a hug. "I *like* you," he whispered in the boy's ear. "But it's not for me. It's for Blair."


"Going to have fun too. I'm considering it a...present for her." He pulled back with another grin. "If you're in, you might want to get some gear."

Xander waved a hand. "I didn't get to pack any. It's not like I was gonna use it at that uptight place." He looked behind the God, then back at him. "Philip's coming so we might want to hit it."

Joxer squeezed Xander to his chest and kissed him as they teleported away, waiting just long enough for Philip to catch sight of them. Philip sighed and shook his head. "What now?"

Xander and Joxer landed beside the Blair, who was sleeping on his bed. Rain appeared just as Joxer disappeared and looked at him. "I was sent," Xander said with his most sensual, and disarming, grin. "I was told I was a prezzie."

Rain sat down on the edge of the bed, pressing her thighs tightly together. "For who?" She glanced at Blair, who was looking up at them. "Honey, did you ask for a present?"

Blair shook his head and pulled a pillow down to cover his face. "Nope. I don't think we need the help yet."

Xander pulled Rain up, walking her a few feet away. "Joxer, or I'm assuming it was him, came to me and told me I was here to fulfil a fantasy of yours," he whispered as he wrapped his arms around her so he could hold her tightly. "He didn't say it, but I got the impression that you've been wondering about something," he licked the edge of her chin, nibbling lightly on it, "kinky and I'm very good at that."

She relaxed in his arms, looking back at Blair, who was watching them. "Dear, did you want to do something kinky with the kid?"

Blair shrugged. "I've done kinky things with guys before," he admitted. "It's all good to me. Who sent him to us anyway?"

"The family." She turned around in Xander's arms, moving his hands to her breasts so he could play with them for her. "You've done guys?"

Blair swung his legs around, opening them so his wife and their toy could see exactly what he had. "Yeah, I've had a few short flings back in my undergrad days." He grinned. "It was more of an experiment than anything else, but it was kinda fun."

Xander rested his chin on Rain's shoulder as he teased her nipples through the thin tanktop. "It's all kinda fun, if you're into it," he opinioned. She moaned as he tugged briefly on her left nipple and shifted her stance. "Do you want it, Blair?" he suggested, one hand moving down to stroke Rain's lower stomach, barely brushing her mound through the leather she wore. "Maybe show her what it's like to be with a man?"

Blair licked his lips. His wife looked good with Xander. He nodded and held out his arms. "Sure," he squeaked, then cleared his throat. "If that's what Rain wants."

Xander turned his head to the side and nibbled on the vein in her neck. "Does Rain want that?" he breathed into her skin. She shivered and pushed her pelvis into his hand. "Do you want me to take your husband and make him scream? Or teach you how to take him yourself?" She groaned and he slipped his hand up under her tanktop to tease her bare nipples. "Would you like Blair to take you that way, Rain?" he sighed as she arched up into his fingers.

"Tease!" she shouted, getting away from his hands. She tore off her tanktop and stood there, panting and topless. "You're a tease!"

Xander grinned. "No, I fully intend to give out," he countered. Blair snickered. "But if you want, I can tease him instead. I'm non-discriminatory that way." He ran a hand down and let it slide just barely under his waistband. "If you want, I'm here."

Rain looked at Blair, who was hard, nearly dripping, and starting to breathe hard as he watched Xander tease himself. Then she thought about what she could do if he 'showed' her how to take her husband. It'd be a new twist to her being on top of the action. "All right. What do we need?"

"Condoms and a lot of lube," Xander said happily. He took off his shirt, then backed away as she reached out to trace a large, livid scar. "It's nothing," he told her, staring into her eyes. She nodded and her fingertips trailed lightly over the rest of his chest instead. He moved closer, letting her do what she wanted to. One should always explore a new lover. He smiled at Blair. "Wanna come help her?"

"Nah, I'll get it in a few," Blair said, leaning back to enjoy watching his wife. He'd never watched her when they were together, it was a side of her he'd never seen before. He slowly stroked his cock as he watched those two tease each other. They were good!

