Idea: the Dark GHS Universe version of the GHS/NCIS fic. It really does depend on when and why you get the explanation. Not even Jethro can complain when it's due to an attempted kidnaping.
Note: I left the smut intentionally vague so you could make them however kinky you wanted. Starts vaguely around Dark GHS 35 or so and ends around part 48 - after year two of Greg being in Miami.
A Slut Hidden.
Tony looked up as his new boss walked closer, handing him something he had been working on. "The last of the infernal paperwork, boss."
"Thank you. Which one was this?"
Gibbs looked it over then at him. "You don't have a beneficiary listed."
"No one I want it to go to yet. I checked, I can tap the box in there that says to put it toward my burial expenses. I did that."
"You don't have anyone?"
"I have people, we don't associate."
"Oh." He nodded and put it in his out box, then sat behind his desk. "Anything else I should know?" He hadn't had Tony long, only a few months, so he was still trying to get to know him a bit better.
"Yeah, I belong to a fraternal organization and we have yearly conventions to unwind and reconnect. Mine's in six months. I'll have paperwork since it'll mean leaving early Friday and coming back on a Tuesday so I have time to get over the jet lag and I can take advantage of the cheaper airfare for flying back Monday." Gibbs stared at him. "It's practical. Plus, unless they change our on-call weekends, we'll have that one off."
"Boss, I need to go to this one," he said quietly but firmly.
"And if we're out of town on a cases?"
Tony considered it then looked at him. "Something reasonable like that I can make due and connect to them in other ways. If we're sitting at home? No. Sorry. These people are like my family. I need to be able to connect with them."
"Frat brothers?" he asked dryly.
"No. A mostly fraternal organization since there's more men than women, but no. Not from my frat brother days."
"Sure. If not, I've got to have a talk with some of our people who can connect me locally."
Gibbs looked at him. "Connect you locally?"
"We've got members all over the world, Gibbs. I have a few friends who're now living in Bangkok, two who're in the Middle East and if I hear from them again I'm going to have to help them get free from their keepers. I've got one who's Native Chinese and living in Singapore at the moment. He was living in Japan but he got kidnaped when his last friend died."
"Excuse me?" Gibbs demanded, staring at him. "Kidnaped? Keepers? What sort of people are these?"
"People who're taken now and then, boss." He shrugged. "It's a fact of life for some people. We all accept that it can happen, support each other, go on rescues now and then. I went on one last year to Argentina."
"Why?" Tony just stared at him. "DiNozzo. I need to have some truth here. Especially if you're prone to disappearing on rescues. Your past bosses never said anything about that when they sent over glowing recommendations."
"Well, in that case she had been taken from her family and brought down there. A few of us in law enforcement went to take her back for her son. It got solved within a few days and she decided that the new offer sucked." He shrugged and grinned. "She's perfectly fine and happy. She's living in Minnesota at the moment. Her guy's doing something with electronics."
"Why was she taken?"
"Because the guy who took her wanted her, boss. He wanted to own her and keep her. He had her draped in some really pretty emerald and diamonds and was trying to convince her to stay. She refuted his claim when we went in to get her and she came home."
"What sort of group is this?" he demanded, looking horrified.
"A group of people with some special needs and skills. Since I'm a detective, I'm part of one of the retrieval squads now and then when they need me to be. Fortunately the group's had some really caring sponsors over the years and we've got three former Special Forces guys who handle the retrieval stuff. They've hired a crew for that stuff and it's pretty rare any of us in law enforcement has to help. Unless it's in our city. Then I'd help however I could."
"What sort of group is this?" Gibbs said more firmly.
Tony looked at him then shook his head. "I can't tell you, boss. I'm sorry. It's secret. It's nothing bad," he promised at the furious look. "Like I said, we have conventions once a year to connect."
"I want to know everything about this group, DiNozzo," he said firmly.
Tony stood up and walked over there. "Boss, if I tell you it can endanger other lives," he said quietly. "I can't endanger their lives, but if it comes up I'll tell you then," he promised, looking earnest. "If I tell you now, it could endanger my own life as well."
"Are they going to kill you if you do?"
"No, but if I'm found out and noted to be here, they can come after me. If they get me, they can make me tell them about the others." He stared him down. "It's for my own safety and that of the people around me if I don't tell you. But if I don't show up one day look in my desk and find the purple address book. Call Adam," he finished with a small smile. "If not him, Xander."
"Adam's the national head of the organization. Xander's a higher ranking member and he knows where Adam is if you can't find him. Adam trained him."
"Is he on the rescue squad?"
"I have the feeling he would go if one of his friends needed him but no. He'd hire a battalion of Marines and send them after us." Gibbs burst out laughing. "I'm not kidding, Gibbs. He would. Either that or he'd go after someone with a sword. He says he likes sharp, pointy things." He went back to his desk, writing an email to Xander to let him know where he was. Then he settled in to rearrange his desk so it worked better for him.
Gibbs stared at him, looking like he wasn't sure if he was being had or not. Then he decided it was a group of nuts since they liked swords. Probably some techno geeks that got stolen for whatever they were working on. How *DiNozzo* got involved in that he wasn't sure. The kid was a movie geek, he had already figured that out about him. He wasn't a techno person.
A Year Later
Gibbs watched as Tony fidgeted, unable to concentrate. "DiNozzo," he snapped for the third time that hour.
"Sorry, boss. Headache." He got up. "I'm going to get some tylenol and a few minutes of fresh air." He headed for the break room to do that then down to the parking garage. He looked at his phone, then called an old friend. "Xander, it's Tony." He smiled at the happy response. "I can't get to the convention this year," he said quietly, glancing around. "No, I'm going insane," he admitted. "Could you?" he asked, sounding relieved. "Thank you, man. Sure, I'm in DC, still." He grinned and noticed someone coming off the stairs. "Sure, I can do that. Thank you." He hung up. "Ducky," he said, nodding at him. "What's wrong?"
"Jethro sent me to see what was wrong with you."
"I'm jumpy and edgy."
Ducky stared at him for a moment. "Anthony, this may come as a surprise to you but I have known a few other members," he said quietly. "All over the world in fact. I've run into quite a few of you during my travels." Tony relaxed at that. "What level are you and how long has it been?" he asked quietly.
"Seven and it's been about a week. This last case kept me from doing anything, even dating." He ran his hands through his hair. "I don't know what I'm doing, Ducky. The last person I had locally just moved. Dating only helps so much. So does the club in Baltimore and the spas. I don't know what I'm doing at the moment. I'm backed up."
"Is this case done with?" Tony nodded. "I'll tell Jethro you need a personal hour. Go find some stress relief, Anthony." He nodded, going to his car. Ducky considered it then went upstairs, going to find Gibbs. "Jethro." Gibbs looked at him. "Anthony needed an hour. His headache's getting worse so I sent him for a short drive for some air. Or possibly a quick nap at home. He'll be fine soon."
Gibbs stared at him. "What's going on?"
"He's got a headache."
Gibbs stood up and stared at him. "Ducky, it's not often you try to lie, especially not to me," he said plainly. "What is going on?" he asked again.
"Not here," he said, walking away. Gibbs followed and stranded them in the elevator between floors. "This isn't what I meant. Even here there are ears who should not hear this discussion."
"That's not going to cut it."
"There are things you do not know, Jethro. Many things. At this moment, Anthony will be fine. He's going to need to wear out a condition he has, that's the cause of the bounciness and the confusion. Once he does that, he'll be in better shape and then I'll help him find a way to handle it." His phone rang. "Doctor Mallard," he answered, listening. "Oh, dear. Put him on, Anthony. Yes, Officer, this is Doctor Mallard. No, he's a member of GHS. Exactly. Thank you. No, let him go for now. It's necessary. Thank you, Officer." He hung up and looked at Jethro. "He's not in trouble," he said at the cool look he was getting. "He was caught out on his drive and pulled over."
"I want the full and absolute truth, Ducky," he said coldly.
"That's fine. Then we should bring this discussion somewhere more private."
"Fine. We'll go somewhere else and talk." He restarted the elevator and headed down to his car, making sure Ducky followed by the simple method of dragging him to the car. Once he was inside and on the way out, he glanced at him. "Speak."
"I really don't know where to start," he admitted. He considered it while Jethro headed for a nearby park. "Back in the sixteen hundreds....."
"Ducky, without the story," he ordered.
"Unfortunately I can't in this case. The history is very important. I'll wait until you park. I don't wish to wreck and die today." Gibbs pulled over suddenly and turned off the engine, looking at him. "Back in the sixteen hundreds a group of people realized that they had a...unique hormone and pheromone condition," he started again. "They banded together over their shared destinies and then they found more and more among their own kind." He shifted to look at him. "They formed a group which exists to today."
"What has this got to do with DiNozzo?"
"He's a member, Jethro."
"When you were in the service perhaps you heard of them. GHS?"
Jethro blinked then shook his head. "No, I didn't. So go ahead."
"All right then. This is...fairly delicate. As I said, membership hinges on a fairly odd and what can be a severe hormone and pheromone problem."
"So you're saying this is why he dates so much?"
"Actually, it is." His phone rang then suddenly stopped. "That came up as Anthony's number." He called him back, not getting an answer. He tried it again. "Still no answer. He was downtown, by the Hyatt."
"He was picking up hookers?" Gibbs demanded.
"Jethro, this is serious," he said, staring him down. "There's every chance Anthony is being taken against his will at this moment."
"Anyone who covets a member of this group."
Gibbs flashed back to discussion he had had when Tony was about six months on the job. About kidnapings and keepers. He started the engine and headed off. "Keep going. This GHS group is what?"
"Well, technically they're concubines, Jethro."
Gibbs slammed on the brakes and stared at him. "Excuse me?"
"They're natural born concubines with hormone surges. Ones that make people want to take them. Now, we should be going to find him." Gibbs started forward again. "Thank you."
"I still want to know more."
"Some of that would have to come from Anthony. I've known a few members but I don't know everything, Jethro. Against all indications to the side."
"Fine. What's with this group?" he demanded as he turned a corner and ran a red light. Lights went on behind him and he turned on his, making the officer behind them go away. "Well?"
"Back in the sixteen hundreds a few of the favored concubines figured out what was making them favored over more worthy, more beautiful, more desirable playmates. This was the same thing that got them kidnaped from their homes."
"Tony said that he had to go on a few rescues."
Ducky laughed. "Paul, the man in charge of the rescue service, is quite the man, Jethro. You would like him. A former SEAL and still very skilled. If it turns out he's been removed from the city, I'll call him personally."
"He told me to call someone named Adam."
"That would be the current national head."
"He said that. This group... conventions?"
"Where they go to revel in their nature, let loose, talk with others in the same situation. Tony's fairly unique. At his level, most members have keepers. People who take care of them and handle the mundane things while helping them wear out their hormones. Anthony hasn't had one in a while from what he's confessed and the last person who was helping him recently had to move for work reasons."
"So, he's doing what instead?"
"It's a matter of the hormones and the pheromones backing up." His phone rang. "Anthony," he sighed, smiling. "Are you all right? No, I'm headed your way. What happened?" He looked surprised. "Well, I doubt that will make the diplomats happy but I'm sure it can be covered up. No, wait there. Jethro and I are on our way. Well, yes, I do have to bring him. He's driving, Anthony. Also, I believe it's time you told him." He rolled his eyes. "I've only had to give him..... Yes, I know that was a breach of trust but with you being taken.... Anthony," he said sharply. "It was in your best interests at that moment in time. Well, you had raised an emergency situation. You should be glad Adam and Paul aren't on their way, young man. Fine, we'll see you in a few moments. Where are you? Union Station, Jethro." He spun around and headed that way. "Is the person with you contained? That's fine. Thank you. We'll be right there. No, you shall wait for us."
"DiNozzo, you run and I'm hunting you down," Gibbs said loudly enough to be heard. "I mean it." He took the phone and hung it up. "Go on. That way I'm sure what's going on when we find him."
"Fine. Anthony is a member. He's around the middle of the pack really. It means that not many want to steal him, not like the higher ranked members. There's this poor chap named Xander...."
"He mentioned him."
"Yes, well, Xander's hormones are so strong that he has to go out with guards and even then he's still taken. I've heard he's been taken a few times with police officers with him, from his own house. He's the highest of them in decades from what I've heard around. Compared to him, Anthony only has mild problems. At the higher levels, the hormones start to back up and cloud your mind so you can't think or work. Xander has trouble concentrating enough to balance his checkbook most likely."
"Then his confusion the last few days is this stuff?"
"He hasn't been able to wear it out," Ducky agreed. "I sent him to find a willing body to do that with as a stopgap so he could come back to work for today and then head out tonight to finish wearing out the backlog."
"So, the officer who called.... He found him picking up a hooker?"
"Oh, yes, but he knew about the organization. Most metropolitan police departments have at least a notice going around. Perhaps in the Academy in some places. Anyway, most Vice departments and officers who patrol in such areas know. I would've been more surprised if he had been caught by one who didn't."
"Then why haven't I heard of this before?"
"Jethro, most concubines don't end up in the service," he noted dryly. "They do occasionally end up working in higher end houses of ill repute but they don't end up in a uniform. Now, some members of the group have taken keepers from those in the service. It gives them more protection. Poor Xander has one officer as his keeper and another officer as his protector, plus most of a department that looks out for him."
"So they're mostly gay? He said more men than women."
"A number of members are bisexual," he agreed. "I have no idea if Anthony is or not before you ask." Jethro squeezed the steering wheel. "There he is, with the officers." Jethro pulled in suddenly and got out, stomping over there. Ducky got out. "Jethro, do calm down," he ordered as he followed.
Tony watched his boss coming with ill-disguised nervousness. "Boss, not my fault. He clubbed me on the head and drug me to his car." He backed away from his boss, looking at Ducky. "I can resign today if you want me to, boss. Just don't hit me. I've still got a headache."
"Get over here," he growled. Tony backed off further. "Freeze, DiNozzo. I want to know what is going on." He finally caught him by the arm and shook him. "What is going on?"
"Agent Gibbs, he's just been kidnaped, maybe you should be a bit more gentle," an officer ordered, glaring at him. "Come here, Agent DiNozzo. Let's finish your statement?" Tony looked at his boss. "No, come here. We need this so we can arrest him."
"He's a federal agent. Either we get him or the FBI," Gibbs said, glaring back.
The officer gave him a look then laughed. "I'm sure you think so, sir, but the FBI can come talk to my boss if they want him. Now, Agent DiNozzo, let's go over this again for the statement, all right?" Tony walked over and leaned on the hood, writing it out for him. "How long were you an officer?"
"Seven years," he said, giving him a grin. "Thanks, guys."
"You're welcome, Tony," the other officer said quietly, smiling at him. "Will you be okay?"
"I'll be fine. I may be running for my life later but I'll be fine." He smiled and went back to writing it out, handing it over once he had signed it. That got a nod and the officer read it over and signed it as well, handing him a copy. "I hope they don't do more than send him home. I know I was a bit out of control and all that."
"Even if you were, he had no right to take you, Tony," the second officer said. "Would you like driven back to your car?"
"No. I think Gibbs is going to start screaming soon. Have a better day, guys." They nodded and took their suspect back to their office to charge him. Tony turned to look at Gibbs, seeing Ducky's fond look. "I tried."
"You did. Who was he?" Ducky asked, coming over to check his head for him. "Well, there's a small knot but nothing unusual for some of your head traumas." He smiled at him. "Which country?"
"Qatar." He moved closer to Ducky. "Should I go home?"
"I fear if you did Jethro would only follow you, Anthony. I gave him some history on the organization. Plus praised your ability to still work."
Tony shrugged. "I've gotta pay the bills somehow. I'm not like the guys who've gotten reparation."
"Reparation?" Gibbs demanded. This was going to drive him insane. It truly was.
"For being stolen, boss," he said, looking totally serious. "Some of us are sent back with it if we're saved. Some of us come home in the stuff we were rescued in, which a lot of time seems to be jewelry. I haven't had many of those so I'm not like Xander. Xander has millions of dollars of jewelry sent to him yearly or given by those who stole him."
"They...give you things?" he said dryly.
"No, mostly the people who bring us back take the things with us. Or if we get free we walk out with it. I've done that once. Including with the guy's wallet."
"You stole from him?" he demanded.
"No, he stole me, I took his unlimited card to get my ass home," he said firmly, glaring at him. "How did you expect me to get back to Philly from Singapore?"
Gibbs walked away, going back to his car. "I'm going to your place. You'll be there within an hour, DiNozzo. Then we're going to have this talk in private."
"Yeah. Uh-huh," he agreed, waving. He looked at Ducky, then around.
"You can't run. He'll have you caught at the airport."
"I can leave before he realizes it."
"He's already called, Anthony," he said patiently. "Come on, let's go. I'll help you explain it."
"No thanks." He walked off, going in the other direction, into the train station.
Ducky gave him ten minutes then called Jethro. "Jethro, I might be a bit late." He smirked. "I thought you might have. No, he just walked off. I'm sure he's fine. We'll be there soon." He hung up and headed to find a cab and go to Tony's apartment. Gibbs would have him drug back there soon.
Gibbs opened the door, taking Tony from the officer. "What took you so long?"
"I had to take him back from the person who had him, Special Agent Gibbs. Is he a suspect or a witness?"
"Neither, he's on my team."
"Who had him this time?" Ducky asked, bringing Tony a drink. "I think we can do without the handcuffs," he said firmly. The officer uncuffed him. "Who had him?"
"I don't know, sir. He doesn't speak enough English to understand the question 'what's your name'. We're waiting on an interpreter. Since we know he's a member of GHS, we know why he was taken. My supe filled me in." Tony grimaced at that. "I'd go shower, sir, and let them look at that spot on your shoulder in case whatever he gave you is harmful."
"It's an endorphin enhancing drug," Tony told him. "He knew a lot about us." That got a nod. "Thank you for helping me, Officer. As far as I know I'm the only one in town."
"That's fine, sir. My supe used to work in Dallas. He's had to help a few of you in the past. If you need us, don't hesitate to call." He walked off after nodding politely at Gibbs.
Gibbs closed the door. "You were drugged?"
"An endorphin enhancing compound. Nothing that'll get me popped if you test me for work." He headed for the kitchen, finding a bottle of water to gulp. When he was done with that one he got another one and a bowl of leftovers, sitting down to eat. "Sorry, missed lunch," he excused himself. He ate another bite, wincing when Gibbs slapped him. "It's not my fault, I was born this way," he said hotly. "I'm sorry you don't like it. I'll have my letter on your desk first thing in the morning so I can clean it out before anyone else gets in there. Anything else?"
"You're not leaving," Ducky said firmly. "There's no telling what might happen, Anthony."
"Xander said he'd come up for a few days," he defended. "He'd let me have his spare room and Miami's really used to us. They protect him wonderfully and I've heard there's some of us in the department down there. Maybe I can find a new keeper." He ate another bite and heard the growl, looking at his boss. "What?"
"Don't pull attitude with me, DiNozzo."
"Oh, whine!" he shouted, getting up. "I was *born* this way, Gibbs. I've always been this way. Before I had a better way of wearing it out. Now I don't. So I got backed up and I went to handle it. Unfortunately they found me first." He took his food into the bathroom, going to run himself a bath. He'd finish it in there. Gibbs walked in and took the bowl, putting it on the sink. Then he stared at him. "What?" he asked tiredly.
"How is this affecting your work?"
"I've had a lot of headaches, some mild confusion. If I'm in danger it gets pushed back to the background unless I'm seriously backed up and radiating enough that I'm drawing dogs and random people. I'm only halfway there at the moment. I can guarantee you it's not going to keep going tonight. I'm going to a whorehouse and I'll feel better."
"That's against the law."
"Sometimes it's necessary. Unless you know someone who wants to have a lot of sex with me, boss?" Gibbs backed off at that. "That's the only thing that's going to wear it out of my system. A lot of sex. The last time I got this bad I nearly gave the person I was with a heart attack. It was not a fun night in the ER." He checked the water temperature and added some oil to it. Then he pulled off his shirt. "I'm going to bathe before I go out tonight."
"No, you'll talk to me," he ordered, turning off the water. He turned Tony around, looking at his back. "Did he stab you with it?"
"Snuck up behind me and stabbed me. I was waiting at the train station when he got me." He turned back on the water and looked at him again. "It'll need to cool down some anyway. For right now, I can't handle someone screaming at me. I need to relieve some of what he did to me so I'm calm again. Otherwise you'll be driving *me* to the ER." He looked at him. "Can we agree to that, boss? Leave me alone for an hour?"
"You'll run again."
"Boss, right now I'm not good enough to figure out how to drive." Gibbs stepped back. He stood up. "We're run over by our hormones and pheromones, boss. Giving me something to hype my endorphins makes it feel like I'm drugged. My head is swimming and there's only one way to get rid of it. Since I doubt you want to watch me bring myself off a few times in the next hour, can you please leave?"
"Turn off the water," he ordered quietly. Tony looked and turned off the water, taking off his belt. "We'll be in the living room and then we'll speak."
"That's fine. If a guy with really long hair shows up, send him back here. That's Xander and he's a friend. He's a level ten. He lives like this every day of his life." Gibbs snorted but left him alone. Tony climbed into the tub, sinking into the oily heat. The scent surrounded him, making him realize at the most fundamental levels that he was home. This was mixed specially for him by someone and it always made him feel like he was at home. He let the haze in his mind take him, letting it dictate what he could do to relieve this problem he had.
Out in the living room, Gibbs and Ducky ignored any and all moans, and even the yelp he let out once. "How normal is this?"
"I would gather that would depend on what level you are," Ducky said patiently. "The higher level, the worse your condition, and then the more chance you have of being taken."
Gibbs just nodded at that. "So, how do the other guys fix this?"
"Keepers are lovers who end up being creative and strong enough to handle the mundane things that get away from them, Jethro. I dare say even just a constant lover or two would help the boy. That combined with his spa time and other things would help."
"Spa time?" he asked. "They do things like that at spas?" No wonder Kate and Abby went once a month!
"Jethro, they're all hedonists," he said plainly, giving him a look. "You should meet some of the higher members, it would prove most enlightening."
"I'd say there's some complaining about their keepers, about who stole them, things of that nature. Some shopping trips if it's safe. I've heard they have a room dedicated just to cuddling. I'm assuming it's very comforting to them."
"It is about all the pleasures," he said patiently. He looked at him, then got up. "Anthony, we'll be back in a few hours. When you're done, go directly to bed. We'll let ourselves back in." He got an assenting noise so he walked back out and drug Jethro with him. "Head for Baltimore, Jethro. There's someone you should meet and I know she'll still be up when we get there."
He shrugged and got into the car, driving them wherever Ducky said so he had some *clue* what was going on. He was still stuck at 'concubine' and 'sex'. Though he did understand the nature of the club they ended up at. He had played at being a dom now and then. Ducky walked up to the bouncer and whispered, getting a nod and him calling someone. They were shown to a small room. Jethro looked up to find a woman staring at him. "Hi."
"Hello." She walked in and looked at Ducky. "The reason you breached the silence?"
"Anthony had an unfortunate outing at work today and nearly got stolen twice. This is his supervisor, Jethro."
"I've heard him speak about you, Gibbs." She shook his hand, then casually sat across from them. "You know the usual ways someplace like this would exist."
"I do. What little I saw of the main room was a lot like places I've visited in the past."
"Hmm, but that's not all there is. GHS members will *never* go to a dom." Gibbs looked stunned. "We won't. Even those that need an absolute release won't. I've learned how to manipulate their needs for pleasure to the same ends, but it's not quite the same."
"Yes, well, I've been floundering during my explanation," Ducky offered. "He needs someone who can give him the truth about the society and young Anthony. He's worried about work things."
"As he should be. Boys as high up as Tony is...."
"Okay, start there. I got lost earlier when Ducky said concubines."
"Ah." She nodded, leaning forward. "The society of GHS, or Greedy, Hedonistic Sluts, is an odd one. We are the sort to revel in our natures. We have no choice in the matter. If we don't, we get overloaded, we get stolen, and then you boys are usually castrated once you've 'married' whoever took you." Gibbs shuddered at that. "That way you won't feel the need to cheat and you're in use solely for your new guardian. In the normal relationships within the society, we're mostly like everyone else. We have boyfriends or girlfriends. Some of the members are bi, some aren't. Some are male and some are female. We have those who are members and those who are keepers or protectors."
"Protectors are like bodyguards?" he guessed. This part he could understand. This was like the dom/sub relationships he had seen in the past.
She nodded. "Usually for the higher ones. To put it simply, my lover, who is female," she offered with a smile, "is a level five. That means her hormones don't have to rule her life as long as she's careful, takes precautions, and wears them out somehow. Now, that can be smaller releases via pleasures like the spa and a massage. Or it could mean larger releases like sexual releases. She's not prone to backlogging as we call it, which would be when the full release isn't accomplished and you start to store them, but some level fives can now and then. Backlogging is dangerous because that's when you get stolen. Unless someone knows who and what you are. That's why one member will never give another one away. It's a security risk."
"Anthony told him to call Adam or Xander if something happened to him," Ducky offered mildly.
"Poor man," she sighed, shaking her head. "Xander is a level ten, Gibbs. Most level tens require at least four lovers daily, sometimes multiple times a day, to get back to the level of functioning. Xander's making due with two but he'll never work again. He's comfortably set thanks to reparations and some odd job choices, plus those who actively court him."
"Four?" he demanded. "How?"
She stared at him. "The simple answer is that we rate ourselves on a scale of one to ten. My lover is a five, as I've said."
"Tony is?" She stared at him. "I need to know in case something happens at work."
She stared at him. "He's a level seven. Which means if they do work they only work from home," she said quietly. "Were he a bit worse off, he might need two lovers to wear him out. Level six is usually where most of us quit working. Level sixes can work with the right wearing out. Level sevens can as well, as long as they're wearing it out more consistently."
"You've seen his bounciness?" Ducky asked. "That's an indication that it needs worn out better," he offered. "The boy could use a good keeper."
"Tony could use a good keeper, or two. He's got an incredible focus. My lover and I have played with him now and then to help him. I've had to help him when he's had surges in the past. Those usually come from emotional moments. In some cases from using them to defend yourself. Boys like Xander can think themselves hard and consciously broadcast it at their attackers, dragging them to their knees panting." Gibbs blinked at that. "Boys of Tony's level can't usually but it's been known to happen."
"So.... This is all biochemical?"
"It is. It's all about the hormones, pheromones, and pleasures in life, Gibbs." She smiled. "Tony's very unique. There's only a handful of level sevens that work at all. He's one of four that doesn't work from home and he's one of only eight that work in law enforcement in the society on the GHS side. There's only three level fives or above who work in law enforcement. One's a detective. You have Tony. Then there's a level six who's a crime scene person."
Gibbs considered this. "So working for me is detrimental to him?"
"No. Being without a constant lover is detrimental to him," she said firmly. "Working is making him happy most of the time. The last time I saw him he was babbling about you. Though, the conventions are necessary for someone like him. Even with a boyfriend or girlfriend I doubt he'd ever fully wear it out. The conventions let us let go fully. One of us always calls to another. That's how we find each other. That and references from people who know. Past keepers that got broken up with and the like. Tony, if I remember right, was found in college. He was tested, he met requirements, his blood tests all come out excellently every year."
"No one with any incurable STD is ever allowed at any convention. They have their own," she offered. "They're not allowed at the main convention. There's too much chance of being caught up in the moment and passing it on. A few years back Xander, sweet, adorable, lustful boy Xander, came back from somewhere with a new set of self-defense and dance lessons. He gave a short demonstration and it caused an orgy within a few minutes." Gibbs gaped. "It was the record for the first one in four years and for the shortest time into the convention ever. It was during the greeting ceremony. About thirty minutes into it." He shuddered. "We all had tremendous fun," she assured him with a smile. "But that is why the STD tests are given."
"I guess it's necessary." He considered it. "How is Tony able to work?"
"I have no idea," she admitted with a fond smile. "You'd have to ask him."
"I'd assume it was with all that dating," Ducky offered, waving a hand around. "A level seven should be able to go two days without, correct?"
"Two days is probably the advisable maximum. I do know Tony's not wearing it out fully. He's making due and wearing it out as much as he can. I also know he's had a few women who've walked home sore the next day."
"Do we think he's charging?" Gibbs asked.
"No." He relaxed at that. "I think if you don't get him fully worn out, he's going to end up stolen for good."
"He defeated two today. One young man from the diplomatic corps of Qatar and one Asian gentleman," Ducky told her.
"I've heard there's a few in Qatar who're looking for one of us to own. To them, we're pets," she told Gibbs. "To our keepers, we're their extra cuddly lovers."
He just nodded at that. "Could DiNozzo wear this out daily?"
"With at least one very good and creative lover? Yes. His spa time would take care of any minor releases. Stress can keep it down in a limited way. Ducky, I know the society is looking for another research chemist. Would you know anyone?"
"One or two. Shall I bend their ears?"
"Please. Xander's hormones spike horribly now and then. There was talk that someone around him was making them spike. The poor boy's got a normal keeper and a level six boyfriend. He's still not wearing it out and it's getting tiresome, his words, to keep fighting off attempts." Gibbs looked unamused at that. "Xander's a unique situation, Gibbs. Most level tens aren't as strong as him. The other level tens have a house with a staff. They have bodyguards. They have at least two lovers and two more around them who sub in, plus some of the bodyguards now and then when it gets too bad I'm assuming. The poor boy isn't getting what he needs and he's still surging, plus he's worn out people in the past. He's one who was working in a brothel when they found him. Apparently he was roadtripping to find himself and accepted a limited term contract and they realized what he was so they got the national head in to train him. He's a sweet and charming young man. Until you try to hurt one of his friends."
"Yes, Anthony's said that he likes swords," Ducky said with a small smile.
"The dances come with sword moves and it does lead back to self-defense," she admitted. "My lover has a copy of the tapes from Tony and he worked with her on a few of them. They're quite stunning, keep you flexible and strong, but the last time she did them she surged and we nearly got taken from the bedroom by some local gentlemen who wanted her." She leaned back again, getting comfortable. "For right now, the best advice I could give you would be to help Tony find a long term lover. A keeper. Someone who would take care of him and any mundane matters that he'd have to deal with. It would be safer for him. I will caution you, doms and us do not get along very well. GHS members don't bend as submissives, we break. What makes us GHS, that little hormonal switch, means we'll never be a submissive," she said, staring at Gibbs. "Now, one who's learned the ways of doing it with pleasure instead of pain, that has happened." Gibbs groaned at that. "At the moment, Tony needs someone to take care of him. A caring and gentle lover who'll watch his bank accounts for him. We're all prone to losing track of it."
