Mental Places That Make You Go Odd.
Eric picked Cordelia up at the airport, giving her a hug. "Still having Xander flashbacks?"
"A few. Is the big dumbass in trouble again?"
"No, but we wanted to talk to you first."
"Sure. As long as you carry the luggage." She smirked.
"That's fine." He helped her get her three bags out to the hummer then took her into the office so everyone could talk to her. He signed her in. "This is Xander's ex Cordelia," he said.
The receptionist looked at her. "So, was he bad in bed and that's why you gave him up?"
"No, technically his best friend decided to panic about being a grown up girl and started to kiss him. I ended up shived on rebar thanks to that. That and I was pretty mean to him."
"That special friend would be the redhead who helped try to blow him up," Eric told her. The receptionist shuddered. "He was eighteen."
"Yes, we were," Cordelia sighed. "I'm feeling really old looking back." She shook her head. "Anyway. Dumping Xander was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. He still supported me even after that." She walked off with Eric once she had her pass. "You guys all know Xander here?"
"Xander brings lunch in every few days," Eric told her. "He flirts outrageously with her." He went back. "He hasn't done it since," he offered.
"I didn't figure Messer would put up with it."
"No, he didn't do it after me. It was a hormone reaction," Cordelia offered. "He's the one who kept her from taking it farther than too."
"Aww." She smiled. "Well, he's better now, right?" Eric nodded. "Good. Then I won't pick on him about it. Now, shoo. Lieutenant Caine's around here somewhere growling. Stetler had to go to him to prove some guy guilty." That got a groan from Eric but he walked her off again. "That poor boy," she cooed. "He's got better taste now that he's gay."
"So, are we sure Xander's not in any trouble?" she asked patiently.
"Very but most of the family is here," Eric offered with a grin. "Then we'll have lunch and Xander can take you wherever."
She was walked into the detective's area. "Guys, look who I have."
Danny smiled back at her. "Hey, Cordy."
"Danny." She hugged and kissed him on the cheek. She smiled at Don and swatted him on the arm. "I still owe you for siccing the dogs on me to pounce and lick." She smiled at the others. "So, what's with the family meeting?"
"Just some warnings," Ray complained. "Shouldn't really be necessary but you're a nice break from catching bad guys."
"Sure." She smirked at Frank. "Not going to say hi?"
"You still scare me." He smirked back. "Are you going to chase down something and stake it again with Xander?"
"Not unless it does what that one did and tries to grope me. Because eww." She watched as someone walked past where they were. "Speaking of eww." She stared down the man who paused. "Yes, Angel sent me out to help my former boyfriend," she sneered. "Got problems with that?" He took a step back and shook his head. "Good. Then shoo unless you've got official business with them. Now. Shoo. Seriously, giving me migraines." The half-demon turned and stomped off. "Thank you! And you might try to invest in something like water too!" she snarked after him. She shook her head. "I know he probably didn't claim it on his paperwork but still sickening."
"Many of us feel that way about him," Ray agreed dryly. "So, are you the ex he took to the prom or one of the other ones?"
"Sorry, Ray Kowalski, this is Cordelia Chase."
"I'm the one he used to make out in closets with but fought in public with all the time."
"Ah. The mean one." He nodded and shook her hand. "My boy helped train Xander so we're buddies."
"That's cool. Xander could use more friends. They'll keep him out of trouble and go on rescues when he's being dumb."
"Remember how they had that talk about hormones?" Don asked. She nodded slowly. "They were working back then too."
"So, Willow went to him for smoochies because she was part demon then?"
"Or starting to turn bad girl," Danny agreed. "After all, most of you were in one way or another."
She smiled brightly. "Thank you. That's the nicest compliment I've gotten all day." That got a round of laughs. "So, give, what did the Prince of Gay Hair do this time?"
"Nothing yet," Don offered.
"You're to make sure of it," Danny agreed with an evil smirk. "Plus you can help him and Greg catalog if you want."
"That sounds suspiciously like work."
"Well, yeah," Don offered. "But he'll spoil you rotten while he's treating the princess and entourage that Ryan got given and the priestess who came here to go to college. This way we've got a nark in his team since Greg doesn't always share the stuff with us."
"Things like the boat," Frank noted.
"Yeah, and his poker buddies that he still goes to play with now and then," Danny agreed.
"Xander can play poker?" she asked, looking confused.
"Xander's playing high stakes poker," Danny said fondly. "With people who deal drugs now and then. Unfortunately he keeps winning and pissing them off."
"Not any more," Don pointed out. "Unless it's that one guy and he challenges him again."
"True." He looked at Cordelia. "He still made a few mil off poker recently. Went to a gambling place and broke their bank because they were bad guys."
"Well, I guess it kept them from using it for bad guys plots," she said.
"That was his idea," Frank agreed. Horatio and Speed came over with Ryan reading a file behind them. "More work or can we all sit and talk with the pretty one?"
"I'm more than just my hot ass, Detective Tripp," she assured him with a catty smile. "After all, I hunted with Buffy too."
"Yes, I remember you hunting something down to stake it," Horatio admitted, looking at her. "Do you think you could keep Xander out of trouble?"
"I'd hope he wouldn't drag me along again." Ryan gave her a look. "What? He did."
"Let him spoil you, let him help you spoil the others," Ryan ordered. "Tell us what he's doing, and if you want to you can snark at his new admirers."
"Sure. Why they want Xander I don't know. Why anyone would want the Princess of Gayness I don't know. He's not the same Xander I dated."
"Thankfully," Danny agreed, staring her down. "Get to know Greg when he comes in. He's starting to work again soon so you'll have a lot of Xander to yourself. We expect to not see him in trouble ever again."
She burst out laughing. "Xander? Trouble?" she giggled, leaning on Frank's desk. "No, he's not attracted to it at all, guys."
"In this instance, he and trouble need to be less acquainted," Horatio said firmly.
"It's not like he brought home the princess," Don teased. Ryan swatted him with the folder. "He didn't."
"All I did was save her life, Flack. Her daddy gave her to me." He looked at Horatio again then shrugged. "He's said he's got them a place to live. Tayla too."