Xander flicked at Rain's zipper. "Want me to peel them off?"

"With your teeth?" she suggested with a grin, going for the button on his old, worn soft jeans.

"If it makes you happy, I'll even lick the sweat off underneath them."

"Hmmm. If it makes you happy," she sighed as the zipper was released. She stood still, letting him prove how good he was. Only a very talented and experienced lover would be able to get her skin-tight leathers off her. She was surprised when he managed it, without tipping her over no less. She even squeaked when he picked her up and carried her over to the bed, dropping her so she bounced on top of Blair's pliant body. Then they got to watch as Xander teased and stripped himself slowly, making them both just a bit happier than before.

Xander slid onto the bed, kissing Blair for the first time. "What's your way?" he asked as he sat up to run his hands over Blair's chest. It was his turn to explore.

"I like my to be on my back," Blair panted, closing his eyes and gripping his wife's hands as Xander's mouth descended onto his cock. "Oh, Gods!" he shouted, bucking up, but the mouth was pulled away.

"Naughty boy," Xander whispered, taking one last lick up the firm rod. "I should go play with your wife." He grabbed Rain and pushed her onto her back, starting his oral exploration of her body. He felt Blair rolling up behind him so he could rub against him, but let it go. The guy needed it and to refuse him would be cruel. He finally made it where Rain's hands had been pushing him to go, and with one lick she went off. He stayed down there though, enjoying it to the fullest. He hardly ever had time to do this when he had a woman in bed. And hey, Blair got this every night if he was smart. After her second one, he cleaned her gently and pulled himself up, smiling at Blair, who was very hard. "You gonna use that on me or do I get to play with you?" he asked.

Rain giggled. She clamped a hand over her mouth to stop it, but the sound got out anyway. "I don't care," she said once she got herself under control again.

Blair shrugged. "It's all kosher to me." Rain snickered and he grinned at her. "Sorry, Xander, bad joke."

Xander leaned against him for a kiss. "I am the King of bad jokes," he admitted. He stroked a fingernail along the top of Blair's cock. "I'm good for whatever you want. But did you want to teach her to take it for you too?"

Blair swallowed and looked at his wife, who was smiling. "Sure. Then you do me. This time."

Xander grinned and held out a hand. "Yo, some lube?" he called. A small brown paper bag landed in his hand and he looked inside. "Non-latex condoms?" he suggested, and with a flash, the contents of the bag changed. "Thanks!"

"Who brought you anyway?" Blair asked.

"Joxer." Xander slid on a condom and pulled out the tube of lube so he could open it. "Come here, Rain, let me show you how to do this." Together they dipped into the slippery stuff, stopping to smell the wine smell, then he showed her how to tease her husband using it. By the time they were up to his thumb and one of her fingers, Blair was moaning and shifting to get the digits where he wanted them. Xander leaned over and kissed Rain as he lined himself up, then he grabbed her hand to help guide him into her husband's body. The couple moaned and Xander leaned down to bite Blair on the back. "I know you wanted on your back," he told him, "but I'll make it up to you."

"You make a stunning visual presentation," Rain agreed.

Blair groaned, "No academics in bed," and pushed backwards. "And you, drive!"

Xander chuckled and pulled out, starting the long, hard riding process, sure his student was faithfully watching every inch of him disappearing and reappearing, all while her own fingers followed suit on her body. But she got off the bed suddenly and headed for the bathroom. "You okay?" Xander called, pausing.

"Yeah, go ahead," she yelled back.

Xander shrugged and continued to give Blair the ride of his life. He just hoped the poor guy was immortal because he was feeling *good*!

Rain leaned her head against the inside of the bathroom door and thought up to her Grandmother. Surely Discord would understand. Instead, her father showed up, giving her a grin and a large box. "What's this?"

"It's a toy that squirts," he told her. "You can fill the little bulb with whatever." He hugged her. "I'm so happy! No one's ever wanted ta claim anyone in my family before."

Rain looked at the toy, then at her father. "How do I make it so it's mine?"