"His father rather cured him of having that need," Ducky said bitterly.
"I heard. He could sue."
"He could," he agreed, looking at Jethro. "That's a later discussion between Anthony and his keeper however."
"Define break," Gibbs requested.
"When one lives and longs for pleasure, pain is even more intolerable to their bodies," she said simply. He sighed at that. "No, not you, Jethro. Not unless you took up my side and even then I doubt you could handle it night and day. He's said a great deal about your focus on your work and your boat," she said more gently. "This would be like a very demanding marriage. As I said, most boys of Tony's level do not work."
"I understand. So for right now we need to find him someone to wear it out with?" She nodded. "Do we know of any decent call-in services?"
"He does. He's had to use them before. I do believe he was worried you'd be disappointed and make an ultimatum."
"Oh, I am. He's going to take care of this or he's going to be fired. I can't have an agent who's distracted that way. It could lead to his or someone else's death in the field."
"The injuries he's had and the times he's been taken on the job had nothing to do with this," Ducky said firmly. "Up until a few months ago he had it under better control, Jethro. Then the last person in DC left. He's the only one in the city that he knows of."
"Baltimore's too far away for casual travel," she added. "While he was here he had others who supported him better. Plus the right to come here if he was surging or couldn't find them to help him."
Gibbs sighed at that. "Okay. So right now I need to find someone for him to screw, right?"
"You might ask Tony if that's what's needed," she said dryly. "Now and then members find more release if they're the ones taking it. It lets them release more fully and just experience it instead of doing all the work. That's why Tony was carrying a small backlog before. He was doing all the work."
Damn it. Not what he wanted to hear either. It was not giving him thoughts he wanted to have at the moment. "Ducky, do you know anyone?"
"I'd suggest we let Anthony call someone in," he said, giving him a look. "He's dealt with this for years and he's trained himself in how to handle this. I do know he's talked with Xander in the past. He likes the young man. He's twenty-one I believe?" he asked her. She nodded. "Yes, twenty-one and has a long time of dealing with this for the rest of his life."
"Part of the training is realizing how we're surging or backlogging, what methods are best for us to deal with this, and the various ways it can come out to screw up our lives and be taken," she assured Gibbs. She stood up. "It may be that Tony may need to take a few days off to get back to normal. Tony's not one they often come after. Usually, like any predator, they'd go for weaker seeming prey. Since Tony's one of the society's protectors he's not often like thought of like that."
"He was surging. He had all the classic confusion, bounciness, headaches, all those signs," Ducky agreed. "I sent him to find some relief and he got taken during it."
"Pity." She sighed and shook her head. "Should he not be able to cure it tonight, bring him here tomorrow, Ducky. We'll make sure he's fully worn it out so he can go back to work." She looked at Gibbs. "Conventions are *necessary* for him. That's how we connect, talk about the problems, hear new scientific findings from our research panel, things of that nature, plus we get to have fun."
"If I can let him go I will," Gibbs said seriously.
"Thank you. For tonight, let him let it out. If he can't, bring him to me." She nodded and walked out, leaving the door open.
Gibbs looked at Ducky. "Since college?" He nodded. "All those days he couldn't concentrate?"
"He'd go do something to wear it out and bring himself back into focus."
Gibbs shook his head. "He manages to focus through it."
"They can suppress it for a short time due to stress. Otherwise they'd never be able to take themselves back if rescue wasn't an available option. Shall we?" Gibbs followed him out to the car, not minding in the least when Ducky took the keys. He had to think now.
Tony woke up from his bathtub nap to someone knocking on the door. "What?" he called, sounding hoarse.
"It's me," his neighbor Steve called. "And someone else."
Tony got out and wrapped a towel around his hips, going to look out there. "Was I too loud again?" he asked hesitantly. Steve nodded. "I'm sorry."
"Apparently it was good. You being a screamer was fine. You know this guy?" he asked, nodding at the brunette beside him.
"Kinda. Hi, Xander."
"Tony. You poor thing," he cooed, walking in and hugging him. "Let me help you. Them stealing you is not nice. Thank you for verifying me, officer."
"You're welcome, sir." He smiled and Tony grinned before closing the door. He walked off shaking his head. He had no idea what was wrong with his buddy Tony but he'd be finding out later. Especially so he could pick on him about knowing a guy like that. For some reason he decided to call his boss. "Hey, Boss, it's Steve. No, just ran into an odd guy so I thought I'd put him on the watch list. Well, he's about twenty, he's got waist-length hair, and he said his name was Xander Harris?" He paused. "Excuse me?" He listened to the longer explanation. "Then how does he know my neighbor Tony?" He slapped himself on the head. "That explains a lot," he sighed. "Sure, boss. No, he's with Tony. Tony's been loud all night so I'm sure they're comparing or something." He smiled at the new noise. "No, I don't think he'll be taken again any time soon. Thanks, boss." He hung up and went to take two aspirin for his headache. Because if Tony had gotten loud, this guy was louder. He heard Gibbs' car pull back in and went to stop him, shaking his head. "He's got a friend in."
"Which friend?" Ducky asked, smiling at him. "Has he been annoying you, Steve?"
"Me and the wife both but it inspired her. Some nice guy named Xander?" Gibbs just nodded at that. "So you know?"
"Now," he admitted. Even he heard the scream of pleasure and winced. "Was that DiNozzo?"
Ducky shook his head. "No, that was Xander. Well, we shan't have to worry about him wearing it out this week," he said joyfully. "Though we should call Monica and warn her he's here. Just in case someone tries to take him again." Gibbs stared at him. "Jethro, young men like Xander are never worn out." A cruiser pulled in and parked, looking at them.
"Hey, Bobby," Steve called. "My neighbor's having noisy sex."
"Yes, it's rather necessary though. He nearly got taken hostage twice today," Ducky offered.
"Twice? The boss only said he was taken once!"
"I'm not sure who solved the second one."
"Oh, the FBI agent tailing him did," Bobby said as he came over. He heard another yell of pleasure and sighed. "We should give him a warning."
Gibbs called Tony's cell, getting a panting young man gulping air to try to sound normal. "We can hear you from outside. Use a gag, DiNozzo." He hung up and looked at him, weathering the laughs. "It'll be solved within minutes." Xander strolled out and leaned on the railing. "You would be?"
"Leroy Jethro Gibbs, this is one Alexander Harris. Mr. Harris, thank you for coming to help Tony."
"Sorry he's so loud," he offered with a grin, smiling at Steve. "He's napping. I knocked him out just now."
Ducky walked over. "You should be careful of him, Xander. He's a bit fragile since he had the plague a few months back."
"We heard. Greg got hellishly pissed at that." He shrugged. "That's probably why he was so backed up. The convention's in Miami this year so I'm bringing him with me.... You're which one?"
"Oh, sorry, I'm Ducky."
"Ah." He beamed and waved. "He's spoken of you guys often." He looked at Gibbs. "You do realize why you cannot tell anyone else what you now know?"
"I do. How often does this happen?"
"That depends, how often does he not have sex?"
"Point." He nodded. "We'll be back for breakfast, Mr. Harris. Have my agent up and ready. We'll talk about the convention then."
"Agreed, but I can easily kidnap him as others have tried. I'm very good at getting myself out of things." He headed back inside, his hair swinging behind him.
Steve shook his head. "Tony's going to be very spoiled for a while," he told Gibbs, who snorted. "I know that look. My wife gets it whenever I'm sick. That one likes to spoil." He saw a car pull up and someone get out, a spiky blond guy wearing jeans and a heavy metal t-shirt. "You are?"
"Greg. Xander and Tony?" Steve led him up there and Xander let him in. "Ahhh, there's my trouble buddy," he said as the door closed.
"Yes, someone's going to be spoiled horribly," Steve said as he went back to his place. His wife gave him a look. "Tony's got two friends in."
"I can hear that. Why?"
He sat down to talk to her about being GHS and what he had been told in the academy.
Gibbs and Ducky shared a look then they headed off, him dropping Ducky at home before going home to work on his boat and think. Because he definitely needed to think.
Jethro walked into Tony's place the next morning, looking him over. "You look tired."
"I could use a nap but Xander's making a fantastic breakfast. Want some?"
"That too. I got warned you'd be over for breakfast." He led the way back into the kitchen and the small table. "Greg, Xander, this is my boss, Gibbs. Boss, this is Greg Sanders, a former CSI out of Las Vegas who's been doing some minor temping in Miami and some of the society's research work. The other is Xander Harris, a native of Miami." Gibbs nodded at that and Greg handed over the coffeepot, earning a smirk. "Thanks, Greg."
"You said he lived on the stuff." He got comfortable again and pulled Tony down next to him. "You can nap in a while. For now, we need to make sure whatever the asshole gave you is out of your system."
"It is," Xander assured him. "I made very good sure of that before I let him nap last night." He grinned at Greg. "Just like I do you, dear." He blew a kiss and Greg smirked back. "Don't I?"
"You do. The same as you wore Ryan out last night before you flew down."
"Um, guys, Gibbs doesn't need those sort of details. He's straight," Tony said. "Sorry, boss. Greg's been Xander's for over a year now."
"That's fine. I don't discriminate based on where you put your dick, DiNozzo." Tony relaxed at that. "As long as you're not charging."
Tony laughed and nibbled on a piece of egg custard. "Boss, if I did, I wouldn't be working for you. I could live in a much better building than this one."
"Good to know," he said sarcastically but he was smirking.
"During my six week stint to find myself I had a number of people who paid over a hundred grand for an hour, Gibbs," Xander said seriously. "Plus tips." Gibbs nearly dropped his coffee at that. "Members of the society don't become five buck blows on some street corner, even the few who end up drug addicts."
"Thankfully we got the last one straightened out," Greg reminded him. "How is Tumie?"
"Better. He was missing what had been his before. When you go from being thought of as a demigod to being a semi-normal guy it's a jarring change. Fortunately his keeper was watching out for him." He gave Gibbs and Greg plates then dished up his own and sat down. "There." He smiled at Tony. "It's got eggs, cheese, and sausage in there. Eat."
"Yes, dear." He dug in. "So, boss? Should I print out the letter of resignation I wrote earlier?"
"Not yet. First I want to work on you getting control."
Tony nodded. "I'd like that. A lot most of the time." Greg nodded. "It's a lot easier to focus when you're not in a hormone haze or being taken for that reason instead of due to cases."
"Could this be why you're taken and injured so often?"
"No," Greg told him. "There's CSI more prone to those problems than Tony. They're perfectly normal so it doesn't really correlate back to his hormone levels. That's more they see him as a threat or as a toy to get attention. His hormones make people want to keep, protect, spoil, and have sex with him. Not shoot him or stop him from working." Gibbs relaxed at that and Greg smiled. "It's a curse of being effective. Horatio down in Miami has the same problem. His lover hates that he walks into hostage situations, drives through bomb scenes to rescue people, and all sorts of other dangerous things."
"I told him if he didn't quit I was spanking," Xander reminded him.
"You did and the look on his face is still in a picture in Eric's locker," he said with a smirk for him. "His boy might not like that but it's definitely stopped it recently."
"It's the anniversary of his family going back to Brazil this week," he said quietly.
Tony took his hand to hold. "We'll go be there for him, Xander. You know that," Tony promised. "Boss, convention is this weekend."
"I heard. I did some searching earlier. You are going?"
"Of course I'm going. If you tried to stop me you'd find my resignation on your desk," Tony assured him. That got a small smirk and a nod. "Sorry, boss, but this is too important to me. Especially now."
"I can see why. You're back to the agent I had that first year, DiNozzo."
"Boss, you've heard me having sex, you can use my first name in my house," he said firmly.
"Sorry, Tony." He stared him down. "If you want to continue on the team, I'm going to insist that you find a way to wear these out more often. I will not allow you into the field if you're a danger to yourself or others. You being distracted is a danger."
"Understood. I've been okay but since I was sick I haven't had the time or the energy, boss. It's been one case after another. I've barely been keeping a lid on it."
"With the hours we work," Gibbs started.
"Boss, even then I could take a lunch and go find someone to screw. I have in the past," Tony noted dryly. "Even during cases as long as we get a lunch break I've run out for sex or massages in the past. It's not often it happens, it's just been recently."
"There are some drugs that can make you surge," Greg reminded him. "Speed had that one painkiller that raised him three levels for a month. He only took it for a week."
"His boy was very tired," Xander agreed dryly. Greg nodded at that. Tony just rolled his eyes. "He was. Did you get any painkillers? Anything you hadn't taken before?"
"There was a painkiller given during the IV portion of your stay, DiNozzo. You were in too much pain from coughing. They were hoping to ease the agony so you wouldn't die in pain." Gibbs put down his fork and leaned on the table. "We can check that for you."
"If I can get his medical records I can figure that out," Greg promised. "I've updated the herbal list of things he should never take."
"They have one?" Greg handed over a copy from his pocket. "This is...."
"Fairly extensive," Xander agreed. "And really easy to screw up too. Trust me, did that and nearly died." Greg looked at him. "That herbalist that got a year for malicious wounding charges? He gave them to me after telling me they'd make me feel better. They did so I gave them to Don and Horatio too." Greg moaned. "I ended up so lethargic I didn't really eat for a few weeks. Lost twenty pounds." Tony stroked his hand, earning a smile back. "It's all right. I didn't know at the time."
"I used a minor dosage once to keep me from surging during an assignment where I absolutely knew I couldn't get these things worn out," Tony offered. "There's ways of doing it."
"Yes, but he can go to Speed for that," Greg assured him. "He's not allowed to do it on his own. I was told that."
"Sure," Tony agreed, looking at his boss. "It's like an allergy. It starts by weeding out any backlog but it blinds you to however you monitor your output so you don't realize you're surging. But after a few doses it can make you lethargic and slower."
"So you've taken a small dose to wear it out for a few days?" Gibbs asked.
Tony nodded. "During a few undercover assignments. I knew I wasn't going to be able to have sex during them."
"Then that's one thing to consider."
"Even if he should need to use it like that, it's going to start hurting him if it's more than once every few months," Greg offered. Gibbs looked at him. "I'm on the research panel, Gibbs. This is my area of study." Gibbs nodded once at that and sipped his coffee. "Eat before Xander pouts. Thankfully he didn't bring any of the ferrets."
Gibbs dug back in, eating the decent food. "You did good, kid."
"Thank you. I usually have to cook for picky cops and Greg." He grinned at Tony. "Now, today, we're going to get you a full treatment at the spa. It'll help ease it so you don't feel like you're surging to fill in the gaps I released for you." Tony nodded at that, licking his fork. "Then we'll pack and head to the convention."
"If you need to head back, I can watch over him," Gibbs assured him. "We need to talk about work things anyway."
Xander looked at him. "Did you ever hear of a town called Sunnydale?" He stiffened and hissed, then nodded. "I grew up there. I helped Buffy for a number of years. I'm also one of the better trained at self defense matters. Even if Tony is the society's main tutor on that issue."
"Someone's got to," Tony agreed. "It's a small way for me to make sure the others know how to protect themselves."
Greg nodded. "He taught me self defense and the boys around Xander have helped me finish learning. He's a good teacher, Gibbs."
"That's fine." He looked at Greg. "Are you a member or one of the other side?"
"No, I'm a level four."
"Then why aren't you working?"
"I am, I'm a research chemist at the moment."
"I was told you used to be a CSI."
"I was. My department decided to rag on me and my boss decided I was a subject of study. So I left."
"Oh. Didn't mean to get that nosy."
"It's not your fault. You need to make sure your guy can handle a field situation. The best advice I can give you is to look at how he was doing until he got sick. Also, we need to do the finger prick test, Tony, see if you are surging. Even I can feel you. After a night of Xander-lovin', you shouldn't be able to get it up. Much less broadcast." Tony gave him a scared look, glancing at Gibbs. "It'll be fine."
"Gibbs, are you having any sudden thoughts of 'mine'ness about Tony?" Xander asked. He shrugged. "All right. If I were to take Tony right now and head home to Miami...."
"I'd kill you and take him back," he assured him. Then he frowned, glaring at them. "How are you doing that?"
"That is a surge," Xander said. "It's that problem that makes people want to take him and keep him. Let's do the test so I can wear him out," he ordered. Greg went to get the test kit and Xander got Gibbs some ice water. "Here. It'll be lowered in a few minutes. I need to know how far down I'm taking him." Greg pricked Tony's finger and got to work on the test kit, adding a few chemicals from dropper bottles into the field kit sized test tube. It came back with a color reading and Greg read it but Xander already knew what it said. "He's at nine?" Greg nodded. "Get his records and find out what made him surge. Come on, Tony. I'll let you eat more later." He took Tony back into the bedroom and had his wicked way with him, making him grunt, thrust, beg, and finally wail when he couldn't get it up anymore but he was still lost in the haze. Xander kept going until Tony passed out, then he curled up around him, stroking his stomach gently. Greg came in to open more windows then left with Gibbs to get those records.
Gibbs and Greg walked back into the apartment, Gibbs frowning at the lack of noise. He held a hand up and pulled his gun, but so did Greg. He gave him a look and got a shrug, then they headed back to the bedroom. Xander was tied down and gagged. He was also asleep. Greg got him undone while Gibbs checked the rest of the apartment. "Xander?" Greg called.
"Greggy?" he said sleepily.
"Who took DiNozzo?" Gibbs said slowly and clearly.
"Not Qatar but east of there, but this side of India," he moaned, sitting up with Greg's help.
"Why didn't he take you?" Greg asked. "Usually everyone wants you."
Xander gave him a bleary look. "He said I'm too high maintenance. He was in the database. Said a level seven was perfect for his son's needs."
"On it," Greg promised, pulling out his cellphone. "Adam, Greg. Not now, tell Ray to quit babbling happily too. Tony DiNozzo got stolen. Xander said the guy said he was too high maintenance but that a level seven would be perfect for his son. Xander, how did you know he was east of the middle east but not to India?" Xander gave him another look. "Xander." He nodded at Gibbs. "Yay."
"He's the guy who was following Don. Eric said so."
"He said Eric saw him, he was following Don," Greg said. "Now. DC. Thanks." He hung up and noticed Gibbs was walking off barking orders into his cellphone about sealing the airports. "Private planes," Greg called. "He's not going to fly him commercial unless he's pulling the old 'dead body' routine." He checked Xander over, looking into his eyes. "I need to have your blood analyzed, Xander. You're not emoting at all." Xander nodded, flopping backwards. "Good boy. You stay there. Let me get a syringe from the car." He went down to get the kit from the car that Adam had shown him how to use, coming back with some female following him. "Gibbs, she has a badge like yours."
"That's Kate, she's on the team. Tony's been taken hostage by someone who wants to keep him."
Greg stared her down. "That's a need-to-know medical condition, ma'am. Let's just say that he'll be keeping him instead of killing him." She nodded at that and went to work finding him. He drew blood from Xander, making him hiss. "I know I'm not as smooth as Alexx or as Adam, but sorry. Has to be done." He withdrew the needle and put the bandage on, sliding the needle into his portable sharp's case and handing Gibbs the blood. "If he's using what he used on Tony he's got to be more groggy. Xander's an incredibly fast healer. Most drugs last maybe a tenth of the time of what they do on regular people." That got a nod and he made Kate go send it in to be run. He looked over Xander, finding him back out again. He pulled out his scene kit and got to work, finding a few fingerprints and one very telling thing. "Gibbs, the rope on Xander's right wrist is wet, like he tied it with his teeth," he offered. He bagged that and handed it over with the fingerprints. Then he moved onto the regular places. He knew Tony's usual outfits for the conventions and stuff was missing. He checked the rest of the apartment then came back. "He has blue linen pants. Medium blue. Have we seen them?"
"Not since he spilled blood on them," Gibbs offered. "You were a CSI?"
"I was a level one CSI when I quit. I temp in Miami now and then. I'm waiting for a decent lab spot to open and I'm being picky since Xander needs me," he agreed absently. He found another fingerprint and lifted it, then handed it over. "Here. It looks like he may have packed a small bit of clothes for him or made him get dressed. One of the two. Xander?" Xander hummed. "Did he have to dress Tony?"
"I put Tony in his lounging jammies again. The ones with the sheep and clouds," he said tiredly.
"Can't we get him woken up?"
"I'm waiting to see how long it takes," Greg offered. "He's pretty reliable on the one-to-ten ratio of how drugs react." That got a nod and Gibbs drove back to the office while Greg handled Xander for now. "Someone's healing needs to kick in, Xander." Xander glared at him but he still looked drugged. "It's fine. I'm here. Relax and go if you have to." Xander shook his head but he passed back out again. "Wonderful. The more you have to heal the faster that tumor comes back," he muttered.
Gibbs walked into Abby's lab. "Here, a CSI gathered this for you."
"What is it?"
"Fingerprints and a very wet rope that the kid didn't chew on."
"Okay. What kid?"
"Don't ask questions," he ordered. "Just find him. He has DiNozzo."
"Sure, boss. Is it case related?" she asked as she moved to run the first fingerprint through the system.
"No. It's related to how he was born."
"So, like a zodiac killer sort?"
"No," he said patiently. "Ask Ducky. Let me know as soon as you have something." The computer beeped. "A match?"
"Yuppers. One fingerprint match to a Visa. A student visa." He came over to look at it. "Hmm. Kahzistan. Not much trouble from that region." She finished pulling it up. "Let's see. He's into oil. Why would he be at Tony's place."
"Run the others, see if they match," he ordered, heading off. He went back upstairs, finding Kate pacing and talking to someone. "Anything?"
"The two main airports haven't reported anything."
"Look at flights heading to the Middle East or just east of it. Abby said one fingerprint came from a student visa coming from Kahzistan."
"Sure." She came off hold. "Look at Middle Eastern.... Yeah, there." She wrote down the number. "You let it leave?" She sighed. "Where is it refueling?" She nodded and made notes on that. "How many others?" She made two more notes. "Thank you." She hung up and presented the list. "There's three flights within the last hour. Two took off within two minutes of the alert being ordered. One's unlikely since it's across the city from Tony's place. Anything?"
"Abby's running it. The blond guy was a CSI who was helping Tony and the other guy with something."
"It's a long and complicated story," he admitted, looking over as McGee ran in. "Late."
"Sorry, boss, I was in Anacostia," he panted, putting down his bag. "What's happened?"
"Someone took Tony," Kate told him. "I'm hearing things about a mysterious CSI and another guy Tony was helping."
McGee swallowed. "Boss, is this *fraternity* related?" he asked, stressing it. Gibbs gave him a long stare. "I knew why he was bouncy, boss. I knew a keeper back at MIT."
"It was. Kahzitan?"
"Not a clue. As long as they're rich enough to pull it off. Let's hope they don't force the usual claiming ceremony on him and castrate him before we can rescue him." A blond guy came off the elevator. "And you are?"
"Greg Sanders, former CSI from Vegas." He looked at Gibbs. Then he held up the notes he had taken. "Xander got a bit more lucid. He's in the car so no one new can go after him. Adam said Paul's on standby for whenever you need him. He's got an extraction team. Even if Tony professes undying love he's coming home. Adam said so. This is the IP of the hacker. Adam said none of our people could do a thing with it." McGee snatched that. "We also know that there was at least one guy and guards. Xander said he was tied down by one and then gagged by someone else. They were wearing different clothes. Tony's clothes were switched to a silk set of pants and a t-shirt. Plus sneakers. They wanted him to look like he was ill and being taken home for treatment."
"Good. Thank you." He took the rest of the list and looked it over. "Kate, search them," he ordered. "Get with Abby about the fingerprints." She headed down there. "Can we question Xander yet?"
"Not really. He's still pretty groggy and lethargic. That means they used something on that list."
"Xander?" McGee asked as he typed.
"Harris." He looked at him. "I'm a member."
"I knew a keeper."
"They passed over a level ten to get a level seven. Xander said the guy told him he was too high maintenance but that he thought a level seven was perfect for his son."
"That means he hacked the database at the society. I'll get on that. Do we know the computer person's name?"
"Adam did it but the's not that great. He has problems coding and basically goes through a composer program so he doesn't have to. That's the only unfamiliar IP that logged onto the system according to the records they keep. Paul said so."
"Can I get that list from Paul?" McGee asked.
"You can. His email's at the bottom." He looked at Gibbs again. "What can I do to help? Xander's being taken home tonight after you're done questioning him. One of the Miami protectors is coming up. Just in case there's one here who wants him. He has a real problem with diplomats now and then. We've caused three different incidences in Miami but it helped Horatio get a drug dealer with immunity."
Gibbs nodded. "Bring him up here. We'll question him. They can come here to get him."
"Fine." Greg went to do that with one of the security guards he motioned to follow. "This was a fellow kidnaping victim. The drugs are still wearing off. The guy took DiNozzo." The guard nodded and helped him carry Xander upstairs to the interrogation room. "Thank you. I'll stay here with him unless Gibbs needs me as a CSI."
"Yes, sir." He went to tell Gibbs. "Sir, the CSI is in interrogation two with the other young man."
"That's fine. Expect a cop to come looking for them," he said, heading down there. He found Xander curled up in the chair chewing on the end of his braid. "Thinking hard?"
Xander hummed and looked at him, still looking tired. "Very. Did I mention one guy had a beard?"
"You did," he agreed. "It was a good job."
"I'm not used to normal people kidnaping me. The last one who got me was purple with green spots and looked like a stalk of corn." Gibbs stared at him. "Long story. It's part of the Sunnydale stuff."
"How did you know about that town?"
Xander looked at him. "I was born there, Gibbs." That got a harsh stare. "I was part of the defensive action when the high school got blown up. I was also part of the defensive action when the Initiative went down. I didn't like them torturing a friend because he went grr now and then. Or the others they tortured for going grr."
"I saw the files. I had to debrief them."
Xander smirked. "I had shorter hair then."
"I would like some gaps filled in. That action was called a terrorist one."
Xander sat up, glaring at him. "They were torturing others for existing. They were the fucking terrorists, Gibbs. If you don't like it, yay. I can give you a site online that has video footage of what they did. They endangered thousands of your regular military's lives." He stood up. "Got a laptop?"
"We can use the one next door." He led him in there, letting him type in the address. He stared at the footage of testing, then turned and gagged. "What is that?"
"That's what your terrorists were doing. That's what we stopped. They did it to a friend of ours," he said firmly. "What did they say they were doing? Mind control?" He walked back into the other room, finding Greg still in there. "I hate it when Sunnydale comes back to haunt me."
"Me too," Greg said calmly. "Calm down. We'll find Tony. We'll keep you protected. Flip the switch the other way, Xander. You're safe with me."
"No one should've been able to get to Tony either," he said shrilly. "It's not like I'm not trained!"
Gibbs came back in. "How did they get you?"
"I looked up from sliding the pajama bottoms back onto Tony's hips and found one guy standing there. The next thing I knew, I was groggy, Greg was waking me up, and I have these dream-like impressions of people."
"Okay, from the top," Gibbs ordered. He sat down and pointed. "Sit." Xander sat and looked at him. "We left how long before then?"
"Tony passed out about forty minutes after you guys left," he admitted. "I remember marking the time on the clock so I would have enough time to get him fully worn out so you would quit being affected. If he was surging that way, whatever they gave him yesterday had something on the list. It mutes our ability to sense surges."
"Okay. We didn't take blood yesterday."
"So? It's herbal. It won't wear out that soon. Greg?"
"Probably within a week," he agreed. "I heard Horatio took about four days to get some accidental exposure out of his so he was functioning again and the drug test two weeks later caught a hint of it but they couldn't identify it. They decided it was the herbal crap you got given by that herbalist." Xander moaned and nodded. Greg rubbed his shoulders. "Untense, Xander. It's time to let it go, let it out, and concentrate." Xander nodded, thinking. "You were knocked out how?"
Xander closed his eyes. "I felt a pinch to my arm when I saw him. Here," he said, covering the area. Gibbs and Greg both looked. "Is it showing up? It would've closed by now."
"It's closed," Gibbs offered. "Why do you heal so fast? DiNozzo doesn't."
"That's a whole different issue," Greg told him. "Nothing to do with GHS. That's a Xander peculiarity." That got a nod. "Okay. So you felt the pinch?"
"Then I felt myself being tipped or lowered. Like I was paralyzed but being moved? That odd floating sensation." He looked back. "Like what the orange thing used."
"Okay. You had some mild ability to see what was going on then. What do you remember next?"
"I was being tied up and I heard someone else in the room. Then the voice whispering about being too high maintenance." He frowned at Gibbs again. "That's not usual. Usually they'd take the higher one. Maybe he's had another of us around before?" He shrugged. "It seemed like he knew how high maintenance a level ten GHS member is." Someone else came in and he looked at the redheaded woman. "What?"
"Who is this, Special Agent Gibbs?" she asked.
"This is the guy who was with DiNozzo when he got knocked out and taken, Director. Xander, this is my director, Jen Sheppard."
Xander nodded. "Hey." He looked at Gibbs again. "I remember the guy who whispered didn't have a beard, I'm incredibly tactilly open at the moment, but the one who checked it later did. I felt it scratch against my hand. For some reason I wanted to say he looked like a viking? Maybe a darker blond?"
"Like Ryan's hair?" Greg asked. Xander nodded. "Okay. Not common if they're Middle Eastern or farther over. So maybe a hire of the family. It could help us narrow it down." He went back to rubbing his back. "Anything else you remember seeing? Or felt?"
"Yeah, the guy drew something on my side," he said, standing up and taking off his shirt, looking at his side. He pointed at the red marker. "That."
Gibbs looked. "Get McGee in here with a camera." Greg dug out his and handed it over. "You're handy."
"I try." They took pictures of that mark and the other one they found on Xander's other side. "No, this one I know," Greg said finally. "This is one of Xander's suddenly appearing psychos." He frowned at him. "Did you feel any changes in air pressure? Anything that would mean someone came in later?" He shook his head. "You didn't have this last night."
"It was this morning I think. I'm all confused but I got up around four to get some air. I think it was then. I remember blacking out a bit and coming back in just off the same spot."
"You didn't say anything about that," Gibbs noted dryly.