"Good," he agreed. "I'm assuming he's let them pick through the closets of things so they could use it to decorate?" Everyone nodded. "Even better. Does he have everything in the closets cataloged?"
"Yup," Ryan agreed. He looked at Cordelia. "We need you to tell us when he starts doing stupid crap again. Please. He can spoil you all he wants as long as he doesn't go broke. You can snark and be mean to any of his admirers."
"You can kick their asses if they attack you guys," Ray agreed. "But we think you can keep Xander out of the more serious trouble."
"I can try. So what happened with Willow and Buffy?"
"They got help escaping and got sent somewhere else for punishment," Eric told her. "After they tried to hack his accounts, put cameras in his home to watch him having sex, and Buffy bombed one car and tried it on Danny's."
"Ye old liquor problems," Danny said dryly.
"Even better." She watched as Calleigh came over. "I wouldn't have worn that shirt, honey." Calleigh looked at her. "Stains. You've got yellow stains. Looks like mustard."
"It was from the last scene. I'll change before lunch. But thanks." She smiled. "No Xander with lunch yet?"
Cordelia called him. "I'm in, hungry, and waiting. Where are you?" She nodded. "Sure. No, we're all here and the pretty blonde woman is going to change first. That's fine," she said patiently. "No, I still don't like rye bread." She smiled. "Thanks, Xander." She hung up. "He's getting lunch now so you have time." She smiled but walked off to change. "It's a horrible thing when pretty and stunning women are wearing bad clothes. That's why I change all the time." Horatio snickered at that, turning away to do it. "I do." She smirked at Speed. "Hi."
"Hi. I still don't care if you don't like my clothes, they're comfortable."
"Up to you, dear. If you want to go out looking like you borrowed the detective here's shirt," she said with a nod toward Frank. "That's all on you."
"Actually, I did steal this one but not from him." He smirked at Ryan. "So, anything?"
"A headache. I didn't get breakfast because I got up late." He went back to the file. "If we're talking suspects, nope." Someone screamed and lunged at them, and Ryan pulled the sword he had Xander hide for him, attacking the person until they were against a wall looking very scared. "Did you actually think before you attacked some officers? Because that was terribly stupid. Really." The man whimpered and wet himself. "Good! I'm glad you've decided to debase yourself in front of us. It makes it all the more fun for us."
"Mr. Wolfe, may we have him now?" Horatio asked patiently.
"Sure, boss." He let him go and handed him to Horatio, putting the sword back.
"Why are you wearing your sword at work?" Frank asked.
"Habit. It's a good habit but habit." He went back to his file browsing. "We may have two suspects, Speed."
"Great." He smacked him on the side of the head. "Dumbass."
"Gotta say, hottie with a sword is still pretty cool," Cordy offered dryly. She watched as Xander came up with a large box, cooing at the guy in handcuffs until he dropped to his knees and tried to suck him. "Hey! None of us want to see that!" The guy got pulled off and away. "Xander!"
"I didn't do anything, just made him quit fighting. Sorry!" He handed the box to Danny. "Here, lunch." He grinned at Cordelia, giving her a hug. "Welcome back."
"Thanks. Angel claims he got tired of listening to me complain way too loudly about how I used to grope you."
"Angel needs laid," he reminded her. "I've even sent him my magical sex toys so he could be a semi-happy boy while you're gone."
She giggled, leaning on his arm. "I can see them attacking him when he opens the box," she howled, almost crying in mirth. "I so hope Gunn catches it somehow!"
He beamed. "I'm a good boy."
"Keep tryin'," Don offered, waving a hand. "Some day it'll be true, Xan." He stood up and got his own hug around Cordelia. "Where's Greg?"
"Lab. He got stuff early. So I went to play in the park."
Horatio came back from handing over their problem and looked at him. "Would that be why there's a problem in the park, Xander?"
"Not as far as I knew. I took the dogs out to play." They all stared at him. "What? It's not like I danced *there*."
"Where did you dance?" Ryan asked patiently. "So we can go break up that orgy."
"Madam Qui's. I wanted to see if the quarth demons, who're are basically demonic GHS members, could do them."
"Isn't that a brothel?" Ray asked, looking a bit confused. Xander nodded slowly. "Her clients?"
"No, I hired a few of them out for a few hours to see if they could learn it. They've got their own style so I'm learning that one but it's not as good or as hot coming from me."
They just nodded at that and took him to have their lunch in the break room. Now Cordelia knew why they needed her: Xander would pout too much if they kept him in handcuffs all day.
Cordelia came in from picking fruit, finding Aiden making her own lunch. "Hey."
"Hey. Back again?"
"Yeah, Angel complained that I moaned too much about how I used to grope Xander after he saved us in another realm."
"Huh?" she asked.
"We were on our mystical road trip," Xander called from the basement. "We ran into them being held hostage so we helped."
"Oh, sure," she agreed, looking at Cordy. "How long you in for?"
"Angel thought it might be a good idea if I had a real vacation. He's taking one too."
"Interesting." She smiled at that. "So you're going to make Xander spoil you?"
She smirked. "If he wants I wouldn't complain," she offered with a grin. "But I'd never *force* it. Maybe whine my way into it now and then." Aiden laughed at that. "How about you?"
"I'm still working on my last spoiling one. I got a ten grand gift certificate to a really great chocolate place."
Cordelia shook her head. "There's no way any one human can eat that much chocolate."
"I can roll it over into new gift certificates. Found that out after I ate about a grand worth." Cordelia shuddered at that. "It's really great chocolate."
"I'm sure it is." Xander came up the stairs with a set of keys and his wallet. "Problems?"
"Just doing a refill. I took Ryan's girlfriend shopping yesterday." Aiden gaped in horror. "Oh, you didn't hear about the princess?"
"Princess?" she squeaked.
"Yeah, Ryan saved her from being eaten so her father gave her to him. She was getting a bit old and needed to be married off before the customary debauching in public and beheading happened. It looks bad on the king when his daughters aren't married," he said at her furious look. "So he got given a princess and an entourage. They're living on the boat."
"Boat?" Cordy asked.
He beamed and nodded. "Yup, my own boat." He grinned at them. "So, Aiden, are you free this afternoon?"
"Yup. Why? Need more cuddles?"