Strife shrugged. "Not a clue, honey. I know how to make it *mine*." He thought for a moment. "I guess we could start with mine and change the little DNA stuff to make it yours." She frowned and he patted her on the head. "Don't worry, I won't leave anything of mine in there. Trust me, I like your husband, but he's too creepy for me."

Rain pinched her father on the right nipple, making him wince. "He's not creepy, you don't like huggers."

"Yeah, well, that's one'a those things we don't do a lot in the Temple'a War." He shrugged. "It's up ta you. You could wait and do it some other time."

She shook her head. "No, I want it to be now." She unwrapped her newest toy and held out the little squeeze bulb on the end. "We fill that?"

"Yeah, you fill that." Strife concentrated and the bulb was filled, then they joined hands and changed the semen inside to match her DNA. Strife made sure none of it still matched his, it would be a disaster if Blair went around with his scent marking on him. A huge disaster just waiting for the gossip to settle and for all of them to be killed by Hera for violating the couple's vows. He pulled out some of it that didn't have any genetic signature then handed it over. "Here ya go, all yours," he promised, then he disappeared.

Rain pulled out the rest of the stuff in the box. Straps? She saw the picture taped to the inside lid of the box and smiled. Yeah, her hubby was going to take it from her all right. She put on the strap-on and walked out, modeling it for her husband. She shoved it into his mouth as he came, making Xander come too. "My turn?" she asked sweetly.

Xander pulled out with a wet slurping noise and waved her to it. "All warmed up for you." He whistled when he saw what she had. "Wow. *That* is a toy worth having." He flopped onto his side and watched as Rain climbed up and shoved herself in. "Try and do a little twisting," he advised. "It makes him howl." He pulled off his used condom and tossed it at the trashcan next to the bed.

Rain smiled and nodded, doing what he had suggested, and Blair did howl. She was really getting into it. By the fifth stroke she had lost herself to the feelings of power and control. The high she was riding was only helped by the tongue entering her. She ground down into it between strokes, then finally had enough and clamped her knees around Xander's head, making him pull back. "More!" she demanded.

"Your wish and all that," Xander agreed, reaching for the box of condoms. He rolled a new one down his semi-hard cock and got into position, pushing her forward for a second so he could slip into her. To his surprise, both of them howled. Hey, he was good! He was still going strong when he felt her come, and felt Blair shudder through her body. He watched as she squeezed the bulb, shooting whatever she had filled it with into her husband's waiting body. "Let him go," he whispered in her ear. "He might have to get up and run to the bathroom." He sat back on the bed, pulling her down into his lap. He grinned at Blair as he fucked Rain hard, making her ride him at his pace. She came with a scream and flopped against him, pushing them both off the bed and onto the floor.

Blair looked down at them. "I'd help you up, but I'm too tired." Then he grinned. "Thanks, Xander."

"Hey, anytime," he agreed, patting Rain's stomach. "Did you want to reciprocate?"

Blair snickered. "Only if you want to nap with us for a while. I don't have the stamina of youth anymore."

Rain turned her head and grinned at Xander. "Can I help you get off?"

"If you'd like," he offered. "Like I said, I'm here to fulfil any fantasies you've got."

Blair held out a hand, pulling both of them up to standing. He even made way for them to curl up with him on the bed, with Xander in the middle of course. He held an 'eyes only' conversation with his wife, who was gently stroking the young man's cock, then they both nodded . "We'll work you off, then we'll nap," he told Xander.

Xander came with a groan, tipping his head back in an invitation to nip him, which Rain did. Just then, Joxer reappeared. "Already?" he pouted. "They offered a nap."

Joxer smiled at him. "Ah, but you've got something better," he informed them. He smiled at Rain. "Now he's yours and no one will be able to refute it." He grabbed Xander, picking up the boy in his arms. "I'll see you two later at the banquet." He flashed out, taking Xander back to Ireland, dropping him in his room. He waved a hand and the boy's clothes appeared too. "Xander, I'd have let you nap with them, but there's a reason for it," Joxer told him solemnly. The boy looked up at him, giving him the kicked puppy look. "I know, it was an offer you're not used to, but now you're going to get something better. Someone who wants to do more than nap." He gave the boy a hug. "Be open minded, it'll happen eventually." With that, he disappeared.