"Not part of this. This goes back to the other stuff," Greg told him. "Unless you've been there, you wouldn't understand, Gibbs."
"I think it might be very important. If this is the same person," she started.
Xander looked up. "You might wanna show up. I can feel you watching." The demon appeared and looked at him. "Thank you. You didn't take Tony, right?" He shook his head. "How can I trust you?"
"I'd give my life for you but he is not for me. He does not draw me," the demon said, his voice deeper and gravelly. "You are one who has hunted and survived. You would make a fine consort. Your harem and you would be much honor to my family."
Xander looked at him. "And the fact that you can't touch us without causing trauma?"
He frowned. "I would only desire to watch."
"Take it up with Danny. He's my keeper. He has to agree." That got a nod and he disappeared. He looked at Gibbs again. "He's who drew the other one on me." A plate of food appeared in front of him. "Human stuff?" he called. It was exchanged for meat, cheese, and crackers. "Thank you. This is a nice gift." He nibbled on a piece of meat, then on a corner of a cracker, then on some of the cheese. "It's all good. Want some?" he asked, letting Gibbs have the plate.
"Do you ever do things the easy way?" he asked dryly. He wasn't used to this but you couldn't be mad at the kid for this stuff happening around or to him.
"No. I wasn't born to easy ways. I was born to people who believed I was an improper sacrifice to their lifestyle." That got a nod and Gibbs ate a piece of it. Then he let Greg have some. "Madam Director?"
"No, thank you," she said coldly. "How do you know about the terrorist action in Sunnydale?"
"Gee, I don't know how I know about the military sending terrorists to the town I was born in to torture some of the residents for existing," he said dryly, staring her down, making her back up a step. "I tell you what, I'll ask my friend Oz, who they tortured, and the one they named Hostile Seventeen who happens to be named Spike. Let me get back with you on that." She gaped. "Now, bitch, get out of my face. I'm not exactly in a great and pleasant mood and unless you want me to hormone bomb this fucking building I'd leave the work to those who're actually qualified. Because I know women who're a lot more qualified than you are." She backed up another step and he stood up. "Anything else?"
"Sit," Gibbs ordered. "Don't pick on her. She's been out of the field for a while."
"Yay! She reminds me a lot of Willow." He sat down and Greg went back to his neck, making him groan. "Thank you, Greggy." He patted his hands. "Gibbs, if I had more recollection I'd give you whatever I have. Tony's said some incredible things about you." McGee walked in, whispering in Gibbs' ear. "Any luck?"
"Two bits of luck. One was in your profile and he's in Miami right now. The other one is a registered owner of a plane which took off about four minutes before the alert went up." He looked at Gibbs again. "So if it wasn't him he probably knows."
"Agreed. Can we stop him?"
"Call Paul," Xander ordered. "Have him have the plane stopped wherever they refuel. He's got Special Forces contacts all around the world plus the GHS network. Plus probably some more illegal contacts as well. He can get them stopped and brought to the nearest NCIS office."
McGee smiled. "Already done that, Mr. Harris."
"Now and then I have to handle retrievals for the family. Or myself." He looked at Gibbs again. "Anything else?" he asked calmly. "If not, I should probably go to a hotel where I'm more secure."
"You're perfectly secure here," the director said, glaring at him. "How did you arrange that?"
Xander looked at her, then snorted and said something quietly, then looked at her. "There, now you remind me of Buffy."
Gibbs looked, then blinked at the suddenly blonde hair. "Director, maybe you should go fix that?" She looked in the one way mirror then shrieked and rounded on him. "I think he's proven that he's capable of handling himself. Don't you?"
"He's still wanted in connection with that terrorist...."
Xander stood up again and grabbed her by the hair, walking her back to the other room to replay the video. "We were stopping people doing that. We weren't the terrorists, stupid. They were. That thing they're ripping apart at the seams was probably about the equivalent of a twelve-year-old. They didn't care and they did it to others. Including some humans who had skills. Including some who were just born different." He clicked on another link. "How do you think that child felt? Just because he's got a problem with turning furry three days a month." She got sick at that. "That's right, bitch, they tortured children. They got off doing it. In that case you can even see one of them masturbating on the kid's dead body at the end. You wanna think I'm a terrorist? That's your shit. Not mine. I saved lives. If they were there, they were torturing bastards. If they weren't I have no problem with them. And yes, we put this footage up after we hacked it." He let her go and watched her go throw up in a corner. "Anything else, Director? Because you're hindering the search for one of your agents by being a peckish bitch now." He walked back into the other room. "I wouldn't suggest watching the other tape."
"I didn't like the first one. Why were they doing that?"
"Because they wanted the to take the place of some soldiers."
"We would've hated that," Gibbs admitted.
"I hated them. They got friends." He shrugged. "Can I help more or should Greg take me to a hotel and watch over me until my protector comes so you can borrow him?"
"I'll borrow Greg but you're staying here."
"Sure. In here here?"
"No, McGee, take him to your desk." Xander nodded and grabbed his plate, heading off with him. "Sanders."
"Yeah, Gibbs?" He smirked. "Yes, I'm the same Sanders who did DNA out there."
"Good. Go help Abby in the lab."
"Always happy to help when it's necessary." He grabbed his bag and went down to where he pointed at, walking in. "Beauteous one, I'm Greg Sanders, former CSI level one out of Vegas. Gibbs said to come help you since I gathered the evidence."
"What is going on? Two of these people come up with locked profiles," Kate said loudly. "And who are you to come in here?"
"Call Gibbs," he suggested as he put on some gloves. "As of this moment, I'm a research chemist who happens to be a fully trained CSI. I came up to help Xander help Tony this week. I trained in Las Vegas after a few years of being a DNA god for them. I also sub in down in Miami for Horatio when he needs me." He walked over to help her. Kate tried to grab him. "I wouldn't, lady. Call Gibbs if you want orders from him like he gave me." He looked at Abby, then bowed. "Beauteous one."
"Greg," she said, smirking at him. "One of the fingerprints was yours."
"Cool. I was in there to help Tony. From his bedroom?" She nodded. "Huh. Well, I did crash on the foot of his bed last night," he admitted. He shrugged. "Maybe. Bathroom, or bedside table?"
"Yeah, I levered myself up off it when I got up." He shrugged. "It happens. Call Gibbs?" She called him, putting him on speaker.
"They're mad and one's huffing."
"That's CSI Sanders. He's helping you," he ordered then he hung up.
"Okay, what can I run to help you, Abby?"
She smiled. "Do the rope?"
"Sure. DNA was my first love." He got to work on it, sectioning off a little piece and finding the solutions he would need. "Testers?" She pointed. He got one down and got to work on a side workbench.
"I can't believe you're letting him help!" Kate said angrily. "He's a suspect!"
"Kate, I was there to give Tony a massage this morning after Xander got him calmed down," he said patiently. "Not for any other reason. It's not like I want to hurt Tony. I've known Tony through a mutual support group now for a few years."
"Xander... His name came up too."
"He's at McGee's desk," Greg said dryly. "Or that's what Gibbs called the dark haired young geeky guy?" He looked at her and got a nod. "He was the guy who was knocked out when they took Tony. He just went off on your director." He got back to work.
Abby and Kate shared a look and Kate went back upstairs with the list of names they had found so far. "Gibbs, Tony doesn't clean very well. He had some fingerprints from past girlfriends and a few guys."
"What's to say they didn't come back? Mine do," Xander noted dryly from his spot on the floor. "I've had a few lovers who've come back after a few years even. Mostly to plague me."
"That's a bad word around here," McGee said quietly.
Xander looked at him. "I heard. Tony and I talked for a long time last night. He needed to."
"Who are you?" Kate demanded.
He waved a hand. "Xander Harris." He looked at Gibbs. "Did anyone get an email from Miami yet to say who was coming up? That way I can warn you if it's Eric because he's got a temper now and then."
"They said Ryan."
"Wolfe. He's a good CSI and a former patrol officer," Xander offered. "He's also my main trouble buddy. He gets stolen with me all the time," he sighed, shaking his head.
"Stolen?" Kate demanded.
"Stolen." He stared at her, then at Gibbs. "Should I clue her in about the group?"
"No. Kate, it's about a hormone condition he has. Being around Tony let some of it out on him, basically from transfer, and they took Tony because of it."
Xander sighed and got up, letting her sniff his wrist. "Smell." She did then she swooned. He looked at her. "That's why people want to take me. I get stolen a lot. It transferred onto Tony when I came up to help him last night and that's why they came after him. Now, your teammate is in deep fucking shit, woman. People like me who get stolen that way often end up castrated and broken. Or dead. Work faster by not complaining." She huffed off to her desk. He sat down again and went back to nibbling. A chocolate bar appeared. "Thank you," he whispered. He said a silent prayer to Cupid that Tony would be all right this time too. He looked at Gibbs. "Have we checked to see if anyone's had an undue interest in his action against his father about his inheritance?" Gibbs and McGee both stared at him. "I know he filed to get it back from the family. That would've been one way to get his home address. Unless they hacked here? Or someone sold him? Your boss isn't the first one who would've done something like that for political gain."
"We're in the middle of switching over," Gibbs admitted. "I doubt she would have."
"It's still a thought. These people believe that they have the right to keep us like pets. Very expensive pets. The last one who had me ended up giving up his life and all the assorted crap he had piled around me to convince me to stay and not kill him."
"You took it?" McGee asked.
Xander looked up and nodded. "I did. I figured it was a very strong lesson in why you don't take us. Also, I deserved it for having to listen to his bad poetry about my brown eyes and hair." He played with his braid again. Then something big and heavy landed beside him. "Huh." He unwrapped it and looked up. "I need this?" Another candybar appeared. "Great." He handed it to Gibbs and got up to fully unwrap his sword. "Sorry, it got delivered."
"How?" Kate asked, looking pissed.
"The same way I had my snack. The guy appeared." He shrugged. "Not a clue otherwise. I don't get into the theory behind magic, I only make plants grow and change hair colors." He looked at Gibbs. "I'm really sorry if something has to happen here. I'll defend myself so you don't have to worry about finding me too. Concentrate on Tony if I do get taken. Greg and my guys will find me." That got an amused look, and that's when the lights went out. "See?" They heard a door open and Xander backed against a wall, giving McGee a shove. "Back off. In case I have to use it."
"Sure." He moved to the other side of his desk carefully. He heard footsteps and vaguely saw a shadow moving. It was dark outside so no firmer outlines were shown. Apparently the streetlights were down too. He heard a yelp. "Xander?"
Xander grunted and swung, taking someone's hand off. Then a head. Then another hand. He growled something and the lights came back on. He looked at the dead bodies, then at the two standing nearby. "You wanted what?" he demanded coldly.
"You." He pointed a gun at him. "Come with us and you won't be harmed."
"Oh, yeah, because I believe psycho stalker shit," he said dryly, wiping off his blade on the fabric that had been wrapped around it. "You broke into a federal building."
"No, I had passcodes."
"Freeze," Kate said, pulling out her gun.
"Let him," the director called.
"No thanks. Not my thing this week." One of the guys sneered and grabbed at him, getting a sword in the shoulder, making him howl and roll around with the others on the floor. Xander waved the last guy on. "Come on, little boy. I'm sure you think you've got a big enough set. Let's see." The guy reached for something and Xander lunged, attacking him. The guy backed up, trying to dodge it while Xander got his hand reaching for the gas canister. He coughed but he managed to kill that guy.
Gibbs got the alarm going and the fans were started to suck the gas out. He grabbed Xander, taking the blade as he passed out in his arms. The others backed off and he retreated with him. "What the hell, kid?" he muttered. Guards came running up. "Gas cloud," he called. That got a nod and one put on a gas mask so he could put the gas canister in a small plastic box. He got it sealed and they finished airing out the floor. Gibbs stood watch over the kid. Something was seriously wrong here. He looked up at the director. "Why leave them alone?"
"They were here to take him away for what he did earlier."
"No, that wasn't. That was an extraction team," he said dryly. "That wasn't a legal arrest. McGee, Kate, go get her. Find out what she knows. I'll call Morrow." He went to deal with this, calling the lab. "Abby, is Greg busy? If not, send him up." A young man came off the elevator. Dark blond. Fit, carried himself like a fighter. "Hold on. Turn on the security system up here, see if he knows the guy with the guards." He listened then nodded. "Let him. He's the guy from Miami coming to take care of Harris."
"Sure," one agreed, getting out of his way. "How did you get here so fast?"
"Divine intervention," he said, looking totally serious. He walked over and looked at Xander, then at Gibbs. "I'm Ryan Wolfe, CSI out of Miami. I've got him, go get checked out." That got a nod and Gibbs left. Ryan pulled Xander up, slapping his face. "What the hell, Xander?"
Xander blinked at him. "How did you get here so fast?" he asked in a little boy's voice.
"Hera." Xander nodded at that and passed out again. "Yeah, this'll be a good night." He sat him down in a corner and sat beside him, cleaning off his sword. "I want to know who they are. We keep a list of threats to Mr. Harris in Miami." The guards gave him an odd look. One came over. "He's a member of GHS," he said quietly.
"Oh! No wonder! Sure, sir, I'll get on that once they find out who took Agent DiNozzo."
"Sure. I agree, finding Tony's more important." That got a nod. "Can I help?"
"Ask Gibbs, sir."
"Thanks." He looked around. "That one?" That got a nod. "Tony described him well." He stood up and looked at Xander, then at Gibbs when he came back. "Can I help?"
"No. We have Greg. You take care of that one."
"Gladly. Not the first time. I know these ones might be on the list we keep down in Miami."
"They could be but I think there's another issue. Watch out for incoming FBI agents."
"Mention his name. He and Greg had to deal with one named Heartstone over him rescuing Greg in the past. They might know Xander too."
"Sure, Mr. Wolfe."
"Ryan's fine, Gibbs."
"Ryan then. Do you have a specialty?"
"Ancient weapons. Trace."
"It's a Xander thing. He uses a sword so the whole group uses one to help him practice. I'm just the best of us." That got a smirk and a nod. "Anything I can do to help, let me know."
"Agreed." He went to check with Ducky, then with Abby. "Anything?"
"That Paul guy called back. He's got people waiting to stop the plane. Illegal people but they'll work. Who was that?"
"I'm still trying to figure that out. Abby, once you can, run these new guys' prints. I want to know if they're related."
"Sure, Gibbs, but I can already tell you they're not. I took the last one's picture from the video camera and ran it through Customs and came up with a local guy who's in the diplomatic corps out of the UAE."
"This is the third time someone from there tried for Xander," Greg said, grimacing. "Still nicer than the guy who came from the upper regions of Thailand. He wanted to castrate Xander within minutes of having him. Xander has hairpins that're sharp for a reason. We like that idea now. No matter how many times you get stuck by them in the middle of the night."
"You're sleeping with Xander?" Abby asked.
Greg looked at her. "Know anything about GHS members?" She made a high, squeaky noise. "Xander's a level ten."
"Oh," she squeaked, eyes wide. "Wow. I thought you guys were urban legends."
"No, I'm very real," he assured her with a grin. "I'm a level four." She sniffled and hugged him. "Thanks. Don't let Ryan catch you. He's got possessive bitch syndrome about us whenever he's got to do a rescue or guard us." She blushed brighter and got back to work. "I can run prints if she's busy, Gibbs. I'm waiting on the tests to finish running for DNA."
"I'll keep that in mind. Let me know as soon as you have anything, Abby, or you, Greg." He headed to the morgue. "They still here?"
"I hope they'll stay," Ducky said firmly. "Who had the sword?"
"Xander. One appeared." Ducky groaned at that. "The same as his dinner did."
Ducky sighed and nodded. "Yes, well, he has been involved in stopping the worst of the demonic for years now, Jethro, and it's made some of them want him as a trophy. The same as our new director apparently did. For stopping the bad things in this world from going on longer." They shared a look. "Did we find out if she sold one or both of them?"
"She sold Tony," Kate said from her seat in the corner. They both stared at her. "Yes, I'm hiding from the man with the very long hair. Before I start to ask questions apparently I'm not supposed to know anything about? Gibbs? Ducky?"
"It's a matter of personal safety," Ducky told her.
"For the guy with the long hair or for Tony?"
"For the guy with the long hair. Tony got it via transfer," Gibbs told her.
"Really? Then why is he bouncing the exact same way Tony does? With the same levels of mental focus - emergency and smut?" She walked over to join them. "Not to mention that the guy's clearly sleeping with that Greg guy and this new guy?"
"Xander's got a very delicate hormone and pheromone condition," Ducky told her. "He has to wear it out or else his system is thrown out of whack and he starts to broadcast. Unfortunately Tony managed to get some of it transferred onto him. He and Xander are relatively old friends."
"For that matter, I've heard him speak about that Greg guy," Gibbs offered. "So have you. The convention in Vegas? I have a feeling it's the same Greg."
"Uh huh," she said, staring at him. "Then how does a DNA expert and CSI from Las Vegas and Tony end up knowing each other, Gibbs? It's clear he's not like Tony. I looked at his profile online. He's never been a frat brother to Tony's fraternity." She stared at him. "Why am I not allowed to know?"
"Because it could endanger DiNozzo further, Kate."
"Why?" she shouted, sounding frustrated. "What is going on!"
Greg leaned in. "Abby said to tell you this, Kate. If we tell you, he'll never come back, even if we do get to rescue him. She said this is one of those times that the knowledge would be very uncomfortable for you and make it nearly impossible to work with Tony ever again. I can tell you this much, you can ask Tony when you get him back. If you do and you have nightmares, it's your own fault."
"You're part of the gay guy's harem or whatever?" she demanded, walking over to pull him inside the morgue.
"I am. I help take care of Xander. If we don't, his hormones are probably strong enough to start affecting parts of Miami just by him waking up with a morning stiffie." She blushed at that. "What's going on is something so basely elemental to the human body that everyone has it. Some have hyperactive hormones and pheromones. Xander's one. I'm one. That's how Xander and I met. He's got a worse problem and a few of us help him wear out his and it keeps us worn out."
"One of the tenets of the support group we belong to is to never talk about another member. Doing so means that someone can overhear and go after them. In this case, the person passed over Xander to take Tony. He told Xander he was too high maintenance. Now, within the group there are people who have the problem and people who guard those who have the problem, plus boyfriends, girlfriends, and spouses. Ryan falls on one side and I fall on another."
"You're his spouse?" she demanded.
"No, his main boyfriend isn't going for spouse. We've settled into a phase where we're getting Xander to the point where he's worn out most days. It takes three of us to do that with occasional help from Ryan, but it cuts down on the pheromones that get guys like Xander and I kidnaped. Tony got it in transfer from Xander. They decided he'd take less maintenance than Xander does." He shrugged. "Personally I don't think Xander's as high maintenance as he could be. Most of the guys at his level of output live as the head of a harem. They don't do anything but indulge it all day to wear it out. Xander's able to do a lot more than that, mostly because Danny and Don make him. Ryan also makes him. Xander could be some shrieking little girl on a silk pillow but he's not."
"Tony knows about this problem?"
"He does. He's had to help others in the past with it. He's also great at teaching members on both sides of the issue how to defend themselves and the people with the condition. When I ended up quitting my former department over mine, I became one of the research people for the society. I met Tony at some conventions. The same as Xander did."
"So does he have it or is he a former supporter of someone?"
"Again, Kate, we don't talk about other members. Beyond what you already knew. While I can tell you about myself and I have Xander's permission to explain this using him, I can't tell you about any other member because you're a security risk. All you have to do is talk about this subject and mention another name and then we'll be helping rescue them." She shuddered at that. "Speaking as a one of Xander's guards, he's saved himself about sixty times in the last year alone. The rest of his family have added another ten, twelve. He and Ryan get stolen together all the time. Ryan's one of guarding ones in case you were wondering. They're best friends. Even if it's Xander and I, usually we're still guarded by Ryan. That's why they sent him." He grinned at her. "It's not as fun of a life as everyone thinks it is. Yeah, we get a lot of presents, a lot of attention. Xander gets given jewels and chocolates all the time by people who want him and the rest of us. He's made it very clear if he takes anyone on, it's going to be all of us.
"In the last year and a half that I've been with Xander, I've been given raw, uncut jewels. I've been given cut jewels. I've been given jewelry with and without jewels. Plus food, wines, clothes, offers of pets and other rare items. I've been given shit I had to have someone identify. I got given a jeweled knife last month. It's beautiful but I can't carry it anywhere." He shrugged. "It's great and gratifying to get that sort of attention but it's damn tough to turn them down. That's what they want, us to say 'yes, we'll stay' because then they have us until we die." He moved closer. "That's usually about four years average. About half of us are castrated if we're male. Or chained if we're female. We're taken and used as pets. Something to show off, pamper, spoil, and sleep with in anyway they want. We wouldn't have that much room to complain because we're pets. Can you even imagine what it's like? We're concubines if we're taken. If not, we're devoutly loved and pampered at home."
"Because he knew and helped us."
"So he's not one?" she asked.
He shrugged. "Ask Tony."
"Why can't I ask you? I'm not going to go out and say anything."
"Kate, if you went out in a bar and talked about the strange guy you had met today, describing me or Xander, someone will be coming for us later that night. Considering someone came *here* and nearly got him? Do you think they'll stop because there's innocents? Or we're in a hotel?"
She shuddered and shook her head. "Fine, I can accept that and mentally decide he's one of the people who once took care of one of you. I'm not going to talk about this at all." He smiled and relaxed. "What can I do to help Tony?"
"Find the stuff on the guys who have him. Our retrieval squad is mostly Special Forces and if they have some information it'll be easier to break them."
"I can do that." She walked off. She came back ten minutes later. "Um, Gibbs? That Ryan guy is unconscious on the floor and so is McGee. Xander's nowhere to be found." They rushed out to find out what was going on. They came up to find Ryan coming around and McGee still out with a spot bleeding on his head.
"Wolfe," Gibbs snapped. "What happened?"
Ryan blinked at him then pointed at the cameras. "Guys in fatigues. Machine guns. Batted me and him on the head with the butt." He rubbed the spot and swatted at Ducky. "I heal like Xander. Quit." He stood up, groaning some. "I'm fine and I'll be perfect within an hour." He looked at Gibbs. "I don't know who they were."
"Kate!" he snapped.
"On the security footage," she agreed, going to the security office to look at the footage. She found the guys tied up. She got one free. "Who was it?"
"Marines," he moaned. "I don't know why, Kate."
"That's fine. Rewind it. Do we have audio?" He nodded, keying in the rewind and replay. She called upstairs. "Gibbs, Marines. All wearing the 223 badge that we found last month that was counterfeited." She nodded. "Thanks." She patted the guy on the shoulder. "Go ahead and lock down the building. Get the others free." He nodded and she went back to her desk with the pictures she had printed off. "Here."
He looked and nodded. "That's the same fake badges. Go look for their leader. McGee?" He lifted his head and Ducky swatted him, going back to blotting the small bleeding spot. "Can you get whatever Kate found and send it to the retrieval squad working on Tony's rescue?"
"I sent it to Abby, Gibbs," Kate said, typing and searching. "We have an address on that paramilitary group."
"Good. Let's go. Wolfe...."
"Fat chance," he said dryly, following him. "I am still an officer. Xander is still my duty and my friend. I'm going. You're already short people."
"Who trained you to go in?"
"Miami-Dade PD. I'm one of Horatio Caine's boys now." That got a nod and a small, grudging, smile. "Shall we?"
"We will." They headed down to the garage, letting Ducky get McGee ready for the next one.
Tony looked up and blinked at the person above him. "Paul?" he whispered.
"It's me, Tony," he promised, stroking his cheek. "Can you sit up? I don't think you're very comfy in that casket." Tony shook his head and held up a hand, letting himself be pulled up and out. "Shh. Let me get the medics onto your case and then we'll head home." Tony shook his head. "No?"
"Gibbs knows." He hugged him. "Thank you."
"Shhh, it's all right. I came for you. They got me out of bed even. Xander's so stressed he nearly whammied DC into niceness. If we need it, I'll handle Gibbs myself." Tony looked at him. "I will, baby. It's all right." Tony nodded and let himself be led off. "I want this plane searched," he ordered. "Anything monetary we find is Tony's. The bastard took him, he can pay for it and the rescue." That got some nods and he and one other guy walked Tony off to the ambulance.
The guy went with him to translate and help him. They had his medical record from the guys he worked with. "Tony, I'm Soshar." Tony nodded at that. "I've got your medical records from Ducky. The doctors are going to speak through me so there's not a problem, all right?"
"Sure," he agreed, sounding tired and worn out. "How long did he have me?"
"Nearly a whole day. They found Xander tied up in your place. They decided he was too high maintenance," he said with a small smile. Tony snorted at that. "That's why he took you for his son. Paul will handle it and it'll be fine. I promise it will be fine, Tony." He stroked over his hair. Tony gave him a trusting look. "Just relax. We know what they drugged Xander with. You'll be fine."
"Sure. I was less tired when I had Y. Pestis."
"I know you did." He went back to stroking his hair. "It'll be fine." The paramedic coughed. He talked to him in Italian, making Tony laugh. "I heard you spoke some." Tony nodded and told the paramedic what had happened, getting a nod. "Just relax and let me handle it. It'll be okay. Paul will come back tonight once we're sure you're all right. Then we'll get you home to DC."
"Unless you want to join Greg at Xander's." Tony blushed at that. He smiled. "It is a seductive offer," he agreed. "Miami might even be able to use you. Horatio's being driven nuts by Xander. Whenever he worries he spikes and causes problems."
"He's spiking because Greg's tired and so are the others. It's time for a vacation."
"I'll let him know that during the convention this weekend. You know, we might even get you back in time for that. Then we can make sure you get home from Miami." He smiled and nodded. "Okay, we're pulling into the village."
"Sure." He took his hand to hold. "Does Gibbs hate me?"
"No. He's incredibly worried but no, he's not mad. He's still struggling with understanding what's going on. He's not mad. He's looking forward to seeing you again."
"He's going to smack me."
"I know he is," he agreed with a small smile. "My former commander said he did that to him once. My former commander was one of the scary marines and even he was scared of your boss." Tony smiled at that. "We're all very impressed that you handle him and make him tolerable to work with."
"He's got really high expectations. He told me I wasn't allowed to die when I got the plague."
"You know, if you could turn him into a keeper, you'd never have a surge again," he teased.
Tony shook his head. "He's a scary guy. He's a dom. He'd chain me to the walls all the time and spank me."
"We won't let him do that." They pulled into the hospital and he got out to follow him. "His Italian isn't fully fluent and I have his medical records," he told the nurse in Italian. "He's an American Federal agent with NCIS." He handed over his PDA. "That's the copy of his records."
The doctor took them, looking at him. "Impossible."
"Bullshit. It got sent to his office. His office's ME sent it to me personally. His number's on the bottom."
"Ducky's going to tell stories," Tony said weakly. "Yes I had the pneumonic plague. My boss ordered me not to die. If the Marine comes in here, get out of his way."
Soshar pointed at something. "That is something we know was injected into the person who was with him before he was taken. It's a powerful sedative?"
"It is." He drew some blood and sent it with a nurse and got down to checking him over.
Xander looked up then let his head thump down when the door got kicked in. He rattled the chains. "Two of them are gone."
"Why?" Ryan asked, coming over to check him over. "You okay?"
"Embarrassed. Sore. He tried to whip me and I kicked his ass. Hairpins strike again." He looked at him. "It's a damn good thing I bruise hard." Gibbs and Kate came back. "Anyone still here or did they all run out for McDonald's? The head guy wanted a fillet'o'fish without sauce." Kate went to check the hall, alert the security guards, and then close the door so they could wait. "Should I scream like they're still thinking about torturing me?"
"No, it's all right," Ryan soothed, getting one undone with a hairpin he pulled out.
"They're waiting to go in. The plane's in the middle of landing," he soothed, rubbing the wrists. "There. You're all good. Sit up?" Xander sat up, holding his head. "Shh. I've got you."
Gibbs looked at him, watching the wounds on his wrist heal. "What's that?" he asked, glancing back at Kate.
"He's a quick healer," Ryan said, staring him down. "By the way, Horatio's scarier so don't try." He got back to work on Xander's injuries. "Did you pass over?" Xander nodded. "How long ago?"
"Two minutes." He fixed Ryan's hair, then smiled. "There, better." He took a kiss. "Thank you." Ryan smiled and helped him turn around, then stand up. "Should I draw them back?"
"No, it's all right," Ryan soothed. "Just relax and let us handle it this time." Xander nodded, still holding his head. "Growing pains?" he asked, looking hesitant. Xander glared at him. "Xander? Any need to go play poker with mafia guys?"
"Bite me, Ryan." He took another kiss, pulling his head closer to snuggle him. "We're taking Tony home for the convention if we can. Then he can come back rested. After his boss has had time to calm down. Greg will pamper and baby him too. We'll spoil him." He stroked his cheek. "Please?"
"Sure." He kissed him on the forehead. "What sort of headache are you having?"
"One where I should call Speed." He patted him down until he found his phone, getting up and wobbling into the bathroom. "Speed, it's Xander. Go clean your gun." He weathered the complaints. "Speed. Go clean your gun. I mean it. Speed, listen to the words coming out of my mouth. Gee, Timmy, I don't know. If me, who wears marks to half the Greek pantheon and seems to have a bunch of demons who talk to me, call you up and make a sudden, panicking demand, what do you think you should do?" He listened to the further complaint. "Speed, do it or I'm calling Horatio." He hung up and looked up. "Can I have less of a headache since I told him?" he asked. "Please, Ares?" The headache eased. "Thank you." He smiled at the positive feeling he got.
Speed hung up and glared at his phone, going up to his mate's office. "Where's the gun cleaning kit?" Horatio looked up at him, frowning some. "Xander just called with an impassioned, sudden plea to clean my gun. He pointed out that he's got half the Greek pantheon tattooed to his body and demons talk to him."
"It's in the bottom filing cabinet drawer. I'll help." He put down his pen and went to get it, closing the door so they could go over it together. "Did he say why?"
"No, just that he had to tell me to do this today. Also, he called me Timmy. You need to spank the pseudo-son we seem to have adopted."
"I will when he gets back. How did he sound? I know he went up to help Tony DiNozzo with something."
Speed shrugged. "I don't know but he was on Ryan's phone." Horatio moaned and called Ryan's phone back, putting him on speaker. "Wolfe, it's us. What the fuck is going on and why did the high priest there with you suddenly have to call?"