"Nope, I'm good on cuddles. Greg got happy when he got told his lab was finished." He hugged them both. "Finish up and we'll go play in the sunshine. Cordy could use sunglasses." Aiden gave him a scared look but let it go and finished up her lunch while Cordelia ate some fruit for hers. He grinned at her reaction to the dark skinned fruit. "Isn't that great? I found that tree the other day. I'm wondering if we can make other things out of it, like wine." He led them out. "Aiden, are you following?"
"No, we can take my car, Xander. That way we can rent Cordelia her own."
"I was going to let her use Danny's since he's getting a new one," he admitted.
"Does Danny know he's getting a new car?"
"He ordered it, I'd hope so."
"Good, not an extra special boyfriend present," Aiden sighed. She got in to drive but he shoved her over and slid in. "My car."
"I drive better." She gave him a look. "I do. Horatio even said so. He said I drive better than Ray too."
"Fine. Where are we headed?"
"To pick up Tayla and take her clothes shopping so I can have my jammie pants back." He backed down the driveway and headed for the docks. "Plus to see my boat."
"Okay," Cordelia agreed. "Are we repainting the boat?"
"Yup, it's a bit loud inside."
"Like your shirts loud?"
"Like louder than my shirts loud. Even I said it was loud and I like my shirts."
"You need better taste, Xander."
"I let the salesmen dress me."
"You're gay, sweetie, you should have the fashion sense," she complained.
"I do, I let the gay salesmen tell me what I'm wearing." He turned a corner and headed off in a new direction, then back toward the docks when he found the one shop closed. "Shoot. It's not open today." He shrugged. "He's very good at helping me."
Aiden hid her grin. "Is Danny going to complain that you need to clean your closet again?"
"Probably. Then again he was wearing my shirt at lunch," he said proudly. "Don was too."
"I noticed it was one of the suits you bought him." They pulled up in front of a small ship. "Xander, baby, isn't that a little cruise ship?"
He looked at her and nodded. "Yeah. Why?" He honked and Tayla came bouncing down the gangplank. He beamed at her. "Did you bring them?"
"I did, I even washed them when I figured out where the washer was and how to use it." She handed the bag over to him. "Hi, I'm Tayla, Priestess of Athena."
Cordy looked at her. "Cordelia Chase. I used to hunt vampires with Xander," she said, shaking her hand. "Have you met Aiden?"
"Just the once. Hello again."
"Hey. Did he get you the ID stuff?"
"He did. Thank you, Xander."
"Welcome." He took off when no one else came out. "They off?"
"Napping on the other side of the ship to get tans. She noticed how many of the locals had tans and decided it was a good thing to fit in." He shrugged and headed off again. "She was also thinking about getting a tiny dog."
"We'll see. I'm hoping she finds a new life here, but one of the GHS Greg told on the bulletin boards sounded interested in her and her entourage." He shrugged and took them to the first store. "We'll get you the basics here, then go spoiling." She nodded and they went inside. He pulled Cordelia closer to smile at her. "What did they want you to do?"
"Keep you out of trouble and do some mild secretarial stuff for you. Like cataloging."
"It's all done," he complained, kissing her on the cheek. "We'll see. Go find something cute." She went to do that. He looked at Aiden. "You too."
"I don't need more clothes." He hugged her. "I don't. I don't have ta do laundry for a month, that's enough clothes for me." He shrugged and led her on to look around at least. He handed her a new t-shirt pack and she sighed. "Fine."
"For your practical classes."
"Point." They helped Tayla load up, Cordelia being fashion conscious and comfortable conscious on her behalf. Then they went to a slightly higher end place.
Cordelia walked into the study and looked at Don where he was struggling with the checkbook again. "You don't have it on a program?"
"We do. I'm trying to figure out where this other money came from."
"Interest? Or rent payments if he's got someone else living on that boat of his?" He looked up at her. "It's one of the baby cruise ships. Like you'd take around for a day or two cruise." He moaned. "It's being repainted and stuff. The princess is living in one suite, Tayla has another one. Oh, did you know he's letting the salesmen dress him?"
"I figured they were. It's fine as long as he's happy. When did he buy the boat?"
She looked at the door then at him. "I don't think he did, Don." He moaned. "I think it came from gambling. He said he won it off the bastards he had beaten for using it to ship drugs."
He moaned and put his head down on the desk. "Why?" he muttered.
"Because he's a Xander and they probably had to pay him that way. He did say he had let the Vice officers go over it a few times when Aiden and he talked about it."
Don got up and headed out there to grab Aiden and pump her for information.
"You could try asking me," Xander called after them. Don came back and grabbed him instead, letting Aiden cook for him. "What did you want to know?" Don sat down in one of their loungers and Xander snuggled into his lap, getting comfortable. "What?"
"All you had to do was ask, Don."
"I'm askin' now. Ship, Xander?"
"Did you hear about how Vice asked me to bust these guys?"
"I heard you busted a gaming ship."
"I did what I did in Mississippi to them. I broke the bank and then some. They didn't have my Vegas file and I hit a few very nice slots and video poker machines and then at the baccarat tables since their poker dealer was dealing seconds." He played with his shirt buttons. "By the time we got back they had searched me for electronics, found out I wasn't cheating, and had to pay me. The ship's owner came on and asked how I wanted paid. I said cash, he said it'd take them a day, they hadn't stocked that much on the boat. He offered to pay me what they had and drugs and I said I didn't do drugs. I hated drugs. Drugs were evil. He blanched and offered me the ship. So I took it. I'm having it repainted too because it was louder than my shirts." He looked at him. "Then I let Vice come in and bust 'em. I had on a wire they couldn't find."
"Damn," he groaned, shifting his hips some to get feeling back in that foot. "Can you move just a bit?" Xander shifted and he smiled. "Thanks, babe." He kissed him and stroked his back. "So that was all a Vice sting?" He nodded, smiling at him. "You got to keep the boat?"
"They owed me the money."
"True. Usually Vice would've taken it."
"They said they didn't want it and couldn't sell it so I got it. It runs okay and I can drive it now."
"Good. Does Greg know about this?" He shook his head. "Okay then." He took another kiss. "That's fine, Xander. Have they asked you to bust anywhere else?"