Xander sat down on his bed with a yawn and started to pull on his underwear. Philip knocked on the door and shoved it open, standing in the doorway. "Hey."

Philip shook his head and walked in, looking down at the boy. "You stink," he said in greeting. "What happened?"

"Joxer needed me," Xander said defensively. "I got to show someone how to take their husband." He flopped backwards on the bed. "As for smelling, I'll deal with that after I nap. Even a teenager needs sleep after three times!" Philip walked out, heading over to his room and Xander felt guilty. He pulled back on his jeans, leaving them undone, and walked over after his friend. "I'm sorry, Philip, but you came in there all judgmental and...." He stopped when he saw the condition his friend was in. "You can still do that?"

Philip glared at him. "It's not like they cut if off when we take vows." He flipped a towel across his lap. "Thought you wanted to nap."

"No, I was going to apologize for snarking," Xander admitted, sitting next to him, "but I guess you need to talk." He heard the nearly subvocal groan and a light clicked in his head. "You like to be told stories?" Philip's head swung around so he could stare at the boy. "We've all got our ways," Xander said, giving him a light pat to the thigh. "I can tell stories."

"No," Philip nearly shouted, jumping up and stepping away from the bed. "It'd be wrong."

"Philip, a Pope made that rule up, not God." Xander grinned. "I had to do an extra-credit paper on it for a history class so I could pass." He stood up and walked over, giving Philip a hug. "It was all because of property rights. Even your own book of faith doesn't demand that priests be celibate." Philip nodded. "Doesn't it say that those who can will be, but not to force it on everyone?" Philip nodded again. "See, you don't *have* to be celibate." He pulled back and took a few steps back. "With that said, I'm going to go nap. They offered, but Joxer pulled me away before I could get cuddles."

"Take a bath first," Philip said, moving away from the only full bathroom. Whomever had built the tower had put the only bathtub in his room. "I'll leave ya alone."

"No need. You can nap too," Xander told him, heading into the bathroom. "I won't fall asleep."

Philip sat down on his bed with a groan. He hated being tempted. He knew the boy wouldn't push it, but Xander had looked so comforting. Maybe if he held the boy, he'd feel better? Or both of them would feel better? He stood up and headed into the bathroom, giving Xander a light hug. "I'm sorry ya got pulled away before cuddles," he told the boy. "I'll be in here readin' if ya need anything." He left him alone, closing the door behind himself.

Xander looked behind him, then shook his head. "That was strange," he told himself. "Really, really odd." He finished running the water into the granite basin that was their tub and climbed in, sighing in pleasure at the heat.


Philip walked into the bathroom a few hours later and smiled at the sight the boy made. Xander was sleeping in the tub, his head tipped off to the side, his body spread out as far as possible in the small tub. He frowned when he saw the teeth marks, but kept his worries to himself. The boy could play if he wanted to, that didn't mean that he had to like it though. Philip sat on the edge of the tub and gently moved his hand into the water, snatching the small cup from the bottom. He used it to pour a small line of water down Xander's chest. The boy opened his eyes and looked at him. "It's almost time for dinner," he said quietly. "Wanna come down and eat?"

Xander nodded, then he yawned and stretched. "Sure." He pushed himself upright in the water. "You wouldn't think that stone was comfy, but it's really nice. I'm going to have to remember this when I get my own house."

Philip smiled. "Good. I'll let ya dress in peace." He walked out, leaving the door open slightly.

"I didn't bring in any clothes," Xander called after him. He let the water out of the tub and stood up, dripping for a moment. The towels they had were very tiny and didn't soak up the water very well, and he really didn't want to head out into the hallway dripping wet. He was just stepping out when Philip walked in with his bathrobe. "Thanks." Xander slipped into the terrycloth while the older man watched, but he could ignore the staring. If Philip wanted something, he would come to him for it. He slipped past the unmoving man, heading over to his room to find some clean clothes. "Hey, Philip, how are we going to do laundry?" he called as he grabbed his last pair of clean underwear out of his bag.