"I don't know why he called but he went to pray to Ares to quit giving him a headache since he did, Speed. As for how things are going? Well...." His voice drifted off, talking to someone, then he sighed. "Tony will be fine. They just started the assault on the plane where he's being held. We've just now gotten Xander back from the UAE people who had him. They took him from the NCIS office up here."
"Charming," Horatio said blandly. "Is he all right?"
"Headache. Still. Like growing pains headache, Horatio."
"We'll watch out for things when he gets back. Are you going to be in tomorrow?"
"I hope so. Xander?"
"Greg's here," he said quietly. "I'll be fine. I'll even be a good boy for Greggy."
Speed and Horatio both smiled at Ryan's snort of amusement at that idea.
"Xander, why did he have to clean his gun?" Horatio asked.
"Ares said so."
"I see. Is it going to become important?"
"Don't ask me, ask him. I still have a headache. He said so. Follow along because it's probably important. Remember, if one of you dies the other's got a bad time of surviving." He hung up on a new groan.
Speed and Horatio shared a look then got to work cleaning both their guns. That was probably a bad thing that was going to happen.
Xander was led back into the office with Gibbs behind him. "I'm fine," he complained. "We got the guy, someone handled it, I'll be fine." He ran into Greg and hugged him. "Tell them I was being a good boy."
"He was. He was sharing present ideas with McGee for his mother's birthday," Greg told him. "Security tapes said so."
"Good," Gibbs agreed dryly. "Doesn't mean he's safe."
"Oh, he will be, even if I have to wear him out myself," Ryan said, staring Xander down, making him blush. "Be a good boy or else."
"Try harder," Kate complained. She sat down. "Any news?"
"He's at the hospital," McGee offered. "He was still groggy from the sedative they gave them both and Paul found him in a casket. One of the guys speaks Italian and he's there with Tony to guard him. They think he's fine so he'll be flown back tomorrow with Paul as his escort and probably taken down to Miami because of the convention."
"He can have our spare room," Xander agreed. "We'll bring him back calm, happy, and relaxed."
"Uh-uh," Gibbs said, shaking his head. "Not without an escort."
Ryan looked at him. "You need time to set up stuff," he pointed out quietly. "This'll hold Tony for at least another week." They shared a look. "He'll be safe. Most of Miami's crime lab watches out for Xander. We're family down there."
"He'll be like my big brother," Xander agreed, grinning at him. "I promise, he'll be perfectly fine and I'll jump in front of anyone who feels the need to take him."
"No you won't," Greg said firmly. "You'll let the rest of us handle it, Xander."
"Yes, Greg," he complained. "I want them to know that he'll be safe."
"He'll be perfectly safe, Gibbs. I'm going to be with them all weekend if at all humanly possible."
"Fine. That may work out better. That would give us all time to calm down and things to start being pulled together." Ryan nodded, walking off to make that call.
Xander hugged McGee. "I think the pretty thing would still be best but if your mom doesn't like it tell her you got bad advice from a gay guy." McGee smiled and nodded. He let him go and looked at Gibbs. "We should probably let your city calm back down."
"Might be a good idea," he agreed dryly. "Before you send another congressman off the deep end."
"Not my fault. He came to butt in and yell at you. All I did was make him beg and crawl." Kate moaned and put down her head, shaking it on the desk. "I was solving a problem."
"You were," Gibbs agreed. "He's still going to be screwed up for months. Greg?"
"Everything you could need to properly arrest and charge them is with Abby. Including the DNA profile of the rope tightener." Xander looked at him. "Plus we edited the tape of Xander's statement so it discluded Sunnydale stuff."
"Thank you." He nodded. "I'll let you know if we need one on this new stuff."
"Sure, Gibbs. Let me get my bag and we'll go." He looked at Xander. "Come on. Your stuff's in the car." Xander nodded and waved, following them. They picked up Ryan and headed down to drive to the airport. "This has been one strange day and a half," he complained once Ryan had them moving. "Who was that guy?"
"We're not sure," Ryan admitted. "Personally Gibbs thinks the director person turned them onto him." That got a nod. "Xander, would that call have to do with a case?"
"Possibly." He shrugged. "Not like I got a full explanation. I know if he didn't we'd lose them both."
Greg looked at him. "You'll still lose them someday," Greg said gently.
"Not for a very long time and it's possible I'll lose a fight before then," he said firmly.
"Xander, a lot of the people around you are still going to die," Greg pointed out. "Including me."
"Greg. It's not like I haven't lost others. I'm sick and tired of losing people around me, okay? I've done plenty of that already. It's not like there's ever been a battle like graduation where people didn't die, especially when it's untrained things against an overwhelming power. Or against the Initiative. Or even in the rest of my life." He tried the door handle but Ryan locked it on him. "I'm going to get out and walk."
"Fat chance, Xander." He pulled over and looked back at him. "It's a problem of the life," he said firmly. "We have to accept that, Xander."
"Do you know what it's like to watch people you've known since before you spoke intelligently die around you?" he demanded. "Let me out."
"No. You'll do something dumb and we need to be there for Horatio tonight." Ryan stared him down. "It's not like that. You know it's not like that. For now, don't think about it and we'll talk about that stuff after the convention."
"There's no talking!"
"Xander!" Ryan said firmly. "Calm down." Xander slumped. "Thank you. We'll handle this after the convention. All right? You and I and Greg will sit down and talk about the memories you have of watching people around you die. We'll do the therapy you'll need to not do stupid shit and die on us. Because if we lose you, the whole group is devastated."
"They've all got lives without me."
"Yeah, but you're one of the glues that holds the family together," Greg said gently. "The same as Horatio is." He reached back to take his hand. "We'll talk when we get home, after the convention. For right now, pray to help Speed. With the way you got that need to call him, we'll need to be there for Horatio. So just calm down. We'll be with Tony this weekend. We'll help Horatio." Xander swallowed and nodded. "Good boy. Now, Ryan, we're going to Miami?" That got a nod and Ryan started them off again.
Xander got off the plane and found Eric pacing and waiting on them. "What happened?"
"Did you know he was going to get shot?" he demanded, staring at Xander. Who shook his head slowly. "What, exactly, did you get told?"
"He had to clean his gun or he'd die." Eric paled at that. "That's all I got. I don't think I was supposed to get that part but he argued with me and I got that later. Is he okay?"
"No but he'll live," he admitted. "Come on. Bags?"
"One," Greg admitted. "I'll grab that. Meet you outside?" That got a nod and they headed off to do that, Eric and Ryan escorting Xander. He walked off muttering. This was not an auspicious start to a convention. He joined them outside and Eric got them into the hummer, taking them to the hospital. Xander rushed inside and into Frank's back, moving around him to Horatio's side. "Xander," he called, getting attention. "Calm down."
"No! Damn it, I didn't know he was going to be hurt if he did, just if he didn't!"
Horatio looked at him. "You were right to call," he admitted quietly. He gave him a hug. "Calm down." He looked at him. "It was right to call. He'll live and be fine in a few weeks."
Xander gave him a squeeze. "You're coming to stay with us until he comes home, Horatio. We live closer to here and the quiet house will drive you nuts."
"That's fine," he agreed, stroking his cheek. He smiled at him. "Thank you."
"I can't lose you guys," he admitted quietly. "Oh, Tony's coming home. They took him."
"That's fine. This weekend, focus on Tony. Come spoil Speed during visiting hours." Xander nodded, looking very serious. "Good boy. Now, one last thing. Only I get to call him Timmy."
"Shh. I know. It's a boundary we hadn't laid out, Xander." He stroked his cheek. "For now, he's fine. He'll be fine. They think he'll even come back to work."
"Which leaves the troll," he said, catching sight of him lurking. "Can I help?" he asked quietly.
"It's covered." He stared at him. "Don't."
"It's not right of him to blame you."
"I moved him out of the way to shoot. It put him in danger. We shouldn't work scenes together."
"Why? Because you're aware of your people's faults? Ryan's not exactly quick on the draw either," he pointed out gently. "You know your people and knew that Speed isn't a shoot first person. Some cops are meant to be cops and play with guns. Some cops aren't, they're meant to be scientists or bike cops or horse cops."
"True," he agreed, giving him a gentle smile. "For now, go home."
"No. Not until he's settled and I can see him and apologize for using his name."
"That's fine. Then let the family sit you down and watch over you."
"I'm not helpless!"
"No, but you're still on an emotional surge," he noted patiently. Xander frowned. "You are."
"They gave me something when they knocked me out to steal Tony."
"They passed you over to take Tony?" he demanded a bit loudly. Xander nodded.
"They said he was too high maintenance so they wanted Tony instead," Greg told him. "Is Speed all right?" That got a nod. "Good. Is there anything we can do to help, Horatio?"
"It'll be fine, Greg. I may need you to fill in for a few weeks but it'll be fine."
"Sure, boss. Just ask and let me know." That got a nod. "Will he be okay?"
"He'll be fine and they even think he'll be back to work in a few months. It'll be an hour or so until they move him to a room." They all nodded and Greg got hauled off by Frank and Don to talk. He looked at Xander, seeing the pain. "What?"
"Nothing. Depressing discussion in DC." He shrugged. "It happens even to me, Horatio."
"Nothing. Don't worry about it." He gave him another squeeze then let go, looking at him. "Would cookies be okay?"
"He'd probably kill for cookies within a day," he agreed, smiling at him. "Especially the good peanut butter ones you make." Xander smiled at that but he noticed it wasn't a really happy smile. "Sit with me?"
"No, you need to concentrate on your guy. Do we need to help you find them?"
"No, we've already gotten them, Xander. Don't worry, we have it."
"I know," he agreed, going over to sit against the wall. Calleigh sat next to him so he leaned on her shoulder, getting a head pat then shoved off. "Sorry."
"I'm not in a cuddly mood. I'm still pissed at him. It's like a rerun of an old nightmare."
"Did his gun jam?" he asked quietly.
"No. It didn't." She relaxed and looked at him. "Thank you, Xander."
"Welcome. What did I do?"
"Made me calm down." She stroked over his head. "We'll be calm together, okay?" He nodded. "Good. What happened in DC?"
"One of the other guys got taken. They drugged us both and tied me down, then took him."
"Is he all right?"
"Fine. He's on his way down for the convention. Then he'll go home once his boss has time to calm down." She smiled at that. "They found out right before he got taken. His boss is not happy."
"I don't blame him. Being one of you guys and working in a tough environment can be wearing on everyone's nerves."
"He handles it."
"I'm sure he does, but if he's getting taken apparently not enough."
"It's not his fault."
"I never said it was," she reminded him. Xander looked at her. "Really. I know it's not his fault. It's something none of you guys can fully control. If you could I doubt you'd want to stay a level ten." Xander shrugged and sat there staring at the wall. "Xander," she sighed.
"No, I'm thinking."
"Sure." She stroked over is back. "We'll wait until Tim wakes up and then we'll make him sorry for being shot. Then we'll spoil him until he can go home." He looked at her. "We will."
He nodded. "We will," he agreed, slumping some. A nurse came out and talked to Horatio, getting a nod.
Horatio looked around. "He's in a room and we can descend on him in groups of two and three."
"You and Alexx go, Horatio," Xander said firmly. "That way she can cry on him and you can say hi when he wakes up." That got a nod and they headed off. He watched the others staring at him. "What?"
"You got told to tell him to clean his gun?" Frank demanded. Xander nodded, staying silent. "Why?"
"Because one of the people that I wear marks for said so, Frank. It's not like I got a complete rundown of what would happen. Just that he needed to and when he didn't snap to it immediately why. He could have died." Frank sighed and nodded, turning away. "Sorry." He got up and headed off, going out to catch a cab home. He had them stop at the bank since he didn't have his wallet on him, Ryan did, but that was okay. He paid the driver at his gate and headed up and into the house, finding Paul and Tony in there. "You guys made good time from Italy."
"We did," Tony agreed, giving him a hug. "What happened? Even the ferrets look depressed."
"Speed got shot. I got sent a head's up to tell him to clean his gun."
"No but now and then I know something bad's going to happen." He shrugged. "Everyone's mad at me." He stroked his cheek. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine." He smiled. "Are we going over tonight or should we stay here?"
"No, you need to go. I should go. It's even in my city, I really should go and cancel the other rooms." He shrugged. "I'll put that toward helping Speed's hospital bills." He smiled. "Hubert, get the ferrets into their traveling bag and let's go." The dogs came up to stare at him. "Sure, you two too." He smiled at Tony. "I need to pack. My bag's still in Ryan's trunk." That got a shrug and Tony followed Hubert, going to help the dragon gather the ferrets. Then they headed out in Xander's corvette. The dalmatians weren't very comfortable but it would be fine for now. He pulled in and let the valet take his baby, taking the dragon and his bag, plus the ferrets, and letting Tony handle the dogs. They walked inside and the desk clerk smiled.
"Reservation under Harris." She smiled and typed that in, looking at him. "What? Don't tell me one of them canceled my card?" She nodded. He pulled out his wallet and handed over the money, getting a smile and the room keys. "I'll get that straightened out later." He walked Tony off, going up to call Steve. "What did you do to my Visa this time?" he complained. "Why?" He groaned and held his head. "No, Steve, the convention. Thank you. No, I'll live on cash and if you've locked my accounts I'm going to pout and scream in your office." He smirked at the assurance he hadn't. "Good. Thank you." He hung up and called his personal banker. "Miss Gold? It's Xander Harris. No, Steve decided to play card roulette during the convention. No, I'm in Miami but I'm going to be taking out some cash. Because one of the family was injured today on the job and he's going to have medical bills. Sure. Thank you. Yup, within an hour. Thank you." He hung up and looked at Tony. "Let me do that and I'll be right back, okay?"
"You shouldn't go out without a guard, Xander."
"I think that's almost the same thing you said the first day I met you."
"It probably was," he agreed. He smiled. "It'll be fine."
"Stay and play with the dogs, Tony. I'll be right back. I promise." He headed out, going to his bank and then right back, with a stop for a milkshake. He came back and found Don pacing in the foyer of the hotel. "What happened?"
"I doubt he wants to see me," he said. "No one else did." He walked around him. "I've got Tony with me. Go be with Speed. He wants you guys there. Tell him I'll bring him cookies during visiting hours on Monday. That way he can yell or whatever in private." He got onto the elevator and headed upstairs with the briefcase, dropping it in the suite. "There. Okay, the reception starts when?"
"About twenty minutes ago. Come on, we'll take the babies down there. Put on something with pockets." Xander did that and let the ferrets ride with him while Hubert laid on his shoulder and the dogs went with Tony. "Are you sure we should've brought everyone?"
"No one's going to be home tonight to take care of them. I'm not going to let them suffer because everyone's gathered around Speed." He shrugged and reached up to scratch the scaly head. "We should go rescue Horatio's ferrets too, huh?" The dragon snorted. "What?"
"Your cage needs cleaned first," Tony told him.
He groaned. "No one did it while I was gone?"
"Then I'll make sure it's done before another one gets put back in there." That got a smile from his buddy. "Come on. It'll help wear you out. Did we close the house door?" Tony nodded. "Good. Don't want to worry anyone." They walked into the reception, taking their nametags from the hostess. "Danny, Don, Horatio, and Speed might not be here all that often," he said quietly. "Or Ray or Greg at the moment." She nodded, still smiling. "Is Adam here?"
"Not yet. He said something about a family emergency?"
"Yeah, with Speed." He patted Tony on the back. "I promised to watch him so I'll go do my part on Monday." She nodded, letting them inside. Instantly a few of the members came over to admire the animals and gush at them. It was a good feeling.
Speed looked up at Horatio. "Where's the son?"
"The convention. He's watching over Tony since they had to take him back." He smoothed over his forehead. "He said he'd bring you good cookies on Monday."
"Good. Let me guess, you said something, someone else said something?"
"Are you psychic?"
"Maybe. I knew it was going to be a bad day. That's why I put on underwear." Horatio smiled at that. "I did."
"I noticed." He went back to smoothing over his hair, getting smiled at. "How are you feeling?"
"Better. Less pain definitely. Is that Stetler lurking?"
"Yes. He's going to say something about relationships on the job."
"He can blow me. You know very well I wasn't going to fire first."
"I did." He smiled. "Xander said I could stay with them until you came home."
"Good. Bring the little furry things with you."
"I will. Should I tell him you're drugged and to come back Monday with Xander and his cookies?"
"If you can." Horatio nodded, going to send him off. Speed watched his mate, seeing how tired he looked. The nurse slipped in. "How long am I being tortured for?"
"At least the next few days, Detective." He grimaced. "Speedle?"
"Try Speed and leave it there." She nodded. "Also, Horatio is allowed to feed me."
"No he's not."
"Yes he is. I'm not eating slop. I refuse to eat slop. I'm in enough pain and my stomach will complain at slop."
"I'm sure it's not that bad," she noted patiently. He gave her an incredulous look. "It's not."
"It is." Horatio came back. "Tell her you and the others can feed me."
"We'll be bringing food anyway. We're like a family in the lab. Alexx should show up with soup tonight. I'll be back with breakfast in the morning. The others will pop around as they can. Speed, I'm going to let Greg fill in for you for a few days, all right?"
"Sure. I know you're not replacing me." He shrugged, then winced and hissed. "Ow. That hurt."
"No, really?" Horatio asked dryly, glaring at him. "If you rip one you don't get to go home for longer."
"I'll be a good boy." He stared at his mate. "Go find the might-as-well-be son."
"I can't. I called the hotel and they're not admitting he's there yet. It's part of the security procedure."
"Then send someone to get him. I want to see him tonight."
"I will. Calm down."
"No! I'm guessing by the way Ryan and Greg looked that the kid's not happy for whatever reason."
"Maybe because they passed him over to take Tony?" Horatio suggested.
Speed stared at him. "I know every now and then you turn into a bigger asshole than I am, but that's about at the level of Adam being an asshole to Ray." Horatio looked down. "Go get the boy, Horatio. He obviously feels like we're not a family or he'd still be here, Tony or not. He'd have Tony playing with the dog and the ferrets."
"I can't go, not today. I'll send Eric." That got an unhappy look. "I will. But only if you rest."
"I am resting. Do we see work in front of me?" Horatio rolled his eyes but left to do that. "So, how was your day?" he asked the nurse.
"Not for all the money in the world. I hear gunshot wounds hurt."
"Yeah, they do," he agreed, shifting his arm in the sling. "When do I get this off?"
"When the incision's healed."
"So, tonight so I can sleep?" She walked off laughing. "I'm not kidding," he called. "I'll have a hard enough time resting in here," he complained. Horatio came back. "Is Eric going?"
"In a few minutes. He wanted to see you again." He let Eric in. "Don't tire him out."
"I won't." He looked at Speed. "You're so getting fussed over. My mother heard somehow." Speed moaned. "Sorry but suck it up." He grinned. "Should I help Horatio move the ferrets to Xander's house until you get home?"
"Please. Make sure the idiots cleaned the cages while Xander was gone too. Danny probably forgot. He's been working some extreme hours again."
"Sometimes work calls," Eric reminded him dryly. "You sure you're up to a Xander fit tonight?"
"He's not going to throw fits. He's going to spoil and nag, but it won't be any worse than Alexx's mothering. Now, go get the kid for me. I need to thank him. I would've died without it, Eric."
"Fine." He went to find him, stopping at the house first. Nothing and the corvette was gone. Even the dogs were gone. He headed to the hotel, finding it in full swing and no sign of Xander according to the tag girl at the door of the convention room. He frowned at her. "Speed wants to see him tonight instead of Monday if you see him, okay?"
"I'll tell him." Eric nodded and walked off. She shrugged and made a note, handing it to one of the society's pages to go find the guy. "The one with the reptile." That got a nod and he went to find him, being pointed at the right person by the guy with the snakes.
"Mr. Harris, sir?" he said. Xander smiled at him. "Here you go. Someone just came up for you." He handed over the message and left.
Xander flipped it open and smiled. "Speed wants to see me tonight."
"Go. I can handle myself. Paul's here," he said patiently. Xander looked at him. "Really. I'll even keep the dogs with me since they're so overprotective. You can even leave Hubert and the ferrets for me. We've got a litter box upstairs." Xander nodded, going to drop them off. One had gotten loose so he alerted the desk then headed off to buy some treats since he hadn't had time to bake yet. Tony sat down, petting the dogs, smiling at the cat that came over to hiss at them. "They're nice. They play with smaller things." The cat ran off at the first sign of drool. "Sure, you do that," he praised, stroking their heads. He smiled when Adam and Ray came over. "Xander got told Speed wanted to see him tonight so he headed over."
"How are you?" Ray asked. "I heard you got taken."
"First real kidnaping in a while," he admitted. "I'm fine. Paul's still amazing." He smiled. "Do I owe the group for the rescue?"
"No, we get plenty of donations from members' wills," Adam said patiently, sitting down next to him to pat the dog. "Hello, Spots." They both barked and lapped his hand, getting ear pets from Ray. "Did he leave you down here alone?"
"I'm not helpless, guys. I'm a federal agent. I can handle myself. The last guy drugged me. Worry more about Xander being out on his own and the fact that he's really unhappy for some reason."
"Jealousy?" Ray suggested.
"No," Tony said, staring at him. "Xander's not like that. Are we in some alternate Miami where no one likes him but me? Because if we are, I'm taking the animals and him back to DC with me."
"It's been a long week," Adam assured him. "He's been looking forward to this and then things started to happen. Including Gregory getting a job offer back in Las Vegas." Tony grimaced. "It's a good and sincere one."
"Yeah, but from what I heard, the techs out there didn't respect him."
"They do now." He patted him on the back. "Come, let's get you settled into Horatio and Speed's room since they won't be needing it."
"I'm in the spare room in Xander's suite. I think he canceled that room, not really sure." Adam groaned. "It'll be fine and it's not like Horatio's going to leave Speed's side to come here and play. Besides, I'd rather be with Xander for now. Greg and Ryan were both giving him dirty looks from what Paul heard." He heard someone's pager go off and Soshar went strolling off. "Xander?" he called.
"No. The lobby. Stay in here, Tony. You're still tired from the last kidnaping." He looked at the dogs. "Keep them with you." He and Paul walked out together, going to stop the person with the gun. The local officers were trying but they were just better. The man gave up and went away with a whimper once they had pounced him. Then Soshar looked at his boss. "Where is Harris?"
"He went to see Speed. Speed sent for him since he's in the hospital."
"He got shot."
"Bummer. I hate when that happens." He shrugged it off and went to help with the report for the local guys. It was only fair.
Paul went back to watching the more vulnerable members. If they needed him to help rescue Xander, he would go but he had plenty of protectors around him most of the time. Even with the other couple in the group being injured and out of action.
Speed looked up when Calleigh came in later. "Where's Xander?"
"I don't know. I'm assuming guarding Tony at the convention since that's where the note he left on the fridge said he'd be."
"H sent Eric to get him to tell him to come here."
"You don't think he's in trouble, do you?"
"I don't know, Calleigh. This is Xander."
"He's probably fine and I'll run a check on his license plate to see if he's been spotted." He nodded, grimacing at that. "He's probably out for a drive. It's been a stressful week."
"It has been. Then again, he's not one to avoid his duty either. He promised to take care of Tony?" She nodded. "Then he'd only leave him for a while and only if he had a better babysitter, like Ryan."
"I can call Ryan if you're really worried."
"Please. That way I know it's not that he's avoiding us because someone said something to upset him."
"Yeah, I don't know what I said but he wasn't looking happy," she admitted, dialing. "I mean, it's not like I insulted you or anything, Timmy."
He moaned. "Horatio probably told him not to call me that." She looked at him. "Really. Phone." She handed it over. "Wolfe, where is Xander? Yes it is your job to know where he is at all times. Yay. Find him." He hung up and looked at her. "He had better hope he's goofing off somewhere."
"I hope so too. You're right, that's not like him. Do you think he's mad at us?"
"No, I think we upset him and he'd already had a pretty crappy week," Speed said dryly. "Or didn't you hear about his mother calling on Monday?" She shook her head slowly. "Ah. Well. Yeah. Just the start of the crappy week." He settled in to be fussed over, even though he hated to be fussed over it made them feel better and he understood that. Now all they needed was the family's favorite fusser. Because it was strange not having Xander hovering around to fluff his pillows, feed him cookies, or try to convince the nurses to let him go early.
Horatio walked in the next morning, looking at his very awake husband. "I thought you'd still be asleep."
"I would if the nurse would leave me alone for more than thirty minutes. He never did show up."
"He left with your note after Tony told him he'd be okay. That was before the convention nearly got taken as a whole by a paramilitary group who think they can make us work for their army."
"Charming. Who blamed it on him?"
"Eric. I've already pointed out twice he wasn't there." He shrugged. "What worries me is that he left all the animals with Tony."
"Horatio, he's not the sort to run away. If he never showed up here and he never went back there, I'm doubting the boy is on this plane or in the city anymore," he noted patiently. Horatio moaned. "Did we find his car? I told Ryan to find him last night."
"I haven't been to work yet."
"Go. Shoo. Find him."
"What if he did run away, Speed? He hasn't been happy in the last few weeks."
"I wonder why," he noted dryly. "Right after you told him not to call me Timmy again, Calleigh called me that in front of him. His mother called Monday to bother him. He was drugged not two whole days ago and then later kidnaped by someone else from a federal building full of agents." Horatio groaned. "So yeah, not making with the happy him or me. Go find him, Horatio. He's family."
"He's fine, Speed. He's got Ryan and the others."
"It's not like I'm going to get dead in here, Horatio."
"You don't know that."
"Fine, be stubborn, check on it." Horatio nodded, going outside to use his cellphone and check on Ryan's progress in finding him. He looked up. "It's not like I ask many favors, and thanks for the warning, Ares, but where is the kid? Did he go out intentionally?" He looked out the door again, not very happy at the moment. Maybe it would be for the best if they all took a vacation. Separately. Including his spouse going on one where he couldn't fuss for a few days. Horatio came back shaking his head. "No, Ryan didn't find him?"
"They found his corvette this morning at the small bakery he gets fudge at," he said quietly. "There was a late burglary call there last night. No one's sure what's going on."
"Call the DPP guy."
"I can't in the hospital and Xander has the calling stone."
"Stetler has one," Speed reminded him. "Get him to use it."
"He does, doesn't he." He went to call him and make him use it, citing the kidnaping and burglary report. He wasn't happy but oh well. He hadn't been happy in a long time. He came back shaking his head. "He's on this planet somewhere. That's all the detective would say. That and he's not in good shape."
"I don't know. They're still trying to pinpoint the country for us. Then I can ask Paul to go." He moved closer. "You're really worried?"
"How often is beheading used when one of us won't submit, Horatio?"
"Point," he sighed, sitting beside him. "We've all been worried about you and Tony." He took his hand to hold. "Are you going to be okay?"
"I'll be fine. I itch like hell but I'm fine." He shifted some, looking at him. "But if we don't find him and figure out what's going on in his head again, I'm going to spank," he said quietly. "I'm the first to admit we could all use separate vacations. I don't think it's wise but we could all use some sort of break."
"Apparently Xander's having one."
"Not funny, Horatio."
"Sorry. I was trying to lighten the mood."
"Well, you didn't. Are we in some alternate Miami? One where you're not my Horatio? If I am, let me know, okay?"
"No, we're at home. It's stress," he assured him. "Xander's an added bonus that none of us need at the moment."
"He's our friend and near-family, Horatio Caine. You don't treat them like that," he said, staring at him. "Even if he does have problems, you don't treat family like that. Ever. That's not the man you are."
"Don't you dare use me as an excuse. Get your head on straight and come back later. With Xander." Horatio sighed and got up, heading off to help the hunt. Speed thumped his head on the pillows. "Are you sure we're in the right realm?" he asked quietly. "My Horatio wouldn't do things like that normally."
Cupid appeared, leaning on the railing on his other side. "Now and then, even your boy needs a swift kick. Right now, he's trying to suppress being angry with you. Something about not learning a lesson the first time?"
"I cleaned it two months ago."
"Not good enough," he said quietly. "Remember, if you die he'll die. Even before that necklace mom put on you two. It's not like anyone would take care of him like you do, Speed." Speed groaned and shifted, nodding at that. "So you didn't clean it for two months why?"
"Because I've been too tired to drive most nights."
"That's not our fault. You could take days off now and then."
"Then get you both out on a vacation. That's what they're for."
"I can't. It's too important to be here. I was going for one when I got called back."
"I saw." He stroked over his hair. "You know, you two will still age, just slower. If you want to grow old together instead of dying young and pretty, I'd figure this out. He's stressed about something personal and this added to it. You're tired and upset. Xander's depressed. Which is pretty scary."
"I haven't been able to get that deep yet. I tried and I ended up sobbing Monday night." They shared a look. "By the way, his mother has him. You can tell your boy that." He smirked at him. "She's trying to cure him." Speed grabbed the room phone. "Also, lay off the kid, Timmy."
"Only Horatio calls me that."
"Well, tough. He'll respect that but then he's not exactly feeling like family anymore. More like he's a burden. So if he gives up, you're going to have a damn long wait for your peanut butter cookies. So will his ferrets. She's already hard at work brainwashing him with her group." He faded out.
Speed finished hitting the last number, glaring at the nurse when she came in. "Horatio, just heard from the blond one. Him not her. No, his mother has him. Yes, Xander," he said firmly, rolling his eyes. The nurse started to take the phone and he slapped at her. "We have a missing friend, you can wait." He went back to listening to him. "No, she's got him somewhere. Something about trying to fix him, brainwashing, her cult?" He nodded. "Yeah, basically. Do you think it'll matter since he's damn close to the point of giving up? Well, gee, Horatio. The blond one said he was so depressed he made *him* cry. You tell me why, then ask Ryan why. I'm sure he knows." She hung up the phone on him. "I'm sorry you were feeling ignored but I needed to talk to him."
"Right now, you need to rest."
"No, I need to go home." He got up and swung his feet around. "Get me discharge paperwork." She laughed. "Now!" he snapped. She backed up, staring at him. "Right now." He pushed the 'nurse call' button. "I'm going home, where I can eat and sleep however much I need to. Get me the paperwork or I'm walking out without it."
"Sir, you need to be here, we need to do more tests," she complained. He glared at her and she wilted, nodding and going to do that. She brought them back, watching him sign it and then hop down and head for his clothes. "I'll get you a wheelchair."