"One drug hellhole. But they only wanted me to broadcast at them so they were quiet and easy to arrest."
"Hmm." He took another kiss. "I wanna see this boat soon." Xander beamed and nodded. "We were going to?"
"Once it was done being repainted. Don, is it wrong to lead one of the guys who're human on?" he asked quietly, going back to playing with his shirt. "Because one's on my ass and I can't tell him no. He doesn't listen, but I'm not sure of the ethics of leading him on."
"You shouldn't lead anyone on if you're already taken, Xander. That way leads back to your old job." Xander stiffened at that. "It does. I know you're not sleeping with him but it's really close to what strippers do." Xander looked up at him. "It is."
"I know but he's been sending stuff and I keep sending it back so he sends bigger things. I thought maybe if I accepted a careful few he might slow down and not bankrupt himself."
"No, that's not right. I'll give him a warning to leave my boy alone." He kissed him.
"Might be a problem with that. He's part of the bank and he said if I didn't he was going to make my cash disappear because he'd tell the feds it was part of an illegal operation."
"I can stop that," Don promised. "We'll talk with Horatio about that tomorrow, okay?" Xander smiled and nodded. "Good boy. Anything else?"
"I went to report the boat to the IRS when I got the final paperwork today. They don't know me. They couldn't find me in the system."
"Three guys checked, I wasn't in the system. Not even by social security number."
"Hell. Did they say you had died?"
"Nope, just that I wasn't in there. They referred it up to the district guy who thinks it got taken out due to the passport thing. But he couldn't find the other identity either. So he's calling DC."
"Crap." He snuggled him. "Hopefully this won't be a problem for the feds," he agreed.
"Maybe they'll continue to ignore me?"
"Maybe," he agreed, "but that could make the banking stuff harder, Xander."
"No, I still have a credit report, I just don't have a social security number at the moment that's legit according to them."
"That means they could think you're dead and cancel stuff," Danny warned as he came outside. "Back when they first started it the same thing happened a few times."
"No, I called the bank and talked to Miss Gold immediately. They had to call her back because she was halfway to her car," Xander told him. "She got on there with the agents and they told her it wasn't in the system but she said she verified it before, when I first moved stuff down. So she's put a big note in my file, according to her, that I have a legit social security number and that I am alive, but that the IRS lost me." He looked at them. "If I have to, you guys are all on my accounts so I can move it back to the demon bank I suppose. Or we can be like pirates and carry around trunks of stuff."
"No, that's a bad idea," Don assured him, patting him on the back. "Danny?"
Danny shuddered. "Trying not to imagine Xander as a pirate." He headed back inside to send Horatio a warning email that they'd be coming in tomorrow about some stuff that's been done to Xander. Including that the ship was due to a Vice sting they had Xander go on with them.
Horatio saw the email titled 'not an emergency, stay home, we'll see you tomorrow morning' and groaned, opening it. He read it. "Speed?" He came in from the kitchen. "Tell me that doesn't say what I think it does?"
Speed read then looked at him. "It does. It says our PD is taking advantage of Xander. Huh." He went back to the kitchen then he came back to read a part over again. "The IRS says he doesn't exist?"
"Search him through our systems?" Horatio logged back into his PD account and did a search for him. He came up with a credit history, he came up with bank listings. He came up with a personnel profile? But he didn't come up with an active social security number. It came up locked. He got into that file and stared at it. "Call the guys who had Ray?"
"I'm going to do that tomorrow. The number's in my desk." The phone on his desk rang and he smirked. He knew someone had his office bugged. "Caine," he answered. "Ray." He smirked. "Can you please call your former keepers and see what they have planned with Xander? Yes, that one, Raymond. Because someone has sealed his social security number. Thank you." He hung up. "Our nephew is not happy. I heard him ranting in the background."
"It did take him away from his family and everything he'd known," Speed reminded him, giving him a hug. "Remember, he can come back." He went back to his cooking.
Horatio waited on the other phone call. "Caine," he answered. "Agent Johnson. No, his real identity is Alexander Lavelle Harris." He listened to him. "I have no idea and neither does he. No, he's got everything but a working social security number. No, that's his real identity. I would assume some sort of family name or his mother was simply cruel," he admitted dryly, leaning back, one hand holding his forehead. "No, on our end it looks locked. No, I've seen his California birth certificate." He groaned. "The local office burned, Agent Johnson. Sunnydale." He smirked. "I thought it might be related. So, can this be unlocked?" He thumped his head on the back of the chair. "He'll be in my office sometime tomorrow. You may come speak to him then. Yes, him and his keeper, who is in the lab. He's a higher level member of GHS," Horatio said quietly. That got a gag and choke from him. "Exactly. So, this can be fixed?" He nodded once. "Thank you and I'll introduce you when he comes tomorrow. Of course." He hung up and held his head tighter. "Speed?" Two tylenol hit his desk. He looked at the demon who was presently admiring Xander. "Thank you."
"You are welcome. It was not us. It was one of his friends trying to make amends." He grinned. "The thought of him being like a pirate with trunks is very amusing." He disappeared.
Horatio took the tylenol and went to get a hug. He could use a hug. The image of Xander as a pirate was one that would mean he'd need pampering tonight.
Horatio looked up as the Vice commander walked into his office. "What were you thinking when you used a civilian?"
"I thought he was one of the bad guys you had turned," she complained.
"No, Mr. Harris isn't a criminal. He's a very nice young man with a hormone condition. He's GHS."
"I realized that. I saw him at the convention. You guys are always looking over his shoulder."
"He's twenty-three. Of course we do," he said impatiently, standing up. "He's not a criminal. If you want to approach him for his help, the proper procedure is to ask Messer or Flack. Understood?"
"Fine," she agreed, shrugging. "Can we help his help busting that poker ring again?"
"He nearly died the last time," he told her. Which wasn't fully a lie, he had died a few times but being immortal meant he came back. "We had to send him to Monaco on a quick trip last time."
"Whatever. Can we use him?"
"Clear it with Flack and Messer."
"Where are they?"
"Danny?" he called. Danny jogged up the stairs and came in. "This is the Vice commander who was working with Xander."
"Huh. At least I can kick your ass for endangering his life." She looked unamused. "Xander doesn't really think of it as more than playing James Bond, lady."