Philip came over to Xander's door, not looking inside to watch him dress, instead choosing to lean against the wall outside his room. "We could ask Duffy ta help with that," he suggested. "Otherwise we'll have to trek down to the local village. I noticed they'd put in a laundromat since I was last in." He glanced inside, Xander was bending over to search for something in his bag. "Are ya desperate yet?"

Xander looked over at him, then he grinned. "Only for some things. I *can* go without underwear but I wasn't going to because it might upset you."

Philip swallowed. "Sure. If it makes you feel better," he amended quickly. "I'll talk ta Duffy tanight and see what he had planned for that." He walked away, heading downstairs to find their housekeeper. He found him in the kitchen stirring some soup. "How did ya plan on us doin' laundry?" he asked as he sat at the table.

"Well, I figured you'd both eventually give up on the mundane clothes and wear stuff of your new position," Duffy said cheerfully. "That gets cleaned more often."

"New position?" Xander asked as he walked in. He sat down across from Philip.

"Sure'n ya didn't think that you'd been sent here just ta study!" Duffy said, looking quite shocked. Both men nodded. "But you were passed through! The gate opened for ya!" He stormed out, and knew Xander was following him, but he made it into his house and out the other side before the human could get through the first door. "They thought they were sent ta study!" he yelled. One of the ghostly servants floated down near him. "No one told 'em?" The servant shook his head. "Do I have ta?" The servant nodded. "Then send her Lady to do it." He crossed his arms. "I'm not doin' it. It's not my job. I'm there ta make sure they get used ta it and don't fall through the trap door, not ta teach the boys how ta live."

A woman in a long scarlet gown walked into the room. "Their ignorance was necessary, but I will instruct them if you wish. You'd have to get them through the doorway first, but I'll have horses waiting if you'd like." She smiled down at him. "You're doing excellent, Duffy. Cleric's Tower is now filled and within a month the observances will start."

He 'humph'ed and tapped his foot. "Still, no one knows. Don't have a clue. Just asked me about laundry and such."

She chuckled. "I know, but they are mundane and they're used to that lifestyle." She reached down and patted him on the head. "Just a few more months and your duty will be fulfilled, then you'll be able to go back to your rest." She looked at the ghostly servant. "Monitor this situation in case they react badly." She turned and walked away.

Duffy frowned up at the ghost. "How're ya supposed ta get there?" The ghost pointed at the door and Duffy sighed, allowing him to go through his temporary home. Xander and Philip were both waiting on the other side. "We thought ya'd been told, but since ya haven't, I've got a tale for ya both." He nodded toward the kitchen. "Go eat, I'll instruct ya in the mornin'." He let the ghost out and firmly slammed his door, locking it from the inside.

Xander looked at Philip, who shrugged. "Good or bad story?"

"Probably not pleasant in the least," Philip suggested as he headed for the kitchen. "Come on, it hasn't killed us yet so it's safe ta eat."

Xander followed his grumbling stomach into the kitchen and dished them up some food, remembering to say grace this time without having to have his hand slapped.


Xander rolled over again, not able to find a comfortable spot. His bed didn't feel right and he couldn't get to sleep. The little sleep he'd gotten had been broken by bad dreams. With a sigh, he got up and trudged to his door, going over to see if Philip was feeling funny too. His friend's door was barely open and he peeked in, smiling at the snuggling motions Philip was using on his pillow.

"What?" Philip called after a moment.

"I can't sleep. My bed doesn't feeling right."

Philip lifted an arm. "Come on then." He grunted as Xander flopped down behind him, but he allowed the arm to go across his waist. "Feel better?" he asked after a minute or so of silence. His answer was a snore. He shook his head and closed his eyes, content to be held right then. He hadn't been getting any sleep either.