"Thank you. Call me a cab too." He pulled on the jeans and t-shirt that had been left for him, putting his sling back on over top of it, with only a lot of hissing. It still hurt like hell but his family was going to fall apart without him. Someone needed to administer the asskickings. He slid into his sneakers and plopped down into the seat. He stared around his room at the small things, then groaned. A flash happened and a bag sat on his bed, with everything in it. "Thank you."
"Find my boy," Strife's voice floated out. "He's somewhere in the midwest."
"Sure." He grabbed the bag and looked inside, then at the nurse helping him. "My personal possessions?"
"I'll get them on the way out, sir. They're locked in your locker."
"Thank you." His family really did need him. She did get them for him and he was wheeled out and into a cab, where he paid him. "Crime lab."
"Are you a victim, sir?"
"No, I'm a detective. Now." That got a nod and the driver took off, taking him that way. "I'm also native," he noted at the detour. That got an unhappy grunt. "I'm the CSI shot yesterday." The cab driver sped up and took the most direct route. He shivered when he rode past the old house. It was still empty and needing fixed thanks to the last cult that had Xander. The cab parked and he got out, paying him and taking his bag inside. The guards all stared at him. "Don't give me that look," he said coolly. "Someone needs to kick some asses." He looked in the bag. "Get me up there?" One nodded and got the elevator for him. "Thank you." He got on and hit the button for the detective's floor, knowing at least Frank was in today. He walked off and put his bag on Ray's desk chair, then looked at Don and Frank. "Has it escaped your notice that Xander got taken by his mother?"
"We're working on it," Don complained. Speed swatted him. "Ow! What was that for?"
"Did you even know his mother called, Don?" Don slumped and shook his head. "Did he try to talk about it?"
"No," he said, looking at him. "He was quiet all week. I thought Greg got kinky with him."
"Not hardly. Now she's trying to fix him, her and her cult. They're somewhere in the midwest if that helps."
"It does," Frank agreed, modifying his airline search. "Any idea why she took him?"
"To fix him, Frank." He walked off, going to find the rest of his family. He ran into Ryan. "Did you get anything more than I did?"
"Only to kick your ass from a certain temperamental person upstairs."
"Get in line, Wolfe. I meant about Xander. Or Tony? Did someone manage to actually break the convention up?"
"Yup, ranting about godless whores. So Tony's back at Xander's house with Danny and Greg today."
"Good. That'll help him some." He headed upstairs, going to find Horatio, finding him with his eyes closed. "His mother has him."
"What are you doing out?"
"Gee, I wonder. Couldn't be that I need a whole different sort of cane, would it?" Horatio gave him a dirty look. "Think I'm kidding?"
"I heard and we're working on it, Speed. Sit before you fall over. Where's your things?"
"On Ray's desk chair. I stopped to nag Don and Frank first." One of the officer peeked in. "Yes, I put the bag of stuff on Ray's chair." It was handed over with a smile. "Thanks, and thanks for the card. It did cheer me up."
"You should still be there."
"I should but the family up here needs me more."
That got a nod. "They could use you. The glue seems to not be as strong this week for some reason." He walked off, still happy.
Tony smiled as he came off the plane, hugging Abby since she was with Gibbs to pick him up. "Did you have to arrest the security people?"
"Nearly," Abby agreed. "Are you better now?"
"Well, the convention went odd because someone broke it up by threatening to kill us all for being godless whores. So I didn't have as much fun as I should have but I had some fun at Xander's house. He's got things set up so it's easier to wear those urges out." She nodded and took his arm. "I got to babysit his pets because he went to check on one of the CSI that got shot down there and got taken by his mother so she could fix him. Her and her cult from what little they've found out." Gibbs moaned. "She apparently called earlier in the week and demanded he come back to her and upkeep her like he should since he's her son. Now he's probably drugged, injured, and being brainwashed. If they're lucky. If not, he's already dead because he fought back. Which is going to devastate that group down there for fighting like a family. It was still good though. It gave me a new perspective on a lot of things. I had plenty of chances to wear things out and Greg found out what caused the surges so we fixed that problem. As long as I can wear it out every few days I'll be back to my old self again."
"Fat chance," Gibbs said firmly.
"You heard me, DiNozzo. You're clearly not taking care of things. So therefore we're going to help you."
"Boss, you're way too dom," he said quietly.
"So? I can fill in until you can find a better one."
"It's like dating and finding who you want to marry."
"I can't work with you...."
Abby put a hand over his mouth. "The director sold you, Tony. You and Xander both. So hush. Even if I have to help I will. Now, tonight we're going to your place to talk about this stuff and see if you've got special things that help more than others. If you do, tell us, it might be fun." She smiled at him. "You know I like fun."
"I know you do," he sighed, shaking his head. "This really isn't necessary, guys. We figured out what happened to make me surge and I'm back to my normal levels. I'll be fine by going back to what I had been doing, dating a lot and the occasional night out." He looked at Gibbs. "Really. I will be."
"The first time you're not, expect to have us on your ass," he said firmly.
Tony shivered at that thought but nodded. "Sure. Can we head home? I need a nap after all the statements about the convention I had to give to the Miami-Dade guys."
"What religious freak did that anyway?" Abby asked.
"Someone who wanted us to be theirs and he wasn't about to let us play with each other. He saw one guy kissing his female keeper and lost it. Since he was the assistant mayor it got rather messy and ended in a hostage situation. Caine, their crime lab guy, had to come in and solve it even though his spouse was in the hospital after being shot." Gibbs looked at him. "At a scene, boss," he said quietly. "Then somehow Xander's mother found and took him so she could get his cult to reprogram him her way. They're still looking for where they are."
"You can help if we're not doing anything," Gibbs promised. Tony smiled at that. "Get your gear."
"I've only got the carry-on, boss. Xander wasn't there to spoil me the way everyone thought. But I did have a lot of fun playing with his ferrets and his dragon." Abby gave him a look so he pulled out a picture to show her. "See, dragon. His name's Hubert."
"Awww." She showed Gibbs. "That's a pet I want."
"I'm sure you can ask him if whoever gave it to him has another one." He walked Tony off, watching how he moved. He wasn't sore from all the sex. Yeah, he might need worn out tonight and who better to show him what he needed to know than Abby, who had admitted she had set him up on dates and taped them before. He didn't watch much tv, but that Tony porn had been better than any series when Abby had made him watch it. Maybe he'd make sure he slept tonight.
Six months later:
Tony pulled out his cellphone, pulling his car over to call. "Ryan, can you please bat Greg for me? Well, his phone's saying it's out of service. Xander's not answering at home. Neither is Adam and I think I hormoned my boss some. No, he's scary and possessive. No, like Eric scary and possessive." That got a laugh from his new friend. He nibbled on his bottom lip, looking behind him. "Well, because he's been over about every day recently, which I don't mind. He's a great lover and he even lets me cuddle, but today he told a suspect I was his and he couldn't have me." He listened to the advice. "Do you think I can? I mean, I've never brought anyone to this point and I know I'm not surging. No, I never danced for him before. Why?" He shivered. "No, that might make it worse, Ryan. Yeah, I'm sure. He's already possessive. Okay. I'll see you in a few days. Can Xander pick me up since I know you guys... What do you mean you haven't found Xander yet? How hard is it to find a cult in the midwest?" He groaned and shook his head.
"I sent what I had to Don, Ryan. He's somewhere in South Dakota but the group has ties to Cascade, Washington and a small compound in Oregon. Sure. In a few days to help. Thanks, man. Sure, I'll even play with the ferret babies." He smiled and hung up, heading to do some minor shopping. He wasn't heading home. Gibbs would stop him from leaving. Then he'd have to dance for him and leave him too stunned to think, which meant he couldn't work. A short vacation would do Gibbs good. Once he was ready to board, he called Kate's cellphone. "It's me, I've got to go help look for Xander. Do not tell Gibbs, Kate. I will. Don't worry, I'll leave a message for him. Thanks." He hung up and called Gibbs' office phone, knowing he had went home already. "Gibbs, it's me. I'm pretty sure my hormones have hit you extremely hard recently, or else you wouldn't have told the suspect that I was yours. They need me to help look for Xander so I'm going to do that for a few days. I promise I'll be safe and okay down there. Don't worry and I'll be back in a week. Put me on vacation if you want to or whatever. See you then." He hung up and turned off his phone so no one would say anything about the plane.
Ryan looked up as Tony got off the plane, giving him a grim smile. "Don said he checked there, they've moved. But we're trying to track their movements."
"How bad is he going to be?"
"I'm not sure," Ryan admitted. "I know Danny's a sorry bastard at the moment." He shrugged. "He was stressed. Horatio was stressed. Horatio's going to go slap the crap out of him when they find him because he worried Speed." He led him off. "Any bags?"
"Just the carry-on, I learned to travel lightly. I told the boss I was coming down to help you guys look."
"We know. We've already gotten a call from an FBI contact telling us he's going to raid us." That got a groan. "Well, it's nothing unusual. You're right, you did hormone him badly."
"I've been in control."
"Yeah, well, Horatio had a long talk with him about these things. He thinks it's still there from when you were surging and it never got fully purged. He told him how to do that and then you two could talk."
"He made Gibbs listen?"
"He told Abby to tie him down for a few minutes. Then he repeated it until she finally slapped him and made him listen."
"She does like playing with handcuffs," he admitted, shaking his head. "Okay, let's go so I can help."
"Play with the ferrets and the dogs, Tony. It's the best help ever. They're all depressed because the daddy's not home and Hubert's not enough to keep them cheered up."
"Sure." They got into the hummer and he took Tony to the house, finding it exactly the same. It was like someone had come in and frozen time there. The dogs came out to meet him and he let them sniff him before sitting down to pet them. Ryan handed him their ball and he threw it for them, earning slightly happier dogs. "I'm here to help get the daddies back, guys. It'll be okay," he soothed, playing with them. "We're all okay."
Ryan smiled and went back to work, nodding at Horatio. "I left him playing with Spot one and two."
"Thank you. Did he have anything new?"
"He thought we would've found them by now."
"So did I."
"Could they be shielding somehow by magic?" Ryan asked.
"How would you tell?" Speed demanded.
"Well, for one thing, I'd ask Richard." They all stared at him. "If they're doing something that way he can probably find them that way." Speed slapped himself on the head and went to find Eric to have him call in the other immortal. And if not, maybe he could find him anyway.
Tony looked up as Xander was finally drug home, getting up to hug him. "Xander," he soothed. Xander looked at him, looking confused. "It's Tony, Xander."
"I know. Why are you in my house?"
"I came down to help them find you again." He stroked the younger man's cheek. "We missed you." Xander shook his head.
"They screwed him up grandly," Paul admitted. "He thinks no one down here loves him. That Horatio was mad at him. That his family decided to kick him out. Then his mother imported people who wanted to bring him back to their sides so they could help him heal and be the Xander he used to be. They even had him working construction, had a guy with a whip there to make sure of it. So far he's fine but he was hormoning the camp nearly nightly to let it go. He nearly got away at least once by their records. They had to hunt him down. There's one small department out that way who's in deep shit with the FBI for bringing him back as well." He stroked over Xander's short hair. "They also cut off his braid."
"We can fix that," Tony promised. "Did you call the others, Paul?"
"Nope, not yet." He shrugged and went to do that. He had Ryan on speeddial. Ryan had taken his phone and programmed his number in the last time they had run into each other for updates. "Wolfe, he's home. Confused, in pain, but home. No, they were trying to make him the same Xander he was before he left on his road trip. Trimmed his hair and everything. No, total chop job. Sure. Thanks." He hung up. "I'm staying until they can get free. Ryan's about to go in to make a murderer beg. Eric's off today so he's heading right over. Go ahead and sit with him, Tony. It'll help if he's cuddled." Tony pulled Xander into the living room and let the ferrets and the dogs surround him, making Xander smile.
"Daddy missed you guys," he said quietly. "I love you guys." He stroked them all, making happy and content pets when Tony handed him the treat containers. Even the dragon got some. "Yes, I missed you too, Hubert." He went back to petting them, relaxing until he heard the gate open.
"Shh, it's all right," Tony soothed, stroking his hair. "Your family still loves you. They've been frantic. That's why I'm down to help. That and I ended up needing Gibbs to detox the hormones." Eric stomped in, then stared at him. "Quit," he ordered.
"It's shock. It's strange to see him without hair." He came over and hugged Xander around the animals, weathering the dogs trying to get him off their daddy. He looked at him. "If you EVER stomp off that way again I'm going to spank you. Hospital or not, Xander." Xander wilted. "I mean it!" He kissed him. "Now, let's relax. Paul, I've got it."
"I don't doubt it, but we've got stuff coming. One of the people holding him hostage was doing it so they could blackmail demons into giving him things and knowledge." Xander shuddered and curled up some. "Oh, his mom's dead." They shared a look. "One of the FBI agents who helped us ended up shooting her when she attacked him for taking her son. The woman came after him with an axe."
Eric muttered something, making Xander give him a horrified look. "What? She deserved it! You don't deserve treatment like that!"
"Oh, not the best part. Those friends Adam put on the watch list? They were there too. They managed to escape." He shrugged and looked outside as another car pulled in. "Hmm. Speed's not on the bike?"
"Horatio confiscated the keys because Speed was being a bastard again." He looked out there, then smiled. "Good." Don and Speed walked in. "Guess who else was there."
"I got the report they sent from the plane," Speed offered, looking at Xander. "I told you to come see me so I could straighten out what Horatio and the others thought. They were being dumbasses." Paul snickered at that. "They were. It was a stressful day." He came over to move the ferrets, getting growled at. He glared at the dog and it quit, letting him pull Xander up to hug him. "You're home," he whispered. "You're family and you're home." He pulled back to look at him. "Tim is fine. Timmy is only Horatio's and I yelled at Calleigh for that. Understood?" Xander nodded slowly. "Good. Now, let Don pounce." He let him go and Don pulled him over, sitting down in his usual chair to hold him. He looked at Paul. "The reports were straight and boring. What happened?"
"They wanted the old Sunnydale Xander back according to the blonde. She said she needed him back to help her."
"So, she didn't learn," Eric said bitterly. "Well it won't happen anymore." He looked at Xander, then at Paul. "The blood tests?"
"Oh, they gave him that new herbal stuff that's just now coming out onto the list. He's confused because of it mostly. He's coming down but it's about the only thing he's had recently. They laced food and drinks with it. How you put that stuff into twinkies I'm not sure, but they did. They were also trying to remove his tattoos but he was healing okay the last time I saw." Don looked and stroked over one, bringing his Lord and Master. "Ares." He nodded respectfully.
"Paul. Nice work. Thank you." He clapped him on the back. "Xander?" Xander blinked up at him. He had to grin at the look on the kid's face. "Yeah, you're in trouble," he agreed. "But not of your own making. Don't like the haircut though. Looks like they took a weedeater to it."
"We'll get him something more stylish later," Eric assured him. He looked at Paul. "What else happened?"
"They were making him work construction under penalty of being beaten and whipped. His mother was trying to reprogram him by use of some older pictures and stories that she kept trailing off on every night when it went back to bad things. We watched for about six hours before going in to make sure he was safe and there. The blond and the redhead helped with that after his mother had went to bed, reminding him of how he had hunted. The older guy got him during the day, bringing something down to drain what the herbs weren't in exchange for books and things. We did a full exam and blood workup. Once he's got that herbs out of his system he should be fine."
"He'll be fine," Ares agreed.
Don looked at him, his eyes cold. "Can *you* deal with the redhead, blonde, and the old guy this time since we can't seem to keep them?"
"I might be convinced to," he agreed, looking at his nails then at him. "But Xander would have to ask. They wronged him." Xander shook his head and put it down.
Ryan coughed as he walked in. "Ares, as a chosen warrior, I request that you aid this immortal who is unable to speak for himself," he said formally. "His friends have punished him for existing, they've used skills you taught mankind to do so. He was injured by people using your ways and means even though he was innocent of what they charged him with. The punishment was too hard for the crime of existing. It wasn't done in your name or in an act that was dedicated to you." Ares gave him an amused look so he pulled out his pocket knife and slit his hand, holding it up. "So I swear and vow to have his case heard, read, and those who hurt him punished."
"I hate it when you turn protocol back on me," he complained, walking over to touch Xander's head, hearing his memories. He shuddered. "That's bad. You're right. Xander?" Xander looked up at him. "Will you let me punish them for you?"
"Will they go away forever?"
"Yes, they will. What they did was very wrong, Xander." Xander nodded and hugged him. "Good boy. You rest on Don. It's necessary." He stroked over the short hair then nodded. "Agreed, Ryan. Even if you did use protocol against me."
"Hey, you're the one who handed me the book," he said dryly. "Blame yourself."
"That was Strife." They shared a look and then Ares heard his nephew cackle. "If I want to help I should go now." He disappeared.
"See, Strife still loves you too," Don offered, stroking over Xander's back.
"As proven by you guys all being off work and crime starting to build in Miami again," Paul agreed. He saw the truck and nodded. "Where, Ryan?"
"Practice room is the usual spot." That got a nod and they headed out to help the other guards unload it. "The thing that came down?"
"Had sucker pads on his hands. He drained him down."
"Charming. Was he attacked?"
Paul shrugged. "I'd say at least once but I can't be sure." Ryan nodded and they got everything inside, then he paid the drivers, making them smile. "Ryan, be a bit more gentle. He thinks his family abandoned him before he was taken," he said quietly. "He tried to talk me out of bringing him back here because he thought you guys hated him." That got a nod. "I'll be in town if you need me." He walked off, leaving it in the very capable hands of this family.
Ryan watched Xander stare at his babies, then walked in and hauled him off Don, glaring at his hurt noise. "Come on, we'll go talk. Bring the babies with us, Xander." Xander nodded, letting him take the dogs and the dragon getting the ferrets while he drug Xander across the boundary into the other house. He made Xander sit on the couch over there, staring at him. "Talk to me," he said gently. Xander shook his head, cuddling one of the ferrets. "Please?" He knelt beside him, making Xander look at him. "The family was stressed, Xander, not mad at you."
"I wasn't." He stared into his eyes. "You were in pain before then and it got magnified. None of us were mad at you. Even if we were mad because we thought your hormones had caused you to be taken when we needed you to be strong for the rest of us." Xander shook his head. "I know. Now. It took us a day but we found out. The same as we found out that you're not the reason that the convention got stopped early due to hostage situation. Eric thought it was your hormones for a moment then he heard what was going on. They even asked him if he knew you and he said no, he'd never take anyone with hair like yours."
"Not everything's my fault."
"I know that. It took a bit longer for Eric to figure out he was doing that. He's back to reasonable again. He's been so worried he's even made Marisol worry about you." Xander looked at him. "Really. Not to mention Speed and Horatio are arguing about you too. They're going to work that out with you later. As for me, it took me most of the plane ride to figure out what you were saying about being tired of death, that you'd seen too much of it already. I was slow that day," he offered with a small smile. Xander shrugged, cuddling the wiggling body tighter. He got the ferret free, letting him run and pounce the others, giving Xander Beauty to hug. That got a smile. "George got his share now it's her turn." He stroked a finger down Xander's nose. "I promise we're not mad at you," he said quietly, staring at him. "Really. I promise we're not." Xander blinked at him. "So please? Can we cuddle? I need a cuddle and you're the best at it." Xander nodded, letting Ryan sit behind him and cuddle him. "Now, can we talk?" Xander shook his head. "Please?"
"I don't want to talk about it. I want to forget it."
"I understand but will that help you heal?"
"You're quiet, you're not fine. You didn't pounce anyone for a hug." He stroked over his hair again. "You do look strange having short hair. It'll take us a few days to get used to it." He kissed him on the back of the head, making him shiver and pull away. "Shh, it's just me. You know me." He kissed him again, then wrapped his arms around him, making Xander relax. "I won't do more than cuddle." Xander wiggled back against his chest. "Good boy." He looked up and found Horatio and Speed standing there watching them. "He's still quiet but he says he's fine."
"He's not fine. He's making Don pout." Speed came over, taking the ferrets to hand to Horatio so he could pull Xander up and hold him again. "You're like my son," he whispered. "You scared the hell out of me by leaving the hospital that way." He looked back at Horatio, who came over to take his own cuddle. The ferrets got Horatio's pockets for a while, which was fine with them.
"I'm sorry I said that, Xander. It's a special name only I get to call him," he said gently. "I snapped at Calleigh for calling him that too." He stroked over his hair, making him wince. "Sore?" Xander nodded. "I'm sorry." He looked at him. "He's right, you are like our son. You worried us sick. We all thought you had made it to the hospital and only Speed was keeping track of everything but he kept being sedated." He cupped his cheek. "Forgive me?" Xander nodded, staring into his eyes. "Thank you, and thank you for the warning." He kissed him on the forehead. "Now, let's bring the babies back home. Greg's having to calm down Don's pout and Danny's bouncing around too."
"I thought it'd give them time to make sure everything was ready for a good meal and let him talk," Ryan offered, gathering up the escaping ferrets with the dragon's help. "Come on, guys." The dogs followed and Xander let himself be led back over there, watching as Danny pounced him and Xander hugged back. Then Don got up to steal him.
"Mine." He cuddled Xander, getting cuddled back. He relaxed and smiled. "You're home, baby. You're home and mine and it's all right. Everything will be okay now."
Danny stole him back. "You had your turn." He kissed him, making Xander's head spin. "I heard you got herbalized again. We can help you wear that out and heal. Do whatever you need, including therapy if you need it, Xander. You're safe and home again."
Greg snuck between them and into Xander's arms, grinning at him. "I missed you." Xander smiled at that. "We hid the stuff Paul brought in and we'll deal with the bitches if they come for you ever again. Got it?" Xander nodded, putting his head down. "Shh, I know it's a hard thing to be rescued. Let's lay on the couch with the babies and let everyone fuss." Xander gave him a look. "You fuss over us, we get to do it to you. I might even help Speed cook if you're a good boy and let us fuss," he teased with a grin. He got Xander down onto the comfy sleeping spot Horatio made up for him, helping the ferrets up onto his body. The dogs both laid down, one at his feet, one at his head. The dragon took the back of the couch and stared at them. "Good, you stay there," Greg agreed. "It means you can't steal dinner." He smiled at Xander. "Meat?" He shook his head. "Chocolate?"
"That's fine. We'll make something soothing." Greg went to help Speed in the kitchen. "He said he doesn't want chocolate or meat."
"Which means they forced him to eat meat and regular people food but he's still got the herbal stuff in his body," Speed noted. "It's a new thing, just now coming out and being found to be bad for us."
"I remember writing the memo, Speed." Speed nodded at that. "Anyway, it'll be fine. We'll talk, we'll work things out. He'll cling for a bit and then he'll go back to being Xander again. Or maybe some time with Strife?"
"No, I think Strife's practicing destruction as a method of birth and population control."
Strife appeared, looking at them. "Not much chance to. Unc took over and I only got his father." He gave them a look. "Where's my boy?"
"Living room." They smiled as he stomped that way.
Strife stared at him. "You couldn't pray and reach us?"
"They kept cutting off the tattoos," he said quietly, looking at him. "I thought I had to rededicate them."
"Nope." He leaned down to kiss him on the forehead, then frowned. "What tha hell? Cupid!" He flashed in, looking confused. "Our boy here?"
"Yeah, I was helping with the destruction by finding the others, making them want it desperately, like they'd die without it, and unable to get it up or enjoy it, and then leaving them marked for you to finish." He looked at Xander, then moaned. "If she wasn't dead, I'd kill her for that. I liked your hair." Horatio glared at him. "I did! It inspired fantasies in many people! Chill!" He reached down to help unbind Xander's body from the chemical hold that had it sucked so deeply in. He frowned and did it again, then finally looked and snorted. "You managed to get the stress switch stuck, baby. Bad things happen when you do that."
He finished taking care of it and Xander surged. He smiled and took out the brain tumor as well, then got him released, making him sigh and fall asleep. "Good boy. That's my good boy," he soothed, stroking his hair. The dogs stared at him. "Yes, you two are good boys too," he promised, petting them both with a smile. "Guard the daddy, let him nap." They settled in to watch him to make sure he wasn't going to disappear again. He stood up. "He's fine. The tumor was so large it had fully pressed on the right spots to make him suppressed. It's fixed too." They all nodded at that. He looked at Horatio. "Good job fixing it. Now, try it again later when his head's not full of fluffy filling and it'll be okay. I know Xander, it'll be fine. Just no fights for a few weeks." He looked at Strife. "Want my help to punish the others?"
"Oh, yeah," he agreed happily, leaving with him. "We're gonna have some fun now, baby."
Horatio shook his head. "I'd ask to help but I don't think I can be as mean as those two." He moved closer but Don tucked Xander in and sat under the dog at his feet. "Sure, you take care of him. I'll go help with dinner?" Don shrugged. "Thank you."
"Horatio, I'm going to have possessive bitch syndrome. There's no way Xander's going anywhere without me for the next few days. Not even to the can."
"I'll make sure you've got it off, Don." He went to make that call, making his boss amused but he had expected this so it was fine. He went to look at the things in the practice room, grimacing in distaste at the magic books. Maybe Xander would let him burn them. If not, maybe he'd help him box them up since they were on death magic and things. Plants was one thing, dead bodies was another. He went to help Speed and Greg, making them both smile and hug him. "Don's gone possessive."
"Remember the last time you got taken and how you didn't even get to be bothered by Stetler because I growled and pulled you away?" Speed noted dryly. "Don's doing his impersonation of me."
"I'd expect that," he agreed. "Ryan's sitting beside the couch, Danny's watching them."
"I'll get mine later when we're in bed," Greg assured him. "Or whenever Ryan moves." Eric walked into the kitchen. "He need anything?"
"He could probably use something to drink. The rest of us could but they're not moving." He brought sodas back, making Xander shudder. He got him a juice and it was better. At least until Aphrodite showed up.
"Oooh, my poor baby!" she cooed, stroking over his hair. "We'll help you heal, precious."
Xander looked at her, then swallowed and hid under his blanket.
She frowned. "I'm not like her, Xander. Even if I am a blonde."
"He's still running on instinct," Danny reminded her. "Eventually he'll like blondes again."
She frowned at him. "I'm not like any other blonde on this planet, thank you." She pulled down the blanket and zapped him, making him yelp and the dogs growl at her. "Better now? I pushed it back some so it was like watching it." The dogs were still growling so she scowled at them but it got a second one from the dragon. "Ares?" He appeared, looking amused. "I helped but they're growling. He's still frozen."
"Down boys," Don ordered. "You too, scaley." The dragon and dogs quit. He looked at her. "So he'll heal faster?"
"He should," she agreed. "What I did was made it so it was like watching it happen instead of it happening to him."
"Which means he'll still have to deal with it but it won't cause as many nightmares," Ares offered, petting the nearest dog. "You're a good boy. If we get puppies off him, I want one." He disappeared, making Aphrodite come help him torture others. After all, Xander was the family's anchor so this should be the family's fun.
Xander looked at them. "I think she's scary just because she's female," he offered, hiding again. The ones in there laughed with him.
Tony woke up in a whole different house than he had went to sleep in, with his boss standing over him. "What?" he asked through a yawn. "I was helping retrieve Xander."
"I saw that. They let you sleep alone?"
"Ryan said I could've crawled in with him but he needed to cuddle Xander for a bit. Most of the family was on the bed with them, boss." He tried to sit up and found his arms bound to the bed with hospital style straps. "Boss?"
"It's not good for you to run."
"Are you insane?"
"No," he said, glaring at him.
"Are you sure? You tied me to the bed, Gibbs. That's not normal Bossman behavior."
"I'm fine, DiNozzo." He leaned down to sniff him. "You're broadcasting."
"I am not."
"You are too. It was floating around your room."
"Boss, there were four other GHS in that house. Of course it was." He struggled and got one side loosened enough to slip his hands out, then he undid the other one so he could sit up. He felt the yank on his ankle and looked down then at him. "You need to wear those out."
"No, you need to wear those out." He moved closer.
"Um, no," he said firmly. "Not happening until you're back to normal, boss. Sorry but no!" The door burst inward. "Kate! Hi," he said, making sure the sheet was covering him since he knew he was naked. "Are you here to help Gibbs? He's not exactly acting sane."
"No, I'm here to take him far away from you, Tony."
"It's not my fault! I was asleep at Xander's and woke up here!"
"Whose hormones are out of control?" she countered.
"I've been keeping mine down, thank you. I haven't surged in weeks! They said this was from the last time I was surging, back when I was still being forced higher by the drugs I got when I was sick." He looked at the ankle cuff and figured out how to get it open. "Can I have the key so I can go back to Xander's?"
Kate found it and tossed it over, forcing Gibbs out the door. Then she slammed the door after him. "What are you doing?"
"I'm going to put on clothes once I get this undone. I'm going to go back to Xander's house. Especially since this isn't even a current problem. Horatio told him how to wear it out and he didn't." He finally got it undone and stood up, wrapping the sheet around himself. "Where am I?"
"I'm back in DC?" She nodded, smirking at him. He groaned and held his head, then walked past her, making sure the sheet was fully tied off. He headed out the apartment door, finding Gibbs' car down there. Well, he had his keys..... He got in and headed back to his place, frowning when a cop stopped him. He groaned and leaned his head on the steering wheel. "Pretty night isn't it, officer?" he asked into the horn.
"Are you wearing a sheet, sir?"
Tony looked up at him. "Coworker prank gone wrong. So I'm borrowing a car so I can get home. They have my wallet and everything."
"Okay. Where do you live, sir?"
"Mayfield. I'm an agent with NCIS. I'm on Gibbs' team."
"I've heard of him. I'll follow you home, sir."
"Sure. Thank you." He headed back there, going to his apartment. He parked and got out, going to knock on the manager's door, seeing his shocked look. "Gibbs," he said dryly. "Can I please be let in?"
"You moved. Gibbs said so."
"Gibbs is a dead man," he said dryly. "My stuff still up there?"
"Not really. Some of it. He said I could yardsale the rest."
"No, you can't. I'll have it moved. Please let me in?" That got a nod and he let him up there, watching as he headed to the bathroom. "Thank you, Henry. I'm moving, you may not tell Gibbs where."
"Sure, Tony. What is going on?"