"I am your superior as well."
"You're endangering the kid's life. Not like you're gonna get respect."
"We need him to bust that poker ring he was part of."
"He can't. He's banned." She moaned. "Because Horatio slipped up and let it be known we found out becuase'a him. So, from now on, you clear anything you come to him about with us *first*. Got it?"
"Why are you so concerned? He's a rich little playboy."
Danny put down his glasses and moved closer. "Because I'm one of his protectors, lady. He's not a rich playboy. He used ta work construction before his hormones got out of hand." She snorted and glared at that. "You know what, he can't do a thing for you any more. A more reasonable person maybe but not you." She stomped off. He flipped her off and looked at Horatio. "So?"
"His social security number was sealed by a friend making amends," he said, handing him back his glasses. "Thank you for not making me clean up blood."
"Not an issue." He picked up the phone and called the IAB tipline. "Hey, I'd like to report a commander outta Vice. She's been using civvies to bust rings and sneering at them for being rich boys. Didn't tell 'im it might be dangerous or anything." He hung up on the machine when it asked for his name and badge number. "So this was Willow?"
"According to his new admirer, yes."
"The human one at the bank who's blackmailing him or another one?"
"The demonic one, Danny. What one at the bank?"
Danny groaned. "One of the guys at the bank said Xander will be his or else he'll turn in his cash to the feds as being illegally gotten."
"That won't work at the moment." He shook his head. "We'll handle it. Is that why he's coming in?"
"That and to tell you what the Vice lady wanted him for. Apparently she had him calm a drug house so they could have an easier arrest."
"Which isn't legal but a very good idea," Horatio admitted. "I've used it in the past." Rick Stetler walked in, looking confused. "You listened to the tipline already?"
"I did. What?"
"Xander's comin' in later," Danny admitted. "One of the Vice commanders used him ta get that gambling ship and other things."
Don leaned in. "Xander felt himself being talked about and called. He'll be down as soon as he puts on clothes." He looked at Stetler, then at Horatio and Danny. "He givin' you shit?"
"No, Don, he's helping this time," Horatio assured him. "Danny called to talk to him about the Vice issue."
"Yeah, I'm not sure having him broadcast at a drug house was legal."
"What?" Stetler demanded.
Danny nodded. "You can ask him himself but yeah. Apparently she had him broadcast at a, as he called it, drug hellhole so it'd be an easy arrest."
Stetler groaned and nodded. "No, that's not legal and it could jeopardize the arrest and evidence if their lawyers found out. Anything else?"
"Someone sealed his social Security number," Horatio said dryly. "I was told it was a friend trying to make amends. Plus he's got a blackmailing suitor at one of the banks."
"Charming." Xander walked in and looked at him. "You have information that an officer is doing things the wrong way?"
"You mean she wasn't supposed to get me to go into the gambling ship to bust their banks? Then she seized the assets but had to give me what I had won, after she searched for drugs and illegal immigrants."
"No," he said, shaking his head. "Which one do you want with you?"
"Can I have Don? He's calmer." He grinned at Danny and handed over a bag. "You forgot the lunch I made you." He looked at Don. "If you're not busy?"
"No, I'm not busy." He walked off with them, giving Frank a look. "I'll explain it later," he mouthed when Frank looked confused. "Not me, him." They walked into an interrogation room and he sat beside Xander to explain what he was allowed to do to help and what he wasn't allowed to do to help. Though some of it did get funny looks from Stetler. Apparently some of his ideas were borderline in Miami.
Frank walked up to where Horatio was staring outside. "What's going on with kid now?"
"Blackmail," he complained, looking at him. "One of the people in the bank. Plus someone locked his social security number so it's not registering in the system."
"What about the stuff in the bank?"
"That's fine so far. We've told the bank about that." He turned to look at him. "Plus, new rules are going to be coming down about how we use civilians in stings."
"They did what?" he asked.
"Remember the ship, Frank?" Frank moaned and nodded. "That was a Vice bust. She claims she thought he was a criminal we had turned."
"He doesn't have a record, Horatio."
"I noticed that. She also had him broadcast at a drug house to have an easy arrest." Frank gaped. "I've done it mildly but not like what he did," he said quietly.
"So.... the guy who thinks Xander's a Goddess?"
"There's more of them," he sighed, turning around again. "He's talking with one of the agents now to see if he can get his social security number back in the system. It's not letting him."
"They can file for a new one."
"No, that system, and therefor the IRS system, won't register his name, Frank."
"Which means he'll be in trouble with the bank eventually," Frank noted.
"Exactly. He was joking earlier about doing like pirates did and carrying trunks of treasure."
"Put it in a few of those bags and make sure they don't get damaged," he complained, shaking his head. "Or back in that demon bank he was talking about," he offered quietly.
"Perhaps. Or an off-shore account might work," Horatio admitted. "I'm worried his license will disappear next, Frank."
"That might be practical though. The kid's driver could be a bodyguard."
Horatio looked at him. "That's not a bad idea," he admitted, "but Xander would hate it. You know how independent he is."
"Point." He looked down when Xander stomped back inside. "Doesn't look like a happy boy."
"I wouldn't be either." The agent looked up at him and shrugged, but he walked off. "I'm not sure I'm going to be either, Frank." He looked over as Xander joined them. "Can they fix it?"
"No. He even tried having me given a new number. The system ate that one. He tried in the name on my second passport and it ate that one."
"Crap," Frank muttered. Xander hugged him. "So, what're they going to do?"
"Talk to the bank for me. She knows but she's worried. Steve's worried. I'm worried."
"Get one from another country?" Horatio suggested. He smirked at him. "I'm sure someone you know can insert you into Britain's system?"
"Maybe." He sucked on his bottom lip, continuing to hug Frank while the detective patted his head. "Maybe that would work. That would at least get me a passport and stuff again."
"It would," he agreed. "We'd have to deal with Immigration but I'm sure someone would tell them."
"Plus I could travel the world. Canadians aren't hated."
"They're not," Horatio agreed, smiling at him. "Go to it, Xander." Xander headed out at a run, catching the agent while he was making a report from his car, talking to him about that. The agent made a few calls and nodded, making Xander smile and nod up at them. "It appears that was a well liked idea."
Frank looked at him. "What're you going to do if you keep going, Horatio?"
"We'll figure that out if and when I have to retire, Frank." He smiled as he walked off, going to tell Danny what had been worked out. It would make him happier too.
Xander walked into the house that night, looking at them. "Well, it kinda almost fell through. Their system won't accept me either. So I told him I could get a fake passport that looked real enough and he decided it might be a good idea and they'd flag me in the system that I was real, but the computer doesn't accept me. The bank stuff was worked out as long as other names are on there with mine. Oh, and the Treasury twerp that came down about Mr. Blackmail is not a happy camper with me. Apparently he was siphoning off accounts to afford my presents. I told him I sent them all back."
"So he was keeping the money?" Don asked. Xander nodded and sat beside him to cuddle him. "It'll be okay, Xander. I promise. It'll all be worked out."
"My new demon admirer said that it was someone making amends."
"I heard that. It'll be okay," he promised, kissing him on the head.
"Can we go spank her?"
"No," Danny said. "If we could I'd let you and Cordy do that." He grinned at him. "Where is she?"
"On the ship basking by the pool for the day. Aiden too."
"That's fine." He put a kiss on the top of Xander's head. "So, new documents?"
"Maybe. All I really need is a new passport and my old one may work."
"It may," Don agreed. "We'll have to wait and see." He gave him a cuddle.
Greg came out of the study with a book in front of his face but he stopped to give Xander a kiss on the head too. "It'll be fixed, Xander, I promise." He sat down at the breakfast bar. "Danny, what's for dinner?"
"Nothin' if you don't put down the book," he ordered. Greg looked at him and grinned. "Really." Greg marked his spot and put it down, getting his plate instead. He put down the others and Xander grinned at him. "Good boy. We'll deal with it, Xander."
"I know but it sucks that she's doing it to me again while saying she's making amends."
"Maybe we'll go to Brazil and live with Junior," Don teased.
"Maybe," he agreed, digging into his grilled sandwich. He could use his shopping buddy back. He was nearly ready to pout without having him. Cordy wasn't the same. Ray liked his style. Cordy snarked. It wasn't the same and it wasn't as happy-making for him. Though, introducing Cordy to his favorite madam had been very amusing. He didn't know she could squeak like Willow used to. Especially after he went over some more of the dance lessons with them.
Two days later, Horatio looked out as Frank came *running* up the halls. "What did he do?" he asked patiently.
"Not him, Cordelia Chase just got arrested. She was thumping some guy on the street and threatened them with Xander-ing them. Then she kicked his ass and the ass of the officer who was trying to pull her off him."
"Pity. What did he do?"
"Tried to cop a feel. She's not GHS, right?"
Horatio moaned and walked off. "Sometimes it can be transferred over, Frank. Thank you." He found where she was sitting and sulking. "Cordelia."
"I'm not going to let some would-be rapist get me without kicking his ass," she defended. "I'm not like some helpless girl!"
"No, you're not," he agreed. He went to talk to the officer, who had a few bruises. "What happened?"
"As she was kicking my butt for stopping her she was ranting about me stopping her from beating the guy she claimed tried to attack her, Lieutenant."
"What did he say?"
"A lot of gurgles as the paramedics took him away, sir."
"She did learn with Mr. Harris."
"She one of them?" Horatio shook his head. "You sure?"
"That's his ex-girlfriend from high school."
"Huh. He likes 'em feisty. No wonder he's got Messer now," he muttered, shaking his head quickly to banish the mental images. "We're not charging her yet, sir. We're waiting to see what the guy in the hospital says and if he's pressing charges. My boss didn't want me to press charges against her if he didn't. Thought she might be a bit unhinged."
"Miss Chase works with a PI out in LA," he admitted quietly. "She's had to defend herself and others before. Also in high school she helped Mr. Harris with his hunting."
"Huh. So he *really* likes 'em feisty and cute. Sure. As soon as I know, you will, sir."
"Thank you." He went back to where Cordelia was. "It's not nice to hurt the officer who's trying to help you, Cordelia."
"He was trying to stop me from kicking the guys' ass!"
"It's still not nice to hit him too. He is an officer."
"Fine. We'll talk when you're calmer."
"I'm perfectly calm now," she said, glaring at him. "He was trying to stop me from defending myself. He's damn lucky I didn't have my crossbow or axe on me!"
"Yes, he is," he agreed calmly. Xander stomped in and Cordelia gave him a sheepish look. "Calm down, Xander."
"You calm down! She was attacked and had to kick his ass herself! Poor baby, did it ruin your nails?"
"And my hair," she pouted, giving him a look. "He expected me to just give up and squeal in joy at the officer showing up," she said bitterly.
"I thought it was cute how you'd kick someone's ass until they saw you and then you'd walk over them and said 'he tripped and he's very sorry' then go on to fuss over your nails." He gave her a hug. "Don't worry, I'll bail you out if I have to."
"Thank you, Xander." She snuggled into his arms. "You're a very good Princess of Gaydom."
"Who the IRS says still doesn't exist. I'll have to start carrying around pirate's chests of money and jewels."
She looked at him, then smacked him on the forehead. "That gave me images I don't want, Xander. Ewww! Gay pirates!" She rubbed her eyes. "Horatio, make him stop!"
"Xander, that's not an idea any of us like," Horatio said, just getting a shit-eating grin back in return. "Behave, Xander. This isn't the lab."
"Yes, Horatio. I'll quit being so cute in front of the other officers." He went back to cuddling her and calming her down. "It's all right, honey. You're the big, butch lesbian- like woman we all knew and loved as a cheerleader."
"I'm very straight, thank you, Princess Gay!"
"I said lesbian-like, dear, not a real lesbian."
"Real women can be tough," she sniffed, looking at her nails again. "See, I even ripped one of the fake ones off."
"We'll get it fixed," he promised, calming her down. "Even if what I heard when I came in sounded like you should be wearing plaid."
She smacked him again. "That's two, Mister. At three I'm spanking for real and calling your ex."
"Anya's not going to come this time, sweetie. You're not a woman scorned that special way."