"Apparently my boss decided to kidnap me tonight. I had been in Miami." He gathered the stuff up, packing a few bags. He found his emergency stash of documents and cash, loading it into his pockets. Then he grabbed two things out of his closet and walked out to Gibbs' car, finding the cop still there. "I know. I'm taking a cab. It can wait here."
"He said you're a federal witness in protection, sir." Tony showed him his ID, getting an amused look. "He said you'd have one of those."
"Listen. I'm a GHS member," he said quietly. He looked at his manager. "Henry, give me three days, okay?" That got a nod. "Thank you!" He looked at the officer again, seeing his really amused look. "You know, right?"
"I do. We were briefed, sir."
"Tony, please. My boss decided to take me earlier from Miami. I was with a friend earlier tonight."
"It's only ten, sir."
"Oh, shit, what day is it?"
"Okay, so he took me yesterday. Whatever. I'm heading back out. I'm not staying where my sanity is in danger. Okay?" That got a nod. "Can I get a ride to the airport or are you going to follow the cab?"
"I'll give you a ride. Is this everything?" Tony looked then headed back up there, making sure he had everything he'd need. He came back down and found McGee beside the cop. "He said he's going, sir."
"Might be a good idea, Tony. Have fun in Miami. Call within a week so we know you're okay and all that. Kate and I have locked Gibbs down for the night."
"Have Ducky take him back to the place in Baltimore. He'll know and understand. She can help him and make him wear it down."
"I can tell him that. You, head off. Now. Got everything?" He handed over a ticket. "The director is worried too. He thinks Gibbs is going off the deep end."
"I know a place I can hide and someone who can help me." McGee nodded and opened the door of the cruiser, letting Tony into the passenger's seat. "Thanks, McGee. I'll call soon." He slid in and closed the door, making sure he still had everything. The officer slid in. "Thank you."
"Not an issue. I've heard some about your problems, Agent DiNozzo. My partner rescued you from Union Station." He backed out, heading to the interstate. "Which airport?"
"Sure. So this'll be solved?"
"Oh, yeah. Something I got given while I was sick made me surge and it got my boss. It apparently hasn't been worn out yet. I went to Miami to help with a friend who just got retrieved." The cop hissed. "Exactly. So he had me stolen." The officer moaned. "Yesterday apparently. Now I'm going to hide."
"Sir, from his reputation I'm not sure there's a place for you to hide from him."
"Oh, I am." He grinned sweetly. "Some of us have some very good hidden areas." That just got a nod. He found his spare cellphone - he loved buy one get one free sales - and called Horatio. "It's Tony. I woke up back in DC." He smirked at the groan. "I'm coming back. That area where Ryan and Xander talked, can I borrow it? I'll even bring groceries." He relaxed. "Thank you. I'll be there soon. No, don't make any sort of fuss. He'll know. I can cab. Thank you." He hung up and repacked his carry-on with everything in his pockets, making the cop gasp. "Reparations."
"Wow. Is there a shot I can take?"
Tony looked at him. "Half of us are stolen and kept by people who see us as pets," he said quietly. "They keep us as pampered pets. They feed us, clothe us, give us pretty things, fix us like bitches in heat, sleep with us even if we don't want to, and keep us locked away from everyone important in our lives."
"Never mind. They...fix you?"
"That way we can't sleep with a guard to get ourselves out of there. Or their wives, other pets, no one else but the people who have us. There's a few who have more than three of us."
"Can't you retrieve them?"
"We can but if they say they want to stay we won't."
"So the ideal is to break them and make them willing and cooperative hostages?"
"Yup. If they can, then no one in the group outside of your friends would try to take you back. Now, sometimes our friends will do it or Paul will step in anyway. I've went on a few of those myself." He looked around. "Next exit, junior. I saw the slip past that one." The cop blushed and headed down the next exit. "Also, I teach self defense for the society." He gave him a look. "Plus, we're horribly protective of each other. The guy who's my first stop is a level ten and powerful enough to enslave most of Miami if he wanted to." That got a shiver. "So we're very protective of each other."
"I'll keep that in mind, sir."
"We're normal guys, officer. It doesn't make us any better in the bedroom, just more needy."
"I'll keep that in mind too, sir. What happens if I run into one who might be?"
"The website is GHS.org." That got a nod and the officer pulled into the airport's parking lot. "Thank you."
"Welcome, Agent DiNozzo."
"Tony, please," he said with a grin. He got out and got his stuff from the trunk, putting it onto a cart a skycap rolled over. He checked the trunk and then got his carry-on. He leaned over. "Whichever of you has the cocaine in the trunk, I'd turn it in. I'm still a cop and going to a cop's house," he hissed, getting a quick nod. "Evidence report, princess." He pulled out and grabbed his sunglasses since they had fallen out of his pocket. He grabbed the ticket and headed inside with the skycap. "Thank you." He checked in with a smile. "Hi."
"Hi, sir. ID please?" He handed it over. She typed it in and looked at him. "You're an NCIS agent?" He nodded. "That explains why you're on the watch list, sir. Do you have your sidearm with you?"
"No. I retired this morning." She nodded, typing that in and then let him through. He took his carry-on and to the boarding pass, heading off. The security guards smiled when he did. "Hi." He toed out of his shoes, letting them have them. His bag went onto the conveyor. Everything cleared but the residue scanner. "I'm a newly retired NCIS agent," he said, showing off his old ID. They hand wanded him and passed him through. He made it onto the plane with a sigh of relief. He put his carry-on under the seat in front of him and relaxed, making sure he wasn't surging when a few people gave him interested looks. He pulled down the shade once they started to move. He turned off the light. By the time the stewardess came around he was asleep. She cooed and covered him but left him alone after that.
Tony came out of Miami's airport the next morning, looking around. He spotted a guy he knew and moaned, shaking his head when he came over. "Just go away, man. I retired this morning."
"I know. Kate called me," he offered quietly, staring at him. "You're GHS?" Tony nodded. "Damn, I never expected that. A slut, but not GHS. Can I give you a ride?"
"No, I'm going to hit a friend up for keys to his hiding spot. He's with the local PD."
"Sure. Need help?"
"Just a cab." That got a nod and one got summoned over for him. He even helped him put everything into the trunk. Tony smiled. "Thank you."
"Welcome." He watched as Tony left, calling Kate. "I put the tracer on his suitcase. It should work no matter what. He said he's getting keys from someone in the local PD. Sure I'll do that. He looked rested, like he had slept on the plane. No, not really jumpy. Thanks, Kate." He hung up and went back to his office. It was only an hour before he had to report.
Tony gave the driver the address once he was away from the airport. The driver smiled at him. "We're friends and I'm heading out of the city." That got a nod and the driver minded his own business, only radioing back to his base. "So, how is the FBI down here?"
"We don't much like your friends locally, Agent DiNozzo."
"I'm pretty sure I quit when I ran."
"Sorry. So, going to stay with Mr. Harris? By the way, is he all right?"
"He's just been rescued from his mother's cult. No."
"Oh. No wonder we haven't seen him at the station."
"You have the crime lab under surveillance?"
"I can't comment. Sorry."
"Uh-huh." Tony let himself spike just a bit, making the driver moan. "Ryan is my friend," he said quietly, leaning forward. "I'm hoping there's no reason for you to be watching *him*?"
"No, no reason," he moaned, pulling over. "Please don't. I can't take it and I don't want to face Fornell. Please, Agent DiNozzo?"
"Tell me why and I'll quit." He stroked his cheek with a finger. "Please?"
"Um, well...." He swallowed and looked at him, turning around. "Okay, we are. It's not the agency's thing but we're watching over them for another one. They think there's some drug irregularities and a few murders. Is that good enough?" Tony nodded. "Please quit?" Tony rolled down the window. "Can't you solve it the other way?"
"If I do, can you drive?"
"Please," he moaned. Tony did a quick, sudden spike, and then let it fall just as suddenly. The agent moaned and got off, panting against his door. "Thank you." He looked at him. "No wonder Gibbs wants you back."
"Yeah, well, not until he's detoxed. I'm not staying here either. I'm visiting Xander and then leaving again." That got a nod and the agent turned back around to drive. "Thank you."
"Please don't let them know I told you?"
"I won't. Or Fornell. He's an annoying ass." He grinned and patted him on the shoulder. "Thank you."
"Welcome." He pulled up to the gate and let Tony input the code, then he drove up to the garage and helped him get his things. "I hope you stay safe, sir."
"Thank you." He waved and waited until he left to look at the door. "I need to hide. Can I borrow the talking spot?"
"Sure," Don agreed. He came out to help him by grabbing a few bags. "Horatio called."
"Thank you, Don. Gibbs went insane."
"Are you all right?"
"Well, I woke up plugged. Nothing else. Strapped to the bed." He grabbed the last one and came back in. "Can I run out and get groceries?"
"Oh, please. There's plenty. There's an orchard, a garden, and if you can hunt there's hunting too." He opened the doorway to the alternate realm a demon who had wanted Xander had given them, smelling the mustiness. "You might need to open windows and things."
"Thanks." He drug everything through and put them all in the spare bedroom he had borrowed the last time, which was apparently Ryan's bedroom since he was in there. "Ryan?" he called quietly, remembering he usually jumped awake. Which he did and made Tony blink. "Hi. Put the sword down?" Ryan frowned his sword and put it down. "Are you hiding too?"
"No, I was going to make sure things were set up so you could. Sorry, napping."
"That's fine." He grinned. "I'll be okay. Do we have a rifle for hunting?"
"In the closet in the practice room. Along with a bow and arrows, plus Xander's old crossbow and bolts." Tony grinned at that and nodded. "Need anything else?"
"No, I should be okay. Is the former owner around?"
"We're not sure," he admitted. "If he gives you any trouble tell us." He gave him a hug, making Tony relax. "It'll be fine. He can't track you here. I promise he can't. There's cable so you can relax. Need me to do anything?"
"I wrote an email to the moving service I usually use using the plane's system. I gave them Xander's email account so he could tell me when they had my stuff in storage. I also wrote an email to my bank saying that I was putting Xander and you both on my account because I had to leave the country for a while and you two would be making all payments for me for a while. I wrote a certified letter after I woke up over North Carolina." He dug it out and handed it over. "There, for them and anything else that needs it. I really appreciate this."
"It's not like we use it all the time." He grinned. "Rest. You're safe now. Remember to come see us if you need anything." Tony nodded and drug his bags toward the closet. Ryan helped. "Need anything else?"
Tony looked at him. "I need to see Horatio about something I heard."
"Later in the morning. He's in his room at the other house. I'll have him wake you up." Tony nodded and stripped down, making Ryan smirk and spank him. "Be a good boy, Tony. We'll even let the dogs come play." He headed down and across the portal, finding Speed up. "He heard something Horatio needs to hear but he's taking a shower."
"That's fine. Horatio won't be out of the shower for another thirty minutes." He looked at the paper in his hand then at him. "Power of attorney?"
"Yup. He had a moving company put his stuff in storage too."
"Good. That might help. How long should the detox take?"
"Tony was still jumpy. It's going to be a while. By the way, I left the tracking device I saw there with him. Just in case."
"That's fine." Speed grinned as Xander wandered out, giving them both a hug. "Go shower, Xander. We'll have someone take you out for a trim today." Xander grimaced. "Try the short hair for a while and if you don't like it, you can always magic it longer again." Xander nodded and stumbled into the kitchen, falling to his knees to kiss Don's cock and suck on him for a while. "Ah, he missed his morning infusion."
"In the kitchen?" Ryan complained.
"It's not like it's going to spray anything," Speed said dryly. But he did stop Eric from waking in there. "Xander's having a sleepy blowjob moment."
"In the kitchen?" Don yelped and they all heard Xander chuckle evilly. "Never mind I don't want to know." He peeked in. "Are you both decent?"
"Yeah," Don agreed, letting go of the counter. "I didn't let him blow me this morning so he was missing it." He pulled Xander up and kissed him. "I'm home all day. You could've waited and not traumatized everyone else." Xander kissed him again, making him smile. "Yes, I love you too, Xander. Now go bathe so we can get your hair trimmed. I want to see what you look like with a real haircut for at least a few days." Xander nodded and went to do that, even coming out dressed. Don poured himself some juice, making Eric laugh. "It's my treat. I get it every morning." He sipped it, nodding at Horatio when he came down. "Tony's here."
"Is he okay?"
"He's fine," Ryan said, "but he wanted to talk to you about something he heard."
"Sure." He headed over there, finding Tony in bed. He smiled and laid down beside him, stroking his side. "Tony?" Tony blinked at him. "What did you need to tell me?"
Tony put his head on Horatio's shoulder. "The FBI is watching your lab," he said quietly. "It's not an FBI thing but they're helping the people who think you have drug irregularities and a few murders. The cabbie who was playing pretend said he didn't want to be yelled at by Fornell but it wasn't an FBI action." He yawned. "I know there's a tracker. I saw it in the airport."
"It won't work over here. I've already made sure of that," he promised, stroking over his hair. "Did you hear which agency made the request?" Tony shook his head. "Then it's enough for me to start with. I'll be careful." Tony smiled. "You be good and we'll be in and out. Pop around when you need to have some company or I'll send Eric and Ryan over to play now and then, or Greg."
"Thank you, Horatio."
"You're welcome, Tony. You rest." Tony nodded and closed his eyes again, so Horatio slipped off the bed and headed back to the house, finding the federal agent who had come for Greg in the kitchen. "Why are you here, Agent Heartstone?"
"Where is Tony DiNozzo?"
"Your boy just said he needed to speak to you. You disappeared."
"I went into the closet to call him. It's shielded."
"I see." He nodded. "Is he in danger?"
"No. His boss got overly surged on and it made him cranky," Ryan told him. "Anything else? Most of us are cranky without caffeine."
"Just wondering a few things. Like which one told him about the FBI surveillance."
"He didn't tell me anything. Who are you watching?" Horatio asked. "And on whose orders?"
"I can't divulge that," he said immediately. He suddenly moaned and caught the counter as his knees wobbled. "That's cruel, young man."
"Not him, me," Greg said dryly. He made him look at him. "I'm not the nice one. That's Danny." He grinned sweetly. "Now, why are you watching the lab this time?"
"Mur... Murder and drugs." Greg turned it up a bit, making him whimper. "Please?"
"That's mean," Speed said firmly.
"Yay." He patted him on the cheek. "I'm only a level four but I'm very possessive of my family since my last one drove me off. This is my new family and I'm going to protect them even if I have walk into the Hoover building and let loose with my hormones. Understood?" That got a nod. He put some paper and a pen in front of him. "Write it out," he whispered in his ear, turning it on high. The man scribbled a few words then went limp as he came. "Good boy." He got him up and into the guest bathroom, helping him clean up. It was the least he could do. Then he took him back to his car so he could head out once he woke up.
"That was not an approved interrogation technique," Don said firmly. "I'd get yelled at for that."
"Not by me," Horatio assured him. "Let me know first. Or Frank, Don." He read the notes in the very sloppy handwriting. "Something else for me to do this morning. Xander, can you put the coffee into my travel mug?"
Xander pointed at the study, frowning at him. Horatio smirked and headed that way with his mug of coffee, Speed and Ryan going to help. Xander looked at Don and kissed him. "Can I go with Greg when he does that since there was an agent who found me a few weeks earlier?"
"Sure, baby, we'll do that together," Greg promised, grinning at them. Xander beamed back and Don hugged them both, making Greg groan. "Thank you, Don." He snuggled in with them; it was a good cuddle.
Danny came out and took a picture, then went to help whoever was in the office.
Tony looked up as he was woken for the second time, looking at the large black and red demon. "What are you?"
"Who are you?"
"Tony. Xander said I could hide here." He sat up, pushing his hair off his forehead. "What are you?"
"The maker of this realm."
"Oh. Xander told me about you." He stared at him. "Please don't play mind games with me. I have enough of that at home."
The demon stared at him then sat beside him. "You are like the others?"
"I am. Why?"
"Because what you are is so rare and coveted that many would lose their lives to court your kind."
"Yeah, but are we actually compatible?"
"Some are, some aren't. I am."
"No you're not," Xander called. "Tony, I made you breakfast." He came up the stairs and looked at the demon. "Be nicer to Tony. He's had a shitty few weeks, Boryguard."
"Yes," he said impatiently.
"Forgive him, he's just gotten back from being stolen and he's got protective syndrome about me. Cuddle, Xander?" Xander came over to cuddle in next to him. "I could never date anyone who was harmful to me in any way," he noted calmly. The demon pouted. "The same as I would wither and die as a kept pet."
"I understand." He stroked down Tony's hair. "There are a few who would be wonderful to you both if you would let me bring them here."
"I've got Danny, Don, and Greg," Xander said, pouting over Tony's shoulder at him. That got a nod. "I can and will advise Tony on any demons who try for his hand."
"I will tell them thus." He stroked over Xander's hair. "You are not touched by us any longer but I would gladly change that and so would others." He disappeared.
Xander looked at him. "Want to come back to the house?"
"No, he woke me up." Tony curled up on his side, face in Xander's chest. "I'll eat later. Thank you."
"Welcome, Tony. You rest. You deserve and need the rest." Tony nodded, drifting off to the soothing touches Xander was using to stroke his back and arms. Xander was mentally swearing at the demon for trying to harm his friend. He knew better.
Horatio came back to Xander's for lunch and found him underneath a fur blanket asleep with a new haircut. It was shorter and spikier, more like Greg's new/old haircut - the one Warrick had made him grow out. He also saw him body struggling to breathe. He moved the blanket and saw why, considering the snake. He called Speed. "It's me. There's a large snake on Xander. No, the ferrets are in the cage. Hubert's sleeping in front of it. Hubert, can you help me with the snake?" It huffed and shook his head. "Thanks." He hung up. "Watch for Speed for me. Bring him in here." The dragon huffed at one of the dogs, who ran outside to watch for the uncle. Horatio looked around the boy's body, finding a few other presents. He grimaced and carefully moved them, watching the snake. It looked like a constrictor. Danny came rushing in with the dog. "Stop. Large snake."
"I can see that." He came over and looked at it, taking a picture. "Eric's looking it up in the database." His phone rang with a text message. "It's an Amazon Python?"
"So it's a constrictor?"
"Doesn't mean it won't bite," Danny complained. "Where's Greg?" Hubert nodded toward the open doorway. "Greg!" He came jogging back. "Snake?"
"The demon that created the other realm came to see who and what Tony was. Xander sent him off after Tony said he'd never date anything harmful to him. So he's got another demonic suitor. He said another few wanted Xander too. I don't know why a snake, but I think it came from that. Tony nearly got stabbed by his jeweled scorpion statue so I was helping him." He went back to finish that. They could handle a snake.
Speed pulled in on his bike with another officer behind him. "Horatio, I found a guy who has snakes," he called. They came in stared. "Okay, that's a large snake."
"It is," the officer said in awe. "You can't usually find those outside of the rainforest." He came closer. "Do we have a trunk, a bag, something?" Speed and Danny went to empty one of the present trunks of crap, pouring it out onto the floor. They checked and it had refilled. So they tried another one. That one had books and didn't refill. Speed winced at the abuse to the books, but then he saw how many of them were on dead-things magic and decided it was okay. Not like anyone he knew was going to use it. They carried it back and the officer carefully coaxed the snake into it with the small mouse he had stopped to get at the pet store. When it was finally all in there, he dropped in the mouse and closed the lid, locking it. "Thanks, guys. I've got a friend at the zoo. I'll see if he wants it." He saw Hubert and stared. "What are you?"
"Xander calls him a baby dragon," Speed offered. "No, you can't take him. Hubert loves the ferrets."
"I can tell, he's guarding them. You're adorable, cutey." He scratched his head, getting a purr and a snort of steam. "I can see why he calls you a dragon. Help me get this one to the car?" He lifted the lid to check, frowning. "It's stone?"
Speed looked then looked up. "Not nice." It changed back. "Leave it that way so others can enjoy it." The snake hissed and lunged. They locked the trunk and carried it out to the cruiser, letting him take it anywhere but there. Because none of them liked snakes. Speed looked at the other stuff, then around. "Greg?"
"Helping Tony. He got stung by something like that only it was a scorpion."
"Wonderful. Hurting the humans means you don't get to charm them into keeping you," he called, glaring up. "Really!" Greg yelped and came back with Tony. "He okay now?"
"Yeah, and the scorpion turned back into gemstones and won't reactivate. He even got some white roses in apology." He shrugged and handed over the scorpion. "The snake?"
"Went with an officer. I think he's taking him to a guy at the zoo so many others can enjoy it." Danny walked outside muttering and let out a loud scream of rage. "Sorry," he called. He looked at the stuff, then at Greg. "What's this new one?"
"Not a clue," Greg admitted. "It hasn't shown up here yet." He shrugged. "I have no idea."
"Sure." He looked at Tony. "Are you all right?"
"So far." He grimaced and came over to look at Xander's presents. "He got prettier ones."
"He's got a whole safety deposit box of gemstones he hasn't touched," Horatio admitted. "These are unique and show pieces but Ryan would say the crown was odd." A new box appeared and he looked at it. "Hmm." He opened it so they could see. "Live lobsters."
"I'll put them in the fridge for tonight," Speed agreed, going to do that. "It's a bottomless box?"
"Maybe," Horatio called back. He looked up. "I'm appreciating this one," he offered. "But Speed is my keeper." Speed yelped. "Are you all right?"
"One of the lobsters nipped at me. His band slipped." He came back sucking on his finger. "It's all right. I'm fine." He let Horatio kiss it and gave him a smile for it. "Thanks. Any idea why he won't wake up?"
Greg looked and plucked something off Xander's neck, making him gasp and wake. He held up pendant. "I'm guessing it's this." He carefully put it aside and helped Xander up so he could strip the new silk t-shirt style shirt and jammie bottoms off him, leaving him naked. "Did he touch you?" Xander slowly shook his head. "Are you sure?" Xander nodded. "Good. Go shower. Then we'll let you decide what you want to wear."
"Go shower the rest of yourself." Xander nodded, going to do that. "He fusses over his hair," he shared. That got some smiles. "Okay, let's lay those out on the formal table so the rest of everyone can see them?" Horatio and Speed nodded, getting Danny and Tony to help them while Greg cataloged with pictures and things. By the time Ryan got there for lunch, Xander had decided to finish his nap in bed instead of the shower and everything was displayed and noted. Ryan looked at the group and Greg grinned. "A new one."
"This one has better taste." He picked up the crown, looking at it closely. "It's got Zeus's and Athena's marks on it." He put it on and moaned, then took it off and went to call Don.
"I'm guessing it makes you smarter or gives you insight," Greg offered, making that note as well. He smiled at Horatio and Don when they came in from the kitchen. "Is the lab closed?"
"Yup. The same guy who put the snakes in it somehow got teargas into the ventilation system. We're down for an hour. We're praying for no new bodies or being able to take that long on the scene."
"Sure," Greg agreed. "Remember, I can help if you need me to."
Horatio moved closer. "Greg, one of the reasons I came home was that two very interesting openings came up in my daily inbox. Philadelphia is offering a level two slot, and you are qualified for that now. Or your old team has a level one/two opening for someone who's an experienced level one."
Greg stared at him. "Night shift?"
"Oh." He considered it. "I don't know, Horatio."
"I know, but it is something to think about. Even if we would hate to see you go, Greg." Greg smiled at that and hugged him.
"Hands off my bitch," Speed said firmly.
Horatio looked at him. "You'll be paying for quite a while tonight, Timmy."
Speed just grinned. "I would but I'll be up most of the night in the lab." Horatio shook his head. "Yes I will."
"No you won't." He smirked back. "Tonight is not Rachel's night off." Speed shuddered at that.
"Who's Rachel?" Greg asked.
"The new trainee for night shift," Don said with a grin. "She's a squealer and she *loves* Speed. Asked him if he ever thought about becoming a surrogate since he's in a gay relationship. Hinted about CSI babies."
"I shot back Calleigh refused. She pouted and hugged me, getting in a good grope."
"I mentioned that to her," Horatio said patiently.
"I know you did. She pouted at me the next day and said she wouldn't care if it took both of us as long as she got a night with me. That she'd even let you take her like a boy since I clearly topped you all the time." He grinned sweetly. "She said she wanted to be the mother of our child."
"I told her I was infertile."
"Thank you," he said, giving him a hug. "You're still going to pay for the bitch comment." Greg giggled at that. "He will." He looked up as rose petals fell, smiling at them. "That is a very nice and romantic touch," he offered, then he plucked some out of Speed's hair and off his shoulders, kissing him again.
Cupid appeared and sniffed one then looked up. "It smells like you rubbed them on mom's panties. Did you think they needed *more* sex?" He took a handful to shower on Strife, making him giggle and chase him.
Horatio and Speed kept kissing. Don, Ryan, and Greg got together to kiss and fondle each other, and it was nice.
Mac stomped in. "I can understand the tear gas giving you guys a long lunch, but did you really think the orgy in here was a good use of that time?" he demanded.
Xander came out and looked up. "No making the harem have an orgy," he complained. "Some of them are together as the advisors and some are mine. I don't want to be left out and left alone tonight." A few of the flower petals drifted out to touch him, making him shiver. He looked at Mac, who turned him around and gave him a nudge into the trio, which made them all very happy because Xander had the best mouth of all of them and he'd let them do whatever they wanted.
Mac sighed and stomped off. He hated it when Xander's suitors started to show up again. They always did flashy things. Though this one seemed to have a romantic bent at the least. He went back to his desk and found a lunch waiting on him with Stella nibbling on hers. "Are we clear?"
"At the moment. I made sure Dispatch knew. We'll be fine while they air out their lab."
"And have the orgy. Something the new present giver did created one."
"Wow. Was it good looking?" Mac stared at her. "Sorry, having a smutty mind moment."
"I can tell." He shook his head and dug back into his lunch. "Thank you for picking this up."
"It wasn't me," Stella said. They looked at the meal and put down their forks. "We're only advisors," she called quietly. A fruit torte was put down for them to share since it was so large. "Thank you. We'll tell Xander how good it was." She got the feeling it left and she looked at him. "There are days I like being part of Xander's harem. This one can cook."
"It's still ...." He moaned when she stuffed his mouth with a bite of her lunch. "Fine."
"Thank you, Mac." She watched Sheldon walk past with a bowl of salad. "Brought lunch?"
"No, but it had my name on it," he admitted. "Another one?" They both nodded. "This one has good taste so far. It's got a great dressing."
"Our lunch was good too," she said with a smile. "We've got a fruit torte if you want a piece."
"Sure." He pushed his salad aside and accepted a piece, going back to his eating and walking while he thought.
Tony snuck over, watching the action. Speed was very aggressive and Horatio was soaking it up. Xander was giving his all licks and fondles like they were his favorite chew toys. It was more than hot enough to make him masturbate. He went back to the other realm, finding a nice selection of sex toys waiting on him. He moaned as he picked up one to look at it. It seemed to be trying to wiggle into his mouth. He laid down beside the group and watched as that one did move when he let it go. He let it go into his mouth. He loved that feeling and this one was good. He could appreciate this suitor. Especially when one very good toy nudged his opening after climbing in his boxers. He shifted and it slid in, moving on its own. Oh, yeah, he could definitely appreciate this one. It could cook, it was apparently a decent lover. It had good taste in presents. Now if only it wasn't detrimental to humans...
Tony looked up as the human looking thing sat down next to him outside. "Hi," he said quietly.
"You're like the other one?"
"I am," he agreed. "Just less strong."
"Sometimes subtlety is an asset." He looked him over, letting Tony do the same. "Why are you here?"
"I accidentally infected my boss with my hormone surge. He's coming down from it and it's better if he not see me until he's fully down."
"Hmm. Was it your intention to infect him, even a little bit?"
"I like him like a friend but not that way," he admitted. "He's...forceful."
"I see." He shifted more to look at him. "You are quite handsome and strong in your own right."
"Yes, but I've only dated within my species before and all I know about demons are what the nuns taught me, they're all bad."
The demon nodded. "Not all of us. Some of us just exist."
"I know some are harmful to us by trying to eat us. Xander told me some about having to protect in the past."
"True, but there is always a higher predator, even for vampires."
"Are you one?"
"No." He smiled. "Nor am I detrimental to humans." Tony tipped his head at that. "There are many who are and who covet the weaker human pets."
"I'm one of them."
"Yes, but your kind are highly valued. We overlook you being human because you're so special and rare." Tony snorted at that. "We do."
"I'm still human."
"Point. To reassure you, I eat meat, but mostly cow. I like cows. Raw, but I do cook it for my guests and lovers. My kind are not harmful to humans by touch or magic. Sometimes by deed."
"What does your kind do?"
"My clan banks."
"So you run the demon banks?"
"We do. We are also very protective of our clans and families."
"So you're the demonic mafia?" he asked.
The demon laughed. "That comparison has been made in the past but we do not deal in drugs or weapons. Or slavery. We only take willing pets." He looked at Tony. "One who is mine would be mine until the day I die. If that were before they did, my family would take care of them until they decided to move on. We hold normal relationships and conventions. A few have even married normal humans." Tony nodded at that. "Our touch," he offered, stroking Tony's hand and up his arm, "is not harmful. Nor is our scent, our seed, or our desires. They are much like yours only from a higher being."
Tony considered it. "As I said I've only dated within my own species before and I do have friends and those who are like my own family."
"I would not harm them. Unless someone tried to take you from me."
"Gibbs might. He's my boss but he's also my friend. I respect him; he's saved my life, and I've saved his, in the past many times. You couldn't be jealous of the time I spent with them or working."
"I would harm none who didn't mean you harm," he assured him.
Tony nodded. "Then the next time you come back, you can tell me more about yourself and your people." The demon grinned. "I do believe in dating. I'm not one to suddenly climb into bed with someone I don't know. Especially without some research and knowing what their families are like."
"Agreed." He smiled. "I will be back tomorrow. Try the black fruits. They're very sweet but with a hint of tanginess." He disappeared.
Tony smiled and looked at the new tree, watching it for a few minutes. This demon seemed very nice, even though he had no idea what it was. He got up and got a piece of fruit, heading to the doorway. It was closed. He frowned. That probably meant Xander had company who shouldn't know he was there. Or the dragon had done it again. Better to be safe and not sorry or taken home by Gibbs. He sat down to nibble on his fruit, liking this one very much. It tasted sort of like a very sweet orange, but with the consistency and texture of an apple. He finished it and went to clean his hands off, then went back to his reading. Beside his book was a glass of lemonade. He smiled as he sat down. This one was at least thoughtful. Better than those who simply stole and kept.
Xander looked at his guest as he stomped into the living room. "Gibbs." Fortunately he had heard the gate and closed the doorway before he saw or heard Tony.
"Mr. Harris. Where's DiNozzo?"
"Safe. Until you're detoxed."
"You're not fine. You're sweating. You broke into my house and my guest room to take Tony home when you knew he wasn't in danger. You knew we'd keep him safe and he was trying to help me recover from what my mother's cult did."
"I heard what happened. The FBI did punish their own."
"Thank you." He got comfortable, going back to his brushing and oiling his dragon's scales. "I can promise you he's safe until this is fully out of your system."
"I'm fine now."
"Then you wouldn't be sweating and your hand wouldn't be on your gun," he said calmly. "I can guarantee you if you try to harm me you will regret it for the of your very short life." Gibbs' hand moved. "Thank you." He stared into his eyes. "Do you still feel the need to send an assault team down and then lock him in a cage?" he asked calmly. Gibbs growled. "Do you?" He sat down. "Then it's not fully out of you yet, Gibbs. When it is, you'll know. It'll be like it was before you found out this secret. Before he got sick."
"I cared for him then too," he admitted quietly.
"Which is wonderful but do you think you could hold Tony together?" Gibbs glared at him. "It's the truth. If Tony was still having sex now and then before and still broadcasting unconsciously, then do you think you could hold him sane? Could you let masseuses and others touch him to help you? Could you let him go into the field undercover? If he had worn you out, could you send him to someone else to help? Could you give up being a dom for him and learn our ways if that's what he needed and wanted?"
"Some of those are nos," he said quietly, staring at him.
Xander stared back. "Until they're not, that would mean you'd be no better than those who tried to kidnap him the last time to keep him as a pet, Jethro."
"He told you my name?"
"I did my research. Tony's a friend. Otherwise I wouldn't have hid him the way I am." He shifted, going back to helping his pet. "The very fact is the Dominant tendencies you have would be something that would hurt Tony very much. Many of us have ended up fully broken at the hands of one of you. Very few of us end up with the two doms we have in the society who do things with pleasure instead of pain. Mostly that's job stress and needing to let it go after bad things happen. I'm not sure if Tony is one or not," he said at the opening mouth. "I do know the one in Baltimore does keep a safe place for us to wear things out as well." He nodded slowly at that. "For right now, you must wear out this contagion first. Then you'll be able to think and decide what you want with rational motives. Instead of your hormones screaming at you. Right now you're like a dog who's sniffed a bitch in heat."
Jethro nodded at that. "I can understand that. That could take a while however."
"It could. She couldn't help?"
"She tried. It helped some."
"Good. Now do it some more. Or there's one in Las Vegas who isn't part of the society but a few of us have went to her and some of her sort to learn some control techniques."
"I did. The one here in Miami helped me learn how to focus my broadcasting in one area instead of all over a room. I also learned vocal and physical control techniques. I figured it'd help me in the long run." Gibbs looked stunned. "If someone has me, I have to be able to get out of there, I can't rely on Paul to save me. The same as Tony can't rely on him or you to save him. We have to be able to save ourselves. Even if that means surging when we're so unhappy we can't get physically hard. We still have to be able to bring it back up through mental imaging and then use it on the people who have us. It's the fastest and safest way of getting free. That and using it on the guards to help us get free."
"I understand. It's a good thing. I didn't know you could do that." He frowned. "Can Tony?"
"It's easier for the higher levels. It's something level eights and above can do unconsciously and sometimes consciously. I have to use mental imaging to bring myself up to the point where I want it and am horny. The lower levels sometimes do it unconsciously. The domme I worked with down here helped teach Greg at the same time as me." The dragon butted his hands. "Sorry, Hubert." He went back to brushing his scales with a hard brush dipped in oil. "Dragons need some oiling now and then."
"I'd imagine so." He looked at the pet. "He's adorable." The dragon looked at him and seemed to grin. "Is that DiNozzo? I remember your trick with the hair color."
"No, this is Hubert. I found him on a semi-recent road trip to another realm."
"There's many strange things that we see in GHS. Including the fact that I seem to draw demons." He looked up. "I can feel you." The one who had been talking to Tony appeared and handed him a book. "What's this?"
"An identification manual other than what the Watchers used, Protector."
Xander looked at him and nodded, seeing the lust. "I'll keep it in the library on the desk. Thank you."
"You are welcome."
"Did the crown come from you?"
"No, that one was the green bookmark. The other things were from the blue one. Though I did make the food. The other one couldn't cook and I knew your harem needed fed since you were so exhausted from your ordeal."
"Then I thank you. It was very good." The demon smiled and bowed. "I'll put it on the desk in a while."
"Thank you. Try the dark fruit I left over there. It's quite good." He disappeared.
Xander put it down beside him and looked at Gibbs, who was struck dumb. "Yes, he was. He's the type that runs the demon bank."
"The world is a wider place than you think, Gibbs," he said calmly. "With me being from Sunnydale, my hormones naturally draw more demons than humans." Hubert looked up and snuffled at him. "Well, take your brush and let him help you then." The dragon picked up the brush in his mouth, heading over to hop into Gibbs' lap. "With the grain."
Gibbs looked down, brushing him. The dragon purred and curled up, letting him do whatever he wanted. "Thanks, kid."
"Welcome. Tony will stay safe. I won't guarantee someone like that one won't offer to court him but they all know if they hurt Tony I'm going to kill them. All. Every last one." Gibbs smirked at that. "I'm very protective and possessive over what's mine and my family. Tony is under my family's protection."
"According to the demonic viewpoint anyone I gather around me as lovers, helpers, or might-as-well-be family are my harem. That includes the ones we go to for advice and comfort when we fight. That probably means Tony's included at the moment but we see him as under our protection."
"Oh. Okay," he said, going back to brushing the dragon. The brush was starting to scratch so he dipped it in more oil and wiped it off before going to a new spot. The dragon moaned and stretched out for him, earning a smile. "Talk about hedonists."
"He is, just like me," Xander agreed happily. "He even loves my ferrets as friends and napping buddies."
"So I've heard." He looked up at Xander, staring him down. "Tony will be safe?"
"As safe as I can make him, Gibbs."
"Thank you. I'll work more on my contagion, as you put it, and we'll hopefully be able to bring him back to work in a few months."
"Until then I can let him use my laptop to do some online college courses. That way he's not bored stupid. If he needs help wearing it out, I'm sure we can arrange something or let Ryan go over there to help him, or Greg if he wants. We'll take good care of Tony."
"Thank you." He handed the dragon back and got up, heading out to his car, ignoring the oil stain on his knee. He took off his wire as he backed down the driveway, avoiding both dogs since they were laying in the driveway and didn't seem to want to move. His hotel room was nearby and McGee could help him more with Ducky calling from DC.
Xander came out to look at the dogs. "Lazy, get in the yard before you get hurt!" The dogs got up and moved into the yard to bask in the sun some more. "Thank you." He went to let Tony out, handing him the classification manual. "You can come use the laptop for college classes if you want."
"Thanks." He smiled. "Are they harmful?"
"Not that I'm aware of but I have heard them called the demonic mafia now and then." He shrugged. "Feel free to borrow the library. Let me search for bugs first."
"I'll do that. You take care of the dragon." Xander nodded, going back to oiling him while Tony found the listening device detector and ran it around the house. He found three different types and put them all into the freezer together. Then he called Ryan. "I found three different types of bugs at Xander's. Freezer. Thanks." He hung up and went to check the sitting room, finding another one. That one was his boss's. He had put too many of them down to not recognize it. He put it in the ferret's cage, right next to the further litter box, and sat down. "He look okay?"
"He looked fine. Not fully down but good. He was rational enough to fight the 'must take him back' feeling he was putting out." Tony relaxed at that. "You're welcome to stay over there as long as you desire, Tony. You know that. It's not a problem and you could even come back over here more often."
"Thanks, Xander." He gave him a hug, smiling at the interrupting nose. "Sorry, am I not petting you too?" he teased, stroking the dragon. "You're greasy." He took the towel Xander held out to rub down the scales, making him shine. "There you go, Hubert. Good boy." He looked at Xander. "Got anything we've got to do today?"
"Ryan wanted to sort through the crap I got given last time. He said one of the trunks was like my carpet bags, never ending."
"You have never ending carpet bags?"
"Yeah, I got them when Horatio, Ryan, and I were stolen together. I've got a few of them." Tony moaned and shook his head. "It's great, anything I can stuff through the opening will fit in there. As long as it doesn't rip."
"That would be so much easier to pack with," he complained, shaking his head. Xander nudged him and smiled. "Thanks, I might take you up on that offer. Let's go do that so Ryan doesn't have to have another migraine from that stuff."
"Sure." He led the way into the practice room, seeing the mess. "Ryan tried to dump one out to hold the giant snake that was helping me take a nap."
"I can see that." He looked around. "Notebooks and pens? Or are you using a cataloging system?"
"I am but it's mostly a binder and notebook in ink." He went to get them and the phone since it was ringing. "Hi." He listened, then he beamed. "Ray!" He laughed. "He's not here at the moment. I'll tell him you're bored shitless though. I don't know. Let me bring this back into the house and I'll let Tony call Horatio. No, longish story, baby boy. Tony, call Horatio, tell him Junior wants to come home?"
"Sure." He used his phone to call Horatio. "It's me. Xander said Junior wants to come home?" He heard the sigh. "Bad, good? Iffy?" He grinned. "He said to let him come home. It'd be fine," Tony called back, hanging up. "He's on a scene."
Xander walked in with the phone. "Your uncle said to come home, Ray. You can borrow our guest room if you don't use his. I'm sure it'll be fine. Really. Need airfare? Where are you?" He grinned and nodded. "Got a passport? You'll need one." He nodded. "That works. Let us know when you get in, I'll come pick you up. Sure." He hung up. "He's only sixteen. His family had to go into hiding for a bit. Long story."
"Sure, I'm sure I'll hear it from the others later." He took the binder marked 'books' and got to work on those. "Why all the necromancy magic books?"
"Because Giles asked for them when he was using me to feed the demon."
"Pity. He dead?"
"Back in another version of hell. Couldn't tell you otherwise."
"Even more of a pity. Ryan know?"
"Not yet," he muttered. "I'm sure someone will tell him some year." He grinned at him. "He's like me."
Tony snickered. "So however you guys fight and all that stuff, Ryan's going to be allowed to take him?"
"Or me. I can fight." He got to work on the gems and jewelry, putting everything else into separate piles. By the time the others got home they had managed to empty that one trunk. It was a great accomplishment. They got dinner and went back to it. None of the other stuff was endless and the rest of the family came in to help. It was a fun family activity in their house.
Tony looked up when he heard the door slam, walking over to where it was. "What's going on?" he called loudly.
"Someone came for them. I'm keeping you safe," the demon said as he appeared. "Someone will open it later. For now, you will not be taken by another." He stroked the back of his hand down Tony's cheek. "Have you looked over that book?"
"I have. Thank you." The demon smiled. "I still have questions."
"It is a large step," he agreed, leading him back to the couch. It was a good moment to go back to courting the young one. He was very strong and very smart, more than worthy to be his mate. When someone opened the door he pulled a sword and went after them, finding Ryan. "You're not going after them?"
"We're trying to find them. Who was it?"
"Brokers." Ryan moaned and shook his head. "They have him, the others, his nephew. Plus others. Do you need our help, Protector?"
"It might come in handy. For now, guard Tony just in case. We're going to be gone for a few hours."
"Of course." Ryan headed back to the real house, going to find them one way or another. He had grown some underworld contacts thanks to Xander.
"I can help," Tony called.
"Stay! If they're going after members, you're vulnerable, Tony." He slammed the back door on his way through.
Horatio grabbed Xander to keep him from taking on another demon; Speed and Danny were guarding his nephew now that they had found him and rescued him. "Do it our way, Xander, not that way. Even though they are demons."
"I'm going to enjoy this," Xander whispered, staring at the guy, who seriously looked confused as to why they weren't going to hand over Ray Junior to them. He had said repeatedly he wasn't old or experienced enough to be in with them. He let everything spike, broadcasting wide and far this time. He added in his own twist of malicious glee, watching as they fell down and started to rip into each other for pleasure. Claws and fangs came out, making them howl and try to get away but the next one over was just as bad. He walked over them, cutting off a few groping and sticking up things. "Come on." They nodded, Speed and Danny bringing Ray Junior with them, Horatio getting the back. Xander got the others out, taking them out to the parking lot. He looked up and Danny covered his mouth with a hand. "They deserve it!"
"Let the law take those that're human. You can burn the rest," he said quietly. Xander glared at him. "I mean it." Someone inside screamed. "There may still be victims."
"Yay. None of us. No one who was going to be sold."
"Some of the buyers brought their pets, they don't deserve that," Speed agreed.
"Fuck it, let 'em all die. Those who're being held will probably thank him for releasing them," Ray Junior told them. His uncles stared at him in shock. "I'm taking a practical view at the moment. If they had fully sold me instead of just trying to touch me I'd have welcomed someone killing me."
"They touched you?" Horatio demanded.
"One of them said I needed to be somewhat stretched for those who wanted to look me over." He shuddered and Speed held him. "Only two fingers, Uncles, I swear." He looked at them. "I understand why gay guys like it now, kinda, but he was being as gentle as he could."
Xander looked at him. "Which one?"
"The third one you stabbed."
Xander nodded, he was dead so it was okay again. Cop cars came screaming up. "Do I have to make them stop, Horatio?"
"Drive them to the point of it stopping and dissolving," Speed ordered. "Make it end suddenly, Xander." He came over to help, whispering in Xander's ear, getting a nod as he did that. They heard shrieks in multiple keys and he turned to look at the horrified cops. "They had us. They were having each other so we could get away."
"Sure," he agreed, sounding like he was being careful of the psychotic person. "We'll go arrest everyone and clear up any other hostages later." They went in with Ryan following, still growling, his sword clearly on his back. One of the officers looked at it and Ryan growled louder. It got ignored after that. Just another quirky CSI trait. After all, everyone knew they were odd geeks.
Xander turned and hugged Danny. "You're okay."
"Of course I'm okay. I'm glad Don was at work." He cuddled him, walking him over to where Ray Junior was, letting him be hugged too. "Would someone like to explain why I got snatched when I ran out for a salad?"
"No," Speed said, shaking his head. "Not a clue. I was getting into the hummer at a scene. Horatio?"
"I was with Eric at a scene." He patted himself down. "Anyone have their phones?"
"Ryan keeps a spare in his kit," Xander reminded them. Horatio smiled and went to find it. Xander looked at Ray Junior. "Welcome back to Miami."
"Thanks, really. At least they decided I was nearly old enough." He looked at Speed. "I need to date, really I do need to date. Mom's being a picky person about that. Dad said I'm not allowed to date. Ever. He wanted me to become a priest. Mom thought that'd be a grand idea and had people come talk to me about it."
"The man needs his head examined," Speed complained, giving him a squeeze. "You're staying with us, kiddo."
"Thanks, Uncle Speed." He smiled as Horatio came back. "Is Eric all right?"
"He's fine. Growling but fine. Calleigh was swearing in the background and throwing a temper tantrum. Everyone else is fine." A van to transport prisoners came up and he pointed. "In there. Follow the growling to find Wolfe. He's highest on the scene."
One of them looked at him. "You were taken, Lieutenant?"
"Sorry, sir." He went inside to start gathering up those who had been arrested, grimacing at the ones who were dead from cuts, bites, and stab wounds. "What happened?"
Ryan looked at him. "Xander snapped because they had Caine's nephew and he's only sixteen. He let it go, broadcast so heavily that they had to fall to it, and they killed each other."
"Okay then. Anyone living?"
"Most of the buyers and some of the sellers. Step over them if possible, there's another exit."
"Boys, go wait outside, we'll let you in the other way so we don't compromise the scene or have to walk over the bodies." That got a nod and his people went to do that while Ryan got the other door unlocked with a few good blows of his sword. It had been chained shut. "Is the sword regulation gear?" he had to ask.
"No but sometimes it comes in handy when you're saving Xander." He kicked the door open. "There, wear gloves," he ordered. "That way I can get fingerprints." They nodded, putting on gloves and coming in to arrest those who were being ripped apart from the orgy and handcuffed by the first responders. Ryan looked around and whistled. "Miami-Dade PD, stop it now!" he shouted. "I'm cutting off any dicks I see in the open!" Most of the men in the room stopped but some of the women didn't. "Better?" he asked the officer in charge of separating people.
"Not quite legal but it worked," he admitted. "One less I have to see, sir."
One of the officers checking the back area came in. "Wolfe, we've got a room with suicide victims." Ryan nodded, following him. "I think they decided it was better than being sold," he said quietly.
"It is. Trust me. Being kidnaped with Xander is very enlightening. That's how I know how to use the sword." That got an odd look. "One of the people who took him managed to leave one in the open. Xander can use one. He used it on them. I had to use it a few times to protect him when he was injured."
"It's all right. We survived and Xander with a sword is a moving statue of lust." He shrugged. "Any more it's good exercise and self defense practice." He looked in the room and sighed. "Check for any life signs?"
"I did but you can."
"Thanks. Get my kit from the hummer?" That got a nod and he walked in, going to find the immie he could feel. He found her in the bathroom, just waking up. "Hi."
"Are you an angel?"
"No, I'm with the crime lab. You're safe now. They're all gone and being arrested."
"But I died!" she wailed. "One of them stabbed me so I couldn't be taken!"
"Now you're not. I'll explain things later. Come on." He helped her up and outside, handing her to a waiting officer. "She's in shock. She's a victim and was hiding. Take her to wherever Horatio and the others are." That got a nod and he went to find the others, finding one who gasped and woke up at his touch. "You're not one of us. Need a medic, one's alive!" he shouted. Someone came rushing. "Stay!" He lifted her up and carried her over, letting the officer take her. "Right to the paramedics." He nodded, carrying her out. He checked the others carefully. They were gone. He took his kit and went to search the other rooms. He found another few victims huddled in one and squatted down, weathering the screams. "I'm Ryan Wolfe, I'm with the Miami-Dade crime lab," he said gently. He showed them his badge. "We're here to free you. Let's let the paramedics help you." One shook her head, guarding the others. "Shh, you're safe now. I promise you are."
"No." She shook her head and said something in a language he didn't understand. She shook her head again.
"Habla Englais?" he suggested. She shook her head. "Someone find me a linguist? Or even Delko!" he yelled. Eric was drug in. "Speak again?" She said something. "Sounds like your father when he's on a rant," he offered, looking back at him.
Eric came in and said something in Russian, getting a confused look. "I think it's Polish," he admitted. He asked that question in Russian, getting a nod. He showed them his badge and ID, getting a head shake. "We'll get a translator. For now, medics," he said, pointing at the paramedic and his case. "Doctors." They all screamed and backed away. "Okay." He looked at the paramedic. "Know anyone who speaks Polish?"
"One of the Orthodox priests in the city. We had a guy who went to his church a few years back. Let me call him, Detective." He called his former boss, who called them. The priest was driven over by an officer and he led him back to where the women were. Ryan hadn't found any other victims so he was waiting and watching to see if anyone was injured, prioritizing who went first. "They were taken and were about to be sold," he said quietly. "They won't let the officers or us near them. We're trying to get them out of here."
The priest nodded and walked in, kneeling in front of them, saying something in their language. The lead woman nodded. He pointed at the paramedic and said something else. She sobbed on him, letting him pat her on the back. He got them out and walked out with them to where the other victims were. "The people who did this horrible thing?"
The paramedic pointed at the vans. "Them, Father. The dead bodies were those that got acted against for taking them. Some fought back and some gave up."
"It was a merciful act," he said, going to bless and give last rites, even if they weren't his faith it was something he could do. Horatio looked at him. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine, Father. Are they?"
"They did it to spare themselves a horrible torture. No God I believe in could punish them for that and if any priest does I will help their families." Horatio nodded. "I'll go with the others to the hospital to help."
"Thank you. I know someone in Immigration who'll come down to help you. Do they all speak the same language?"
"If not, they all understood Polish as far as I know."
"I'll let him know that," Eric promised, patting him on the back. "Thank you for your help, Father. We'll need you to help us take statements."
"Of course. Whatever I can do to help." He went onto the next body, then got led off to help get the victims into the ambulance. "The others?"
"They're fine, sir. We've already checked them and they're the ones who fought back." That got a nod and he went with them, speaking calmly to help keep the women and children calm.
Horatio looked at Xander. "Good job."
"Thank you. Still more satisfying with the sword," he complained, scowling at Eric. "Don't even say it, it was not my fault."
"I know it wasn't your fault. They wanted as many members as they could find. Ray Junior, are you all right?"
"I'm fine. Thinking deeper thoughts. One of them did touch me but not really. Ya know?"
"No," Eric admitted. "Which one?"
"Xander stabbed him."
"Oh, okay then. Anything else I should know?"
Horatio pointed at the two immortals. "One's new," he said quietly.
"We'll deal with it," Eric promised, walking over there. "Hey. Eric Delko."
"Please don't challenge me," the older woman begged. Eric showed his badge. "Thank the Gods."
Eric nodded. "I try almost every day. My student Ryan found you?" She nodded. "Both?"
"She's still in shock. She woke up for the first time."
"I understand. Once we get a statement from you I'll call one of the other good guys here in the city and have him find you a safe place to find your family and friends from. Plus to instruct her." She nodded. "Richard's a good guy, he teaches Junior High." That got a faint smile. "Watch out for his girlfriend, she's one and a pain in the ass."
"Sure. Thank you."
"Welcome." He waved two officers over. "These two were in the room where nearly everyone committed suicide. Take them to the station to get statements. They're victims," he said when the handcuffs appeared. They were put away. "She's in shock. She'll be fine and I'm calling someone to pick them up. Have Tripp question them." That got a nod and he walked them to his cruiser, letting the older one get the younger one. He went back to the family. "Okay, what happened? All I know is I got clubbed on the head and H got taken."
"I was out for lunch," Danny offered.
"I was coming in off a scene. They got me as I was getting into the hummer," Speed told him.
Xander shrugged. "I was at home. Is Tony okay?" Ryan looked over and nodded. "Good."
"He's got a very protective suitor." He got back to work collecting evidence from Ray Junior. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. They got me at the smuggler's airport. Dad said I couldn't come the regulation way."
"That was more dangerous," Horatio complained.
"Can you yell at him?" Ray requested. "He just rolls his eyes and snorts when I complain. Speaking of, I had a bag somewhere."
"I'll have someone find it," Xander promised. "Which airfield?"
"Out in the everglades, by the place that shows the alligators off."
Xander nodded, pulling over Ryan's phone to make a call. "Hi, it's Xander," he said quietly. "My kinda nephew and protege was coming in and got snatched. No, he's safe but he had a bag, can I get it delivered to the house, Wyatt? Yeah, Ray Junior. Thanks, man. What?" He shrugged. "I'm not really in a poker mood tonight. No, I kinda had to help us get free of the people who took him and me. Really?" He smirked and looked at Horatio. "Can you give me something I can pass on?" He grinned. "I know you wouldn't have mentioned it otherwise. Well, I promise I won't come after them with a sword like the last two guys who tried this shit." Everyone stared at him. "What?" he complained. "One showed up at the house and the other one challenged me." He listened to Wyatt laugh. "They're taking statements. This is Ryan's phone. Thanks, man, and if that last nut sucker who owes me money doesn't pay up today he's in for a very rude problem tomorrow morning. Remind him he's a very chatty drunk, okay?" He grinned. "Thanks." He hung up. Then he looked at Horatio again. "Would you like the people who decided you were a threat to their way of life and that's why you and Speed were taken? I was just taken because I was a good money making opportunity. You CSI were the real targets."
"I'd love to hear more about this, do we have proof?" Speed asked.
"Wyatt has some and he'll hand it to someone with Ray Junior's bag. Also, the last person who owes me money? They're going to pay up or I'm going to tell you *exactly* how they're smuggling people and drugs into the country."
"Now that you've told us you know, we have to question you," Speed said patiently.
Xander just grinned. "Not tonight, honey, I have a dreadful headache." Danny gave him a short kiss. "But I'll let you guys ask me tomorrow. Since he's getting married in two days I doubt he's going to pay me." They all smirked at that. "Yes, I'm having an evil moment; no it's not the tumor."
"Hey, less work for us," Danny assured him. He looked at Ryan. "We nearly done?"
Ryan snorted. "No!" he said with a fond smirk. "You knew better than that before you asked. We can go back to the station if you want to finish it up there." Horatio nodded. "Sure. Let me finished on Ray." He finished his pants and bagged his last sample. "When we get back, I'll make you change and confiscate those."
"That's fine. I've been in them for two days."
"Not an issue, kiddo." He patted him on the head. "Okay." He took off his gloves. "Captain," he called, waving a hand. "Take these other victims back to the station so we can finish processing them with Delko's help. I'll stay here and handle this mess."
"Can't I burn it yet?" Xander whined as he was walked off by Horatio and Danny.
"No, Xander," Horatio said plainly. "No torching them yet. Maybe later."
"Fine, in an hour?" he asked, looking hopeful. "It can be a funeral pyre for the dead ones."
"No, Xander," Danny said more firmly. "We need to gather the bodies for evidence so we can arrest the others." He gave him a look, caving at the pout. "You can burn the next ones who come to snatch you. Okay?" Xander nodded, letting them put him into the back of the car next to Ray Junior.
"I'd prefer he not," Horatio said quietly.
"You know he takes these moods," Danny reminded him.
"True. Not that I'm not feeling the need to burn them." He looked at the building. "Xander!"
"It's not me," he called in a sing-song voice. "Is your throat hot, Horatio?"
"Crap. Ryan!" he called, pointing.
"Fire!" Ryan called, heading in to get the other officers out. Then he got to stare as the crime scene went up. It wasn't very well constructed but it did give them a basement and a whole new set of bodies to look at and some living ones to take and get help. He looked up. "Lady Aphrodite, I love you," he whispered. "You could have just opened the door for me, really. Thank you though. The fire was very pretty, just like you." He went down to start on the bodies and help separate out the living from the dead. The fire hadn't touched them, neither had the smoke, it was from other reasons. The paramedics came back and started carting bodies off while he took pictures of them and their surroundings. There was no way the crime scene was going to stay intact with this much activity.
Xander walked into the station. "It was not my fault," he announced. "They came after Speed!" That got some knowing looks. "He's too good of a CSI and they wanted him off their asses. See, not even my fault we got taken." He walked Ray Junior up to the interrogation rooms, grinning at Frank, Don, and Ray Kowalski. "Hi."
Don hugged him. "Are you okay?"
"Pissed. I didn't get to burn them or stab more than a few."
"We'll let you butcher a cow for dinner," Frank told him, ushering them all into a room. "Ray?" He looked up and nodded. "What are you doing back here?"
"My father's an asshole and my mother's decided I should be a priest, even though I'm GHS and not that religious."
"So you ran away?"
"No, they knew. My father said I had to take the smugglers to get back instead of coming back the normal way. I got taken from them. Is my bag here?"
"Nope, not yet. Tony did bring some clothes from the house so I'm assuming you can borrow some." That got a nod and he settled down while Eric and Calleigh came in to help process them. "What happened?"
"Just what Xander said," Speed admitted. "We CSI are a threat to them so they were trying to take us out."
"Charming. They took Xander and Ray Junior why?"
"Good money making potentials since they were selling people anyway," Eric offered. They shared a look and Ray walked off, going to hit something and swear in private. "Did you get to see the ones who went to the hospital?"
"Mac and Stella got them," he admitted. "Along with SVU and a guy from Immigration that Calleigh called."
"Did you tell them most of them spoke Polish?"
"I did and I told him that they had a priest who spoke it according to the patrol guy who called us." Ryan came in. "You're done fast."
"The majority of the rest of the bodies all died from stab wounds, infections, or neglect. The scene got taken by Feds, Horatio. I got *escorted* back."
"We'll handle it," Horatio said calmly.
"No, oh no," Frank said, shaking his head. "Mac and Stella are handling it." He went to call them. Mac sent Lindsey to the hospital while he went to that scene. "Okay, from the top. Where was everyone?" he asked once he was back with them.
Xander sneezed, then looked around. "What is that stink? Calleigh, no latex," he said quickly. She backed off and nodded, changing gloves.
"I forgot you're allergic," Eric said with a frown.
"Yeah, and I don't particularly want to die today from lack of breathing in the middle of a glass room." He shuddered. "That stink...."
Speed sniffed. "I don't smell anything."
"I do," Ray Junior noted. "And it's a lot like almonds." Frank and Horatio shared a look and they got them outside again and the station evacuated while it was looked over. They found the canister of gas on the ventilation system and the person who was doing it got shot in the foot by Tony since he was there and helping. Ray Junior smiled at him and waved. "Hi."
"Hi. I'm Tony." He shook his hand. "You must be Horatio's nephew. You look just like him."
"Thanks, better that than my father, the man twat." Tony laughed at that and Speed glared. "He is."
"He can be," Horatio agreed dryly. "It's still not polite to say that in public, Ray." He looked over as Greg headed over at a run once he parked. "Morning."
Greg hugged them all. "You're okay!"
"Why can't I have hair like that?" Ray Junior complained.
"You can, you'll need gel," Speed assured him. "We'll help you when we finally get home. Sometime this year."
Tony looked at him. "Farm?"
"Farm," Ryan agreed. He stepped off to make the call, warning the family out there that they were going to be inhabiting the house Xander had put up in the woods. He came back. "All set up. Tony?"
"I probably should," he agreed, nodding. "I'll even play escort." That got a smile from Eric, who nodded. "Come on, Greg."
"Coming, Tony." He got them hustled into the various cars and out to the farm, then out into the woods. Greg went back to pack clothes and ran into Wyatt, taking those bags too. "Thanks."
"Welcome." He nodded. "What Xander wanted and needed is in the front pocket of the backpack." He looked around then at him. "We good?"
"No. Someone tried to gas the station. They're in hiding tonight."
"Interesting. That works for us. Have Xander call us if he needs something like dinner." He handed over that bag as well. "For the dragon too." He walked off, heading back to his car and the chinese restaurant to report to his boss. It really did not pay to piss Caine off about his family and friends. Someone should have learned this lesson by now.
Greg put those in the car along with the dogs, the dragon, the ferrets in the cat carrier, and the other stuff they'd need, including phones. Then he headed back to the farm. He found Ryan babying his mare and new foal. "The other one okay?"
"Yeah. I thought you might need a pack animal. Xander's stallion is coming too. He thinks the foals are his and the Fresian colt is being tolerated." He came over to load the bags onto the horses backs and take them down to the other house. Then he brought them back for some exercise in the paddock. The foals had a wonderful time and trotted right with mommy.
Tony looked up from his watch, seeing the demon next to him. "Not tonight."
"I came to speak with you, not distract you." He sat beside him. "Are they all safe? Many would be quite upset if Xander wasn't."
"He is. The rest are fine too. Ray Junior's thinking hard about some things."
"He's at the correct age to wonder. The harem has done a wonderful job training him."
"They have. Even though I heard he's been gone for a few years now."
"Mothers have that right," he agreed. "He knew where it was best and most protected for him." He looked around and zapped something, making it scream. "One of the ones who likes him sent down things to watch and eat those who would harm them."
"I still don't get the whole harem thing."
"It is what we term it when you gather a family of non-blooded individuals, lovers, and helpers around you. Each of you has one."
"So my team was mine?"
He considered it. "To the leader goes the harem. Gibbs is seen to be a strong Lord for having you and Abby with him."
"No but she is powerful and gifted."
"I'll remember that." He looked at him again. "I'm not with Xander that way."
"No, you are under his protection. He has said that. Greg is part of that harem and you would look adorable together. Better than you and Xander, or the others in the harem." Tony smiled at that. "You would. He goes to talk to others about his real life again. You could go with him and let him help you while your Lord calms down. Or perhaps your Lord would take him on since one of your team will be leaving some year soon."
"Maybe," he said quietly, looking at him. "That would suck for you."
The demon smiled. "I could find it in my heart to be possessive and protective over two of you. The Harem Lord would mind but not that much. He could never keep you two occupied enough. He thinks he can but after two days with you he would be exhausted. Mortal men are not meant to have you. Their staminas are too weak." He stroked over Tony's head. "Though you would be very pretty together and I can clearly see my way into taking care of your whole harem." Tony shivered at that. "Even if you should include Greg. He and you would look very pleasing together." Tony shivered again, pulling his jacket around himself. "I meant no distress. Should I talk to him about it?"
"Gibbs is still detoxing."
"Some of that will never fade. He already knew you were his and is possessive, as is proper for a Harem Lord to be over his people. Otherwise people would steal what he has and think him weak." He stroked him again. "Think on it, Tony. It would be most pleasing to me and my people. I would not even demand rights to the others."
"I'd have to talk with Gibbs."
"I will do that. It is proper that I talk to him before offering for all of you." He faded out after blowing a kiss.
Tony considered it. Him and Greg? They would look very hot together. Abby would definitely want film of that. McGee might even want to watch that. Kate would still be screaming at him. Gibbs... well, he was odd now and then. His phone rang. "DiNozzo," he said quietly. "Hey, boss. Got my phone bugged too?" He grinned. "Yeah, he is one. That's for you to ask him, boss. I'm still figuring these things out. No, he's talked to me. He's fed me treats and fruit. He's given me books on his kind of being. Otherwise I don't really know. I've only seen him three times. Yeah, he can get to where I'm hiding. No, not there right now, boss. No, someone tried to take Horatio and Speed, plus their nephew and Xander as expensive toys. No, motivated to get the great CSI off their asses. Yup, we're fine. I'm sure we're fine. Thanks, boss. Greg, the blond guy?" He smirked at the groan his boss let out. "I don't know, boss. Like I said, I've only talked with him three times. But hey, they consider you a lord of a harem." He hung up on the renewed groaning, looking back when Xander came out. "Where is Greg going to apply?"
"Vegas has a day shift opening. He was thinking about going back since the rest of the team realized what they did wrong finally. There's one in Texas that's come open. One in Philadelphia I heard."
"NCIS may have one open."
"I'll let him know." He looked at Tony. "His kind aren't harmful to humans but I personally don't trust them further than business dealings. Then again, I hunted. You're doing good talking to him." Tony relaxed at that. "I've never had to hunt one of them and I called Wesley, he's a former Watcher, he said they're very intelligent and live on some sort of honor code. I don't know what the details are but he said they're decent sorts to do business with." Tony nodded at that. "If it was a vampire I'd move to protect you but this guy's not. So if you need me, you ask me. If you don't then that's your decision. You wouldn't be the first one to make it according to him." Tony smiled and nodded. "But I do want Greg back every now and then."
"That's up to him," Tony agreed. Xander grinned back and pinched him on the arm. "Ow! I'm being a good boy."
"You're a very good boy, Tony. If I wasn't so worn out I'd ask if you needed help." Tony blushed at that. "I can be nice that way."
"I remember the last time, Xander. You got me so hard I couldn't come any more and you still made me get off one last time."
"Just because there's no liquid doesn't mean the body can't finish up." He stroked his cheek. "He was right about one thing. You and Greggy would look very hot together," he whispered, heading back inside.
Tony shivered. He could see him and Greg together all too well. Some soft cotton sheets under them, some dark color to highlight their tans. Him touching Greg. Greg touching and tasting him. For some reason Gibbs was watching from the corner and working himself off. It was a very hot mental picture. He'd have to explore that later when he went to bed.
Gibbs looked up as the demon appeared, putting down his sanding block and sitting down. "I heard."
"I know. You have the device on Tony's phone playing back into your earpiece. Is he moaning over the image of him and Gregory?"
"He is." He stared at him. "What exactly do you want DiNozzo for?"
"My pet. I would keep and cherish him but I would be more than willing to take the whole harem, including Greg, with him. They would be yours but you would all be mine. I would not push myself on those who would not want me but I would help protect you and what is yours."
"DiNozzo's mine to have in bed."
"It is his decision."
"No, if you think he's my harem, it's my decision."
"He still has the right to leave his old harem and start a new one," he noted patiently.
"I'd kick his ass if he did." He heard the new moan and sighed, thinking about calling him. He heard Greg relieve him from watch a few minutes later and what he was going to do in his bedroom. It was enough to make him come to attention and let out a groan of his own. That was one hot picture he was panting about.
"He whispers it to you, Gibbs. He knows you desire him but could not keep up with him. I could help you protect him, make his life rich and rewarding." He came over to help him, getting a glare. "As you wish. We will speak tomorrow. Think on my offer. At my home that would be more than allowed and you would have watching rights, as would I." He disappeared.
Gibbs grabbed his beer to take a drink, finding it something else. Something sweet and syrupy. It made him gag but it did taste good after the first swallow. It warmed him. It made what Tony was moaning about go straight to his groin too. He closed his eyes, letting the voice soothe him into coming without having to do a thing to himself. Him and Greg? He would make room on his team for Greg. Greg was a good CSI from what he had seen. Or maybe he'd join Abby in the lab for a while? He listened as Tony used a toy on himself, getting a bit louder. He thought about calling him to warn him but then he heard Greg come in and it got quieter when Tony finally panted and came down, sharing a kiss with him. That had been very hot. He felt a little dirty for listening but it had been very hot. He'd call him in the morning, after he took a shower and slept.
Tony woke up to Greg petting him, looking up at him since he was sitting up and reading. "Am I the new dog?" he asked quietly.
"No, but if you wanted to do what you were panting and groaning about last night I do require and demand that we date first," he offered with a small grin. Tony shivered so he put down the book and snuggled down next to him, one hand on Tony's hip. "It's all right, Tony. If you want it to be a fantasy it can be. I did hear what the demon told you. I also figure he went to talk to Gibbs." He took a kiss. "I would require dating, Tony. We could easily do it for each other. After all, I've learned from the best how to wear a higher level out." He shifted his hips closer, letting him rub against him. "Anything you need but I'd have to be in the same department as you."
"We might have an opening," he admitted, holding onto him, moaning and closing his eyes as Greg's body hit the right amount of pressure. "There, Greg."
"Anything you want but I'd rather have a boyfriend than a quick thing now and then," he said quietly. "But if that's what you want I'm there for you."
Tony took a kiss and rolled on top, looking down at him. "That means you'd have to put up with Abby, who likes to watch and tape. Kate, who shrieks now and then. McGee, who I have no idea what sort of kink he has. And Gibbs with his possessive nature."
"I heard how you wanted him to watch," Greg said with a grin, grabbing Tony's hips so he could rub up against him. Small circles with his hips for now. Tony tensed up and nearly let go then. "If you want, I'd prefer a boyfriend instead of a fuck buddy."
"Me too. But could you handle Gibbs?"
"Now and then it'd add some spice," he offered. "We'd have to see what was going on at the time. I'm aware of the team's faults and reasons behind them," he promised, thrusting up hard. Tony yelped and came, making Greg smile and move to clean him up with his tongue. "You taste good, Tony."
"Thank you," he panted, pulling Greg up to kiss him and then give him a gentle stroke with his hand. "If you did, we'd have to talk about that offer."
"We would. For now, let's settle things between us, Tony. Make sure there's an opening up there. In the lab or field." He took a kiss and shifted up into Tony's hand, getting a wicked smirk. "You know, I did learn how to be kinky GHS style." Tony shivered and kissed him again, going back to his handjob. Greg moaned into his mouth and let go. "Good. Very nice," he promised, swallowing air. "We'd have to go back to Vegas to get the stuff I've got in storage."
"I can agree to that but I need a bigger spot," Tony said, nuzzling his throat. "How about we start with a small date tonight?"
"I'd like that," Greg said happily, beaming at him. "You call Gibbs and I'll call Hodges and then we'll hit breakfast?" Tony smiled and they grabbed their phones, facing opposite ways to call the friends still in their lives. "Hey, Hodges. Yup, I'm still alive. Well, I have found a great boyfriend. He's another member so I'm not sure if I can call him a keeper or not. No, he's a Fed. I know. That depends on if he wants to come to Vegas if his team won't take him back or if I go with him. Right now those are my two options." He smiled. "Tell them I said hi. No, I'll definitely have to come out to get my stuff out of storage. Sure, we'll have dinner and you can meet Tony then. Thanks, David." He hung up and flipped over, seeing Tony panting into the phone. So he rested his ear on top of it so he could hear Gibbs too. He reached down to work Tony's cock until he got swatted, then he grinned and shifted around to suck on him, making Tony gasp and moan while clutching his phone to his ear. It was the sexiest thing he'd ever seen. Tony shivered and shook for him, then finally came in his mouth. He gently licked him clean then came up to kiss him, interrupting the questions Gibbs was demanding the answers to. "Hi, Gibbs," he said quietly.
In DC Gibbs had to hold onto the counter in front of him. "Hi, Greg. Is Tony all right?" He shivered at the announcement that he was nearly asleep after a great blow job. "What did you want, Greg?" His 'either you or both of us in Vegas on day shift' made him very happy. "I'll see what I can do. Call me later from a real phone and don't plan on having sex during the call. Because it's rude unless you're offering to help the person on the other end, Sanders." He smirked. "He's right, you two need to get straight first and then talk about that stuff. Let me know tomorrow." He hung up and went to handle himself in the bathroom for now. He heard someone come in and slammed the door shut, locking it.
Abby looked up the stairs, then shrugged and went up to check on him. "Gibbs, are you all right?"
"Tony and Greg," he complained. "Go away for a half-hour, Abby."
"Oh, come on!"
"I can help!"
"Abby! That was an order."
She broke the lock and walked in, leaning against the door. "I hate orders." She kissed him. "You let me a few times. Let me now." She kissed him again, letting him take over. It was still good. Especially since he was panting and hissing about Tony and Greg teases. *That* was an image she could get behind.
Tony looked at the gathered family, then at Greg. "Gibbs found a way for me to go back to work and for me to stay worn out."
Xander beamed. "I knew we were going to lose Greg to someone really special. They've got room for him?"
"Gibbs made room for him," he admitted. He looked at Greg, who shrugged. "You're sure it's okay?"
"It's fine." He stole a kiss and grinned at him. "Abby and I will team up."
"Remember, Abby likes to tape things."
"That can be fun but not for every day," he admitted, then he shrugged when Tony blushed. "I've got my kinks, you've got your kinks, she's got hers. Gibbs apparently minded me helping you out while he was on the phone with you." He beamed happily. Then at the family. "I don't wanna leave you guys or anything."
"It's not a problem," Horatio promised with a small smile. "I'll make sure Jethro knows what you can and haven't done yet." Greg nodded at that, swallowing. "Remember, you're still on my backup list, Greg."
"Thanks, Horatio." He hugged him and Speed, then the others, ending with Danny. "Can you handle him?"
"I hope so." He grinned. "Be good in DC. Are you staying for this current issue?"
"I'm hoping it's solved and we've got everyone in custody?"
"Nearly," Frank admitted. "One of the guys managed to slip out from the ER." He looked at Ray Junior, then at Horatio. "Up to you, boss."
"We can go back. There's no way they'd try us at the station." That got nods and everyone went to pack their emergency bags. He looked at his nephew. "You'll be with Xander all day, Ray. I want you safe."
"Yes, Uncle H." He hugged him. "It's good to be back." He carted stuff out to the car the others going back to Xander's were taking, wiggling into the back seat between two others.
"You're too old to sit on the lap or else I'd offer," Don said dryly.
"I am, but then again I probably should have the more involved sex talk with someone soon. Right after I figure out if I really liked what they were doing or not."
Xander looked back and nodded. "You should figure that out. If you did like having a guy play there then it does open up some other opportunities and require the longer sex talk."
"Sure. I can totally see getting it from you today and then having Uncle Speed or Uncle H filling in any gaps or moral issues I might have." Xander grinned at that. "They've got a stricter upbringing."
"Yup," Xander agreed. "I gave that up at your age."
"Does that mean I'm finally old enough to know what you did in Sunnydale that makes Uncle H shudder?"
"Ask him, kiddo. I can't answer that question for you."
"Sure." He could do that later. For right now, his uncles were back in work-mode. He could see it on their faces. Uncle Horatio looked pretty scary actually. So someone was going to wish they were dead by the time he was done with them.
Speed and Horatio walked into Xander's that night, smiling at the happy nephew they had since he was rolling around with the dogs. "Boys, go play with the daddy!" Speed ordered happily. They ran into the bedroom to help daddy with his bubble bath. Horatio gave them an odd look.
"He's taking bubbles as his newest goddess," Ray Junior said as he got up and dusted himself off. "Let me guess, mom said I wasn't allowed to come and cowed dad into it again?" Horatio nodded. He rolled his eyes. "Not like I did this on my own, guys. I would've flown up on a decent airplane."
"True," Speed agreed. "Which means he got to nag her back." He came over to give him a hug. "We missed you."
"Good. Can we go home? Xander's pouting."
"Sure," Horatio agreed, coming over to hug him as well. Ray snuggled into him with a happy smile. "What else happened?"
"Drug lords who think I'm cute. Girls who don't. Boys who don't. Plus them deciding the tests were all a fluke." He looked up. "It's been six months since my girlfriend knocked me down and took what she wanted. Can we do the new blood test?"
"We can," Greg agreed as he came down the stairs. "Because Adam wants all members to be retested." He held up needles and vials. "So guess what, guys?" They groaned. "Sorry. If Alexx were here she could do it much nicer too." Speed walked off to call her, making Greg grin at his sometimes-boss. "I've got enough to do his too, Horatio."
"Thank you, Greg. What about those of us who're down at the moment?"
"That's not a problem with the new test. It tells even if you're so worn out you're limp and sated, fully worn out. We're testing the chemical that makes you surge." Horatio stared at him. "One of the other guys recently found it. We've got levels to tell us what level you are by how much of it's it in your blood. Then again it could also go to help his later research." He shrugged. "I need someone to pull mine too. They'll be running both tests and the antidyne test too. Plus your yearly tests are due in before convention registration."
"Good point," Speed agreed as he came back. "Alexx said she'd get us tonight before she went home. Peter can hold dinner." He looked at Greg. "Let me guess, you need the lab?"
"Nope. Got it at my lab." He smirked at Ray Junior. "He went with me today too." Xander came out of the bathroom. "Clothes," he snapped.
"Sorry." He went back in there to put on more than a pair of silk shorts. He came out in velour lounging jammies instead. "Better?"
"Much. Thank you."
Ray Junior looked at him. "I've seen naked people before. Including when I walked in on him while he was changing a few times before I left. I have bad timing according to Uncle Speed." Who nodded at that, making Xander grin. "See, I knew what gay sex was before I was ten."
Greg grinned and hugged him. "Doesn't mean it's polite and Alexx doesn't like to see him naked." He let him go and put the bags down on the counter, hopping up while he looked at Xander's hair. He had been able to magic it slightly longer again. It was down just past his shoulders now. "Brush?" It was handed over. "It's a tangled mess, Xander."
"I sprayed the detangler."
"I noticed. It's slimy." He worked the brush through the damp hair, finally clearing at least one section of knots. By then, Frank and Alexx were there. "Hey, Frank. Alexx, we're doing the renewed bloodwork."
"Good. I can draw that." She settled in to draw blood there in the kitchen from all the GHS in the house. Danny and Don finally came home but she was leaving so Greg got Don's to do. Frank just gave them amused looks.
"Frank, are you borrowing a couch?" Xander teased.
"Your bodyguard for the night, kiddo." He smirked back. "Because you get into trouble. The Chief ordered it."
"I didn't even flirt with him," he said, looking confused. "Why does he want me guarded?"
"Because one of them somehow escaped," Speed pointed out patiently. "That makes you a victim in danger."
"But he wanted the CSI people," Danny reminded them. "Doesn't that mean Frank should be sitting on *your* couch?"
"Don's on the case with me. You're a CSI," Frank pointed out. "They've got a patrol on the house. I could've sat out in the driveway but this way I get to eat and play with the dogs."
"Sure," Xander agreed, letting Greg get back to his hair. He winced when he yanked. "Ow."
"Sorry. Had to but sorry."
"My turn," Don complained, taking the brush to do Xander's hair. He took the place on the counter too since it was apparently working well. He looked. "Oops, someone's got some flakes."
"My scalp sheds now and then," Xander sighed. "Usually in large flakes." Don nodded at that so he looked back at him. "Do you see any open spots? I've had some peel like that."
"Nope. Not really. I see a crack." He rubbed a finger over it then kissed it. "We'll be fine." He got back to work on the same section of hair. It was calming and soothing, he'd get a good night's sleep tonight.
"Do we have any plans for dinner?" Danny asked. Xander pointed at the pot on the stove. "Is it already done?"
"I taught him how to make mom's soup," Ray said proudly.
"Works for us. Horatio, are we staying for dinner?" Speed asked.
"Sure." He looked at Ray, who shrugged and grinned knowingly. "You behave."
"I try so hard," he complained, then he beamed. "Mom said too hard," when his uncle groaned and shook his head.
"Play all you want, Ray," Speed encouraged. "We need to make Horatio loosen up again." He walked over to sniff the soup. "Got any good bread?" Xander pointed at the fridge so he found racks already buttered and scented with garlic oil to be put under the burners. Some with cheese. He smirked at the boy while he did that, shaking his head at the extra they'd be having for snacks. Then he got down bowls and started to ladle the soup out for everyone. They settled in the kitchen to eat and chat.
Frank played with some of Xander's hair, wiping his fingers off on his leg. "What do you have in it, kid?"
"Detangler," he sighed, looking at him. "It's a mess, Frank." That got a nod. "I've been braiding it magically again."
"No more of that," Greg ordered. Xander nodded at that and ate a bite of soup. He looked at Danny. "Are you sure?" he asked quietly.
"Go play with Tony and take him dinner." Greg smiled and did that, bringing it over to him. "We'll finish playing with your hair later," Danny promised, getting a towel to wrap it up for now. It'd soak up the extra detangler.
"So, why a bubble bath in the middle of the day?" Don asked.
Don looked at him then moaned. "The last time you did that we nearly died, Xander."
Danny sighed and looked at Horatio. "We might be a bit late in the morning from coming back to life, boss."
"As long as you're fine, boys," he agreed with a small smile. "Xander can even bring you two lunch again." Don shook his head quickly.
"Yes he can," Frank teased.
"Then I'll miss a few hours from the sex and coming back to life parts," Don told him.
"Eeeh, I'll pounce Ryan if you two are that bad off," Xander said, smirking at him.
"Ryan has tomorrow off," Horatio noted before eating a bite of bread.
"So does Eric," Speed agreed, looking at him. "Weren't they going to do couply things?"
"Which for them includes a fight," Danny reminded them.
"I'd hope not. Wolfe pouts nearly as bad as Xander does," Frank complained. He finished his soup. "We saving any for later?" Xander shook his head so he got up to get more. "Can I pour out more for others?" Horatio held up his bowl so he gave him some too, smirking at him. "Need the energy?" he teased.
"He skipped lunch to beat someone," Speed said in a deadpan.
Frank laughed. "I knew about the skipping lunch part. Who'd he thump this time?"
"Ryan and Eric," Horatio complained lightly. "That's why they have tomorrow off without pay." He ate a bite of soup while Danny and Don both giggled. "Their fight in the lab wasn't very professional."
"Eric started it," Speed reminded him.
"I heard." They shared a look. "I almost offered them my office." He went back to eating while Speed blushed. "Have more, Speed. You'll need it." Speed finished his bowl and got more, making Frank laugh.
"I've been enjoying cable all day, I can keep doing it if you two need some alone-time," Ray offered.
Horatio gave him a one-armed hug. "It won't be a problem, Ray."
"Does that mean my mother's waiting for us back at your place?"
"I'd hope not," Speed said, grimacing. "Is she still blushing whenever she mentions us in the same sentence?"
"She was but dad laughed a few times. So she beat him and huffed off."
Speed grinned at that. "I'll have to send her a new card soon then."
"Don't you dare," Horatio warned.
"What?" Speed asked, trying very hard to look innocent.
"Dad liked the last one," Ray assured him.
"Last one?" Horatio asked him.
"Um, it had Speed cuddled behind you on the couch?"
Horatio glared at Speed, who was still trying to look innocent. "It's not working and it won't save you."
"It's a good picture of us."
"I don't care. That's private. I didn't want to see them cuddling either."
Tony's demon suitor appeared and looked at them. "He could go with the two in their own harem," he offered. All the GHS in the room glared at him and Xander created a small flame, making him 'eeeep' and disappear.
"See? And just think, in a few years I'll have my own harem," Ray joked.
Xander looked at him. "I can help you with that."
"No!" everyone else complained, loudly.
Xander winked at Ray. "We'll start with a good lover."
"Sure, I could use one of those." He finished his soup and got up to get some more, adding some more to Danny and Don's bowls to finish off the pot. "You'll need it," he said with a grin before sitting down again.
"Usually do," Don agreed happily. Danny just gave him a look but took one of the pieces of bread with cheese to nibble on while he finished his dinner too.
Tony came off the plane with Greg, looking at the people there to meet them. "Boss," he said cautiously.
"DiNozzo, welcome back."
"Are you back to normal?" He got swatted. "Thanks, boss." He grinned and gave him a hug then Kate one. "Kate, this is Greg. I don't know if you remember him."
"Running away from the guy with the hair?" she asked.
"No, Tony's mine."
"Oh." She considered that statement then looked at Tony. "A guy? After all the women you dated?" she taunted. "After you ran away from the transexual guy who kissed you?"
"I dated plenty of guys in there," he assured her. He took Greg's hand to walk out with him. "So, Boss, I know you and Greg talked a lot. It all worked out?"
"It was and all your things in storage were moved to your new place," he said patiently. "We made sure of it." They smiled at that. "As well as his things from Vegas. The movers even set things up for you." He looked at them. "That must've cost a hell of a lot."
"Well, yeah, but it's worth it to come home to a place that's not full of boxes your first night."
"True," he agreed, walking them out to the car once they had their bags.
Kate looked at them. "I remember you saying you were a member," she said once they were in the car. Greg nodded. "Can you actually work? Tony still has problems."
"Tony's problems were that he didn't have a steady way of wearing it out. Now he does."
"Okay," she said slowly, thinking about that. "So on his annoying days we should've just slept with him?"
"Eww," Tony told her. "Really."
"Sometimes he's a big, goofy kid anyway," Greg assured her. "You learn to love Tony if you don't fall automatically."
"For some it's a long learning experience," she said dryly.
"Not really. You already think of him like a brother, Kate." She blushed at that and turned around. "Same thing." He grinned at Tony, who beamed back. "No hazing me my first day on the job."
"Of course I won't," he promised, grinning wickedly. "But that night....."
"We'll see how tired I am," Greg agreed. Tony beamed at that. He looked at the area they were passing. "I'll have to get a map when I get the car."
"You can get a rental," Gibbs ordered. "That way your first few weeks have one of those GPS things built into it."
"That could help, yeah," Greg agreed. "Thanks, Gibbs." He grinned at him and Kate. "We'll be fine, guys."
"I can only hope so. I'm tired of doing Tony's paperwork for him," Kate said blandly.
"You know, if you make him pout it'll only be worse when we come back."
She gave him a horrified look. "I'll try really hard. Will he be taken again?"
"We do tend to do minor surges when we pout," Tony said, looking totally serious. "But very minor ones."
"Like microns," Gibbs said blandly. "I had Abby translate some of the stuff on the website that the scientific panel put out. Quit picking on her, DiNozzo."
"Sorry, boss, but couldn't resist."
"I said it was minor," Greg pointed out.
"Who do we have as a director, boss?" Tony asked.
"Political appointee. Used to be FBI. Fornell heard and burst out laughing. So far he doesn't do much, just waves a hand for us to go away."
"That can happen," Greg agreed. He gave Tony's hand a squeeze. "At least he probably won't try to sell you."
"True, he won't. That'll be nice. Plus my hearing about my inheritance is coming up soon too." That got a smile from Kate. "The way he did it was illegal. I have the right to protest."
"You do," Gibbs agreed. "You have lawyers, correct?"
"A few, yeah."
"Good." He parked and looked back at them. "We'll work out the bugs this trial week, boys."
"At least one thing'll be easier," Greg quipped with a bright grin. "We won't be watching for Xander's tumor to come back and for him to start doing things like winning at poker against drug dealers." Gibbs gaped at him.
Tony nodded. "He had to make one pay up recently. He owed him about seventy grand, boss. He's a poker shark."
"He's worse when we let him play baccarat," Greg told him. He looked at him. "Any time this small tumor of his swells up, it causes him to do bad and evil things with poker chips and annoying people. It slowed some of the drugs coming in since they couldn't pay for shipments but it was still something we had to watch out for."
"Couldn't they remove it?" Gibbs demanded.
"It came back."
"Not your fault. It's in just the wrong area. It affects that and makes his hormones backlog. When it's removed it's not safe to breathe the air in a five thousand foot radius. It all comes out at once." Kate shuddered at that.
"I heard it was some pretty orgies," Tony agreed.
"It probably was," Gibbs assured him, giving him an odd look. "Were you there?"
"Nope. Horatio and them were. The first time they removed it in the morgue for safety reasons. Got the whole station. When complained at, they pointed out that the hospital would've been worse."
"Yeah. Much worse," Gibbs agreed, nodding at that. It put him being accidentally exposed into perspective. He got possessive. Those others, they got made to have sex. His was better. He could like that again. "You can't do that, right?"
"I'd have to backlog for a really long time and let it out in one sudden spurt," Tony told him.
"Good. Don't. Unless it's the only way out of somewhere, don't." He pointed. "Your new building, boys." They got out with them and headed inside, getting to know the doorman, who was very nice. They got Tony into the apartment, making him quit chatting with a neighbor he found in the hallway. Gibbs watched as Greg checked everything, smiling at the pile of rental movies McGee had dropped off for them, and McGee himself when he came out of the bathroom. Then the bedroom got a few appreciative looks as well. Tony pounced Greg onto the bed and tickled him, making him struggle back. McGee and Kate went back to the living room, blushing hard, but Gibbs shook his head and leaned in the doorway. "Boys," he complained. "You have guests."
"Give us ten, Gibbs," Tony demanded, kissing Greg now that he had him warmed up. Tony ended up on his back, staring up at the grinning maniac he was dating. "Hi."
"Hi." He took another kiss. "Later on, you're going to beg," he assured him. He took another one and gently shifted his hips. "Until then, we have guests. We can play later." Tony pouted and Greg smirked. "I weathered Xander's pouts. I can weather yours."
"True, but I'm more pitiful and I'll get Abby on my side."
"That's because she'll want to watch." He leaned down to kiss him again. "Only if you can do it in under two minutes, Tony." Tony moaned and flipped them over, going down on Greg immediately. Greg reciprocated once he hauled Tony's bottom half around and it was good but fast. They both came and shared another kiss and a short cuddle. Then they walked past Gibbs and out to the living room once they were straightened out again. "Sorry, he needed a cuddle."
"That's fine. Cuddles are good for you guys," McGee said with a grin. "I wrote my friend from college. He said hi, Tony."
"Who did you meet at MIT?"
"Ooh, Olivia's boy. Yeah, I do know him." He grinned. "Tell him I said hi back and tell him that I've pounced Greg as mine. Stole him from Xander."
"I did." He grinned. "I got you movies."
"Cool!" He sat down with Greg next to him and turned on the first one, settling in to watch something funny since that's what was in. Gibbs finally came out of the bathroom and took the easy chair. "Are we doing dinner, boss?"
"We can. Someone order."
"Chinese, pizza, what are we getting?" Kate asked.
"Max's. Greg deserves the best," Tony ordered.
"He won't deliver this far."
Greg looked up at Tony. "We can get some of that tomorrow." Tony considered it. "I'll even let you treat." That got a smile and a nod. "Whatever's fine with me, guys. I'm not picky."
"Chinese?" Kate suggested. "That way Tony gets his dose of vegetables for the week?"
"Sure," McGee agreed, getting the menu and handing it to Greg, who smiled and pointed at something. So he nodded and got the rest of them their usual plus his pork. It was good to be back, even if Gibbs was giving them speculative looks and Abby still had to pounce Greg and ask him to tape things. But they'd work it out, they always did. Especially since Gibbs would sub in if Greg got too tired now and then. Or whatever they decided about that and the demon that wanted to watch over them and watch them have sex. There were a whole lot of possibilities and hey, now he could get away with having sex in the office!