"You're definitely scorning me anyway," she complained. "Fine, I'll tell Angel."
"What's King Hair Gel going to do? Come brood at me? Shit, woman, I'll make him beg too," he assured her.
Horatio turned to hide his smile, finding some other officers grinning too. "She's his ex."
"Obviously," one agreed. Another officer came in. "Guy at the hospital?"
"Isn't pressing charges. He didn't want to take her wallet ever again."
"You don't pickpocket by going for the rear crotch grope," Cordy said bitterly.
"Not your case, ma'am. Another one where an officer almost got pickpocketed off duty."
"Oh. Pity. She kick his ass too?" He nodded. "Then why is it so wrong that I did it?"
"Next time, let me come and help with the fun," he complained. "Call while you're kicking his ass so I can cheer."
Cordelia dragged Xander over, spanking him as best she could. "I. Did. Not. Need. That. Image. Xander!" Horatio took him from her. "Stop him, Horatio! Before I get more icky mental images and I need drugs!"
"Xander," Horatio said mildly, staring at him. He got grinned at again. "You're very good at taking her mind off what happened. But enough. Sit and cuddle her." He let him go and watched as Xander went back to cuddling and cooing at her. "Thank you." He looked at the bruised officer, who walked off laughing. "You'll let me know?"
"I will, sir."
The boss came out and saw Xander, whimpering. "Please tell me we didn't arrest him with that brothel again?" he demanded.
Xander gave him a sheepish look. "I was only taking dance lessons."
"I don't care! What are you doing in my precinct!"
"This is my ex Cordy. She had to beat the guy who tried to grope her."
"And the officer who tried to pull her off," Horatio told him.
Xander looked at her, then at Horatio. "Maybe she should go to the academy? Since she's clearly a very strong woman, like Aiden is."
Horatio shuddered at that. "Xander, I know your hormones are up since you're giving us all very bad mental images. Just sit there and be quiet," he ordered. He looked at the Sergeant again, getting a horrified look. "She's his ex. He helped her learn self defense."
"I learned how to do the kicking and beating until someone comes and then looking calm and helpless thing off her," Xander said proudly.
She patted him on the head. "Too bad you couldn't learn fashion off me. You'd look better."
"I let the salesmen dress me."
"Obviously, dear. Obviously. I'm *so* going through your closet today."
"You're not touching my haiwaiian shirts," he said, glaring at her. "Or else I'm sending my current paramour out to redo your closet." She whimpered and slunk down at that. "But you can put outfits together as long as you don't touch them." She smiled and hugged him. "And no, you can't cut my hair."
"Are you sure? I mean, everyone in the city knows you're gay, sweetie, just by seeing the hair."
"I look very hot on my stallion."
"I've seen you sitting on your boyfriend. You're cute that way."
"I meant my horse, Cordy."
"You own a horse?" He beamed and nodded. "WHY!"
"Because I like to ride. Ryan taught me."
"He did," Horatio agreed. "Officer Wolfe also has his own horses." He looked at the confused looking sergeant again. "They were a present since he was watching Xander when they wanted him."
"Oh. Interesting. I guess that's why my guy got a lunch he never ordered when he protected your boy there when we accidentally arrested him for taking dance lessons?"
Xander looked over. "No, that was me. My paramour is more the chocolate and roses sort." He went back to showing Cordy pictures from his wallet. "That's me on my horse. And that's Danny beside me of course." He flipped over. "Those are Ryan's mares and their foals. Aren't they adorable!" He grinned at her. "It's like a little herd."
"Awww. I'm feeling warm and fuzzy thoughts for the first time since I was six. What's this one?"
"That's an adoption horse. He was being kept by some really mean and nasty people, like my parents mean and nasty, so we adopted him when the ASPCA took him from them and spanked them." He pointed at an older picture. "That's him when we first got him. He had whip cuts. Willow's stuff worked on that too."
"Cool. It works great on some of mine too. I mean, seriously! I had plant whip marks and they healed right up with that stuff. If she wasn't evil now, she could make tons selling that stuff. I didn't even scar!"
"It cleared his up too and he didn't scar that bad either. I had someone make more from her recipe since mine didn't quite turn out weak enough. But it works well to draw out infection. I gave the ASPCA a tube of it to try in their hospital ward and they've used it too." He grinned. "Oooh, look at the babies," he said, pointing at the foals. "They're both mares and the little fella loves 'em too. He noses them to move them and nibbles on their manes for them when they have the itchies and everything. It's such a cute herd."
"Your whole family is a cute herd," she said, patting him on the hand.
"According to the protocol for the people that keep wanting me, they're my harem." He grinned. "That's why Ryan got lunch the other day. By now they consider you my harem too."
"Yay me. If I knew then what I know now I would've done more than share kisses in those closets, Xander. I would've tied you down and there wouldn't have been any problems in Sunnydale." She gave him a look. "Behave. You're making Horatio blush."
"Sorry, Horatio." He hugged him then went back to cuddling Cordy. "You don't think I could be a male cheerleader?"
"With your hair, they'd make you wear the skirt and pompoms, Xander." She noticed how many guys moaned and shuddered. "A pair of falsies and a tight sweater help that any?" she offered. Most of them walked off to go shudder in private and get away from those two. "Hey, better than the ones I got of him in pirate gear!" she called after them.
"I look cute in leather."
"You do look very good in leather, Xander, but still!"
"Fine." He put his wallet into Horatio's pocket. "For Don's desk. Just in case something happens. I had to get the ID renewed." The beaten officer came over and he cooed, getting up to get him an ice pack, coming out to baby him. At the very least it would make up for Cordy beating him and he knew how much those sort of injuries hurt.
Horatio looked at Cordelia. "Next time call Ryan or myself, Cordelia."
"I didn't call him. I don't know who did," she said quietly, shrugging a bit. "Don't ask me, Horatio. I didn't call you guys."
"Frank told me."
"Frank's a cutie but his wife's gotta be tired of his good boy look when he's being naughty," Xander offered. He grinned at them. "Ray called me and told Frank." He went back to babying the poor officer.
She sighed as she watched him. "You can't adopt another one into the herd, Xander. Really!"
"He needs it, bruises like that hurt," he complained, frowning at her. "I got you plenty of ice packs, Queen Cranky."
"Please! The 'c' in Queen C was not for Cranky, Princess." She rolled her eyes. "Xander, you're going to make the other nice officers pick on him because you're babying him."
"No I'm not. They'd never do that. Would they?" he asked, glaring at them. They all shook their heads. He beamed. "See?"
She patted him. "Are we maybe feeling a bit bipolar, Xander?" she asked, talking down to him.
He swatted her on the head. "No, bitchy, I'm not." He went back to treating him, even going out to the car to come back with some of the cream he used on his own bruises when he got them.
The sergeant looked at Horatio and nodded at the door. "She can go," he mouthed. "He won't be pressing charges."
"Thank you. Cordelia, you're free to go. Why don't you take Xander out for some ice cream?"
"I need to get my nails fixed."
"He can go with you. A manicure is a nice thing that feels good," he offered. Xander pouted and handed him the tube. "I'll make sure he uses some," he promised. Xander nodded and walked out with her, taking her out to go do something more fun and protect her. He handed it to the officer. "He'll know if you don't and it does help the swelling go down."
"Thank you, Lieutenant." He used some on the worst bruises and handed it back. "Have fun with them."
"Often," he sighed, walking out to the hummer and heading back to the office. Those two were worse than just Xander alone. He found Frank and Ray watching for him. "She's not in trouble and they gave a whole room bad thoughts," he said as he walked past them, handing Ray the tube. "She's going to get her nails fixed."
"What happened?" Frank called.
"Some unkind gentleman decided to grope her so she beat him and the officer for trying to pull her off him," Horatio called as he headed inside. He needed to have a talk with Danny about Xander's bad mental images problem and get Speed to take them out of his head. Unfortunately they were both on a new scene. So he had to suffer for a few minutes.
Don came home and looked at the bags on the counter, then frowned. "Xander, why did you buy out the fantasy costume shop?"
"Cordy made me." He came out in harem pants. "She said that it would make sure I'd never make her think about pirate Xander again."
Don squeezed his eyes shut. "Take them off," he ordered calmly. "It'll just be us tonight so run around naked if you want."
"Aiden's in the study."
"She won't care. Aiden, you care?"
"If I see him with a cutlass and knee-high boots again I'm going to have to beat him," she called. Xander stripped off there and went to play with the animals. She came out of the study and picked up the pants, putting them back in the bag. She came up with one costume and held it up. "For him. So he's not totally naked."
"That's a loincloth."
"Isn't it?" She trudged out to her car. It was too much for her poor, tired brain. Advanced ballistics was one thing. Naked and Bad Mental Image Xander was totally another one. She heard Don on the way out.
"Hey, Xander, Aiden said you should wear this loincloth."
It only made it worse. Now she had Tarzan Xander in her head and it wouldn't go away no matter what else she thought of. She drove to Eric's place, interrupting their dinner to crawl into his lap. "Please take these images out of my head before I have a stroke," she begged, giving him a pitiful look. "I've got pirate Xander and nurse Xander and cheerleader Xander and tarzan Xander plus other Xanders all stuck in my head and it won't go away."
Eric kissed her and took her into the bedroom to help her take a nap. "I'll be right back, Ryan."
"Sure." He called over there. "Don, the handcuffs Greg bought are in your top dresser drawer, the one you don't use. They're very soft and will keep Xander tied down to the bed all night so you can make him better. No, she's begging for mercy. Eric. Thanks. No, if you need to I'm sure Horatio will understand if you two have to call off tomorrow." He hung up and went back to eating. Tarzan Xander.... That was a very ....interesting mental image. He ate a bite of food and thought about it while he chewed. He could almost see Xander in the buttflap outfit. Swinging on a vine. Curled up with a lion to talk to it. No, that was George of the Jungle but he did make a cute one. Maybe the next time they were together he could get Xander to watch it with him. Then have some fun. Aiden squealed and Eric came back out. "You know, I think he'd make a better George of the Jungle instead of Tarzan." Eric moaned and took his dinner back to the bedroom to eat next to Aiden in case she woke up. That way he could wear them both out again and he could sleep off that mental image too.
Strife appeared. "Is it contagious? First Speed becomes one'a mine and then you?" He tested his forehead. "Maybe it is a sickness. Oh well, I'm having fun so let me know." He disappeared again.
Ryan beamed and went back to eating before his evening devotional to Ares and then his solo katas. At least Eric wouldn't be interrupting him for sex tonight.
Frank Tripp looked up as everyone dragged in. "Wild night with the kid?" he teased Don.
Don handed over the pictures Xander had taken of himself then he went to his desk to put his head down. He needed a short nap and his desk was private enough for now.
Frank looked at the pictures and whimpered, but it was Xander. He gave them to Cordelia when she came in to hand Horatio her weekly report on what she and Xander had done. She stomped off to spank the boy. That worked out really well! He could enjoy having her in his city if they kept Xander! It was a cute thing. Horatio gave his grinning face a look. "I gave Cordelia the pictures Don handed me of Xander in various costumes. Is he deciding on halloween now?"
"Don't ask, Frank. Just don't ask." He went to take some more tylenol for his headache and not remember how Xander had sent a whole precinct out to drink the night before. Because if he did, he'd call off sick for the day and go back to bed with Speed. He read Cordelia's report and went anyway. Enough of it was in there that he now had a migraine with those mental images. He definitely didn't want to see Tarzan Xander. Let Ryan handle him. Then again, when he passed Ryan to hand him that report he had been muttering about George of the Jungle Xander. So maybe he couldn't handle him either. Maybe another short vacation for Xander, with Greg? Because the rest of them definitely needed a vacation from Xander already. Then again, Frank was grinning about it.... Maybe Xander and Frank should take the next trip together. No, then he'd have to see Frank with a sword. Not an image he wanted. They'd have to find someone to take some of Xander's attention again before it got worse! He finally got home and stripped on his way upstairs, crawling back into bed and into his mate's arms.
"W'as wrong?" Speed mumbled.
"George of the Jungle Xander."
Speed patted him. "He'll want to travel again soon. Then you'll be sane." He curled protectively around his husband. He clearly needed the protecting. Though, now he couldn't get that image out of his head....
To next part: